FR Doc 2010-5139
[Federal Register: March 12, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 48)]
[Notices]               
[Page 12072-12086]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr12mr10-210]      
         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information: 
Investing in Innovation Fund; Notice Inviting Applications for New 
Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers:

    84.396A (Scale-up grants), 84.396B (Validation grants), and 
84.396C (Development grants).

    Dates:

Applications Available: March 12, 2010.
Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 1, 2010.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 11, 2010.
Dates of Pre-Application Workshops: March 19, 2010, in Baltimore, 
Maryland; March 24, 2010, in Denver, Colorado; and March 30, 2010, in 
Atlanta, Georgia.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 12, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Investing in Innovation Fund, established 
under section 14007 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 
2009 (ARRA), provides funding to support (1) local educational agencies 
(LEAs), and (2) nonprofit organizations in partnership with (a) one or 
more LEAs or (b) a consortium of schools. The purpose of this program 
is to provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of 
improving student achievement and attainment in order to expand the 
implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are 
demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or 
student growth (as defined in this notice), closing achievement gaps, 
decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or 
increasing college enrollment and completion rates.
    These grants will (1) allow eligible entities to expand and develop 
innovative practices that can serve as models of best practices, (2) 
allow eligible entities to work in partnership with the private sector 
and the philanthropic community, and (3) support eligible entities in 
identifying and documenting best practices that can be shared and taken 
to scale based on demonstrated success.
    Under this program, the Department is awarding three types of 
grants: ``Scale-up'' grants, ``Validation'' grants, and ``Development'' 
grants. Applicants must specify which type of grant they are seeking at 
the time of application. Among the three grant types, there are 
differences in terms of the evidence that an applicant is required to 
submit in support of its proposed project; the expectations for 
``scaling up'' successful projects during or after the grant period, 
either directly or through partners; and the funding that a successful 
applicant is eligible to receive. The following is an overview of the 
three types of grants:
    (1) Scale-up grants provide funding to ``scale up'' practices, 
strategies, or programs for which there is strong evidence (as defined 
in this notice) that the proposed practice, strategy, or program will 
have a statistically significant effect on improving student 
achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing 
dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing 
college enrollment and completion rates, and that the effect of 
implementing the proposed practice, strategy, or program will be 
substantial and important. An applicant for a Scale-up grant may also 
demonstrate success through an intermediate variable strongly 
correlated with these outcomes, such as teacher or principal 
effectiveness.
    An applicant for a Scale-up grant must estimate the number of 
students to be reached by the proposed project and provide evidence of 
its capacity to reach the proposed number of students during the course 
of the grant. In addition, an applicant for a Scale-up grant must 
provide evidence of its capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to scale up to 
a State, regional, or national level, working directly or through 
partners either during or following the grant period. We recognize that 
LEAs are not typically responsible for taking to scale their practices, 
strategies, or programs in other LEAs and States. However, all 
applicants, including LEAs, can and should partner with others (e.g., 
State educational agencies) to disseminate and take to scale their 
effective practices, strategies, and programs.
    Peer reviewers will review all eligible Scale-up grant 
applications. However, if an application does not meet the definition 
of strong evidence in this notice, the Department will not consider the 
application for funding.
    Successful applicants for Scale-up grants will receive more funding 
than successful applicants for Validation or Development grants.
    (2) Validation grants provide funding to support practices, 
strategies, or programs that show promise, but for which there is 
currently only moderate evidence (as defined in this notice) that the 
proposed practice, strategy, or program will have a statistically 
significant effect on improving student achievement or student growth, 
closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high 
school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and 
completion rates and that, with further study, the effect of 
implementing the proposed practice, strategy, or program may prove to 
be substantial and important. Thus, applications for Validation grants 
do not need to have the same level of research evidence to support the 
proposed project as is required for Scale-up grants. An applicant may 
also demonstrate success through an intermediate variable strongly 
correlated with these outcomes, such as teacher or principal 
effectiveness.
    An applicant for a Validation grant must estimate the number of 
students to be reached by the proposed project and provide evidence of 
its capacity to reach the proposed number of students during the course 
of the grant. In addition, an applicant for a Validation grant must 
provide evidence of its capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to scale up to 
a State or regional level, working directly or through partners either 
during or following the grant period. As noted earlier, we recognize 
that LEAs are not typically responsible for taking to scale their 
practices, strategies, or programs in other LEAs and States. However, 
all applicants, including LEAs, can and should partner with others to 
disseminate and take to scale their effective practices, strategies, 
and programs.
    Peer reviewers will review all eligible Validation grant 
applications. However, if an application does not meet the definition 
of moderate evidence in this notice, the Department will not consider 
the application for funding.
    Successful applicants for Validation grants will receive more 
funding than successful applicants for Development grants.
    (3) Development grants provide funding to support high-potential 
and relatively untested practices, strategies, or programs whose 
efficacy should be systematically studied. An applicant must provide 
evidence that the proposed practice, strategy, or program, or one 
similar to it, has been attempted previously, albeit on a limited scale 
or in a limited setting, and yielded promising results that suggest 
that more formal and systematic study is warranted. An applicant must 
provide a rationale for the proposed practice, strategy, or program 
that is based on research findings or reasonable

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hypotheses, including related research or theories in education and 
other sectors. Thus, applications for Development grants do not need to 
provide the same level of evidence to support the proposed project as 
is required for Validation or Scale-up grants.
    An applicant for a Development grant must estimate the number of 
students to be served by the project, and provide evidence of the 
applicant's ability to implement and appropriately evaluate the 
proposed project and, if positive results are obtained, its capacity 
(e.g., in terms of qualified personnel, financial resources, or 
management capacity) to further develop and bring the project to a 
larger scale directly or through partners either during or following 
the grant period. As noted earlier, we recognize that LEAs are not 
typically responsible for taking to scale their practices, strategies, 
or programs. Again, however, all applicants can and should partner with 
others to disseminate and take to scale their effective practices, 
strategies, and programs.
    Peer reviewers will review all eligible Development grant 
applications. However, if an application is not supported by a 
reasonable hypothesis for the proposed project, the Department will not 
consider the application for funding.
    Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria (NFP) for 
this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register. This notice contains four absolute priorities and four 
competitive preference priorities that are explained in the following 
paragraphs.
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2010 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that address one of these 
priorities.
    Applicants for all types of grants must choose one of the four 
absolute priorities and address that priority in its application. 
Applicants will address the selected absolute priority in the project 
narrative by addressing the Selection Criteria.
    These priorities are:

Absolute Priority 1--Innovations That Support Effective Teachers and 
Principals

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to increase the 
number or percentages of teachers or principals who are highly 
effective teachers or principals or reduce the number or percentages of 
teachers or principals who are ineffective, especially for teachers of 
high-need students, by identifying, recruiting, developing, placing, 
rewarding, and retaining highly effective teachers or principals (or 
removing ineffective teachers or principals). In such initiatives, 
teacher or principal effectiveness should be determined through an 
evaluation system that is rigorous, transparent, and fair; performance 
should be differentiated using multiple rating categories of 
effectiveness; multiple measures of effectiveness should be taken into 
account, with data on student growth as a significant factor; and the 
measures should be designed and developed with teacher and principal 
involvement.

Absolute Priority 2--Innovations That Improve the Use of Data

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
strategies, practices, or programs that are designed to (a) encourage 
and facilitate the evaluation, analysis, and use of student achievement 
or student growth data by educators, families, and other stakeholders 
in order to inform decision-making and improve student achievement, 
student growth, or teacher, principal, school, or LEA performance and 
productivity; or (b) enable data aggregation, analysis, and research. 
Where LEAs and schools are required to do so under the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), these data must be 
disaggregated using the student subgroups described in section 
1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically disadvantaged 
students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, migrant 
students, students with limited English proficiency, students with 
disabilities, and student gender).

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

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding for practices, 
strategies, or programs that are designed to support States' efforts to 
transition to standards and assessments that measure students' progress 
toward college- and career-readiness, including curricular and 
instructional practices, strategies, or programs in core academic 
subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA) that are aligned 
with high academic content and achievement standards and with high-
quality assessments based on those standards.\1\ Proposed projects may 
include, but are not limited to, practices, strategies, or programs 
that are designed to: (a) Increase the success of under-represented 
student populations in academically rigorous courses and programs (such 
as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses; dual-
enrollment programs; ``early college high schools;'' and science, 
technology, engineering, and mathematics courses, especially those that 
incorporate rigorous and relevant project-, inquiry-, or design-based 
contextual learning opportunities); (b) increase the development and 
use of formative assessments or interim assessments, or other 
performance-based tools and ``metrics'' that are aligned with high 
student content and academic achievement standards; or (c) translate 
the standards and information from assessments into classroom practices 
that meet the needs of all students, including high-need students.
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    \1\ Consistent with the Race to the Top Fund, the Department 
interprets the core academic subject of ``science'' under section 
9101(11) to include STEM education (science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics) which encompasses a wide range of 
disciplines, including science.
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    Under this priority, an eligible applicant must propose a project 
that is based on standards that are at least as rigorous as its State's 
standards. If the proposed project is based on standards other than 
those adopted by the eligible applicant's State, the applicant must 
explain how the standards are aligned with and at least as rigorous as 
the eligible applicant's State's standards as well as how the standards 
differ.

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

    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
strategies, practices, or programs that are designed to turn around 
schools that are in any of the following categories: (a) Persistently 
lowest-achieving schools (as defined in the final requirements for the 
School Improvement Grants program) \2\; (b) Title I schools that are in

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corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA; or 
(c) secondary schools (both middle and high schools) eligible for but 
not receiving Title I funds that, if receiving Title I funds, would be 
in corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA. 
These schools are referred to as Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute 
Priority 4 schools.
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    \2\ Under the final requirements for the School Improvement 
Grants program, ``persistently lowest-achieving schools'' means, as 
determined by the State, (a)(1) any Title I school in improvement, 
corrective action, or restructuring that (i) is among the lowest-
achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I 
schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the 
State, whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high 
school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) 
that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and (2) any 
secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I 
funds that (i) is among the lowest-achieving five percent of 
secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in 
the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, 
whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high school 
that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that 
is less than 60 percent over a number of years. See 
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html.
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    Proposed projects must include strategies, practices, or programs 
that are designed to turn around Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute 
Priority 4 schools through either whole-school reform or targeted 
approaches to reform. Applicants addressing this priority must focus on 
either:
    (a) Whole-school reform, including, but not limited to, 
comprehensive interventions to assist, augment, or replace Investing in 
Innovation Fund Absolute Priority 4 schools, including the school 
turnaround, restart, closure, and transformation models of intervention 
supported under the Department's School Improvement Grants program (see 
Final Requirements for School Improvement Grants as Amended in January 
2010 (January 28, 2010) at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html); 
or
    (b) Targeted approaches to reform, including, but not limited to: 
(1) Providing more time for students to learn core academic content by 
expanding or augmenting the school day, school week, or school year, or 
by increasing instructional time for core academic subjects (as defined 
in section 9101(11) of the ESEA); (2) integrating ``student supports'' 
into the school model to address non-academic barriers to student 
achievement; or (3) creating multiple pathways for students to earn 
regular high school diplomas (e.g., by operating schools that serve the 
needs of over-aged, under-credited, or other students with an 
exceptional need for support and flexibility pertaining to when they 
attend school; awarding credit based on demonstrated evidence of 
student competency; and offering dual-enrollment options).
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2010 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities. Applicants for all types of grants may choose to address 
one or more of the four competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(i) we will award points as ''all or nothing'' (i.e., one 
point or zero points) to competitive preference priorities 5, 6, and 7 
and up to two points to competitive preference priority 8, depending on 
how well the application addresses the priority.
    These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 5--Innovations for Improving Early 
Learning Outcomes (Zero or One Point)

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

Competitive Preference Priority 6--Innovations That Support College 
Access and Success (Zero or One Point)

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

Competitive Preference Priority 7--Innovations To Address the Unique 
Learning Needs of Students With Disabilities and Limited English 
Proficient Students (Zero or One Point)

    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to address the unique learning needs of students with 
disabilities, including those who are assessed based on alternate 
academic achievement standards, or the linguistic and academic needs of 
limited English proficient students. To meet this priority, 
applications must provide for the implementation of particular 
practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to improve 
academic outcomes, close achievement gaps, and increase college- and 
career-readiness, including increasing high school graduation rates (as 
defined in this notice), for students with disabilities or limited 
English proficient students.

Competitive Preference Priority 8--Innovations That Serve Schools in 
Rural LEAs (Up to Two Points)

    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to focus on the unique challenges of high-need students in 
schools within a rural LEA (as defined in this notice) and address the 
particular challenges faced by students in these schools. To meet this 
priority, applications must include practices, strategies, or programs 
that are designed to improve student achievement or student growth, 
close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, increase high school 
graduation rates, or improve teacher and principal effectiveness in one 
or more rural LEAs.
    Definitions:
    The Secretary establishes the following definitions for the 
Investing in Innovation Fund. We may apply these definitions in any 
year in which this program is in effect.

Definitions Related to Evidence

    Strong evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs 
can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal 
validity), and studies that in total include enough of the range of 
participants and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, 
or national level (i.e., studies with high external validity). The 
following are examples of strong evidence: (1) More than one well-
designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental 
study (as defined in this notice) or well-designed and well-implemented 
(as defined in this notice) quasi-experimental study (as defined in 
this notice) that supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, 
or program; or (2) one large, well-designed and well-implemented (as 
defined in this notice) randomized controlled,

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multisite trial that supports the effectiveness of the practice, 
strategy, or program.
    Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies whose 
designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high 
internal validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate 
external validity), or studies with high external validity but moderate 
internal validity. The following would constitute moderate evidence: 
(1) At least one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this 
notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this 
notice) supporting the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or 
program, with small sample sizes or other conditions of implementation 
or analysis that limit generalizability; (2) at least one well-designed 
and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental or quasi-
experimental study (as defined in this notice) that does not 
demonstrate equivalence between the intervention and comparison groups 
at program entry but that has no other major flaws related to internal 
validity; or (3) correlational research with strong statistical 
controls for selection bias and for discerning the influence of 
internal factors.
    Well-designed and well-implemented means, with respect to an 
experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice), 
that the study meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards, 
with or without reservations (see 
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1 
and in particular the description of ``Reasons for Not Meeting Standards'' at 
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/Doc.aspx?docId=19&tocId=4#reasons).
    Experimental study means a study that employs random assignment of, 
for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to 
participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not to 
participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project 
is the average difference in outcomes between the treatment and control 
groups.
    Quasi-experimental study means an evaluation design that attempts 
to approximate an experimental design and can support causal 
conclusions (i.e., minimizes threats to internal validity, such as 
selection bias, or allows them to be modeled). Well-designed quasi-
experimental studies include carefully matched comparison group designs 
(as defined in this notice), interrupted time series designs (as 
defined in this notice), or regression discontinuity designs (as 
defined in this notice).
    Carefully matched comparison group design means a type of quasi-
experimental study that attempts to approximate an experimental study. 
More specifically, it is a design in which project participants are 
matched with non-participants based on key characteristics that are 
thought to be related to the outcome. These characteristics include, 
but are not limited to: (1) Prior test scores and other measures of 
academic achievement (preferably, the same measures that the study will 
use to evaluate outcomes for the two groups); (2) demographic 
characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English proficiency, 
ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational attainment, and single- 
or two-parent family background; (3) the time period in which the two 
groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children entering 
kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); and (4) 
methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of reading 
skills administered in the same way to both groups).
    Interrupted time series design \3\ means a type of quasi-
experimental study in which the outcome of interest is measured 
multiple times before and after the treatment for program participants 
only. If the program had an impact, the outcomes after treatment will 
have a different slope or level from those before treatment. That is, 
the series should show an ``interruption'' of the prior situation at 
the time when the program was implemented. Adding a comparison group 
time series, such as schools not participating in the program or 
schools participating in the program in a different geographic area, 
substantially increases the reliability of the findings.
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    \3\ A single subject or single case design is an adaptation of 
an interrupted time series design that relies on the comparison of 
treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. 
There is little confidence that findings based on this design would 
be the same for other members of the population. In some single 
subject designs, treatment reversal or multiple baseline designs are 
used to increase internal validity. In a treatment reversal design, 
after a pretreatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared 
with a post treatment measure, the treatment would then be stopped 
for a period of time, a second baseline measure of the outcome would 
be taken, followed by a second application of the treatment or a 
different treatment. A multiple baseline design addresses concerns 
about the effects of normal development, timing of the treatment, 
and amount of the treatment with treatment-reversal designs by using 
a varying time schedule for introduction of the treatment and/or 
treatments of different lengths or intensity.
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    Regression discontinuity design study means, in part, a quasi-
experimental study design that closely approximates an experimental 
study. In a regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned 
to a treatment or comparison group based on a numerical rating or score 
of a variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an 
application for funding. Another example would be assignment of 
eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain 
score (``cut score'') to the treatment group and assignment of those 
below the score to the comparison group.
    Independent evaluation means that the evaluation is designed and 
carried out independent of, but in coordination with, any employees of 
the entities who develop a practice, strategy, or program and are 
implementing it. This independence helps ensure the objectivity of an 
evaluation and prevents even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Other Definitions
    Applicant means the entity that applies for a grant under this 
program on behalf of an eligible applicant (i.e., an LEA or a 
partnership in accordance with section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA).
    Official partner means any of the entities required to be part of a 
partnership under section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA.
    Other partner means any entity, other than the applicant and any 
official partner, that may be involved in a proposed project.
    Consortium of schools means two or more public elementary or 
secondary schools acting collaboratively for the purpose of applying 
for and implementing an Investing in Innovation Fund grant jointly with 
an eligible nonprofit organization.
    Nonprofit organization means an entity that meets the definition of 
``nonprofit'' under 34 CFR 77.1(c), or an institution of higher 
education as defined by section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 
1965, as amended.
    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.
    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

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student, classroom, school, and LEA levels.
    Highly effective principal means a principal whose students, 
overall and for each subgroup as described in section 
1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically disadvantaged 
students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, migrant 
students, students with disabilities, students with limited English 
proficiency, and students of each gender), achieve high rates (e.g., 
one and one-half grade levels in an academic year) of student growth. 
Eligible applicants may include multiple measures, provided that 
principal effectiveness is evaluated, in significant part, based on 
student growth. Supplemental measures may include, for example, high 
school graduation rates; college enrollment rates; evidence of 
providing supportive teaching and learning conditions, support for 
ensuring effective instruction across subject areas for a well-rounded 
education, 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. Eligible applicants may include multiple measures, 
provided that teacher effectiveness is evaluated, in significant part, 
based on student growth. 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-need student means a student at risk of educational failure, 
or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as 
students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools, 
who are far below grade level, who are over-age and under-credited, who 
have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who 
are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on 
time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been 
incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are limited English 
proficient.
    National level, as used in reference to a Scale-up grant, describes 
a project that is able to be effective in a wide variety of communities 
and student populations around the country, including rural and urban 
areas, as well as with the different groups of students described in 
section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically 
disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, 
migrant students, students with disabilities, students with limited 
English proficiency, and students of each gender).
    Regional level, as used in reference to a Scale-up or Validation 
grant, describes a project that is able to serve a variety of 
communities and student populations within a State or multiple States, 
including rural and urban areas, as well as with the different groups 
of students described in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., 
economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and 
ethnic groups, migrant students, students with disabilities, students 
with limited English proficiency, and students of each gender). To be 
considered a regional-level project, a project must serve students in 
more than one LEA. The exception to this requirement would be a project 
implemented in a State in which the State educational agency is the 
sole educational agency for all schools and thus may be considered an 
LEA under section 9101(26) of the ESEA. Such a State would meet the 
definition of regional for the purposes of this notice.
    Rural LEA means an LEA that is eligible under the Small Rural 
School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School 
(RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible 
applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these 
programs by referring to information on the following Department Web 
sites. For the SRSA: http://www.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligible09/index.html. 
For the RLIS: http://www.ed.gov/programs/reaprlisp/eligibility.html.
    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; and, as 
appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those 
described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are 
rigorous and comparable across classrooms; and
    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of 
student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
    Student growth means the change in student achievement data for an 
individual student between two or more points in time. Growth may be 
measured by a variety of approaches, but any approach used must be 
statistically rigorous and based on student achievement data, and may 
also include other measures of student learning in order to increase 
the construct validity and generalizability of the information.
    High school graduation rate means a four-year adjusted cohort 
graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1) and may also 
include an extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent 
with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(v) if the State in which the proposed project 
is implemented has been approved by the Secretary to use such a rate 
under Title I of the ESEA.
    Regular high school diploma means, consistent with 34 CFR 
200.19(b)(1)(iv), the standard high school diploma that is awarded to 
students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's 
academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a 
General Education Development (GED) credential, certificate of 
attendance, or any alternative award.
    Program Authority: Section 14007 of title XIV of the ARRA, Pub. L. 
111-5 as amended by section 307 of division D of Pub. L. 111-117 (H.R. 
3288), the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010.
    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 (NFP) for this program, published elsewhere in this 
issue of the Federal Register.

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


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

II. Award Information

    Types of Award: Cooperative agreements (for Scale-up grants) and 
discretionary grants (for Validation grants and Development grants).
    Estimated Available Funds: $643,500,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2011 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards:
    Scale-up grants: Up to $50,000,000.
    Validation grants: Up to $30,000,000.
    Development grants: Up to $5,000,000.

[[Page 12077]]

    Estimated Average Size of Awards:
    Scale-up grants: $40,000,000.
    Validation grants: $17,500,000.
    Development grants: $3,000,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards:
    Scale-up grants: Up to 5 awards.
    Validation grants: Up to 100 awards.
    Development grants: Up to 100 awards.

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

    Project Period: 36-60 months.

III. Eligibility Information and Program Requirements

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

    Note About LEA Eligibility:  For purposes of this program, an 
LEA is an LEA located within one of the 50 States, the District of 
Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


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

    In addition, the authorizing statute (as amended) specifies that an 
eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization is considered 
to have met the requirements of paragraph (3) of the eligibility 
requirements for this program if the eligible applicant demonstrates 
that it will meet the requirement relating to private-sector matching.
     Evidence Standards: To be eligible for an award, an 
application for a Scale-up grant must be supported by strong evidence 
(as defined in this notice), an application for a Validation grant must 
be supported by moderate evidence (as defined in this notice), and an 
application for a Development grant must be supported by a reasonable 
hypothesis.
     Funding Categories: An applicant must state in its 
application whether it is applying for a Scale-up, Validation, or 
Development grant. An applicant may not submit an application for the 
same proposed project under more than one type of grant. An applicant 
will be considered for an award only for the type of grant for which it 
applies.
     Cost Sharing or Matching: To be eligible for an award, an 
eligible applicant must demonstrate that it has established one or more 
partnerships with an entity or organization in the private sector, 
which may include philanthropic organizations, and that the entity or 
organization in the private sector will provide matching funds in order 
to help bring project results to scale. An eligible applicant must 
obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 20 percent 
of its grant award. Selected eligible applicants must submit evidence 
of the full 20 percent private-sector matching funds following the peer 
review of applications. An award will not be made unless the applicant 
provides adequate evidence that the full 20 percent private-sector 
match has been committed or the Secretary approves the eligible 
applicant's request to reduce the matching-level requirement.
    The Secretary may consider decreasing the 20 percent matching 
requirement in the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-case 
basis. An eligible applicant that anticipates being unable to meet the 
20 percent matching requirement must include in the application a 
request to the Secretary to reduce the matching-level requirement, 
along with a statement of the basis for the request.
     Subgrants: In the case of an eligible applicant that is a 
partnership between a nonprofit organization and (1) one or more LEAs 
or (2) a consortium of schools, the partner serving as the applicant 
may make subgrants to one or more official partners (as defined in this 
notice).
     Limits on Grant Awards: No grantee may receive more than 
two grant awards under this program. In addition, no grantee may 
receive more than $55 million in grant awards under this program in a 
single year's competition.
     Evaluation: A grantee must comply with the requirements of 
any evaluation of the program conducted by the Department. In addition, 
the grantee is required to conduct an independent evaluation (as 
defined in this notice) of its project and must agree, along with its 
independent evaluator, to cooperate with any technical assistance 
provided by the Department or its contractor. The purpose of this 
technical assistance will

[[Page 12078]]

be to ensure that the evaluations are of the highest quality and to 
encourage commonality in evaluation approaches across funded projects 
where such commonality is feasible and useful. Finally, the grantee 
must make broadly available through formal (e.g., peer-reviewed 
journals) or informal (e.g., newsletters) mechanisms, and in print or 
electronically, the results of any evaluations it conducts of its 
funded activities. For Scale-up and Validation grants, the grantee must 
also ensure the data from their evaluations are made available to 
third-party researchers consistent with applicable privacy 
requirements.
     Participation in ``Communities of Practice'': Grantees are 
required to participate in, organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, 
communities of practice for the Investing in Innovation Fund. A 
community of practice is a group of grantees that agrees to interact 
regularly to solve a persistent problem or improve practice in an area 
that is important to them. Establishment of communities of practice 
under the Investing in Innovation Fund will enable grantees to meet, 
discuss, and collaborate with each other regarding grantee projects.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Submission of Proprietary Information:
    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications 
for the Investing in Innovation Fund, some applications may include 
proprietary information as it relates to confidential commercial 
information. Confidential commercial information is defined as 
information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to 
cause substantial competitive harm. Upon submission, applicants should 
identify any information contained in their application that they 
consider to be confidential commercial information. Doing so will 
assist the Department in making any future determination regarding 
public release of the application. Applicants are encouraged to 
identify only the specific information that the applicant considers to 
be proprietary and list the page numbers on which this information can 
be found in the appropriate Appendix section of their application. In 
addition to identifying the page number on which that information can 
be found, eligible applicants will assist the Department in making 
determinations on public release of the application by being as 
specific as possible in identifying the information they consider 
proprietary. Please note that, in many instances, identification of 
entire pages of documentation would not be appropriate.
    2. Address to Request Application Package:
    ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, 
VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If 
you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll 
free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: 
http://www.EDPubs.ed.gov or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA numbers 84.396A, 
84.396B, or 84.396C.
    Also, you can download the application package at the i3 Web site: 
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html.
    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 calling the program contact number or by 
writing to the e-mail address listed under Accessible Format in section 
VIII of this notice.
    3. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Notice of Intent to Apply: April 1, 2010.
    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing 
grant applications if we understand the number of applicants that 
intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the 
Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of 
the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by sending 
a short e-mail message. This short e-mail should provide (1) the 
applicant organization's name and address, (2) the type of grant for 
which the applicant intends to apply, (3) the one absolute priority the 
applicant intends to address, and (4) all competitive preference 
priorities the applicant intends to address. The Secretary requests 
that this e-mail be sent to i3intent@ed.gov with ``Intent to Apply'' in 
the e-mail subject line. Applicants that do not provide this e-mail 
notification may still apply for funding.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applicants are strongly 
encouraged to limit the application narrative (Part III) to not more 
than the following page limits: Scale-up grants--50 pages, Validation 
grants--35 pages, and Development grants--25 pages. Applicants are also 
strongly encouraged not to include lengthy appendices that contain 
information that could not be included in the narrative. Applications 
should use the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The suggested page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; 
Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the suggested page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative section [Part III].
    4. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: March 12, 2010.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 1, 2010.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 11, 2010.
    Dates of Pre-Application Workshops: March 19, 2010, in Baltimore, 
Maryland; March 24, 2010, in Denver, Colorado; and March 30, 2010, in 
Atlanta, Georgia.
    These pre-application workshops are designed to provide technical 
assistance to interested applicants for all three types of grants. 
Detailed information regarding the pre-application workshop locations 
and times, along with the on-line registration form, can be found on 
the Investing in Innovation Fund website at 
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-
Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants site. For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in

[[Page 12079]]

paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception 
to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV.7. 
Other Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should call 
the program contact number or write to the e-mail address listed under 
For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice. If the 
Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual 
with a disability in connection with the application process, the 
individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and 
limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 12, 2010.
    5. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this 
competition.
    6. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    7. Other Submission Requirements:
    Applications for grants under this program competition must be 
submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this 
requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the Investing in Innovation Fund--
CFDA Numbers 84.396A, 84.396B, and 84.396C must be submitted 
electronically using e-Application, accessible through the Department's 
e-Grants Web site at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    While completing your electronic application, you will be entering 
data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an 
electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    Please note the following:
     You must complete the electronic submission of your grant 
application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this 
competition after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait 
until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
     The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6 a.m. 
Monday until 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 6 a.m. Thursday until 8 p.m. Sunday, 
Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of maintenance, the 
system is unavailable between 8 p.m. on Sundays and 6 a.m. on Mondays, 
and between 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, 
DC time. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants 
Web site.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: The 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications. You must attach any narrative sections of your 
application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF 
(Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the 
three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password 
protected file, we will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page 
limit requirements described in this notice.
     Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may 
wish to print a copy of it for your records.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number 
(an identifying number unique to your application).
     Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control 
Center after following these steps:
    (1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.
    (2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.
    (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.
    (4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at 
(202) 245-6272.
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
other forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application 
Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting 
your application on the application deadline date because e-Application 
is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by 
hand delivery. We will grant this extension if--
    (1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have 
initiated an electronic application for this competition; and
    (2)(a) E-Application is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between 
the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date; or
    (b) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 
3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC, time, on the application 
deadline date.
    We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability 
before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to 
confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may 
contact either (1) the program contact number or write to the e-mail 
address listed elsewhere in this notice under For Further Information 
Contact (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-
888-336-8930. If e-Application is unavailable due to technical problems 
with the system and, therefore, the application deadline is extended, 
an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an e-
Application. Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the 
unavailability of e-Application.
    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through e-Application because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or

[[Page 12080]]

     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
e-Application; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you 
mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax 
your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed 
statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Thelma Leenhouts, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W302, 
Washington, DC 20202-5900. FAX: (202) 401-4123.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Numbers 84.396A, 84.396B, or 84.396C), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 
Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

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

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application, by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Numbers 84.396A, 84.396B, or 84.396C), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 
7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, 
Sundays, and Federal holidays.

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

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria, for this program, published elsewhere in this issue 
of the Federal Register. We may apply these selection criteria in any 
year in which this program is in effect. The peer review process is 
explained in detail in the Review and Selection Process section of this 
notice.
    The selection criteria are as follows. The points assigned to each 
criterion are indicated in parentheses next to the criterion. For each 
type of grant, applicants may earn up to a total of 100 points.
    1. Scale-up Grants.
    A. Need for the Project and Quality of the Project Design (up to 15 
points).
    The Secretary considers the need for the project and quality of the 
design of the proposed project.
    In determining the need for the project and quality of the design 
of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priorities the eligible applicant is 
seeking to meet (i.e., addresses a largely unmet need, particularly for 
high-need students, and is a practice, strategy, or program that has 
not already been widely adopted).
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project has a clear set of 
goals and an explicit strategy, with actions that are (a) aligned with 
the priorities the eligible applicant is seeking to meet, and (b) 
expected to result in achieving the goals, objectives, and outcomes of 
the proposed project.
    B. Strength of Research, Significance of Effect, and Magnitude of 
Effect (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the strength of the existing research 
evidence,\4\ including the internal validity (strength of causal 
conclusions) and external validity (generalizability) of the effects 
reported in prior research, on whether the proposed project will 
improve student achievement or student growth, close achievement gaps, 
decrease dropout rates, increase high school graduation rates, or 
increase college enrollment and completion rates. Eligible applicants 
may also demonstrate success through an intermediate variable that is 
strongly correlated with improving these outcomes, such as teacher or 
principal effectiveness.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ For additional information on the evidence for Scale-up 
grants, see Table 1 later in this section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In determining the strength of the existing research evidence, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the eligible applicant demonstrates that 
there is strong evidence (as defined in this notice) that its 
implementation of the proposed practice, strategy, or program will have 
a statistically significant, substantial, and important effect on 
improving student achievement or student growth, closing achievement 
gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation 
rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates.
    (2) The importance and magnitude of the effect expected to be 
obtained by the proposed project, including the extent to which the 
project will substantially and measurably improve student achievement 
or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, 
increase high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment 
and

[[Page 12081]]

completion rates. The evidence in support of the importance and 
magnitude of the effect would be the research-based evidence provided 
by the eligible applicant to support the proposed project.
    C. Experience of the Eligible Applicant (up to 15 points).
    The Secretary considers the experience of the eligible applicant in 
implementing the proposed project.
    In determining the experience of the eligible applicant, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The past performance of the eligible applicant in implementing 
large, complex, and rapidly growing projects.
    (2) The extent to which an eligible applicant provides information 
and data demonstrating that--
    (a) In the case of an eligible applicant that is an LEA, the LEA 
has--
    (i) Significantly closed the achievement gaps between groups of 
students described in section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA, or significantly 
increased student achievement for all groups of students described in 
such section; and
    (ii) Made significant improvements in other areas, such as 
graduation rates or increased recruitment and placement of high-quality 
teachers and principals, as demonstrated with meaningful data; or
    (b) In the case of an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit 
organization, the nonprofit organization has significantly improved 
student achievement, attainment, or retention through its record of 
work with an LEA or schools.
    D. Quality of the Project Evaluation (up to 15 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will include a 
well-designed experimental study or, if a well-designed experimental 
study of the project is not possible, the extent to which the methods 
of evaluation will include a well-designed quasi-experimental study.
    (2) The extent to which, for either an experimental study or a 
quasi-experimental study, the study will be conducted of the practice, 
strategy, or program as implemented at scale.
    (3) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
high-quality implementation data and performance feedback, and permit 
periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.
    (4) The extent to which the evaluation will provide sufficient 
information about the key elements and approach of the project so as to 
facilitate replication or testing in other settings.
    (5) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes 
sufficient resources to carry out the project evaluation effectively.
    (6) The extent to which the proposed evaluation is rigorous, 
independent, and neither the program developer nor the project 
implementer will evaluate the impact of the project.

    Note: We encourage eligible applicants to review the following 
technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) What Works 
Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook: 
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1; and 
(2) IES/NCEE Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_methods/.

    E. Strategy and Capacity to Bring to Scale (up to 15 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the eligible applicant's 
strategy and capacity to bring the proposed project to scale on a 
national, regional, or State level.
    In determining the quality of the strategy and capacity to bring 
the proposed project to scale, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The number of students proposed to be reached by the proposed 
project and the capacity of the eligible applicant and any other 
partners to reach the proposed number of students during the course of 
the grant period.
    (2) The eligible applicant's capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the 
proposed project to scale on a national, regional, or State level 
working directly, or through partners, either during or following the 
end of the grant period.
    (3) The feasibility of the proposed project to be replicated 
successfully, if positive results are obtained, in a variety of 
settings and with a variety of student populations. Evidence of this 
ability includes the proposed project's demonstrated success in 
multiple settings and with different types of students, the 
availability of resources and expertise required for implementing the 
project with fidelity, and the proposed project's evidence of relative 
ease of use or user satisfaction.
    (4) The eligible applicant's estimate of the cost of the proposed 
project, which includes the start-up and operating costs per student 
per year (including indirect costs) for reaching the total number of 
students proposed to be served by the project. The eligible applicant 
must include an estimate of the costs for the eligible applicant or 
others (including other partners) to reach 100,000, 500,000, and 
1,000,000 students.
    (5) The mechanisms the eligible applicant will use to broadly 
disseminate information on its project so as to support replication.
    F. Sustainability (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources to continue the 
proposed project after the grant period ends.
    In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, 
the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the eligible applicant demonstrates that it 
has the resources to operate the project beyond the length of the 
Scale-up grant, including a multi-year financial and operating model 
and accompanying plan; the demonstrated commitment of any other 
partners; and evidence of broad support from stakeholders (e.g., State 
educational agencies, teachers' unions) critical to the project's long-
term success.
    (2) The potential and planning for the incorporation of project 
purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing work of the eligible 
applicant and any other partners at the end of the Scale-up grant.
    G. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
personnel for the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the management plan and personnel for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks, as well as tasks related to the sustainability and 
scalability of the proposed project.
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director and key project personnel, especially in 
managing large, complex, and rapidly growing projects.
    (3) The qualifications, including relevant expertise and 
experience, of the project director and key personnel of the 
independent evaluator, especially in designing and conducting large-
scale experimental and quasi-experimental studies of educational 
initiatives.
    2. Validation Grants.
    A. Need for the Project and Quality of the Project Design (up to 20 
points).
    The Secretary considers the need for the project and quality of the 
design of the proposed project.
    In determining the need for the project and quality of the design 
of the

[[Page 12082]]

proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priorities the eligible applicant is 
seeking to meet (i.e., addresses a largely unmet need, particularly for 
high-need students, and is a practice, strategy, or program that has 
not already been widely adopted).
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project has a clear set of 
goals and an explicit strategy, with actions that are (a) aligned with 
the priorities the eligible applicant is seeking to meet, and (b) 
expected to result in achieving the goals, objectives, and outcomes of 
the proposed project.
    (3) The extent to which the proposed project is consistent with the 
research evidence supporting the proposed project, taking into 
consideration any differences in context.
    B. Strength of Research, Significance of Effect, and Magnitude of 
Effect (up to 15 points).
    The Secretary considers the strength of the existing research 
evidence, including the internal validity (strength of causal 
conclusions) and external validity (generalizability) of the effects 
reported in prior research, on whether the proposed project will 
improve student achievement or student growth, close achievement gaps, 
decrease dropout rates, increase high school graduation rates, or 
increase college enrollment and completion rates. Eligible applicants 
may also demonstrate success through an intermediate variable that is 
strongly correlated with improving these outcomes, such as teacher or 
principal effectiveness.
    In determining the strength of the existing research evidence,\5\ 
the Secretary considers the following factors:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ For additional information on the evidence for Validation 
grants, see Table 1 later in this section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) The extent to which the eligible applicant demonstrates that 
there is moderate evidence (as defined in this notice) that the 
proposed practice, strategy, or program will have a statistically 
significant, substantial, and important effect on improving student 
achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing 
dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing 
college enrollment and completion rates.
    (2) The importance and magnitude of the effect expected to be 
obtained by the proposed project, including the likelihood that the 
project will substantially and measurably improve student achievement 
or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, 
increase high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment 
and completion rates. The evidence in support of the importance and 
magnitude of the effect would be the research-based evidence provided 
by the eligible applicant to support the proposed project.
    C. Experience of the Eligible Applicant (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the experience of the eligible applicant in 
implementing the proposed project.
    In determining the experience of the eligible applicant, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The past performance of the eligible applicant in implementing 
complex projects.
    (2) The extent to which an eligible applicant provides information 
and data demonstrating that--
    (a) In the case of an eligible applicant that is an LEA, the LEA 
has--
    (i) Significantly closed the achievement gaps between groups of 
students described in section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA, or significantly 
increased student achievement for all groups of students described in 
such section; and
    (ii) Made significant improvements in other areas, such as 
graduation rates or increased recruitment and placement of high-quality 
teachers and principals, as demonstrated with meaningful data; or
    (b) In the case of an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit 
organization, the nonprofit organization has significantly improved 
student achievement, attainment, or retention through its record of 
work with an LEA or schools.
    D. Quality of the Project Evaluation (up to 15 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will include a 
well-designed experimental study or well-designed quasi-experimental 
study.
    (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
high-quality implementation data and performance feedback, and permit 
periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.
    (3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide sufficient 
information about the key elements and approach of the project so as to 
facilitate replication or testing in other settings.
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes 
sufficient resources to carry out the project evaluation effectively.
    (5) The extent to which the proposed evaluation is rigorous, 
independent, and neither the program developer nor the project 
implementer will evaluate the impact of the project.

    Note: We encourage eligible applicants to review the following 
technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) What Works 
Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook: 
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1; and 
(2) IES/NCES Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_methods/.

    E. Strategy and Capacity to Bring to Scale (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the eligible applicant's 
strategy and capacity to bring the proposed project to scale on a State 
or regional level.
    In determining the quality of the strategy and capacity to bring 
the proposed project to scale, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The number of students proposed to be reached by the proposed 
project and the capacity of the eligible applicant and any other 
partners to reach the proposed number of students during the course of 
the grant period.
    (2) The eligible applicant's capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the 
proposed project to scale on a State or regional level (as appropriate, 
based on the results of the proposed project) working directly, or 
through other partners, either during or following the end of the grant 
period.
    (3) The feasibility of the proposed project to be replicated 
successfully, if positive results are obtained, in a variety of 
settings and with a variety of student populations. Evidence of this 
ability includes the availability of resources and expertise required 
for implementing the project with fidelity, and the proposed project's 
evidence of relative ease of use or user satisfaction.
    (4) The eligible applicant's estimate of the cost of the proposed 
project, which includes the start-up and operating costs per student 
per year (including indirect costs) for reaching the total number of 
students proposed to be served by the project. The eligible applicant 
must include an estimate of the costs for the eligible applicant or 
others (including other partners) to reach 100,000, 250,000, and 
500,000 students.
    (5) The mechanisms the eligible applicant will use to broadly 
disseminate information on its project to support further development, 
expansion, or replication.
    F. Sustainability (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources to continue to 
develop the proposed project.

[[Page 12083]]

    In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, 
the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the eligible applicant demonstrates that it 
has the resources, as well as the support of stakeholders (e.g., State 
educational agencies, teachers' unions), to operate the project beyond 
the length of the Validation grant.
    (2) The potential and planning for the incorporation of project 
purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing work of the eligible 
applicant and any other partners at the end of the Validation grant.
    G. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
personnel for the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the management plan and personnel for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks, as well as tasks related to the sustainability and 
scalability of the proposed project.
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director and key project personnel, especially in 
managing complex projects.
    (3) The qualifications, including relevant expertise and 
experience, of the project director and key personnel of the 
independent evaluator, especially in designing and conducting 
experimental and quasi-experimental studies of educational initiatives.
    3. Development Grants.
    A. Need for the Project and Quality of the Project Design (up to 25 
points).
    The Secretary considers the need for the project and quality of the 
design of the proposed project.
    In determining the need for the project and quality of the design 
of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priorities the eligible applicant is 
seeking to meet (i.e., addresses a largely unmet need, particularly for 
high-need students, and is a practice, strategy, or program that has 
not already been widely adopted).
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project has a clear set of 
goals and an explicit strategy, with the goals, objectives, and 
outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project clearly specified and 
measurable and linked to the priorities the eligible applicant is 
seeking to meet.
    B. Strength of Research, Significance of Effect, and Magnitude of 
Effect (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the strength of the existing research 
evidence,\6\ including reported practice, theoretical considerations, 
and the significance and magnitude of any effects reported in prior 
research, on whether the proposed project will improve student 
achievement or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout 
rates, increase high school graduation rates, or increase college 
enrollment and completion rates. Eligible applicants may also 
demonstrate success through an intermediate variable that is strongly 
correlated with improving these outcomes, such as teacher or principal 
effectiveness.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ For additional information on the evidence for Development 
grants, see Table 1 later in this section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In determining the strength of the existing research evidence, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the eligible applicant demonstrates that 
there are research-based findings or reasonable hypotheses that support 
the proposed project, including related research in education and other 
sectors.
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project has been attempted 
previously, albeit on a limited scale or in a limited setting, with 
promising results that suggest that more formal and systematic study is 
warranted.
    (3) The extent to which the eligible applicant demonstrates that, 
if funded, the proposed project likely will have a positive impact, as 
measured by the importance or magnitude of the effect, on improving 
student achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, 
decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or 
increasing college enrollment and completion rates.
    C. Experience of the Eligible Applicant (up to 25 points).
    The Secretary considers the experience of the eligible applicant in 
implementing the proposed project or a similar project.
    In determining the experience of the eligible applicant, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The past performance of the eligible applicant in implementing 
projects of the size and scope proposed by the eligible applicant.
    (2) The extent to which an eligible applicant provides information 
and data demonstrating that--
    (a) In the case of an eligible applicant that is an LEA, the LEA 
has--
    (i) Significantly closed the achievement gaps between groups of 
students described in section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA, or significantly 
increased student achievement for all groups of students described in 
such section; and
    (ii) Made significant improvements in other areas, such as 
graduation rates or increased recruitment and placement of high-quality 
teachers and principals, as demonstrated with meaningful data; or
    (b) In the case of an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit 
organization, the nonprofit organization has significantly improved 
student achievement, attainment, or retention through its record of 
work with an LEA or schools.
    D. Quality of the Project Evaluation (up to 15 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the following factors.
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are appropriate 
to the size and scope of the proposed project.
    (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
high-quality implementation data and performance feedback, and permit 
periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.
    (3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide sufficient 
information about the key elements and approach of the project to 
facilitate further development, replication, or testing in other 
settings.
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes 
sufficient resources to carry out the project evaluation effectively.

    Note: We encourage eligible applicants to review the following 
technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) What Works 
Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook: 
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1; and 
(2) IES/NCEE Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_methods/.

    E. Strategy and Capacity to Further Develop and Bring to Scale (up 
to 5 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the eligible applicant's 
strategy and capacity to further develop and bring to scale the 
proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the strategy and capacity to further 
develop and bring to scale the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers:
    (1) The number of students proposed to be reached by the proposed 
project

[[Page 12084]]

and the capacity of the eligible applicant and any other partners to 
reach the proposed number of students during the course of the grant 
period.
    (2) The eligible applicant's capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to further 
develop and bring to scale the proposed practice, strategy, or program, 
or to work with others (including other partners) to ensure that the 
proposed practice, strategy, or program can be further developed and 
brought to scale, based on the findings of the proposed project.
    (3) The feasibility of the proposed project to be replicated 
successfully, if positive results are obtained, in a variety of 
settings and with a variety of student populations. Evidence of this 
ability includes the availability of resources and expertise required 
for implementing the project with fidelity, and the proposed project's 
evidence of relative ease of use or user satisfaction.
    (4) The eligible applicant's estimate of the cost of the proposed 
project, which includes the start-up and operating costs per student 
per year (including indirect costs) for reaching the total number of 
students proposed to be served by the project. The eligible applicant 
must include an estimate of the costs for the eligible applicant or 
others (including other partners) to reach 100,000, 250,000, and 
500,000 students.
    (5) The mechanisms the eligible applicant will use to broadly 
disseminate information on its project so as to support further 
development or replication.
    F. Sustainability (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources to continue to 
develop or expand the proposed practice, strategy, or program after the 
grant period ends.
    In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, 
the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the eligible applicant demonstrates that it 
has the resources, as well as the support from stakeholders (e.g., 
State educational agencies, teachers' unions) to operate the project 
beyond the length of the Development grant.
    (2) The potential and planning for the incorporation of project 
purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing work of the eligible 
applicant and any other partners at the end of the Development grant.
    G. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
personnel for the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the management plan and personnel for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks.
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director and key project personnel, especially in 
managing projects of the size and scope of the proposed project.

  Table 1--Differences Between the Three Types of Investing in Innovation Fund Grants in Terms of the Evidence
                         Required to Support the Proposed Practice, Strategy, or Program
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Scale-up grants         Validation grants        Development grants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Strength of Research.................  Strong evidence........  Moderate evidence......  Reasonable hypotheses.
Internal Validity (Strength of Causal  High internal validity   (1) High internal        Theory and reported
 Conclusions) and External Validity     and high external        validity and moderate    practice suggest the
 (Generalizability).                    validity.                external validity; or    potential for efficacy
                                                                 (2) moderate internal    for at least some
                                                                 validity and high        participants and
                                                                 external validity.       settings.
Prior Research Studies Supporting      (1) More than one well-  (1) At least one well-   (1) Evidence that the
 Effectiveness or Efficacy of the       designed and well-       designed and well-       proposed practice,
 Proposed Practice, Strategy, or        implemented              implemented              strategy, or program,
 Program.                               experimental study or    experimental or quasi-   or one similar to it,
                                        well-designed and well-  experimental study,      has been attempted
                                        implemented quasi-       with small sample        previously, albeit on
                                        experimental study; or   sizes or other           a limited scale or in
                                        (2) one large, well-     conditions of            a limited setting, and
                                        designed and well-       implementation or        yielded promising
                                        implemented randomized   analysis that limit      results that suggest
                                        controlled, multisite    generalizability; (2)    that more formal and
                                        trial.                   at least one well-       systematic study is
                                                                 designed and well-       warranted; and (2) a
                                                                 implemented              rationale for the
                                                                 experimental or quasi-   proposed practice,
                                                                 experimental study       strategy, or program
                                                                 that does not            that is based on
                                                                 demonstrate              research findings or
                                                                 equivalence between      reasonable hypotheses,
                                                                 the intervention and     including related
                                                                 comparison groups at     research or theories
                                                                 program entry but that   in education and other
                                                                 has no other major       sectors.
                                                                 flaws related to
                                                                 internal validity; or
                                                                 (3) correlational
                                                                 research with strong
                                                                 statistical controls
                                                                 for selection bias and
                                                                 for discerning the
                                                                 influence of internal
                                                                 factors.
Practice, Strategy, or Program in      The same as that         The same as, or very     The same as, or similar
 Prior Research.                        proposed for support     similar to, that         to, that proposed for
                                        under the Scale-up       proposed for support     support under the
                                        grant.                   under the Validation     Development grant.
                                                                 grant.
Participants and Settings in Prior     Participants and         Participants or          Participants or
 Research.                              settings included the    settings may have been   settings may have been
                                        kinds of participants    more limited than        more limited than
                                        and settings proposed    those proposed to        those proposed to
                                        to receive the           receive the treatment    receive the treatment
                                        treatment under the      under the Validation     under the Development
                                        Scale-up grant.          grant.                   grant.
Significance of Effect...............  Effect in prior          Effect in prior          Practice, strategy, or
                                        research was             research would be        program warrants
                                        statistically            likely to be             further study to
                                        significant, and would   statistically            investigate efficacy.
                                        be likely to be          significant in a
                                        statistically            sample of the size
                                        significant in a         proposed for the
                                        sample of the size       Validation grant.
                                        proposed for the Scale-
                                        up grant.

[[Page 12085]]


Magnitude of Effect..................  Based on prior           Based on prior           Based on prior
                                        research, substantial    research, substantial    implementation,
                                        and important for the    and important, with      promising for the
                                        target population for    the potential of the     target population for
                                        the Scale-up project.    same for the target      the Development
                                                                 population for the       project.
                                                                 Validation project.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will screen 
applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this 
notice, and will determine which applications are eligible to be read 
based on whether they have met eligibility and other statutory 
requirements.
    For all three grant reviews, the Department will use independent 
reviewers from various backgrounds and professions including: Pre-
kindergarten-12 teachers and principals, college and university 
educators, researchers and evaluators, social entrepreneurs, strategy 
consultants, grant makers and managers, and others with education 
expertise. The Department will thoroughly screen all reviewers for 
conflicts of interest to ensure a fair and competitive review process.
    Reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the 
applications assigned to their panel, using the selection criteria 
provided in this notice.
    To be eligible for an award, an application for a Scale-up grant 
must be supported by strong evidence (as defined in this notice) and an 
application for a Validation grant must be supported by moderate 
evidence (as defined in this notice). For Scale-up and Validation grant 
applications, peer reviewers will review and score all eligible 
applications. If eligible applicants have chosen to address the 
competitive preference priorities and receive points for the 
competitive preference priorities, those points will be added to the 
eligible applicant's score. The Department may ask Scale-up grant 
finalists to send a team to the Department's headquarters in 
Washington, DC to present their proposed project to a panel of 
reviewers. The panel will take this opportunity to gain a more 
comprehensive understanding of the applicant's proposed project. At the 
conclusion of the presentation process, reviewers will complete their 
scoring of the applications based on the selection criteria.
    To be eligible for an award, an application for a Development grant 
must be supported by a reasonable hypothesis. For Development grant 
applications, the Department intends to conduct a two-tier review 
process to review and score all eligible applications. Reviewers will 
review and score all eligible Development applications on the following 
five criteria: A. Need for the Project and Quality of the Project 
Design; C. Experience of the Eligible Applicant; E. Strategy and 
Capacity to Further Develop and Bring to Scale; F. Sustainability; and 
G. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel. If eligible applicants 
have chosen to address the competitive preference priorities, reviewers 
will review and score those competitive preference priorities. If 
points are awarded, those points will be added to the eligible 
applicant's score. Eligible applications that score highly on these 
five criteria will then have the remaining two criteria reviewed and 
scored by a different panel of reviewers. The remaining criteria are as 
follows: B. Strength of Research, Significance, of Effect, and 
Magnitude of Effect and D. Quality of the Project Evaluation.
    For all three types of applications, the Secretary prepares a rank 
order of applications based solely on the evaluation of their quality 
according to the selection criteria. In accordance with 34 CFR 
75.217(c)(3), the Secretary will make final awards after considering 
the rank ordering and other information including an applicant's 
performance and use of funds and compliance history under a previous 
award under any Department program. In making awards under any future 
competitions, the Secretary will consider an applicant's past 
performance, including the quality of the evaluation produced by the 
applicant under a previous Investing in Innovation grant.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, each grantee must 
submit a final performance report, including financial information, as 
directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must 
submit an annual performance report that provides the most current 
performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the 
Secretary under 34 CFR 75.720(a) and (b). The Secretary may also 
require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For 
specific requirements on reporting, please go to 
http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    In addition to these reporting requirements, each grantee that 
receives Investing in Innovation funds must also meet the reporting 
requirements that apply to all ARRA-funded programs. Specifically, each 
grantee 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, each grantee must submit 
a report to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the 
Secretary may require, that describes--
    1. The uses of funds within the defined area of the proposed 
project;
    2. How the applicant distributed the funds it received;

[[Page 12086]]

    3. The number of jobs estimated to be saved or created with the 
funds; and
    4. The project's progress in reducing inequities in the 
distribution of highly qualified teachers, implementing a longitudinal 
data system, and developing and implementing valid and reliable 
assessments for English language learners and students with 
disabilities.
    4. Performance Measures: The overall purpose of the Investing in 
Innovation program is to expand the implementation of, and investment 
in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on 
improving student achievement or student growth for high-need students. 
We have established several performance measures for each of the three 
types of the Investing in Innovation grants.

Scale-Up Grants

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

Validation Grants

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

Development Grants

    Short-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of grantees 
whose projects are being implemented with fidelity to the approved 
design; (2) the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies 
supported by a Development grant with ongoing evaluations that provide 
evidence of their promise for improving student outcomes; (3) the 
percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a 
Development grant with ongoing evaluations that are providing high-
quality implementation data and performance feedback that allow for 
periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes; and 
(4) the cost per student actually served by the grant.
    Long-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of programs, 
practices, or strategies supported by a Development grant with a 
completed evaluation that provides evidence of their promise for 
improving student outcomes; (2) the percentage of programs, practices, 
or strategies supported by a Development grant with a completed 
evaluation that provides information about the key elements and 
approach of the project so as to facilitate further development, 
replication, or testing in other settings; and (3) the cost per student 
for programs, practices, or strategies that were proven promising at 
improving educational outcomes for students.

VII. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Margo Anderson, U.S. Department of 
Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, 400 Maryland Avenue, 
SW., Room 4W302, Washington, DC 20202-5900, Telephone: (202) 453-7122 
or by e-mail: i3@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on 
request to the program contact number or e-mail address listed under 
For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice
    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 following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.
    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official 
edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is 
available on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

    Dated: March 4, 2010.
James H. Shelton III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2010-5139 Filed 3-8-10; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P