Excellence in Economic Education

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FY2005 Absolute and Invitational Priorities Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: This program's frequently asked questions (FAQs) below is for historical information only. FAQs will be updated when a new competition is announced.


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  1. Are applicants required to respond to both the absolute and invitational priorities?
  2. The invitational priorities include a discussion of evaluations that use scientifically based research. What is the Department's definition of "scientifically based research"?

1. Are applicants required to respond to both the absolute and invitational priorities?

This competition includes two absolute priorities and four invitational priorities. Applications must respond to both absolute priorities or they will not be eligible to participate in the competition. (The applications will not be reviewed.)

Applicants are not required to respond to either or both of the invitational priorities. Applicants that do respond will not receive any preference over other applicants that do not address the invitational priorities.

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2. The invitational priorities include a discussion of evaluations that use scientifically based research. What is the Department's definition of "scientifically based research"?

The definition of scientifically based research in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (section 9101(37), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 follows:

SCIENTIFICALLY BASED RESEARCH- The term 'scientifically based research'--

  • means research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs; and
  • includes research that--
  1. employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;
  2. involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;
  3. relies on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across multiple measurements and observations, and across studies by the same or different investigators;
  4. is evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental designs in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest, with a preference for random-assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those designs contain within-condition or across-condition controls;
  5. ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, offer the opportunity to build systematically on their findings; and
  6. has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review.

A discussion of "scientific based research" is available on the Department's website at: http://www.ed.gov/nclb/methods/whatworks/research/index.html

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