We were also disappointed at CESAME to see that Investigations did not make the US Dept. of Ed's list of "exemplary" and "promising" math programs. But we found out from TERC that Investigations wasn't even submitted for the review. They said that it didn't get submitted because there were certain conditions for submitting programs-- first, that the program be complete. At the time of submission, Investigations wasn't quite complete. (must have been a couple of years ago when the kindergarten units weren't done yet.) Also the review asked for a lot of effectiveness data, which Investigations hadn't accumulated yet because it was new.
My concern is that there still doesn't seem to be much effectiveness data available for Investigations. It seems like no one has had the time and money to collect and analyze data about student achievement for Investigations. Other new programs (like Connected Math, gr.6-8, and Everyday Math, gr.K-5) were developed at universities, where there were doctoral students available to do research like this for free.
We have heard that there is a book coming out with a chapter written by TERC about Investigations and student achievement. We'll keep you posted as to the title and when it will be available.