Teaching American History

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FY2011 Evaluation Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What are the reporting requirements under this program?
  2. Should applicants address student achievement in the application?
  3. Is a quasi-experimental evaluation design required?
  4. Does the evaluator have to be named in the initial application?
  5. Is an external evaluator required?
  6. Can a district evaluator be used?
  7. How much money should be spent on an evaluator?
  8. How much time should an evaluator devote to a TAH project?
  9. If you state uses other benchmarks to code school progress, should those be included?
  10. Can a TAH project content be designed based on state standards for American history?
  11. Can local/state/regional history be covered in a TAH project?

1. What are the reporting requirements under this program?

Grant recipients will be required to submit an annual performance report that documents yearly progress towards meeting the expected programmatic outcomes. Grantees will also be required to submit a final report no later than 90 days after the end of the project period, in addition to any materials developed in the documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of the proposed products.

In addition to individually developed project measures, all grantees are required to respond to the TAH program's two GPRA indicators on their annual and final performance reports. These two indicators are: GPRA Performance Measure 1: The average percentage change in the scores (on a pre-post assessment of American history) of participants who complete at least 75 percent of the professional development hours offered by the project. The test or measure will be aligned with the TAH project and at least 50 percent of its questions will come from a validated test of American history.

GPRA Performance Measure 2: The percentage of TAH participants who complete 75 percent or more of the total hours of professional development offered. Grantees will be expected to provide data on the two measures.

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2. Should applicants address student achievement in the application?

It would be useful to address student achievement to the extent that it is possible to measure the effect of the proposed Teaching American History grant program on the teachers involved and on the students that they teach. In the Notice Inviting Applications, the Note following "Need for Project" selection criteria states in part that "the applicant is also encouraged to address how its proposed professional development strategy will significantly improve both history teachers' ability to teach traditional American history and student performance in history.”

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3. Is a quasi-experimental evaluation design required?

No, the evaluation design is entirely up to the applicant. As with all other aspects of the application, the evaluation design must be clearly and concisely justified in the application.

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4. Does the evaluator have to be named in the initial application?

No, the selection criteria do not require that the evaluator be named; however, reviewers do consider, under the "Quality of the project evaluation" selection criteria, whether the applicant identifies the evaluator and includes a description of the qualifications of that evaluator. If the evaluator is not named, you should include a detailed position description or vacancy announcement for this position.

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5. Is an external evaluator required?

No, we do not require an external evaluator. The evaluator should be objective and have experience in evaluating educational programs. It is up to the applicant to justify the choice of evaluator in the appropriate selection criteria.

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6. Can a district evaluator be used?

Yes, you may use a district evaluator. Again, it is up to the applicant to justify the use of a district evaluator vs. an external evaluator.

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7. How much money should be spent on an evaluator?

We do not comment on how much money should be spent on an evaluator or an evaluation plan. The applicant must decide what best fits the project and evaluation design and clearly explain the evaluation design and its costs in the application.

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8. How much time should an evaluator devote to a TAH project?

We do not comment on the amount of time an evaluator should devote to the program. The applicant must decide what best fits the project and evaluation design and clearly explain it in the application.

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9. If you state uses other benchmarks to code school progress, should those be included?

An applicant is free to include information on state-specific benchmarks or standards; however, it is not required to do so. Also consider that including language on statewide standards or benchmarks that differ from the NCLB definitions may cause confusion for the reviewers.

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10. Can a TAH project content be designed based on state standards for American history?

Yes, grantees may align their project content with their State’s standards for American history.

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11. Can local/state/regional history be covered in a TAH project?

Yes, grantees may cover local, state and regional history in their TAH projects. However, we encourage grantees to present these themes in ways that help teachers make connections to the broader themes of United States history.

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