Comprehensive School Reform Program

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Guidance on the Comprehensive School Reform Program
Updated August 2002
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D. State Application Requirements

D-1. How and when may an SEA submit its application for CSR funds?

A State may submit its application for CSR funds in one of two ways - (1) it may request CSR funds as part of the consolidated State application (ESEA, Section 9302); or (2) it may submit a separate CSR program application.

An SEA seeking CSR funds through a consolidated State application does not have to submit all of the information required in an individual CSR application, but will provide only "descriptions, information, assurances . . . and other materials that are absolutely necessary for the consideration of the consolidated State plan or consolidated State application" (ESEA section 9302(b)(3)). Applying for CSR funds through the consolidated State application process does not, however, relieve States or subgrantees of their obligation to comply with the CSR statutory requirements in implementing the program.

D-2. What key issues must an SEA address in applying for CSR funding?

States have the choice of applying for CSR funds through a consolidated State application or through a program-specific application. (See D-1.)

The individual State application for CSR funds must describe -

  1. The subgrant process and selection criteria - The SEA must describe the process and selection criteria through which it will make competitive grants, using expert review, to eligible LEAs or consortia of LEAs. The SEA application should include, for example, any competitive preferences it establishes (see F-2 and F-3.) The SEA may wish to provide its draft LEA application or other draft guidance, if available.

  2. Strategies to ensure quality - The SEA must describe how it will ensure that only high-quality, well-defined, and well-documented comprehensive school reform programs are funded. These programs must:

    • coherently integrate all eleven components listed in question B-1;

    • have the capacity to improve the academic achievement of all students in core academic subjects; and

    • be supported by technical assistance providers that have a successful track record, financial stability, and the capacity to deliver high quality materials, professional development for school personnel, and on-site support during the full implementation period of the reform.

  3. Dissemination strategies - The SEA must describe how it will disseminate materials and information on comprehensive school reforms that are based on scientifically based research and effective practices.

  4. State evaluation strategies - - The SEA must describe how it will annually evaluate the implementation of comprehensive school reforms supported under the program and measure the extent to which the reforms have resulted in increased academic achievement. In addressing this requirement, an SEA may submit a general description of its anticipated evaluation strategies, rather than a formal evaluation plan. CSR legislation requires that States annually submit to the Department a copy of their evaluation of the implementation of comprehensive school reforms supported and the student achievement results.

  5. Technical assistance - The application must describe how the SEA will provide technical assistance to funded LEAs or consortia of LEAs, and to participating schools, in evaluating, developing, and implementing comprehensive school reform. (See H-1 and H-2.)

D-3. How will States ensure that technical assistance providers have a successful track record, financial stability, and the capacity to deliver high-quality materials, professional development, and implementation support?

This legislative requirement reflects the important role of external technical assistance providers in establishing and maintaining high-quality, well-defined, and well-documented comprehensive school reform programs. The Department encourages States to require that CSR technical assistance providers submit written evidence of their successful track record, financial stability, and their capacity to deliver high quality materials, professional development, and on-site support during the full implementation period of the reform.


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Last Modified: 12/03/2004