Applications for New Awards; Investing in Innovation Fund, Validation Grants, 18229-18242 [2012-7365]

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION VII. Agency Contact Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.411B (Validation grants). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DATES: Carol Lyons, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W203, Washington, DC 20202– 5930. Fax: (202) 205–5631. Telephone: (202) 453–7122 or by email: i3@ed.gov. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. Applications Available: March 29, 2012. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 16, 2012. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 29, 2012. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 25, 2012. VIII. Other Information mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). Full Text of Announcement Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. I. Funding Opportunity Description Dated: March 21, 2012. James H. Shelton, III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement. [FR Doc. 2012–7362 Filed 3–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:24 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 Applications for New Awards; Investing in Innovation Fund, Validation Grants Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Overview Information Investing in Innovation Fund, Validation Grants Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Purpose of Program: The Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), established under section 14007 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provides funding to support (1) local educational agencies (LEAs), and (2) nonprofit organizations in partnership with (a) one or more LEAs or (b) a consortium of schools. The purpose of this program is to provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of improving student achievement and attainment in order to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth (as defined in this notice), closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates. These grants will (1) allow eligible entities to expand and develop innovative practices that can serve as models of best practices, (2) support partnerships between eligible entities and the private sector and philanthropic community, and (3) support eligible entities in identifying and documenting best practices that can be shared and taken to scale based on demonstrated success. Under this program, the Department awards three types of grants: ‘‘Scale-up’’ grants, ‘‘Validation’’ grants, and ‘‘Development’’ grants. The three grant types differ in the evidence that an PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18229 applicant is required to submit in support of its proposed project; the expectations for ‘‘scaling up’’ successful projects during or after the grant period, either directly or through partners; and the funding that a successful applicant is eligible to receive. This notice invites applications for Validation grants. The notice inviting applications for Scale-up grants is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The notice inviting applications for Development grants was published in the Federal Register on February 24, 2012 (77 FR 11087) and is available at http:// www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR–2012–02– 24/pdf/2012–4357.pdf. Validation grants provide funding to support practices, strategies, or programs that show promise, but for which there is currently only moderate evidence (as defined in this notice) that the proposed practice, strategy, or program will have a statistically significant effect on improving student achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates and that, with further study, the effect of implementing the proposed practice, strategy, or program may prove to be substantial and important. Scale-up grants require applicants to have strong evidence (as defined in this notice) to support their proposed project. Applications for Validation grants do not need to have the same level of research evidence to support the proposed project as is required for Scale-up grants. An applicant for a Validation grant may also demonstrate success through an intermediate variable strongly correlated with these outcomes, such as teacher or principal effectiveness. An applicant for a Validation grant must estimate the number of students to be reached by the proposed project and provide evidence of its capacity to reach the proposed number of students during the course of the grant. In addition, an applicant for a Validation grant must provide evidence of its capacity (e.g., qualified personnel, financial resources, management capacity) to scale up to a State or regional level, working directly or through partners either during or following the grant period. We recognize that LEAs are not typically responsible for taking to scale their practices, strategies, or programs in other LEAs and States. However, all applicants, including LEAs, can and should partner with others to disseminate and take to scale their effective practice, strategy, or program. The Department will screen applications that are submitted for E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 18230 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices Validation grants in accordance with the requirements in this notice, and determine which applications have met the eligibility and other requirements in this notice. Peer reviewers will review all Validation grant applications that are submitted by the established deadline. However, if the Department determines that an application for a Validation grant does not meet the definition of moderate evidence in this notice, or any other eligibility requirement, the Department will not consider the application for funding. The 2012 i3 Validation and Scale-up competitions again include an absolute priority focused on innovations that complement the implementation of high standards and high-quality assessments. There has been much recent discussion about whether high standards, on their own, are likely to improve student achievement. As reports such as the 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education 1 point out, the implementation of such standards is crucial to any impact that they may have. This points to the urgent need for practices, strategies, or programs (referred to elsewhere simply as ‘‘practices’’) that will help teachers, principals, and others apply new standards and use new assessments in ways that improve student achievement. This need is particularly time-sensitive, as much of the implementation of these standards and assessments will occur in the next several years. As such, practices that demonstrate effectiveness and meet the rigorous evidence requirements of Validation and Scale-up grants are of particular interest to the Department. Validation and Scale-up grants require ambitious targets for the expansion of effective practices (called ‘‘scaling up’’ in the i3 competition). The Department believes that scaling up effective practices will improve student outcomes, as more effective practices replace less effective solutions to the same problems. In both the Validation and Scale-up grant competitions, the Department is particularly interested in projects that have a well-articulated plan for scaling up and a well-defined set of challenges or barriers that the Validation or Scale-up funding will enable the applicant to overcome. Using i3 funding to address known barriers to scaling up allows i3’s limited funding to increase the likelihood that the work of successful projects endures and expands after Federal funding expires. Finally, rigorous evaluation is an essential component of all i3 grants— 1 http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2012/ 0216_brown_education_loveless.aspx. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 particularly for Validation and Scale-up projects. The Department is especially interested in evaluations that go beyond addressing whether a practice is effective to identifying and formalizing the key features of a model and the factors that contribute to the model’s success. In particular, the Department is interested in better understanding for whom and in what contexts particular practices are effective. The Department believes that generating this information is an important way to increase the use of effective practices in settings across the country. As indicated by the inclusion of cost-effectiveness as a selection criterion, the Department also encourages evaluations that produce reliable estimates of the costeffectiveness of grantees’ practices. We also remind LEAs of the continuing applicability of the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for students who may be served under i3 grants. Programs proposed in applications in which LEAs participate must be consistent with the rights, protections, and processes of IDEA for students who are receiving special education and related services or are being evaluated for such services. As described later in this notice, in connection with making competitive grant awards, an applicant is required, as a condition of receiving assistance under this program, to make civil rights assurances, including an assurance that its program or activity will comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Department’s Section 504 implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Regardless of whether students with disabilities are specifically targeted as ‘‘high-need’’ students under a particular application for a grant program, recipients are required to comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of these laws. Among other things, the nondiscrimination requirements of these laws include an obligation that recipients ensure that students with disabilities are not discriminated against because benefits provided to all students under the recipient’s program are inaccessible to students because of their disability. The Department also enforces Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title II implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities, with respect to certain public educational entities. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Changes for the FY 2012 i3 Validation Competition The absolute priority focused on teacher and principal effectiveness (Absolute Priority 1) now uses the language from the Improving the Effectiveness and Distribution of Effective Teachers or Principals priority established in the May 12, 2011, Federal Register notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs. The language in this supplemental priority offers greater flexibility for projects to improve teacher and principal effectiveness through targeted strategies that address components of the teacher and principal pipeline, rather than its entirety, as required by the Innovations that Support Effective Teachers and Principals priority in the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program, published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2010 (75 FR 12004– 12071)(2010 i3 NFP). Priorities: This competition includes five absolute priorities and five competitive preference priorities. These priorities are from the 2010 i3 NFP 2 and from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486–78511), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637) (Supplemental Priorities). Absolute Priorities: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one of these priorities. Under this competition for Validation grants, each of the five absolute priorities constitutes its own funding category. The Secretary intends to award grants under each absolute priority for which applications of sufficient quality are submitted. An applicant for a Validation grant must choose one of the five absolute priorities contained in this notice and address that priority in its application. An applicant must provide information on how its proposed project addresses the selection criteria in the project narrative section of its application. These priorities are: 2 The 2011 notice of final i3 revisions, which was published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2011 (76 FR 32073), provides the Secretary with the flexibility to choose one or more of the priorities established in the 2010 i3 NFP for use in any i3 competition. E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices Absolute Priority 2—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Projects that are designed to address one or more of the following priority areas: (a) Increasing the number or percentage of teachers or principals who are effective or reducing the number or percentage of teachers or principals who are ineffective, particularly in highpoverty schools (as defined in this notice) including through such activities as improving the preparation, recruitment, development, and evaluation of teachers and principals; implementing performance-based certification and retention systems; and reforming compensation and advancement systems. (b) Increasing the retention, particularly in high-poverty schools (as defined in this notice), and equitable distribution of teachers or principals who are effective. For the purposes of this priority, teacher and principal effectiveness should be measured using: (1) Teacher or principal evaluation data, in States or local educational agencies that have in place a highquality teacher or principal evaluation system that takes into account student growth (as defined in the footnote to this priority) in significant part and uses multiple measures, that, in the case of teachers, may include observations for determining teacher effectiveness (such as systems that meet the criteria for evaluation systems under the Race to the Top program as described in criterion (D)(2)(ii) of the Race to the Top notice inviting applications (74 FR 59803)); or (2) Data that include, in significant part, student achievement or student growth (as defined in the footnote to this priority) data and may include multiple measures in States or local educational agencies that do not have the teacher or principal evaluation systems described in paragraph (1). (Supplemental Priorities) 3 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Absolute Priority 1—Improving the Effectiveness and Distribution of Effective Teachers or Principals Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support projects that are designed to address one or more of the following areas: (a) Providing students with increased access to rigorous and engaging coursework in STEM. (b) Increasing the number and proportion of students prepared for postsecondary or graduate study and careers in STEM. (c) Increasing the opportunities for high-quality preparation of, or professional development for, teachers or other educators of STEM subjects. (d) Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with disabilities, and women, who are provided with access to rigorous and engaging coursework in STEM or who are prepared for postsecondary or graduate study and careers in STEM. (e) Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with disabilities, and women, who are teachers or educators of STEM subjects and have increased opportunities for high-quality preparation or professional development. (Supplemental Priorities) 3 For purposes of this priority, the Supplemental Priorities define ‘‘student achievement’’ and ‘‘student growth’’ as follows: ‘‘Student achievement’’ means—(a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student’s score on the State’s assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across schools. (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 Absolute Priority 3—Innovations That Complement the Implementation of High Standards and High-Quality Assessments Under this priority, the Department provides funding for practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to support States’ efforts to transition to standards and assessments that measure students’ progress toward college- and career-readiness, including curricular and instructional practices, strategies, or programs in core academic subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)) that are aligned with high academic content and achievement standards and with high-quality assessments based on those ‘‘Student growth’’ means the change in student achievement (as defined in this notice) for an individual student between two or more points in time. A State may also include other measures that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms. Note that the definitions in this footnote apply only to Absolute Priority 1 and, with respect to the term ‘‘student achievement,’’ to Competitive Preference Priority 10. Elsewhere in this notice the use of these terms refers to the i3 definitions established in the 2010 i3 NFP that are provided in the Definitions section of this notice. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18231 standards.4 Proposed projects may include, but are not limited to, practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to: (a) Increase the success of under-represented student populations in academically rigorous courses and programs (such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses; dual-enrollment programs; ‘‘early college high schools’’; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses, especially those that incorporate rigorous and relevant project-, inquiry-, or designbased contextual learning opportunities); (b) increase the development and use of formative assessments or interim assessments, or other performance-based tools and ‘‘metrics’’ that are aligned with high student content and academic achievement standards; or (c) translate the standards and information from assessments into classroom practices that meet the needs of all students, including high-need students. Under this priority, an eligible applicant must propose a project that is based on standards that are at least as rigorous as its State’s standards. If the proposed project is based on standards other than those adopted by the eligible applicant’s State, the applicant must explain how the standards are aligned with and at least as rigorous as the eligible applicant’s State’s standards as well as how the standards differ. (2010 i3 NFP) Absolute Priority 4—Innovations That Turn Around Persistently LowPerforming Schools Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support strategies, practices, or programs that are designed to turn around schools that are in any of the following categories: (a) Persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in the final requirements for the School Improvement Grants program); 5 (b) Title I schools that are in 4 Consistent with the Race to the Top Fund, the Department interprets the core academic subject of ‘‘science’’ under section 9101(11) of the ESEA to include STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) which encompasses a wide-range of disciplines, including computer science. 5 Under the final requirements for the School Improvement Grants program, ‘‘persistently lowestachieving schools’’ means, as determined by the State, (a) any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that (i) is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and (b) any E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM Continued 27MRN1 18232 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA; or (c) secondary schools (both middle and high schools) eligible for but not receiving Title I funds that, if receiving Title I funds, would be in corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA. These schools 6 are referred to as Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute Priority 4 schools. Proposed projects must include strategies, practices, or programs that are designed to turn around Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute Priority 4 schools through either whole-school reform or targeted approaches to reform. Applicants addressing this priority must focus on either: (a) Whole-school reform, including, but not limited to, comprehensive interventions to assist, augment, or replace Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute Priority 4 schools, including the school turnaround, restart, closure, and transformation models of intervention supported under the Department’s School Improvement Grants program (see Final Requirements for School Improvement Grants as Amended in January 2010 (January 28, 2010) at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/ sif/faq.html); or (b) Targeted approaches to reform, including, but not limited to: (1) Providing more time for students to learn core academic content by expanding or augmenting the school day, school week, or school year, or by increasing instructional time for core academic subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA); (2) integrating ‘‘student supports’’ into the school model to address non-academic barriers to student achievement; or (3) creating multiple pathways for students to earn regular high school diplomas (e.g., by operating schools that serve the needs of over-aged, under-credited, or other students with an exceptional need for support and flexibility pertaining to when they attend school; awarding credit based on demonstrated evidence of student competency; and offering dual-enrollment options). (2010 i3 NFP) secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I funds that (i) is among the lowestachieving five percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years. See http:// www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html. 6 In this context, ‘‘these schools’’ refers to the schools described in (a) through (c) in this paragraph. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 Absolute Priority 5—Improving Achievement and High School Graduation Rates (Rural Local Educational Agencies) Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support projects that are designed to address accelerating learning and helping to improve high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment rates for students in rural local educational agencies (as defined in this notice). (Supplemental Priorities) Note: Absolute Priority 5 aims to support projects that address the unique challenges of serving high-need students in rural LEAs (as defined in this notice). Based on the overall i3 program requirement, set out in section III.1 of this notice, and as with all i3 projects, applicants choosing to address this priority must specify how they will serve high-need students. In addition, applicants that choose to respond to Absolute Priority 5 may want to consider identifying all rural LEAs where the project will be implemented, or explain how the applicant will choose the rural LEAs where the project will be implemented. Applicants should identify these rural LEAs on the i3 Applicant Information Sheet and provide information on the applicant’s experience and skills, or the experience and skills of their partners, in serving high-need students in rural LEAs in responding to Selection Criterion C. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel. Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Applicants may address more than one of the competitive preference priorities; however, the Department will review and award points only for a maximum of two of the competitive preference priorities. Therefore, an applicant must identify in the project narrative section of its application the priority or priorities it wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning competitive preference priority points. Note: The Department will not review or award points under any competitive preference priority that (1) fails to clearly identify the competitive preference priority or priorities the applicant wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning competitive preference priority points, or (2) identifies more than two competitive preference priorities the applicant wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning competitive preference priority points. These priorities are: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Competitive Preference Priority 6— Innovations for Improving Early Learning Outcomes (Zero or One Point) We give competitive preference to applications for projects that would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to improve educational outcomes for high-need students who are young children (birth through 3rd grade) by enhancing the quality of early learning programs. To meet this priority, applications must focus on (a) improving young children’s school readiness (including social, emotional, and cognitive readiness) so that children are prepared for success in core academic subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA); (b) improving developmental milestones and standards and aligning them with appropriate outcome measures; and (c) improving alignment, collaboration, and transitions between early learning programs that serve children from birth to age three, in preschools, and in kindergarten through third grade. (2010 i3 NFP) Competitive Preference Priority 7— Innovations That Support College Access and Success (Zero or One Point) We give competitive preference to applications for projects that would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to enable kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) students, particularly high school students, to successfully prepare for, enter, and graduate from a two- or four-year college. To meet this priority, applications must include practices, strategies, or programs for K–12 students that (a) address students’ preparedness and expectations related to college; (b) help students understand issues of college affordability and the financial aid and college application processes; and (c) provide support to students from peers and knowledgeable adults. (2010 i3 NFP) Competitive Preference Priority 8— Innovations To Address the Unique Learning Needs of Students With Disabilities and Limited English Proficient Students (Zero or One Point) We give competitive preference to applications for projects that would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to address the unique learning needs of students with disabilities, including those who are assessed based on alternate academic achievement standards, or the linguistic and academic needs of limited English proficient students. To meet this E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices priority, applications must provide for the implementation of particular practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to improve academic outcomes, close achievement gaps, and increase college- and career-readiness, including increasing high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice), for students with disabilities or limited English proficient students. (2010 i3 NFP) We may apply these definitions in any year in which this program is in effect. Competitive Preference Priority 9— Improving Productivity (Zero or One Point) Definitions Related to Evidence From the 2010 i3 NFP Carefully matched comparison group design means a type of quasiexperimental study that attempts to approximate an experimental study. More specifically, it is a design in which project participants are matched with non-participants based on key characteristics that are thought to be related to the outcome. These characteristics include, but are not limited to: (1) Prior test scores and other measures of academic achievement (preferably, the same measures that the study will use to evaluate outcomes for the two groups); (2) demographic characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English proficiency, ethnicity, poverty level, parents’ educational attainment, and single- or two-parent family background; (3) the time period in which the two groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children entering kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); and (4) methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of reading skills administered in the same way to both groups). Experimental study means a study that employs random assignment of, for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not to participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project is the average difference in outcomes between the treatment and control groups. Independent evaluation means that the evaluation is designed and carried out independent of, but in coordination with, any employees of the entities who develop a practice, strategy, or program and are implementing it. This independence helps ensure the objectivity of an evaluation and prevents even the appearance of a conflict of interest. Interrupted time series design 8 means a type of quasi-experimental study in We give competitive preference to applications for projects that are designed to significantly increase efficiency in the use of time, staff, money, or other resources while improving student learning or other educational outcomes (i.e., outcome per unit of resource). Such projects may include innovative and sustainable uses of technology, modification of school schedules and teacher compensation systems, use of open educational resources (as defined in this notice), or other strategies. (Supplemental Priorities) Competitive Preference Priority 10— Technology (Zero or One Point) We give competitive preference to applications for projects that are designed to improve student achievement 7 or teacher effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital tools or materials, which may include preparing teachers to use the technology to improve instruction, as well as developing, implementing, or evaluating digital tools or materials. (Supplemental Priorities) Definitions mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES These definitions are from the 2010 i3 NFP and the Supplemental Priorities. 7 For purposes of this priority, the Supplemental Priorities define student achievement as follows: ‘‘Student achievement’’ means— (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student’s score on the State’s assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across schools; and (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools. Note that this definition for student achievement applies only to Absolute Priority 1 and Competitive Preference Priority 10. Elsewhere in this notice the use of this term refers to the i3 definition established in the 2010 i3 NFP that is provided in the Definitions section of this notice. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 Note: This notice invites applications for Validation grants. The following definitions apply to the three types of grants under the i3 program (Scale-up, Validation, or Development). Therefore, some definitions included in this section—primarily those related to the demonstration of evidence— may be more applicable to applications for Scale-up grants. 8 A single subject or single case design is an adaptation of an interrupted time series design that relies on the comparison of treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. There is little confidence that findings based on this design PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18233 which the outcome of interest is measured multiple times before and after the treatment for program participants only. If the program had an impact, the outcomes after treatment will have a different slope or level from those before treatment. That is, the series should show an ‘‘interruption’’ of the prior situation at the time when the program was implemented. Adding a comparison group time series, such as schools not participating in the program or schools participating in the program in a different geographic area, substantially increases the reliability of the findings. Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate external validity), or studies with high external validity but moderate internal validity. The following would constitute moderate evidence: (1) At least one well-designed and wellimplemented (as defined in this notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) supporting the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program, with small sample sizes or other conditions of implementation or analysis that limit generalizability; (2) at least one welldesigned and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) that does not demonstrate equivalence between the intervention and comparison groups at program entry but that has no other major flaws related to internal validity; or (3) correlational research with strong statistical controls for selection bias and for discerning the influence of internal factors. Quasi-experimental study means an evaluation design that attempts to approximate an experimental design and can support causal conclusions (i.e., minimizes threats to internal validity, such as selection bias, or allows them to be modeled). Well-designed quasiexperimental studies include carefully matched comparison group designs (as would be the same for other members of the population. In some single subject designs, treatment reversal or multiple baseline designs are used to increase internal validity. In a treatment reversal design, after a pretreatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared with a post treatment measure, the treatment would then be stopped for a period of time, a second baseline measure of the outcome would be taken, followed by a second application of the treatment or a different treatment. A multiple baseline design addresses concerns about the effects of normal development, timing of the treatment, and amount of the treatment with treatment-reversal designs by using a varying time schedule for introduction of the treatment and/or treatments of different lengths or intensity. E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 18234 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES defined in this notice), interrupted time series designs (as defined in this notice), or regression discontinuity designs (as defined in this notice). Regression discontinuity design study means, in part, a quasi-experimental study design that closely approximates an experimental study. In a regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned to a treatment or comparison group based on a numerical rating or score of a variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an application for funding. Another example would be assignment of eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain score (‘‘cut score’’) to the treatment group and assignment of those below the score to the comparison group. Strong evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity), and studies that in total include enough of the range of participants and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, or national level (i.e., studies with high external validity). The following are examples of strong evidence: (1) More than one well-designed and wellimplemented (as defined in this notice) experimental study (as defined in this notice) or well-designed and wellimplemented (as defined in this notice) quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) that supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program; or (2) one large, well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) randomized controlled, multisite trial that supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program. Well-designed and well-implemented means, with respect to an experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice), that the study meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards, with or without reservations (see http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/ references/idocviewer/ doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1 and in particular the description of ‘‘Reasons for Not Meeting Standards’’ at http:// ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/ idocviewer/ Doc.aspx?docId=19&tocId=4#reasons 9). Other Definitions From the 2010 i3 NFP Applicant means the entity that applies for a grant under this program on behalf of an eligible applicant (i.e., an LEA or a partnership in accordance 9 The information found at this link when the 2010 i3 NFP was published can now be found at this link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/ reference_resources/ wwc_procedures_v2_1_standards_handbook.pdf. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 with section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA). Consortium of schools means two or more public elementary or secondary schools acting collaboratively for the purpose of applying for and implementing an Investing in Innovation Fund grant jointly with an eligible nonprofit organization. Formative assessment means assessment questions, tools, and processes that are embedded in instruction and are used by teachers and students to provide timely feedback for purposes of adjusting instruction to improve learning. High-need student means a student at risk of educational failure, or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools, who are far below grade level, who are over-age and under-credited, who have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are limited English proficient. High school graduation rate means a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1) and may also include an extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(v) if the State in which the proposed project is implemented has been approved by the Secretary to use such a rate under Title I of the ESEA. Interim assessment means an assessment that is given at regular and specified intervals throughout the school year, is designed to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of academic standards, and produces results that can be aggregated (e.g., by course, grade level, school, or LEA) in order to inform teachers and administrators at the student, classroom, school, and LEA levels. National level, as used in reference to a Scale-up grant, describes a project that is able to be effective in a wide variety of communities and student populations around the country, including rural and urban areas, as well as with the different groups of students described in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, migrant students, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, and students of each gender). Nonprofit organization means an entity that meets the definition of PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 ‘‘nonprofit’’ under 34 CFR 77.1(c), or an institution of higher education as defined by section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Official partner means any of the entities required to be part of a partnership under section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA. Other partner means any entity, other than the applicant and any official partner, that may be involved in a proposed project. Regional level, as used in reference to a Scale-up or Validation grant, describes a project that is able to serve a variety of communities and student populations within a State or multiple States, including rural and urban areas, as well as with the different groups of students described in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, migrant students, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, and students of each gender). To be considered a regionallevel project, a project must serve students in more than one LEA. The exception to this requirement would be a project implemented in a State in which the State educational agency is the sole educational agency for all schools and thus may be considered an LEA under section 9101(26) of the ESEA. Such a State would meet the definition of regional for the purposes of this notice. Regular high school diploma means, consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(iv), the standard high school diploma that is awarded to students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State’s academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a General Education Development (GED) credential, certificate of attendance, or any alternative award. Student achievement means— (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student’s score on the State’s assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across classrooms; and (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms. Student growth means the change in student achievement data for an individual student between two or more E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices points in time. Growth may be measured by a variety of approaches, but any approach used must be statistically rigorous and based on student achievement data, and may also include other measures of student learning in order to increase the construct validity and generalizability of the information. Definitions From Supplemental Priorities High-poverty school means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 percent of students are from low-income families as determined using one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. For middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most currently available data. Open educational resources (OER) means teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or repurposing by others. Rural local educational agency means a local educational agency (LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to information on the Department’s Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/ freedom/local/reap.html. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Program Authority: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Division A, Section 14007, Pub. L. 111–5. 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes. Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only. II. Award Information Type of Award: Cooperative agreements or discretionary grants. Estimated Available Funds: $ 140,452,000. These estimated available funds are the total amount available for all three types of grants under the i3 program (Scale-up, Validation, and Development). Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of the applications received, we may make additional awards in FY 2013 or later years from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition. Estimated Range of Awards Scale-up grants: Up to $25,000,000. Validation grants: Up to $15,000,000. Development grants: Up to $3,000,000. Estimated Average Size of Awards Scale-up grants: $24,000,000. Validation grants: $14,500,000. Development grants: $3,000,000. Estimated Number of Awards Scale-up grants: 0–2 awards. Validation grants: 1–5 awards. Development grants: 10–20 awards. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: 36–60 months. III. Eligibility Information Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program, published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2010 (75 FR 12004) (2010 i3 NFP). (c) The notice of final revisions to priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for this program, published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2011 (76 FR 32073) (2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions). (d) The notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for VerDate Mar<15>2010 Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486)), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637) (Supplemental Priorities). 1. Providing Innovations that Improve Achievement for High-Need Students: All eligible applicants must implement practices, strategies, or programs for high-need students (as defined in this notice). (2010 i3 NFP) 2. Eligible Applicants: Entities eligible to apply for i3 grants include: (a) An LEA or (b) a partnership between a nonprofit organization and (1) one or more LEAs or (2) a consortium of schools. An eligible applicant that is a partnership applying under section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA must designate one of its official partners (as defined in this notice) to serve as the applicant in accordance with the Department’s regulations governing PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18235 group applications in 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129. (2010 i3 NFP) 3. Eligibility Requirements: Except as specifically set forth in the Note about Eligibility for an Eligible Applicant that Includes a Nonprofit Organization that follows, to be eligible for an award, an eligible applicant must— (1)(A) Have significantly closed the achievement gaps between groups of students described in section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA (economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, students with limited English proficiency, students with disabilities); or (B) Have demonstrated success in significantly increasing student academic achievement for all groups of students described in that section; (2) Have made significant improvements in other areas, such as graduation rates or increased recruitment and placement of highquality teachers and principals, as demonstrated with meaningful data; (3) Demonstrate that it has established one or more partnerships with the private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, and that the private sector will provide matching funds in order to help bring results to scale; and (4) In the case of an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization, provide in the application the names of the LEAs with which the nonprofit organization will partner, or the names of the schools in the consortium with which it will partner. If an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization intends to partner with additional LEAs or schools that are not named in the application, it must describe in the application the demographic and other characteristics of these LEAs and schools and the process it will use to select them as either official or other partners. An applicant must identify its specific partners before a grant award will be made. (2010 i3 NFP) Note: Applicants should provide information addressing these eligibility requirements in Appendix C, under ‘‘Other Attachments Form,’’ of their applications. An applicant must provide sufficient supporting data or other information to allow the Department to determine whether the applicant has met these eligibility requirements. If the Department determines that an applicant has provided insufficient information in its application, the applicant will not have an opportunity to provide additional information. Note about LEA Eligibility: For purposes of this program, an LEA is an LEA located within one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (2010 i3 NFP) E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 18236 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices Note about Eligibility for an Eligible Applicant that Includes a Nonprofit Organization: The authorizing statute specifies that an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization is considered to have met the requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2) of the eligibility requirements for this program if the nonprofit organization has a record of significantly improving student achievement, attainment, or retention. For an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization, the nonprofit organization must demonstrate that it has a record of significantly improving student achievement, attainment, or retention through its record of work with an LEA or schools. Therefore, an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization does not necessarily need to include as a partner for its i3 grant an LEA or a consortium of schools that meets the requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2). mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES In addition, the authorizing statute (as amended) specifies that an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization is considered to have met the requirements of paragraph (3) of the eligibility requirements in this notice if the eligible applicant demonstrates that it will meet the requirement relating to private-sector matching. (2010 i3 NFP) 4. Cost Sharing or Matching: To be eligible for an award, an eligible applicant must demonstrate that it has established one or more partnerships with an entity or organization in the private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, and that the entity or organization in the private sector will provide matching funds in order to help bring project results to scale. An eligible applicant must obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 10 percent of its grant award.10 Selected eligible applicants must submit evidence of the full amount of private-sector matching funds following the peer review of applications. An award will not be made unless the applicant provides adequate evidence that the full amount of the private-sector match has been committed or the Secretary approves the eligible applicant’s request to reduce the matching-level requirement. The Secretary may consider decreasing the matching requirement in the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-case basis. An eligible applicant that anticipates being unable to meet the full amount of the privatesector matching requirement must 10 The 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions modified the ‘‘Cost Sharing and Matching’’ requirement established in the 2010 i3 NFP by providing that the Secretary will specify the amount of required private-sector matching funds or in-kind donations in the notice inviting applications for the specific i3 competition. For this competition, the Secretary establishes a matching requirement of at least 10 percent of the grant award. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 include in its application a request to the Secretary to reduce the matchinglevel requirement, along with a statement of the basis for the request. (2010 i3 NFP, as revised by the 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions) 5. Other: The Secretary establishes the following requirements for the i3 program. These requirements are from the 2010 i3 NFP. We may apply these requirements in any year in which this program is in effect. • Evidence Standards: To be eligible for an award, an application for a Validation grant must be supported by moderate evidence (as defined in this notice). (2010 i3 NFP) Note: Applicants should provide information addressing the required evidence standards in Appendix D, under ‘‘Other Attachments Form,’’ of its application. An applicant must either ensure that all evidence is available to the Department from publicly available sources and provide links or other guidance indicating where it is available; or include copies of evidence in Appendix D of the application. If the Department determines that an applicant has provided insufficient information, the applicant will not have an opportunity to provide additional information to support its application. • Funding Categories: An applicant must state in its application whether it is applying for a Scale-up, Validation, or Development grant. An applicant may not submit an application for the same proposed project under more than one type of grant. An applicant will be considered for an award only for the type of grant for which it applies. (2010 i3 NFP) • Subgrants: In the case of an eligible applicant that is a partnership between a nonprofit organization and (1) one or more LEAs or (2) a consortium of schools, the partner serving as the applicant may make subgrants to one or more official partners (as defined in this notice). (2010 i3 NFP) • Limits on Grant Awards: (a) No grantee may receive more than two new grant awards of any type under the i3 program in a single year; (b) In any twoyear period, no grantee may receive more than one new Scale-up or Validation grant; and (c) No grantee may receive more than $55 million in new grant awards under the i3 program in a single year. (2010 i3 NFP, as revised by the 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions) • Evaluation: A grantee must comply with the requirements of any evaluation of the program conducted by the Department. In addition, the grantee is required to conduct an independent evaluation (as defined in this notice) of its project and must agree, along with its independent evaluator, to cooperate PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with any technical assistance provided by the Department or its contractor. The purpose of this technical assistance will be to ensure that the evaluations are of the highest quality and to encourage commonality in evaluation approaches across funded projects where such commonality is feasible and useful. Finally, the grantee must make broadly available through formal (e.g., peerreviewed journals) or informal (e.g., newsletters) mechanisms, and in print or electronically, the results of any evaluations it conducts of its funded activities. For Scale-up and Validation grants, the grantee must also ensure the data from their evaluations are made available to third-party researchers consistent with applicable privacy requirements. (2010 i3 NFP) • Participation in ‘‘Communities of Practice’’: Grantees are required to participate in, organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, communities of practice for the i3 program. A community of practice is a group of grantees that agrees to interact regularly to solve a persistent problem or improve practice in an area that is important to them. Establishment of communities of practice under the i3 program will enable grantees to meet, discuss, and collaborate with each other regarding grantee projects. (2010 i3 NFP) IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Submission of Proprietary Information Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the i3 program, some applications may include proprietary information as it relates to confidential commercial information. Confidential commercial information is defined as information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause substantial competitive harm. Upon submission, applicants should identify any information contained in their application that they consider to be confidential commercial information. Consistent with the process followed in the prior two i3 competitions, we plan on posting the project narrative sections of funded Validation applications on the Department’s Web site. Identifying proprietary information in the submitted application will help facilitate this public disclosure process. Applicants are encouraged to identify only the specific information that the applicant considers to be proprietary and list the page numbers on which this information can be found in Appendix I, under ‘‘Other Attachments Form,’’ of their applications. In addition to E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices identifying the page number on which that information can be found, eligible applicants will assist the Department in making determinations on public release of the application by being as specific as possible in identifying the information they consider proprietary. Please note that, in many instances, identification of entire pages of documentation would not be appropriate. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2. Address To Request Application Package You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: http:// www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/ index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1–877–433–7827. FAX: (703) 605–6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov. If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.411B. Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice. 3. Content and Form of Application Submission Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: April 16, 2012. We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant’s intent to submit an application for funding by completing a web-based form. When completing this form, applicants will provide (1) the applicant organization’s name and address, (2) the type of grant for which the applicant intends to apply, (3) the one absolute VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 priority the applicant intends to address, and (4) a maximum of two of the competitive preference priorities the applicant wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive preference priority points. Applicants may access this form online at http://go.usa.gov/PVI. Applicants that do not complete this form may still apply for funding. Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applicants should limit the application narrative [Part III] for a Validation application to no more than 35 pages. Applicants are also strongly encouraged not to include lengthy appendices that contain information that could not be included in the narrative. Applicants should use the following standards: • A ‘‘page’’ is 8.5″ × 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section [Part III]. 4. Submission Dates and Times Applications Available: March 29, 2012. Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: April 16, 2012. Informational Meetings: The i3 program intends to hold meetings designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants for all three types of grants. Detailed information regarding these meetings will be provided on the i3 Web site at http:// www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/ index.html. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 29, 2012. Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18237 to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV.8. Other Submission Requirements of this notice. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual’s application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 25, 2012. 5. Intergovernmental Review This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition. 6. Funding Restrictions We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. 7. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and Central Contractor Registry To do business with the Department of Education, you must— a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government’s primary registrant database; c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period. You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day. If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 18238 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2–5 weeks for your TIN to become active. The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete. In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/ applicants/get_registered.jsp. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 8. Other Submission Requirements Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section. a. Electronic Submission of Applications Applications for grants under the i3 program, CFDA number 84.411B (Validation grants), must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us. We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement. You may access the electronic grant applications for i3 program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 number’s alpha suffix in your search (i.e., search for 84.411, not 84.411B). Please note the following: • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation. • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department’s G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov. • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format. • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—NonConstruction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, nonmodifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a readonly, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice. • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an EDspecified identifying number unique to your application). • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date. Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1–800–518–4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it. If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice. If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted. Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because— • You do not have access to the Internet; or • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. Address and mail or fax your statement to: Carol Lyons, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W203, Washington, DC 20202–5930. FAX: (202) 205–5637. Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice. b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.411B), LBJ Basement VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202–4260. You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following: (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark. (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service. (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier. (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing: (1) A private metered postmark. (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service. If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application. Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office. c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.411B), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–4260. The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department— (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245– 6288. PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18239 V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria The selection criteria for this competition are from the 2010 i3 NFP and from 34 CFR 75.210.11 The points assigned to each criterion are indicated in the parenthesis next to the criterion. Applicants may earn up to a total of 100 points. Note: In responding to the selection criteria, applicants should keep in mind that peer reviewers may consider only the information provided in the written application when scoring and commenting on the application. Therefore, applicants should draft their responses with the goal of helping peer reviewers understand: • What the applicant is proposing to do, including the single Absolute Priority under which the applicant intends the application to be reviewed; • How the proposed project will improve upon existing products, processes, or strategies for addressing similar needs; • What the outcomes of the project will be if it is successful; and • What the proposed project will cost and why the proposed project is an effective use of funds. The selection criteria for the Validation grant competition are as follows: A. Quality of the Project Design (Up to 25 Points) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the project design, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The extent to which the proposed project has a clear set of goals and an explicit strategy, with actions that are (a) aligned with the priorities the eligible applicant is seeking to meet, and (b) expected to result in achieving the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project. (2010 i3 NFP) (2) The potential and planning for the incorporation of project purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing work of the eligible applicant and any other partners at the end of the Validation grant. (2010 i3 NFP) (3) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project. (34 CFR 75.210) (4) The eligible applicant’s estimate of the cost of the proposed project, which 11 The 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions establishes that the Secretary may use one or more of the selection criteria established in the 2010 i3 NFP, any of the selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210, criteria based on the statutory requirements for the i3 program in accordance with 34 CFR 75.209, or any combination of these when establishing selection criteria for each particular type of grant (Scale-up, Validation, and Development) in an i3 competition. E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 18240 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices includes the start-up and operating costs per student per year (including indirect costs) for reaching the total number of students proposed to be served by the project. The eligible applicant must include an estimate of the costs for the eligible applicant or others (including other partners) to reach 100,000, 250,000, and 500,000 students. (2010 i3 NFP) Note: The Secretary considers cost estimates both (a) to assess the reasonableness of the costs relative to the objectives, design, and potential significance for the total number of students to be served by the proposed project, which is determined by the eligible applicant, and (b) to understand the possible costs for the eligible applicant or others (including other partners) to reach the scaling targets of 100,000, 250,000, and 500,000 students for Validation grants. An eligible applicant is free to propose the number of students it will serve under its project, and is expected to reach that number of students by the end of the grant period. The scaling targets, in contrast, are theoretical and allow peer reviewers to assess the cost-effectiveness generally of proposed projects, particularly in cases where an initial investment may be required to support projects that operate at reduced cost in the future, whether implemented by the eligible applicant or any other entity. Grantees are not required to reach these numbers during the grant period. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Note: In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages the applicant to address what the applicant proposes to do for the proposed project, how the applicant will do it, what the project costs will be, why the project costs will be sufficient and reasonable to achieve the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project, and how the project costs would change if the project were scaled to serve a larger number of students (i.e., which of the costs are fixed regardless of how many students are served and which of the costs are variable and increase as more students are served). Additionally, an applicant may wish to address why the project costs are reasonable compared to what the project will accomplish, particularly in comparison to similar projects or alternative ways of achieving similar outcomes. B. Significance (Up to 25 Points) The Secretary considers the significance of the project. In determining the significance of the project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The extent to which the proposed project represents an exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the competition. (34 CFR 75.210) (2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. (34 CFR 75.210) VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 (3) The importance and magnitude of the effect expected to be obtained by the proposed project, including the extent to which the project will substantially and measurably improve student achievement or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, increase high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment and completion rates. The evidence in support of the importance and magnitude of the effect would be the research-based evidence provided by the eligible applicant to support the proposed project. (2010 i3 NFP) Note Linking Magnitude of Effect to Presented Evidence: The Secretary notes that the research evidence provided by the eligible applicant is relevant to addressing the third factor of Selection Criterion B, which concerns the importance and/or magnitude of the expected impact of the proposed project. Note: In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages the applicant to explain what is exceptional about how the proposed project addresses the absolute priority under which the applicant is submitting its i3 application. Also, the Secretary encourages the applicant to explain how the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. Additionally, the Secretary encourages the applicant to quantify the potential impact of the proposed project, if successful, and the extent to which the project will measurably improve student achievement or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, increase high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment and completion rates. C. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel (Up to 25 Points) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and personnel for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan and personnel for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks, as well as tasks related to the sustainability and scalability of the proposed project. (2010 i3 NFP) (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director and key project personnel, especially in managing complex projects. (2010 i3 NFP) (3) The eligible applicant’s capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the proposed project to scale on a State or regional level (as PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 appropriate, based on the results of the proposed project) working directly, or through other partners, either during or following the end of the grant period. (2010 i3 NFP) Note: In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages applicants to address how the team’s prior experiences have prepared them for implementing the proposed project successfully. In addition, the Secretary encourages applicants to identify the resources that will be required to bring the project to the appropriate level of scale, and whether the applicant possesses those resources or how they will secure them. D. Quality of Project Evaluation (Up to 25 Points) The Secretary considers the quality of the project evaluation. In determining the quality of the project evaluation to be conducted, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will include a welldesigned experimental study or a welldesigned quasi-experimental study. (2010 i3 NFP) (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide high-quality implementation data and performance feedback, and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes. (2010 i3 NFP) (3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide sufficient information about the key elements and approach of the project so as to facilitate replication or testing in other settings. (2010 i3 NFP) (4) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes sufficient resources to carry out the project evaluation effectively. (2010 i3 NFP) Note: In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages applicants to describe the key evaluation questions and address how the proposed evaluation methodologies will allow the project to answer those questions. This may include whether the evaluation would produce information about the effectiveness of the proposed project with the specific student populations being served with grant funds. Further, the Secretary encourages applicants to identify what implementation and performance data the evaluation will generate and how the evaluation will provide data during the period to help indicate whether the project is on track to meet its goals. Finally, applicants should address whether the budget allocates sufficient resources to support the planned evaluation. Note: We encourage eligible applicants to review the following technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/ E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19& tocid=1; and (2) IES/NCEE Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_ methods/. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2. Review and Selection Process The Department will screen applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this notice, and will determine which applications have met eligibility and other statutory requirements. The Department will use independent peer reviewers with various backgrounds and professions, including pre-kindergarten–12 teachers and principals, college and university educators, researchers and evaluators, social entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, grant makers and managers, and others with education expertise. The Department will thoroughly screen all reviewers for conflicts of interest to ensure a fair and competitive review process. Reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the applications assigned to their panel, using the selection criteria provided in this notice. For Validation grant applications, the Department may conduct a two-tier review process to review and score all eligible applications. Should the Department conduct a two-tier review, reviewers will review and score all eligible Validation applications on the following three criteria: A. Quality of the Project Design; B. Significance; C. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel. If eligible applicants have chosen to address the competitive preference priorities (a maximum of two) for purposes of earning the competitive preference priority points, reviewers will review and score those competitive preference priorities. If competitive preference points are awarded, those points will be added to the eligible applicant’s score. Eligible applications that score highly on these three criteria will then have the remaining criterion reviewed and scored by a different panel of reviewers. The remaining criterion is D. Quality of the Project Evaluation. We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant’s use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 submitted a report of unacceptable quality. In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). 3. Special Conditions Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible. VI. Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also. If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant. 3. Reporting (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b). (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18241 performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/ fund/grant/apply/appforms/ appforms.html. 4. Performance Measures The overall purpose of the i3 program is to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth for high-need students. We have established several performance measures for the i3 Validation grants. Short-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of grantees that reach their annual target number of students as specified in the application; (2) the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Validation grant with ongoing well-designed and independent evaluations that will provide evidence of their effectiveness at improving student outcomes; (3) the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Validation grant with ongoing evaluations that are providing high-quality implementation data and performance feedback that allow for periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes; and (4) the cost per student actually served by the grant. Long-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of grantees that reach the targeted number of students specified in the application; (2) the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Validation grant that implement a completed welldesigned, well-implemented and independent evaluation that provides evidence of their effectiveness at improving student outcomes; (3) the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Validation grant with a completed well-designed, well-implemented and independent evaluation that provides information about the key elements and the approach of the project so as to facilitate replication or testing in other settings; and (4) the cost per student for programs, practices, or strategies that were proven to be effective at improving educational outcomes for students. 5. Continuation Awards In making a continuation award, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a grantee has made ‘‘substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 18242 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / Notices application.’’ This consideration includes the review of a grantee’s progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol Lyons, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W203, Washington, DC 20202– 5930. FAX: (202) 205–5631. Telephone: (202) 453–7122 or by email: i3@ed.gov. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES VIII. Other Information Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Dated: March 21, 2012. James H. Shelton, III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement. [FR Doc. 2012–7365 Filed 3–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Mar 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management SiteSpecific Advisory Board Chairs Department of Energy. Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB) Chairs. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, April 19, 2012, 8 a.m.–12:15 p.m. ADDRESSES: Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, 100 Kentucky Avenue, Paducah, Kentucky 42001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Alexander, Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Phone: (202) 586–7711. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE–EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities. SUMMARY: Officer, Catherine Alexander, at the address or telephone listed above. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should also contact Catherine Alexander. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comment will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments. Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Catherine Alexander at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http:// www.em.doe.gov/stakepages/ ssabchairs.aspx. Issued at Washington, DC, on March 20, 2012. LaTanya R. Butler, Acting Deputy Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2012–7306 Filed 3–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Tentative Agenda Topics AGENCY: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 ACTION: Æ EM Program Update Æ Recognition of Departing Chairs Æ EM SSAB Chairs’ Round Robin: Chairs’ Site Reports Æ EM Headquarters Budget Update Æ EM Headquarters Waste Disposition Update Æ EM SSAB Chairs’ Round Robin: Cross-Complex Issues Thursday, April 19, 2012 Æ DOE Headquarters News and Views Æ EM SSAB Best Practices: Leveraging Public Involvement Æ EM SSAB Chairs’ Roundtable Discussion: Product Development and Summary Public Participation: The EM SSAB Chairs welcome the attendance of the public at their advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Catherine Alexander at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed either before or after the meeting with the Designated Federal PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Department of Energy. Notice of open meeting. This notice announces an open meeting of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463, 86 Stat. 770) requires public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. ADDRESSES: Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alyssa Morrissey, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; telephone (202) 586–2926 or facsimile (202) 586– 1441; email: seab@hq.doe.gov. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: The Board was reestablished to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the Department’s basic and applied research, economic and national security policy, educational issues, operational issues and other activities as directed by the Secretary. E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 59 (Tuesday, March 27, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18229-18242]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7365]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Investing in Innovation Fund, 
Validation Grants

AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

    Investing in Innovation Fund, Validation Grants Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.411B 
(Validation grants).

DATES: 
    Applications Available: March 29, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 16, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 29, 2012.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 25, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), 
established under section 14007 of the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provides funding to support (1) local 
educational agencies (LEAs), and (2) nonprofit organizations in 
partnership with (a) one or more LEAs or (b) a consortium of schools. 
The purpose of this program is to provide competitive grants to 
applicants with a record of improving student achievement and 
attainment in order to expand the implementation of, and investment in, 
innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on 
improving student achievement or student growth (as defined in this 
notice), closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing 
high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and 
completion rates.
    These grants will (1) allow eligible entities to expand and develop 
innovative practices that can serve as models of best practices, (2) 
support partnerships between eligible entities and the private sector 
and philanthropic community, and (3) support eligible entities in 
identifying and documenting best practices that can be shared and taken 
to scale based on demonstrated success.
    Under this program, the Department awards three types of grants: 
``Scale-up'' grants, ``Validation'' grants, and ``Development'' grants. 
The three grant types differ in the evidence that an applicant is 
required to submit in support of its proposed project; the expectations 
for ``scaling up'' successful projects during or after the grant 
period, either directly or through partners; and the funding that a 
successful applicant is eligible to receive. This notice invites 
applications for Validation grants. The notice inviting applications 
for Scale-up grants is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register. The notice inviting applications for Development grants was 
published in the Federal Register on February 24, 2012 (77 FR 11087) 
and is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-24/pdf/2012-4357.pdf.
    Validation grants provide funding to support practices, strategies, 
or programs that show promise, but for which there is currently only 
moderate evidence (as defined in this notice) that the proposed 
practice, strategy, or program will have a statistically significant 
effect on improving student achievement or student growth, closing 
achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school 
graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates 
and that, with further study, the effect of implementing the proposed 
practice, strategy, or program may prove to be substantial and 
important. Scale-up grants require applicants to have strong evidence 
(as defined in this notice) to support their proposed project. 
Applications for Validation grants do not need to have the same level 
of research evidence to support the proposed project as is required for 
Scale-up grants. An applicant for a Validation grant may also 
demonstrate success through an intermediate variable strongly 
correlated with these outcomes, such as teacher or principal 
effectiveness.
    An applicant for a Validation grant must estimate the number of 
students to be reached by the proposed project and provide evidence of 
its capacity to reach the proposed number of students during the course 
of the grant. In addition, an applicant for a Validation grant must 
provide evidence of its capacity (e.g., qualified personnel, financial 
resources, management capacity) to scale up to a State or regional 
level, working directly or through partners either during or following 
the grant period. We recognize that LEAs are not typically responsible 
for taking to scale their practices, strategies, or programs in other 
LEAs and States. However, all applicants, including LEAs, can and 
should partner with others to disseminate and take to scale their 
effective practice, strategy, or program.
    The Department will screen applications that are submitted for

[[Page 18230]]

Validation grants in accordance with the requirements in this notice, 
and determine which applications have met the eligibility and other 
requirements in this notice. Peer reviewers will review all Validation 
grant applications that are submitted by the established deadline. 
However, if the Department determines that an application for a 
Validation grant does not meet the definition of moderate evidence in 
this notice, or any other eligibility requirement, the Department will 
not consider the application for funding.
    The 2012 i3 Validation and Scale-up competitions again include an 
absolute priority focused on innovations that complement the 
implementation of high standards and high-quality assessments. There 
has been much recent discussion about whether high standards, on their 
own, are likely to improve student achievement. As reports such as the 
2012 Brown Center Report on American Education \1\ point out, the 
implementation of such standards is crucial to any impact that they may 
have. This points to the urgent need for practices, strategies, or 
programs (referred to elsewhere simply as ``practices'') that will help 
teachers, principals, and others apply new standards and use new 
assessments in ways that improve student achievement. This need is 
particularly time-sensitive, as much of the implementation of these 
standards and assessments will occur in the next several years. As 
such, practices that demonstrate effectiveness and meet the rigorous 
evidence requirements of Validation and Scale-up grants are of 
particular interest to the Department.
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    \1\ http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2012/0216_brown_education_loveless.aspx.
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    Validation and Scale-up grants require ambitious targets for the 
expansion of effective practices (called ``scaling up'' in the i3 
competition). The Department believes that scaling up effective 
practices will improve student outcomes, as more effective practices 
replace less effective solutions to the same problems. In both the 
Validation and Scale-up grant competitions, the Department is 
particularly interested in projects that have a well-articulated plan 
for scaling up and a well-defined set of challenges or barriers that 
the Validation or Scale-up funding will enable the applicant to 
overcome. Using i3 funding to address known barriers to scaling up 
allows i3's limited funding to increase the likelihood that the work of 
successful projects endures and expands after Federal funding expires.
    Finally, rigorous evaluation is an essential component of all i3 
grants--particularly for Validation and Scale-up projects. The 
Department is especially interested in evaluations that go beyond 
addressing whether a practice is effective to identifying and 
formalizing the key features of a model and the factors that contribute 
to the model's success. In particular, the Department is interested in 
better understanding for whom and in what contexts particular practices 
are effective. The Department believes that generating this information 
is an important way to increase the use of effective practices in 
settings across the country. As indicated by the inclusion of cost-
effectiveness as a selection criterion, the Department also encourages 
evaluations that produce reliable estimates of the cost-effectiveness 
of grantees' practices.
    We also remind LEAs of the continuing applicability of the 
provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 
for students who may be served under i3 grants. Programs proposed in 
applications in which LEAs participate must be consistent with the 
rights, protections, and processes of IDEA for students who are 
receiving special education and related services or are being evaluated 
for such services.
    As described later in this notice, in connection with making 
competitive grant awards, an applicant is required, as a condition of 
receiving assistance under this program, to make civil rights 
assurances, including an assurance that its program or activity will 
comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the 
Department's Section 504 implementing regulations, which prohibit 
discrimination on the basis of disability. Regardless of whether 
students with disabilities are specifically targeted as ``high-need'' 
students under a particular application for a grant program, recipients 
are required to comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of these 
laws. Among other things, the nondiscrimination requirements of these 
laws include an obligation that recipients ensure that students with 
disabilities are not discriminated against because benefits provided to 
all students under the recipient's program are inaccessible to students 
because of their disability. The Department also enforces Title II of 
the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title II implementing 
regulations, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability 
by public entities, with respect to certain public educational 
entities.

Changes for the FY 2012 i3 Validation Competition

    The absolute priority focused on teacher and principal 
effectiveness (Absolute Priority 1) now uses the language from the 
Improving the Effectiveness and Distribution of Effective Teachers or 
Principals priority established in the May 12, 2011, Federal Register 
notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for 
discretionary grant programs. The language in this supplemental 
priority offers greater flexibility for projects to improve teacher and 
principal effectiveness through targeted strategies that address 
components of the teacher and principal pipeline, rather than its 
entirety, as required by the Innovations that Support Effective 
Teachers and Principals priority in the notice of final priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program, 
published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2010 (75 FR 12004-
12071)(2010 i3 NFP).
    Priorities: This competition includes five absolute priorities and 
five competitive preference priorities. These priorities are from the 
2010 i3 NFP \2\ and from the notice of final supplemental priorities 
and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the 
Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486-78511), and 
corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637) (Supplemental Priorities).
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    \2\ The 2011 notice of final i3 revisions, which was published 
in the Federal Register on June 3, 2011 (76 FR 32073), provides the 
Secretary with the flexibility to choose one or more of the 
priorities established in the 2010 i3 NFP for use in any i3 
competition.
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    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one of these 
priorities. Under this competition for Validation grants, each of the 
five absolute priorities constitutes its own funding category. The 
Secretary intends to award grants under each absolute priority for 
which applications of sufficient quality are submitted.
    An applicant for a Validation grant must choose one of the five 
absolute priorities contained in this notice and address that priority 
in its application. An applicant must provide information on how its 
proposed project addresses the selection criteria in the project 
narrative section of its application.
    These priorities are:

[[Page 18231]]

Absolute Priority 1--Improving the Effectiveness and Distribution of 
Effective Teachers or Principals

    Projects that are designed to address one or more of the following 
priority areas:
    (a) Increasing the number or percentage of teachers or principals 
who are effective or reducing the number or percentage of teachers or 
principals who are ineffective, particularly in high-poverty schools 
(as defined in this notice) including through such activities as 
improving the preparation, recruitment, development, and evaluation of 
teachers and principals; implementing performance-based certification 
and retention systems; and reforming compensation and advancement 
systems.
    (b) Increasing the retention, particularly in high-poverty schools 
(as defined in this notice), and equitable distribution of teachers or 
principals who are effective.
    For the purposes of this priority, teacher and principal 
effectiveness should be measured using:
    (1) Teacher or principal evaluation data, in States or local 
educational agencies that have in place a high-quality teacher or 
principal evaluation system that takes into account student growth (as 
defined in the footnote to this priority) in significant part and uses 
multiple measures, that, in the case of teachers, may include 
observations for determining teacher effectiveness (such as systems 
that meet the criteria for evaluation systems under the Race to the Top 
program as described in criterion (D)(2)(ii) of the Race to the Top 
notice inviting applications (74 FR 59803)); or
    (2) Data that include, in significant part, student achievement or 
student growth (as defined in the footnote to this priority) data and 
may include multiple measures in States or local educational agencies 
that do not have the teacher or principal evaluation systems described 
in paragraph (1). (Supplemental Priorities) \3\
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    \3\ For purposes of this priority, the Supplemental Priorities 
define ``student achievement'' and ``student growth'' as follows:
     ``Student achievement'' means--(a) For tested grades and 
subjects: (1) A student's score on the State's assessments under the 
ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, 
such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, 
provided they are rigorous and comparable across schools.
    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of 
student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-
tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English 
language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student 
achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools.
    ``Student growth'' means the change in student achievement (as 
defined in this notice) for an individual student between two or 
more points in time. A State may also include other measures that 
are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
     Note that the definitions in this footnote apply only to 
Absolute Priority 1 and, with respect to the term ``student 
achievement,'' to Competitive Preference Priority 10. Elsewhere in 
this notice the use of these terms refers to the i3 definitions 
established in the 2010 i3 NFP that are provided in the Definitions 
section of this notice.
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Absolute Priority 2--Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and 
Mathematics (STEM) Education

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
projects that are designed to address one or more of the following 
areas:
    (a) Providing students with increased access to rigorous and 
engaging coursework in STEM.
    (b) Increasing the number and proportion of students prepared for 
postsecondary or graduate study and careers in STEM.
    (c) Increasing the opportunities for high-quality preparation of, 
or professional development for, teachers or other educators of STEM 
subjects.
    (d) Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally 
underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with 
disabilities, and women, who are provided with access to rigorous and 
engaging coursework in STEM or who are prepared for postsecondary or 
graduate study and careers in STEM.
    (e) Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally 
underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with 
disabilities, and women, who are teachers or educators of STEM subjects 
and have increased opportunities for high-quality preparation or 
professional development. (Supplemental Priorities)

Absolute Priority 3--Innovations That Complement the Implementation of 
High Standards and High-Quality Assessments

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding for practices, 
strategies, or programs that are designed to support States' efforts to 
transition to standards and assessments that measure students' progress 
toward college- and career-readiness, including curricular and 
instructional practices, strategies, or programs in core academic 
subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)) that are aligned 
with high academic content and achievement standards and with high-
quality assessments based on those standards.\4\ Proposed projects may 
include, but are not limited to, practices, strategies, or programs 
that are designed to: (a) Increase the success of under-represented 
student populations in academically rigorous courses and programs (such 
as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses; dual-
enrollment programs; ``early college high schools''; and science, 
technology, engineering, and mathematics courses, especially those that 
incorporate rigorous and relevant project-, inquiry-, or design-based 
contextual learning opportunities); (b) increase the development and 
use of formative assessments or interim assessments, or other 
performance-based tools and ``metrics'' that are aligned with high 
student content and academic achievement standards; or (c) translate 
the standards and information from assessments into classroom practices 
that meet the needs of all students, including high-need students.
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    \4\ Consistent with the Race to the Top Fund, the Department 
interprets the core academic subject of ``science'' under section 
9101(11) of the ESEA to include STEM education (science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics) which encompasses a wide-range of 
disciplines, including computer science.
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    Under this priority, an eligible applicant must propose a project 
that is based on standards that are at least as rigorous as its State's 
standards. If the proposed project is based on standards other than 
those adopted by the eligible applicant's State, the applicant must 
explain how the standards are aligned with and at least as rigorous as 
the eligible applicant's State's standards as well as how the standards 
differ. (2010 i3 NFP)

Absolute Priority 4--Innovations That Turn Around Persistently Low-
Performing Schools

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
strategies, practices, or programs that are designed to turn around 
schools that are in any of the following categories: (a) Persistently 
lowest-achieving schools (as defined in the final requirements for the 
School Improvement Grants program); \5\ (b) Title I schools that are in

[[Page 18232]]

corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA; or 
(c) secondary schools (both middle and high schools) eligible for but 
not receiving Title I funds that, if receiving Title I funds, would be 
in corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA. 
These schools \6\ are referred to as Investing in Innovation Fund 
Absolute Priority 4 schools.
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    \5\ Under the final requirements for the School Improvement 
Grants program, ``persistently lowest-achieving schools'' means, as 
determined by the State, (a) any Title I school in improvement, 
corrective action, or restructuring that (i) is among the lowest-
achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I 
schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the 
State, whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high 
school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) 
that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and (b) any 
secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I 
funds that (i) is among the lowest-achieving five percent of 
secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in 
the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, 
whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high school 
that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that 
is less than 60 percent over a number of years. See http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html.
    \6\ In this context, ``these schools'' refers to the schools 
described in (a) through (c) in this paragraph.
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    Proposed projects must include strategies, practices, or programs 
that are designed to turn around Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute 
Priority 4 schools through either whole-school reform or targeted 
approaches to reform. Applicants addressing this priority must focus on 
either:
    (a) Whole-school reform, including, but not limited to, 
comprehensive interventions to assist, augment, or replace Investing in 
Innovation Fund Absolute Priority 4 schools, including the school 
turnaround, restart, closure, and transformation models of intervention 
supported under the Department's School Improvement Grants program (see 
Final Requirements for School Improvement Grants as Amended in January 
2010 (January 28, 2010) at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html); 
or
    (b) Targeted approaches to reform, including, but not limited to: 
(1) Providing more time for students to learn core academic content by 
expanding or augmenting the school day, school week, or school year, or 
by increasing instructional time for core academic subjects (as defined 
in section 9101(11) of the ESEA); (2) integrating ``student supports'' 
into the school model to address non-academic barriers to student 
achievement; or (3) creating multiple pathways for students to earn 
regular high school diplomas (e.g., by operating schools that serve the 
needs of over-aged, under-credited, or other students with an 
exceptional need for support and flexibility pertaining to when they 
attend school; awarding credit based on demonstrated evidence of 
student competency; and offering dual-enrollment options). (2010 i3 
NFP)

Absolute Priority 5--Improving Achievement and High School Graduation 
Rates (Rural Local Educational Agencies)

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
projects that are designed to address accelerating learning and helping 
to improve high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and 
college enrollment rates for students in rural local educational 
agencies (as defined in this notice). (Supplemental Priorities)

    Note:  Absolute Priority 5 aims to support projects that address 
the unique challenges of serving high-need students in rural LEAs 
(as defined in this notice). Based on the overall i3 program 
requirement, set out in section III.1 of this notice, and as with 
all i3 projects, applicants choosing to address this priority must 
specify how they will serve high-need students. In addition, 
applicants that choose to respond to Absolute Priority 5 may want to 
consider identifying all rural LEAs where the project will be 
implemented, or explain how the applicant will choose the rural LEAs 
where the project will be implemented. Applicants should identify 
these rural LEAs on the i3 Applicant Information Sheet and provide 
information on the applicant's experience and skills, or the 
experience and skills of their partners, in serving high-need 
students in rural LEAs in responding to Selection Criterion C. 
Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2012 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities.
    Applicants may address more than one of the competitive preference 
priorities; however, the Department will review and award points only 
for a maximum of two of the competitive preference priorities. 
Therefore, an applicant must identify in the project narrative section 
of its application the priority or priorities it wishes the Department 
to consider for purposes of earning competitive preference priority 
points.

    Note:  The Department will not review or award points under any 
competitive preference priority that (1) fails to clearly identify 
the competitive preference priority or priorities the applicant 
wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning 
competitive preference priority points, or (2) identifies more than 
two competitive preference priorities the applicant wishes the 
Department to consider for purposes of earning competitive 
preference priority points.

    These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 6--Innovations for Improving Early 
Learning Outcomes (Zero or One Point)

    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to improve educational outcomes for high-need students who are 
young children (birth through 3rd grade) by enhancing the quality of 
early learning programs. To meet this priority, applications must focus 
on (a) improving young children's school readiness (including social, 
emotional, and cognitive readiness) so that children are prepared for 
success in core academic subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of 
the ESEA); (b) improving developmental milestones and standards and 
aligning them with appropriate outcome measures; and (c) improving 
alignment, collaboration, and transitions between early learning 
programs that serve children from birth to age three, in preschools, 
and in kindergarten through third grade. (2010 i3 NFP)

Competitive Preference Priority 7--Innovations That Support College 
Access and Success (Zero or One Point)

    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to enable kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) students, 
particularly high school students, to successfully prepare for, enter, 
and graduate from a two- or four-year college. To meet this priority, 
applications must include practices, strategies, or programs for K-12 
students that (a) address students' preparedness and expectations 
related to college; (b) help students understand issues of college 
affordability and the financial aid and college application processes; 
and (c) provide support to students from peers and knowledgeable 
adults. (2010 i3 NFP)

Competitive Preference Priority 8--Innovations To Address the Unique 
Learning Needs of Students With Disabilities and Limited English 
Proficient Students (Zero or One Point)

    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to address the unique learning needs of students with 
disabilities, including those who are assessed based on alternate 
academic achievement standards, or the linguistic and academic needs of 
limited English proficient students. To meet this

[[Page 18233]]

priority, applications must provide for the implementation of 
particular practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to 
improve academic outcomes, close achievement gaps, and increase 
college- and career-readiness, including increasing high school 
graduation rates (as defined in this notice), for students with 
disabilities or limited English proficient students. (2010 i3 NFP)

Competitive Preference Priority 9--Improving Productivity (Zero or One 
Point)

    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
are designed to significantly increase efficiency in the use of time, 
staff, money, or other resources while improving student learning or 
other educational outcomes (i.e., outcome per unit of resource). Such 
projects may include innovative and sustainable uses of technology, 
modification of school schedules and teacher compensation systems, use 
of open educational resources (as defined in this notice), or other 
strategies. (Supplemental Priorities)

Competitive Preference Priority 10--Technology (Zero or One Point)

    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
are designed to improve student achievement \7\ or teacher 
effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital tools or 
materials, which may include preparing teachers to use the technology 
to improve instruction, as well as developing, implementing, or 
evaluating digital tools or materials. (Supplemental Priorities)
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    \7\ For purposes of this priority, the Supplemental Priorities 
define student achievement as follows:
    ``Student achievement'' means--
     (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on 
the State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; and, 
as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as 
those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they 
are rigorous and comparable across schools; and
    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of 
student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement 
that are rigorous and comparable across schools.
    Note that this definition for student achievement applies only 
to Absolute Priority 1 and Competitive Preference Priority 10. 
Elsewhere in this notice the use of this term refers to the i3 
definition established in the 2010 i3 NFP that is provided in the 
Definitions section of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Definitions

    These definitions are from the 2010 i3 NFP and the Supplemental 
Priorities. We may apply these definitions in any year in which this 
program is in effect.

    Note:  This notice invites applications for Validation grants. 
The following definitions apply to the three types of grants under 
the i3 program (Scale-up, Validation, or Development). Therefore, 
some definitions included in this section--primarily those related 
to the demonstration of evidence--may be more applicable to 
applications for Scale-up grants.

Definitions Related to Evidence From the 2010 i3 NFP

    Carefully matched comparison group design means a type of quasi-
experimental study that attempts to approximate an experimental study. 
More specifically, it is a design in which project participants are 
matched with non-participants based on key characteristics that are 
thought to be related to the outcome. These characteristics include, 
but are not limited to: (1) Prior test scores and other measures of 
academic achievement (preferably, the same measures that the study will 
use to evaluate outcomes for the two groups); (2) demographic 
characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English proficiency, 
ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational attainment, and single- 
or two-parent family background; (3) the time period in which the two 
groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children entering 
kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); and (4) 
methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of reading 
skills administered in the same way to both groups).
    Experimental study means a study that employs random assignment of, 
for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to 
participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not to 
participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project 
is the average difference in outcomes between the treatment and control 
groups.
    Independent evaluation means that the evaluation is designed and 
carried out independent of, but in coordination with, any employees of 
the entities who develop a practice, strategy, or program and are 
implementing it. This independence helps ensure the objectivity of an 
evaluation and prevents even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
    Interrupted time series design \8\ means a type of quasi-
experimental study in which the outcome of interest is measured 
multiple times before and after the treatment for program participants 
only. If the program had an impact, the outcomes after treatment will 
have a different slope or level from those before treatment. That is, 
the series should show an ``interruption'' of the prior situation at 
the time when the program was implemented. Adding a comparison group 
time series, such as schools not participating in the program or 
schools participating in the program in a different geographic area, 
substantially increases the reliability of the findings.
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    \8\ A single subject or single case design is an adaptation of 
an interrupted time series design that relies on the comparison of 
treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. 
There is little confidence that findings based on this design would 
be the same for other members of the population. In some single 
subject designs, treatment reversal or multiple baseline designs are 
used to increase internal validity. In a treatment reversal design, 
after a pretreatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared 
with a post treatment measure, the treatment would then be stopped 
for a period of time, a second baseline measure of the outcome would 
be taken, followed by a second application of the treatment or a 
different treatment. A multiple baseline design addresses concerns 
about the effects of normal development, timing of the treatment, 
and amount of the treatment with treatment-reversal designs by using 
a varying time schedule for introduction of the treatment and/or 
treatments of different lengths or intensity.
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    Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies whose 
designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high 
internal validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate 
external validity), or studies with high external validity but moderate 
internal validity. The following would constitute moderate evidence: 
(1) At least one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this 
notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this 
notice) supporting the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or 
program, with small sample sizes or other conditions of implementation 
or analysis that limit generalizability; (2) at least one well-designed 
and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental or quasi-
experimental study (as defined in this notice) that does not 
demonstrate equivalence between the intervention and comparison groups 
at program entry but that has no other major flaws related to internal 
validity; or (3) correlational research with strong statistical 
controls for selection bias and for discerning the influence of 
internal factors.
    Quasi-experimental study means an evaluation design that attempts 
to approximate an experimental design and can support causal 
conclusions (i.e., minimizes threats to internal validity, such as 
selection bias, or allows them to be modeled). Well-designed quasi-
experimental studies include carefully matched comparison group designs 
(as

[[Page 18234]]

defined in this notice), interrupted time series designs (as defined in 
this notice), or regression discontinuity designs (as defined in this 
notice).
    Regression discontinuity design study means, in part, a quasi-
experimental study design that closely approximates an experimental 
study. In a regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned 
to a treatment or comparison group based on a numerical rating or score 
of a variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an 
application for funding. Another example would be assignment of 
eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain 
score (``cut score'') to the treatment group and assignment of those 
below the score to the comparison group.
    Strong evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs 
can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal 
validity), and studies that in total include enough of the range of 
participants and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, 
or national level (i.e., studies with high external validity). The 
following are examples of strong evidence: (1) More than one well-
designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental 
study (as defined in this notice) or well-designed and well-implemented 
(as defined in this notice) quasi-experimental study (as defined in 
this notice) that supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, 
or program; or (2) one large, well-designed and well-implemented (as 
defined in this notice) randomized controlled, multisite trial that 
supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program.
    Well-designed and well-implemented means, with respect to an 
experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice), 
that the study meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards, 
with or without reservations (see http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1 and in particular the 
description of ``Reasons for Not Meeting Standards'' at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/Doc.aspx?docId=19&tocId=4#reasons \9\).
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    \9\ The information found at this link when the 2010 i3 NFP was 
published can now be found at this link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/reference_resources/wwc_procedures_v2_1_standards_handbook.pdf.
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Other Definitions From the 2010 i3 NFP

    Applicant means the entity that applies for a grant under this 
program on behalf of an eligible applicant (i.e., an LEA or a 
partnership in accordance with section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA).
    Consortium of schools means two or more public elementary or 
secondary schools acting collaboratively for the purpose of applying 
for and implementing an Investing in Innovation Fund grant jointly with 
an eligible nonprofit organization.
    Formative assessment means assessment questions, tools, and 
processes that are embedded in instruction and are used by teachers and 
students to provide timely feedback for purposes of adjusting 
instruction to improve learning.
    High-need student means a student at risk of educational failure, 
or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as 
students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools, 
who are far below grade level, who are over-age and under-credited, who 
have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who 
are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on 
time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been 
incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are limited English 
proficient.
    High school graduation rate means a four-year adjusted cohort 
graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1) and may also 
include an extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent 
with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(v) if the State in which the proposed project 
is implemented has been approved by the Secretary to use such a rate 
under Title I of the ESEA.
    Interim assessment means an assessment that is given at regular and 
specified intervals throughout the school year, is designed to evaluate 
students' knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of academic 
standards, and produces results that can be aggregated (e.g., by 
course, grade level, school, or LEA) in order to inform teachers and 
administrators at the student, classroom, school, and LEA levels.
    National level, as used in reference to a Scale-up grant, describes 
a project that is able to be effective in a wide variety of communities 
and student populations around the country, including rural and urban 
areas, as well as with the different groups of students described in 
section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically 
disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, 
migrant students, students with disabilities, students with limited 
English proficiency, and students of each gender).
    Nonprofit organization means an entity that meets the definition of 
``nonprofit'' under 34 CFR 77.1(c), or an institution of higher 
education as defined by section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 
1965, as amended.
    Official partner means any of the entities required to be part of a 
partnership under section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA.
    Other partner means any entity, other than the applicant and any 
official partner, that may be involved in a proposed project.
    Regional level, as used in reference to a Scale-up or Validation 
grant, describes a project that is able to serve a variety of 
communities and student populations within a State or multiple States, 
including rural and urban areas, as well as with the different groups 
of students described in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., 
economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and 
ethnic groups, migrant students, students with disabilities, students 
with limited English proficiency, and students of each gender). To be 
considered a regional-level project, a project must serve students in 
more than one LEA. The exception to this requirement would be a project 
implemented in a State in which the State educational agency is the 
sole educational agency for all schools and thus may be considered an 
LEA under section 9101(26) of the ESEA. Such a State would meet the 
definition of regional for the purposes of this notice.
    Regular high school diploma means, consistent with 34 CFR 
200.19(b)(1)(iv), the standard high school diploma that is awarded to 
students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's 
academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a 
General Education Development (GED) credential, certificate of 
attendance, or any alternative award.
    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; and, as 
appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those 
described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are 
rigorous and comparable across classrooms; and
    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of 
student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
    Student growth means the change in student achievement data for an 
individual student between two or more

[[Page 18235]]

points in time. Growth may be measured by a variety of approaches, but 
any approach used must be statistically rigorous and based on student 
achievement data, and may also include other measures of student 
learning in order to increase the construct validity and 
generalizability of the information.

Definitions From Supplemental Priorities

    High-poverty school means a school in which at least 50 percent of 
students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the 
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 
percent of students are from low-income families as determined using 
one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. For middle 
and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of 
comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty 
school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most 
currently available data.
    Open educational resources (OER) means teaching, learning, and 
research resources that reside in the public domain or have been 
released under an intellectual property license that permits their free 
use or repurposing by others.
    Rural local educational agency means a local educational agency 
(LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) 
program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized 
under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine 
whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to 
information on the Department's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html.

    Program Authority: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 
2009, Division A, Section 14007, Pub. L. 111-5.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program, 
published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2010 (75 FR 12004) (2010 
i3 NFP). (c) The notice of final revisions to priorities, requirements, 
and selection criteria for this program, published in the Federal 
Register on June 3, 2011 (76 FR 32073) (2011 Notice of Final i3 
Revisions). (d) The notice of final supplemental priorities and 
definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal 
Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486)), and corrected on May 12, 
2011 (76 FR 27637) (Supplemental Priorities).

    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions 
of higher education only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements or discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $ 140,452,000.
    These estimated available funds are the total amount available for 
all three types of grants under the i3 program (Scale-up, Validation, 
and Development).
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of the 
applications received, we may make additional awards in FY 2013 or 
later years from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards

    Scale-up grants: Up to $25,000,000.
    Validation grants: Up to $15,000,000.
    Development grants: Up to $3,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards

    Scale-up grants: $24,000,000.
    Validation grants: $14,500,000.
    Development grants: $3,000,000.

Estimated Number of Awards

    Scale-up grants: 0-2 awards.
    Validation grants: 1-5 awards.
    Development grants: 10-20 awards.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: 36-60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Providing Innovations that Improve Achievement for High-Need 
Students: All eligible applicants must implement practices, strategies, 
or programs for high-need students (as defined in this notice). (2010 
i3 NFP)
    2. Eligible Applicants: Entities eligible to apply for i3 grants 
include: (a) An LEA or (b) a partnership between a nonprofit 
organization and (1) one or more LEAs or (2) a consortium of schools. 
An eligible applicant that is a partnership applying under section 
14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA must designate one of its official partners 
(as defined in this notice) to serve as the applicant in accordance 
with the Department's regulations governing group applications in 34 
CFR 75.127 through 75.129. (2010 i3 NFP)
    3. Eligibility Requirements: Except as specifically set forth in 
the Note about Eligibility for an Eligible Applicant that Includes a 
Nonprofit Organization that follows, to be eligible for an award, an 
eligible applicant must--
    (1)(A) Have significantly closed the achievement gaps between 
groups of students described in section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA 
(economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and 
ethnic groups, students with limited English proficiency, students with 
disabilities); or
    (B) Have demonstrated success in significantly increasing student 
academic achievement for all groups of students described in that 
section;
    (2) Have made significant improvements in other areas, such as 
graduation rates or increased recruitment and placement of high-quality 
teachers and principals, as demonstrated with meaningful data;
    (3) Demonstrate that it has established one or more partnerships 
with the private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, 
and that the private sector will provide matching funds in order to 
help bring results to scale; and
    (4) In the case of an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit 
organization, provide in the application the names of the LEAs with 
which the nonprofit organization will partner, or the names of the 
schools in the consortium with which it will partner. If an eligible 
applicant that includes a nonprofit organization intends to partner 
with additional LEAs or schools that are not named in the application, 
it must describe in the application the demographic and other 
characteristics of these LEAs and schools and the process it will use 
to select them as either official or other partners. An applicant must 
identify its specific partners before a grant award will be made. (2010 
i3 NFP)

    Note:  Applicants should provide information addressing these 
eligibility requirements in Appendix C, under ``Other Attachments 
Form,'' of their applications. An applicant must provide sufficient 
supporting data or other information to allow the Department to 
determine whether the applicant has met these eligibility 
requirements. If the Department determines that an applicant has 
provided insufficient information in its application, the applicant 
will not have an opportunity to provide additional information.


    Note about LEA Eligibility: For purposes of this program, an LEA 
is an LEA located within one of the 50 States, the District of 
Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (2010 i3 NFP)



[[Page 18236]]


    Note about Eligibility for an Eligible Applicant that Includes a 
Nonprofit Organization: The authorizing statute specifies that an 
eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization is 
considered to have met the requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2) of 
the eligibility requirements for this program if the nonprofit 
organization has a record of significantly improving student 
achievement, attainment, or retention. For an eligible applicant 
that includes a nonprofit organization, the nonprofit organization 
must demonstrate that it has a record of significantly improving 
student achievement, attainment, or retention through its record of 
work with an LEA or schools. Therefore, an eligible applicant that 
includes a nonprofit organization does not necessarily need to 
include as a partner for its i3 grant an LEA or a consortium of 
schools that meets the requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2).

    In addition, the authorizing statute (as amended) specifies that an 
eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization is considered 
to have met the requirements of paragraph (3) of the eligibility 
requirements in this notice if the eligible applicant demonstrates that 
it will meet the requirement relating to private-sector matching. (2010 
i3 NFP)
    4. Cost Sharing or Matching: To be eligible for an award, an 
eligible applicant must demonstrate that it has established one or more 
partnerships with an entity or organization in the private sector, 
which may include philanthropic organizations, and that the entity or 
organization in the private sector will provide matching funds in order 
to help bring project results to scale. An eligible applicant must 
obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 10 percent 
of its grant award.\10\ Selected eligible applicants must submit 
evidence of the full amount of private-sector matching funds following 
the peer review of applications. An award will not be made unless the 
applicant provides adequate evidence that the full amount of the 
private-sector match has been committed or the Secretary approves the 
eligible applicant's request to reduce the matching-level requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ The 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions modified the ``Cost 
Sharing and Matching'' requirement established in the 2010 i3 NFP by 
providing that the Secretary will specify the amount of required 
private-sector matching funds or in-kind donations in the notice 
inviting applications for the specific i3 competition. For this 
competition, the Secretary establishes a matching requirement of at 
least 10 percent of the grant award.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Secretary may consider decreasing the matching requirement in 
the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-case basis. An 
eligible applicant that anticipates being unable to meet the full 
amount of the private-sector matching requirement must include in its 
application a request to the Secretary to reduce the matching-level 
requirement, along with a statement of the basis for the request. (2010 
i3 NFP, as revised by the 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions)
    5. Other: The Secretary establishes the following requirements for 
the i3 program. These requirements are from the 2010 i3 NFP. We may 
apply these requirements in any year in which this program is in 
effect.
     Evidence Standards: To be eligible for an award, an 
application for a Validation grant must be supported by moderate 
evidence (as defined in this notice). (2010 i3 NFP)

    Note: Applicants should provide information addressing the 
required evidence standards in Appendix D, under ``Other Attachments 
Form,'' of its application. An applicant must either ensure that all 
evidence is available to the Department from publicly available 
sources and provide links or other guidance indicating where it is 
available; or include copies of evidence in Appendix D of the 
application. If the Department determines that an applicant has 
provided insufficient information, the applicant will not have an 
opportunity to provide additional information to support its 
application.

     Funding Categories: An applicant must state in its 
application whether it is applying for a Scale-up, Validation, or 
Development grant. An applicant may not submit an application for the 
same proposed project under more than one type of grant. An applicant 
will be considered for an award only for the type of grant for which it 
applies. (2010 i3 NFP)
     Subgrants: In the case of an eligible applicant that is a 
partnership between a nonprofit organization and (1) one or more LEAs 
or (2) a consortium of schools, the partner serving as the applicant 
may make subgrants to one or more official partners (as defined in this 
notice). (2010 i3 NFP)
     Limits on Grant Awards: (a) No grantee may receive more 
than two new grant awards of any type under the i3 program in a single 
year; (b) In any two-year period, no grantee may receive more than one 
new Scale-up or Validation grant; and (c) No grantee may receive more 
than $55 million in new grant awards under the i3 program in a single 
year. (2010 i3 NFP, as revised by the 2011 Notice of Final i3 
Revisions)
     Evaluation: A grantee must comply with the requirements of 
any evaluation of the program conducted by the Department. In addition, 
the grantee is required to conduct an independent evaluation (as 
defined in this notice) of its project and must agree, along with its 
independent evaluator, to cooperate with any technical assistance 
provided by the Department or its contractor. The purpose of this 
technical assistance will be to ensure that the evaluations are of the 
highest quality and to encourage commonality in evaluation approaches 
across funded projects where such commonality is feasible and useful. 
Finally, the grantee must make broadly available through formal (e.g., 
peer-reviewed journals) or informal (e.g., newsletters) mechanisms, and 
in print or electronically, the results of any evaluations it conducts 
of its funded activities. For Scale-up and Validation grants, the 
grantee must also ensure the data from their evaluations are made 
available to third-party researchers consistent with applicable privacy 
requirements. (2010 i3 NFP)
     Participation in ``Communities of Practice'': Grantees are 
required to participate in, organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, 
communities of practice for the i3 program. A community of practice is 
a group of grantees that agrees to interact regularly to solve a 
persistent problem or improve practice in an area that is important to 
them. Establishment of communities of practice under the i3 program 
will enable grantees to meet, discuss, and collaborate with each other 
regarding grantee projects. (2010 i3 NFP)

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Submission of Proprietary Information

    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications 
for the i3 program, some applications may include proprietary 
information as it relates to confidential commercial information. 
Confidential commercial information is defined as information the 
disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause substantial 
competitive harm. Upon submission, applicants should identify any 
information contained in their application that they consider to be 
confidential commercial information. Consistent with the process 
followed in the prior two i3 competitions, we plan on posting the 
project narrative sections of funded Validation applications on the 
Department's Web site. Identifying proprietary information in the 
submitted application will help facilitate this public disclosure 
process.
    Applicants are encouraged to identify only the specific information 
that the applicant considers to be proprietary and list the page 
numbers on which this information can be found in Appendix I, under 
``Other Attachments Form,'' of their applications. In addition to

[[Page 18237]]

identifying the page number on which that information can be found, 
eligible applicants will assist the Department in making determinations 
on public release of the application by being as specific as possible 
in identifying the information they consider proprietary. Please note 
that, in many instances, identification of entire pages of 
documentation would not be appropriate.

2. Address To Request Application Package

    You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the 
Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the 
Internet, use the following address: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or 
call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 
22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: 
(703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at 
its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.411B.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

3. Content and Form of Application Submission

    Requirements concerning the content of an application, together 
with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this 
competition.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: April 16, 2012.
    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing 
grant applications if we know the approximate number of applicants that 
intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the 
Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of 
the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by 
completing a web-based form. When completing this form, applicants will 
provide (1) the applicant organization's name and address, (2) the type 
of grant for which the applicant intends to apply, (3) the one absolute 
priority the applicant intends to address, and (4) a maximum of two of 
the competitive preference priorities the applicant wishes the 
Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive 
preference priority points. Applicants may access this form online at 
http://go.usa.gov/PVI. Applicants that do not complete this form may 
still apply for funding.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applicants should limit the 
application narrative [Part III] for a Validation application to no 
more than 35 pages. Applicants are also strongly encouraged not to 
include lengthy appendices that contain information that could not be 
included in the narrative. Applicants should use the following 
standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover 
sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative section [Part III].

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Applications Available: March 29, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: April 16, 2012.
    Informational Meetings: The i3 program intends to hold meetings 
designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants for 
all three types of grants. Detailed information regarding these 
meetings will be provided on the i3 Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 29, 2012.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV.8. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 25, 2012.

5. Intergovernmental Review

    This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental 
Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the 
application package for this competition.

6. Funding Restrictions

    We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the 
Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

7. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry

    To do business with the Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you

[[Page 18238]]

can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social 
Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks 
for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

8. Other Submission Requirements

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement 
in accordance with the instructions in this section.
a. Electronic Submission of Applications
    Applications for grants under the i3 program, CFDA number 84.411B 
(Validation grants), must be submitted electronically using the 
Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this 
site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, 
complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You 
may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant applications for i3 program at 
www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application 
package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the 
CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (i.e., search for 84.411, not 
84.411B).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not 
review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by email. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, 
on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and 
provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with 
Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will 
accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem 
occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your 
ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m.,

[[Page 18239]]

Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department 
will contact you after a determination is made on whether your 
application will be accepted.

    Note:  The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Carol Lyons, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W203, 
Washington, DC 20202-5930. FAX: (202) 205-5637.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.411B), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:  The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a 
dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with 
your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.411B), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, 
Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria

    The selection criteria for this competition are from the 2010 i3 
NFP and from 34 CFR 75.210.\11\ The points assigned to each criterion 
are indicated in the parenthesis next to the criterion. Applicants may 
earn up to a total of 100 points.
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    \11\ The 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions establishes that the 
Secretary may use one or more of the selection criteria established 
in the 2010 i3 NFP, any of the selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210, 
criteria based on the statutory requirements for the i3 program in 
accordance with 34 CFR 75.209, or any combination of these when 
establishing selection criteria for each particular type of grant 
(Scale-up, Validation, and Development) in an i3 competition.

    Note:  In responding to the selection criteria, applicants 
should keep in mind that peer reviewers may consider only the 
information provided in the written application when scoring and 
commenting on the application. Therefore, applicants should draft 
their responses with the goal of helping peer reviewers understand:
     What the applicant is proposing to do, including the 
single Absolute Priority under which the applicant intends the 
application to be reviewed;
     How the proposed project will improve upon existing 
products, processes, or strategies for addressing similar needs;
     What the outcomes of the project will be if it is 
successful; and
     What the proposed project will cost and why the 
proposed project is an effective use of funds.

    The selection criteria for the Validation grant competition are as 
follows:
A. Quality of the Project Design (Up to 25 Points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed 
project.
    In determining the quality of the project design, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project has a clear set of 
goals and an explicit strategy, with actions that are (a) aligned with 
the priorities the eligible applicant is seeking to meet, and (b) 
expected to result in achieving the goals, objectives, and outcomes of 
the proposed project. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (2) The potential and planning for the incorporation of project 
purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing work of the eligible 
applicant and any other partners at the end of the Validation grant. 
(2010 i3 NFP)
    (3) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project. 
(34 CFR 75.210)
    (4) The eligible applicant's estimate of the cost of the proposed 
project, which

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includes the start-up and operating costs per student per year 
(including indirect costs) for reaching the total number of students 
proposed to be served by the project. The eligible applicant must 
include an estimate of the costs for the eligible applicant or others 
(including other partners) to reach 100,000, 250,000, and 500,000 
students. (2010 i3 NFP)

    Note: The Secretary considers cost estimates both (a) to assess 
the reasonableness of the costs relative to the objectives, design, 
and potential significance for the total number of students to be 
served by the proposed project, which is determined by the eligible 
applicant, and (b) to understand the possible costs for the eligible 
applicant or others (including other partners) to reach the scaling 
targets of 100,000, 250,000, and 500,000 students for Validation 
grants. An eligible applicant is free to propose the number of 
students it will serve under its project, and is expected to reach 
that number of students by the end of the grant period. The scaling 
targets, in contrast, are theoretical and allow peer reviewers to 
assess the cost-effectiveness generally of proposed projects, 
particularly in cases where an initial investment may be required to 
support projects that operate at reduced cost in the future, whether 
implemented by the eligible applicant or any other entity. Grantees 
are not required to reach these numbers during the grant period.


    Note:  In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages 
the applicant to address what the applicant proposes to do for the 
proposed project, how the applicant will do it, what the project 
costs will be, why the project costs will be sufficient and 
reasonable to achieve the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
proposed project, and how the project costs would change if the 
project were scaled to serve a larger number of students (i.e., 
which of the costs are fixed regardless of how many students are 
served and which of the costs are variable and increase as more 
students are served). Additionally, an applicant may wish to address 
why the project costs are reasonable compared to what the project 
will accomplish, particularly in comparison to similar projects or 
alternative ways of achieving similar outcomes.

B. Significance (Up to 25 Points)
    The Secretary considers the significance of the project.
    In determining the significance of the project, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the 
competition. (34 CFR 75.210)
    (2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective 
practice. (34 CFR 75.210)
    (3) The importance and magnitude of the effect expected to be 
obtained by the proposed project, including the extent to which the 
project will substantially and measurably improve student achievement 
or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, 
increase high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment 
and completion rates. The evidence in support of the importance and 
magnitude of the effect would be the research-based evidence provided 
by the eligible applicant to support the proposed project. (2010 i3 
NFP)

    Note Linking Magnitude of Effect to Presented Evidence: The 
Secretary notes that the research evidence provided by the eligible 
applicant is relevant to addressing the third factor of Selection 
Criterion B, which concerns the importance and/or magnitude of the 
expected impact of the proposed project.


    Note: In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages 
the applicant to explain what is exceptional about how the proposed 
project addresses the absolute priority under which the applicant is 
submitting its i3 application. Also, the Secretary encourages the 
applicant to explain how the proposed project reflects up-to-date 
knowledge from research and effective practice. Additionally, the 
Secretary encourages the applicant to quantify the potential impact 
of the proposed project, if successful, and the extent to which the 
project will measurably improve student achievement or student 
growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, increase 
high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment and 
completion rates.

C. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel (Up to 25 Points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
personnel for the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the management plan and personnel for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks, as well as tasks related to the sustainability and 
scalability of the proposed project. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director and key project personnel, especially in 
managing complex projects. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (3) The eligible applicant's capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the 
proposed project to scale on a State or regional level (as appropriate, 
based on the results of the proposed project) working directly, or 
through other partners, either during or following the end of the grant 
period. (2010 i3 NFP)

    Note:  In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages 
applicants to address how the team's prior experiences have prepared 
them for implementing the proposed project successfully. In 
addition, the Secretary encourages applicants to identify the 
resources that will be required to bring the project to the 
appropriate level of scale, and whether the applicant possesses 
those resources or how they will secure them.

D. Quality of Project Evaluation (Up to 25 Points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the project evaluation.
    In determining the quality of the project evaluation to be 
conducted, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will include a 
well-designed experimental study or a well-designed quasi-experimental 
study. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
high-quality implementation data and performance feedback, and permit 
periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes. 
(2010 i3 NFP)
    (3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide sufficient 
information about the key elements and approach of the project so as to 
facilitate replication or testing in other settings. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes 
sufficient resources to carry out the project evaluation effectively. 
(2010 i3 NFP)

    Note:  In responding to this criterion, the Secretary encourages 
applicants to describe the key evaluation questions and address how 
the proposed evaluation methodologies will allow the project to 
answer those questions. This may include whether the evaluation 
would produce information about the effectiveness of the proposed 
project with the specific student populations being served with 
grant funds. Further, the Secretary encourages applicants to 
identify what implementation and performance data the evaluation 
will generate and how the evaluation will provide data during the 
period to help indicate whether the project is on track to meet its 
goals. Finally, applicants should address whether the budget 
allocates sufficient resources to support the planned evaluation.


    Note:  We encourage eligible applicants to review the following 
technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) What Works 
Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook: http://ies.ed.gov/
ncee/wwc/

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references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1; and (2) IES/NCEE 
Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_methods/.

2. Review and Selection Process

    The Department will screen applications submitted in accordance 
with the requirements in this notice, and will determine which 
applications have met eligibility and other statutory requirements.
    The Department will use independent peer reviewers with various 
backgrounds and professions, including pre-kindergarten-12 teachers and 
principals, college and university educators, researchers and 
evaluators, social entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, grant makers 
and managers, and others with education expertise. The Department will 
thoroughly screen all reviewers for conflicts of interest to ensure a 
fair and competitive review process.
    Reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the 
applications assigned to their panel, using the selection criteria 
provided in this notice. For Validation grant applications, the 
Department may conduct a two-tier review process to review and score 
all eligible applications. Should the Department conduct a two-tier 
review, reviewers will review and score all eligible Validation 
applications on the following three criteria: A. Quality of the Project 
Design; B. Significance; C. Quality of the Management Plan and 
Personnel. If eligible applicants have chosen to address the 
competitive preference priorities (a maximum of two) for purposes of 
earning the competitive preference priority points, reviewers will 
review and score those competitive preference priorities. If 
competitive preference points are awarded, those points will be added 
to the eligible applicant's score. Eligible applications that score 
highly on these three criteria will then have the remaining criterion 
reviewed and scored by a different panel of reviewers. The remaining 
criterion is D. Quality of the Project Evaluation.
    We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in 
any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 
34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying 
out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement 
of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The 
Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a 
timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable 
quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

3. Special Conditions

    Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special 
conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially 
stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or 
other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR 
parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a 
prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

    If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. 
Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the 
application package and reference these and other requirements in the 
Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting

    (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must 
ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to 
comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you 
receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have 
an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures

    The overall purpose of the i3 program is to expand the 
implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are 
demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or 
student growth for high-need students. We have established several 
performance measures for the i3 Validation grants.
    Short-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of grantees 
that reach their annual target number of students as specified in the 
application; (2) the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies 
supported by a Validation grant with ongoing well-designed and 
independent evaluations that will provide evidence of their 
effectiveness at improving student outcomes; (3) the percentage of 
programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Validation grant with 
ongoing evaluations that are providing high-quality implementation data 
and performance feedback that allow for periodic assessment of progress 
toward achieving intended outcomes; and (4) the cost per student 
actually served by the grant.
    Long-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of grantees that 
reach the targeted number of students specified in the application; (2) 
the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a 
Validation grant that implement a completed well-designed, well-
implemented and independent evaluation that provides evidence of their 
effectiveness at improving student outcomes; (3) the percentage of 
programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Validation grant with 
a completed well-designed, well-implemented and independent evaluation 
that provides information about the key elements and the approach of 
the project so as to facilitate replication or testing in other 
settings; and (4) the cost per student for programs, practices, or 
strategies that were proven to be effective at improving educational 
outcomes for students.

5. Continuation Awards

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary may consider, under 
34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a grantee has made ``substantial 
progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved

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application.'' This consideration includes the review of a grantee's 
progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved 
application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner 
that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making 
a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee 
is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved 
application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws 
that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving 
Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 
106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol Lyons, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W203, Washington, DC 20202-
5930. FAX: (202) 205-5631. Telephone: (202) 453-7122 or by email: 
i3@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-
8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
in section VII of this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: March 21, 2012.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2012-7365 Filed 3-26-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P