[Federal Register: March 5, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 43)]
[Page 11077-11081]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 11077]]


Part IV

Department of Education
Technology Innovation Challenge Grants; Final Priority and Selection
Criteria and Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 1998; 

[[Page 11078]]


Technology Innovation Challenge Grants; Notice of Final Priority 
and Selection Criteria

SUMMARY: The Secretary announces a final priority for the Technology 
Innovation Challenge Grant Program, administered by the Office of 
Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). The Secretary also 
establishes selection criteria for evaluating and selecting 
applications submitted under this priority. The Secretary may use this 
priority only in fiscal year 1998. The Secretary takes these actions to 
focus Federal assistance on professional development programs that 
foster the use and integration of advanced technology into the 
curriculum in compelling and effective ways.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority takes effect April 6, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Payer or Shirley Steele, 
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and 
Improvement, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Suite 522, Washington, DC 
20208-5544. Telephone: (202) 208-3882. E-mail addresses are: 
elizabeth__ payer@ed.gov or shirley __ steele@ed.gov. Individuals who 
use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 
p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to either contact person listed in the preceding 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Technology Innovation Challenge Grant 
Program is authorized in Title III, section 3136, of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended (20 U.S.C. 6846).
    Under this program the Secretary makes grants to consortia. A 
consortium must include at least one local educational agency (LEA) 
with a high percentage or number of children living below the poverty 
line and may include other LEAs, private schools, State educational 
agencies, institutions of higher education, businesses, academic 
content experts, software designers, museums, libraries, and other 
appropriate entities. In fiscal year 1998, the Technology Innovation 
Challenge Grant program will focus on professional development by 
providing support to consortia that have developed programs, or are 
adapting or expanding existing programs, for technology training for 
teachers and other educators to improve instruction.
    Access to computers and the use of networked, multimedia computers 
in the schools is on the rise. In part, this is the result of support 
provided by the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, the Technology 
Innovation Challenge Grant Program, the National Science Foundation, 
the Department of Commerce, and other Federal departments and agencies. 
In addition, the Universal Service Program, often referred to as the 
``E-Rate'', will help to ensure that all eligible schools and libraries 
have affordable access to modern telecommunications and information 
    While the numbers of computers and connections to the Information 
Superhighway have increased in the schools, the capacity of the 
teaching force to use this technology in instructional practice has not 
kept pace. A 1994 survey by the U.S. Department of Education shows that 
only 15 percent of the nation's teachers had had at least nine hours of 
instruction in educational technology.
    It is increasingly apparent that the lack of professional 
development in the use of educational technology is a critical factor 
that limits the benefits of technology for student learning. A 1995 
Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) study, Teachers and Technology: 
Making the Connection, concluded that ``helping teachers use technology 
effectively may be the most important step to assuring that current and 
future investments in technology are realized.'' The 1997 report of the 
President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has 
also emphasized this point by stressing that ``the substantial 
investment in hardware, infrastructure, software, and content that is 
recommended by this report will be largely wasted if K-12 teachers are 
not provided with the preparation and support they will need to 
effectively integrate information technology into their teaching.'' 
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 15-20 
percent of teachers are regularly using advanced telecommunications for 
curriculum development, professional development, and teaching.
    Over the next ten years, two million new teachers will need to be 
hired to accommodate expanding enrollment and to replace retiring 
teachers. All of these teachers should be prepared to use advanced 
technology and to integrate education technology into teaching methods 
and content areas to help students learn. And yet, as the OTA report 
has pointed out, ``* * * most new teachers graduate from teacher 
preparation institutions with limited knowledge of the ways technology 
can be used in their professional practice.'' The Secretary believes 
that focusing this year's Technology Innovation Challenge Grant Program 
competition on professional development will help to provide the 
additional support that is needed for preparing teachers to teach 
effectively using technology. Therefore, the Secretary is establishing 
an absolute preference for those applications submitted by consortia 
that have developed or adopted innovative programs to prepare teachers, 
administrators, and other educators to integrate education technology 
into teaching methods that improve instruction.
    Applications under this competition will be evaluated on the extent 
to which they address the most pressing professional development needs 
as reflected in statewide technology plans. Students from low income 
communities and other areas in need of technology must not be left 
behind in the acquisition of knowledge and skills for responsible 
citizenship and productive work in the 21st century. In awarding 
Technology Innovation Challenge Grants, the Secretary will evaluate the 
extent to which the proposed project is designed to serve areas with a 
high number or percentage of disadvantaged students or the greatest 
need for educational technology.
    Because the State plays a critical role in the licensure of new 
teachers and re-certification of experienced teachers, the Secretary 
believes that a strong application under this competition should 
propose that the State educational agency (SEA) have a significant role 
in the consortium that is applying. Also, the SEA has comprehensive 
information about the range of technology programs in school districts 
throughout the State and is in a unique position to coordinate a 
consortium initiative with other complementary efforts. Therefore, the 
Secretary is particularly interested in receiving applications in which 
the SEA has a leadership role in the consortium and is committed to the 
activities that are proposed. The Secretary believes that consortium 
activities should be designed to create new partnerships or strengthen 
already existing partnerships among SEAs, schools of education, LEAs, 
and the education technology private sector. Cooperation and 
collaboration among all of these partners will provide benefits to 
teachers, students, and the community through the improved use of

[[Page 11079]]

educational technology in schools and classrooms.
    In addition to an SEA, there are other important stakeholders in a 
consortium that can influence the ability of teachers to successfully 
use technology in the classroom. These stakeholders include school 
districts that hire teachers and provide for their on-going 
professional development, academic content specialists, those segments 
of the private sector that develop and market educational technology 
products and services, and colleges and universities with teacher 
preparation programs. Institutions of higher education that are 
approved by the State to provide both pre-service and in-service 
teacher training are particularly important in these collaborative 
efforts. Yet, a majority of teacher preparation programs are falling 
far short of what needs to be done. As the 1997 National Council for 
the Accreditation of Teacher Education Report Technology and the New 
Professional Teacher points out, colleges of teacher education treat 
``technology'' as a special addition to the teacher education 
curriculum rather than a topic that needs to be incorporated across the 
entire teacher education program. The Report emphasizes that ``* * * 
teachers-in-training are provided instruction in 'computer literacy' 
and are shown examples of computer software, but they rarely are 
required to apply technology in their courses and are denied role 
models of faculty employing technology in their own work.'' It is 
critical that schools of education lead the way in preparing tomorrow's 
classroom teachers to incorporate technology into their teaching.
    In submitting applications under this competition, the Secretary 
strongly urges applicants to use the Mission and Principles of 
Professional Development prepared by the U. S. Department of Education 
in 1995. The Mission and Principles describes those characteristics 
that exemplify high-quality professional development programs. A 
statement of the mission and principles is published as Appendix A to 
this notice.


Absolute Priority

    The Secretary gives an absolute preference to applications that 
meet the absolute priority in the next paragraph. The Secretary funds 
under this competition only applications that meet this absolute 
priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

Activities to Strengthen and Enhance Professional Development

    The Secretary funds only those applications that are submitted by 
LEAs on behalf of consortia that have developed or adopted innovative 
professional development programs for teachers, administrators and 
other educators to use advanced technology and to integrate innovative 
applications of education technology into teaching methods that will 
directly benefit students through improved instruction. The Secretary 
will fund only those applications that propose to improve, expand, and 
disseminate those successful training models.

Invitational Priority

    The Secretary is particularly interested in applications that meet 
the invitational priority in the next paragraph. However, an 
application that meets this invitational priority does not receive 
competitive or absolute preference over other applications (34 CFR 
    Applications submitted by an LEA on behalf of a consortium that is 
dedicated to teacher training in technology should involve, as members 
of the consortium, the SEA, at least one college of education, private 
sector education technology firms, non-profit education organizations, 
one or more LEAs, and other appropriate entities. In addition, the 
Secretary is particularly interested in applications in which: (1) the 
SEA has a leadership role in the consortium and promises to give its 
full support and commitment to the activities that are being planned, 
(2) proposed consortium activities would strengthen or create a 
partnership among the SEA, schools of education, LEAs, and the 
education technology private sector, and (3) the model technology 
training programs for teachers can be adapted and replicated at other 
sites. Because of the key role that an SEA will play in a consortium, 
the Secretary is particularly interested in receiving a single 
application from a State. However, more than one application from 
within a State is allowable. Furthermore, applications involving more 
than one State or SEA would not be inconsistent with this invitational 

Selection Criteria

    The Secretary establishes the following unweighted selection 
criteria to evaluate applications:
    (a) Significance. The Secretary reviews each proposed project for 
its significance by determining the extent to which the project--
    (1) Is designed to serve Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, 
or other areas with a high number or percentage of disadvantaged 
students or the greatest need for educational technology;
    (2) Includes strategies and activities that address the most 
pressing professional development needs identified in the statewide 
educational technology plan submitted under ESEA, section 3133 for the 
State or States in which the applying members of the consortium are 
    (3) Involves approaches for which there is explicit evidence of 
innovation and effectiveness;
    (4) Establishes and supports high standards for professional 
development in education technology and its use in schools consistent 
with statewide reform initiatives, including State content and 
performance standards;
    (5) Includes specific efforts by consortium members to be publicly 
accountable for improving education through the use of technology; and
    (6) Involves a coherent plan for improving, expanding, and 
disseminating a successful professional development model(s).
    (b) Feasibility. The Secretary reviews each proposed project for 
its feasibility by determining the extent to which--
    (1) The project will prepare teachers for successful, effective, 
and efficient uses of technologies for improved instruction that will 
be sustainable beyond the period of the grant;
    (2) The members of the consortium or other appropriate entities 
will contribute substantial financial and other resources to achieve 
the goals of the project;
    (3) The applicant is capable of carrying out the project, as 
evidenced by the extent to which the project will meet the problems 
identified; the quality of the project design, including objectives, 
approaches, evaluation plan, and dissemination strategies; the adequacy 
of resources, including money, personnel, facilities, equipment, and 
supplies; the qualifications of key personnel who would conduct the 
project; and the applicant's prior experience relevant to the 
objectives of the project; and
    (4) The methods of evaluation examine the effectiveness of project 
implementation strategies, use objective performance measures related 
to the intended outcomes of the project, and produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible. The evaluation provides 
guidance on effective strategies suitable for replication in other 

    Note: A list of areas that have been designated as Empowerment 
Zones and Enterprise Communities is published as Appendix B to this 

[[Page 11080]]

    Note: This notice of final priority and selection criteria does 
not solicit applications. A notice inviting applications under this 
competition is published in a separate announcement in this issue of 
the Federal Register.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required 
to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a valid 
OMB control number. The valid OMB control number assigned to the 
collection of information in this notice is 1850-0743.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. The objective of the 
Executive Order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a 
strengthened federalism by relying on processes developed by State and 
local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
this program.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), 
it is the practice of the Department of Education to offer interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities that are not 
taken directly from statute. Ordinarily, this practice would have 
applied to the priority and selection criteria in this notice. Section 
437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), however, 
exempts rules that apply to the first competition under a new program 
from this requirement. The Conference Report for the Department's 
fiscal year 1998 appropriation describes the program covered by this 
notice as ``a new competitive grants program.'' The Assistant 
Secretary, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, to ensure 
timely awards, has decided to forego public comment with respect to the 
absolute priority and selection criteria. The absolute priority and 
selection criteria will apply only to the fiscal year 1998 grant 

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:


    To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone may also view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G--Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.

    Note: The official version of a document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.303A, Technology 
Innovation Challenge Grants)

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6846.

    Dated: February 27, 1998.
Ricky T. Takai,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.

Appendix A--Mission and Principles of Professional Development

    Professional development plays an essential role in successful 
education reform. Professional development serves as the bridge 
between where prospective and experienced educators are now and 
where they will need to be to meet the new challenges of guiding all 
students in achieving to higher standards of learning and 
    High-quality professional development as envisioned here refers 
to rigorous and relevant content, strategies, and organizational 
supports that ensure the preparation and career-long development of 
teachers and others whose competence, expectations and actions 
influence the teaching and learning environment. Both pre-and in-
service professional development require partnerships among schools, 
higher education institutions and other appropriate entities to 
promote inclusive learning communities of everyone who impacts 
students and their learning. Those within and outside schools need 
to work together to bring to bear the ideas, commitment and other 
resources that will be necessary to address important and complex 
educational issues in a variety of settings and for a diverse 
student body.
    Equitable access for all educators to such professional 
development opportunities is imperative. Moreover, professional 
development works best when it is part of a systemwide effort to 
improve and integrate the recruitment, selection, preparation, 
initial licensing, induction, ongoing development and support, and 
advanced certification of educators.
    High-quality professional development should incorporate all of 
the principles stated below. Adequately addressing each of these 
principles is necessary for a full realization of the potential of 
individuals, school communities and institutions to improve and 
    The mission of professional development is to prepare and 
support educators to help all students achieve to high standards of 
learning and development.
    Professional Development:
    * Focuses on teachers as central to student learning, yet
includes all other members of the school community;
    * Focuses on individual, collegial, and organizational
    * Respects and nurtures the intellectual and leadership
capacity of teachers, principals, and others in the school 
    * Reflects best available research and practice in
teaching, learning, and leadership;
    * Enables teachers to develop further expertise in
subject content, teaching strategies, uses of technologies, and 
other essential elements in teaching to high standards;
    * Promotes continuous inquiry and improvement embedded in
the daily life of schools;
    * Is planned collaboratively by those who will
participate in and facilitate that development;
    * Requires substantial time and other resources;
    * Is driven by a coherent long-term plan;
    * Is evaluated ultimately on the basis of its impact on
teacher effectiveness and student learning; and this assessment 
guides subsequent professional development efforts.
    The mission statement and principles of professional development 
outlined above were published in draft form in the Federal Register 
in December, 1994, and disseminated to more than 600 people and 
organizations with interests in education. After careful 
consideration of the extensive comments the Department received, the 
principles were revised and finalized. We share them with you in the 
firm belief that high-quality professional development reflecting 
these principles, which are grounded in the practical wisdom of 
leading educators across the country, will have a positive and 
lasting effect on teaching and learning.

Appendix B--Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities

Empowerment Zones

California: Los Angeles
California: Oakland
Georgia: Atlanta
Illinois: Chicago
Kentucky: Kentucky Highlands*
Maryland: Baltimore
Massachusetts: Boston
Michigan: Detroit
Mississippi: Mid Delta*
Missouri/Kansas: Kansas City, Kansas City
New York: Harlem, Bronx
Ohio: Cleveland
Pennsylvania/New Jersey: Philadelphia, Camden
Texas: Houston
Texas: Rio Grande Valley*

Enterprise Communities

Alabama: Birmingham

[[Page 11081]]

Alabama: Chambers County*
Alabama: Greene, Sumter Counties*
Arizona: Phoenix
Arizona: Arizona Border*
Arkansas: East Central*
Arkansas: Mississippi County*
Arkansas: Pulaski County
California: Imperial County*
California: L.A., Huntington Park
California: San Diego
California: San Francisco, Bayview, Hunter's Point
California: Watsonville*
Colorado: Denver
Connecticut: Bridgeport
Connecticut: New Haven
Delaware: Wilmington
District of Columbia: Washington
Florida: Jackson County*
Florida: Tampa
Florida: Miami, Dade County
Georgia: Albany
Georgia: Central Savannah*
Georgia: Crisp, Dooley Counties*
Illinois: East St. Louis
Illinois: Springfield
Indiana: Indianapolis
Iowa: Des Moines
Kentucky: Louisville
Louisiana: Northeast Delta*
Louisiana: Macon Ridge*
Louisiana: New Orleans
Louisiana: Ouachita Parish
Massachusetts: Lowell
Massachusetts: Springfield
Michigan: Five Cap*
Michigan: Flint
Michigan: Muskegon
Minnesota: Minneapolis
Minnesota: St. Paul
Mississippi: Jackson
Mississippi: North Delta*
Missouri: East Prairie*
Missouri: St. Louis
Nebraska: Omaha
Nevada: Clarke County, Las Vegas
New Hampshire: Manchester
New Jersey: Newark
New Mexico: Albuquerque
New Mexico: Mora, Rio Arriba, Taos Counties*
New York: Albany, Schenectady, Troy
New York: Buffalo
New York: Newburgh, Kingston
New York: Rochester
North Carolina: Charlotte
North Carolina: Halifax, Edgecombe,
Wilson Counties*
North Carolina: Robeson County*
Ohio: Akron
Ohio: Columbus
Ohio: Greater Portsmouth *
Oklahoma: Choctaw, McCurtain Counties*
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
Oregon: Josephine*
Oregon: Portland
Pennsylvania: Harrisburg
Pennsylvania: Lock Haven*
Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh
Rhode Island: Providence
South Dakota: Deadle, Spink Counties*
South Carolina: Charleston
South Carolina: Williamsburg County*
Tennessee: Fayette, Haywood Counties*
Tennessee: Memphis
Tennessee: Nashville
Tennessee/Kentucky: Scott, McCreary Counties*
Texas: Dallas
Texas: El Paso
Texas: San Antonio
Texas: Waco
Utah: Ogden
Vermont: Burlington
Virginia: Accomack*
Virginia: Norfolk
Washington: Lower Yakima*
Washington: Seattle
Washington: Tacoma
West Virginia: West Central*
West Virginia: Huntington
West Virginia: McDowell*
Wisconsin: Milwaukee

    * Denotes rural designee.

[FR Doc. 98-5736 Filed 3-4-98; 8:45 am]