[Federal Register: April 20, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 77)]
[Page 21283-21286]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 21283]]


Part III

Department of Education


Office of Educational Research and Improvement; The Comprehensive
School Reform Research Grant Competition; Inviting Applications for New
Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2000; Notice

[[Page 21284]]



[CFDA No. 84.306S]

Office of Educational Research and Improvement; The Comprehensive
School Reform Research Grant Competition; Notice Inviting Applications
for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2000

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to expand
understanding of the full dimensions of school reform through rigorous
investigation of the large-scale implementation of research-based
comprehensive school reform models as a strategy for increasing student
    For FY 2000 the competition for new awards focuses on projects
designed to meet the priorities identified in the PRIORITIES section of
this application notice.
    Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education; State and
local education agencies; public and private organizations,
institutions, and agencies; and individuals.
    Applications Available: May 12, 2000 for hardcopies. Also available
by Web site (http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/) on the date of publication
of this notice.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 22, 2000.
    Estimated Available Funds: Up to $5 million.
    Estimated Size of Awards: The size of the awards will be
commensurate with the nature and scope of the proposed work.

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

    Budget Period: 12-month period.
    Project Period: Up to 36 months, with the exception of large-scale
longitudinal field studies that may require 5 years to collect and
analyze sufficient student or school outcome data.
    Page Limits: The application must include six sections: title page
form, research narrative, management plan, biographical sketches for
principal investigators and other key personnel, budget summary form
with budget narrative, and statement of equitable access (GEPA 427).
The research narrative is limited to 50 pages, the management plan is
limited to 5 pages, and biographical sketches are limited to 3 pages
each, using 8\1/2\ x 11 inch paper with printing on only one side.
Appendix materials should not be submitted. Pages in excess of these
limitations will be removed unread. We strongly encourage applicants to
use double-spacing, a 12-point font, and 1-inch margins. Reviewers are
able to conduct the highest quality review when applications are
concise and easy to read, with pages consecutively numbered.
    Applicable Statutes and Regulations: (a) Statutes: This grant
competition is authorized by P.L. 106-113, the Department of Education
Appropriations Act, 2000 and by OERI's authorizing statute at 20 U.S.C.
6031. (b) Regulations: (1) The Education Department General
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR Parts 74, 75, 77, 78, 80,
81, 82, 84, 86 (Part 86 applies only to Institutions of Higher
Education), 97, 98 and 99; and (2) 34 CFR Part 700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This research grant competition combines
elements of both research and evaluation of comprehensive school
reform. The Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI)
expects that the knowledge gained from this work will provide the field
with findings about specific models in promoting student achievement
and enhance our understanding of how model developers and staff in
schools can more effectively work together to improve student
achievement. In addition, it should contribute to our overall
understanding of how to increase student achievement and our continuing
efforts to refine and improve education reform strategies.
    Currently, very few comprehensive school reform models have been
rigorously evaluated to determine their effectiveness. States,
districts, schools, and the research community all would greatly
benefit from additional rigorous evaluation of the various models.
Equally important is additional information about how various model
characteristics (e.g., prescriptiveness, professional development
strategy, and curriculum requirements) are likely to achieve success in
schools with differing student populations, capacities, and needs.
    This work should build on the growing awareness that comprehensive
school reform as a strategy for improved student achievement will
depend not only on the model being implemented, but also on the context
and conditions that exist in classrooms, schools, and districts. What
works or does not work in a classroom, school or district can be a
function of a variety of factors and supporting conditions such as
financial resources, teacher quality, district and school-level
leadership, and collaborative strategies employed by model developers,
districts, schools, and external technical assistance providers. In
addition, the success or effectiveness of a model may be related to the
needs of special populations including limited English proficient
students or special education students.
    OERI seeks rigorous research and evaluation designs that focus
explicitly on comprehensive school reform's role in increasing student
learning and achievement. The studies must contribute in a significant
and cumulative way to extant research on comprehensive school reform;
and produce findings that are sound, relevant, timely, and useful to
practitioners and policymakers. Applicants should demonstrate
understanding of research in progress, as well as plans for evaluations
of this research. Research questions should be informed by the needs of
practitioners and policymakers involved in comprehensive school reform
initiatives and should be framed in ways that are likely to increase
the utility of the findings ultimately produced. In addition, study
designs should include mechanisms to share emerging findings with the
field, as appropriate. The designs should also enable other interested
researchers to conduct further data analyses, replication, verification
and refinement of findings, and improvement of measurement procedures.
    We encourage collaboration in the conduct of research. Proposal
teams should reflect synergistic collaborations among model developers,
researchers, practitioners, and others likely to produce relevant and
actionable findings for educators and policymakers. We encourage
research organizations to collaborate with groups and institutions
historically underrepresented in education research, such as
Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving
Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
    OERI cautions that this research grant program is not intended to
support model development or improvement efforts in individual schools
or districts, but rather to support research efforts resulting in
findings that apply to comprehensive school reform strategies for many
schools in various communities, districts and states.

Type of Awards

    OERI anticipates that research designed to address one or more of
these priorities may require large studies. For some projects, such as
large-scale longitudinal studies, closer relationships with grantees
than those typically afforded by discretionary grants may be
appropriate. OERI therefore expects that some studies will be awarded
cooperative agreements

[[Page 21285]]

rather than discretionary grants, as provided for in EDGAR, at 34 CFR
    OERI is interested in conducting research about the capacity of
already developed comprehensive school reform models to increase
student achievement in large numbers of schools outside the original
development and field test sites. As previously noted, we will not fund
the development of models or provide support simply to implement and/or
evaluate a specific program in a specific site.


    For purposes of this competition, an externally developed,
research-based comprehensive school reform model is defined as follows:
(1) It includes an integrated set of supportive materials, frameworks
or guidelines, and the capacity to provide implementation assistance to
schools. (2) It supports all systems within a school--organization,
instruction, professional development, and management. (3) All of the
school's classrooms are actively engaged in and accountable for the
implementation of a common, articulated strategy to improve teaching
and learning for all students in the school. (4) The components are
grounded in research on effective practice. (5) It has been developed
and tested in one set of schools and has demonstrated capacity to serve
other schools. (6) There is some evidence of the effectiveness of the
model in increasing student achievement.

Absolute Priority

    OERI has identified three research questions as being critical to
understanding the full dimensions of the large-scale implementation of
externally developed research-based comprehensive school reform models
as a strategy for increasing student achievement. This competition
focuses on research projects designed to meet the following absolute
    Conduct studies that address one or more of the following research
    (1) How effective are specific externally developed, research-based
comprehensive school reform models in improving the achievement of all
    (2) How are model characteristics related to success of model
implementation and improvement in teaching and learning in specific
types of settings and with specific types of students?
    (3) What supporting conditions and strategies are necessary to
effectively implement and sustain comprehensive school reform models in
schools and school districts?
    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet
this priority.

Competitive Priority

    The Secretary gives competitive preference priority to applications
that address research question (1) under the absolute priority, in
addition to addressing one or both of the other research questions in a
coherent and integrated design. OERI considers research question (1) to
be central to the proposed work. OERI believes studies designed to
address question (1), and one or both of the other research questions
will increase the rigor and robustness of school reform research and
evaluation. In addition, study designs that link elements of research
questions (2) and/or (3) with research question (1) will be more useful
to model developers, policymakers, and practitioners.
    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii), OERI will select an application that
meets the competitive priority over an application of comparable merit
that does not meet the priority.
    A principal investigator may submit only one proposal and may
collaborate in one other proposal as a co-investigator. Group and
collaborative proposals involving more than one institution must be
submitted as a single administrative package from one of the
institutions involved. Principal investigators will be required to meet
at least twice each year with agency staff, consultants, and other OERI
grantees and contractors for the purpose of expanding collaborative
efforts within this field of research. OERI anticipates the possibility
of funding two or more proposals that address the same or similar
themes, topics or issues. OERI provides opportunities for grantees to
inform each other's work by discussing common challenges,
methodological issues, and ways to maximize the impact of this program
on student achievement for all students. Principal investigators will
also be required to help identify crosscutting research issues, and to
work together to better inform other researchers, practitioners, and
policymakers of emerging findings.
    Depending upon the type of research proposed, OERI might require
some common study design elements. Investigators may be asked to
develop a core of common research questions, outcome measures,
instruments, or data analysis procedures so that study findings are

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553),
it is the practice of the Department to offer interested parties the
opportunity to comment on proposed priorities that are not taken
directly from statute. Ordinarily, this practice would have applied to
the priorities in this notice. Section 437(d)(1) of the General
Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. l232(d)(1), however, exempts
rules that apply to the first competition under a new or substantially
revised program from this requirement.
    The conference agreement for the FY 2000 appropriation for OERI's
national research institutes includes $20,000,000 for ``current and
expanded comprehensive school reform research and development.'' (P.L.
106-113, the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2000.) Of that
sum, approximately $15 million will support continuation of the current
activities (contracts resulting from the FY 1999 design competition for
new models for comprehensive school reform at the middle and high
school level). An estimated $5 million will be used for the
discretionary grants or cooperative agreements that are the subject
matter of this competition. This expanded program of research and
development will focus on studies addressing the student achievement
effects of various comprehensive school reform models.
    Therefore, the Assistant Secretary of OERI, in accordance with
section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, to ensure timely awards, has decided to
forego public comment with respect to the priorities. The priorities
will apply only to the FY 2000 grant competition.

FOR APPLICATIONS CONTACT:  Electronic Copy. Applications will be
available on the World Wide Web at the following sites:


    Hard Copy. Hard copies will be available after May 12, 2000 from
the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD
20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call
(toll free): 1-877-576-7734.
    You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site:


or you may contact ED Pubs at its E-mail address:


[[Page 21286]]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify
this competition as follows: CFDA Number 84.306S.

Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW., room 604B, Washington, DC 20202-
5530. Telephone: (202) 208-2991. E-mail: cheryl_kane@ed.gov or D.
Hollinger Martinez, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Ave,
NW., room 610C, Washington, DC 20208-5521. Telephone: (202) 219-2239.
E-mail: debra_hollinger_martinez@ed.gov. If you use a
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer
diskette) on request by contacting either of the individuals under FOR
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application
package in an alternative format by contacting that person. However,
the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the
standard forms included in the application package.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at either of the
following sites:


    To use the PDF you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is
available free at either of the previous sites. If you have questions
about using the PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO),
toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC area at (202)

    Note: The official version of this document is the document
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6031.

C. Kent McGuire,
Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 00-9932 Filed 4-19-00; 8:45 am]