Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Overview Information Comprehensive Centers-Great Lakes West Region; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, 59730-59737 [05-20566]

Download as PDF 59730 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices DC. 20202–4700. Requests may also be electronically mailed to the Internet address OCIO_RIMG@ed.gov or faxed to 202–245–6621. Please specify the complete title of the information collection when making your request. Comments regarding burden and/or the collection activity requirements should be directed to Joseph Schubart at his e-mail address Joe.Schubart@ed.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877– 8339. [FR Doc. 05–20497 Filed 10–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Overview Information Comprehensive Centers—Great Lakes West Region; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.283B. Applications Available: October 13, 2005. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 28, 2005. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: December 27, 2005. Eligible Applicants: Research organizations, institutions, agencies, institutions of higher education, or partnerships among such entities, or individuals, with the demonstrated ability or capacity to carry out the activities described in this notice. An application from a consortium of eligible entities must include a consortium agreement. Letters of support do not meet the requirement for a consortium agreement. DATES: Note: The Department will reject any application that does not meet these eligibility requirements. Number of Awards: 1. Estimated Available Funds: $1,243,322 for a start-up award of approximately 6 months. The actual level of funding, if any, is contingent on final congressional action on the Department’s FY 2006 appropriations bill. Estimated Size of Award: $1,243,322. Funding for the Regional Center (as defined in Section I of this notice) for the Great Lakes West region was calculated by formula, based equally on shares of population and poor children, ages 5–17 in the States (including DC, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas). The most recent Department estimates VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 for awards to the comprehensive centers, including the Great Lakes Regional Center, are provided at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/newccp/ index.html. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 57 months. Budget Period: The first budget period will be approximately six months. Budget periods 2 through 4 will be 12 months. Budget period 5 will be 15 months. Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The Comprehensive Centers program supports the establishment of not fewer than 20 comprehensive technical assistance centers that provide technical assistance to States as States work to help districts and schools to close achievement gaps in core content areas and raise student achievement in schools, especially those in need of improvement (as defined by section 1116(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)). Background: On June 3, 2005, the Department published a notice announcing a competition for the Comprehensive Centers program (70 FR 32583; correction notice 70 FR 35415). The notice invited applications for 21 comprehensive centers—16 regional comprehensive centers to serve States within defined geographic boundaries (Regional Centers) and 5 content comprehensive centers, each having a specific content expertise and focus, to support the work of the Regional Centers (Content Centers). The comprehensive centers provide technical assistance to States as States work to help districts and schools to close achievement gaps in core content areas and raise student achievement in schools, especially those in need of improvement (as defined by section 1116(b) of the ESEA). As a result of the competition announced on June 3, 2005, the Department funded 20 Centers—15 Regional Centers and 5 Content Centers—with FY 2005 funds. However, the Department did not fund a Regional Center for the region designated to serve the States of Illinois and Wisconsin, the region identified as the Great Lakes West region. This notice, therefore, invites applications for a Regional Center to serve the Great Lakes West region so as to complete the Comprehensive Centers program’s technical assistance system PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 established by the Department in FY 2005. For more information on the functions and activities of the five Content Centers funded in FY 2005 and how they relate to the Regional Centers, see 70 FR 32583. Background on the Comprehensive Centers Program: The ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), holds States accountable for closing achievement gaps and ensuring that all children, regardless of ethnicity, income, language proficiency, or disability, receive a high-quality education and meet State academic standards in reading/language arts and mathematics by 2013–2014. To that end, NCLB requires States to set standards for student performance, implement statewide testing and accountability systems to measure school and student performance toward achieving those standards, adopt research-based instructional and program improvements related to teaching and learning in the classroom, ensure that all teachers in core subject areas are highly qualified, and improve or ultimately restructure schools that are consistently low-performing. The comprehensive centers funded under the Comprehensive Centers program, including the Regional Center funded under this competition, will begin providing technical assistance at a time when States, districts, and schools have accomplished much of the initial implementation of NCLB but still require assistance in many areas. Specifically, the new centers funded under this program will provide intensive technical assistance in several areas that are key to success in meeting NCLB goals. Recent assessments conducted to help determine technical assistance priorities for the Comprehensive Centers program indicate that States need assistance, for example, in helping districts and schools to implement improvements and meet school and district adequate yearly progress requirements; in identifying and adopting instructional and assessment methods that have been proven effective through scientifically based research, especially for students with special needs; in designing programs and strategies and allocating resources to recruit, retain, and train talented teachers and school leaders; and in enhancing assessment and accountability systems. Because States have the primary responsibility for school improvement efforts, the comprehensive centers, including the Regional Center funded under this competition, will focus E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices technical assistance on States and on helping States increase their capacity to provide sustained support to districts and schools as they implement NCLB reforms. The comprehensive centers will serve as field agents for the Department to help further the understanding of the States they serve of the provisions and purposes of NCLB and related Federal programs and help those States adopt proven approaches to achieve the school improvement and student performance goals required under NCLB. The centers will work closely with, and leverage the resources of, other technical assistance providers and research organizations, including the Regional Educational Laboratories, the Special Education Technical Assistance Network, the Parental Information and Resource Centers, the Equity Assistance Centers, the Reading First National Technical Assistance Center, the Institute of Education Sciences’ research centers and its What Works Clearinghouse, and other Federal, regional, and State entities and postsecondary institutions, to gather and disseminate information and knowledge about what works and to help States translate that knowledge into meaningful practice. The approach to technical assistance delivery for the Comprehensive Centers system is two-tiered: the Regional Centers have the primary relationships with, and provide services to, the States in their regions; in serving their State clients, the Regional Centers will draw heavily on the research-based information, products, guidance, and knowledge on key NCLB topics supplied by the Content Centers. Regional Centers must provide frontline assistance to States to help them implement NCLB and other related Federal school improvement programs and help increase State capacity to assist districts and schools meet their student achievement goals. Regional Centers must be embedded in regions and responsible for developing strong relationships and partnerships within their regional community. While Content Centers must focus almost entirely on specific content areas, analyzing research, and developing useful products and tools for Regional Centers and other clients, the Regional Centers will be the ‘‘on-the-ground’’ providers to States. Drawing from the information and resources provided by the Content Centers funded through this program and other sources, the Regional Centers must provide a program of technical assistance to States that will enable them to, among other things— VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 1. Assess the improvement needs of districts and schools and assist them in developing solutions to address those needs; 2. Build and sustain systemic support for district and school improvement efforts to—(a) Close existing achievement gaps; and (b) adopt proven practices to improve instruction and achievement outcomes for students in schools identified as in need of improvement; and 3. Improve the tools and systems for school improvement and accountability for achievement outcomes. The Department intends to have substantial and sustained involvement in the activities of the center to be funded under this competition, including by shaping grantee priorities, activities, and major products to meet the purposes of this program. The details and parameters of the Department’s expectations and involvement with each center funded under this program will be included in the Department’s cooperative agreement with the grantee that receives an award for that center. Regional Advisory Committees: To help inform the Secretary’s priorities for the comprehensive centers, the Secretary (in accordance with section 206 of the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002 (TA Act)) established 10 Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) charged with conducting education needs assessments within the geographical regions served by the current regional educational laboratories. The RACs conducted their needs assessments during the period from December 2004 to March 2005 and submitted their reports to the Secretary on March 31, 2005. The full reports are available at: http://www.ed.gov/ programs/newccp/index.html. Applicants for the Regional Center for the Great Lakes West Region are encouraged to consider the specific priorities and recommendations contained in the RAC report for Wisconsin and Illinois when preparing their applications. Priorities: We are using these priorities in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act. These absolute priorities are the same priorities established in the FY 2005 Comprehensive Centers competition for all centers and for Regional Centers. For the Regional Center—Great Lakes West Region award, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet these priorities. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59731 Absolute Priorities Priority 1—Focus on States: To meet this priority, applicants must propose a plan of technical assistance specifically focused on helping the two States in the Great Lakes West Region (Illinois and Wisconsin) implement the provisions of NCLB applicable to those States, and helping the States in the Great Lakes West region build the capacity to help school districts and schools implement NCLB provisions and programs. To the extent that an applicant proposes to work with individual school districts and schools, the applicant must propose a technical assistance plan that proposes work with districts and schools only where the effort: (a) Involves a high-leverage strategy (i.e., reaches a large number or proportion of schools, teachers, and administrators needing the assistance within the State); (b) responds to a need identified by the State; and (c) is planned and coordinated with the State. Note: This priority does not support research, program evaluation, or curriculum development. Thus, an applicant will not satisfy this priority if it proposes a technical assistance plan to— a. Design or develop curricula or instructional materials for use in classrooms or develop professional development programs where proven models already exist; or b. Conduct basic research or program evaluations on behalf of States or districts. Priority 2—Crosscutting Expertise. To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that proposed center staff have expertise on several issues of crosscutting importance related to the delivery of technical assistance in specific regions and content areas. These issues are: a. Proven strategies for addressing the needs of schools with populations at risk of failure, especially children who have limited proficiency in English, children with disabilities, and children from economically disadvantaged families. b. Effective uses of technology to improve instruction, and as an efficient means of delivering technical assistance. c. Implementing school improvement reforms within urban and rural contexts. Priority 3—Location of Regional Center. In order to meet the requirement of this priority, the proposed Regional Center must be located in and serve the Great Lakes West region defined by the Department as the following States: Illinois and Wisconsin. Priority 4—Regional Technical Assistance Activities. To meet this priority, the work of the proposed E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 59732 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices Regional Center must involve activities that address State technical assistance needs by: (a) Working closely with each State in its region on an ongoing basis; (b) Linking States with the resources of Content Centers, Department staff, Regional Educational Laboratories, the What Works Clearinghouse, and other entities that have, or may be able to, design products and services tailored to State needs; (c) Suggesting sources of appropriate service providers or assistance for State activities that are not within the core mission of the centers—including, for example, activities to address needs related to curriculum development, designing school-level training programs, or conducting basic research or impact evaluations; (d) Assisting State efforts to build statewide systems of support for districts and schools in need of improvement, partly by leveraging the resources of Content Centers and other sources of scientifically based education research and high-quality technical assistance on behalf of State and district clients; (e) Working to identify, broker, leverage, and deliver information, resources, and services from the Content Centers and other sources that focus on research-based knowledge of promising practices, including assistance to States and districts on securing high-quality consultants and experts to meet specific education needs; (f) Convening, in partnership with Content Centers and others, as appropriate, States and districts to receive training and information on best practices and research-based improvement strategies; (g) Providing guidance and training on implementation of requirements under NCLB and other related Federal programs; (h) Facilitating collaboration at the State level to align Federal, State, district, and school improvement programs and help States understand and use the flexibility provided by NCLB to target resources and programs to address the greatest needs; and (i) Helping Content Centers to identify, document, and disseminate emerging promising practices by working with States to distill and document the experiences of highperforming districts and schools. Priority 5—Knowledge and Expertise. To satisfy this priority, the proposed Regional Center must demonstrate indepth knowledge of regional and local issues, conditions, and needs, particularly as those relate to the roles and responsibilities of States, districts, VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 and schools in implementing the provisions of NCLB and other related Federal programs. In addition, the proposed Regional Center must have expertise in comprehensive planning, needs assessment, and State, district, and school improvement processes. Priority 6—Coordination and Cooperation. To meet this priority, the proposed Regional Center must create and maintain cooperative working relationships with the States in the Great Lakes West region and other technical assistance providers serving that region, including the Regional Educational Laboratories, the Special Education Technical Assistance Network, Parental Information and Resource Centers, Equity Assistance Centers, the Reading First National Technical Assistance Center, and other regional and State entities, including, for example, regional service providers and postsecondary institutions. Additional Requirements 1. Plan of Technical Assistance. All applicants under this competition must submit as part of their application a 5year plan of technical assistance that describes the strategies and approaches the applicant will use to carry out the activities of the proposed center in a manner that addresses the statutory requirements of sections 203 through 207 of the TA Act, and the priorities and additional requirements described in this notice. 2. Focus on Districts and Schools that are High-Need and Identified as in Need of Improvement. Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed plan of technical assistance will give priority to helping States, districts, and schools build the capacity to develop and implement programs targeted specifically to meet the educational needs of students in school districts and schools with high percentages or numbers of school-age children from low-income families, including such school districts and schools in rural and urban areas; and schools in the region that have been identified for school improvement under section 1116(b) of the ESEA. 3. Focus on State/Regional Priorities. Applicants must tailor the strategies and activities they propose to address to the educational priorities and related technical assistance needs of States. The applicant’s proposed plan of technical assistance must reflect a thorough understanding of the technical assistance needs and propose strategies that specifically address those needs for the States the Regional Center will serve, considering: (a) The educational goals and priorities of States to be PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 served, including major reform efforts underway; (b) the current status of States in meeting the requirements and goals of NCLB; (c) the types of technical assistance and related strategies that would help States, districts, and schools implement the programs and goals of NCLB and close existing achievement gaps in the content areas; and (d) State and regional student demographics and other contextual factors, such as urban and rural locality. 4. Allocation of Resources. Proposed technical assistance plans must allocate resources to and within States and regions in a manner that reflects the need for assistance, taking into account such factors as the proportion of economically disadvantaged students, the increased cost burden of service delivery in areas of sparse population, and any special initiatives being undertaken by State, intermediate, and local educational agencies, or schools funded under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which may require special assistance from the center. 5. Coordination and Collaboration. Each applicant must describe in its technical assistance plan how the proposed center will: (a) Communicate regularly with the U.S. Department of Education, other comprehensive centers, the Regional Educational Laboratories, State educational agencies, and other technical assistance providers as appropriate; and (b) plan and coordinate activities funded under this competition with the activities of those other entities to leverage available knowledge and resources and avoid duplicating efforts. 6. Advisory Board. Each application must propose, as part of its technical assistance plan, establishing an advisory board to advise the proposed comprehensive center on: (a) The activities of the center relating to its allocation of resources to and within each State in a manner that reflects the need for assistance in accordance with section 203(d) of Title II of the TA Act; (b) strategies for monitoring and addressing the educational needs of the region, on an ongoing basis; (c) maintaining a high standard of quality in the performance of the center’s activities; and (d) carrying out the center’s duties in a manner that promotes progress toward improving student academic achievement. The plan must (1) detail the composition of the board by name and affiliation in accordance with the requirements described in section 203 of the TA Act and in the application instructions found in the application package, and (2) include a letter of E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices commitment from each proposed board member. In the alternative to submitting a plan that meets the requirements in (1) and (2) in the previous sentence, an applicant may include, in its plan, a statement of commitment that it will comply with section 203(g) of the TA Act as well as a narrative statement of how the board will operate. 7. Evaluation Plan. Each applicant must provide, as part of its technical assistance plan, a plan to assess: (a) The needs of the States served by the comprehensive center on an ongoing basis, and (b) the progress and performance of the center in meeting the educational needs of its clients. The plan must identify the performance objectives the project intends to achieve and performance measures for each performance objective; explain the quantitative and qualitative methods that will be used to collect, analyze, and report performance data; and describe the methods that it uses to monitor progress and make mid-course corrections, as appropriate. 8. Project Meetings. Applicants must budget for: (a) The Project Director to attend a 2day meeting in Washington, DC at least once a year for each year of the project period. (b) Key staff to attend the following: (i) A 2-day post-award conference with Department officials in Washington, DC, to be held within 45 days from the grant award date. The purpose of this conference will be to: • Refine the grantee’s technical assistance plan as appropriate; • Review with the grantee the Department’s intentions regarding the role of the grantee’s center; • Define how the grantee’s center and the Department will work together as partners to accomplish the purposes of the grant; • Establish lines of communication and feedback between grantees and the Department; • Establish content for a cooperative agreement; and (ii) A 1-day annual performance review with Department officials in Washington DC beginning one year after the post-award conference and each year of the grant thereafter. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and other non-statutory program requirements. Section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1)), however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements, regulations governing the VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 first competition under a new program authority. The Comprehensive Centers—Great Lakes West Regional Center is part of the first competition for new Comprehensive Centers program under Title II of the TA Act and, therefore, qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forego public comment on the absolute priorities, selection criteria and nonstatutory requirements under section 437(d)(1). These absolute priorities, selection criteria, and non-statutory requirements will apply to this grant competition only. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 9602–9606. Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administration Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. 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 agreement. Number of Awards: 1. Estimated Available Funds: $1,243,322 for a start-up award of approximately 6 months. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action on the Department’s FY 2006 appropriations bill. Estimated Size of Award: $1,243,322. Funding for the Regional Center for the Great Lakes West region was calculated by formula, based equally on shares of population and poor children, ages 5–17 in the States (including DC, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas). The most recent Department estimates for awards to the comprehensive centers, including the Great Lakes West Regional Center, are provided at: http://www.ed.gov/ programs/newccp/index.html Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 57 months. Budget Period: The first budget period will be approximately six months. Budget periods 2 through 4 will be 12 months. Budget period 5 will be 15 months. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants Research organizations, institutions, agencies, institutions of higher education, or partnerships among such PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59733 entities, or individuals, with the demonstrated ability or capacity to carry out the activities described in this notice. An application from a consortium of eligible entities must include a consortium agreement. Letters of support do not meet the requirement for a consortium agreement. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching This competition does not involve cost sharing or matching. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Address to Request Application Package You may obtain an application package via the Internet or from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. To obtain an application via the Internet, use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/programs/newccp/ index.html. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of the application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page Limit: Applicants are strongly encouraged to limit their application to 150 pages. 3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: October 13, 2005. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 28, 2005. Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) available through the Department’s eGrants system. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically or by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: December 27, 2005. E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 59734 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices 4. Intergovernmental Review: This program 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. 5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. 6. 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 Comprehensive Centers— Great Lakes West Region Competition CFDA Number 84.283B must be submitted electronically using eApplication available through the Department’s e-Grants system, accessible through the e-Grants portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov. 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. While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us. Please note the following: • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The eApplication system will not accept an application for this competition after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process. • The regular hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6 a.m. Monday until 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 6 a.m. Thursday until midnight Saturday, Washington, DC time. Please note that the system is unavailable on Sundays, and between 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 6 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time, for maintenance. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site. • 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 the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified above 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. • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records. • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application). • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the ED 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps: (1) Print ED 424 from e-Application. (2) The applicant’s Authorizing Representative must sign this form. (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hardcopy signature page of the ED 424. (4) Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 245–6272. • We may request that you provide us original signatures on other forms at a later date. Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application System Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if— PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (1) You are a registered user of eApplication and you have initiated an electronic application for this competition; and, (2)(a) The e-Application system is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date; or (b) The e-Application system is unavailable for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1–888–336– 8930. If the system is down and therefore the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an eApplication. Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of the Department’s eApplication 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 e-Application system because— • You do not have access to the Internet; or • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Department’s e-Application 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: Enid Simmons, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E307, Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202) 250–5870. E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices 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 applicable following address: By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: CFDA Number 84.283B, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202– 4260. By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center—Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.283B), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785–1506. Regardless of which address you use, 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, or (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, or (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 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, VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.283B), 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 4 of the ED 424 the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which you are submitting your application. (2) The Application Control Center will mail a grant application receipt acknowledgment to you. If you do not receive the grant application receipt acknowledgment 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 Selection Criteria: We will use the following selection criteria to evaluate applications under this competition. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses with the criterion. The maximum number of points an application may earn based on the selection criteria is 100 points. a. Need for the Center (10 Points) In determining the need for the proposed center, the Secretary considers the following: (i) The extent to which the proposed plan of technical assistance presents strategies that address the priority technical assistance needs of States as evidenced by in-depth knowledge and understanding of— (A) The specific educational goals and priorities of the States to be served by the center, including relevant major reform efforts underway; (B) The status of States in meeting the requirements of NCLB, including the number and proportion of districts and schools in need of improvement within each State, the number and proportion of students not meeting State standards in reading and mathematics; and (C) Applicable State and regional demographics and other contextual factors and their relevance for the purposes, goals, and challenges for implementing the provisions of NCLB. (ii) The likelihood that activities of the proposed center will result in products and services that are of high PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59735 quality, high relevance, and high usefulness to clients. b. Significance (10 Points) In determining the significance of the proposed center, the Secretary considers the following: (i) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan presents an approach that will likely result in systems change or improvement at the State or district levels. (ii) The potential contribution of the center proposal to increase knowledge or understanding of effective strategies. (iii) The importance of outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed center, especially improvements in teaching and student achievement. c. Quality of the Project Design (25 Points) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed center, the Secretary will consider the following factors: (i) The extent to which the application proposes an exceptional approach for carrying out the purposes and activities for the center for which the applicant is applying. (ii) The extent to which the application proposes high-leverage approaches that focus assistance at the State level and on helping States build capacity to support district and school improvement and programs. (iii) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan reflects indepth knowledge and understanding of NCLB, as well as supporting regulations and guidance pertinent to carrying out the purposes and activities of the center for which the applicant is applying. (iv) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan reflects indepth knowledge and understanding of available scientifically valid, researchbased and/or evidence-based practices to improve student achievement and close achievement gaps and demonstrates knowledge of and access to reliable sources for obtaining such knowledge on an ongoing basis. (v) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan reflects indepth knowledge and understanding of current scientifically valid, researchbased and/or evidence-based technical assistance methods and practices. d. Quality of Project Personnel and Adequacy of Grantee Resources (25 Points). In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 59736 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary will consider the following factors under this criterion: (i) The extent to which the application presents evidence of professional preparation and successful prior experience of the center director and other key staff, including subgrantees and key consultants and partners that would indicate that each has the knowledge, skills and ability to successfully carry out the responsibilities they are assigned. For example, the extent to which the application presents evidence of expertise and demonstrated successful experience assisting States with comprehensive planning, needs assessments and implementing school improvement programs and processes, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for students at risk of failure, including students from low-income families, disabled students, students with limited proficiency in English, and migrant students. (ii) The extent to which proposed center staff have expertise using technology to deliver technical assistance and implementing school improvement reforms within urban and rural contexts. (iii) The extent to which the applicant has demonstrated experience providing technical assistance and professional development in reading, mathematics, science and technology, especially in schools and districts identified as in need of improvement. (iv) The extent to which the applicant has prior relevant experience operating a project of the scope required for the purposes of the center being proposed. (v) The extent to which the application proposes an advisory board membership in accordance with the requirements of the TA Act and includes reasonable assurance of their commitment to serve on the board. The extent to which the resources and plans for the board’s operation are reasonable and cost-efficient. (vi) The adequacy of resources for the proposed project, including facilities and equipment, to successfully carry out the purposes and activities of the proposed project. e. Quality of the Management Plan (20 Points) In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary will consider the following factors: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 (i) The extent to which resources are allocated within the region in a manner that reflects the need for assistance. (ii) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks. (iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. (iv) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback on performance measures and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project. (v) The extent to which the application proposes exceptional, innovative and workable approaches and plans to— (A) Communicate on an ongoing basis with other comprehensive centers, as appropriate, the Regional Educational Laboratories, the client State educational agencies and other technical assistance providers serving the region; and (B) Coordinate the plans and activities funded by this grant with the plans and activities of the State and other agencies, in order to leverage resources, avoid duplications and otherwise maximize the effectiveness of services; and make effective use of available technologies to widely disseminate information about proven practices. f. Quality of the Project Evaluation (10 Points) In determining the quality of the evaluation plan, the Secretary will consider the following factors: (i) The extent to which the performance goals and objectives for the project are clearly specified and measurable in terms of the project activities to be accomplished and their stated outcomes for clients. (ii) The extent to which the methods for monitoring performance and evaluating the effectiveness of project strategies in terms of outcomes for clients are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project. (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide continuous performance feedback and permit the continuous assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes. (iv) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates a strong capacity to provide reliable data on performance measures. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 also notify you informally. If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we will 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: At the end of your project, 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 specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 75.118. 4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of the Comprehensive Centers program, beginning in FY 2006, the Department will use three performance measures to assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of center activities funded under this competition. These new measures, adapted from a set of common measures developed to help assess performance across the Department’s technical assistance programs, are: (1) The percentage of technical assistance services that are deemed to be of high quality by an independent review panel of expert stakeholders; (2) the percentage of technical assistance services that are deemed to be of high relevance to educational policy or practice by an independent review panel of qualified practitioners; and (3) the percentage of technical assistance services that are deemed to be of high usefulness to educational policy or practice by target audiences. All grantees, including the Great Lakes West Regional Center, will be expected to submit, as part of their performance report, quantitative data documenting their progress with regard to these performance measures. The Department will provide information to E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 197 / Thursday, October 13, 2005 / Notices grantees about the independent panels conducting the review, the review process, and the definitions and criteria that will be used to evaluate the quality, relevance and usefulness of technical assistance services. VII. Agency Contact Enid Simmons, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E307, Washington, DC 20202– 6335. Telephone: (202) 401–0039 or by e-mail: OESE.cc@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed in this section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VIII. Other Information Electronic Access to This Document: You may 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) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/ fedregister. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1– 888–293–6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512–1530. Note: 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 on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/ index.html. Dated: October 7, 2005. Henry Johnson, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. [FR Doc. 05–20566 Filed 10–12–05; 8:45 pm] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management SiteSpecific Advisory Board, Hanford Department of Energy. Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EMSSAB), Hanford. The Federal VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Oct 12, 2005 Jkt 208001 Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. No. 92–463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Thursday, November 3, 2005, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday, November 4, 2005, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. ADDRESSES: University Tower Hotel, 4507 Brooklyn Avenue NE., Seattle, Washington 98105, Phone Number: (206) 634–2000, Fax Number: (206) 545– 2103. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yvonne Sherman, Public Involvement Program Manager, Department of Energy Richland Operations Office, 825 Jadwin, MSIN A7–75, Richland, WA, 99352; Phone: (509) 376–6216; Fax: (509) 376– 1563. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities. Tentative Agenda: • Advice on Hanford’s Bulk Vitrification Project. • Government Accountability Office’s report dealing with DOE’s contracting issues. • Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) public speaker availability process. • Panel discussion with University of Washington faculty involved in Hanford research. • HAB values for prioritization of cleanup work. • Tank waste issues discussion. Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Yvonne Sherman’s office at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy 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: The minutes of this meeting will be available for public review and copying at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Freedom of Information Public Reading Room, 1E–190, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, except Federal holidays. Minutes will also be available by writing to Erik Olds, PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59737 Department of Energy Richland Operations Office, 825 Jadwin, MSIN A7–75, Richland, WA 99352, or by calling him at (509) 376–1563. Issued at Washington, DC, on October 6, 2005. Carol Matthews, Acting Advisory Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 05–20507 Filed 10–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RP05–703–000] ANR Pipeline Company; Notice of Tariff Filing October 5, 2005. Take notice that on September 30, 2005, ANR Pipeline Company (ANR) tendered for filing as part of its FERC Gas Tariff, Second Revised Volume No. 1, the following tariff sheets, to become effective on November 1, 2005: Fifth Revised Sheet No. 162.01 First Revised Sheet No. 162.02 ANR states that the purpose of this filing is to extend the ROFR matching cap from 5 years to 10 years. Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed in accordance with the provisions of Section 154.210 of the Commission’s regulations (18 CFR 154.210). Anyone filing an intervention or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant. Anyone filing an intervention or protest on or before the intervention or protest date need not serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant. The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 14 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 197 (Thursday, October 13, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59730-59737]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-20566]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Overview 
Information Comprehensive Centers--Great Lakes West Region; Notice 
Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.283B.

DATES: Applications Available: October 13, 2005.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 28, 2005.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: December 27, 2005.
    Eligible Applicants: Research organizations, institutions, 
agencies, institutions of higher education, or partnerships among such 
entities, or individuals, with the demonstrated ability or capacity to 
carry out the activities described in this notice. An application from 
a consortium of eligible entities must include a consortium agreement. 
Letters of support do not meet the requirement for a consortium 
agreement.


    Note: The Department will reject any application that does not 
meet these eligibility requirements.


    Number of Awards: 1.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,243,322 for a start-up award of 
approximately 6 months. The actual level of funding, if any, is 
contingent on final congressional action on the Department's FY 2006 
appropriations bill.
    Estimated Size of Award: $1,243,322. Funding for the Regional 
Center (as defined in Section I of this notice) for the Great Lakes 
West region was calculated by formula, based equally on shares of 
population and poor children, ages 5-17 in the States (including DC, 
Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas). The most recent Department 
estimates for awards to the comprehensive centers, including the Great 
Lakes Regional Center, are provided at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/
newccp/index.html.


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


    Project Period: Up to 57 months.
    Budget Period: The first budget period will be approximately six 
months. Budget periods 2 through 4 will be 12 months. Budget period 5 
will be 15 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Comprehensive Centers program supports the 
establishment of not fewer than 20 comprehensive technical assistance 
centers that provide technical assistance to States as States work to 
help districts and schools to close achievement gaps in core content 
areas and raise student achievement in schools, especially those in 
need of improvement (as defined by section 1116(b) of the Elementary 
and Secondary Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)).
    Background: On June 3, 2005, the Department published a notice 
announcing a competition for the Comprehensive Centers program (70 FR 
32583; correction notice 70 FR 35415). The notice invited applications 
for 21 comprehensive centers--16 regional comprehensive centers to 
serve States within defined geographic boundaries (Regional Centers) 
and 5 content comprehensive centers, each having a specific content 
expertise and focus, to support the work of the Regional Centers 
(Content Centers). The comprehensive centers provide technical 
assistance to States as States work to help districts and schools to 
close achievement gaps in core content areas and raise student 
achievement in schools, especially those in need of improvement (as 
defined by section 1116(b) of the ESEA).
    As a result of the competition announced on June 3, 2005, the 
Department funded 20 Centers--15 Regional Centers and 5 Content 
Centers--with FY 2005 funds. However, the Department did not fund a 
Regional Center for the region designated to serve the States of 
Illinois and Wisconsin, the region identified as the Great Lakes West 
region.
    This notice, therefore, invites applications for a Regional Center 
to serve the Great Lakes West region so as to complete the 
Comprehensive Centers program's technical assistance system established 
by the Department in FY 2005.
    For more information on the functions and activities of the five 
Content Centers funded in FY 2005 and how they relate to the Regional 
Centers, see 70 FR 32583.
    Background on the Comprehensive Centers Program: The ESEA, as 
amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), holds States 
accountable for closing achievement gaps and ensuring that all 
children, regardless of ethnicity, income, language proficiency, or 
disability, receive a high-quality education and meet State academic 
standards in reading/language arts and mathematics by 2013-2014.
    To that end, NCLB requires States to set standards for student 
performance, implement statewide testing and accountability systems to 
measure school and student performance toward achieving those 
standards, adopt research-based instructional and program improvements 
related to teaching and learning in the classroom, ensure that all 
teachers in core subject areas are highly qualified, and improve or 
ultimately restructure schools that are consistently low-performing.
    The comprehensive centers funded under the Comprehensive Centers 
program, including the Regional Center funded under this competition, 
will begin providing technical assistance at a time when States, 
districts, and schools have accomplished much of the initial 
implementation of NCLB but still require assistance in many areas.
    Specifically, the new centers funded under this program will 
provide intensive technical assistance in several areas that are key to 
success in meeting NCLB goals. Recent assessments conducted to help 
determine technical assistance priorities for the Comprehensive Centers 
program indicate that States need assistance, for example, in helping 
districts and schools to implement improvements and meet school and 
district adequate yearly progress requirements; in identifying and 
adopting instructional and assessment methods that have been proven 
effective through scientifically based research, especially for 
students with special needs; in designing programs and strategies and 
allocating resources to recruit, retain, and train talented teachers 
and school leaders; and in enhancing assessment and accountability 
systems.
    Because States have the primary responsibility for school 
improvement efforts, the comprehensive centers, including the Regional 
Center funded under this competition, will focus

[[Page 59731]]

technical assistance on States and on helping States increase their 
capacity to provide sustained support to districts and schools as they 
implement NCLB reforms.
    The comprehensive centers will serve as field agents for the 
Department to help further the understanding of the States they serve 
of the provisions and purposes of NCLB and related Federal programs and 
help those States adopt proven approaches to achieve the school 
improvement and student performance goals required under NCLB. The 
centers will work closely with, and leverage the resources of, other 
technical assistance providers and research organizations, including 
the Regional Educational Laboratories, the Special Education Technical 
Assistance Network, the Parental Information and Resource Centers, the 
Equity Assistance Centers, the Reading First National Technical 
Assistance Center, the Institute of Education Sciences' research 
centers and its What Works Clearinghouse, and other Federal, regional, 
and State entities and postsecondary institutions, to gather and 
disseminate information and knowledge about what works and to help 
States translate that knowledge into meaningful practice.
    The approach to technical assistance delivery for the Comprehensive 
Centers system is two-tiered: the Regional Centers have the primary 
relationships with, and provide services to, the States in their 
regions; in serving their State clients, the Regional Centers will draw 
heavily on the research-based information, products, guidance, and 
knowledge on key NCLB topics supplied by the Content Centers.
    Regional Centers must provide frontline assistance to States to 
help them implement NCLB and other related Federal school improvement 
programs and help increase State capacity to assist districts and 
schools meet their student achievement goals. Regional Centers must be 
embedded in regions and responsible for developing strong relationships 
and partnerships within their regional community. While Content Centers 
must focus almost entirely on specific content areas, analyzing 
research, and developing useful products and tools for Regional Centers 
and other clients, the Regional Centers will be the ``on-the-ground'' 
providers to States.
    Drawing from the information and resources provided by the Content 
Centers funded through this program and other sources, the Regional 
Centers must provide a program of technical assistance to States that 
will enable them to, among other things--
    1. Assess the improvement needs of districts and schools and assist 
them in developing solutions to address those needs;
    2. Build and sustain systemic support for district and school 
improvement efforts to--(a) Close existing achievement gaps; and (b) 
adopt proven practices to improve instruction and achievement outcomes 
for students in schools identified as in need of improvement; and
    3. Improve the tools and systems for school improvement and 
accountability for achievement outcomes.
    The Department intends to have substantial and sustained 
involvement in the activities of the center to be funded under this 
competition, including by shaping grantee priorities, activities, and 
major products to meet the purposes of this program. The details and 
parameters of the Department's expectations and involvement with each 
center funded under this program will be included in the Department's 
cooperative agreement with the grantee that receives an award for that 
center.
    Regional Advisory Committees: To help inform the Secretary's 
priorities for the comprehensive centers, the Secretary (in accordance 
with section 206 of the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002 
(TA Act)) established 10 Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) charged 
with conducting education needs assessments within the geographical 
regions served by the current regional educational laboratories.
    The RACs conducted their needs assessments during the period from 
December 2004 to March 2005 and submitted their reports to the 
Secretary on March 31, 2005. The full reports are available at: http://
www.ed.gov/programs/newccp/index.html.
    Applicants for the Regional Center for the Great Lakes West Region 
are encouraged to consider the specific priorities and recommendations 
contained in the RAC report for Wisconsin and Illinois when preparing 
their applications.
    Priorities: We are using these priorities in accordance with 
section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act. These 
absolute priorities are the same priorities established in the FY 2005 
Comprehensive Centers competition for all centers and for Regional 
Centers.
    For the Regional Center--Great Lakes West Region award, under 34 
CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet these 
priorities.

Absolute Priorities

    Priority 1--Focus on States: To meet this priority, applicants must 
propose a plan of technical assistance specifically focused on helping 
the two States in the Great Lakes West Region (Illinois and Wisconsin) 
implement the provisions of NCLB applicable to those States, and 
helping the States in the Great Lakes West region build the capacity to 
help school districts and schools implement NCLB provisions and 
programs.
    To the extent that an applicant proposes to work with individual 
school districts and schools, the applicant must propose a technical 
assistance plan that proposes work with districts and schools only 
where the effort: (a) Involves a high-leverage strategy (i.e., reaches 
a large number or proportion of schools, teachers, and administrators 
needing the assistance within the State); (b) responds to a need 
identified by the State; and (c) is planned and coordinated with the 
State.


    Note: This priority does not support research, program 
evaluation, or curriculum development. Thus, an applicant will not 
satisfy this priority if it proposes a technical assistance plan 
to--
    a. Design or develop curricula or instructional materials for 
use in classrooms or develop professional development programs where 
proven models already exist; or
    b. Conduct basic research or program evaluations on behalf of 
States or districts.


    Priority 2--Crosscutting Expertise. To meet this priority, an 
applicant must demonstrate that proposed center staff have expertise on 
several issues of crosscutting importance related to the delivery of 
technical assistance in specific regions and content areas. These 
issues are:
    a. Proven strategies for addressing the needs of schools with 
populations at risk of failure, especially children who have limited 
proficiency in English, children with disabilities, and children from 
economically disadvantaged families.
    b. Effective uses of technology to improve instruction, and as an 
efficient means of delivering technical assistance.
    c. Implementing school improvement reforms within urban and rural 
contexts.
    Priority 3--Location of Regional Center. In order to meet the 
requirement of this priority, the proposed Regional Center must be 
located in and serve the Great Lakes West region defined by the 
Department as the following States: Illinois and Wisconsin.
    Priority 4--Regional Technical Assistance Activities. To meet this 
priority, the work of the proposed

[[Page 59732]]

Regional Center must involve activities that address State technical 
assistance needs by:
    (a) Working closely with each State in its region on an ongoing 
basis;
    (b) Linking States with the resources of Content Centers, 
Department staff, Regional Educational Laboratories, the What Works 
Clearinghouse, and other entities that have, or may be able to, design 
products and services tailored to State needs;
    (c) Suggesting sources of appropriate service providers or 
assistance for State activities that are not within the core mission of 
the centers--including, for example, activities to address needs 
related to curriculum development, designing school-level training 
programs, or conducting basic research or impact evaluations;
    (d) Assisting State efforts to build statewide systems of support 
for districts and schools in need of improvement, partly by leveraging 
the resources of Content Centers and other sources of scientifically 
based education research and high-quality technical assistance on 
behalf of State and district clients;
    (e) Working to identify, broker, leverage, and deliver information, 
resources, and services from the Content Centers and other sources that 
focus on research-based knowledge of promising practices, including 
assistance to States and districts on securing high-quality consultants 
and experts to meet specific education needs;
    (f) Convening, in partnership with Content Centers and others, as 
appropriate, States and districts to receive training and information 
on best practices and research-based improvement strategies;
    (g) Providing guidance and training on implementation of 
requirements under NCLB and other related Federal programs;
    (h) Facilitating collaboration at the State level to align Federal, 
State, district, and school improvement programs and help States 
understand and use the flexibility provided by NCLB to target resources 
and programs to address the greatest needs; and
    (i) Helping Content Centers to identify, document, and disseminate 
emerging promising practices by working with States to distill and 
document the experiences of high-performing districts and schools.
    Priority 5--Knowledge and Expertise. To satisfy this priority, the 
proposed Regional Center must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of 
regional and local issues, conditions, and needs, particularly as those 
relate to the roles and responsibilities of States, districts, and 
schools in implementing the provisions of NCLB and other related 
Federal programs. In addition, the proposed Regional Center must have 
expertise in comprehensive planning, needs assessment, and State, 
district, and school improvement processes.
    Priority 6--Coordination and Cooperation. To meet this priority, 
the proposed Regional Center must create and maintain cooperative 
working relationships with the States in the Great Lakes West region 
and other technical assistance providers serving that region, including 
the Regional Educational Laboratories, the Special Education Technical 
Assistance Network, Parental Information and Resource Centers, Equity 
Assistance Centers, the Reading First National Technical Assistance 
Center, and other regional and State entities, including, for example, 
regional service providers and postsecondary institutions.

Additional Requirements

    1. Plan of Technical Assistance. All applicants under this 
competition must submit as part of their application a 5-year plan of 
technical assistance that describes the strategies and approaches the 
applicant will use to carry out the activities of the proposed center 
in a manner that addresses the statutory requirements of sections 203 
through 207 of the TA Act, and the priorities and additional 
requirements described in this notice.
    2. Focus on Districts and Schools that are High-Need and Identified 
as in Need of Improvement. Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed 
plan of technical assistance will give priority to helping States, 
districts, and schools build the capacity to develop and implement 
programs targeted specifically to meet the educational needs of 
students in school districts and schools with high percentages or 
numbers of school-age children from low-income families, including such 
school districts and schools in rural and urban areas; and schools in 
the region that have been identified for school improvement under 
section 1116(b) of the ESEA.
    3. Focus on State/Regional Priorities. Applicants must tailor the 
strategies and activities they propose to address to the educational 
priorities and related technical assistance needs of States. The 
applicant's proposed plan of technical assistance must reflect a 
thorough understanding of the technical assistance needs and propose 
strategies that specifically address those needs for the States the 
Regional Center will serve, considering: (a) The educational goals and 
priorities of States to be served, including major reform efforts 
underway; (b) the current status of States in meeting the requirements 
and goals of NCLB; (c) the types of technical assistance and related 
strategies that would help States, districts, and schools implement the 
programs and goals of NCLB and close existing achievement gaps in the 
content areas; and (d) State and regional student demographics and 
other contextual factors, such as urban and rural locality.
    4. Allocation of Resources. Proposed technical assistance plans 
must allocate resources to and within States and regions in a manner 
that reflects the need for assistance, taking into account such factors 
as the proportion of economically disadvantaged students, the increased 
cost burden of service delivery in areas of sparse population, and any 
special initiatives being undertaken by State, intermediate, and local 
educational agencies, or schools funded under the jurisdiction of the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs, which may require special assistance from the 
center.
    5. Coordination and Collaboration. Each applicant must describe in 
its technical assistance plan how the proposed center will: (a) 
Communicate regularly with the U.S. Department of Education, other 
comprehensive centers, the Regional Educational Laboratories, State 
educational agencies, and other technical assistance providers as 
appropriate; and (b) plan and coordinate activities funded under this 
competition with the activities of those other entities to leverage 
available knowledge and resources and avoid duplicating efforts.
    6. Advisory Board. Each application must propose, as part of its 
technical assistance plan, establishing an advisory board to advise the 
proposed comprehensive center on: (a) The activities of the center 
relating to its allocation of resources to and within each State in a 
manner that reflects the need for assistance in accordance with section 
203(d) of Title II of the TA Act; (b) strategies for monitoring and 
addressing the educational needs of the region, on an ongoing basis; 
(c) maintaining a high standard of quality in the performance of the 
center's activities; and (d) carrying out the center's duties in a 
manner that promotes progress toward improving student academic 
achievement.
    The plan must (1) detail the composition of the board by name and 
affiliation in accordance with the requirements described in section 
203 of the TA Act and in the application instructions found in the 
application package, and (2) include a letter of

[[Page 59733]]

commitment from each proposed board member. In the alternative to 
submitting a plan that meets the requirements in (1) and (2) in the 
previous sentence, an applicant may include, in its plan, a statement 
of commitment that it will comply with section 203(g) of the TA Act as 
well as a narrative statement of how the board will operate.
    7. Evaluation Plan. Each applicant must provide, as part of its 
technical assistance plan, a plan to assess: (a) The needs of the 
States served by the comprehensive center on an ongoing basis, and (b) 
the progress and performance of the center in meeting the educational 
needs of its clients. The plan must identify the performance objectives 
the project intends to achieve and performance measures for each 
performance objective; explain the quantitative and qualitative methods 
that will be used to collect, analyze, and report performance data; and 
describe the methods that it uses to monitor progress and make mid-
course corrections, as appropriate.
    8. Project Meetings. Applicants must budget for:
    (a) The Project Director to attend a 2-day meeting in Washington, 
DC at least once a year for each year of the project period.
    (b) Key staff to attend the following:
    (i) A 2-day post-award conference with Department officials in 
Washington, DC, to be held within 45 days from the grant award date. 
The purpose of this conference will be to:
     Refine the grantee's technical assistance plan as 
appropriate;
     Review with the grantee the Department's intentions 
regarding the role of the grantee's center;
     Define how the grantee's center and the Department will 
work together as partners to accomplish the purposes of the grant;
     Establish lines of communication and feedback between 
grantees and the Department;
     Establish content for a cooperative agreement; and
    (ii) A 1-day annual performance review with Department officials in 
Washington DC beginning one year after the post-award conference and 
each year of the grant thereafter.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties 
the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and other non-
statutory program requirements. Section 437(d)(1) of the General 
Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1)), however, allows the 
Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements, regulations governing 
the first competition under a new program authority. The Comprehensive 
Centers--Great Lakes West Regional Center is part of the first 
competition for new Comprehensive Centers program under Title II of the 
TA Act and, therefore, qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure 
timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forego public comment 
on the absolute priorities, selection criteria and non-statutory 
requirements under section 437(d)(1). These absolute priorities, 
selection criteria, and non-statutory requirements will apply to this 
grant competition only.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 9602-9606.

    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administration Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.


    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 agreement.
    Number of Awards: 1.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,243,322 for a start-up award of 
approximately 6 months. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on 
final congressional action on the Department's FY 2006 appropriations 
bill.
    Estimated Size of Award: $1,243,322. Funding for the Regional 
Center for the Great Lakes West region was calculated by formula, based 
equally on shares of population and poor children, ages 5-17 in the 
States (including DC, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas). The most 
recent Department estimates for awards to the comprehensive centers, 
including the Great Lakes West Regional Center, are provided at: http:/
/www.ed.gov/programs/newccp/index.html


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


    Project Period: Up to 57 months.
    Budget Period: The first budget period will be approximately six 
months. Budget periods 2 through 4 will be 12 months. Budget period 5 
will be 15 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants
    Research organizations, institutions, agencies, institutions of 
higher education, or partnerships among such entities, or individuals, 
with the demonstrated ability or capacity to carry out the activities 
described in this notice. An application from a consortium of eligible 
entities must include a consortium agreement. Letters of support do not 
meet the requirement for a consortium agreement.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching
    This competition does not involve cost sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package
    You may obtain an application package via the Internet or from the 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of 
this notice. To obtain an application via the Internet, use the 
following address: http://www.ed.gov/programs/newccp/index.html.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of the application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Page Limit: Applicants are strongly encouraged to limit their 
application to 150 pages.
    3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: October 13, 
2005.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 28, 2005.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-
Application) available through the Department's e-Grants system. For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically or by mail or hand delivery if you qualify 
for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer 
to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: December 27, 2005.

[[Page 59734]]

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program 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.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. 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 Comprehensive Centers-- Great Lakes West Region Competition 
CFDA Number 84.283B must be submitted electronically using e-
Application available through the Department's e-Grants system, 
accessible through the e-Grants portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    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.
    While completing your electronic application, you will be entering 
data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an 
electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    Please note the following:
     You must complete the electronic submission of your grant 
application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. The e-Application system will not accept an application 
for this competition after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do 
not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application 
process.
     The regular hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site 
are 6 a.m. Monday until 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 6 a.m. Thursday until 
midnight Saturday, Washington, DC time. Please note that the system is 
unavailable on Sundays, and between 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6 a.m. on 
Thursdays, Washington, DC time, for maintenance. Any modifications to 
these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
     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 
the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget 
Information--Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary 
assurances and certifications. You must attach any narrative sections 
of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or 
.PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than 
the three file types specified above 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.
     Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may 
wish to print a copy of it for your records.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number 
(an identifying number unique to your application).
     Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the ED 424 to the Application Control 
Center after following these steps:
    (1) Print ED 424 from e-Application.
    (2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.
    (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard-copy signature page of the ED 424.
    (4) Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at 
(202) 245-6272.
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
other forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application System 
Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting 
your application on the application deadline date because the e-
Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of 
one business day to enable you to transmit your application 
electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this 
extension if--
    (1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have 
initiated an electronic application for this competition; and,
    (2)(a) The e-Application system is unavailable for 60 minutes or 
more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, 
on the application deadline date; or
    (b) The e-Application system is unavailable for any period of time 
between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date.
    We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability 
before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to 
confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may 
contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-
Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If the system is down and therefore 
the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all 
registered users who have initiated an e-Application. Extensions 
referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of the 
Department's e-Application 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 e-Application system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Department's e-Application 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: Enid Simmons, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E307, 
Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202) 250-5870.

[[Page 59735]]

    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 applicable 
following address:
    By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of 
Education, Application Control Center, Attention: CFDA Number 84.283B, 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, 
Application Control Center--Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 
84.283B), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.
    Regardless of which address you use, 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, or
    (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, or
    (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 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 84.283B), 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 4 of the ED 424 the CFDA number--and suffix letter, 
if any--of the competition under which you are submitting your 
application.
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail a grant application 
receipt acknowledgment to you. If you do not receive the grant 
application receipt acknowledgment 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

    Selection Criteria: We will use the following selection criteria to 
evaluate applications under this competition. The maximum score for 
each criterion is indicated in parentheses with the criterion. The 
maximum number of points an application may earn based on the selection 
criteria is 100 points.

a. Need for the Center (10 Points)

    In determining the need for the proposed center, the Secretary 
considers the following:
    (i) The extent to which the proposed plan of technical assistance 
presents strategies that address the priority technical assistance 
needs of States as evidenced by in-depth knowledge and understanding 
of--
    (A) The specific educational goals and priorities of the States to 
be served by the center, including relevant major reform efforts 
underway;
    (B) The status of States in meeting the requirements of NCLB, 
including the number and proportion of districts and schools in need of 
improvement within each State, the number and proportion of students 
not meeting State standards in reading and mathematics; and
    (C) Applicable State and regional demographics and other contextual 
factors and their relevance for the purposes, goals, and challenges for 
implementing the provisions of NCLB.
    (ii) The likelihood that activities of the proposed center will 
result in products and services that are of high quality, high 
relevance, and high usefulness to clients.

b. Significance (10 Points)

    In determining the significance of the proposed center, the 
Secretary considers the following:
    (i) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan 
presents an approach that will likely result in systems change or 
improvement at the State or district levels.
    (ii) The potential contribution of the center proposal to increase 
knowledge or understanding of effective strategies.
    (iii) The importance of outcomes likely to be attained by the 
proposed center, especially improvements in teaching and student 
achievement.

c. Quality of the Project Design (25 Points)

    In determining the quality of the design of the proposed center, 
the Secretary will consider the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the application proposes an exceptional 
approach for carrying out the purposes and activities for the center 
for which the applicant is applying.
    (ii) The extent to which the application proposes high-leverage 
approaches that focus assistance at the State level and on helping 
States build capacity to support district and school improvement and 
programs.
    (iii) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan 
reflects in-depth knowledge and understanding of NCLB, as well as 
supporting regulations and guidance pertinent to carrying out the 
purposes and activities of the center for which the applicant is 
applying.
    (iv) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan 
reflects in-depth knowledge and understanding of available 
scientifically valid, research-based and/or evidence-based practices to 
improve student achievement and close achievement gaps and demonstrates 
knowledge of and access to reliable sources for obtaining such 
knowledge on an ongoing basis.
    (v) The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan 
reflects in-depth knowledge and understanding of current scientifically 
valid, research-based and/or evidence-based technical assistance 
methods and practices.

d. Quality of Project Personnel and Adequacy of Grantee Resources (25 
Points).

    In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary 
considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for 
employment from persons who are members of

[[Page 59736]]

groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, 
color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.
    In addition, the Secretary will consider the following factors 
under this criterion:
    (i) The extent to which the application presents evidence of 
professional preparation and successful prior experience of the center 
director and other key staff, including sub-grantees and key 
consultants and partners that would indicate that each has the 
knowledge, skills and ability to successfully carry out the 
responsibilities they are assigned. For example, the extent to which 
the application presents evidence of expertise and demonstrated 
successful experience assisting States with comprehensive planning, 
needs assessments and implementing school improvement programs and 
processes, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for students 
at risk of failure, including students from low-income families, 
disabled students, students with limited proficiency in English, and 
migrant students.
    (ii) The extent to which proposed center staff have expertise using 
technology to deliver technical assistance and implementing school 
improvement reforms within urban and rural contexts.
    (iii) The extent to which the applicant has demonstrated experience 
providing technical assistance and professional development in reading, 
mathematics, science and technology, especially in schools and 
districts identified as in need of improvement.
    (iv) The extent to which the applicant has prior relevant 
experience operating a project of the scope required for the purposes 
of the center being proposed.
    (v) The extent to which the application proposes an advisory board 
membership in accordance with the requirements of the TA Act and 
includes reasonable assurance of their commitment to serve on the 
board. The extent to which the resources and plans for the board's 
operation are reasonable and cost-efficient.
    (vi) The adequacy of resources for the proposed project, including 
facilities and equipment, to successfully carry out the purposes and 
activities of the proposed project.

e. Quality of the Management Plan (20 Points)

    In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed 
project, the Secretary will consider the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which resources are allocated within the region 
in a manner that reflects the need for assistance.
    (ii) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the project on time and within budget, including clearly defined 
responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project 
tasks.
    (iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate 
to meet the objectives of the proposed project.
    (iv) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback on 
performance measures and continuous improvement in the operation of the 
proposed project.
    (v) The extent to which the application proposes exceptional, 
innovative and workable approaches and plans to--
    (A) Communicate on an ongoing basis with other comprehensive 
centers, as appropriate, the Regional Educational Laboratories, the 
client State educational agencies and other technical assistance 
providers serving the region; and
    (B) Coordinate the plans and activities funded by this grant with 
the plans and activities of the State and other agencies, in order to 
leverage resources, avoid duplications and otherwise maximize the 
effectiveness of services; and make effective use of available 
technologies to widely disseminate information about proven practices.

f. Quality of the Project Evaluation (10 Points)

    In determining the quality of the evaluation plan, the Secretary 
will consider the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the performance goals and objectives for 
the project are clearly specified and measurable in terms of the 
project activities to be accomplished and their stated outcomes for 
clients.
    (ii) The extent to which the methods for monitoring performance and 
evaluating the effectiveness of project strategies in terms of outcomes 
for clients are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, 
objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.
    (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
continuous performance feedback and permit the continuous assessment of 
progress toward achieving intended outcomes.
    (iv) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates a strong 
capacity to provide reliable data on performance measures.

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 also notify you informally.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we will 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: At the end of your project, 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 specified by the Secretary in 34 
CFR 75.118.
    4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of the 
Comprehensive Centers program, beginning in FY 2006, the Department 
will use three performance measures to assess the quality, relevance, 
and usefulness of center activities funded under this competition. 
These new measures, adapted from a set of common measures developed to 
help assess performance across the Department's technical assistance 
programs, are: (1) The percentage of technical assistance services that 
are deemed to be of high quality by an independent review panel of 
expert stakeholders; (2) the percentage of technical assistance 
services that are deemed to be of high relevance to educational policy 
or practice by an independent review panel of qualified practitioners; 
and (3) the percentage of technical assistance services that are deemed 
to be of high usefulness to educational policy or practice by target 
audiences.
    All grantees, including the Great Lakes West Regional Center, will 
be expected to submit, as part of their performance report, 
quantitative data documenting their progress with regard to these 
performance measures. The Department will provide information to

[[Page 59737]]

grantees about the independent panels conducting the review, the review 
process, and the definitions and criteria that will be used to evaluate 
the quality, relevance and usefulness of technical assistance services.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Enid Simmons, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E307, Washington, DC 20202-
6335. Telephone: (202) 401-0039 or by e-mail: OESE.cc@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the program contact person listed in this 
section.

VIII. Other Information

    Electronic Access to This Document: You may 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) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: 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 on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
nara/index.html.


    Dated: October 7, 2005.
Henry Johnson,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 05-20566 Filed 10-12-05; 8:45 pm]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P