Teaching American History

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FY2011 Project Priorities Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. How do I provide my responses to the Absolute Priority and the Competitive Preference Priorities?
  2. What is the Absolute Priority for the Teaching American History Program?
  3. Is there a preference of who should serve as partner?
  4. What are the 2011 Competitive Preference Priorities for the Teaching American History Program?

1. How do I provide my responses to the Absolute Priority and the Competitive Preference Priorities?

Responses to the absolute priority and the competitive preference priorities should be submitted as separate documents attached to the Program Narrative form in the Grants.gov Application System. Each response should be properly labeled according to the priority it addresses, and located in the front of the Program Narrative. Also, please add the page numbers of these documents to your Table of Contents.

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2. What is the Absolute Priority for the Teaching American History Program?

LEAs applying for funds must propose to work in partnership with one or more of the following:

  1. An institutions of higher education
  2. A non-profit history or humanities organizations
  3. A libraries or museums

In responding to this priority, the LEA should identify the entity or entities with which it will collaborate and include in its application an assurance from appropriate officials of those entities that they will work with the applicant in implementing the proposal.

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3. Is there a preference of who should serve as partner?

No, as long as the partner fits into one of the following categories: an institution of higher education, a non-profit history or humanities program, or a library or museum. For example, there is no preference given to larger universities vs. local colleges; rather, a partner’s qualifications will be determined based on the description in the application and the justification for the chosen partner.

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4. What are the 2011 Competitive Preference Priorities for the Teaching American History Program?

The Department has developed four competitive preference priorities for the 2011 competition (and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition). Responding to these priorities is optional, and applicants may choose to address any or all of them. Consistent with 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we may award up to an additional three points per priority, or a total of twelve points to an application, depending on how well the application meets these priorities. These points are in addition to any points the application earns under the selection criteria.

These priorities are:

Priority 1--Improving the Effectiveness and Distribution of Effective Teachers or Principals (up to three additional points).
Projects that are designed to address the following priority area:
Increasing the number or percentage of teachers or principals who are effective or reducing the number or percentage of teachers or principals who are ineffective, particularly in high-poverty schools (as defined in this notice) including through such activities as improving the preparation, recruitment, development, and evaluation of teachers and principals; implementing performance-based certification and retention systems; and reforming compensation and advancement systems.
For the purposes of this priority, teacher and principal effectiveness should be measured using:
(1) Teacher or principal evaluation data, in States or local educational agencies that have in place a high-quality teacher evaluation system that takes into account student growth (as defined in this notice) in significant part and uses multiple measures that, in the case of teachers, may include observations for determining teacher effectiveness (such as systems that meet the criteria for evaluation systems under the Race to the Top program as described in criterion (D)(2)(ii) of the Race to the Top notice inviting applications (74 FR 59803)); or
(2) Data that include, in significant part, student achievement (as defined in this notice) or student growth (as defined in this notice) data and may include multiple measures in States or local educational agencies that do not have the teacher or principal evaluation systems described in paragraph (1).
Note: The Teaching American History program is a professional development program for elementary and secondary school teachers. Consequently, in responding to this priority, applicants must focus their efforts on improving the effectiveness and distribution of effective elementary and secondary school teachers.
Priority 2--Improving Achievement and High School Graduation Rates (up to three additional points)
Projects that are designed to address one or both of the following priority areas:
(a) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment rates for high-need students (as defined in this notice).
(b) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment rates in high-poverty schools (as defined in this notice).
Note: For Priority 2, applicants may earn a maximum of up to three points by responding to priority areas (a) and (b). If the applicant chooses to respond to only priority area (a) or priority area (b), the maximum points earned will still be up to three points.
Priority 3--Enabling More Data-Based Decision-Making (up to three additional points).
Projects that are designed to collect (or obtain), analyze, and use high-quality and timely data, including data on program participant outcomes, in accordance with privacy requirements (as defined in this notice), in one or both of the following priority areas:
(a) Improving instructional practices, policies, and student outcomes in elementary and secondary schools.
(b) Providing reliable and comprehensive information on the implementation of Department of Education programs, and participant outcomes in these programs by using data from State longitudinal data systems or by obtaining data from reliable third-party sources.
Note: For Priority 3, applicants may earn a maximum of up to three points by responding to priority areas (a) and (b). If the applicant chooses to respond to only priority area (a) or priority area (b), the maximum points earned will still be up to three points.
Priority 4—Technology (up to three additional points).
Projects that are designed to improve student achievement or teacher effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital tools or materials, which may include preparing teachers to use the technology to improve instruction, as well as developing, implementing, or evaluating digital tools or materials.
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