FR Doc 2011-5543[Federal Register: March 10, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 47)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13152-13168]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10mr11-50]                        
 


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

RIN 1855-ZA07

 
Promise Neighborhoods Program

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.215P.

AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education (Secretary) proposes priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria under the legislative 
authority of the Fund for the Improvement of Education Program (FIE), 
title V, part D, subpart 1, sections 5411 through 5413 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). The 
Secretary may use one or more of these priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria for Promise Neighborhoods 
competitions for fiscal year (FY) 2011 and later years.
    We take this action to focus Federal assistance on projects that 
are designed to create a comprehensive continuum of solutions, 
including education programs and family and community supports, with 
great schools at the center. The continuum of solutions must be 
designed to significantly improve the educational and developmental 
outcomes of children and youth, from birth through college and to a 
career. We intend that these projects support organizations that focus 
on serving high-need neighborhoods, have a strategy to build a 
continuum of solutions, and have the capacity to achieve results.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before April 11, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this notice to Jill Staton, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W245, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970.
    If you prefer to send your comments by e-mail, use the following 
address: pn2011comments@ed.gov. You must include the term ``PN--
Comments on FY 2011 Proposed Priority'' in the subject line of your 
electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Staton. Telephone: (202) 453-6615 
or by e-mail: pn2011comments@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria, we urge you to identify clearly the specific 
proposed priority, requirement, definition, or selection criterion that 
each comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of 
reducing regulatory burden that might result from the proposed 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. Please 
let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or 
increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and 
efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this notice in room 4W335, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please

[[Page 13153]]

contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Purpose of Program: The Promise Neighborhoods program is carried 
out under the legislative authority of the FIE, title V, part D, 
subpart 1, sections 5411 through 5413 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7243-
7243b). FIE supports nationally significant programs to improve the 
quality of elementary and secondary education at the State and local 
levels and to help all children meet challenging State academic content 
and student academic achievement standards.
    The purpose of the Promise Neighborhoods program is to 
significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of 
children and youth in our most distressed communities, and to transform 
those communities by--
    (1) Identifying and increasing the capacity of eligible 
organizations (as defined in this notice) that are focused on achieving 
results for children and youth throughout an entire neighborhood;
    (2) Building a complete continuum of cradle-through-college-to-
career solutions (continuum of solutions) (as defined in this notice) 
of both educational programs and family and community supports (both as 
defined in this notice), with great schools at the center;
    (3) Integrating programs and breaking down agency ``silos'' so that 
solutions are implemented effectively and efficiently across agencies;
    (4) Developing the local infrastructure of systems and resources 
needed to sustain and scale up proven, effective solutions across the 
broader region beyond the initial neighborhood; and
    (5) Learning about the overall impact of the Promise Neighborhoods 
program and about the relationship between particular strategies in 
Promise Neighborhoods and student outcomes, including through a 
rigorous evaluation of the program.
    Background: The vision of this program is that all children and 
youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools 
and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare 
them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to 
college and a career.
    A Promise Neighborhood is both a place and a strategy. A place 
eligible to become a Promise Neighborhood is a geographic area that is 
distressed, often facing inadequate access to high-quality early 
learning programs and services, struggling schools, low high-school and 
college graduation rates, high unemployment, crime, and indicators of 
poor health. These conditions contribute to and intensify the negative 
outcomes associated with children and youth living in poverty. Children 
who are from low-income families and grow up in neighborhoods of 
concentrated poverty face educational and life challenges above and 
beyond the challenges faced by children who are from low-income 
families who grow up in neighborhoods without a high concentration of 
poverty. A Federal evaluation of the reading and mathematics outcomes 
of elementary students in 71 schools in 18 districts and 7 States found 
that even when controlling for individual student poverty, there is a 
significant negative association between school-level poverty and 
student achievement.\1\ The evaluation found that students have lower 
academic outcomes when a higher percentage of their same-school peers 
qualify for free and reduced-priced lunch (FRPL) compared to when a 
lower percentage of their same-school peers qualify for FRPL. The 
compounding effects of neighborhood poverty continue later in life: 
Another study found that, for children with similar levels of family 
income, growing up in a neighborhood where the number of families in 
poverty was between 20 and 30 percent increased the chance of downward 
economic mobility--moving down the income ladder relative to their 
parents--by more than 50 percent compared with children who grew up in 
neighborhoods with under 10 percent of families in poverty.\2\
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    \1\ Westat and Policy Studies Associate. The longitudinal 
evaluation of school change and performance (LESCP) in title I 
schools. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Education. Available 
January 2010 online at http://www.policystudies.com/studies/school/
lescp_vol2.pdf.
    \2\ Sharkey, Patrick. ``Neighborhoods and the Black-White 
Mobility Gap.'' Economic Mobility Project: An Initiative of The Pew 
Charitable Trusts, 2009.
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    A Promise Neighborhood is also a strategy for addressing the issues 
in distressed communities. Promise Neighborhoods are led by 
organizations that work to ensure that all children and youth in the 
target geographic area have access to the continuum of solutions needed 
to graduate from high school college- and career-ready. For this 
reason, each Promise Neighborhood grant must have several core 
features: Significant need in the neighborhood the grant serves, a 
strategy to build a continuum of solutions with strong schools at the 
center, and the capacity to achieve results.
    While there are a number of organizations and communities that are 
working on developing Promise Neighborhoods strategies, these entities 
are at different stages of readiness to create a Promise Neighborhood. 
Therefore, we are proposing priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria for both planning and implementation grants. The 
proposed priorities, requirements, and selection criteria are different 
for planning grant and implementation grant applicants, while the 
proposed definitions apply to both groups of applicants.
    Planning grants would support eligible organizations that need to 
develop feasible plans to create a continuum of solutions with the 
potential to significantly improve the educational and developmental 
outcomes of children and youth in a neighborhood. These grants would 
support eligible organizations that demonstrate the need for 
implementation of a Promise Neighborhood strategy in the geographic 
areas they are targeting, a sound strategy for developing a feasible 
plan, and the capacity to develop the plan.
    Under proposed Absolute Priority 1 for planning grants, Promise 
Neighborhoods planning grantees would undertake the following 
activities during the planning year:
    (1) Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and segmentation 
analysis (as defined in this notice) of children and youth in the 
neighborhood.
    (2) Develop a plan to deliver a continuum of solutions with the 
potential to drive results. This includes building community support 
for and involvement in the development of the plan.
    (3) Establish effective partnerships both to provide solutions 
along the continuum and to commit resources to sustain and scale up 
what works.
    (4) Plan, build, adapt, or expand a longitudinal data system that 
will provide information that the grantee will use for learning, 
continuous improvement, and accountability.
    (5) Participate in a community of practice (as defined in this 
notice).
    Implementation grants would support eligible organizations in 
carrying out their plans to create a continuum of solutions that will 
significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of 
children and youth in the target neighborhood. These grants would aid 
eligible organizations that have developed a plan that demonstrates the 
need for implementation of a Promise Neighborhood strategy in the 
geographic area they are targeting, a sound strategy, and the capacity 
to implement the plan. Specifically, grantees would use implementation 
grant funds to develop

[[Page 13154]]

the administrative capacity necessary to successfully implement a 
continuum of solutions, such as managing partnerships, integrating 
multiple funding sources, and supporting the data system. The majority 
of resources to provide solutions within the continuum of solutions 
would come from existing public and private funding sources that are 
integrated and aligned with the Promise Neighborhoods strategy.
    Under proposed Absolute Priority 1 for implementation grants, 
Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees would undertake the 
following activities during the implementation years:
    (1) Implement a continuum of solutions that addresses neighborhood 
challenges, as identified in a needs assessment and segmentation 
analysis, and that will improve results for children and youth in the 
neighborhood.
    (2) Continue to build and strengthen partnerships that will provide 
solutions along the continuum of solutions and that will commit 
resources to sustain and scale up what works.
    (3) Collect data on indicators at least annually, and use and 
improve a data system for learning, continuous improvement, and 
accountability.
    (4) Demonstrate progress on goals for improving systems, such as by 
making changes in policies and organizations, and by leveraging 
resources to sustain and scale up what works.
    (5) Participate in a community of practice.
    The intent of these priorities is to ensure that program funds are 
used by organizations with the capacity to achieve a core set of 
results for children and youth, improve systems to support achievement 
of the results, and leverage these and other resources to sustain and 
scale up what works. We are also proposing definitions that would 
clarify some of the terms used in the priorities and selection 
criteria, and selection criteria that would be used by peer reviewers 
to evaluate (a) The need in a neighborhood that would be served through 
a proposed project, (b) an organization's strategy to build a continuum 
of solutions, and (c) an organization's capacity to do the work 
effectively and efficiently. We are interested in receiving comments 
about the proposed priorities, definitions, and selection criteria. In 
particular, we are interested in whether the proposed indicators of 
need (as defined in this notice) in Absolute Priority 1 and in the 
selection criteria are the most appropriate indicators for ensuring 
that grantees serve neighborhoods with significant educational and 
family and community support needs. We also are interested in your 
comments about how to ensure that grantees implement strategies that 
address the needs in the targeted neighborhood; implement solutions 
that are based on the best available evidence; drive results for 
children and youth; and improve broader systems in the city and region 
to support the results. Finally, we are interested in your comments 
about how to ensure that projects include a management plan that will 
build an organization's capacity to use data, leverage resources, break 
down agency ``silos,'' and create a local infrastructure to sustain and 
scale up the project beyond the initial neighborhood.
    Consistent with the approach of the Promise Neighborhoods program, 
we believe that it is important for communities to develop a 
comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy that addresses 
neighborhood assets (as defined in this notice) that are essential to 
transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy and vibrant 
communities of opportunity. Although not a proposed requirement for 
planning or implementation applicants, we believe that a Promise 
Neighborhood will be most successful when it is part of, and 
contributing to, an area's broader neighborhood revitalization 
strategy. We believe that only through the development of such 
comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans that embrace the 
coordinated use of programs and resources in order to effectively 
address the interrelated needs within a community will the broader 
vision of neighborhood transformation occur.
    Because a diverse group of communities could benefit from the 
Promise Neighborhoods program, the Secretary proposes an absolute 
priority for applications that propose to serve one or more rural 
communities only (as defined in this notice) and an absolute priority 
for applications that propose to serve one or more Indian tribes (as 
defined in this notice). Child poverty rates in rural areas are higher 
than in urban areas,\3\ and more than one-fifth of the Nation's nearly 
2,000 ``dropout factories,'' in which the graduation rate is less than 
60 percent, are located in rural areas.\4\ Compared to White students, 
American Indian students have lower academic outcomes and higher 
poverty rates.\5\ Moreover, American Indian and Alaska Native students 
have a graduation rate of less than 50 percent nationally.\6\
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    \3\ American Community Survey, 2006.
    \4\ Balfanz, Robert, Letgers, N. Locating the Dropout Crisis: 
Which High Schools Produce the Nation's Dropouts? Johns Hopkins 
University, 2004.
    \5\ Institute for Education Sciences. Status and Trends in the 
Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives, 2008.
    \6\ The Civil Rights Project. The Dropout/Graduation Crisis 
Among American Indian and Alaska Native Students: Failure to Respond 
Places the Future of Native Peoples at Risk, 2010.
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    The Secretary also recognizes that a broad set of solutions is 
required to improve academic and developmental outcomes for children 
and youth and to transform communities. For that reason, the Secretary 
proposes priorities for applicants that propose to enhance, expand, or 
coordinate comprehensive and high-quality local early learning 
networks, include strategies to increase internet connectivity, improve 
access to the arts and humanities, or increase the availability of 
quality affordable housing as part of a strategy that is integrated 
with neighborhood transformation efforts. In recognition of the 
important role that adults play in the educational development of 
children, the Secretary proposes to include, in the FY 2011 
competition, a priority for proposals that include a focus on family 
engagement in learning through adult education.
    Finally, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is interested in reviewing 
the applications of Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees that 
address public safety concerns through strategies that include 
prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry of offenders back 
into communities upon release from prison and jail. Further, subject to 
the availability of FY 2011 funds, DOJ intends to provide some Promise 
Neighborhoods implementation grantees with additional resources from 
the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program, to pursue their public 
safety strategies. We anticipate that applicants for a Promise 
Neighborhoods implementation grant that are also interested in being 
considered for funding by DOJ will be required to complete application 
materials for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program. Additional 
details regarding the application process and requirements for the 
Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program will be provided in the 
Promise Neighborhoods notice inviting applications.

Proposed Priorities

    Types of Priorities: The Secretary proposes priorities for Promise 
Neighborhoods planning and implementation grants. The Department may 
choose to use one or more of these

[[Page 13155]]

priorities in any year in which we hold a competition for the Promise 
Neighborhoods program. We propose to require that all applicants for 
planning and implementation grants indicate in their application 
whether they are applying under Absolute Priority 1, Absolute Priority 
2, or Absolute Priority 3. An applicant that applies under Absolute 
Priority 2 but is not eligible for funding under Absolute Priority 2, 
or applies under Absolute Priority 3 but is not eligible for funding 
under Absolute Priority 3, would be considered for funding under 
Absolute Priority 1.
    If one or more of proposed Planning Priorities 4 through 8 or 
proposed Implementation Priorities 4 through 8 are included in a notice 
inviting applications, the priority or priorities that are included in 
the notice would be designated as absolute, competitive preference, or 
invitational priorities in that notice for the purposes of the 
competition for which the notice is inviting applications. We may 
choose, in the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria, to include the substance of these priorities in 
the selection criteria.
    Under an absolute priority, as specified by 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we 
would consider only applications that meet the priority. Under a 
competitive preference priority, we would give competitive preference 
to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on how 
well the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or 
(2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an 
application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)). With an invitational priority, we would signal our 
interest in receiving applications that meet the priority; however, 
consistent with 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we would not give an application 
that meets an invitational priority preference over other applications.
    For purposes of notices inviting applications, we are considering 
whether to limit the total number of competitive preference priority 
points awarded to an applicant in a grant competition or whether to 
limit the total number of competitive preference priorities we will 
review and score in a grant competition. We invite comments on these 
issues to ensure that we are considering a wide variety of perspectives 
in determining our approach.

Proposed Planning Grant Priorities

Proposed Planning Grant Priority 1 (Absolute): Proposal To Develop a 
Promise Neighborhood Plan
    We propose establishing a priority for an applicant to submit a 
proposal for how it will plan to create a Promise Neighborhood. This 
proposal must describe the need in the neighborhood, a strategy to 
build a continuum of solutions, and the applicant's capacity to achieve 
results. Specifically, an applicant must--
    (1) Describe the geographically defined area to be served and the 
level of distress in that area based on indicators of need and other 
relevant indicators. Applicants may propose to serve multiple, non-
contiguous geographically defined areas. In cases where target areas 
are not contiguous, the applicant must explain its rationale for 
including non-contiguous areas;
    (2) Describe how it will plan to build a continuum of solutions 
based on the best available evidence including, where available, strong 
or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice) designed to 
significantly improve educational outcomes and to support the healthy 
development and well-being of children and youth in the 
neighborhood.\7\ The success of the strategy will be based on the 
results, measured against the project indicators as defined in this 
notice and described in Table 1 and Table 2. The strategy must describe 
how the applicant will determine which solutions within the continuum 
of solutions to implement, and must include--
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    \7\ For the purposes of this notice, the Department uses the 
terms ``neighborhood'' and ``geographic area'' interchangeably.
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    (a) High-quality early learning programs and services designed to 
improve outcomes across multiple domains of early learning (as defined 
in this notice) for children from birth through third grade;
    (b) Ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive education reforms that 
are linked to improved educational outcomes for children and youth in 
preschool through the 12th grade. Public schools served through the 
grant may include persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in 
this notice) or low-performing schools (as defined in this notice) that 
are not also persistently lowest-achieving schools. An applicant may 
serve an effective school or schools (as defined in this notice) but 
only if the applicant also serves at least one low-performing school 
(as defined in this notice) or persistently lowest-achieving school (as 
defined in this notice). An applicant must identify in its application 
the public school or schools that it would serve and the current status 
of reforms in the school or schools, including, if applicable, the type 
of intervention model being implemented. In cases where an applicant 
operates a school or partners with a school that does not serve all 
students in the neighborhood, the applicant must partner with at least 
one additional school or schools that also serves students in the 
neighborhood. An applicant proposing to work with a persistently 
lowest-achieving school must implement one of the four school 
intervention models (turnaround model, restart model, school closure, 
or transformation model) described in Appendix C of the Race to the Top 
notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2010, 74 FR 59836, 
59866 (November 18, 2009).
    An applicant proposing to work with a low-performing school must 
implement ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive interventions to 
assist, augment, or replace schools, which may include implementing one 
of the four school intervention models, or may include another model of 
sufficient ambition, rigor, and comprehensiveness to significantly 
improve academic and other outcomes for students. An applicant 
proposing to work with a low-performing school must use an intervention 
that addresses the effectiveness of teachers and leaders and the 
school's use of time and resources, which may include increased 
learning time (as defined in this notice);

    Note regarding school reform strategies: So as not to penalize 
an applicant from working with a local educational agency (LEA) that 
has implemented rigorous reform strategies prior to the publication 
of this notice, an applicant is not required to propose a new reform 
strategy in place of an existing reform strategy in order to be 
eligible for a Promise Neighborhoods planning grant. For example, an 
LEA might have begun to implement improvement activities that meet 
many, but not all, of the elements of a transformation model of 
school intervention. In this case, the applicant could propose, as 
part of its Promise Neighborhood strategy, to work with the LEA as 
the LEA continues with its reforms;
    (c) Programs that prepare students to be college- and career-
ready; and
    (d) Family and community supports (as defined in this notice).

    To the extent feasible and appropriate, the plan to be developed by 
the applicant must describe how the applicant and its partners will 
leverage and integrate high-quality programs, related public and 
private investments, and existing neighborhood assets into the 
continuum of solutions.

[[Page 13156]]

    Applicants must also describe how they will identify Federal, 
State, or local policies, regulations, or other requirements that would 
impede the applicant in achieving its goals and will report on those 
impediments to the Department and other relevant agencies.
    As part of the description of how they will plan to build a 
continuum of solutions, applicants must describe how they will 
participate in, organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, communities of 
practice (as defined in this notice) for Promise Neighborhoods.
    (3) Specify how it will conduct a comprehensive needs assessment 
and segmentation analysis of children and youth in the neighborhood 
during the planning grant project period and explain how it will use 
this needs assessment and segmentation analysis to determine the 
children with the highest needs and ensure that those children receive 
the appropriate services from the continuum of solutions. This 
explanation must include identifying and describing in the application 
both the educational indicators and the family and community support 
indicators that the applicant will use in conducting the needs 
assessment during the planning year. During the planning year, 
applicants must--
    (a) Collect data for the educational indicators listed in Table 1 
and use them as both program and project indicators;
    (b) Collect data for the family and community support indicators in 
Table 2 and use them as program indicators; and
    (c) Collect data for unique family and community support 
indicators, developed by the applicant, that align with the goals and 
objectives of projects and use them as project indicators or use the 
indicators in Table 2 as project indicators.

    Note:  Planning grant applicants are not required to propose 
solutions in their applications; however, they are required to 
describe how they will identify solutions, including the use of 
available evidence, during the planning year that will result in 
improvements on the project indicators.


 Table 1--Education Indicators and Results They Are Intended to Measure
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Indicator                              Result
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- and % of children birth to         Children enter
 kindergarten entry who have a place where      kindergarten ready to
 they usually go, other than an emergency       succeed in school.
 room, when they are sick or in need of
 advice about their health.
-- and % of three-year-olds and
 children in kindergarten who demonstrate at
 the beginning of the program or school year
 age-appropriate functioning across multiple
 domains of early learning (as defined in
 this notice) as determined using
 developmentally-appropriate early learning
 measures (as defined in this notice).
-- & % of children, from birth to
 kindergarten entry, participating in center-
 based or formal home-based early learning
 settings or programs, which may include
 Early Head Start, Head Start, child care, or
 publicly funded preschool
-- & % of students at or above grade  Students are proficient
 level according to State mathematics and       in core academic
 reading or language arts assessments in at     subjects.
 least the grades required by the ESEA (3rd
 through 8th and once in high school).
--Attendance rate of students in 6th, 7th,     Students successfully
 8th, and 9th grade.                            transition from middle
                                                school grades to high
                                                school.
--Graduation rate (as defined in this notice)  Youth graduate from high
                                                school.
-- & % of Promise Neighborhood        High school graduates
 students who graduate with a regular high      obtain a postsecondary
 school diploma, as defined in 34 CFR           degree, certification,
 200.19(b)(1)(iv), and obtain postsecondary     or credential.
 degrees, vocational certificates, or other
 industry-recognized certifications or
 credentials without the need for remediation
------------------------------------------------------------------------


            Table 2--Family and Community Support Indicators and Results They Are Intended To Measure
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Indicator                                                 Result
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- & % of children who participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate  Students are healthy.
 to vigorous physical activity daily and consume five or more servings of
 fruits and vegetables daily; or
--possible second indicator, to be determined (TBD) by applicant
-- & % of students who feel safe at school and traveling to and from   Students feel safe at school and
 school, as measured by a school climate needs assessment (as defined in this    in their community.
 notice); or
--possible second indicator, TBD by applicant.
--Student mobility rate (as defined in this notice); or                         Students live in stable
                                                                                 communities.
--possible second indicator, TBD by applicant.
--For children six months to kindergarten entry, the  and % of         Families and community members
 parents or family members who report that they read to their child three or     support learning in Promise
 more times a week;                                                              Neighborhood schools.
--For children in kindergarten through the eighth grade, the  and %
 of parents or family members who report encouraging their child to read books
 outside of school; and
--For children in the ninth through twelfth grades, the  and % of
 parents or family members who report talking with their child about the
 importance of college and career; or
--possible second indicator TBD by applicant.
-- & % of students who have school and home access (and % of the day   Students have access to 21st
 they have access) to broadband internet (as defined in this notice) and a       century learning tools.
 connected computing device; or
--possible second indicator TBD by applicant
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note: The indicators in Table 1 and Table 2 are not intended to 
limit an applicant from collecting and using data for additional 
indicators. Examples of additional indicators are--
    (i) The  and % of children who participate in high-
quality learning activities during out-of-school hours or in the 
hours after the traditional school day ends;

[[Page 13157]]

    (ii) The  and % of children who are suspended or 
receive discipline referrals during the school year;
    (iii) The share of housing stock in the geographically defined 
area that is rent-protected, publicly assisted, or targeted for 
redevelopment with local, State, or Federal funds; and
    (iv) The  and % of children who are homeless or in 
foster care and who have an assigned adult advocate.


    Note: While the Department believes there are many programmatic 
benefits of collecting data on every child in the proposed 
neighborhood, the Department will consider requests to collect data 
on only a sample of the children in the neighborhood for some 
indicators so long as the applicant describes in its application how 
it would ensure the sample would be representative of the children 
in the neighborhood;

    (4) Describe the experience and lessons learned, and describe how 
the applicant will build the capacity of its management team and 
project director in all of the following areas:
    (a) Working with the neighborhood and its residents, including with 
the schools described in paragraph (2) of this priority; the LEA in 
which the schools described in paragraph (2) are located; Federal, 
State, and local government leaders; and other service providers.
    (b) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, 
learning, continuous improvement, and accountability. The applicant 
must describe--
    (i) Its proposal to plan to build, adapt, or expand a longitudinal 
data system that integrates student-level data from multiple sources in 
order to measure progress on educational and family and community 
support indicators for all children in the neighborhood, disaggregated 
by the subgroups listed in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA;
    (ii) How the applicant will link the longitudinal data system to 
school-based, LEA, and State data systems; make the data accessible to 
program partners, researchers, and evaluators while abiding by Federal, 
State, and other privacy laws and requirements; and manage and maintain 
the system;
    (iii) How the applicant will use rapid-time (as defined in this 
notice) data both in the planning year and, once the Promise 
Neighborhood strategy is implemented, for continuous program 
improvement; and
    (iv) How the applicant will document the planning process, 
including by describing lessons learned and best practices;
    (c) Creating formal and informal partnerships, for such purposes as 
providing solutions along the continuum of solutions and attaining 
resources to sustain and scale up what works. An applicant, as part of 
its application, must submit a preliminary memorandum of understanding, 
signed by each organization or agency with which it would partner in 
planning the proposed Promise Neighborhood. The preliminary memorandum 
of understanding must describe--
    (i) Each partner's financial and programmatic commitment; and
    (ii) How each partner's existing vision, theory of change (as 
defined in this notice), theory of action (as defined in this notice), 
and existing activities align with those of the proposed Promise 
Neighborhood strategy;
    (d) The governance structure proposed for the Promise Neighborhood, 
including how the eligible entity's governing board or advisory board 
is representative of the geographic area proposed to be served (as 
defined in this notice), and how residents of the geographic area would 
have an active role in the organization's decision-making; and
    (e) Securing and integrating funding streams from multiple public 
and private sources from the Federal, State, and local level. Examples 
of public funds include Federal resources from the U.S. Department of 
Education, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program 
and title I of the ESEA, and from other Federal agencies, such as the 
U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban 
Development, Justice, Labor, and Treasury.
    (5) Describe the applicant's commitment to work with the Department 
and with a national evaluator for Promise Neighborhoods to ensure that 
data collection and program design are consistent with plans to conduct 
a rigorous national evaluation of the Promise Neighborhoods program and 
of specific solutions and strategies pursued by individual grantees. 
This commitment must include, but need not be limited to--
    (a) Ensuring that, through memoranda of understanding with 
appropriate entities, the national evaluator and the Department have 
access to relevant program and project data (e.g., administrative data 
and program and project indicator data), including data on a quarterly 
basis if requested by the Department;
    (b) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, an 
evaluation strategy, including identifying a credible comparison group; 
and
    (c) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, a plan 
for identifying and collecting reliable and valid baseline data for 
both program participants and a designated comparison group of non-
participants.
Proposed Planning Grant Priority 2 (Absolute): Promise Neighborhoods in 
Rural Communities
    We propose establishing a priority for applicants proposing to 
develop a plan for implementing a Promise Neighborhood strategy that 
(1) meets all of the requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) 
proposes to serve one or more rural communities only.
Proposed Planning Grant Priority 3 (Absolute): Promise Neighborhoods in 
Tribal Communities
    We propose establishing a priority for applicants proposing to 
develop a plan for implementing a Promise Neighborhood strategy that 
(1) meets all of the requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) 
proposes to serve one or more Indian tribes (as defined in this 
notice).
Proposed Planning Grant Priority 4: Comprehensive Local Early Learning 
Network
    We propose a priority for applicants proposing to develop a plan to 
expand, enhance, or modify an existing network of early learning 
programs and services to ensure that they are high-quality and 
comprehensive for children from birth through the third grade. The plan 
must also ensure that the network establishes a high standard of 
quality across early learning settings and is designed to improve 
health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes of young children. 
Distinct from the early learning solutions described in paragraph (2) 
of Absolute Priority 1, this priority would support proposals to 
develop plans that coordinate all early learning services and programs 
in the neighborhood, i.e., school-based early learning programs; 
district- or State-funded preschool programs; Early Head Start and Head 
Start; the local child care resource and referral agency, if 
applicable; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) services 
and programs; services through private providers; home visiting 
programs; and family, friend, or neighbor care in the Promise 
Neighborhood.
    The coordinated local early learning network must address, or 
incorporate ongoing State-level efforts regarding, the major components 
of high-quality early learning programs and services, such as early 
learning and development standards, program quality standards, 
comprehensive assessment systems, workforce and professional 
development systems, health promotion, family and community engagement, 
a coordinated data

[[Page 13158]]

infrastructure, and a method of measuring, monitoring, evaluating, and 
improving program quality. For example, an applicant might address how 
the Promise Neighborhoods project will use the State's early learning 
standards, as applicable, and Head Start Child Development and Early 
Learning Framework (Framework), as applicable, to define the 
expectations of what children should know and be able to do before 
entering kindergarten. The Framework is available on the Office of Head 
Start's Web site at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/ecdh/eecd/
Assessment/Child%20Outcomes/HS_Revised_Child_Outcomes_
Framework.pdf. Similarly, an applicant that addresses this priority 
must discuss, where applicable, how the State's Quality Rating and 
Improvement System (QRIS), professional development and workforce 
infrastructure, and other State efforts would be incorporated into the 
Promise Neighborhood's plan for a comprehensive local early learning 
network.
    The proposal to develop a plan for a high-quality and comprehensive 
local early learning network must describe the governance structure and 
how the applicant will use the planning year to plan solutions that 
address the major components of high-quality early learning programs 
and services as well as establish goals, strategies, and benchmarks to 
provide early learning programs and services that result in improved 
outcomes across multiple domains of early learning (as defined in this 
notice). An applicant addressing this priority must designate an 
individual responsible for overseeing and coordinating the early 
learning initiatives and must include a resume or position description 
and other supporting documentation to demonstrate that the individual 
designated, or individual hired to fill that designation, possesses the 
appropriate State certification, and has experience and expertise in 
managing and administering high-quality early learning programs, 
including in coordinating across various high-quality early learning 
programs and services.
Proposed Planning Grant Priority 5: Quality Internet Connectivity
    We propose a priority for applicants proposing to develop plans to 
ensure that almost all students in the geographic area proposed to be 
served have broadband internet access (as defined in this notice) at 
home and at school, the knowledge and skills to use broadband internet 
access effectively, and a connected computing device to support 
schoolwork.
Proposed Planning Grant Priority 6: Arts and Humanities
    We propose a priority for applicants proposing to develop plans to 
include opportunities for children and youth to experience and 
participate actively in the arts and humanities in their community so 
as to broaden, enrich, and enliven the educational, cultural, and civic 
experiences available in the neighborhood. Applicants may propose to 
develop plans for offering these activities in school and in out-of-
school settings and at any time during the calendar year.
Proposed Planning Grant Priority 7: Quality Affordable Housing
    We propose a priority for applicants proposing to serve geographic 
areas that were the subject of an affordable housing transformation 
pursuant to a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant awarded by the U.S. 
Department of Housing and Urban Development during FY 2009 or later 
years. Applicants eligible for this priority must either (1) have 
received a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant or (2) provide a 
memorandum of understanding with a recipient of Choice Neighborhoods or 
HOPE VI grant. The memorandum must indicate a commitment on the part of 
both grantees to coordinate planning and align resources to the 
greatest extent practicable.
Proposed Planning Grant Priority 8: Family Engagement in Learning 
Through Adult Education
    We propose a priority for applicants proposing to develop plans 
that are coordinated with adult education providers serving 
neighborhood residents, such as those funded through the Adult 
Education and Family Literacy Act, as amended. Coordinated services may 
include adult basic and secondary education and programs that provide 
training and opportunities for family members and other members of the 
community to support student learning and establish high expectations 
for student educational achievement. Examples of services and programs 
include preparation for the General Education Development (GED) test; 
English literacy, family literacy, and work-based literacy training; or 
other training that prepares adults for postsecondary education and 
careers or supports adult engagement in the educational success of 
children and youth in the neighborhood.

Proposed Implementation Grant Priorities

Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 1 (Absolute): Submission of 
Promise Neighborhood Plan
    We propose establishing a priority for applicants that submit a 
plan to create a Promise Neighborhood. The plan must describe the need 
in the neighborhood, a strategy to build a continuum of solutions, and 
the applicant's capacity to achieve results. Specifically, an applicant 
must--
    (1) Describe the geographically defined area to be served and the 
level of distress in that area based on indicators of need and other 
relevant indicators. The statement of need in the neighborhood must be 
based, in part, on results of a comprehensive needs assessment and 
segmentation analysis (as defined in this notice). Applicants may 
propose to serve multiple, non-contiguous geographically defined areas. 
In cases where target areas are not contiguous, the applicant must 
explain its rationale for including non-contiguous areas;
    (2) Describe the applicant's strategy for building a continuum of 
solutions that addresses neighborhood challenges as identified in the 
needs assessment and segmentation analysis. The continuum of solutions 
must be based on the best available evidence including, where 
available, strong or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice), and 
be designed to significantly improve educational outcomes and to 
support the healthy development and well-being of children and youth in 
the neighborhood. The success of the strategy will be measured by the 
results and project indicators as defined in this notice and described 
in Table 1 and Table 2. The applicant must propose clear and measurable 
annual goals during the grant period against which improvements will be 
measured using the indicators. The strategy must--
    (a) Identify each solution that the project will implement within 
the proposed continuum of solutions, and must include--
    (i) High-quality early learning programs and services designed to 
improve outcomes across multiple domains of early learning (as defined 
in this notice) for children from birth through third grade;
    (ii) Ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive education reforms that 
are linked to improved educational outcomes for children and youth in 
preschool through the 12th grade. Public schools served through the 
grant may include persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in 
this


[[Page 13159]]

notice) or low-performing schools (as defined in this notice) that are 
not also persistently lowest-achieving schools. An applicant may serve 
an effective school or schools (as defined in this notice) but only if 
the applicant also serves at least one low-performing school (as 
defined in this notice) or persistently lowest-achieving school (as 
defined in this notice). An applicant must identify in its application 
the public school or schools it would serve and describe the current 
status of reforms in the school or schools, including, if applicable, 
the type of intervention model being implemented. In cases where an 
applicant operates a school or partners with a school that does not 
serve all students in the neighborhood, the applicant must partner with 
at least one additional school that also serves students in the 
neighborhood. An applicant proposing to work with a persistently 
lowest-achieving school must implement one of the four school 
intervention models (turnaround model, restart model, school closure, 
or transformation model) described in Appendix C of the Race to the Top 
notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2010, 74 FR 59836, 
59866 (November 18, 2009).
    An applicant proposing to work with a low-performing school must 
implement ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive interventions to 
assist, augment, or replace schools, which may include implementing one 
of the four school intervention models, or may include another model of 
sufficient ambition, rigor, and comprehensiveness to significantly 
improve academic and other outcomes for students. An applicant 
proposing to work with a low-performing school must use an intervention 
that addresses the effectiveness of teachers and leaders and the 
school's use of time and resources, which may include increased 
learning time (as defined in this notice);

    Note regarding school reform strategies: So as not to penalize 
an applicant from working with an LEA that has implemented rigorous 
reform strategies prior to the publication of this notice, an 
applicant is not required to propose a new reform strategy in place 
of an existing reform strategy in order to be eligible for a Promise 
Neighborhoods implementation grant. For example, an LEA might have 
begun to implement improvement activities that meet many, but not 
all, of the elements of a transformation model of school 
intervention. In this case, the applicant could propose, as part of 
its Promise Neighborhood strategy, to work with the LEA as the LEA 
continues with its reforms;

    (iii) Programs that prepare students to be college- and career-
ready; and
    (iv) Family and community supports (as defined in this notice).
    To the extent feasible and appropriate, the plan must describe how 
the applicant and its partners will leverage and integrate high-quality 
programs, related public and private investments, and existing 
neighborhood assets into the continuum of solutions. An application 
must also include an appendix that summarizes the evidence supporting 
each proposed solution and describes how the solution is based on the 
best available evidence, including, where available, strong or moderate 
evidence (as defined in this notice). In addition, an applicant must 
describe how the solution will be implemented; the partners that will 
participate in the implementation of each solution (in any case in 
which the applicant does not implement the solution directly); the 
estimated per-child cost, including administrative costs, to implement 
each solution; the estimated number of children, by age, in the 
neighborhood who will be served by each solution and how a segmentation 
analysis was used to target the children and youth to be served; and 
the source of funds that will be used to pay for each solution. In the 
description of the estimated number of children to be served, the 
applicant must include the percentage of all children of the same age 
group within the neighborhood proposed to be served by each solution.
    Applicants must also describe how they will identify Federal, 
State, or local policies, regulations, or other requirements that would 
impede the applicant in achieving its goals and will report on those 
impediments to the Department and other relevant agencies.
    As part of the description of their strategy to build a continuum 
of solutions, applicants must describe how they will participate in, 
organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, communities of practice for 
Promise Neighborhoods.
    (b) Establish clear, annual goals for evaluating progress in 
improving systems, such as changes in policies, environments, or 
organizations that affect children and youth in the neighborhood. 
Examples of systems change could include a new school district policy 
to measure the results of family and community support programs, a new 
funding resource to support the Promise Neighborhoods strategy, or a 
cross-sector collaboration at the city level to break down municipal 
agency ``silos'' and partner with local philanthropic organizations to 
drive achievement of a set of results; and
    (c) Establish clear, annual goals for evaluating progress in 
leveraging resources, such as the amount of monetary or in-kind 
investments from public or private organizations to support the Promise 
Neighborhoods strategy. Examples of leveraging resources are securing 
new or existing dollars to sustain and scale up what works in the 
Promise Neighborhood or integrating high-quality programs in the 
continuum of solutions. Applicants may consider, as part of their plans 
to scale up their Promise Neighborhood strategy, serving a larger 
geographic area by partnering with other applicants to the Promise 
Neighborhoods program from the same city or region;
    (3) Explain how it used its needs assessment and segmentation 
analysis to determine the children with the highest needs and explain 
how it will ensure that each child in the neighborhood receives the 
appropriate services from the continuum of solutions. This includes 
identifying and describing in its application the educational 
indicators and family and community support indicators that the 
applicant used to conduct the needs assessment. Whether or not the 
implementation grant applicant received a Promise Neighborhoods 
planning grant, the applicant should describe how it--
    (a) Collected data for the educational indicators listed in Table 1 
and used them as both program and project indicators;
    (b) Collected data for the family and community support indicators 
in Table 2 and used them as program indicators; and
    (c) Collected data for unique family and community support 
indicators, developed by the applicant, that align with the goals and 
objectives of the project and used them as project indicators or used 
the indicators in Table 2 as project indicators.
    An applicant must also describe how it will collect at least annual 
data on the indicators in Tables 1 and 2 and report those data to the 
Department.

[[Page 13160]]



 Table 1--Education Indicators and Results They Are Intended to Measure
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Indicator                              Result
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- and % of children birth to         Children enter
 kindergarten entry who have a place where      kindergarten ready to
 they usually go, other than an emergency       succeed in school.
 room, when they are sick or in need of
 advice about their health.
-- and % of three-year-olds and
 children in kindergarten who demonstrate at
 the beginning of the program or school year
 age-appropriate functioning across multiple
 domains of early learning (as defined in
 this notice) as determined using
 developmentally-appropriate early learning
 measures (as defined in this notice).
-- & % of children, from birth to
 kindergarten entry, participating in center-
 based or formal home-based early learning
 settings or programs, which may include
 Early Head Start, Head Start, child care, or
 publicly funded preschool.
-- & % of students at or above grade  Students are proficient
 level according to State mathematics and       in core academic
 reading or language arts assessments in at     subjects.
 least the grades required by the ESEA (3rd
 through 8th and once in high school).
--Attendance rate of students in 6th, 7th,     Students successfully
 8th, and 9th grade.                            transition from middle
                                                school grades to high
                                                school.
--Graduation rate (as defined in this notice)  Youth graduate from high
                                                school.
-- & % of Promise Neighborhood        High school graduates
 students who graduate with a regular high      obtain a postsecondary
 school diploma, as defined in 34 CFR           degree, certification,
 200.19(b)(1)(iv), and obtain postsecondary     or credential.
 degrees, vocational certificates, or other
 industry-recognized certifications or
 credentials without the need for remediation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


            Table 2--Family and Community Support Indicators and Results They Are Intended To Measure
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Indicator                                                 Result
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- & % of children who participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate  Students are healthy.
 to vigorous physical activity daily and consume five or more servings of
 fruits and vegetables daily; or
--possible second indicator, to be determined (TBD) by applicant.
-- & % of students who feel safe at school and traveling to and from   Students feel safe at school and
 school, as measured by a school climate needs assessment (as defined in this    in their community.
 notice); or
--possible second indicator, TBD by applicant.
--Student mobility rate (as defined in this notice); or                         Students live in stable
--possible second indicator, TBD by applicant                                    communities.
--For children six months to kindergarten entry, the  and % of         Families and community members
 parents or family members who report that they read to their child three or     support learning in Promise
 more times a week;                                                              Neighborhood schools.
--For children in the kindergarten through eighth grades, the  and %
 of parents or family members who report encouraging their child to read books
 outside of school; and
--For children in the ninth through twelfth grades, the  and % of
 parents or family members who report talking with their child about the
 importance of college and career; or
--possible second indicator TBD by applicant.
-- & % of students who have school and home access (and % of the day   Students have access to 21st
 they have access) to broadband internet (as defined in this notice) and a       century learning tools.
 connected computing device; or
--possible second indicator TBD by applicant.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note: The indicators in Table 1 and Table 2 are not intended to 
limit an applicant from collecting and using data for additional 
indicators. Examples of additional indicators are--
    (i) The  and % of children who participate in high-
quality learning activities during out-of-school hours or in the 
hours after the traditional school day ends;
    (ii) The  and % of students who are suspended or 
receive discipline referrals during the year;
    (iii) The share of housing stock in the geographically defined 
area that is rent-protected, publicly assisted, or targeted for 
redevelopment with local, State, or Federal funds; and
    (iv) The  and % of children who are homeless or in 
foster care and who have an assigned adult advocate.


    Note:  While the Department believes there are many programmatic 
benefits of collecting data on every child in the proposed 
neighborhood, the Department will consider requests to collect data 
on only a sample of the children in the neighborhood for some 
indicators so long as the applicant describes in its application how 
it would ensure the sample would be representative of the children 
in the neighborhood.

    (4) Describe the experience, lessons learned, and a plan to build 
capacity of the applicant's management team and project director in all 
of the following areas:
    (a) Working with the neighborhood and its residents; the schools 
described in paragraph (2) of this priority; the LEA in which those 
schools are located; Federal, State, and local government leaders; and 
other service providers.
    (b) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, 
learning, continuous improvement, and accountability. The applicant 
must describe--
    (i) Its longitudinal data system that integrates student-level data 
from multiple sources in order to measure progress on educational and 
family and community support indicators for all children in the 
neighborhood, disaggregated by the subgroups listed in section 
1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA;
    (ii) How the applicant has linked the longitudinal data system to 
school-based, LEA, and State data systems; made the data accessible to 
program partners, researchers, and evaluators while abiding by Federal, 
State, and other privacy laws and requirements; and managed and 
maintained the system;
    (iii) How the applicant has used rapid-time (as defined in this 
notice) data in prior years and, how it will continue to use those data 
once the Promise Neighborhood strategy is implemented, for continuous 
program improvement; and
    (iv) How the applicant will document the implementation process, 
including

[[Page 13161]]

by describing lessons learned and best practices.
    (c) Creating and strengthening formal and informal partnerships, 
for such purposes as providing solutions along the continuum of 
solutions and committing resources to sustaining and scaling up what 
works. Each applicant must submit, as part of its application, a 
memorandum of understanding, signed by each organization or agency with 
which it would partner in implementing the proposed Promise 
Neighborhood. The memorandum of understanding must describe--
    (i) Each partner's financial and programmatic commitment; and
    (ii) How each partner's existing vision, theory of change (as 
defined in this notice), theory of action (as defined in this notice), 
and current activities align with those of the proposed Promise 
Neighborhood;
    (d) The governance structure proposed for the Promise Neighborhood, 
including how the eligible entity's governing board or advisory board 
is representative of the geographic area proposed to be served (as 
defined in this notice), and how residents of the geographic area would 
have an active role in the organization's decision-making.
    (e) Integrating funding streams from multiple public and private 
sources from the Federal, State, and local level. Examples of public 
funds include Federal resources from the U.S. Department of Education, 
such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and title I 
of the ESEA, and from other Federal agencies, such as the U.S. 
Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban 
Development, Justice, Labor, and Treasury.
    (5) Describe the applicant's commitment to work with the Department 
and with a national evaluator for Promise Neighborhoods to ensure that 
data collection and program design are consistent with plans to conduct 
a rigorous national evaluation of the Promise Neighborhoods program and 
of specific solutions and strategies pursued by individual grantees. 
This commitment must include, but need not be limited to--
    (a) Ensuring that, through memoranda of understanding with 
appropriate entities, the national evaluator and the Department have 
access to relevant program and project data sources (e.g., 
administrative data and program and project indicator data), including 
data on a quarterly basis if requested by the Department;
    (b) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, an 
evaluation strategy, including identifying a credible comparison group 
(as defined in this notice); and
    (c) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, a plan 
for identifying and collecting reliable and valid baseline data for 
both program participants and a designated comparison group of non-
participants.
Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 2 (Absolute): Promise 
Neighborhoods in Rural Communities
    We propose establishing a priority for applicants that propose to 
implement a Promise Neighborhood strategy that (1) meets all of the 
requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) serves one or more rural 
communities only.
Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 3 (Absolute): Promise 
Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities
    We propose establishing a priority for applicants proposing to 
implement a Promise Neighborhood strategy that (1) meets all of the 
requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) serves one or more Indian 
tribes (as defined in this notice).
Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 4: Comprehensive Local Early 
Learning Network
    We propose a priority for plans that propose to expand, enhance, or 
modify an existing network of early learning programs and services to 
ensure that they are high-quality and comprehensive for children from 
birth through the third grade. The plan must also ensure that the 
network establishes a high standard of quality across early learning 
settings and is designed to improve health, social-emotional, and 
cognitive outcomes of young children. Distinct from the early learning 
solutions described in paragraph (2) of Absolute Priority 1, this 
priority would support implementation plans that coordinate all early 
learning services and programs in the neighborhood, i.e., school-based 
early learning programs; district- or State-funded preschool programs; 
Early Head Start and Head Start; the local child care resource and 
referral agency, if applicable; IDEA services and programs; services 
through private providers; home visiting programs; and family, friend, 
or neighbor care in the Promise Neighborhood.
    The coordinated local early learning network must address, or 
incorporate ongoing State-level efforts regarding, the major components 
of high-quality early learning programs and services, such as early 
learning and development standards, program quality standards, 
comprehensive assessment systems, workforce and professional 
development systems, health promotion, family and community engagement, 
a coordinated data infrastructure, and a method of measuring, 
monitoring, evaluating, and improving program quality. For example, an 
applicant might address how the Promise Neighborhoods project will use 
the State's early learning standards, as applicable, and Head Start 
Child Development and Early Learning Framework (Framework), as 
applicable, to define the expectations of what children should know and 
be able to do before entering kindergarten. The Framework is available 
on the Office of Head Start's Web site at: http://
eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/ecdh/eecd/Assessment/Child%20Outcomes/HS_
Revised_Child_Outcomes_Framework.pdf. Similarly, an applicant that 
addresses this priority must discuss, where applicable, how the State's 
Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), professional development 
and workforce infrastructure, and other State efforts would be 
incorporated into the Promise Neighborhood's plan for a comprehensive 
local early learning network.
    The implementation plan for a high-quality and comprehensive local 
early learning network must describe the governance structure and the 
major components of high-quality early learning programs and services 
as well as include goals, strategies, and benchmarks to provide early 
learning programs and services that result in improvements across 
multiple domains of early learning. The plan must result from a needs 
assessment and segmentation analysis (as defined in this notice) and 
should reflect input from a broad range of stakeholders. An application 
addressing this priority must designate an individual responsible for 
overseeing and coordinating the early learning initiatives and must 
include a resume or position description and other supporting 
documentation to demonstrate that the individual designated, or 
individual hired to fill that designation, possesses the appropriate 
State certification, and has experience and expertise in managing and 
administering high-quality early learning programs, including in 
coordinating across various early learning programs and services.
Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 5: Quality Internet Connectivity
    We propose a priority for applicants with plans to ensure that 
almost all

[[Page 13162]]

students in the geographic area proposed to be served have broadband 
internet access (as defined in this notice) at home and at school, the 
knowledge and skills to use broadband internet access effectively, and 
a connected computing device to support schoolwork.
Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 6: Arts and Humanities
    We propose a priority for applicants with plans to include 
opportunities for children and youth to experience and participate 
actively in the arts and humanities in their community so as to 
broaden, enrich, and enliven the educational, cultural, and civic 
experiences available in the neighborhood. Applicants may include plans 
for offering these activities in school and out-of-school settings and 
at any time during the calendar year.
Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 7: Quality Affordable Housing
    We propose a priority for applicants that propose to serve 
geographic areas that were the subject of an affordable housing 
transformation pursuant to a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant 
awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during 
FY 2009 or later years. Applicants eligible for this priority must 
either (1) have received a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant or (2) 
provide a memorandum of understanding with a recipient of a Choice 
Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant. The memorandum must indicate a 
commitment on the part of both grantees to coordinate implementation 
and align resources to the greatest extent practicable.
Proposed Implementation Grant Priority 8: Family Engagement in Learning 
Through Adult Education
    We propose a priority for applicants with plans that are 
coordinated with adult education providers serving neighborhood 
residents, such as those funded through the Adult Education and Family 
Literacy Act, as amended. Coordinated services may include adult basic 
and secondary education and programs that provide training and 
opportunities for family members and other members of the community to 
support student learning and establish high expectations for student 
educational achievement. Examples of services and programs include 
preparation for the General Education Development (GED) test; English 
literacy, family literacy, and work-based literacy training; or other 
training that prepares adults for postsecondary education and careers, 
or supports adult engagement in the educational success of children and 
youth in the neighborhood.

Optional Supplemental Funding Opportunity

    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) intends to provide an 
optional, supplemental funding opportunity for Promise Neighborhoods 
implementation grantees with plans that propose to analyze and resolve 
public safety concerns associated with violence, gangs, and illegal 
drugs utilizing strategies that include prevention, intervention, 
enforcement, and reentry of offenders back into communities upon 
release from prison and jail. Under this opportunity, DOJ, through an 
interagency agreement with the Department of Education, would provide 
additional funds to some Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees. 
Specifically, DOJ would consider supporting Promise Neighborhoods 
grantees with plans that align with local leadership in implementing 
and sustaining innovative solutions that incorporate evidence and 
research into local program and policy decisions to address and reduce 
persistent crime. Applicants with plans that address this opportunity 
would submit a supplemental DOJ Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation 
application as part of its Department of Education Promise 
Neighborhoods application.

Proposed Requirements

    The Department proposes the following eligibility requirements for 
the Promise Neighborhoods program. We may apply one or more of these 
requirements in any year in which we conduct a competition for this 
program.
    1. Eligible Applicants: To be eligible for a grant under this 
competition, an applicant must be an eligible organization (as defined 
in this notice). For purposes of Absolute Priority 3, an eligible 
applicant is an eligible organization that partners with an Indian 
tribe or is an Indian tribe that meets the definition of an eligible 
organization.
    2. Cost-Sharing or Matching:
    (a) Planning grants. To be eligible for a planning grant under this 
competition, an applicant must demonstrate that it has established a 
commitment from one or more entities in the public or private sector, 
which may include Federal, State, and local public agencies, 
philanthropic organizations, private businesses, or individuals, to 
provide matching funds for the planning process. An applicant for a 
planning grant must obtain matching funds or in-kind donations for the 
planning process equal to at least 50 percent of its grant award, 
except that an applicant proposing a project that meets Absolute 
Priority 2: Promise Neighborhoods in Rural Communities or Absolute 
Priority 3: Promise Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities must obtain 
matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 25 percent of the 
grant award.
    (b) Implementation Grants. To be eligible for an implementation 
grant under this competition, an applicant must demonstrate that it has 
established a commitment from one or more entities in the public or 
private sector, which may include Federal, State, and local public 
agencies, philanthropic organizations, private businesses, or 
individuals, to provide matching funds for the implementation process. 
An applicant for an implementation grant must obtain matching funds or 
in-kind donations equal to at least 100 percent of its grant award, 
except that an applicant proposing a project that meets Absolute 
Priority 2: Promise Neighborhoods in Rural Communities or Absolute 
Priority 3: Promise Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities must obtain 
matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 50 percent of the 
grant award.
    Eligible sources of matching include sources of funds used to pay 
for solutions within the continuum of solutions, such as Head Start 
programs, initiatives supported by the LEA, or public health services 
for children in the neighborhood. At least 10 percent of an 
implementation applicant's total match must be cash or in-kind 
contributions from the private sector, which may include philanthropic 
organizations, private businesses, or individuals.
    (c) Planning and Implementation Grants. Both planning and 
implementation applicants must demonstrate a commitment of matching 
funds in the applications. The applicants must specify the source of 
the funds or contributions and in the case of a third-party in-kind 
contribution, a description of how the value was determined for the 
donated or contributed goods or service. Applicants must demonstrate 
the match commitment by including letters in their applications 
explaining the type and quantity of the match commitment with original 
signatures from the executives of organizations or agencies providing 
the match. The Secretary may consider decreasing the matching 
requirement in the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-case 
basis.
    An applicant that is unable to meet the matching requirement must 
include in its application a request to the

[[Page 13163]]

Secretary to reduce the matching requirement, including the amount of 
the requested reduction, the total remaining match contribution, and a 
statement of the basis for the request. An applicant should review the 
Department's cost-sharing and cost-matching regulations, which include 
specific limitations in 34 CFR 74.23 applicable to non-profit 
organizations and institutions of higher education and 34 CFR 80.24 
applicable to State, local, and Indian tribal governments, and the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cost principles regarding 
donations, capital assets, depreciations and allowable costs. These 
circulars are available on OMB's Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/
omb/circulars/index.html.

Proposed Definitions

    We propose the following definitions for this program. We may apply 
one or more of these definitions in any year in which this program is 
in effect.
    Broadband internet access means internet access sufficient to 
provide community members with the internet available when and where 
they need it and for the uses they require.
    Community of practice means a group of grantees that agrees to 
interact regularly to solve a persistent problem or improve practice in 
an area that is important to them and the success of their project. 
Establishment of communities of practice under Promise Neighborhoods 
will enable grantees to meet, discuss, and collaborate with each other 
regarding grantee projects.
    Continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions or 
continuum of solutions means solutions that--
    (1) Include programs, policies, practices, services, systems, and 
supports that result in improving educational and developmental 
outcomes for children from cradle through college to career;
    (2) Are based on the best available evidence, including, where 
available, strong or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice);
    (3) Are linked and integrated seamlessly (as defined in this 
notice); and
    (4) Include both education programs and family and community 
supports.
    Credible comparison group includes a comparison group formed by 
matching project participants with non-participants based on key 
characteristics that are thought to be related to outcomes. These 
characteristics include, but are not limited to: (1) Prior test scores 
and other measures of academic achievement (preferably the same 
measures that will be used to assess the outcomes of the project); (2) 
demographic characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English 
proficiency, ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational attainment, 
and single- or two-parent family background; (3) the time period in 
which the two groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children 
entering kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); 
and (4) methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of 
reading skills administered in the same way to both groups).
    Developmentally appropriate early learning measures means a range 
of assessment instruments that are used in ways consistent with the 
purposes for which they were designed and validated; appropriate for 
the ages and other characteristics of the children being assessed; 
designed and validated for use with children whose ages, cultures, 
languages spoken at home, socioeconomic status, abilities and 
disabilities, and other characteristics are similar to those of the 
children with whom the assessments will be used; and used in compliance 
with the measurement standards set forth by the American Educational 
Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association 
(APA), and the National Council for Measurement in Education (NCME) in 
the 1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.
    Education programs means programs that include, but are not limited 
to--
    (1) High-quality early learning programs or services designed to 
improve outcomes across multiple domains of early learning for young 
children. Such programs must be specifically intended to align 
standards, practices, strategies, or activities across as broad an age 
range as birth through third grade so as to ensure that young children 
enter kindergarten and progress through the early elementary school 
grades demonstrating age-appropriate functioning across the multiple 
domains;
    (2) For children in preschool through the 12th grade, programs, 
policies, and personnel that are linked to improved educational 
outcomes. The programs, policies, and personnel--
    (a) Must include effective teachers and effective principals;
    (b) Must include strategies, practices, or programs that encourage 
and facilitate the evaluation, analysis, and use of student 
achievement, student growth (as defined in this notice), and other data 
by educators, families, and other stakeholders to inform decision-
making;
    (c) Must include college- and career-ready standards, assessments, 
and practices, including a well-rounded curriculum, instructional 
practices, strategies, or programs in, at a minimum, core academic 
subjects as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA, that are aligned 
with high academic content and achievement standards and with high-
quality assessments based on those standards; and
    (d) May include creating multiple pathways for students to earn 
regular high school diplomas (e.g., using schools that serve the needs 
of over-aged, under-credited, or other students with an exceptional 
need for flexibility regarding when they attend school or the 
additional supports they require; awarding credit based on demonstrated 
evidence of student competency; or offering dual-enrollment options); 
and
    (3) Programs that prepare students for college and career success, 
which may include programs that--
    (a) Create and support partnerships with community colleges, four-
year colleges, or universities and that help instill a college-going 
culture in the neighborhood;
    (b) Provide dual-enrollment opportunities for secondary students to 
gain college credit while in high school;
    (c) Provide, through relationships with businesses and other 
organizations, apprenticeship opportunities to students;
    (d) Align curricula in the core academic subjects with requirements 
for industry-recognized certifications or credentials, particularly in 
high-growth sectors;
    (e) Provide access to career and technical education programs so 
that individuals can attain the skills and industry-recognized 
certifications or credentials for success in their careers; and
    (f) Provide opportunities for all youth (both in and out of school) 
to achieve academic and employment success by improving educational and 
skill competencies and providing connections to employers. Such 
activities may include opportunities for on-going mentoring, supportive 
services, incentives for recognition and achievement, and opportunities 
related to leadership, development, decision-making, citizenship, and 
community service.
    Effective school means a school that has--
    (1) Significantly closed the achievement gaps between subgroups of 
students (as identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) 
within the school or district; or

[[Page 13164]]

    (2)(a) Demonstrated success in significantly increasing student 
academic achievement in the school for all subgroups of students (as 
identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) in the school; 
and (b) made significant improvements in other areas, such as 
graduation rates (as defined in this notice) or recruitment and 
placement of effective teachers and effective principals.
    Eligible organization means an organization that--
    (1) Is representative of the geographic area proposed to be served 
(as defined in this notice);
    (2) Is one of the following:
    (a) A nonprofit organization that meets the definition of a 
nonprofit under 34 CFR 77.1(c), which may include a faith-based 
nonprofit organization.
    (b) An institution of higher education as defined by section 101(a) 
of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
    (c) An Indian tribe (as defined in this notice);
    (3) Currently provides at least one of the solutions from the 
applicant's proposed continuum of solutions in the geographic area 
proposed to be served; and
    (4) Operates or proposes to work with and involve in carrying out 
its proposed project, in coordination with the school's LEA, at least 
one public elementary or secondary school that is located within the 
identified geographic area that the grant will serve.
    Family and community supports means--
    (1) Child and youth health programs, such as physical, mental, 
behavioral, and emotional health programs (e.g., home visiting 
programs; Early Head Start; programs to improve nutrition and fitness, 
reduce childhood obesity, and create healthier communities);
    (2) Safety programs, such as programs in school and out of school 
to prevent, control, and reduce crime, violence, drug and alcohol use, 
and gang activity; programs that address classroom and school-wide 
behavior and conduct; programs to prevent child abuse and neglect; 
programs to prevent truancy and reduce and prevent bullying and 
harassment; and programs to improve the physical and emotional security 
of the school setting as perceived, experienced, and created by 
students, staff, and families;
    (3) Community stability programs, such as programs that--
    (a) Increase the stability of families in communities by expanding 
access to quality, affordable housing, providing legal support to help 
families secure clear legal title to their homes, and providing housing 
counseling or housing placement services;
    (b) Provide adult education and employment opportunities and 
training to improve educational levels, job skills and readiness in 
order to decrease unemployment, with a goal of increasing family 
stability;
    (c) Improve families' awareness of, access to, and use of a range 
of social services, if possible at a single location;
    (d) Provide unbiased, outcome-focused, and comprehensive financial 
education, inside and outside the classroom and at every life stage;
    (e) Increase access to traditional financial institutions (e.g., 
banks and credit unions) rather than alternative financial institutions 
(e.g., check cashers and payday lenders);
    (f) Help families increase their financial literacy, financial 
assets, and savings; and
    (g) Help families access transportation to education and employment 
opportunities;
    (4) Family and community engagement programs, such as family 
literacy programs and programs that provide adult education and 
training and opportunities for family members and other members of the 
community to support student learning and establish high expectations 
for student educational achievement; mentorship programs that create 
positive relationships between children and adults; and programs that 
provide for the use of such community resources as libraries, museums, 
and local businesses to support improved student educational outcomes; 
and
    (5) 21st century learning tools, such as technology (e.g., 
computers and mobile phones) used by students in the classroom and in 
the community to support their education. This includes programs that 
help students use the tools to develop knowledge and skills in such 
areas as reading and writing, mathematics, research, critical thinking, 
communication, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
    Graduation rate means the four-year or extended-year adjusted 
cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1).

    Note: This definition is not meant to prevent a grantee from 
also collecting information about the reasons why students do not 
graduate from the target high school, e.g., dropping out or moving 
outside of the school district for non-academic or academic reasons.

    Increased learning time means using a longer school day, week, or 
year to significantly increase the total number of school hours. It is 
used to redesign the school's program in a manner that includes 
additional time for (a) instruction in core academic subjects as 
defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA; (b) instruction in other 
subjects and enrichment activities that contribute to a well-rounded 
education, including, for example, physical education, service 
learning, and experiential and work-based learning opportunities that 
are provided by partnering, as appropriate, with other organizations; 
and (c) teachers to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional 
development within and across grades and subjects.
    Indian tribe means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, 
pueblo, village or community that the Secretary of the Interior 
acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe, 25 U.S.C. 479a and 479a-1.
    Indicators of need means currently available data that describe--
    (1) Education need, which means--
    (a) All or a portion of the neighborhood includes or is within the 
attendance zone of a low-performing school that is a high school, 
especially one in which the graduation rate (as defined in this notice) 
is less than 60 percent or a school that can be characterized as low-
performing based on another proxy indicator, such as students' on-time 
progression from grade to grade; and
    (b) Other indicators, such as significant achievement gaps between 
subgroups of students (as identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of 
the ESEA) within a school or LEA, high teacher and principal turnover, 
or high student absenteeism; and
    (2) Family and community support need, which means--
    (a) Percentages of children with preventable chronic health 
conditions (e.g., asthma, poor nutrition, dental problems, obesity) or 
avoidable developmental delays;
    (b) Immunization rates;
    (c) Rates of crime, including violent crime;
    (d) Student mobility rates;
    (e) Teenage birth rates;
    (f) Percentage of children in single-parent or no-parent families;
    (g) Rates of vacant or substandard homes, including distressed 
public and assisted housing; or
    (h) Percentage of the residents living at or below the Federal 
poverty threshold.
    Linked and integrated seamlessly, with respect to the continuum of 
solutions, means solutions that have common outcomes, focus on similar 
milestones, support transitional time periods (e.g., the beginning of 
kindergarten, the middle grades, or

[[Page 13165]]

graduation from high school) along the cradle-through-college-to-career 
continuum, and address time and resource gaps that create obstacles for 
students in making academic progress.
    Low-performing schools means schools receiving assistance through 
title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended (ESEA), that are in corrective action or restructuring in the 
State, as determined under section 1116 of the ESEA, and the secondary 
schools (both middle and high schools) in the State that are equally as 
low-achieving as these Title I schools and are eligible for, but do not 
receive, Title I funds.
    Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies with designs 
that can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal 
validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate external 
validity) or from studies with high external validity but moderate 
internal validity.
    Multiple domains of early learning means physical well-being and 
motor development; social-emotional development; approaches toward 
learning, which refers to the inclinations, dispositions, or styles, 
rather than skills, that reflect ways that children become involved in 
learning and develop their inclinations to pursue learning; language 
and literacy development, including emergent literacy; and cognition 
and general knowledge, which refers to thinking and problem-solving as 
well as knowledge about particular objects and the way the world works. 
Cognition and general knowledge include mathematical and scientific 
knowledge, abstract thought, and imagination.
    Neighborhood assets means--
    (1) Developmental assets that allow residents to attain the skills 
needed to be successful in all aspects of daily life (e.g., educational 
institutions, early learning centers, and health resources);
    (2) Commercial assets that are associated with production, 
employment, transactions, and sales (e.g., labor force and retail 
establishments);
    (3) Recreational assets that create value in a neighborhood beyond 
work and education (e.g., parks, open space, community gardens, and 
arts organizations);
    (4) Physical assets that are associated with the built environment 
and physical infrastructure (e.g., housing, commercial buildings, and 
roads); and
    (5) Social assets that establish well-functioning social 
interactions (e.g., public safety and community engagement).
    Persistently lowest-achieving school means, as determined by the 
State--
    (1) Any school receiving assistance through Title I that is in 
improvement, corrective action, or restructuring and that--
    (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools 
in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-
achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or
    (b) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate that is less 
than 60 percent over a number of years; and
    (2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not 
receive, Title I funds that--
    (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools 
or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are 
eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of 
schools is greater; or
    (b) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate that is less 
than 60 percent over a number of years.
    Program indicators are indicators that the Department will use only 
for research and evaluation purposes and for which an applicant is not 
required to propose solutions.
    Project indicators are indicators for which an applicant proposes 
solutions intended to result in progress on the indicators.
    Public officials means elected officials (e.g., council members, 
aldermen and women, commissioners, State legislators, Congressional 
representatives, members of the school board), appointed officials 
(e.g., members of a planning or zoning commission, or of any other 
regulatory or advisory board or commission), or individuals who are not 
necessarily public officials, but who have been appointed by a public 
official to serve on the Promise Neighborhoods governing board or 
advisory board.
    Rapid-time, in reference to reporting and availability of locally-
collected data, means that data are available quickly enough to inform 
current lessons, instruction, and related education programs and family 
and community supports.
    Representative of the geographic area proposed to be served means 
that residents of the geographic area proposed to be served have an 
active role in decision-making and that at least one-third of the 
eligible entity's governing board or advisory board is made up of--
    (1) Residents who live in the geographic area proposed to be 
served, which may include residents who are representative of the 
ethnic and racial composition of the neighborhood's residents and the 
languages they speak;
    (2) Residents of the city or county in which the neighborhood is 
located but who live outside the geographic area proposed to be served, 
and who are low-income (which means earning less than 80 percent of the 
area's median income as published by the Department of Housing and 
Urban Development);
    (3) Public officials (as defined in this notice) who serve the 
geographic area proposed to be served (although not more than one-half 
of the governing board or advisory board may be made up of public 
officials); or
    (4) Some combination of individuals from the three groups listed in 
paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this definition.
    Rural community means a neighborhood that--
    (1) Is served by an LEA that is currently eligible under the Small 
Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income 
School (RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. 
Applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these 
programs by referring to information on the following Department Web 
sites. For the SRSA program: http://www.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/
eligible10/index.html.
    For the RLIS program: http://www.ed.gov/programs/reaprlisp/
eligible10/index.html; or
    (2) Includes only schools designated with a school locale code of 
42 or 43. Applicants may determine school locale codes by referring to 
the following Department Web site: http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/
schoolsearch/.
    School climate needs assessment means an evaluation tool that 
measures the extent to which the school setting promotes or inhibits 
academic performance by collecting perception data from individuals, 
which could include students, staff, or families.
    Segmentation analysis means the process of grouping and analyzing 
data from children and families in the geographic area proposed to be 
served according to indicators of need (as defined in this notice) or 
other relevant indicators.

    Note:  The analysis is intended to allow grantees to 
differentiate and more effectively target interventions based on 
what they learn about the needs of different populations in the 
geographic area.

    Strong evidence means evidence from studies with designs that can 
support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity), 
and studies that,

[[Page 13166]]

in total, include enough of the range of participants and settings to 
support scaling up to the State, regional, or national level (i.e., 
studies with high external validity).
    Student achievement means--
    (1) For tested grades and subjects:
    (a) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; 
and, as appropriate,
    (b) Other measures of student learning, such as those described in 
paragraph (2) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and 
comparable across classrooms and programs.
    (2) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of 
student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
    Student growth means the change in achievement data for an 
individual student between two or more points in time. Growth may also 
include other measures that are rigorous and comparable across 
classrooms.
    Student mobility rate is calculated by dividing the total number of 
new student entries and withdrawals at a school, from the day after the 
first official enrollment number is collected through the end of the 
academic year, by the first official enrollment number of the academic 
year.

    Note:  This definition is not meant to limit a grantee from also 
collecting information about why students enter or withdraw from the 
school, e.g., transferring to charter schools, moving outside of the 
school district for non-academic or academic reasons.

    Theory of action means an organization's strategy regarding how, 
considering its capacity and resources, it will take the necessary 
steps and measures to accomplish its desired results.
    Theory of change means an organization's beliefs about how its 
inputs, and early and intermediate outcomes, relate to accomplishing 
its long-term desired results.

Proposed Selection Criteria

    We propose the following selection criteria for evaluating a 
planning and implementation grant application under the Promise 
Neighborhoods program. These criteria are designed to align with the 
absolute priority for planning and implementation grants. Thus, the 
``need for project'' criterion aligns with the absolute priority 
requirement that applicants describe the need in the neighborhood. The 
``quality of project design'' and ``quality of project services'' 
criteria align with the absolute priority requirement that applicants 
describe a strategy to build a continuum of solutions with strong 
schools at the center. The ``quality of the management plan'' criterion 
aligns with the absolute priority requirement that applicants describe 
their capacity to achieve results.
    In the notice inviting applications, the application package, or 
both, we will announce the maximum possible points assigned to each 
criterion. We may apply one or more of these criteria in any year in 
which this program is in effect.

Proposed Planning Grants Selection Criteria

    The proposed selection criteria for planning grant applicants are 
as follows:
    (1) Need for project.
    (a) The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project.
    (b) In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers--
    (i) The magnitude or severity of the problems to be addressed by 
the proposed project as described by indicators of need and other 
relevant indicators; and
    (ii) The extent to which the geographically defined area has been 
described.
    (2) Quality of the project design.
    (a) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the 
proposed project.
    (b) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers--
    (i) The extent to which the continuum of solutions will be aligned 
with an ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive strategy for improvement 
of schools in the neighborhood;
    (ii) The extent to which the applicant describes a proposal to plan 
to create a complete continuum of solutions, including early learning 
through grade 12, college- and career-readiness, and family and 
community supports, without time and resource gaps that will prepare 
all children in the neighborhood to attain an excellent education and 
successfully transition to college and a career; and
    (iii) The extent to which solutions leverage existing neighborhood 
assets and coordinate with other efforts, including programs supported 
by Federal, State, local, and private funds.
    (3) Quality of project services.
    (a) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be 
provided by the proposed project.
    (b) In determining the quality of the project services, the 
Secretary considers--
    (i) The extent to which the applicant describes how the needs 
assessment and segmentation analysis, including identifying and 
describing indicators, will be used during the planning phase to 
determine each solution within the continuum; and
    (ii) The extent to which the applicant describes how it will 
determine that solutions are based on the best available evidence 
including, where available, strong or moderate evidence, and ensure 
that solutions drive results and lead to changes on indicators.
    (4) Quality of the management plan.
    (a) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project.
    (b) In determining the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project, the Secretary considers the experience, lessons 
learned, and proposal to build capacity of the applicant's management 
team and project director in all of the following areas--
    (i) Working with the neighborhood and its residents; the schools 
described in paragraph (2)(b) of Absolute Priority 1; the LEA in which 
those schools are located; Federal, State, and local government 
leaders; and other service providers;
    (ii) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, 
learning, continuous improvement, and accountability;
    (iii) Creating formal and informal partnerships, including the 
alignment of the visions, theories of action, and theories of change 
described in its memorandum of understanding; and
    (iv) Integrating funding streams from multiple public and private 
sources, including its proposal to leverage and integrate high-quality 
programs in the neighborhood into the continuum of solutions.

Proposed Implementation Grants Selection Criteria

    The proposed selection criteria for implementation grant applicants 
are as follows:
    (1) Need for project.
    (a) The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project.
    (b) In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers--
    (i) The magnitude or severity of the problems to be addressed by 
the proposed project as described by indicators of need and other 
relevant indicators identified in part by the needs assessment and 
segmentation analysis; and

[[Page 13167]]

    (ii) The extent to which the geographically defined area has been 
described.
    (2) Quality of the project design.
    (a) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the 
proposed project.
    (b) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the continuum of solutions is aligned with 
an ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive strategy for improvement of 
schools in the neighborhood.
    (ii) The extent to which the applicant describes an implementation 
plan to create a complete continuum of solutions, including early 
learning through grade 12, college- and career-readiness, and family 
and community supports, without time and resource gaps, that will 
prepare all children in the neighborhood to attain an excellent 
education and successfully transition to college and a career.
    (iii) The extent to which the applicant identifies existing 
neighborhood assets and programs supported by Federal, State, local, 
and private funds that will be used to implement a continuum of 
solutions.
    (iv) The extent to which the applicant describes its implementation 
plan, including clear, annual goals for improving systems and 
leveraging resources as described in paragraph (2) of Absolute Priority 
1.
    (3) Quality of project services.
    (a) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be 
provided by the proposed project.
    (b) In determining the quality of the project services, the 
Secretary considers--
    (i) The extent to which the applicant describes how the needs 
assessment and segmentation analysis, including identifying and 
describing indicators, were used to determine each solution within the 
continuum;
    (ii) The extent to which the applicant documents that proposed 
solutions are based on the best available evidence including, where 
available, strong or moderate evidence; and
    (iii) The extent to which the applicant describes clear, annual 
goals for changes on indicators.
    (4) Quality of the management plan.
    (a) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project.
    (b) In determining the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project, the Secretary considers the experience, lessons 
learned, and proposal to build capacity of the applicant's management 
team and project director in all of the following areas--
    (i) Working with the neighborhood and its residents; the schools 
described in paragraph (2)(b) of Absolute Priority 1; the LEA in which 
those schools are located; Federal, State, and local government 
leaders; and other service providers;
    (ii) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, 
learning, continuous improvement, and accountability, including whether 
the applicant has a plan to build, adapt, or expand a longitudinal data 
system that integrates student-level data from multiple sources in 
order to measure progress;
    (iii) Creating formal and informal partnerships, including the 
alignment of the visions, theories of action, and theories of change 
described in its memorandum of understanding; and
    (iv) Integrating funding streams from multiple public and private 
sources, including its proposal to leverage and integrate high-quality 
programs in the neighborhood into the continuum of solutions.

Final Priority, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria

    We will announce the final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria in a notice in the Federal Register. We will 
determine the final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria after considering responses to this notice and other 
information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude 
us from proposing additional priorities, definitions, or selection 
criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Order 12866: Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary 
must determine whether this regulatory action is ``significant'' and 
therefore subject to the requirements of the Executive Order and 
subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 
3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a ``significant regulatory 
action'' as an action likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an 
annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely 
affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the 
environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal 
governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an 
``economically significant'' rule); (2) create serious inconsistency or 
otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; 
(3) materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user 
fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order. The Secretary has determined that this regulatory 
action is significant under section 3(f) of the Executive order.
    This notice has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 
12866. Under the terms of the order, we have assessed the potential 
costs and benefits of this proposed regulatory action.
    The potential costs associated with this proposed regulatory action 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this proposed regulatory action, we have determined 
that the benefits of the proposed priority, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria justify the costs.
    We have determined, also, that this proposed regulatory action does 
not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program. 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 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

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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 via the Federal Digital System at 
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys.


    Dated: March 7, 2011.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2011-5543 Filed 3-9-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P