[Federal Register: February 18, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 32)]
[Page 7218-7219]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), National 
Institute on Educational Governance, Finance, Policy-Making, and 

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority for fiscal year 1997.


SUMMARY: The Secretary proposes a priority for a National Research and 
Development Center. The Secretary takes this action to support research 
on policymaking and policies to support excellence in teaching.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 20, 1997.

ADDRESSES: All comments concerning this proposed priority should be 
addressed to Ron Anson, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey 
Avenue, NW., room 608F, Washington, DC 20208-5510. Comments can be 
faxed to Mr. Anson at (202) 219-2159 or e-mailed through the internet 
to: ron__anson@ed.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron Anson, telephone: (202) 219-2214. 
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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Educational Research and 
Improvement, authorized under Title IX of Public Law 103-227 (20 U.S.C. 
section 6001 et seq.), supports educational research and development 
activities. The National Institute on Educational Governance, Finance, 
Policy-Making, and Management is one of five research institutes that 
carry out coordinated and comprehensive programs of research, 
development, evaluation, and dissemination activities designed to 
provide research-based leadership for the improvement of education.
    The National Institute on Educational Governance, Finance, Policy-
Making, and Management supports a range of research, development, and 
dissemination activities focused on core issues in education. 
Activities are carried out by national research and development 
centers, field-initiated studies, and a variety of directed research, 
development, and dissemination activities.
    The Secretary believes that increasing the capacity of the nation's 
education system to improve the quality of education depends on 
knowledge generated by an enduring program of education research and 
development. Knowledge gained from education research and development 
can help guide the national investment in education and support local 
and State improvement efforts. Because they carry out sustained, long-
term research and development, centers are a primary mechanism for 
pursuing new knowledge about education. Center awards are made to 
institutions of higher education, institutions of higher education in 
consort with public agencies or non-profit organizations, and 
interstate agencies established by compact that operate subsidiary 
bodies to conduct postsecondary education research and development.
    The Secretary invites comments on the priority described in this 
notice. Prior to this announcement and in conjunction with planning for 
Educational Research and Development Center competitions in 1996, OERI 
engaged in a series of meetings, regional hearings, and Federal 
Register notices that solicited advice from parents, teachers, 
administrators, policymakers, business people, researchers, and others 
to identify the most needed research and development activities. 
Following these activities and subsequent research priorities planning 
meetings in which OERI engaged, OERI prepared this notice of proposed 
priority. The subject matter of this proposed priority has been 
reviewed by OERI's National Research Policy and Priorities Board, whose 
mandate includes the development of a Research Priorities Plan.
    The Secretary will announce the final priority in a notice in the 
Federal Register. The final priority will be determined by responses to 
this notice and other considerations of the Department. This notice 
does not preclude the Secretary from proposing or funding additional 
priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice of proposed priority does not solicit 
applications. A notice inviting applications under this competition 
will be published in the Federal Register concurrent with or 
following publication of the notice of final priority.

Proposed Priority: Policy and Teaching Excellence

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) the Secretary will give an absolute 
preference to applications that meet the following specific priority 
area. The Secretary intends to fund only one application that meets the 
priority listed below. Funding this priority will depend on the 
availability of funds, the nature of the final priority, and the 
quality of applications received. The Secretary proposes to support a 
national center to conduct research and development in the priority 
area of improving policymaking and policy structures to achieve 
excellence in teaching.
    A: This center must:
    (1) Conduct a coherent, sustained program of research and 
development to address problems and issues of national significance in 
the specific priority area, using a well-conceptualized and 
theoretically sound framework;
    (2) Contribute to the development and advancement of theory in the 
specific priority area;
    (3) Conduct scientifically rigorous studies capable of generating 
findings that contribute substantially to understanding the field;
    (4) Conduct work of sufficient size, scope, and duration to produce 
definitive guidance for improvement efforts and future research;
    (5) Address issues of both equity and excellence in education for 
all students in the specific priority area; and
    (6) Document, report, and disseminate information about its 
research findings and other accomplishments in ways that will 
facilitate effective use of that information by decisionmakers and 
others as appropriate.
    B: In carrying out its program of work, the center must also:
    (1) Conduct research and development on the full range of policy 
issues relevant to teaching excellence and other associated policy 
    (2) Conduct a program of research and development that will aid 
policymakers throughout the Nation at all levels of government and at 
all levels of the

[[Page 7219]]

educational system improve policies and policy decisions, as well as 
policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation processes, in order 
to achieve the goal of teaching excellence and ensure continuous 
efforts related to that goal;
    (3) Examine the effects that different policies for fostering or 
sustaining teaching excellence, or both, have on continuous school 
improvement, teacher performance, and student learning;
    (4) Examine the interactions of various policies affecting teacher 
performance and teaching excellence and the costs and benefits of 
different policies;
    (5) Examine the role of policy coordination and alignment in the 
creation of an overall policy structure that supports excellence in 
teaching; and
    (6) If appropriate, investigate education policies in other nations 
as they relate to and can inform education policies in the United 

Post-Award Requirements

    The Secretary proposes the following post-award requirements 
consistent with the Educational Research, Development, Dissemination 
and Improvement Act of 1994, cited earlier in this Notice (20 U.S.C. 
section 6001 et seq.). A grantee receiving a center award must:
    (a) Collaborate with OERI and appropriate clients in identifying 
significant new issues and provide OERI with information about center 
projects and products and other appropriate research information so 
that OERI can monitor center progress and maintain its inventory of 
funded research projects. This information must be provided through 
media that include an electronic network;
    (b) Reserve five percent of each budget period's funds to support 
activities that fall within the center's priority area, are designed 
and mutually agreed to by the center and OERI, and enhance OERI's 
ability to carry out its mission. These activities may include 
developing research agendas, conducting research projects collaborating 
with other federally-supported entities, and engaging in research 
agenda setting and dissemination activities; and
    (c) Provide yearly summaries of findings usable by education 
decisionmakers and practitioners and others as appropriate and, at the 
end of the award period, synthesize the findings and advances in 
knowledge that resulted from the center's program of work and describe 
the potential impact on the improvement of American education, 
including any observable impact to date.

Invitation To Comment

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments and 
recommendations regarding this proposed priority. Comments will be 
available for public inspection, during and after the comment period, 
in Room 608A, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, between the 
hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday of each week 
except Federal holidays.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number (84.308B) Educational 
Research and Development Centers Program)

    Program Authority: Pub.L. 103-227, Title IX (20 U.S.C. 6031).

    Dated: February 11, 1997.
Marshall Smith,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 97-3906 Filed 2-14-97; 8:45 am]