FR Doc 2010-8305
[Federal Register: April 12, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 69)]
[Notices]               
[Page 18488-18491]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr12ap10-41]                          
                  
         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Overview 
Information; Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program--Enhanced 
Assessment Instruments; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Funds

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.368A.


DATES: Applications Available: April 12, 2010.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 27, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to enhance the 
quality and validity of assessment instruments and systems used by 
States for measuring the achievement of all students. The grant funds 
may be used for the development of new assessment products or 
procedures, such as innovative test formats, empirical analysis of 
variations in test formats or procedures, or statistical models useful 
for combining data from multiple measures, or charting student progress 
over time.
    Background: In addition to this competition, the Department 
recently announced that it will use approximately $350 million under 
the Race to the Top Fund for a Race to the Top Assessment program to 
award grants to consortia of States for the development of common, 
high-quality assessments aligned with an applicant consortium's common 
set of K-12 standards that are internationally benchmarked and that 
build toward college and career readiness by the time of high school 
completion. We plan to publish a notice inviting applications for that 
competition in the near future.
    In addition, the Department intends to announce shortly a 
competition under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
(IDEA) General Supervision Enhancement Grants (GSEG) program, inviting 
consortia of States to apply for support to develop common alternate 
assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards for 
students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are 
eligible for such assessments. We encourage you to conduct a 
comprehensive review of these announcements and design your respective 
applications accordingly.
    Priorities: This competition includes four absolute priorities and 
three competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 
75.105(b)(2)(iv), the absolute priorities are based on those 
established in section 6112 of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) (20 U.S.C. 7301a). The competitive 
preference priorities are those established in Appendix E to the notice 
of final requirements for optional State consolidated applications 
submitted under section 9302 of the ESEA, published in the Federal 
Register on May 22, 2002 (67 FR 35967).
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2009 funds to be awarded through a 
competition conducted in 2010, these priorities are absolute 
priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications 
that meet one or more of these priorities.
    These priorities are:
    Absolute Priority 1. Collaborate with institutions of higher 
education, other research institutions, or other organizations to 
improve the quality, validity, and reliability of State academic 
assessments beyond the requirements for these assessments described in 
section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA.
    Absolute Priority 2. Measure student academic achievement using 
multiple measures of student academic achievement from multiple 
sources.
    Absolute Priority 3. Chart student progress over time.
    Absolute Priority 4. Evaluate student academic achievement through 
the development of comprehensive academic assessment instruments, such 
as performance- and technology-based academic assessments.
    Competitive Preference Priorities: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we 
award up to an additional 35 points to an application, depending on how 
well the application meets these competitive preference priorities.
    For FY 2009 funds to be awarded through a competition conducted in 
2010, these priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 1. Accommodations and alternate 
assessments (20 points). Applications that can be expected to advance 
practice significantly in the area of increasing accessibility and 
validity of assessments for students with disabilities or limited 
English proficiency, or both, including strategies for test design, 
administration with accommodations, scoring, and reporting.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ As noted above, the Department also intends to announce 
shortly a competition under the General Supervision Enhancement 
Grants (GSEG) program that will invite State consortia to apply for 
funding to support the development of common alternate assessments 
based on alternate academic achievement standards for students with 
the most significant cognitive disabilities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Competitive Preference Priority 2. Collaborative efforts (10 
points). Applications that are sponsored by a consortium of States.
    Competitive Preference Priority 3. Dissemination (5 points). 
Applications that include an effective plan for dissemination of 
results.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7301a and 7842.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 
82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final requirements 
published in the

[[Page 18489]]

Federal Register on May 22, 2002 (67 FR 35967).

    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: $10,732,000 in FY 2009 funds.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards with FY 2010 funds from the 
list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $750,000-$2,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,500,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 7.

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

    Project Period: Up to 24 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs) as 
defined in section 9101(41) of the ESEA and consortia of such SEAs.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: An application from a consortium of SEAs must designate 
one SEA as the fiscal agent.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Address to Request 
Application Package: To obtain an application package via the Internet 
use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/programs/eag/applicant.html. 
To obtain an application package from the U.S. 
Department of Education use the following address: Collette Roney, 
Enhanced Assessment Grants Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 
Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3W210, Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: 
(202) 401-5245 or by e-mail: collette.roney@ed.gov.
    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 competition. Page 
Limit: The application narrative (Part IV of the application) is where 
you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use 
to evaluate your application and the absolute and competitive 
preference priorities. You must limit the application narrative (Part 
IV) to the equivalent of no more than 40 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, and captions, as well as all text in charts, 
tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font no smaller than 11.0 point for all text in the 
application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, 
quotations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, 
figures, and graphs. (Font sizes that round up to 11, such as 10.7 
point, will be considered as smaller than 11.0.)
     Any screen shots included as part of the application 
narrative should follow these standards or, if other standards are 
applied, be sized to equal the equivalent amount of space if these 
standards were applied.
    The page limit does not apply to: The cover sheet or table of 
contents; Part I (including the response regarding research activities 
involving human subjects); Parts II and V (the budget sections, 
including the chart and narrative budget justification); Part III (one-
page project abstract); Part VI (other attachments forms, including 
references for the application narrative, personnel 
r[eacute]sum[eacute]s, letters of commitment and support, copy of 
indirect cost rate agreement, and indication in the list of ESEA 
Programs included in the Consolidated State Application); and Part VII 
(the assurances and certifications, including the General Education 
Provisions Act 427 response). Applicants are encouraged to limit each 
r[eacute]sum[eacute] to no more than 5 pages. The project narrative 
(Part IV) must include a discussion of how the application meets the 
absolute priorities, how well the application meets the competitive 
preference priorities, and how well the application addresses each of 
the selection criteria; therefore, the page limit applies to this 
discussion. The page limit also applies to any attachments to the 
project narrative other than references. In other words, the entirety 
of Part IV of the application, including the aforementioned discussion 
and any attachments to the narrative, must be limited to the equivalent 
of no more than 40 pages. Applicants should include in their 
applications only the other attachments (Part VI) outlined in the 
application package. Additional attachments other than those included 
in the project narrative will not be accepted or reviewed.
    Our reviewers will not read any pages of your application that 
exceed the page limit or exceed the equivalent of the page limit if you 
apply other standards.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: April 12, 2010.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 27, 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 
in 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.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is not subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in 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 Enhanced Assessment Instruments Competition--CFDA Number 
84.368A must be submitted electronically using e-Application, 
accessible through the Department's e-Grants Web site at: 
http://e-grants.ed.gov.

[[Page 18490]]

    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.
    (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. We will not 
grant an extension for other technical problems unrelated 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: Collette Roney, Enhanced 
Assessment Grants Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., room 3W210, Washington, DC 20202-4260. FAX: (202) 260-
7764.
    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 84.368A, LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

[[Page 18491]]

    (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 84.368A, 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 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 Appendix E to the notice of final requirements published in the 
Federal Register on May 22, 2002 (67 FR 35967) and are listed in the 
application package.

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 in 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, or at the end of 
your no-cost extension, if any, you must submit a final performance 
report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. 
Grantees must also submit an interim progress report approximately 
twelve months after the award date 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.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has developed four measures 
to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Enhanced Assessment 
Instruments Grants program: (1) The number of States that participate 
in Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants projects funded by this 
competition; (2) the percentage of grantees that, at least twice during 
the period of their grants, make available to SEA staff in non-
participating States and to assessment researchers information on 
findings resulting from the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants 
through presentations at national conferences, publications in refereed 
journals, or other products disseminated to the assessment community; 
(3) for each grant cycle and as determined by an expert panel, the 
percentage of Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants that yield 
significant research, methodologies, products, or tools regarding 
assessment systems or assessments; and (4) for each grant cycle and as 
determined by an expert panel, the percentage of Enhanced Assessment 
Instruments Grants that yield significant research, methodologies, 
products, or tools specifically regarding accommodations and alternate 
assessments for students with disabilities and limited English 
proficient students. Grantees will be expected to include in their 
interim and final performance reports information about the 
accomplishments of their projects because the Department will need data 
on these measures.

VII. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Collette Roney, Enhanced 
Assessment Grants Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary 
Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
3W210, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 401-5245, or by e-
mail: collette.roney@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, call the FRS, 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 in 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: April 7, 2010.
Thelma Mel[eacute]ndez de Santa Ana,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2010-8305 Filed 4-9-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P