Proposed Priority, and Requirements-Technical Assistance on State Data Collection-Assessment Center [CFDA Number: 84.373A], 15491-15497 [2016-06441]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 56 / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 / Proposed Rules remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the COTP Jacksonville or a designated representative. (2) Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the COTP Jacksonville by telephone at (904) 564–7511, or a designated representative via VHF–FM radio on channel 16 to request authorization. If authorization is granted, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the COTP Jacksonville or designated representative. (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area through Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF– FM channel 16 or by on-scene designated representatives. (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 15, 2016. Dated: March 14, 2016. J.F. Dixon, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Jacksonville. [FR Doc. 2016–06521 Filed 3–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [ED–2016–OSERS–0024] Proposed Priority, and Requirements— Technical Assistance on State Data Collection—Assessment Center [CFDA Number: 84.373A] Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Proposed priority and requirements. AGENCY: The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) proposes a priority and requirements under the Technical Assistance on State Data Collection program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority and these requirements for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2016 and later years. We take this action to focus attention on an identified need to address national, State, and local assessment issues related to students with disabilities, including students with disabilities who are English Learners 1 (ELs) with disabilities. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: 1 For more information see: www.ed.gov/news/ press-releases/us-departments-education-and- VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 We must receive your comments on or before June 6, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. Please submit your comments only one time, in order to ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under ‘‘How to use Regulations.gov’’ in the Help section. • Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about this proposed priority and requirements, address them to David Egnor, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5163, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–5076. Privacy Note: The U.S. Department of Education’s (Department’s) policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Egnor. Telephone: (202) 245– 7334 or by email: David.Egnor@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. DATES: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority and requirements, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority or requirement that each comment addresses. We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that justice-release-joint-guidance-ensure-englishlearner-students-have-equal-access-high-qualityeducation. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15491 might result from this proposed priority and these proposed requirements. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program. During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice in Room 5163, 550 12th Street SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request, we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance on State Data Collection program is to improve the capacity of States to meet the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) data collection and reporting requirements. Funding for the program is authorized under section 611(c)(1) of IDEA, which gives the Secretary the authority to reserve funds appropriated under Part B of the IDEA to provide technical assistance activities authorized under section 616(i) of IDEA. Section 616(i) of IDEA requires the Secretary to review the data collection and analysis capacity of States to ensure that data and information determined necessary for implementation of IDEA section 616 are collected, analyzed, and accurately reported to the Secretary. It also requires the Secretary to provide technical assistance, where needed, to improve the capacity of States to meet the data collection requirements under IDEA Parts B and C, which include the data collection and reporting requirements in sections 616 and 618 of IDEA. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1411(c) and 1416(i). Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR 300.702. Proposed Priority: This notice contains one proposed priority. Background: One essential part of successfully educating students is assessing their progress in learning to high standards. Done well and thoughtfully, assessments are tools for learning and E:\FR\FM\23MRP1.SGM 23MRP1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 15492 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 56 / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 / Proposed Rules promoting equity. They provide necessary information for educators, families, the public, and students themselves to measure progress and improve outcomes for all learners. Section 612(a)(16) of the IDEA requires that all students with disabilities are included in all general State and districtwide assessments, including assessments described under section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments where necessary and as indicated in their respective individualized education programs. In accordance with Federal law, there are multiple ways for students with disabilities to participate in State and districtwide assessments: General assessments, general assessments with accommodations, alternate assessments that are based on alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, and alternate assessments that are based on grade-level academic achievement standards. (For additional information, see section 1111 of the ESEA.) Further, research shows that (1) instruction for students with disabilities is increasingly aligned with State academic content standards, (2) State and districtwide assessment data are more frequently used to make educational decisions for these students, and (3) participating in State and districtwide assessments and being included in accountability systems may have positive effects on educational results for students with disabilities (Aron & Loprest, 2012; Courtade, Spooner, & Browder, 2012; Kurz, Elliott, Lemons, Zigmond, Kloo, & Kettler, 2014). However, teachers cannot simply wait until the results of State and districtwide assessments are made available to make educational decisions. In addition to analyzing results from State (typically summative) assessments, formative assessments are increasingly being used before, during, and after instruction to help teachers understand their students’ learning and improve their own instructional practices (Conderman & Hedin, 2012). Despite the progress State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) have made in including students with disabilities in assessments and accountability systems, SEAs and LEAs continue to face challenges. These challenges include integrating data from dissimilar tests (e.g., general, accommodated, and alternate) into a single accountability system, developing consistent SEA and LEA policies on VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 assessment accommodations that provide maximum accessibility while maintaining test reliability and validity, and analyzing and using formative and summative assessment data to improve instruction and accountability for students with disabilities. In addition, one of the most complex challenges faced by SEAs and LEAs is developing and administering English language proficiency (ELP) assessments to students who are both ELs and students with disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). Properly identifying these students is also a significant challenge if their disabilities are masked by their limited English proficiency, or vice versa. Improper identification may lead to inappropriate instruction, assessment, and accommodation for these students. Linguistic and cultural biases may also affect the validity of assessment for ELs with disabilities (Lane & Leventhal, 2015). Finally, the Department notes that in many schools, there may be unnecessary testing and insufficient clarity of purpose applied to the task of assessing students, including students with disabilities, consuming too much instructional time and creating undue stress for educators and students. (For more information, see the Department’s February 2nd, 2016, letter to Chief State School Officers available at: http:// www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/saa/ 16-0002signedcsso222016ltr.pdf.) These and other complex challenges will continue to arise in this dynamic landscape as States adopt college- and career-ready academic content standards and develop new, valid, more instructionally useful and inclusive assessments aligned to these standards. Developing these new assessments has been challenging and timeconsuming, and States must continue to ensure that all students with disabilities can fully participate in State and districtwide assessments. States and LEAs will also need support in identifying and implementing evidencebased practices for effectively including children with disabilities in State and districtwide assessments. Moreover, evidence-based methods for analyzing and effectively using State and districtwide assessment data to improve instruction and accountability for students with disabilities will continue to need further development and refinement. Accordingly, we propose a priority in this notice that will be utilized in a competition to fund a Center to support SEAs and LEAs in analyzing and effectively using assessment data to improve results for children with PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 disabilities. Under the proposed priority in this notice, as part of the Technical Assistance on State Data Collection program, the Center will (1) assist States in analyzing and using assessment data to better achieve the State Identifiable Measurable Result(s) (SIMR), which were described in their IDEA Part B State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIPs) that were developed in accordance with section 616(b) of IDEA and OSEP guidance on Indicator B–17 of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2013 through FFY 2018 IDEA Part B State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR); 2 and (2) assist State efforts to provide TA to LEAs in analyzing and using assessment data to support achievement of the SIMR, as appropriate. In addition to the priority we are proposing in this notice, we plan to establish in the applicable notice inviting applications an additional priority under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program that will support the Center. This additional priority is from allowable activities specified or otherwise authorized in sections 663 and 681(d) of the IDEA (20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481(d)). Under section 681(d) of the IDEA, the Secretary may, without regard to rulemaking, fund activities under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. Therefore, we are not proposing that priority in this notice. However, because we plan to use the additional priority to support the Center, in connection with the priority under the Technical Assistance on State Data Collection program and requirements we propose in this notice, we believe comments on the priority and requirements proposed in this notice may be informed by including 2 In accordance with section 616(b) of the IDEA, States must have in place a performance plan that evaluates the State’s efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of Part B of the IDEA and describes how the State will improve such implementation. As part of the SPP/APR, each State shall establish measurable and rigorous targets for each indicator established by the Secretary. In the Results Driven Accountability System, OSERS required States under Indicator 17 to develop a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) as part of their FFY 2013 through FFY 2018 IDEA Part B SPPs/APRs. The SSIP must include: (1) FFY 2013 baseline data expressed as a percentage and aligned with the State-identified Measurable Result(s) (SIMR) for children with disabilities; (2) measurable and rigorous targets (expressed as a percentage) for each of the five years for FFY 2014 through FFY 2018, with the FFY 2018 target reflecting improvement over the FFY 2013 baseline data; and (3) a plan that includes an explanation of how the improvement strategies were selected and will lead to measurable improvement in the SIMR. E:\FR\FM\23MRP1.SGM 23MRP1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 56 / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 / Proposed Rules relevant portions of the text of this additional priority. An abbreviated version of that additional priority is included in Appendix 1 to this notice. The complete priority will be issued at a later date. The priority we are proposing in this notice is: Proposed Priority: Technical Assistance to States on the Analysis and Use of Assessment Data To Support Achievement of the State Identified Measurable Result(s). The purpose of the priority we are proposing in this notice is to assist States in analyzing and using assessment data to support the achievement of the SIMR as described in their SSIP. [This proposed priority is authorized under sections 611(c) and 616(i) of the IDEA (20 U.S.C. 1411(c) and 1416(i)).] As detailed earlier in the background section, research indicates that SEAs and LEAs continue to face challenges in analyzing and using assessment data to improve instruction and accountability for students with disabilities. SEAs also need assistance analyzing State assessment data to better achieve their SIMRs. Beginning in FFY 2013, States were required to provide, as part of Phase I of the SSIP, a statement of the result(s) the State intends to achieve through implementation of the SSIP, which is referred to as the SIMR for children with disabilities. The State must establish ‘‘measurable and rigorous’’ targets for each successive year of the SPP/APR (FFYs 2014 through 2018). The end target (for FFY 2018) must demonstrate improvement over the FFY 2013 baseline data. At least 42 States have focused their IDEA Part B SIMR on improving academic achievement as measured by assessment results for children with disabilities. These States will need assistance in analyzing and using State assessment data to promote academic achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities. Proposed Priority: The purpose of this priority is to (1) assist States in analyzing and using assessment data to better achieve the SIMR as described in their IDEA Part B SSIPs, and (2) assist State efforts to provide technical assistance (TA) to LEAs in analyzing and using State and districtwide assessment data to better achieve the SIMR, as appropriate. The Center must achieve, at a minimum, the following expected outcomes: (a) Increased capacity of SEA personnel to analyze and use assessment data to better achieve the SIMR described in the IDEA Part B SSIP, including the uses of assessment VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 data to evaluate and improve educational policy, inform instructional programs and improve instruction for students with disabilities; and (b) Increased capacity of SEA personnel to provide TA to LEAs in the analysis and use of State and districtwide assessment data to improve instruction of students with disabilities and better achieve the SIMR. Types of Priorities: When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows: Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)). Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)). Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)). Proposed Requirements Background: In addition to the programmatic requirements contained in the proposed priority in this notice and the additional priority included in Appendix 1, to be considered for funding applicants must meet the following requirements. Proposed Requirements: The Assistant Secretary proposes the following requirements for this program. We may apply these requirements in any year in which this program is in effect. Applications that: (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Significance of the Project,’’ how the proposed project will— (1) Address the needs of SEAs and LEAs to analyze and use State and districtwide assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities. To meet this requirement the applicant must— (i) Present applicable national, State, and local data demonstrating the needs PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15493 of SEAs and LEAs to analyze and use State and districtwide assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities; (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current educational issues and policy initiatives about analyzing and using assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities; and (iii) Describe the level at which SEAs and LEAs currently analyze and use State and districtwide assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities. (2) Improve the analysis and use of assessment data to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities. (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the Project Services,’’ how the proposed project will— (1) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe how it will— (i) Identify the needs of the intended recipients for technical assistance (TA) and information; and (ii) Ensure that products and services meet the needs of the intended recipients (e.g., by creating materials in formats and languages accessible to the stakeholders served by the intended recipients); (2) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide— (i) Measurable intended project outcomes; and (ii) The logic model (see paragraph (f)(1)) by which the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes; (3) Use a conceptual framework to develop project plans and activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical support for this framework; (4) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based practices. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) The current research on the effectiveness of analyzing and using assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities; and E:\FR\FM\23MRP1.SGM 23MRP1 15494 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 56 / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current evidence-based practices in the development and delivery of its products and services; (5) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) How it proposes to identify or develop the knowledge base on analyzing and using assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities; (ii) Its proposed approach to universal, general TA,3 which must identify the intended recipients of the products and services under this approach; (iii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized TA,4 which must identify— (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach; and (B) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of potential TA recipients to work with the project, assessing, at a minimum, their current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to build capacity at the local level; and (iv) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained TA,5 which must identify— (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach; 3 ‘‘Universal, general TA’’ means TA and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with TA center staff and including onetime, invited or offered conference presentations by TA center staff. This category of TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the TA center’s Web site by independent users. Brief communications by TA center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general TA. 4 ‘‘Targeted, specialized TA’’ means TA services based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A relationship is established between the TA recipient and one or more TA center staff. This category of TA includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It can also include episodic, less laborintensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized TA. 5 ‘‘Intensive, sustained TA’’ means TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the TA center staff and the TA recipient. ‘‘TA services’’ are defined as negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. This category of TA should result in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity or improved outcomes at one or more systems levels. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 (B) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of SEA and LEA personnel to work with the project, including their commitment to the initiative, alignment of the initiative to their needs, current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to build capacity at the SEA and LEA levels; (C) Its proposed plan for assisting SEAs (and LEAs, in conjunction with SEAs) to build training systems that include professional development based on adult learning principles and coaching; and (D) Its proposed plan for working with appropriate levels of the education system (e.g., SEAs, regional TA providers, LEAs, schools, and families) to ensure that there is communication between each level and that there are systems in place to support the collection, analysis and use of assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities; (E) Its proposed plan for collaborating and coordinating with Department of Education funded TA investments and IES research and development investments, where appropriate, in order to align complementary work and jointly develop and implement products and services to meet the purposes of this priority; (6) Develop products and implement services that maximize efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration; and (iii) How the proposed project will use non-project resources to achieve the intended project outcomes. (c) In the narrative section of the application, under ‘‘Quality of the Evaluation Plan,’’ include an evaluation plan for the project as described in the following paragraphs. The evaluation plan must describe measures of progress in implementation, including the extent to which the project’s products and services have reached its target population, and measures of intended outcomes or results to assess the project’s progress toward achieving intended outcomes. In designing the evaluation plan, the project must— (1) Designate, with the approval of the OSEP project officer, a project liaison staff person with sufficient dedicated time, experience in evaluation, and knowledge of the project to work in collaboration with the Center to PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Improve Project Performance (CIPP),6 the project director, and the OSEP project officer on the following tasks: (i) Revise, as needed, the logic model (see paragraph (f)(1) this priority) submitted in the grant application to provide for a more comprehensive measurement of implementation and outcomes and to reflect any changes or clarifications to the model discussed at the kick-off meeting; (ii) Refine the evaluation design and instrumentation proposed in the application consistent with the logic model (e.g., preparing evaluation questions about significant program processes and outcomes; developing quantitative or qualitative data collections that permit both the collection of progress data, including fidelity of implementation, as appropriate, and progress toward achieving intended outcomes; selecting respondent samples if appropriate; designing instruments or identifying data sources; and identifying analytic strategies); and (iii) Revise, as needed, the evaluation plan submitted in the grant application such that it clearly— (A) Specifies the measures and associated instruments or sources for data appropriate to the evaluation questions, suggests analytic strategies for those data, provides a timeline for conducting the evaluation, and includes staff assignments for completion of the plan; (B) Delineates the data expected to be available by the end of the second project year for use during the project’s intensive review for continued funding described under the heading Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project; and (C) Can be used to assist the project director and the OSEP project officer, with the assistance of CIPP as needed, to specify the performance measures to be addressed in the project’s Annual Performance Report; (2) Cooperate with CIPP staff in order to accomplish the tasks described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; and (3) Dedicate sufficient funds in each budget year to cover the costs of carrying out the tasks described in 6 The major tasks of CIPP are to guide, coordinate, and oversee the design of formative evaluations for every large discretionary investment (i.e., those awarded $500,000 or more per year and required to participate in the 3+2 process) in OSEP’s Technical Assistance and Dissemination; Personnel Development; Parent Training and Information Centers; and Educational Technology, Media, and Materials programs. The efforts of CIPP are expected to enhance individual project evaluation plans by providing expert and unbiased technical assistance in designing the evaluations with due consideration of the project’s budget. CIPP does not function as a third-party evaluator. E:\FR\FM\23MRP1.SGM 23MRP1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 56 / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 / Proposed Rules paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section and implementing the evaluation plan. (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Adequacy of Project Resources,’’ how— (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate; (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to carry out the proposed activities and achieve the project’s intended outcomes; (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits. (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the Management Plan,’’ how— (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project’s intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks; (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project’s intended outcomes; (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of families, educators, TA providers, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation. (f) Address the following application requirements. The applicant must— (1) Include, in Appendix A, a logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 Note: The following Web sites provide more information on logic models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/ logicmodel_resource3c.html and www.osepideasthatwork.org/logicModel/ index.asp. (2) Include, in Appendix A, a conceptual framework for the project; (3) Include, in Appendix A, personloading charts and timelines, as applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the narrative; (4) Include, in the budget, attendance at the following: (i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting in Washington, DC, after receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting in Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer and other relevant staff during each subsequent year of the project period; Note: Within 30 days of receipt of the award, a post-award teleconference must be held between the OSEP project officer and the grantee’s project director or other authorized representative. (ii) A two and one-half day project directors’ meeting in Washington, DC, during each year of the project period; (iii) Three trips annually to attend Department briefings, Departmentsponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP; and (iv) A one-day intensive 3+2 review meeting in Washington, DC, during the last half of the second year of the project period; (5) Include, in the budget, a line item for an annual set-aside of five percent of the grant amount to support emerging needs that are consistent with the proposed project’s intended outcomes, as those needs are identified in consultation with OSEP. Note: With approval from the OSEP project officer, the project must reallocate any remaining funds from this annual set-aside no later than the end of the third quarter of each budget period; and (6) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-recognized standards for accessibility. Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project: In deciding whether to continue funding the project for the fourth and fifth years, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), as well as— (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts selected by the Secretary. This review will be conducted during a one-day intensive meeting that will be held during the last half of the second year of the project period; (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the project; and PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15495 (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the project’s products and services and the extent to which the project’s products and services are aligned with the project’s objectives and likely to result in the project achieving its intended outcomes. References: Aron, L., & Loprest, P. (2012). Disability and the education system. The Future of Children, 22(1), 97–122. Conderman, G., & Hedin, L. (2012). Classroom assessments that inform instruction. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48(4), 162–168. Courtade, G., Spooner, F., Browder, D., & Jimenez, B. (2012). Seven reasons to promote standards-based instruction for students with severe disabilities: A reply to Ayres, Lowrey, Douglas, & Sievers (2011). Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 47(1), 3–13. Kurz, A., Elliott, S., Lemons, C., Zigmond, N., Kloo, A., & Kettler, R. (2014). Assessing opportunity-to-learn for students with disabilities in general and special education classes. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 40(1), 24–39. Lane, S., & Leventhal, B. (2015). Psychometric challenges in assessing English language learners with disabilities. Review of Research in Education, 39, 165–214. Miller, C.L. (2010). Accountability policy implementation and the case of smaller school district capacity: Three contrasting cases that examine the flow and use of NCLB accountability data. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 9(4), 384–420. U.S. Department of Education. (2014). Questions and Answers Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities in English Language Proficiency Assessments and Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives. Retrieved from: http:// www2.ed.gov/programs/sfgp/ elswdfaq7182014.doc. Final Priority and Requirements We will announce the final priority and requirements in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority and requirements after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities or requirements subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements. Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this proposed priority and one or more of these requirements, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563: Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and, E:\FR\FM\23MRP1.SGM 23MRP1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 15496 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 56 / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 / Proposed Rules therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by OMB. Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as an action likely to result in a rule that may— (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an ‘‘economically significant’’ rule); (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order. This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency— (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify); (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations; (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity); (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ‘‘to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.’’ The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include ‘‘identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.’’ We are issuing this proposed priority and these proposed requirements only on a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563. We have also determined that this regulatory action does not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions. In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department’s programs and activities. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Dated: March 16, 2016. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Appendix 1 Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities—National Technical Assistance Center to Increase the Participation and Improve the Performance of Students With Disabilities on State and Districtwide Assessments. The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center to Increase the Participation and Improve the Performance of Students with Disabilities on State and Districtwide Assessments (Center). The Center must achieve, at a minimum, the following expected outcomes to support SEAs and LEAs in the implementation of appropriate, high-quality assessments for students with disabilities: Knowledge Development Outcomes. (a) Increased body of knowledge on evidence-based practices to collect, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate relevant information about State and districtwide assessment of students with disabilities, including topics such as— (1) Including students with disabilities in accountability systems; (2) Assessment accommodations; (3) Alternate assessments; (4) Universal design of assessments; (5) Technology-based assessments; (6) Formative assessments; (8) Competency-based assessments; (7) Methods for analyzing and reporting assessment data; (8) Application of growth models in assessment programs; (9) Uses of formative and summative assessment data to inform instructional programs for students with disabilities; (10) Assessing English Learners (ELs) with disabilities, including ensuring that all ELs with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations, as needed, on English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessments and that the results of ELP assessments for students with disabilities are validly used in making accountability determinations under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA); and (11) Ensuring that assessments are fair, are of high quality, take up the minimum necessary time, provide the same educational benefits for all test takers, and reflect the E:\FR\FM\23MRP1.SGM 23MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 56 / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS expectation that students will be prepared for success in college and careers. Note: In order to meet the requirements of paragraph (a), the Center will conduct a comprehensive review of existing research on evidence-based practices available from a variety of reliable sources, such as findings from research funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), including the National Research and Development Center on Assessment and Accountability for Special Education (NCASSE) and other federally funded and non-federally funded sources. (b) Increase the capacity of SEA and LEA personnel to assess and track SEA and LEA needs for including students with disabilities in State and districtwide assessments, including, as appropriate, improving the skills of SEA and LEA personnel in any of the topics listed in paragraph (a) of this section. Technical Assistance and Dissemination Outcomes. (a) Increased capacity of SEA and LEA personnel to collect and analyze summative assessment data, and formative assessment data (in the case of LEA personnel), on the performance of students with disabilities. (b) Increased capacity of SEA and LEA personnel to use State and districtwide summative assessment data, and formative data from districtwide assessments (in the case of LEA personnel), to evaluate and improve educational policies and increase accountability for students with disabilities. (c) Increased capacity of LEA personnel to use formative and summative assessment results in instructional decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities. (d) Increased awareness about how students with disabilities are included in and benefit from current and emerging approaches to State and districtwide assessment, including topics listed in VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Mar 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 paragraph (a) of the Knowledge Development Outcomes section of this priority. [FR Doc. 2016–06441 Filed 3–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P 15497 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Amaro, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, amaro.laurie@ epa.gov, 415–972–3364. Along with this proposed rule, EPA is publishing a direct final rule in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of today’s Federal Register pursuant to which EPA is authorizing these changes. EPA did not issue a proposed rule before today because EPA believes this action is not controversial and does not expect comments that oppose it. EPA has explained the reasons for this authorization in the direct final rule. Unless EPA receives written comments that oppose this authorization during the comment period, the direct final rule in today’s Federal Register will become effective on the date it establishes, and EPA will not take further action on this proposal. If EPA receives comments that oppose this action, EPA will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. EPA will then respond to public comments in a later final rule based on this proposed rule. You may not have another opportunity to comment on these state program changes. If you want to comment on this action, you must do so at this time. For additional information, please see the direct final rule published in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of today’s Federal Register. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA–R09–RCRA–2015–0822; FRL–9943– 96–Region 9] Nevada: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: Nevada has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final authorization of changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These changes correspond to certain federal rules promulgated between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2008 (also known as RCRA Clusters XVI through XVIII). With this proposed rule, EPA is proposing to grant final authorization to Nevada for these changes. DATES: Send your written comments by May 9, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA– R09–RCRA–2015–0822 at http:// www.regulations.gov or follow the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule which is located in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of today’s Federal Register. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 Dated: March 9, 2016. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region 9. [FR Doc. 2016–06437 Filed 3–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P E:\FR\FM\23MRP1.SGM 23MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 56 (Wednesday, March 23, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15491-15497]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06441]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter III

[ED-2016-OSERS-0024]


Proposed Priority, and Requirements--Technical Assistance on 
State Data Collection--Assessment Center [CFDA Number: 84.373A]

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Department of Education.

ACTION: Proposed priority and requirements.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education 
and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) proposes a priority and 
requirements under the Technical Assistance on State Data Collection 
program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority and these 
requirements for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2016 and later years. 
We take this action to focus attention on an identified need to address 
national, State, and local assessment issues related to students with 
disabilities, including students with disabilities who are English 
Learners \1\ (ELs) with disabilities.
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    \1\ For more information see: www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-departments-education-and-justice-release-joint-guidance-ensure-english-learner-students-have-equal-access-high-quality-education.

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DATES: We must receive your comments on or before June 6, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not 
accept comments by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment 
period. Please submit your comments only one time, in order to ensure 
that we do not receive duplicate copies. In addition, please include 
the Docket ID at the top of your comments.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to 
submit your comments electronically. Information on using 
Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site 
under ``How to use Regulations.gov'' in the Help section.
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you 
mail or deliver your comments about this proposed priority and 
requirements, address them to David Egnor, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5163, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-5076.
    Privacy Note: The U.S. Department of Education's (Department's) 
policy is to make all comments received from members of the public 
available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should 
be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish 
to make publicly available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Egnor. Telephone: (202) 245-7334 
or by email: David.Egnor@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priority and requirements, we urge you 
to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority or 
requirement that each comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall 
requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this 
proposed priority and these proposed requirements. Please let us know 
of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase 
potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient 
administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this notice in Room 5163, 550 12th Street SW., Potomac 
Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except 
Federal holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request, we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance on 
State Data Collection program is to improve the capacity of States to 
meet the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) data 
collection and reporting requirements. Funding for the program is 
authorized under section 611(c)(1) of IDEA, which gives the Secretary 
the authority to reserve funds appropriated under Part B of the IDEA to 
provide technical assistance activities authorized under section 616(i) 
of IDEA. Section 616(i) of IDEA requires the Secretary to review the 
data collection and analysis capacity of States to ensure that data and 
information determined necessary for implementation of IDEA section 616 
are collected, analyzed, and accurately reported to the Secretary. It 
also requires the Secretary to provide technical assistance, where 
needed, to improve the capacity of States to meet the data collection 
requirements under IDEA Parts B and C, which include the data 
collection and reporting requirements in sections 616 and 618 of IDEA.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1411(c) and 1416(i).
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR 300.702.
    Proposed Priority:
    This notice contains one proposed priority.
    Background:
    One essential part of successfully educating students is assessing 
their progress in learning to high standards. Done well and 
thoughtfully, assessments are tools for learning and

[[Page 15492]]

promoting equity. They provide necessary information for educators, 
families, the public, and students themselves to measure progress and 
improve outcomes for all learners.
    Section 612(a)(16) of the IDEA requires that all students with 
disabilities are included in all general State and districtwide 
assessments, including assessments described under section 1111 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), with appropriate 
accommodations and alternate assessments where necessary and as 
indicated in their respective individualized education programs. In 
accordance with Federal law, there are multiple ways for students with 
disabilities to participate in State and districtwide assessments: 
General assessments, general assessments with accommodations, alternate 
assessments that are based on alternate academic achievement standards 
for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, and 
alternate assessments that are based on grade-level academic 
achievement standards. (For additional information, see section 1111 of 
the ESEA.)
    Further, research shows that (1) instruction for students with 
disabilities is increasingly aligned with State academic content 
standards, (2) State and districtwide assessment data are more 
frequently used to make educational decisions for these students, and 
(3) participating in State and districtwide assessments and being 
included in accountability systems may have positive effects on 
educational results for students with disabilities (Aron & Loprest, 
2012; Courtade, Spooner, & Browder, 2012; Kurz, Elliott, Lemons, 
Zigmond, Kloo, & Kettler, 2014). However, teachers cannot simply wait 
until the results of State and districtwide assessments are made 
available to make educational decisions. In addition to analyzing 
results from State (typically summative) assessments, formative 
assessments are increasingly being used before, during, and after 
instruction to help teachers understand their students' learning and 
improve their own instructional practices (Conderman & Hedin, 2012).
    Despite the progress State educational agencies (SEAs) and local 
educational agencies (LEAs) have made in including students with 
disabilities in assessments and accountability systems, SEAs and LEAs 
continue to face challenges. These challenges include integrating data 
from dissimilar tests (e.g., general, accommodated, and alternate) into 
a single accountability system, developing consistent SEA and LEA 
policies on assessment accommodations that provide maximum 
accessibility while maintaining test reliability and validity, and 
analyzing and using formative and summative assessment data to improve 
instruction and accountability for students with disabilities.
    In addition, one of the most complex challenges faced by SEAs and 
LEAs is developing and administering English language proficiency (ELP) 
assessments to students who are both ELs and students with disabilities 
(U.S. Department of Education, 2014). Properly identifying these 
students is also a significant challenge if their disabilities are 
masked by their limited English proficiency, or vice versa. Improper 
identification may lead to inappropriate instruction, assessment, and 
accommodation for these students. Linguistic and cultural biases may 
also affect the validity of assessment for ELs with disabilities (Lane 
& Leventhal, 2015).
    Finally, the Department notes that in many schools, there may be 
unnecessary testing and insufficient clarity of purpose applied to the 
task of assessing students, including students with disabilities, 
consuming too much instructional time and creating undue stress for 
educators and students. (For more information, see the Department's 
February 2nd, 2016, letter to Chief State School Officers available at: 
http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/saa/16-0002signedcsso222016ltr.pdf.)
    These and other complex challenges will continue to arise in this 
dynamic landscape as States adopt college- and career-ready academic 
content standards and develop new, valid, more instructionally useful 
and inclusive assessments aligned to these standards.
    Developing these new assessments has been challenging and time-
consuming, and States must continue to ensure that all students with 
disabilities can fully participate in State and districtwide 
assessments. States and LEAs will also need support in identifying and 
implementing evidence-based practices for effectively including 
children with disabilities in State and districtwide assessments. 
Moreover, evidence-based methods for analyzing and effectively using 
State and districtwide assessment data to improve instruction and 
accountability for students with disabilities will continue to need 
further development and refinement.
    Accordingly, we propose a priority in this notice that will be 
utilized in a competition to fund a Center to support SEAs and LEAs in 
analyzing and effectively using assessment data to improve results for 
children with disabilities. Under the proposed priority in this notice, 
as part of the Technical Assistance on State Data Collection program, 
the Center will (1) assist States in analyzing and using assessment 
data to better achieve the State Identifiable Measurable Result(s) 
(SIMR), which were described in their IDEA Part B State Systemic 
Improvement Plans (SSIPs) that were developed in accordance with 
section 616(b) of IDEA and OSEP guidance on Indicator B-17 of the 
Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2013 through FFY 2018 IDEA Part B State 
Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR); \2\ and (2) 
assist State efforts to provide TA to LEAs in analyzing and using 
assessment data to support achievement of the SIMR, as appropriate.
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    \2\ In accordance with section 616(b) of the IDEA, States must 
have in place a performance plan that evaluates the State's efforts 
to implement the requirements and purposes of Part B of the IDEA and 
describes how the State will improve such implementation. As part of 
the SPP/APR, each State shall establish measurable and rigorous 
targets for each indicator established by the Secretary. In the 
Results Driven Accountability System, OSERS required States under 
Indicator 17 to develop a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) as 
part of their FFY 2013 through FFY 2018 IDEA Part B SPPs/APRs. The 
SSIP must include: (1) FFY 2013 baseline data expressed as a 
percentage and aligned with the State-identified Measurable 
Result(s) (SIMR) for children with disabilities; (2) measurable and 
rigorous targets (expressed as a percentage) for each of the five 
years for FFY 2014 through FFY 2018, with the FFY 2018 target 
reflecting improvement over the FFY 2013 baseline data; and (3) a 
plan that includes an explanation of how the improvement strategies 
were selected and will lead to measurable improvement in the SIMR.
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    In addition to the priority we are proposing in this notice, we 
plan to establish in the applicable notice inviting applications an 
additional priority under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to 
Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program 
that will support the Center. This additional priority is from 
allowable activities specified or otherwise authorized in sections 663 
and 681(d) of the IDEA (20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481(d)). Under section 
681(d) of the IDEA, the Secretary may, without regard to rulemaking, 
fund activities under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to 
Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. 
Therefore, we are not proposing that priority in this notice. However, 
because we plan to use the additional priority to support the Center, 
in connection with the priority under the Technical Assistance on State 
Data Collection program and requirements we propose in this notice, we 
believe comments on the priority and requirements proposed in this 
notice may be informed by including

[[Page 15493]]

relevant portions of the text of this additional priority. An 
abbreviated version of that additional priority is included in Appendix 
1 to this notice. The complete priority will be issued at a later date.
    The priority we are proposing in this notice is:
    Proposed Priority: Technical Assistance to States on the Analysis 
and Use of Assessment Data To Support Achievement of the State 
Identified Measurable Result(s).
    The purpose of the priority we are proposing in this notice is to 
assist States in analyzing and using assessment data to support the 
achievement of the SIMR as described in their SSIP. [This proposed 
priority is authorized under sections 611(c) and 616(i) of the IDEA (20 
U.S.C. 1411(c) and 1416(i)).]
    As detailed earlier in the background section, research indicates 
that SEAs and LEAs continue to face challenges in analyzing and using 
assessment data to improve instruction and accountability for students 
with disabilities. SEAs also need assistance analyzing State assessment 
data to better achieve their SIMRs. Beginning in FFY 2013, States were 
required to provide, as part of Phase I of the SSIP, a statement of the 
result(s) the State intends to achieve through implementation of the 
SSIP, which is referred to as the SIMR for children with disabilities. 
The State must establish ``measurable and rigorous'' targets for each 
successive year of the SPP/APR (FFYs 2014 through 2018). The end target 
(for FFY 2018) must demonstrate improvement over the FFY 2013 baseline 
data. At least 42 States have focused their IDEA Part B SIMR on 
improving academic achievement as measured by assessment results for 
children with disabilities. These States will need assistance in 
analyzing and using State assessment data to promote academic 
achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities.
    Proposed Priority:
    The purpose of this priority is to (1) assist States in analyzing 
and using assessment data to better achieve the SIMR as described in 
their IDEA Part B SSIPs, and (2) assist State efforts to provide 
technical assistance (TA) to LEAs in analyzing and using State and 
districtwide assessment data to better achieve the SIMR, as 
appropriate. The Center must achieve, at a minimum, the following 
expected outcomes:
    (a) Increased capacity of SEA personnel to analyze and use 
assessment data to better achieve the SIMR described in the IDEA Part B 
SSIP, including the uses of assessment data to evaluate and improve 
educational policy, inform instructional programs and improve 
instruction for students with disabilities; and
    (b) Increased capacity of SEA personnel to provide TA to LEAs in 
the analysis and use of State and districtwide assessment data to 
improve instruction of students with disabilities and better achieve 
the SIMR.
    Types of Priorities:
    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Proposed Requirements

    Background:
    In addition to the programmatic requirements contained in the 
proposed priority in this notice and the additional priority included 
in Appendix 1, to be considered for funding applicants must meet the 
following requirements.
    Proposed Requirements:
    The Assistant Secretary proposes the following requirements for 
this program. We may apply these requirements in any year in which this 
program is in effect.
    Applications that:
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Address the needs of SEAs and LEAs to analyze and use State and 
districtwide assessment data in instructional decision-making to 
improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities. To meet 
this requirement the applicant must--
    (i) Present applicable national, State, and local data 
demonstrating the needs of SEAs and LEAs to analyze and use State and 
districtwide assessment data in instructional decision-making to 
improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities;
    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current educational issues and policy 
initiatives about analyzing and using assessment data in instructional 
decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with 
disabilities; and
    (iii) Describe the level at which SEAs and LEAs currently analyze 
and use State and districtwide assessment data in instructional 
decision-making to improve teaching and learning for students with 
disabilities.
    (2) Improve the analysis and use of assessment data to improve 
teaching and learning for students with disabilities.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Project Services,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that 
have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability. To meet this requirement, the 
applicant must describe how it will--
    (i) Identify the needs of the intended recipients for technical 
assistance (TA) and information; and
    (ii) Ensure that products and services meet the needs of the 
intended recipients (e.g., by creating materials in formats and 
languages accessible to the stakeholders served by the intended 
recipients);
    (2) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must provide--
    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes; and
    (ii) The logic model (see paragraph (f)(1)) by which the proposed 
project will achieve its intended outcomes;
    (3) Use a conceptual framework to develop project plans and 
activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, 
expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed 
relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical 
support for this framework;
    (4) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based 
practices. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) The current research on the effectiveness of analyzing and 
using assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve 
teaching and learning for students with disabilities; and

[[Page 15494]]

    (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current evidence-
based practices in the development and delivery of its products and 
services;
    (5) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality 
and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes 
of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant 
must describe--
    (i) How it proposes to identify or develop the knowledge base on 
analyzing and using assessment data in instructional decision-making to 
improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities;
    (ii) Its proposed approach to universal, general TA,\3\ which must 
identify the intended recipients of the products and services under 
this approach;
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    \3\ ``Universal, general TA'' means TA and information provided 
to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in 
minimal interaction with TA center staff and including one-time, 
invited or offered conference presentations by TA center staff. This 
category of TA also includes information or products, such as 
newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the 
TA center's Web site by independent users. Brief communications by 
TA center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are 
also considered universal, general TA.
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    (iii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized TA,\4\ which 
must identify--
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    \4\ ``Targeted, specialized TA'' means TA services based on 
needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively 
individualized. A relationship is established between the TA 
recipient and one or more TA center staff. This category of TA 
includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating 
strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It 
can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend 
over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference 
calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the 
needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can 
also be considered targeted, specialized TA.
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    (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this 
approach; and
    (B) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of potential TA 
recipients to work with the project, assessing, at a minimum, their 
current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to build 
capacity at the local level; and
    (iv) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained TA,\5\ which 
must identify--
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    \5\ ``Intensive, sustained TA'' means TA services often provided 
on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the TA 
center staff and the TA recipient. ``TA services'' are defined as 
negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. 
This category of TA should result in changes to policy, program, 
practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity or 
improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.
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    (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this 
approach;
    (B) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of SEA and LEA 
personnel to work with the project, including their commitment to the 
initiative, alignment of the initiative to their needs, current 
infrastructure, available resources, and ability to build capacity at 
the SEA and LEA levels;
    (C) Its proposed plan for assisting SEAs (and LEAs, in conjunction 
with SEAs) to build training systems that include professional 
development based on adult learning principles and coaching; and
    (D) Its proposed plan for working with appropriate levels of the 
education system (e.g., SEAs, regional TA providers, LEAs, schools, and 
families) to ensure that there is communication between each level and 
that there are systems in place to support the collection, analysis and 
use of assessment data in instructional decision-making to improve 
teaching and learning for students with disabilities;
    (E) Its proposed plan for collaborating and coordinating with 
Department of Education funded TA investments and IES research and 
development investments, where appropriate, in order to align 
complementary work and jointly develop and implement products and 
services to meet the purposes of this priority;
    (6) Develop products and implement services that maximize 
efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the 
intended project outcomes;
    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the 
intended outcomes of this collaboration; and
    (iii) How the proposed project will use non-project resources to 
achieve the intended project outcomes.
    (c) In the narrative section of the application, under ``Quality of 
the Evaluation Plan,'' include an evaluation plan for the project as 
described in the following paragraphs. The evaluation plan must 
describe measures of progress in implementation, including the extent 
to which the project's products and services have reached its target 
population, and measures of intended outcomes or results to assess the 
project's progress toward achieving intended outcomes.
    In designing the evaluation plan, the project must--
    (1) Designate, with the approval of the OSEP project officer, a 
project liaison staff person with sufficient dedicated time, experience 
in evaluation, and knowledge of the project to work in collaboration 
with the Center to Improve Project Performance (CIPP),\6\ the project 
director, and the OSEP project officer on the following tasks:
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    \6\ The major tasks of CIPP are to guide, coordinate, and 
oversee the design of formative evaluations for every large 
discretionary investment (i.e., those awarded $500,000 or more per 
year and required to participate in the 3+2 process) in OSEP's 
Technical Assistance and Dissemination; Personnel Development; 
Parent Training and Information Centers; and Educational Technology, 
Media, and Materials programs. The efforts of CIPP are expected to 
enhance individual project evaluation plans by providing expert and 
unbiased technical assistance in designing the evaluations with due 
consideration of the project's budget. CIPP does not function as a 
third-party evaluator.
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    (i) Revise, as needed, the logic model (see paragraph (f)(1) this 
priority) submitted in the grant application to provide for a more 
comprehensive measurement of implementation and outcomes and to reflect 
any changes or clarifications to the model discussed at the kick-off 
meeting;
    (ii) Refine the evaluation design and instrumentation proposed in 
the application consistent with the logic model (e.g., preparing 
evaluation questions about significant program processes and outcomes; 
developing quantitative or qualitative data collections that permit 
both the collection of progress data, including fidelity of 
implementation, as appropriate, and progress toward achieving intended 
outcomes; selecting respondent samples if appropriate; designing 
instruments or identifying data sources; and identifying analytic 
strategies); and
    (iii) Revise, as needed, the evaluation plan submitted in the grant 
application such that it clearly--
    (A) Specifies the measures and associated instruments or sources 
for data appropriate to the evaluation questions, suggests analytic 
strategies for those data, provides a timeline for conducting the 
evaluation, and includes staff assignments for completion of the plan;
    (B) Delineates the data expected to be available by the end of the 
second project year for use during the project's intensive review for 
continued funding described under the heading Fourth and Fifth Years of 
the Project; and
    (C) Can be used to assist the project director and the OSEP project 
officer, with the assistance of CIPP as needed, to specify the 
performance measures to be addressed in the project's Annual 
Performance Report;
    (2) Cooperate with CIPP staff in order to accomplish the tasks 
described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; and
    (3) Dedicate sufficient funds in each budget year to cover the 
costs of carrying out the tasks described in

[[Page 15495]]

paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section and implementing the 
evaluation plan.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Adequacy of Project Resources,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment 
from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been 
underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or 
disability, as appropriate;
    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and 
subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to carry out the 
proposed activities and achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to 
carry out the proposed activities; and
    (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the 
anticipated results and benefits.
    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Management Plan,'' how--
    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's 
intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To 
address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, 
consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and
    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;
    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors 
will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are 
appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and 
services provided are of high quality; and
    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including those of families, educators, TA providers, 
researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and 
operation.
    (f) Address the following application requirements. The applicant 
must--
    (1) Include, in Appendix A, a logic model that depicts, at a 
minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the 
proposed project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve 
its intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative 
and summative evaluations of the project.

    Note:  The following Web sites provide more information on logic 
models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and www.osepideasthatwork.org/logicModel/index.asp.

    (2) Include, in Appendix A, a conceptual framework for the project;
    (3) Include, in Appendix A, person-loading charts and timelines, as 
applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the 
narrative;
    (4) Include, in the budget, attendance at the following:
    (i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting in Washington, DC, 
after receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting in 
Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer and other relevant staff 
during each subsequent year of the project period;

    Note:  Within 30 days of receipt of the award, a post-award 
teleconference must be held between the OSEP project officer and the 
grantee's project director or other authorized representative.

    (ii) A two and one-half day project directors' meeting in 
Washington, DC, during each year of the project period;
    (iii) Three trips annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP; and
    (iv) A one-day intensive 3+2 review meeting in Washington, DC, 
during the last half of the second year of the project period;
    (5) Include, in the budget, a line item for an annual set-aside of 
five percent of the grant amount to support emerging needs that are 
consistent with the proposed project's intended outcomes, as those 
needs are identified in consultation with OSEP.

    Note:  With approval from the OSEP project officer, the project 
must reallocate any remaining funds from this annual set-aside no 
later than the end of the third quarter of each budget period; and

    (6) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility.
    Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project:
    In deciding whether to continue funding the project for the fourth 
and fifth years, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 
75.253(a), as well as--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts 
selected by the Secretary. This review will be conducted during a one-
day intensive meeting that will be held during the last half of the 
second year of the project period;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
project; and
    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the project's 
products and services and the extent to which the project's products 
and services are aligned with the project's objectives and likely to 
result in the project achieving its intended outcomes.
    References:

Aron, L., & Loprest, P. (2012). Disability and the education system. 
The Future of Children, 22(1), 97-122.
Conderman, G., & Hedin, L. (2012). Classroom assessments that inform 
instruction. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48(4), 162-168.
Courtade, G., Spooner, F., Browder, D., & Jimenez, B. (2012). Seven 
reasons to promote standards-based instruction for students with 
severe disabilities: A reply to Ayres, Lowrey, Douglas, & Sievers 
(2011). Education and Training in Autism and Developmental 
Disabilities, 47(1), 3-13.
Kurz, A., Elliott, S., Lemons, C., Zigmond, N., Kloo, A., & Kettler, 
R. (2014). Assessing opportunity-to-learn for students with 
disabilities in general and special education classes. Assessment 
for Effective Intervention, 40(1), 24-39.
Lane, S., & Leventhal, B. (2015). Psychometric challenges in 
assessing English language learners with disabilities. Review of 
Research in Education, 39, 165-214.
Miller, C.L. (2010). Accountability policy implementation and the 
case of smaller school district capacity: Three contrasting cases 
that examine the flow and use of NCLB accountability data. 
Leadership and Policy in Schools, 9(4), 384-420.
U.S. Department of Education. (2014). Questions and Answers 
Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities in English 
Language Proficiency Assessments and Title III Annual Measurable 
Achievement Objectives. Retrieved from: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sfgp/elswdfaq7182014.doc.

Final Priority and Requirements

    We will announce the final priority and requirements in a notice in 
the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority and 
requirements after considering responses to this notice and other 
information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude 
us from proposing additional priorities or requirements subject to 
meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this proposed priority and one or more of 
these requirements, we invite applications through a notice in the 
Federal Register.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563:
    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and,

[[Page 15496]]

therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and 
subject to review by OMB. Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines 
a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely to result in a 
rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or 
Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the 
Executive order.
    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory 
action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866.
    We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under 
Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the 
principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review 
established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, 
Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We are issuing this proposed priority and these proposed 
requirements only on a reasoned determination that their benefits 
justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory 
approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net benefits. 
Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this 
regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 
13563.
    We have also determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: March 16, 2016.
Michael K. Yudin,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

Appendix 1

    Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and 
Results for Children With Disabilities--National Technical 
Assistance Center to Increase the Participation and Improve the 
Performance of Students With Disabilities on State and Districtwide 
Assessments.
    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement 
to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center to 
Increase the Participation and Improve the Performance of Students 
with Disabilities on State and Districtwide Assessments (Center). 
The Center must achieve, at a minimum, the following expected 
outcomes to support SEAs and LEAs in the implementation of 
appropriate, high-quality assessments for students with 
disabilities:
    Knowledge Development Outcomes.
    (a) Increased body of knowledge on evidence-based practices to 
collect, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate relevant information 
about State and districtwide assessment of students with 
disabilities, including topics such as--
    (1) Including students with disabilities in accountability 
systems;
    (2) Assessment accommodations;
    (3) Alternate assessments;
    (4) Universal design of assessments;
    (5) Technology-based assessments;
    (6) Formative assessments;
    (8) Competency-based assessments;
    (7) Methods for analyzing and reporting assessment data;
    (8) Application of growth models in assessment programs;
    (9) Uses of formative and summative assessment data to inform 
instructional programs for students with disabilities;
    (10) Assessing English Learners (ELs) with disabilities, 
including ensuring that all ELs with disabilities receive 
appropriate accommodations, as needed, on English Language 
Proficiency (ELP) assessments and that the results of ELP 
assessments for students with disabilities are validly used in 
making accountability determinations under the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA); and
    (11) Ensuring that assessments are fair, are of high quality, 
take up the minimum necessary time, provide the same educational 
benefits for all test takers, and reflect the

[[Page 15497]]

expectation that students will be prepared for success in college 
and careers.
    Note: In order to meet the requirements of paragraph (a), the 
Center will conduct a comprehensive review of existing research on 
evidence-based practices available from a variety of reliable 
sources, such as findings from research funded by the Institute of 
Education Sciences (IES), including the National Research and 
Development Center on Assessment and Accountability for Special 
Education (NCASSE) and other federally funded and non-federally 
funded sources.
    (b) Increase the capacity of SEA and LEA personnel to assess and 
track SEA and LEA needs for including students with disabilities in 
State and districtwide assessments, including, as appropriate, 
improving the skills of SEA and LEA personnel in any of the topics 
listed in paragraph (a) of this section.
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination Outcomes.
    (a) Increased capacity of SEA and LEA personnel to collect and 
analyze summative assessment data, and formative assessment data (in 
the case of LEA personnel), on the performance of students with 
disabilities.
    (b) Increased capacity of SEA and LEA personnel to use State and 
districtwide summative assessment data, and formative data from 
districtwide assessments (in the case of LEA personnel), to evaluate 
and improve educational policies and increase accountability for 
students with disabilities.
    (c) Increased capacity of LEA personnel to use formative and 
summative assessment results in instructional decision-making to 
improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities.
    (d) Increased awareness about how students with disabilities are 
included in and benefit from current and emerging approaches to 
State and districtwide assessment, including topics listed in 
paragraph (a) of the Knowledge Development Outcomes section of this 
priority.

[FR Doc. 2016-06441 Filed 3-22-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P