[Federal Register: March 23, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 55)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13745-13751]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23mr10-54]            
         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Innovation and Improvement Overview Information; Ready 
To Teach Program--General Programming Grants; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.286A

    Dates:
    Applications Available: March 23, 2010.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: April 22, 2010.
    Date of Meeting for Prospective Applicants: April 15, 2010.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 24, 2010.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 21, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program:
    The Ready to Teach program (RTT) supports the use of 
telecommunications to improve teaching by assisting elementary school 
and secondary school teachers to prepare all students to achieve 
challenging State academic content and student academic achievement 
standards in core curriculum areas.
    Background:
    In order to improve the Nation's lowest-achieving schools, the 
Secretary recognizes the need to improve the professional development 
of teachers, including early childhood professionals. In this 
competition, the Secretary encourages applicants to create new 
professional development models that incorporate emerging technologies 
and innovative strategies into digital professional development content 
and to disseminate products and results through open educational 
resources (OER).
    Through this competition, the Department intends to promote 
telecommunications innovations that support effective teaching. 
Examples of using telecommunications innovations to support effective 
teaching include the distribution of digital professional development 
content through cell phone applications, or the creation of new games, 
simulations, or other electronic applications that improve the academic 
achievement of high-need students and are available as open educational 
resources through the Internet, online portals, or other digital media 
platforms.
    In addition, the Secretary encourages applicants to consider 
developing rigorous research and evaluation strategies to increase 
knowledge about the impact of educational technology on improving 
teaching practices and student outcomes.
    Statutory Requirements: Under the requirements for this program in 
section 5477 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended (ESEA), to be eligible to receive a Ready to Teach General 
Programming Grant, an applicant must submit an application that--
    a. Demonstrates that the applicant will use the public broadcasting 
infrastructure, the Internet, and school digital networks, where 
available, to deliver video and data in an integrated service to train 
teachers in the use of materials and learning technologies for 
achieving challenging State academic content and student academic 
achievement standards;
    b. Ensures that the project will be conducted in cooperation with 
appropriate State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and 
State or local nonprofit public telecommunications entities; and
    c. Ensures that a significant portion of the benefits available for 
elementary schools and secondary schools from the project will be 
available to schools of local educational agencies that have a high 
percentage of children counted under Part A of Title I of the ESEA.
    Priorities: This competition includes two invitational priorities 
and one competitive preference priority.
    Invitational Priorities: Under this competition we are particularly 
interested in applications that address the following 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 
invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an 
application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications.
    These priorities are:
    Invitational Priority 1. Applications that use innovative 
strategies to deliver professional development content (such as through 
the Internet, online portals, learning modules, games, simulations, 
cell phones, and other technological

[[Page 13746]]

applications or emerging digital media platforms) to teachers serving 
high-need students, including early learners, in the persistently 
lowest-achieving schools (as defined in the final requirements for the 
School Improvement Grants program, 74 FR 65618; 75 FR 3375).
    Invitational Priority 2. Applications that propose to develop and 
disseminate products and project results through OER. OER are teaching, 
learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or 
have been released under an intellectual property license that permits 
their free use or repurposing by others. This invitational priority 
encourages applications that include plans that describe how the 
applicants will make the grant products and resources developed with 
these grant funds freely available through various media platforms, in 
an effort to share digital professional development methodologies, 
proven teaching strategies, and lessons learned in implementing RTT 
projects with other educators, including early learning professionals.

    Note: Each applicant addressing this priority is encouraged to 
include plans for how the applicant will disseminate resources, for 
example, through a Web site that is freely available to all users. 
Each applicant is also encouraged to include plans specifying how 
the project will identify quality resources, such as lesson plans, 
primary source activities, reading lists, teacher reflections, and 
videos of quality teaching and student learning in action, for 
presentation to other educators.

    Competitive Preference Priority: This priority is from the notice 
of final priority for Scientifically Based Evaluation Methods, 
published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2005 (70 FR 3586). For 
FY 2010 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list 
of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is a 
competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award 
up to an additional 20 points to an application, depending on how well 
the application meets this priority. These points are in addition to 
any points the application earns under the selection criteria.
    When using the priority to give competitive preference to an 
application, we will review the applications using a two-stage review 
process. In the first stage, we will review the applications without 
taking the competitive preference priority into account. In the second 
stage of the process, we will review the applications rated highest in 
the first stage of the process to determine whether they will receive 
the competitive preference points. We will consider awarding 
competitive preference points only to those applicants with top-ranked 
scores based on the selection criteria.
    This priority is:
    The Secretary establishes a priority for projects proposing an 
evaluation plan that is based on rigorous, scientifically based 
research methods to assess the effectiveness of a particular 
intervention. The Secretary intends that this priority will allow 
program participants and the Department to determine whether the 
project produces meaningful effects on student achievement or teacher 
performance.
    Evaluation methods using an experimental design are best for 
determining project effectiveness. Thus, when feasible, the project 
must use an experimental design under which participants--e.g., 
students, teachers, classrooms, or schools--are randomly assigned to 
participate in the project activities being evaluated or to a control 
group that does not participate in the project activities being 
evaluated.
    If random assignment is not feasible, the project may use a quasi-
experimental design with carefully matched comparison conditions. This 
alternative design attempts to approximate a randomly assigned control 
group by matching participants--e.g., students, teachers, classrooms, 
or schools--with non-participants having similar pre-program 
characteristics.
    In cases where random assignment is not possible and participation 
in the intervention is determined by a specified cut-off point on a 
quantified continuum of scores, regression discontinuity designs may be 
employed.
    For projects that are focused on special populations in which 
sufficient numbers of participants are not available to support random 
assignment or matched comparison group designs, single-subject designs 
such as multiple baseline or treatment-reversal or interrupted time 
series that are capable of demonstrating causal relationships can be 
employed.
    Proposed evaluation strategies that use neither experimental 
designs with random assignment nor quasi-experimental designs using a 
matched comparison group nor regression discontinuity designs will not 
be considered responsive to the priority when sufficient numbers of 
participants are available to support these designs. Evaluation 
strategies that involve too small a number of participants to support 
group designs must be capable of demonstrating the causal effects of an 
intervention or program on those participants.
    The proposed evaluation plan must describe how the project 
evaluator will collect--before the project intervention commences and 
after it ends--valid and reliable data that measure the impact of 
participation in the program or in the comparison group.
    Points awarded under this priority will be determined by the 
quality of the proposed evaluation method. In determining the quality 
of the evaluation method, we will consider the extent to which the 
applicant presents a feasible, credible plan that includes the 
following:
    (1) The type of design to be used (that is, random assignment or 
matched comparison). If matched comparison, include in the plan a 
discussion of why random assignment is not feasible.
    (2) Outcomes to be measured.
    (3) A discussion of how the applicant plans to assign students, 
teachers, classrooms, or schools to the project and control group or 
match them for comparison with other students, teachers, classrooms, or 
schools.
    (4) A proposed evaluator, preferably independent, with the 
necessary background and technical expertise to carry out the proposed 
evaluation. An independent evaluator does not have any authority over 
the project and is not involved in its implementation.
    In general, depending on the implemented program or project, under 
a competitive preference priority, random assignment evaluation methods 
will receive more points than matched comparison evaluation methods.
    We encourage applicants to take advantage of the competitive 
preference priority if their model allows them to do so.
    Definitions:
    As used in the competitive preference priority in this notice--
    Scientifically based research (section 9101(37) of the ESEA, 20 
U.S.C. 7801(37)):
    (A) Means research that involves the application of rigorous, 
systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid 
knowledge relevant to education activities and programs; and
    (B) Includes research that--
    (i) Employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation 
or experiment;
    (ii) Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the 
stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;
    (iii) Relies on measurements or observational methods that provide 
reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across 
multiple measurements and observations, and

[[Page 13747]]

across studies by the same or different investigators;
    (iv) Is evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental designs 
in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to 
different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the 
effects of the condition of interest, with a preference for random-
assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those 
designs contain within-condition or across-condition controls;
    (v) Ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient 
detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, offer the 
opportunity to build systematically on their findings; and
    (vi) Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a 
panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, 
and scientific review.
    Random assignment or experimental design means random assignment of 
students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to participate in a project 
being evaluated (treatment group) or not participate in the project 
(control group). The effect of the project is the difference in 
outcomes between the treatment and control groups.
    Quasi-experimental designs include several designs that attempt to 
approximate a random assignment design.
    Carefully matched comparison groups design means a quasi-
experimental design in which project participants are matched with non-
participants based on key characteristics that are thought to be 
related to the outcome.
    Regression discontinuity design means a quasi-experimental design 
that closely approximates an experimental design. In a regression 
discontinuity design, participants are assigned to a treatment or 
control group based on a numerical rating or score of a variable 
unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an application for 
funding. Eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a 
certain score (``cut score'') are assigned to the treatment group and 
those below the score are assigned to the control group. In the case of 
the scores of applicants' proposals for funding, the ``cut score'' is 
established at the point where the program funds available are 
exhausted.
    Single subject design means a 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.
    Treatment reversal design means a single subject design in which a 
pre-treatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared with a post-
treatment measure. 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. For 
example, this design might be used to evaluate a behavior modification 
program for disabled students with behavior disorders.
    Multiple baseline design means a single subject design to address 
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.
    Interrupted time series design means a quasi-experimental design in 
which the outcome of interest is measured multiple times before and 
after the treatment for program participants only.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7257-7257b; 7257d.
    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 priority for Scientifically Based 
Evaluation Methods, published in the Federal Register on January 25, 
2005 (70 FR 3586).

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


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

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $10,650,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $2,662,000-$5,325,000 for the first year 
of the project. Funding for the second, third, and fourth years is 
subject to the availability of funds and the approval of continuation 
awards (see 34 CFR 75.253).
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $2,662,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 2-4.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: To be eligible to receive a General 
Programming Grant, an applicant must be a nonprofit telecommunications 
entity or partnership of such entities.

    Note:  If more than one non-profit telecommunications entity 
wishes to form a consortium and jointly submit a single application, 
they must follow the procedures for group applications described in 
34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 of EDGAR.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: An applicant submitting an application 
under this competition for General Programming Grants (84.286A) is not 
required to provide matching funds.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. 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.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 as follows: CFDA number 84.286A.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the person listed under Accessible 
Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. 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 program.
    Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to develop a 
more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if it has a 
better understanding of the number of entities that intend to apply for 
funding under this program. Therefore, the Secretary strongly 
encourages each potential applicant to notify the Department by sending 
a short e-mail message indicating the applicant's intent to submit an 
application for funding. The e-mail need not include information 
regarding the content of the proposed application, only the applicant's 
intent to submit it. This e-mail notification should be sent to Sharon 
Harris at readytoteach@ed.gov.
    Applicants that fail to provide this e-mail notification may still 
apply for funding.
    Meeting for Prospective Applicants: The Ready to Teach program will 
hold a webinar for prospective applicants on April 15, 2010 from 2:00 
p.m.-3:00 p.m.

[[Page 13748]]

Washington, DC time. The conference will offer information about how to 
apply for a Ready to Teach grant. For information and to register, 
please send an e-mail to Sharon.Harris@ed.gov.
    Page Limit: The application narrative 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 the equivalent of no more than 40 
single-sided pages, using 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 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 page 
limit does apply to all of the application narrative section (Part 
III).
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: March 23, 2010.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 22, 2010.
    Date of Meeting for Prospective Applicants: April 15, 2010.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 24, 2010.
    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 paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV.6. Other Submission 
Requirements 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 contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 21, 2010.
    4. 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.
    5. Funding Restrictions: Under section 5485 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 
7257d), an entity that receives a General Programming Grant may not use 
more than five percent of the amount received under the grant for 
administrative purposes. We reference regulations outlining additional 
funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this 
notice.
    6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the Ready to Teach Program--CFDA 
Number 84.286A 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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this 
competition after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that 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 6:00 
a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 
8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of 
maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 
6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 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.

[[Page 13749]]

    (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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date.
    We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability 
before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to 
confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may 
contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-
Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If 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
     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: Sharon Harris, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W216, 
Washington, DC 20202-5980. FAX: (202) 205-5720.
    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 Number 84.286A), 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 Number 84.286A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    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

    Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are 
from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all the selection criteria is 
100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in 
parentheses. Each criterion also includes the factors that the 
reviewers will consider in determining how well an application meets 
the criterion. The Note following selection criterion (6) is guidance 
to help applicants prepare their applications; it is not required by 
statute or regulations. The selection criteria are as follows:
    (1) Need for project (15 points). The Secretary considers the need 
for the proposed project by considering the following factors:
    (a) The extent to which the proposed project will provide services 
or otherwise address the needs of students at risk of educational 
failure.
    (b) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude 
of those gaps or weaknesses.
    (2) Significance (10 points). The Secretary considers the 
significance of the proposed project by considering the likely utility 
of the products (such as

[[Page 13750]]

information, materials, processes, or techniques) that will result from 
the proposed project, including the potential for their being used 
effectively in a variety of other settings.
    (3) Quality of the project design (25 points). The Secretary 
considers the quality of the design of the proposed project by 
considering the following factors:
    (a) The extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects 
up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.
    (b) The extent to which the proposed project is part of a 
comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support 
rigorous academic standards for students.
    (c) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build 
capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of 
Federal financial assistance.
    (4) Quality of project personnel (10 points). The Secretary 
considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed 
project by considering the extent to which the applicant encourages 
applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that 
have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary 
considers the qualifications, including relevant training and 
experience, of key project personnel.
    (5) Quality of the management plan (20 points). The Secretary 
considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project 
by considering the following factors:
    (a) 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.
    (b) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project.
    (c) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous 
improvement in the operation of the proposed project.
    (6) Quality of the project evaluation (20 points). The Secretary 
considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed 
project by considering the following factors:
    (a) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible.
    (b) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward 
achieving intended outcomes.

    Note on Factors Applicants May Wish to Consider in Developing an 
Evaluation Plan: The quality of the evaluation plan is one of the 
selection criteria by which applications in this competition will be 
judged. A strong evaluation plan should be used, as appropriate, to 
shape the development of the project from the beginning of the grant 
period. The evaluation plan should include benchmarks to monitor 
progress toward specific project objectives and also outcome 
measures to assess the impact on teaching and learning, or other 
important outcomes for project participants. More specifically, the 
plan should identify the individual or organization that has agreed 
to serve as evaluator for the project and describe the 
qualifications of that evaluator. The plan should describe the 
evaluation design, indicating: (1) What types of data will be 
collected; (2) when various types of data will be collected; (3) 
what methods will be used; (4) what instruments will be developed 
and when these instruments will be developed; (5) how the data will 
be analyzed; (6) when reports of results and outcomes will be 
available; and (7) how the applicant will use the information 
collected through the evaluation to monitor progress of the funded 
project and to provide accountability information both about success 
at the initial site and about effective strategies for replication 
in other settings. Applicants are encouraged to devote an 
appropriate level of resources to project evaluation.

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. Grant Administration: Applicants should budget for a one-day 
meeting for project directors to be held in Washington, DC.
    4. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a 
final performance report, including financial information, as directed 
by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an 
annual performance report that provides the most current performance 
and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary 
under 34 CFR 75.118. 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.
    5. Performance Measures: The Department has established the 
following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) 
performance measure for the Ready to Teach Grant Program: The 
percentage of digital professional development products deemed to be of 
high quality by a panel of experts in the field.
    This measure constitutes the Department's indicator of success for 
this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under 
this program to give careful consideration to the GPRA measure in 
conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for its proposed project. 
Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and 
final reports, data about its progress in meeting the Department's 
indicator.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Harris, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W216, Washington, DC 20202-
5980. Telephone: (202) 205-5880 or by e-mail: readytoteach@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 person 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.


[[Page 13751]]


    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 17, 2010.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2010-6286 Filed 3-22-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P