FR Doc E9-27427[Federal Register: November 18, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 221)]
[Notices]               
[Page 59835-59872]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr18no09-113]   
         

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Part IV





Department of Education





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Overview Information; Race to the Top Fund; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010; Notice


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Overview Information; Race to the Top Fund; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.395A.

DATES: Applications Available: November 18, 2009.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply for Phase 1: December 8, 
2009.
    Date of Meeting for Potential Applicants: The Department intends to 
hold two technical assistance planning workshops. The first will be in 
Denver, Colorado, on December 3, 2009. The second will be in the 
Washington, DC area on December 10, 2009. We recommend that applicants 
attend one of these two workshops.
    Deadlines for Transmittal of Applications:
    Phase 1. Applications: January 19, 2010.
    Phase 2 Applications: June 1, 2010. Phase 2 applicants addressing 
selection criterion (B)(1)(ii)(b) may amend their June 1, 2010 
application submission through August 2, 2010 by submitting evidence of 
having adopted common standards after June 1, 2010. No other 
information may be submitted after June 1, 2010 in an amended 
application.
    Deadlines for Intergovernmental Review:
    Phase 1 Applications: March 18, 2010.
    Phase 2 Applications: August 2, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Race to the Top Fund, a 
competitive grant program authorized under the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), is to encourage and reward States that 
are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform; 
achieving significant improvement in student outcomes, including making 
substantial gains in student achievement, closing achievement gaps, 
improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring student 
preparation for success in college and careers; and implementing 
ambitious plans in four core education reform areas:
    (a) Adopting internationally-benchmarked standards and assessments 
that prepare students for success in college and the workplace;
    (b) Building data systems that measure student success and inform 
teachers and principals in how they can improve their practices;
    (c) Increasing teacher effectiveness and achieving equity in 
teacher distribution; and
    (d) Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
    Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2010, this priority is an absolute 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that 
meet this priority. Applicants should address this priority throughout 
their applications.
    Priority 1: Absolute Priority--Comprehensive Approach to Education 
Reform.
    To meet this priority, the State's application must comprehensively 
and coherently address all of the four education reform areas specified 
in the ARRA as well as the State Success Factors Criteria in order to 
demonstrate that the State and its participating LEAs are taking a 
systemic approach to education reform. The State must demonstrate in 
its application sufficient LEA participation and commitment to 
successfully implement and achieve the goals in its plans; and it must 
describe how the State, in collaboration with its participating LEAs, 
will use Race to the Top and other funds to increase student 
achievement, decrease the achievement gaps across student subgroups, 
and increase the rates at which students graduate from high school 
prepared for college and careers.
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2010, this priority is a 
competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award 
15 additional points to applications that meet this priority. 
Applicants should address this priority throughout their applications.
    Priority 2: Competitive Preference Priority--Emphasis on Science, 
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
    To meet this priority, the State's application must have a high-
quality plan to address the need to (i) offer a rigorous course of 
study in mathematics, the sciences, technology, and engineering; (ii) 
cooperate with industry experts, museums, universities, research 
centers, or other STEM-capable community partners to prepare and assist 
teachers in integrating STEM content across grades and disciplines, in 
promoting effective and relevant instruction, and in offering applied 
learning opportunities for students; and (iii) prepare more students 
for advanced study and careers in the sciences, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics, including by addressing the needs of 
underrepresented groups and of women and girls in the areas of science, 
technology, engineering, and mathematics.
    Invitational Priorities: For FY 2010, these priorities are 
invitational priorities. With an invitational priority, we signal our 
interest in receiving applications that meet the priority; however, 
consistent with 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that 
meets an invitational priority preference over other applications.
    Priority 3: Invitational Priority--Innovations for Improving Early 
Learning Outcomes.
    The Secretary is particularly interested in applications that 
include practices, strategies, or programs to improve educational 
outcomes for high-need students who are young children (pre-
kindergarten through third grade) by enhancing the quality of preschool 
programs. Of particular interest are proposals that support practices 
that (i) improve school readiness (including social, emotional, and 
cognitive); and (ii) improve the transition between preschool and 
kindergarten.
    Priority 4: Invitational Priority--Expansion and Adaptation of 
Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems.
    The Secretary is particularly interested in applications in which 
the State plans to expand statewide longitudinal data systems to 
include or integrate data from special education programs, English 
language learner programs,\1\ early childhood programs, at-risk and 
dropout prevention programs, and school climate and culture programs, 
as well as information on student mobility, human resources (i.e., 
information on teachers, principals, and other staff), school finance, 
student health, postsecondary education, and other relevant areas, with 
the purpose of connecting and coordinating all parts of the system to 
allow important questions related to policy, practice, or overall 
effectiveness to be asked, answered, and incorporated into effective 
continuous improvement practices.
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    \1\ The term English language learner, as used in this notice, 
is synonymous with the term limited English proficient, as defined 
in section 9101 of the ESEA.
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    The Secretary is also particularly interested in applications in 
which States propose working together to adapt one State's statewide 
longitudinal data system so that it may be used, in whole or in part, 
by one or more other States, rather than having each State build or 
continue building such systems independently.
    Priority 5: Invitational Priority--P-20 Coordination, Vertical and 
Horizontal Alignment.

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    The Secretary is particularly interested in applications in which 
the State plans to address how early childhood programs, K-12 schools, 
postsecondary institutions, workforce development organizations, and 
other State agencies and community partners (e.g., child welfare, 
juvenile justice, and criminal justice agencies) will coordinate to 
improve all parts of the education system and create a more seamless 
preschool-through-graduate school (P-20) route for students. Vertical 
alignment across P-20 is particularly critical at each point where a 
transition occurs (e.g., between early childhood and K-12, or between 
K-12 and postsecondary/careers) to ensure that students exiting one 
level are prepared for success, without remediation, in the next. 
Horizontal alignment, that is, coordination of services across schools, 
State agencies, and community partners, is also important in ensuring 
that high-need students (as defined in this notice) have access to the 
broad array of opportunities and services they need and that are beyond 
the capacity of a school itself to provide.
    Priority 6: Invitational Priority--School-Level Conditions for 
Reform, Innovation, and Learning.
    The Secretary is particularly interested in applications in which 
the State's participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) seek to 
create the conditions for reform and innovation as well as the 
conditions for learning by providing schools with flexibility and 
autonomy in such areas as--
    (i) Selecting staff;
    (ii) Implementing new structures and formats for the school day or 
year that result in increased learning time (as defined in this 
notice);
    (iii) Controlling the school's budget;
    (iv) Awarding credit to students based on student performance 
instead of instructional time;
    (v) Providing comprehensive services to high-need students (as 
defined in this notice) (e.g., by mentors and other caring adults; 
through local partnerships with community-based organizations, 
nonprofit organizations, and other providers);
    (vi) Creating school climates and cultures that remove obstacles 
to, and actively support, student engagement and achievement; and
    (vii) Implementing strategies to effectively engage families and 
communities in supporting the academic success of their students.
    Final Requirements: The following requirements are from the notice 
of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, 
published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Application Requirements:
    (a) The State's application must be signed by the Governor, the 
State's chief school officer, and the president of the State board of 
education (if applicable). States will respond to this requirement in 
the application, Section III, Race to the Top Application Assurances. 
In addition, the assurances in Section IV must be signed by the 
Governor.
    (b) The State must describe the progress it has made over the past 
several years in each of the four education reform areas (as described 
in criterion (A)(3)(i)).
    (c) The State must include a budget that details how it will use 
grant funds and other resources to meet targets and perform related 
functions (as described in criterion (A)(2)(i)(d)), including how it 
will use funds awarded under this program to--
    (1) Achieve its targets for improving student achievement and 
graduation rates and for closing achievement gaps (as described in 
criterion (A)(1)(iii)); the State must also describe its track record 
of improving student progress overall and by student subgroup (as 
described in criterion (A)(3)(ii)); and
    (2) Give priority to high-need LEAs (as defined in this notice), in 
addition to providing 50 percent of the grant to participating LEAs (as 
defined in this notice) based on their relative shares of funding under 
Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 
(ESEA) for the most recent year as required under section 14006(c) of 
the ARRA. (Note: Because all Race to the Top grants will be made in 
2010, relative shares will be based on total funding received in FY 
2009, including both the regular Title I, Part A appropriation and the 
amount made available by the ARRA).
    (d) The State must provide, for each State Reform Conditions 
Criterion (listed in this notice) that it chooses to address, a 
description of the State's current status in meeting that criterion 
and, at a minimum, the information requested as supporting evidence for 
the criterion and the performance measures, if any (see Appendix A).
    (e) The State must provide, for each Reform Plan Criterion (listed 
in this notice) that it chooses to address, a detailed plan for use of 
grant funds that includes, but need not be limited to--
    (1) The key goals;
    (2) The key activities to be undertaken and rationale for the 
activities, which should include why the specific activities are 
thought to bring about the change envisioned and how these activities 
are linked to the key goals;
    (3) The timeline for implementing the activities;
    (4) The party or parties responsible for implementing the 
activities;
    (5) The information requested in the performance measures, where 
applicable (see Appendix A), and where the State proposes plans for 
reform efforts not covered by a specified performance measure, the 
State is encouraged to propose performance measures and annual targets 
for those efforts; and
    (6) The information requested as supporting evidence, if any, for 
the criterion, together with any additional information the State 
believes will be helpful to peer reviewers in judging the credibility 
of the State's plan.
    (f) The State must submit a certification from the State Attorney 
General that--
    (1) The State's description of, and statements and conclusions 
concerning State law, statute, and regulation in its application are 
complete, accurate, and constitute a reasonable interpretation of State 
law, statute, and regulation; and
    (2) At the time the State submits its application, the State does 
not have any legal, statutory, or regulatory barriers at the State 
level to linking data on student achievement or student growth to 
teachers and principals for the purpose of teacher and principal 
evaluation.
    (g) When addressing issues relating to assessments required under 
the ESEA or subgroups in the selection criteria, the State must meet 
the following requirements:
    (1) For student subgroups with respect to the National Assessment 
of Educational Progress (NAEP), the State must provide data for the 
NAEP subgroups described in section 303(b)(2)(G) of the National 
Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act (20 U.S.C. 9622) 
(i.e., race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, disability, and 
limited English proficiency). The State must also include the NAEP 
exclusion rate for students with disabilities and the exclusion rate 
for English language learners, along with clear documentation of the 
State's policies and practices for determining whether a student with a 
disability or an English language learner should participate in the 
NAEP and whether the student needs accommodations;
    (2) For student subgroups with respect to high school graduation 
rates, college enrollment and credit accumulation rates, and the 
assessments required under the ESEA, the State must provide data for 
the subgroups described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA 
(i.e., economically

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disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, 
students with disabilities, and students with limited English 
proficiency); and
    (3) When asked to provide information regarding the assessments 
required under the ESEA, States should refer to section 1111(b)(3) of 
the ESEA; in addition, when describing this assessment data in the 
State's application, the State should note any factors (e.g., changes 
in cut scores) that would impact the comparability of data from one 
year to the next.
    Program Requirements:
    Evaluation: The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will conduct 
a series of national evaluations of Race to the Top's State grantees as 
part of its evaluation of programs funded under the ARRA. The 
Department's goal for these evaluations is to ensure that its studies 
not only assess program impacts, but also provide valuable information 
to State and local educators to help inform and improve their 
practices.
    The Department anticipates that the national evaluations will 
involve such components as--
     Surveys of States, LEAs, and/or schools, which will help 
identify how program funding is spent and the specific efforts and 
activities that are underway within each of the four education reform 
areas and across selected ARRA-funded programs;
     Case studies of promising practices in States, LEAs, and/
or schools through surveys and other mechanisms; and
     Evaluations of outcomes, focusing on student achievement 
and other performance measures, to determine the impact of the reforms 
implemented under Race to the Top.
    Race to the Top grantee States are not required to conduct 
independent evaluations, but may propose, within their applications, to 
use funds from Race to the Top to support such evaluations. Grantees 
must make available, through formal (e.g., peer-reviewed journals) or 
informal (e.g., newsletters, Web sites) mechanisms, the results of any 
evaluations they conduct of their funded activities. In addition, as 
described elsewhere in this notice and regardless of the final 
components of the national evaluation, Race to the Top States, LEAs, 
and schools are expected to identify and share promising practices, 
make work available within and across States, and make data available 
in appropriate ways to stakeholders and researchers so as to help all 
States focus on continuous improvement in service of student outcomes.
    Participating LEAs Scope of Work: The agreements signed by 
participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) must include a scope-of-
work section. The scope of work submitted by LEAs and States as part of 
their Race to the Top applications will be preliminary. Preliminary 
scopes of work should include the portions of the State's proposed 
reform plans that the LEA is agreeing to implement. If a State is 
awarded a Race to the Top grant, its participating LEAs (as defined in 
this notice) will have up to 90 days to complete final scopes of work, 
which must contain detailed work plans that are consistent with their 
preliminary scopes of work and with the State's grant application, and 
should include the participating LEAs' specific goals, activities, 
timelines, budgets, key personnel, and annual targets for key 
performance measures.
    Making Work Available: Unless otherwise protected by law or 
agreement as proprietary information, the State and its subgrantees 
must make any work (e.g., materials, tools, processes, systems) 
developed under its grant freely available to others, including but not 
limited to by posting the work on a Web site identified or sponsored by 
the Department.
    Technical Assistance: The State must participate in applicable 
technical assistance activities that may be conducted by the Department 
or its designees.
    State Summative Assessments: No funds awarded under this 
competition may be used to pay for costs related to statewide summative 
assessments.
    Program Definitions: These definitions are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Alternative routes to certification means pathways to certification 
that are authorized under the State's laws or regulations, that allow 
the establishment and operation of teacher and administrator 
preparation programs in the State, and that have the following 
characteristics (in addition to standard features such as demonstration 
of subject-matter mastery, and high-quality instruction in pedagogy and 
in addressing the needs of all students in the classroom including 
English language learners and student with disabilities): (a) Can be 
provided by various types of qualified providers, including both 
institutions of higher education and other providers operating 
independently from institutions of higher education; (b) are selective 
in accepting candidates; (c) provide supervised, school-based 
experiences and ongoing support such as effective mentoring and 
coaching; (d) significantly limit the amount of coursework required or 
have options to test out of courses; and (e) upon completion, award the 
same level of certification that traditional preparation programs award 
upon completion.
    College enrollment refers to the enrollment of students who 
graduate from high school consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1) and who 
enroll in an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 
of the Higher Education Act, Public Law 105-244, 20 U.S.C. 1001) within 
16 months of graduation.
    Common set of K-12 standards means a set of content standards that 
define what students must know and be able to do and that are 
substantially identical across all States in a consortium. A State may 
supplement the common standards with additional standards, provided 
that the additional standards do not exceed 15 percent of the State's 
total standards for that content area.
    Effective principal means a principal whose students, overall and 
for each subgroup, achieve acceptable rates (e.g., at least one grade 
level in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this 
notice). States, LEAs, or schools must include multiple measures, 
provided that principal effectiveness is evaluated, in significant 
part, by student growth (as defined in this notice). Supplemental 
measures may include, for example, high school graduation rates and 
college enrollment rates, as well as evidence of providing supportive 
teaching and learning conditions, strong instructional leadership, and 
positive family and community engagement.
    Effective teacher means a teacher whose students achieve acceptable 
rates (e.g., at least one grade level in an academic year) of student 
growth (as defined in this notice). States, LEAs, or schools must 
include multiple measures, provided that teacher effectiveness is 
evaluated, in significant part, by student growth (as defined in this 
notice). Supplemental measures may include, for example, multiple 
observation-based assessments of teacher performance.
    Formative assessment means assessment questions, tools, and 
processes that are embedded in instruction and are used by teachers and 
students to provide timely feedback for purposes of adjusting 
instruction to improve learning.
    Graduation rate means the four-year or extended-year adjusted 
cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1).

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    Highly effective principal means a principal whose students, 
overall and for each subgroup, achieve high rates (e.g., one and one-
half grade levels in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in 
this notice). States, LEAs, or schools must include multiple measures, 
provided that principal effectiveness is evaluated, in significant 
part, by student growth (as defined in this notice). Supplemental 
measures may include, for example, high school graduation rates; 
college enrollment rates; evidence of providing supportive teaching and 
learning conditions, strong instructional leadership, and positive 
family and community engagement; or evidence of attracting, developing, 
and retaining high numbers of effective teachers.
    Highly effective teacher means a teacher whose students achieve 
high rates (e.g., one and one-half grade levels in an academic year) of 
student growth (as defined in this notice). States, LEAs, or schools 
must include multiple measures, provided that teacher effectiveness is 
evaluated, in significant part, by student growth (as defined in this 
notice). Supplemental measures may include, for example, multiple 
observation-based assessments of teacher performance or evidence of 
leadership roles (which may include mentoring or leading professional 
learning communities) that increase the effectiveness of other teachers 
in the school or LEA.
    High-minority school is defined by the State in a manner consistent 
with its Teacher Equity Plan. The State should provide, in its Race to 
the Top application, the definition used.
    High-need LEA means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer than 10,000 
children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or (b) for 
which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the LEA are 
from families with incomes below the poverty line.
    High-need students means students at risk of educational failure or 
otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students 
who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools (as defined 
in this notice), who are far below grade level, who have left school 
before receiving a regular high school diploma, who are at risk of not 
graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster 
care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are 
English language learners.
    High-performing charter school means a charter school that has been 
in operation for at least three consecutive years and has demonstrated 
overall success, including (a) substantial progress in improving 
student achievement (as defined in this notice); and (b) the management 
and leadership necessary to overcome initial start-up problems and 
establish a thriving, financially viable charter school.
    High-poverty school means, consistent with section 
1111(h)(1)(C)(viii) of the ESEA, a school in the highest quartile of 
schools in the State with respect to poverty level, using a measure of 
poverty determined by the State.
    High-quality assessment means an assessment designed to measure a 
student's knowledge, understanding of, and ability to apply, critical 
concepts through the use of a variety of item types and formats (e.g., 
open-ended responses, performance-based tasks). Such assessments should 
enable measurement of student achievement (as defined in this notice) 
and student growth (as defined in this notice); be of high technical 
quality (e.g., be valid, reliable, fair, and aligned to standards); 
incorporate technology where appropriate; include the assessment of 
students with disabilities and English language learners; and to the 
extent feasible, use universal design principles (as defined in section 
3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 3002) 
in development and administration.
    Increased learning time means using a longer school day, week, or 
year schedule to significantly increase the total number of school 
hours to include additional time for (a) instruction in core academic 
subjects, including English; reading or language arts; mathematics; 
science; foreign languages; civics and government; economics; arts; 
history; and geography; (b) instruction in other subjects and 
enrichment activities that contribute to a well-rounded education, 
including, for example, physical education, service learning, and 
experiential and work-based learning opportunities that are provided by 
partnering, as appropriate, with other organizations; and (c) teachers 
to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development within and 
across grades and subjects.\2\
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    \2\ Research supports the effectiveness of well-designed 
programs that expand learning time by a minimum of 300 hours per 
school year. (See Frazier, Julie A.; Morrison, Frederick J. ``The 
Influence of Extended-year Schooling on Growth of Achievement and 
Perceived Competence in Early Elementary School.'' Child 
Development. Vol. 69 (2), April 1998, pp.495-497 and research done 
by Mass2020.) Extending learning into before- and after-school hours 
can be difficult to implement effectively, but is permissible under 
this definition with encouragement to closely integrate and 
coordinate academic work between in-school and out-of school. (See 
James-Burdumy, Susanne; Dynarski, Mark; Deke, John. ``When 
Elementary Schools Stay Open Late: Results from The National 
Evaluation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.'' 
http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/redirect_
PubsDB.asp?strSite=http://epa.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/29/4/
296 Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Vol. 29 (4), 
December 2007, Document No. PP07-121.)
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    Innovative, autonomous public schools means open enrollment public 
schools that, in return for increased accountability for student 
achievement (as defined in this notice), have the flexibility and 
authority to define their instructional models and associated 
curriculum; select and replace staff; implement new structures and 
formats for the school day or year; and control their budgets.
    Instructional improvement systems means technology-based tools and 
other strategies that provide teachers, principals, and administrators 
with meaningful support and actionable data to systemically manage 
continuous instructional improvement, including such activities as: 
instructional planning; gathering information (e.g., through formative 
assessments (as defined in this notice), interim assessments (as 
defined in this notice), summative assessments, and looking at student 
work and other student data); analyzing information with the support of 
rapid-time (as defined in this notice) reporting; using this 
information to inform decisions on appropriate next instructional 
steps; and evaluating the effectiveness of the actions taken. Such 
systems promote collaborative problem-solving and action planning; they 
may also integrate instructional data with student-level data such as 
attendance, discipline, grades, credit accumulation, and student survey 
results to provide early warning indicators of a student's risk of 
educational failure.
    Interim assessment means an assessment that is given at regular and 
specified intervals throughout the school year, is designed to evaluate 
students' knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of academic 
standards, and produces results that can be aggregated (e.g., by 
course, grade level, school, or LEA) in order to inform teachers and 
administrators at the student, classroom, school, and LEA levels.
    Involved LEAs means LEAs that choose to work with the State to 
implement those specific portions of the State's plan that necessitate 
full or nearly-full statewide implementation, such as transitioning to 
a common set of K-12 standards (as defined in this notice). Involved 
LEAs do not receive a share of the 50 percent of a State's grant award 
that it must subgrant to LEAs in accordance with section 14006(c) of 
the

[[Page 59840]]

ARRA, but States may provide other funding to involved LEAs under the 
State's Race to the Top grant in a manner that is consistent with the 
State's application.
    Low-minority school is defined by the State in a manner consistent 
with its Teacher Equity Plan. The State should provide, in its Race to 
the Top application, the definition used.
    Low-poverty school means, consistent with section 
1111(h)(1)(C)(viii) of the ESEA, a school in the lowest quartile of 
schools in the State with respect to poverty level, using a measure of 
poverty determined by the State.
    Participating LEAs means LEAs that choose to work with the State to 
implement all or significant portions of the State's Race to the Top 
plan, as specified in each LEA's agreement with the State. Each 
participating LEA that receives funding under Title I, Part A will 
receive a share of the 50 percent of a State's grant award that the 
State must subgrant to LEAs, based on the LEA's relative share of Title 
I, Part A allocations in the most recent year, in accordance with 
section 14006(c) of the ARRA. Any participating LEA that does not 
receive funding under Title I, Part A (as well as one that does) may 
receive funding from the State's other 50 percent of the grant award, 
in accordance with the State's plan.
    Persistently lowest-achieving schools means, as determined by the 
State: (i) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring that (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of 
Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or 
the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is 
greater; or (b) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as 
defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number 
of years; and (ii) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does 
not receive, Title I funds that (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five 
percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary 
schools in the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I 
funds, whichever number of schools is greater; or (b) Is a high school 
that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is 
less than 60 percent over a number of years.
    To identify the lowest-achieving schools, a State must take into 
account both (i) The academic achievement of the ``all students'' group 
in a school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under 
section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language arts and mathematics 
combined; and (ii) The school's lack of progress on those assessments 
over a number of years in the ``all students'' group.
    Rapid-time, in reference to reporting and availability of locally-
collected school- and LEA-level data, means that data are available 
quickly enough to inform current lessons, instruction, and related 
supports.
    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other 
measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) 
of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across 
classrooms.
    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: Alternative measures of 
student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
    Student growth means the change in student achievement (as defined 
in this notice) for an individual student between two or more points in 
time. A State may also include other measures that are rigorous and 
comparable across classrooms.
    Total revenues available to the State means either (a) projected or 
actual total State revenues for education and other purposes for the 
relevant year; or (b) projected or actual total State appropriations 
for education and other purposes for the relevant year.
    America COMPETES Act elements means (as specified in section 
6401(e)(2)(D) of that Act): (1) A unique statewide student identifier 
that does not permit a student to be individually identified by users 
of the system; (2) student-level enrollment, demographic, and program 
participation information; (3) student-level information about the 
points at which students exit, transfer in, transfer out, drop out, or 
complete P-16 education programs; (4) the capacity to communicate with 
higher education data systems; (5) a State data audit system assessing 
data quality, validity, and reliability; (6) yearly test records of 
individual students with respect to assessments under section 1111(b) 
of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)); (7) information on students not tested 
by grade and subject; (8) a teacher identifier system with the ability 
to match teachers to students; (9) student-level transcript 
information, including information on courses completed and grades 
earned; (10) student-level college readiness test scores; (11) 
information regarding the extent to which students transition 
successfully from secondary school to postsecondary education, 
including whether students enroll in remedial coursework; and (12) 
other information determined necessary to address alignment and 
adequate preparation for success in postsecondary education.
    Program Authority: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 
Division A, Section 14006, Public Law 111-5.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, published elsewhere 
in this issue of the Federal Register.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grant.
    Estimated Available Funds: $4 billion to be awarded in two Phases.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $20 million--$700 million.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice. The Department will decide on the size of each State's award 
based on a detailed review of the budget the State requests, 
considering such factors as the size of the State, level of LEA 
participation, and the proposed activities.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.
    Budget Guidance: States are encouraged to develop budgets that 
match the needs they have outlined in their applications.
    To support States in planning their budgets, the Department has 
developed nonbinding budget ranges for each State; these are listed 
below. These ranges may be used as rough blueprints to guide States as 
they think through their budgets, but States may prepare budgets that 
are above or below the ranges specified. The categories were developed 
by ranking every State according to its share of the national 
population of children ages 5 through 17, and identifying the natural 
breaks. Then, based on population, overlapping budget ranges were 
developed for each category.
    Category 1--$350-700 million: California, Texas, New York, Florida.
    Category 2--$200-400 million: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, 
Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey.
    Category 3--$150-250 million: Virginia, Arizona, Indiana, 
Washington, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Missouri, Maryland, Wisconsin.
    Category 4--$60-175 million: Minnesota, Colorado, Alabama, 
Louisiana, South Carolina, Puerto Rico,

[[Page 59841]]

Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon, Connecticut, Utah, Mississippi, Iowa, 
Arkansas, Kansas, Nevada.
    Category 5--$20-75 million: New Mexico, Nebraska, Idaho, West 
Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, 
Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, 
District of Columbia.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are the 50 States, the 
District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (referred to in this notice as 
State).
    A State must meet the following requirements in order to be 
eligible to receive funds under this program.
    (a) The State's applications for funding under Phase 1 and Phase 2 
of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund program must be approved by the 
Department prior to the State being awarded a Race to the Top grant.
    (b) At the time the State submits its application, there must not 
be any legal, statutory, or regulatory barriers at the State level to 
linking data on student achievement (as defined in this notice) or 
student growth (as defined in this notice) to teachers and principals 
for the purpose of teacher and principal evaluation.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package:
    You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the 
Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the 
Internet, use the following address: 
http://www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html. 
To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or 
call the following: Education Publications Center, 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), 
call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can also contact ED Pubs at its Web site: 
http://www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this program or competition as follows: CFDA 84.395A.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of the application, together with the forms 
States must submit, are in the application package for this 
competition.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Section VI) is where the 
applicant addresses the selection criteria that reviewers use to 
evaluate applications. The Department recommends that applicants limit 
their narrative responses in Section VI of the application to no more 
than 100 pages of State-authored text, and limit their appendices to no 
more than 250 pages. The following standards are recommended:
     A ``page'' is 8.5 x 11, on one side 
only, with 1 margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Each page is numbered.
     Line spacing is set to 1.5 spacing, and the font used is 
12 point Times New Roman.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: November 18, 2009.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able 
to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if 
we have a better understanding of the number of applications we will 
receive. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to 
send an e-mail notice of its intent to apply for funding for Phase 1 to 
the e-mail address RacetotheTop@ed.gov by December 8, 2009. The 
Secretary may issue a deadline for notice of intent to apply for Phase 
2 funding at a later time. The notice of intent to apply is optional; 
States may still submit applications if they have not notified the 
Department of their intention to apply.
    Date of Meeting for Potential Applicants:
    To assist States in preparing the application and to respond to 
questions, the Department intends to host two Technical Assistance 
Planning Workshops for potential applicants prior to the Phase 1 
application submission deadline. The first will be in Denver, Colorado 
on December 3, 2009. The second will be in the Washington, DC area on 
December 10, 2009. We recommend that applicants attend one of these two 
workshops.
    The purpose of the workshops would be for Department staff to 
review the selection criteria, requirements, and priorities with teams 
of participants responsible for drafting State applications, as well as 
for Department staff to answer technical questions about the Race to 
the Top program. The Department plans to release more details regarding 
the workshops in late November. Updates will be available at the Race 
to the Top Web site http://www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop. Attendance 
at the workshops is strongly encouraged. For those who cannot attend, 
transcripts of the meetings will be available on our Web site. 
Announcements of any other conference calls or webinars and Frequently 
Asked Questions will also be available on the Race to the Top Web site.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications:
    Phase 1 Applications: January 19, 2010.
    Phase 2 Applications: June 1, 2010. Phase 2 applicants addressing 
selection criterion (B)(1)(ii)(b) may amend their June 1, 2010 
application submissions through August 2, 2010 by submitting evidence 
of having adopted common standards after June 1, 2010. No other 
information may be submitted in an amended application after June 1, 
2010.
    Deadlines for Intergovernmental Review:
    Phase 1 Applications: March 18, 2010.
    Phase 2 Applications: August 2, 2010.
    Applications for grants under this competition, as well as any 
amendments regarding adoption of common standards that Phase 2 
applicants may file after June 1 and through August 2, 2010, must be 
submitted in electronic format on a CD or DVD, with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM 
preferred. In addition, States must submit an original and one hard 
copy of Sections III and IV of the application, which include the Race 
to the Top Application Assurances and the Accountability, Transparency, 
Reporting and Other Assurances. E-mailed submissions will not be read. 
For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
electronic application, please refer to section IV.6, Other Submission 
Requirements in this notice. Evidence, if any, of adoption of common 
standards submitted after June 1, 2010, but by August 2, 2010, must be 
submitted using the same submission process described in section IV, 
Application and Submission Information of this notice.
    The Department will not consider an application that does not 
comply with the deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application

[[Page 59842]]

process, the individual's application remains subject to all other 
requirements and limitations in this notice.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this competition.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted by mail or hand delivery. The 
Department strongly recommends the use of overnight mail. Applications 
postmarked on the deadline date but arriving late will not be read.
    a. Application Submission Format and Deadline. Applications for 
grants under this competition, as well as any amendments regarding 
adoption of common standards that Phase 2 applicants may file after 
June 1 and through August 2, 2010, must be submitted in electronic 
format on a CD or DVD, with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM preferred. In addition, 
they must submit a signed original of Sections III and IV of the 
application and one copy of that signed original. Sections III and IV 
of the application include the Race to the Top Application Assurances 
and the Accountability, Transparency, Reporting and Other Assurances.
    All electronic application files must be in a .DOC (document), 
.DOCX (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. 
Each file name should clearly identify the part of the application to 
which the content is responding. If a State submits a file type other 
than the four file types specified in this paragraph, the Department 
will not review that material. States should not password-protect these 
files.
    The CD or DVD should be clearly labeled with the State's name and 
any other relevant information.
    The Department must receive all grant applications by 4:30:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will not 
accept an application for this competition after 4:30:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that applicants arrange for mailing or hand delivery 
of their applications in advance of the application deadline date.
    b. Submission of Applications by Mail. States may submit their 
application (i.e., the CD or DVD, the signed original of Sections III 
and IV of the application, and the copy of that original) by mail 
(either through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier). We 
must receive the applications on or before the application deadline 
date. Therefore, to avoid delays, we strongly recommend sending 
applications via overnight mail. Mail applications to the Department at 
the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application 
Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.395A) LBJ Basement Level 1, 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    If we receive an application after the application deadline, we 
will not consider that application.
    c. Submission of Applications by Hand Delivery. States may submit 
their application (i.e., the CD or DVD, the signed original of Sections 
III and IV of the application, and the copy of that original) by hand 
delivery (including via a courier service). We must receive the 
applications on or before the application deadline date, at the 
following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control 
Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.395A) 550 12th Street, SW., Room 
7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. If we receive an application 
after the application deadline, we will not consider that application.
    d. Envelope requirements and receipt: When an applicant submits its 
application, whether by mail or hand delivery--
    (1) It must indicate on the envelope that the CFDA number of the 
competition under which it is submitting its application is 84.395A; 
and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to the applicant a 
notification of receipt of the grant application. If the applicant does 
not receive this notification, it should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.
    In accordance with EDGAR Sec.  75.216(b) and (c), an application 
will not be evaluated for funding if the applicant does not comply with 
all of the procedural rules that govern the submission of the 
application or the application does not contain the information 
required under the program.

V. Application Review Information

    Selection Criteria: The selection criteria and scoring rubric for 
this competition are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria, published elsewhere in this issue 
of the Federal Register. The reviewers will utilize the scoring rubric 
(which can also be found in Appendix B of this notice) in applying the 
following selection criteria:

A. State Success Factors

    (A)(1) Articulating State's education reform agenda and LEAs' 
participation in it: The extent to which--
    (i) The State has set forth a comprehensive and coherent reform 
agenda that clearly articulates its goals for implementing reforms in 
the four education areas described in the ARRA and improving student 
outcomes statewide, establishes a clear and credible path to achieving 
these goals, and is consistent with the specific reform plans that the 
State has proposed throughout its application;
    (ii) The participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) are 
strongly committed to the State's plans and to effective implementation 
of reform in the four education areas, as evidenced by Memoranda of 
Understanding (MOUs) (as set forth in Appendix D) \3\ or other binding 
agreements between the State and its participating LEAs (as defined in 
this notice) that include--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ See Appendix D for more on participating LEA MOUs and for a 
model MOU.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (a) Terms and conditions that reflect strong commitment by the 
participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) to the State's plans;
    (b) Scope-of-work descriptions that require participating LEAs (as 
defined in this notice) to implement all or significant portions of the 
State's Race to the Top plans; and
    (c) Signatures from as many as possible of the LEA superintendent 
(or equivalent), the president of the local school board (or 
equivalent, if applicable), and the local teachers' union leader (if 
applicable) (one signature of which must be from an authorized LEA 
representative) demonstrating the extent of leadership support within 
participating LEAs (as defined in this notice); and
    (iii) The LEAs that are participating in the State's Race to the 
Top plans (including considerations of the numbers and percentages of 
participating LEAs, schools, K-12 students, and students in poverty) 
will translate into broad statewide impact, allowing the State to reach 
its ambitious

[[Page 59843]]

yet achievable goals, overall and by student subgroup, for--
    (a) Increasing student achievement in (at a minimum) reading/
language arts and mathematics, as reported by the NAEP and the 
assessments required under the ESEA;
    (b) Decreasing achievement gaps between subgroups in reading/
language arts and mathematics, as reported by the NAEP and the 
assessments required under the ESEA;
    (c) Increasing high school graduation rates (as defined in this 
notice); and
    (d) Increasing college enrollment (as defined in this notice) and 
increasing the number of students who complete at least a year's worth 
of college credit that is applicable to a degree within two years of 
enrollment in an institution of higher education.
    (A)(2) Building strong statewide capacity to implement, scale up, 
and sustain proposed plans: The extent to which the State has a high-
quality overall plan to--
    (i) Ensure that it has the capacity required to implement its 
proposed plans by--
    (a) Providing strong leadership and dedicated teams to implement 
the statewide education reform plans the State has proposed;
    (b) Supporting participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) in 
successfully implementing the education reform plans the State has 
proposed, through such activities as identifying promising practices, 
evaluating these practices' effectiveness, ceasing ineffective 
practices, widely disseminating and replicating the effective practices 
statewide, holding participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) 
accountable for progress and performance, and intervening where 
necessary;
    (c) Providing effective and efficient operations and processes for 
implementing its Race to the Top grant in such areas as grant 
administration and oversight, budget reporting and monitoring, 
performance measure tracking and reporting, and fund disbursement;
    (d) Using the funds for this grant, as described in the State's 
budget and accompanying budget narrative, to accomplish the State's 
plans and meet its targets, including, where feasible, by coordinating, 
reallocating, or repurposing education funds from other Federal, State, 
and local sources so that they align with the State's Race to the Top 
goals; and
    (e) Using the fiscal, political, and human capital resources of the 
State to continue, after the period of funding has ended, those reforms 
funded under the grant for which there is evidence of success; and
    (ii) Use support from a broad group of stakeholders to better 
implement its plans, as evidenced by the strength of statements or 
actions of support from--
    (a) The State's teachers and principals, which include the State's 
teachers' unions or statewide teacher associations; and
    (b) Other critical stakeholders, such as the State's legislative 
leadership; charter school authorizers and State charter school 
membership associations (if applicable); other State and local leaders 
(e.g., business, community, civil rights, and education association 
leaders); Tribal schools; parent, student, and community organizations 
(e.g., parent-teacher associations, nonprofit organizations, local 
education foundations, and community-based organizations); and 
institutions of higher education.
    (A)(3) Demonstrating significant progress in raising achievement 
and closing gaps: The extent to which the State has demonstrated its 
ability to--
    (i) Make progress over the past several years in each of the four 
education reform areas, and used its ARRA and other Federal and State 
funding to pursue such reforms;
    (ii) Improve student outcomes overall and by student subgroup since 
at least 2003, and explain the connections between the data and the 
actions that have contributed to--
    (a) Increasing student achievement in reading/language arts and 
mathematics, both on the NAEP and on the assessments required under the 
ESEA;
    (b) Decreasing achievement gaps between subgroups in reading/
language arts and mathematics, both on the NAEP and on the assessments 
required under the ESEA; and
    (c) Increasing high school graduation rates.

B. Standards and Assessments

State Reform Conditions Criteria
    (B)(1) Developing and adopting common standards: The extent to 
which the State has demonstrated its commitment to adopting a common 
set of high-quality standards, evidenced by (as set forth in Appendix 
B)--
    (i) The State's participation in a consortium of States that--
    (a) Is working toward jointly developing and adopting a common set 
of K-12 standards (as defined in this notice) that are supported by 
evidence that they are internationally benchmarked and build toward 
college and career readiness by the time of high school graduation; and
    (b) Includes a significant number of States; and
    (ii)(a) For Phase 1 applications, the State's high-quality plan 
demonstrating its commitment to and progress toward adopting a common 
set of K-12 standards (as defined in this notice) by August 2, 2010, 
or, at a minimum, by a later date in 2010 specified by the State, and 
to implementing the standards thereafter in a well-planned way; or
    (b) For Phase 2 applications, the State's adoption of a common set 
of K-12 standards (as defined in this notice) by August 2, 2010, or, at 
a minimum, by a later date in 2010 specified by the State in a high-
quality plan toward which the State has made significant progress, and 
its commitment to implementing the standards thereafter in a well-
planned way.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Phase 2 applicants addressing selection criterion (B)(1)(ii) 
may amend their June 1, 2010 application submission through August 
2, 2010 by submitting evidence of adopting common standards after 
June 1, 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (B)(2) Developing and implementing common, high-quality 
assessments: The extent to which the State has demonstrated its 
commitment to improving the quality of its assessments, evidenced by 
(as set forth in Appendix B) the State's participation in a consortium 
of States that--
    (i) Is working toward jointly developing and implementing common, 
high-quality assessments (as defined in this notice) aligned with the 
consortium's common set of K-12 standards (as defined in this notice); 
and
    (ii) Includes a significant number of States.
Reform Plan Criteria
    (B)(3) Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-
quality assessments: The extent to which the State, in collaboration 
with its participating LEAs (as defined in this notice), has a high-
quality plan for supporting a statewide transition to and 
implementation of internationally benchmarked K-12 standards that build 
toward college and career readiness by the time of high school 
graduation, and high-quality assessments (as defined in this notice) 
tied to these standards. State or LEA activities might, for example, 
include: Developing a rollout plan for the standards together with all 
of their supporting components; in cooperation with the State's 
institutions of higher education, aligning high school exit criteria 
and college entrance requirements with the new standards and 
assessments; developing or acquiring, disseminating, and implementing 
high-quality instructional

[[Page 59844]]

materials and assessments (including, for example, formative and 
interim assessments (both as defined in this notice)); developing or 
acquiring and delivering high-quality professional development to 
support the transition to new standards and assessments; and engaging 
in other strategies that translate the standards and information from 
assessments into classroom practice for all students, including high-
need students (as defined in this notice).

C. Data Systems To Support Instruction

State Reform Conditions Criteria
    (C)(1) Fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system: The 
extent to which the State has a statewide longitudinal data system that 
includes all of the America COMPETES Act elements (as defined in this 
notice).
Reform Plan Criteria
    (C)(2) Accessing and using State data: The extent to which the 
State has a high-quality plan to ensure that data from the State's 
statewide longitudinal data system are accessible to, and used to 
inform and engage, as appropriate, key stakeholders (e.g., parents, 
students, teachers, principals, LEA leaders, community members, unions, 
researchers, and policymakers); and that the data support decision-
makers in the continuous improvement of efforts in such areas as 
policy, instruction, operations, management, resource allocation, and 
overall effectiveness.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Successful applicants that receive Race to the Top grant 
awards will need to comply with the Family Educational Rights and 
Privacy Act (FERPA), including 34 CFR Part 99, as well as State and 
local requirements regarding privacy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (C)(3) Using data to improve instruction: The extent to which the 
State, in collaboration with its participating LEAs (as defined in this 
notice), has a high-quality plan to--
    (i) Increase the acquisition, adoption, and use of local 
instructional improvement systems (as defined in this notice) that 
provide teachers, principals, and administrators with the information 
and resources they need to inform and improve their instructional 
practices, decision-making, and overall effectiveness;
    (ii) Support participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) and 
schools that are using instructional improvement systems (as defined in 
this notice) in providing effective professional development to 
teachers, principals, and administrators on how to use these systems 
and the resulting data to support continuous instructional improvement; 
and
    (iii) Make the data from instructional improvement systems (as 
defined in this notice), together with statewide longitudinal data 
system data, available and accessible to researchers so that they have 
detailed information with which to evaluate the effectiveness of 
instructional materials, strategies, and approaches for educating 
different types of students (e.g., students with disabilities, English 
language learners, students whose achievement is well below or above 
grade level).

D. Great Teachers and Leaders

State Reform Conditions Criteria
    (D)(1) Providing high-quality pathways for aspiring teachers and 
principals: The extent to which the State has--
    (i) Legal, statutory, or regulatory provisions that allow 
alternative routes to certification (as defined in this notice) for 
teachers and principals, particularly routes that allow for providers 
in addition to institutions of higher education;
    (ii) Alternative routes to certification (as defined in this 
notice) that are in use; and
    (iii) A process for monitoring, evaluating, and identifying areas 
of teacher and principal shortage and for preparing teachers and 
principals to fill these areas of shortage.
Reform Plan Criteria
    (D)(2) Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on 
performance: The extent to which the State, in collaboration with its 
participating LEAs (as defined in this notice), has a high-quality plan 
and ambitious yet achievable annual targets to ensure that 
participating LEAs (as defined in this notice)--
    (i) Establish clear approaches to measuring student growth (as 
defined in this notice) and measure it for each individual student;
    (ii) Design and implement rigorous, transparent, and fair 
evaluation systems for teachers and principals that (a) differentiate 
effectiveness using multiple rating categories that take into account 
data on student growth (as defined in this notice) as a significant 
factor, and (b) are designed and developed with teacher and principal 
involvement;
    (iii) Conduct annual evaluations of teachers and principals that 
include timely and constructive feedback; as part of such evaluations, 
provide teachers and principals with data on student growth for their 
students, classes, and schools; and
    (iv) Use these evaluations, at a minimum, to inform decisions 
regarding--
    (a) Developing teachers and principals, including by providing 
relevant coaching, induction support, and/or professional development;
    (b) Compensating, promoting, and retaining teachers and principals, 
including by providing opportunities for highly effective teachers and 
principals (both as defined in this notice) to obtain additional 
compensation and be given additional responsibilities;
    (c) Whether to grant tenure and/or full certification (where 
applicable) to teachers and principals using rigorous standards and 
streamlined, transparent, and fair procedures; and
    (d) Removing ineffective tenured and untenured teachers and 
principals after they have had ample opportunities to improve, and 
ensuring that such decisions are made using rigorous standards and 
streamlined, transparent, and fair procedures.
    (D)(3) Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and 
principals: The extent to which the State, in collaboration with its 
participating LEAs (as defined in this notice), has a high-quality plan 
and ambitious yet achievable annual targets to--
    (i) Ensure the equitable distribution of teachers and principals by 
developing a plan, informed by reviews of prior actions and data, to 
ensure that students in high-poverty and/or high-minority schools (both 
as defined in this notice) have equitable access to highly effective 
teachers and principals (both as defined in this notice) and are not 
served by ineffective teachers and principals at higher rates than 
other students; and
    (ii) Increase the number and percentage of effective teachers (as 
defined in this notice) teaching hard-to-staff subjects and specialty 
areas including mathematics, science, and special education; teaching 
in language instruction educational programs (as defined under Title 
III of the ESEA); and teaching in other areas as identified by the 
State or LEA.
    Plans for (i) and (ii) may include, but are not limited to, the 
implementation of incentives and strategies in such areas as 
recruitment, compensation, teaching and learning environments, 
professional development, and human resources practices and processes.
    (D)(4) Improving the effectiveness of teacher and principal 
preparation programs: The extent to which the State has a high-quality 
plan and ambitious yet achievable annual targets to--
    (i) Link student achievement and student growth (both as defined in 
this notice) data to the students' teachers

[[Page 59845]]

and principals, to link this information to the in-State programs where 
those teachers and principals were prepared for credentialing, and to 
publicly report the data for each credentialing program in the State; 
and
    (ii) Expand preparation and credentialing options and programs that 
are successful at producing effective teachers and principals (both as 
defined in this notice).
    (D)(5) Providing effective support to teachers and principals: The 
extent to which the State, in collaboration with its participating LEAs 
(as defined in this notice), has a high-quality plan for its 
participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) to--
    (i) Provide effective, data-informed professional development, 
coaching, induction, and common planning and collaboration time to 
teachers and principals that are, where appropriate, ongoing and job-
embedded. Such support might focus on, for example, gathering, 
analyzing, and using data; designing instructional strategies for 
improvement; differentiating instruction; creating school environments 
supportive of data-informed decisions; designing instruction to meet 
the specific needs of high-need students (as defined in this notice); 
and aligning systems and removing barriers to effective implementation 
of practices designed to improve student learning outcomes; and
    (ii) Measure, evaluate, and continuously improve the effectiveness 
of those supports in order to improve student achievement (as defined 
in this notice).

E. Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools

State Reform Conditions Criteria
    (E)(1) Intervening in the lowest-achieving schools and LEAs: The 
extent to which the State has the legal, statutory, or regulatory 
authority to intervene directly in the State's persistently lowest-
achieving schools (as defined in this notice) and in LEAs that are in 
improvement or corrective action status.
Reform Plan Criteria
    (E)(2) Turning around the lowest-achieving schools: The extent to 
which the State has a high-quality plan and ambitious yet achievable 
annual targets to--
    (i) Identify the persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined 
in this notice) and, at its discretion, any non-Title I eligible 
secondary schools that would be considered persistently lowest-
achieving schools (as defined in this notice) if they were eligible to 
receive Title I funds; and
    (ii) Support its LEAs in turning around these schools by 
implementing one of the four school intervention models (as described 
in Appendix C): Turnaround model, restart model, school closure, or 
transformation model (provided that an LEA with more than nine 
persistently lowest-achieving schools may not use the transformation 
model for more than 50 percent of its schools).

F. General

State Reform Conditions Criteria
    (F)(1) Making education funding a priority: The extent to which--
    (i) The percentage of the total revenues available to the State (as 
defined in this notice) that were used to support elementary, 
secondary, and public higher education for FY 2009 was greater than or 
equal to the percentage of the total revenues available to the State 
(as defined in this notice) that were used to support elementary, 
secondary, and public higher education for FY 2008; and
    (ii) The State's policies lead to equitable funding (a) between 
high-need LEAs (as defined in this notice) and other LEAs, and (b) 
within LEAs, between high-poverty schools (as defined in this notice) 
and other schools.
    (F)(2) Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charter 
schools and other innovative schools: The extent to which--
    (i) The State has a charter school law that does not prohibit or 
effectively inhibit increasing the number of high-performing charter 
schools (as defined in this notice) in the State, measured (as set 
forth in Appendix B) by the percentage of total schools in the State 
that are allowed to be charter schools or otherwise restrict student 
enrollment in charter schools;
    (ii) The State has laws, statutes, regulations, or guidelines 
regarding how charter school authorizers approve, monitor, hold 
accountable, reauthorize, and close charter schools; in particular, 
whether authorizers require that student achievement (as defined in 
this notice) be one significant factor, among others, in authorization 
or renewal; encourage charter schools that serve student populations 
that are similar to local district student populations, especially 
relative to high-need students (as defined in this notice); and have 
closed or not renewed ineffective charter schools;
    (iii) The State's charter schools receive (as set forth in Appendix 
B) equitable funding, compared to traditional public schools, and a 
commensurate share of local, State, and Federal revenues;
    (iv) The State provides charter schools with funding for facilities 
(for leasing facilities, purchasing facilities, or making tenant 
improvements), assistance with facilities acquisition, access to public 
facilities, the ability to share in bonds and mill levies, or other 
supports; and the extent to which the State does not impose any 
facility-related requirements on charter schools that are stricter than 
those applied to traditional public schools; and
    (v) The State enables LEAs to operate innovative, autonomous public 
schools (as defined in this notice) other than charter schools.
    (F)(3) Demonstrating other significant reform conditions: The 
extent to which the State, in addition to information provided under 
other State Reform Conditions Criteria, has created, through law, 
regulation, or policy, other conditions favorable to education reform 
or innovation that have increased student achievement or graduation 
rates, narrowed achievement gaps, or resulted in other important 
outcomes.
    2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will screen 
applications that are received, as described in this notice, by the 
designated deadline, and will determine which States are eligible based 
on whether they have met eligibility requirement (b); the Department 
will not consider further those applicants deemed ineligible under 
eligibility requirement (b). As discussed below, States will be 
screened for eligibility under eligibility requirement (a) at the end 
of the selection process, before they would be granted awards.
    The Department intends to use a two-tiered review process to judge 
the eligible applications. In the initial tier, the reviewers would 
consider only the written applications; in the finalist tier, reviewers 
would consider both the written applications and in-person 
presentations. In both tiers, the Department would use independent 
reviewers who have been chosen from a pool of qualified educators, 
scholars, and other individuals knowledgeable in education reform. The 
Department will thoroughly screen all reviewers for conflicts of 
interest to ensure a fair and competitive review process.
    In the initial tier, reviewers will read, comment on, and score 
their assigned applications, using the selection criteria and scoring 
rubric included in this notice (see Appendix B). The Department will 
select the finalists after

[[Page 59846]]

considering the reviewers' scores. The finalists will move on to the 
finalist tier of the competition. Applicants who do not move on to the 
finalist tier will receive their reviewers' comments and scores as soon 
as possible.
    The Department intends to ask each finalist to send a team to 
Washington, DC to present the State's proposal to a panel of reviewers. 
The panel will take this opportunity to ask the State's team further 
questions in order to gain a more comprehensive picture of the State's 
application proposal, including its plans and its capabilities to 
implement them. (Exact timing will be announced when the finalists are 
selected.) A State's presentation team may include up to five 
individuals; because the panel of reviewers is interested primarily in 
hearing from, and asking questions of, State leaders who would be 
responsible for implementing the State's Race to the Top plan, only 
those individuals who would have significant ongoing roles in and 
responsibilities in executing the State's plan should present, and in 
no case could presentation teams include consultants. At the conclusion 
of the presentation process, reviewers will finalize their scoring of 
the applications based on the selection criteria and scoring rubric in 
this notice.
    After the review process is complete, the Secretary will select, 
consistent with 34 CFR 75.217, the grantees after considering the rank 
order of applications, each applicant's status with respect to the 
Absolute Priority and eligibility requirement (a), and any other 
relevant information. All applicants will receive their reviewers' 
comments and scores.
    After awards are made for each phase of the competition, all of the 
submitted applications (both successful and unsuccessful) will be 
posted on the Department's Web site, together with the final scores 
each received. The Department also intends to post on its Web site a 
transcript and/or video of each finalist's presentation of its 
proposal.
    States that apply in Phase 1 but are not awarded grants may reapply 
for funding in Phase 2 (together with those States that are applying 
for the first time in Phase 2). Phase 1 winners receive full-sized 
awards, and so do not apply for additional funding in Phase 2.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If an application is successful, the Department 
will notify the States' U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators and send 
the applicant a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may notify the State 
informally, as well.
    If an application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, the 
Department will notify the State.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates the approved application as part of the binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: The following requirements are from the notice of 
final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, 
published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    A State receiving Race to the Top funds must submit to the 
Department an annual report which must include, in addition to the 
standard elements, a description of the State's and its LEAs' progress 
to date on their goals, timelines, and budgets, as well as actual 
performance compared to the annual targets the State established in its 
application with respect to each performance measure. Further, a State 
receiving funds under this program and its participating LEAs are 
accountable for meeting the goals, timelines, budget, and annual 
targets established in the application; adhering to an annual fund 
drawdown schedule that is tied to meeting these goals, timelines, 
budget, and annual targets; and fulfilling and maintaining all other 
conditions for the conduct of the project. The Department will monitor 
a State's and its participating LEAs' progress in meeting the State's 
goals, timelines, budget, and annual targets and in fulfilling other 
applicable requirements. In addition, the Department may collect 
additional data as part of a State's annual reporting requirements.
    To support a collaborative process between the State and the 
Department, the Department may require that applicants who are selected 
to receive an award enter into a written performance or cooperative 
agreement with the Department. If the Department determines that a 
State is not meeting its goals, timelines, budget, or annual targets or 
is not fulfilling other applicable requirements, the Department will 
take appropriate action, which could include a collaborative process 
between the Department and the State, or enforcement measures with 
respect to this grant, such as placing the State in high-risk status, 
putting the State on reimbursement payment status, or delaying or 
withholding funds.
    A State that receives Race to the Top funds must also meet the 
reporting requirements that apply to all ARRA-funded programs. 
Specifically, the State must submit reports, within 10 days after the 
end of each calendar quarter, that contain the information required 
under section 1512(c) of the ARRA in accordance with any guidance 
issued by the Office of Management and Budget or the Department (ARRA 
Division A, Section 1512(c)).
    In addition, for each year of the program, the State will submit a 
report to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the 
Secretary may require, that describes:
    [cir] The uses of funds within the State;
    [cir] How the State distributed the funds it received;
    [cir] The number of jobs that the Governor estimates were saved or 
created with the funds;
    [cir] The State's progress in reducing inequities in the 
distribution of highly qualified teachers, implementing a State 
longitudinal data system, and developing and implementing valid and 
reliable assessments for English language learners and students with 
disabilities; and
    [cir] If applicable, a description of each modernization, 
renovation, or repair project approved in the State application and 
funded, including the amounts awarded and project costs (ARRA Division 
A, Section 14008).
    4. Evidence and Performance Measures: Appendix A to this notice 
contains a listing of the evidence and performance measures.

VII. Agency Contact

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Butler, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW., room 3E108, Washington, DC 20202-
6400. Telephone: 202-205-3775 or by e-mail: racetothetop@ed.gov.
    If a TDD is needed, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 
1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: 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) on the 
Internet at the

[[Page 59847]]

following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To use PDF you must 
have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site.

    Dated: November 10, 2009.
Arne Duncan,
Secretary of Education.

Appendix A: Evidence and Performance Measures

A. State Success Factors

    (A)(1) Articulating State's education reform agenda and LEAs' 
participation in it.

Evidence

    Evidence for (A)(1)(ii):
     An example of the State's standard Participating LEA MOU, 
and description of variations used, if any.
     The completed summary table indicating which specific 
portions of the State's plan each LEA is committed to implementing, and 
relevant summary statistics (see Summary Table for (A)(1)(ii)(b)).
     The completed summary table indicating which LEA 
leadership signatures have been obtained (see Summary Table for 
(A)(1)(ii)(c)).
    Evidence for (A)(1)(iii):
     The completed summary table indicating the numbers and 
percentages of participating LEAs, schools, K-12 students, and students 
in poverty (see Summary Table for (A)(1)(iii)).
     Tables and graphs that show the State's goals, overall and 
by subgroup, requested in the criterion, together with the supporting 
narrative. In addition, describe what the goals would look like were 
the State not to receive an award under this program.
    Evidence for (A)(1)(ii) and (A)(1)(iii):
     The completed detailed table, by LEA, that includes the 
information requested in the criterion (see Detailed Table for (A)(1)).

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (A)(2) Building strong statewide capacity to implement, scale up, 
and sustain proposed plans.

Evidence

    Evidence for (A)(2)(i)(d):
     The State's budget, as completed in Section XI of the 
application. The narrative that accompanies and explains the budget and 
how it connects to the State's plan, as completed in Section XI of the 
application.
    Evidence for (A)(2)(ii):
     A summary in the narrative of the statements or actions 
and inclusion of key statements or actions in the Appendix.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (A)(3) Demonstrating significant progress in raising achievement 
and closing gaps.

Evidence

    Evidence for (A)(3)(ii): NAEP and ESEA results since at least 2003. 
Include in the Appendix all the data requested in the criterion as a 
resource for peer reviewers for each year in which a test was given or 
data was collected. Note that this data will be used for reference only 
and can be in raw format. In the narrative, provide the analysis of 
this data and any tables or graphs that best support the narrative.

Performance Measures

     None required.

(B) Standards and Assessments

    (B)(1) Developing and adopting common standards.

Evidence

    Evidence for (B)(1)(i):
     A copy of the Memorandum of Agreement, executed by the 
State, showing that it is part of a standards consortium.
     A copy of the final standards or, if the standards are not 
yet final, a copy of the draft standards and anticipated date for 
completing the standards.
     Documentation that the standards are or will be 
internationally benchmarked and that, when well-implemented, will help 
to ensure that students are prepared for college and careers.
     The number of States participating in the standards 
consortium and the list of these States.
    Evidence for (B)(1)(ii):
    For Phase 1 applicants:
     A description of the legal process in the State for 
adopting standards, and the State's plan, current progress, and 
timeframe for adoption.
    For Phase 2 applicants:
     Evidence that the State has adopted the standards. Or, if 
the State has not yet adopted the standards, a description of the legal 
process in the State for adopting standards and the State's plan, 
current progress, and timeframe for adoption.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (B)(2) Developing and implementing common, high-quality 
assessments.

Evidence

    Evidence for (B)(2):
     A copy of the Memorandum of Agreement, executed by the 
State, showing that it is part of a consortium that intends to develop 
high-quality assessments (as defined in this notice) aligned with the 
consortium's common set of K-12 standards; or documentation that the 
State's consortium has applied, or intends to apply, for a grant 
through the separate Race to the Top Assessment Program (to be 
described in a subsequent notice); or other evidence of the State's 
plan to develop and adopt common, high-quality assessments (as defined 
in this notice).
     The number of States participating in the assessment 
consortium and the list of these States.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (B)(3) Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-
quality assessments.

Evidence

     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.

Performance Measures

     Optional.
    (C) Data Systems to Support Instruction
    (C)(1) Fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system.

Evidence

     Documentation for each of the America COMPETES Act 
elements (as defined in this notice) that is included in the State's 
statewide longitudinal data system.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (C)(2) Accessing and using State data.

Evidence

     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.

Performance Measures

     Optional.
    (C)(3) Using data to improve instruction.

Evidence

     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.

Performance Measures

     Optional.

(D) Great Teachers and Leaders

    (D)(1) Providing high-quality pathways for aspiring teachers and 
principals.

[[Page 59848]]

Evidence for (D)(1)(i):

     A description of the State's applicable laws, statutes, 
regulations, or other relevant legal documents, including information 
on the elements of the State's alternative routes (as described in the 
alternative routes to certification definition in this notice).

Evidence for (D)(1)(ii):

     A list of the alternative certification programs operating 
in the State under the State's alternative routes to certification (as 
defined in this notice), and for each:
    [cir] The elements of the program (as described in the alternative 
routes to certification definition in this notice).
    [cir] The number of teachers and principals that successfully 
completed each program in the previous academic year.
    [cir] The total number of teachers and principals certified 
statewide in the previous academic year.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (D)(2) Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on 
performance.

Evidence

     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.

Performance Measures

    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     (D)(2)(i) Percentage of participating LEAs that measure 
student growth (as defined in this notice).
     (D)(2)(ii) Percentage of participating LEAs with 
qualifying evaluation systems for teachers.
     (D)(2)(ii) Percentage of participating LEAs with 
qualifying evaluation systems for principals.
     (D)(2)(iv) Percentage of participating LEAs with 
qualifying evaluation systems that are used to inform:
    [cir] (D)(2)(iv)(a) Developing teachers and principals.
    [cir] (D)(2)(iv)(b) Compensating teachers and principals.
    [cir] (D)(2)(iv)(b) Promoting teachers and principals.
    [cir] (D)(2)(iv)(b) Retaining effective teachers and principals.
    [cir] (D)(2)(iv)(c) Granting tenure and/or full certification 
(where applicable) to teachers and principals.
    [cir] (D)(2)(iv)(d) Removing ineffective tenured and untenured 
teachers and principals.
    General data to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data:
     Total number of participating LEAs.
     Total number of principals in participating LEAs.
     Total number of teachers in participating LEAs.
    Data to be requested of grantees in the future:
     (D)(2)(ii) Number of teachers and principals in 
participating LEAs with qualifying evaluation systems.
     (D)(2)(iii) Number of teachers and principals in 
participating LEAs with qualifying evaluation systems who were 
evaluated as effective or better in the prior academic year.
     (D)(2)(iii) Number of teachers and principals in 
participating LEAs with qualifying evaluation systems who were 
evaluated as ineffective in the prior academic year.
     (D)(2)(iv)(b) Number of teachers and principals in 
participating LEAs with qualifying evaluation systems whose evaluations 
were used to inform compensation decisions in the prior academic year.
     (D)(2)(iv)(b) Number of teachers and principals in 
participating LEAs with qualifying evaluation systems who were 
evaluated as effective or better and were retained in the prior 
academic year.
     (D)(2)(iv)(c) Number of teachers in participating LEAs 
with qualifying evaluation systems who were eligible for tenure in the 
prior academic year.
     (D)(2)(iv)(c) Number of teachers in participating LEAs 
with qualifying evaluation systems whose evaluations were used to 
inform tenure decisions in the prior academic year.
     (D)(2)(iv)(d) Number of teachers and principals in 
participating LEAs who were removed for being ineffective in the prior 
academic year.
    (D)(3) Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and 
principals.

Evidence

Evidence for (D)(3)(i):

     Definitions of high-minority and low-minority schools as 
defined by the State for the purposes of the State's Teacher Equity 
Plan.

Performance Measures

    Note: All information below is requested for Participating LEAs.

Performance Measures for (D)(3)(i):

    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Percentage of teachers in schools that are high-poverty, 
high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are highly 
effective (as defined in this notice).
     Percentage of teachers in schools that are low-poverty, 
low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are highly 
effective (as defined in this notice).
     Percentage of teachers in schools that are high-poverty, 
high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are ineffective.
     Percentage of teachers in schools that are low-poverty, 
low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are ineffective.
     Percentage of principals leading schools that are high-
poverty, high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are 
highly effective (as defined in this notice).
     Percentage of principals leading schools that are low-
poverty, low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are 
highly effective (as defined in this notice).
     Percentage of principals leading schools that are high-
poverty, high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are 
ineffective.
     Percentage of principals leading schools that are low-
poverty, low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who are 
ineffective.
    General data to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data:
     Total number of schools that are high-poverty, high-
minority, or both (as defined in this notice).
     Total number of schools that are low-poverty, low-
minority, or both (as defined in this notice).
     Total number of teachers in schools that are high-poverty, 
high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice).
     Total number of teachers in schools that are low-poverty, 
low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice).
     Total number of principals leading schools that are high-
poverty, high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice).
     Total number of principals leading schools that are low-
poverty, low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice).
    Data to be requested of grantees in the future:
     Number of teachers and principals in schools that are 
high-poverty, high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who 
were evaluated as highly effective (as defined in this notice) in the 
prior academic year.
     Number of teachers and principals in schools that are 
high-poverty, high-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who 
were evaluated as ineffective in the prior academic year.
     Number of teachers and principals in schools that are low-
poverty, low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who were 
evaluated as highly effective (as defined in this notice) in the prior 
academic year.

[[Page 59849]]

     Number of teachers and principals in schools that are low-
poverty, low-minority, or both (as defined in this notice) who were 
evaluated as ineffective in the prior academic year.
    Performance Measures for (D)(3)(ii):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Percentage of mathematics teachers who were evaluated as 
effective or better.
     Percentage of science teachers who were evaluated as 
effective or better.
     Percentage of special education teachers who were 
evaluated as effective or better.
     Percentage of teachers in language instruction educational 
programs who were evaluated as effective or better.
    General data to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data:
     Total number of mathematics teachers.
     Total number of science teachers.
     Total number of special education teachers.
     Total number of teachers in language instruction 
educational programs.
    Data to be requested of grantees in the future:
     Number of mathematics teachers in participating LEAs who 
were evaluated as effective or better in the prior academic year.
     Number of science teachers in participating LEAs who were 
evaluated as effective or better in the prior academic year.
     Number of special education teachers in participating LEAs 
who were evaluated as effective or better in the prior academic year.
     Number of teachers in language instruction educational 
programs in participating LEAs who were evaluated as effective or 
better in the prior academic year.
    (D)(4) Improving the effectiveness of teacher and principal 
preparation programs.

Evidence

     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.

Performance measures

    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Percentage of teacher preparation programs in the State 
for which the public can access data on the achievement and growth (as 
defined in this notice) of the graduates' students.
     Percentage of principal preparation programs in the State 
for which the public can access data on the achievement and growth (as 
defined in this notice) of the graduates' students.
    General data to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data:
     Total number of teacher credentialing programs in the 
State.
     Total number of principal credentialing programs in the 
State.
     Total number of teachers in the State.
     Total number of principals in the State.
    Data to be requested of grantees in the future:
     Number of teacher credentialing programs in the State for 
which the information (as described in the criterion) is publicly 
reported.
     Number of teachers prepared by each credentialing program 
in the State for which the information (as described in the criterion) 
is publicly reported.
     Number of principal credentialing programs in the State 
for which the information (as described in the criterion) is publicly 
reported.
     Number of principals prepared by each credentialing 
program in the State for which the information (as described in the 
criterion) is publicly reported.
     Number of teachers in the State whose data are aggregated 
to produce publicly available reports on the State's credentialing 
programs.
     Number of principals in the State whose data are 
aggregated to produce publicly available reports on the State's 
credentialing programs.
    (D)(5) Providing effective support to teachers and principals.

Evidence

     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.

Performance Measures

     Optional.

(E) Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools

    (E)(1) Intervening in the lowest-achieving schools and LEAs.

Evidence

    Evidence for (E)(1):
     A description of the State's applicable laws, statutes, 
regulations, or other relevant legal documents.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (E)(2) Turning around the lowest-achieving schools.

Evidence

     The State's historic performance on school turnaround, as 
evidenced by the total number of persistently lowest-achieving schools 
(as defined in this notice) that States or LEAs attempted to turn 
around in the last five years, the approach used, and the results and 
lessons learned to date.

Performance Measures

     The number of schools for which one of the four school 
intervention models (described in Appendix C) will be initiated each 
year.

(F) General

    (F)(1) Making education funding a priority.

Evidence

    Evidence for (F)(1)(i):
     Financial data to show whether and to what extent 
expenditures, as a percentage of the total revenues available to the 
State (as defined in this notice), increased, decreased, or remained 
the same.
    Evidence for (F)(1)(ii):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (F)(2) Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charter 
schools and other innovative schools.

Evidence

    Evidence for (F)(2)(i):
     A description of the State's applicable laws, statutes, 
regulations, or other relevant legal documents.
     The number of charter schools allowed under State law and 
the percentage this represents of the total number of schools in the 
State.
     The number and types of charter schools currently 
operating in the State.
    Evidence for (F)(2)(ii):
     A description of the State's approach to charter school 
accountability and authorization, and a description of the State's 
applicable laws, statutes, regulations, or other relevant legal 
documents.
     For each of the last five years:
    [cir] The number of charter school applications made in the State.
    [cir] The number of charter school applications approved.
    [cir] The number of charter school applications denied and reasons 
for the denials (academic, financial, low enrollment, other).
    [cir] The number of charter schools closed (including charter 
schools that were not reauthorized to operate).
    [cir] The reasons for the closures or non-renewals (academic, 
financial, low enrollment, other).

[[Page 59850]]

    Evidence for (F)(2)(iii):
     A description of the State's applicable statutes, 
regulations, or other relevant legal documents.
     A description of the State's approach to charter school 
funding, the amount of funding passed through to charter schools per 
student, and how those amounts compare with traditional public school 
per-student funding allocations.
    Evidence for (F)(2)(iv):
     A description of the State's applicable statutes, 
regulations, or other relevant legal documents.
     A description of the statewide facilities supports 
provided to charter schools, if any.
    Evidence for (F)(2)(v):
     A description of how the State enables LEAs to operate 
innovative, autonomous public schools (as defined in this notice) other 
than charter schools.

Performance Measures

     None required.
    (F)(3) Demonstrating other significant reform conditions

Evidence

    Evidence for (F)(3):
     A description of the State's other applicable key 
education laws, statutes, regulations, or relevant legal documents.

Performance Measures

     None required.
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BILLING CODE 4000-01-C

Appendix C. School Intervention Models

    There are four school intervention models referred to in Selection 
Criterion (E)(2): Turnaround model, restart model, school closure, or 
transformation model. Each is described below.
    (a) Turnaround model. (1) A turnaround model is one in which an LEA 
must--
    (i) Replace the principal and grant the principal sufficient 
operational flexibility (including in staffing, calendars/time, and 
budgeting) to implement fully a comprehensive approach in order to 
substantially improve student achievement outcomes and increase high 
school graduation rates;
    (ii) Using locally adopted competencies to measure the 
effectiveness of staff who can work within the turnaround environment 
to meet the needs of students,
    (A) Screen all existing staff and rehire no more than 50 percent; 
and
    (B) Select new staff;
    (iii) Implement such strategies as financial incentives, increased 
opportunities for promotion and career growth, and more flexible work 
conditions that are designed to recruit, place, and retain staff with 
the skills necessary to meet the needs of the students in the 
turnaround school;
    (iv) Provide staff with ongoing, high-quality, job-embedded 
professional development that is aligned with the school's 
comprehensive instructional program and designed with school staff to 
ensure that they are equipped to facilitate effective teaching and 
learning and have the capacity to successfully implement school reform 
strategies;
    (v) Adopt a new governance structure, which may include, but is not 
limited to, requiring the school to report to a new ``turnaround 
office'' in the LEA or SEA, hire a ``turnaround leader'' who reports 
directly to the Superintendent or Chief Academic Officer, or enter into 
a multi-year contract with the LEA or SEA to obtain added flexibility 
in exchange for greater accountability;
    (vi) Use data to identify and implement an instructional program 
that is research-based and ``vertically aligned'' from one grade to the 
next as well as aligned with State academic standards;
    (vii) Promote the continuous use of student data (such as from 
formative, interim, and summative assessments) to inform and 
differentiate instruction in order to meet the academic needs of 
individual students;
    (viii) Establish schedules and implement strategies that provide 
increased learning time (as defined in this notice); and
    (ix) Provide appropriate social-emotional and community-oriented 
services and supports for students.
    (2) A turnaround model may also implement other strategies such 
as--
    (i) Any of the required and permissible activities under the 
transformation model; or
    (ii) A new school model (e.g., themed, dual language academy).
    (b) Restart model. A restart model is one in which an LEA converts 
a school or closes and reopens a school under a charter school 
operator, a charter management organization (CMO), or an education 
management organization (EMO) that has been selected through a rigorous 
review process. (A CMO is a non-profit organization that operates or 
manages charter schools by centralizing or sharing certain functions 
and resources among schools. An EMO is a for-profit or non-profit 
organization that provides ``whole-school operation'' services to an 
LEA.) A restart model must enroll, within the grades it serves, any 
former student who wishes to attend the school.
    (c) School closure. School closure occurs when an LEA closes a 
school and enrolls the students who attended that school in other 
schools in the LEA that are higher achieving. These other schools 
should be within reasonable proximity to the closed school and may 
include, but are not limited to, charter schools or new schools for 
which achievement data are not yet available.
    (d) Transformation model. A transformation model is one in which an 
LEA implements each of the following strategies:
    (1) Developing and increasing teacher and school leader 
effectiveness.
    (i) Required activities. The LEA must--
    (A) Replace the principal who led the school prior to commencement 
of the transformation model;
    (B) Use rigorous, transparent, and equitable evaluation systems for 
teachers and principals that--
    (1) Take into account data on student growth (as defined in this 
notice) as a significant factor as well as other factors such as 
multiple observation-based assessments of performance and ongoing 
collections of professional practice reflective of student achievement 
and increased high-school graduations rates; and
    (2) Are designed and developed with teacher and principal 
involvement;
    (C) Identify and reward school leaders, teachers, and other staff 
who, in implementing this model, have increased student achievement and 
high-school graduation rates and identify and remove those who, after 
ample opportunities have been provided for them to improve their 
professional practice, have not done so;
    (D) Provide staff with ongoing, high-quality, job-embedded 
professional development (e.g., regarding subject-specific pedagogy, 
instruction that reflects a deeper understanding of the community 
served by the school, or differentiated instruction) that is aligned 
with the school's comprehensive instructional program and designed with 
school staff to ensure they are equipped to facilitate effective 
teaching and learning and have the capacity to successfully implement 
school reform strategies; and
    (E) Implement such strategies as financial incentives, increased 
opportunities for promotion and career growth, and more flexible work 
conditions that are designed to recruit, place, and retain staff with 
the skills necessary to meet the needs of the students in a 
transformation school.
    (ii) Permissible activities. An LEA may also implement other 
strategies to

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develop teachers' and school leaders' effectiveness, such as--
    (A) Providing additional compensation to attract and retain staff 
with the skills necessary to meet the needs of the students in a 
transformation school;
    (B) Instituting a system for measuring changes in instructional 
practices resulting from professional development; or
    (C) Ensuring that the school is not required to accept a teacher 
without the mutual consent of the teacher and principal, regardless of 
the teacher's seniority.
    (2) Comprehensive instructional reform strategies.
    (i) Required activities. The LEA must--
    (A) Use data to identify and implement an instructional program 
that is research-based and ``vertically aligned'' from one grade to the 
next as well as aligned with State academic standards; and
    (B) Promote the continuous use of student data (such as from 
formative, interim, and summative assessments) to inform and 
differentiate instruction in order to meet the academic needs of 
individual students.
    (ii) Permissible activities. An LEA may also implement 
comprehensive instructional reform strategies, such as--
    (A) Conducting periodic reviews to ensure that the curriculum is 
being implemented with fidelity, is having the intended impact on 
student achievement, and is modified if ineffective;
    (B) Implementing a schoolwide ``response-to-intervention'' model;
    (C) Providing additional supports and professional development to 
teachers and principals in order to implement effective strategies to 
support students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment 
and to ensure that limited English proficient students acquire language 
skills to master academic content;
    (D) Using and integrating technology-based supports and 
interventions as part of the instructional program; and
    (E) In secondary schools--
    (1) Increasing rigor by offering opportunities for students to 
enroll in advanced coursework (such as Advanced Placement or 
International Baccalaureate; or science, technology, engineering, and 
mathematics courses, especially those that incorporate rigorous and 
relevant project-, inquiry-, or design-based contextual learning 
opportunities), early-college high schools, dual enrollment programs, 
or thematic learning academies that prepare students for college and 
careers, including by providing appropriate supports designed to ensure 
that low-achieving students can take advantage of these programs and 
coursework;
    (2) Improving student transition from middle to high school through 
summer transition programs or freshman academies;
    (3) Increasing graduation rates through, for example, credit-
recovery programs, re-engagement strategies, smaller learning 
communities, competency-based instruction and performance-based 
assessments, and acceleration of basic reading and mathematics skills; 
or
    (4) Establishing early-warning systems to identify students who may 
be at risk of failing to achieve to high standards or graduate.
    (3) Increasing learning time and creating community-oriented 
schools.
    (i) Required activities. The LEA must--
    (A) Establish schedules and implement strategies that provide 
increased learning time (as defined in this notice); and
    (B) Provide ongoing mechanisms for family and community engagement.
    (ii) Permissible activities. An LEA may also implement other 
strategies that extend learning time and create community-oriented 
schools, such as--
    (A) Partnering with parents and parent organizations, faith- and 
community-based organizations, health clinics, other State or local 
agencies, and others to create safe school environments that meet 
students' social, emotional, and health needs;
    (B) Extending or restructuring the school day so as to add time for 
such strategies as advisory periods that build relationships between 
students, faculty, and other school staff;
    (C) Implementing approaches to improve school climate and 
discipline, such as implementing a system of positive behavioral 
supports or taking steps to eliminate bullying and student harassment; 
or
    (D) Expanding the school program to offer full-day kindergarten or 
pre-kindergarten.
    (4) Providing operational flexibility and sustained support.
    (i) Required activities. The LEA must--
    (A) Give the school sufficient operational flexibility (such as 
staffing, calendars/time, and budgeting) to implement fully a 
comprehensive approach to substantially improve student achievement 
outcomes and increase high school graduation rates; and
    (B) Ensure that the school receives ongoing, intensive technical 
assistance and related support from the LEA, the SEA, or a designated 
external lead partner organization (such as a school turnaround 
organization or an EMO).
    (ii) Permissible activities. The LEA may also implement other 
strategies for providing operational flexibility and intensive support, 
such as--
    (A) Allowing the school to be run under a new governance 
arrangement, such as a turnaround division within the LEA or SEA; or
    (B) Implementing a per-pupil school-based budget formula that is 
weighted based on student needs.
    If a school identified as a persistently lowest-achieving school 
has implemented, in whole or in part within the last two years, an 
intervention that meets the requirements of the turnaround, restart, or 
transformation models, the school may continue or complete the 
intervention being implemented.

Appendix D. Participating LEA Memorandum of Understanding

Background

    Participating LEAs (as defined in this notice) in a State's Race to 
the Top plan are required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding 
(MOU) or other binding agreement with the State that specifies the 
scope of the work being implemented by the participating LEA (as 
defined in this notice).
    To support States in working efficiently with LEAs to determine 
which LEAs will participate in the State's Race to the Top application, 
the U.S. Department of Education has produced a model MOU, which is 
attached. This model MOU may serve as a template for States; however, 
States are not required to use it. They may use a different document 
that includes the key features noted below and in the model, and they 
should consult with their State and local attorneys on what is most 
appropriate for their State that includes, at a minimum, these key 
elements.
    The purpose of the model MOU is to help to specify a relationship 
that is specific to Race to the Top and is not meant to detail all 
typical aspects of State/LEA grant management or administration. At a 
minimum, a strong MOU should include the following, each of which is 
described in detail below: (i) Terms and conditions; (ii) a scope of 
work; and, (iii) signatures.
    (i) Terms and conditions: Each participating LEA (as defined in 
this notice) should sign a standard set of terms and conditions that 
includes, at a minimum, key roles and responsibilities

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of the State and the LEA; State recourse for LEA non-performance; and 
assurances that make clear what the participating LEA (as defined in 
this notice) is agreeing to do.
    (ii) Scope of work: MOUs should include a scope of work (included 
in the model MOU as Exhibit I) that is completed by each participating 
LEA (as defined in this notice). The scope of work must be signed and 
dated by an authorized LEA and State official. In the interest of time 
and with respect for the effort it will take for LEAs to develop 
detailed work plans, the scope of work submitted by LEAs and States as 
part of their Race to the Top applications may be preliminary. 
Preliminary scopes of work should include the portions of the State's 
proposed reform plans that the LEA is agreeing to implement. (Note that 
in order to participate in a State's Race to the Top application an LEA 
must agree to implement all or significant portions of the State's 
reform plans.)
    If a State is awarded a Race to the Top grant, the participating 
LEAs (as defined in this notice) will have up to 90 days to complete 
final scopes of work (which could be attached to the model MOU as 
Exhibit II), which must contain detailed work plans that are consistent 
with the preliminary scope of work and with the State's grant 
application, and should include the participating LEA's (as defined in 
this notice) specific goals, activities, timelines, budgets, key 
personnel, and annual targets for key performance measures.
    (iii) Signatures: The signatures demonstrate (a) an acknowledgement 
of the relationship between the LEA and the State, and (b) the strength 
of the participating LEA's (as defined in this notice) commitment.
     With respect to the relationship between the LEA and the 
State, the State's counter-signature on the MOU indicates that the 
LEA's commitment is consistent with the requirement that a 
participating LEA (as defined in this notice) implement all or 
significant portions of the State's plans.
     The strength of the participating LEA's (as defined in 
this notice) commitment will be demonstrated by the signatures of the 
LEA superintendent (or an equivalent authorized signatory), the 
president of the local school board (or equivalent, if applicable) and 
the local teacher's union leader (if applicable).
    Please note the following with regard to the State's Race to the 
Top application:
     In its application, the State need only provide an example 
of the State's standard Participating LEA MOU; it does not have to 
provide copies of every MOU signed by its participating LEAs (as 
defined in this notice). If, however, States and LEAs have made any 
changes to the State's standard MOU, the State must provide a 
description of the changes that were made. Please note that the 
Department may, at any time, request copies of all MOUs between the 
State and its participating LEAs.
     Please see criteria (A)(1)(ii) and (A)(1)(iii), and the 
evidence requested in the application, for more information and ways in 
which States will be asked to summarize information about the LEA MOUs.
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

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[FR Doc. E9-27427 Filed 11-17-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-C