FR Doc 2010-28779
[Federal Register: November 16, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 220)]
[Notices]               
[Page 69986-69988]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16no10-47]                                   

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department 
of Education.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for input to gather 
technical expertise pertaining to the U.S.

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    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.371C.
    Department of Education's (Department) development of a State 
competition for funding under the Striving Readers Comprehensive 
Literacy program.
SUMMARY: By February 2011, the Secretary of Education (Secretary) 
intends to announce a competition for State educational agency (SEA) 
projects to support comprehensive literacy development and to advance 
literacy skills, including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing, 
for students from birth through grade 12, including limited-English-
proficient students and students with disabilities. To inform the 
development of a notice inviting applications that establishes the 
requirements for this competition, the Secretary is seeking input from 
States, technical experts, and members of the public through a public 
meeting and written submissions. Following the public meeting and 
review of the written submissions, the Department will publish a notice 
inviting applications for this competition.

DATES: The public meeting will occur on Friday, November 19, 2010, in 
Washington, DC, at the Department's Potomac Center Plaza (PCP) 
Auditorium, 550 12th Street, SW.; from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. Written submissions must 
be received by the Department on or before 5:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on November 19, 2010.

ADDRESSES: For those submitting written input, we encourage submissions 
by e-mail using the following address: 
Striving.readers.comprehensive.literacy@ed.gov. You must include the 
term ``Striving Readers Public Input'' in the subject line of your e-
mail. If you prefer to send your input by mail, address it to Office of 
Elementary and Secondary Education, Attention: Striving Readers Public 
Input Meeting, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
room 3E230, Washington, DC 20202.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Deborah Spitz, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E230, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: 202-260-3793 or by e-mail: 
Striving.readers.comprehensive.literacy@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: The Striving Readers program is 
authorized as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. 
L. 111-117) (the Act) under the demonstration authority in Title I, 
part E, section 1502 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended (ESEA). $200 million in funds is available in fiscal 
year 2010 under section 1502 of the ESEA for a comprehensive literacy 
development and education program to advance literacy skills, including 
pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing, for students from birth 
through grade 12, including limited-English-proficient students and 
students with disabilities. To clearly distinguish this program from 
the Striving Readers program funded from FY 2005 to FY 2009, which 
focused on adolescent literacy, the Department is referring to the 
program created pursuant to the FY 2010 appropriation as the ``Striving 
Readers Comprehensive Literacy'' program.
    The Act reserves $10 million for formula grants to States to create 
or maintain a State Literacy Team with expertise in literacy 
development and education for children from birth through grade 12 and 
to assist States in developing a comprehensive literacy plan. One-half 
of one percent of these funds is reserved for the Secretary of the 
Interior for a comprehensive literacy program for schools funded by the 
Bureau of Indian Education and one-half of one percent is reserved for 
such programs for grants to the outlying areas.
    After reserving up to 5 percent of the total appropriation for 
national activities, the Department must use the remaining funds for 
competitive awards to SEAs. SEAs may use up to five percent for State 
leadership activities and must award not less than 95 percent

[[Page 69987]]

through subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) or, in the case 
of early literacy, to LEAs or other nonprofit providers of early 
childhood education that partner with a public or private nonprofit 
organization or agency with a demonstrated record of effectiveness in 
improving the early literacy development of children from birth through 
kindergarten entry and in providing professional development in early 
literacy, giving priority to such agencies or other entities serving 
greater numbers or percentages of disadvantaged children.
    The Act requires that the subgrants to LEAs be allocated as 
follows: (1) At least 15 percent to serve children from birth through 
age five, (2) 40 percent to serve students in kindergarten through 
grade five, and (3) 40 percent to serve students in middle and high 
school, through grade 12, including an equitable distribution of funds 
between middle and high schools. Eligible entities receiving subgrants 
must use these funds for services and activities that have the 
characteristics of effective literacy instruction through professional 
development, screening and assessment, targeted interventions for 
students reading below grade level, and other research-based methods of 
improving classroom instruction and practice.
    The Department wishes to solicit input, including written input, 
from literacy experts, literacy organizations, States, other key 
stakeholders, and members of the public to inform the design and 
development of this new competition for SEAs.
    Because we are inviting public input in this manner, and because we 
want to facilitate the award of funds in a timely manner, we do not 
intend to conduct notice-and-comment rulemaking. Section 437(d)(1) of 
the General Education Provisions Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1), allows the 
Department to waive notice-and-comment rulemaking for the first grant 
competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. 
This will be the first competition for the Striving Readers 
Comprehensive Literacy program.

Details of Public Meeting

Structure of Public Meeting

    The Department anticipates that the meeting will have two 
components as follows:
    (1) Input from invited panels of experts and stakeholders.
    [cir] The morning and afternoon sessions of the meeting will each 
have an invited set of panelists who will have a set amount of time to 
respond individually to the questions in this notice.
    [cir] The Department representatives will then ask questions of 
individual panelists and facilitate cross-panelist discussion.
    (2) Open opportunity to share input.
    [cir] The morning and afternoon sessions of the meeting will each 
have 60 to 90 minutes dedicated to opportunities for interested members 
of the public, who have registered to speak, to respond to the 
questions in this notice.
    [cir] Each individual scheduled to speak will have five minutes to 
provide oral input.
    [cir] Written submissions will also be accepted as described in the 
SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN INPUT section.
    The Department will share any updates, including posting an agenda 
and list of invited experts, online at 
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/strivingreaders-literacy/index.html.

Topic Areas, Dates, Times, Locations, and Registration Information

    Topic Areas: The morning session of the meeting will address the 
topics of Transition and Alignment; Professional Development, 
Instruction, and Assessment; and Evidence and Evaluation. The afternoon 
session of the meeting will address the topics of SEA and LEA Capacity 
and Support; and Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners. Specific 
questions relating to these topics are provided in the Questions for 
Input section of this notice. The Department reserves the right to 
change the order of these topics; please check the program Web site at 
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/strivingreaders-literacy/index.html for the 
latest information.
    Attendance at the meeting: If you are interested in attending the 
meeting, you should register by sending an e-mail to 
Striving.readers.comprehensive.literacy@ed.gov with your name, 
organization, and the session you are interested in attending (morning 
or afternoon) at least three days before the scheduled meeting date. 
Registration is not required for attendance but will help us to plan 
the meeting and to facilitate the security process.
    Providing input at the meeting: If you are interested in speaking 
during the open-input portion of the meeting, you must register by 
sending an e-mail to Striving.readers.comprehensive.literacy@ed.gov at 
least three days before the scheduled meeting date. Registrations will 
be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. People who are unable 
to attend a meeting in person or who do not register early enough to 
speak during the meeting are encouraged to submit written input.

Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities at the Public Meetings

    The meeting site will be accessible to individuals with 
disabilities and sign language interpreters will be available. If you 
need an auxiliary aid or service other than a sign language interpreter 
to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service such as oral, 
cued speech, or tactile interpreter; assisted listening device; or 
materials in alternate format), notify the contact person listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT as soon as possible before the 
scheduled meeting date. Although we will attempt to meet every request 
we receive, we might not be able to make available the requested 
auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

Submission of Written Input

    All interested parties, including those who cannot attend a meeting 
or from whom we do not have time to hear at the meeting, may submit 
written input in response to this notice.
    Written input will be accepted at the meeting site or via e-mail 
and mail at the addresses listed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
notice. Written input must be submitted by the date listed in the DATES 
section.
    When submitting input at the meeting, we request that you submit 
three written copies and an electronic file (CD or diskette) of your 
statement at the meeting. Please include your name and contact 
information on the written and electronic files.
    Both at the meeting and in your written submission, we encourage 
you to be as specific as possible. To ensure that your input is fully 
considered, we urge you to identify clearly the specific question, 
purpose, and characteristic that each of your suggestions addresses and 
to arrange your submission in the order of the questions listed later 
in this notice.

Sharing Input Publicly

    The Department is committed to gathering and sharing publicly the 
input from the meeting and written submissions. The meeting will be 
video-taped and/or transcribed, and the video and/or transcript will be 
available for viewing at 
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/strivingreaders-literacy/index.html. 
All written input received will also be available for viewing via this 
Web site.

[[Page 69988]]

Questions for Input

    In the following paragraphs, we have listed the specific questions 
on which we seek input. These relate to both SEA and subgrantee uses of 
funds.
    All input, including expert presentations and discussions, public 
input, and written submissions, should focus primarily on responding to 
these questions. We encourage you to make your input as specific as 
possible, to provide evidence to support your proposals, and to present 
the information in a context and format that will be helpful to the 
Department in developing the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy 
program competition and to States implementing comprehensive literacy 
plans and making high-quality literacy subgrant awards.
    To ensure that your input is fully considered in the development of 
the notice inviting applications, we urge you to identify clearly the 
specific question, purpose, or characteristic that you are addressing, 
and to arrange your input in the order of the questions as they are 
listed in the next section.

SEA and LEA Capacity and Support

    (1) What should States be considering in their State Literacy Plans 
to ensure effective literacy and language development and instruction? 
For example, what are core components of a State Literacy Plan? What 
roles and capacities should States have or develop in order to 
effectively support subgrantees in carrying out substantial 
improvements in literacy and language development, teaching, and 
learning?
    (2) How can this program most effectively support States' and LEAs' 
transition to new internationally-benchmarked college- and career-ready 
standards held in common by multiple States, as well as their alignment 
with State early learning standards?
    (3) How can SEAs and subgrantees best leverage the use of funds 
under the ESEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and 
the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, as well as other 
Federal, State, and local funds, for effective literacy development and 
instruction?
    (4) What other key factors should a State consider in regards to 
how it would structure and administer its subgrant competition?

Transition and Alignment Across Birth Through Grade 12

    (1) How should States and LEAs assess the needs of children from 
birth through grade 12 in order to effectively target the funds to 
appropriately support literacy and language development?
    (2) How can subgrantees ensure that the needs of children from 
birth through age five will be met under this program? How should 
subgrantees create effective partnerships with relevant organizations, 
including the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and 
Care in their State?
    (3) How can subgrantees ensure that the needs of adolescent 
learners will be met under this program? Specifically, how can 
subgrantees ensure that schools integrate effective literacy 
development and instruction into core subject areas and increase 
motivation and interest in reading and writing?

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

    (1) How can a State best ensure that its comprehensive literacy 
plan will effectively address the needs of economically disadvantaged 
children and youth, limited-English-proficient children and youth, and 
children and youth with disabilities?
    (2) How can a State ensure that subgrantees will effectively 
address the needs of economically disadvantaged children and youth, 
limited-English-proficient children and youth, and children and youth 
with disabilities?
    (3) What should subgrantees consider when addressing the needs of 
their diverse learners across the age spans?

Professional Development, Instruction, and Assessment

    (1) What are the essential components of high-quality literacy-
related professional development? What aspects, if any, should be 
considered essential in a successful subgrant proposal?
    (2) In what ways can technology and materials conforming to 
principles of universal design for learning (UDL) support effective 
literacy development and instruction for limited-English-proficient 
children and youth and children and youth with disabilities? What 
aspects of technology and UDL should be considered for incorporation in 
subgrant proposals?
    (3) What are the critical elements of an integrated, age-
appropriate assessment system for identifying the strengths and 
weaknesses of children and youth and improving literacy development and 
instruction?
    (4) What are the most important ways to collect, analyze, and use 
data to improve literacy development and instructional practices and 
child and youth outcomes in early learning settings and in schools?

Evidence and Evaluation

    (1) In order to have a rigorous competition and make high-quality 
subgrant awards, what evidence should States require subgrantees to put 
forward in their applications? How can early learning providers 
demonstrate a ``record of effectiveness,'' as required in the Act?
    (2) What approaches should States and subgrantees implement in 
order to effectively monitor program implementation and outcomes so as 
to inform continuous program improvement?
    (3) What strategies should States and subgrantees implement in 
order to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of job-embedded, 
ongoing professional development for teachers, coaches, principals, and 
administrators?
    (4) What should the Department require regarding rigorous, 
independent State evaluations of the program, given limited State-level 
administrative funds?
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    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.


    Program Authority: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Pub. 
L. 111-117.

    Dated: November 10, 2010.
Thelma Mel[eacute]ndez de Santa Ana,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2010-28779 Filed 11-15-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P