[Federal Register: March 29, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 61)]
[Page 15187-15190]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



[CFDA No. 47.076]

Mathematics and Science Partnerships

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 
(FY) 2002 under a grants competition to be administered by the National 
Science Foundation in collaboration with the Department.


    Purpose of Program: The Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP) 
is intended to improve the academic achievement of students in 
mathematics and science through partnerships of organizations providing 
education from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary schooling. The 
MSP is a jointly funded initiative supported by the National Science 
Foundation (NSF) and the Department.

    Note: The Department and NSF are cooperating to implement a 
single grants competition that NSF is administering. For FY 2002 NSF 
has committed $160 million, and the Department $12.5 million, to 
support the MSP. This notice describes the statutory requirements 
for Department funding under the MSP, and informs interested 
applicants how to apply for these funds.

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    Eligible Applicants: To receive the Department's MSP funding, a 
partnership must comprise, at minimum, a State educational agency 
(SEA), a mathematics, science, or engineering department of an 
institution of higher education (IHE), and a high-need local 
educational agency (LEA). The lead applicant may be any one of these 
entities. The term ``high-need LEA'' is defined in the ``Requirements 
for FY 2002 Competition'' section of this notice.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 30, 2002.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 1, 2002.
    Estimated Available Funds: $12,500,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000-$1,500,000 per year for up to 5 
    Estimated Average Size: $700,000 per year.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 10-20.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice. Future-year funding depends on the availability of 

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The President's plan for improving American 
education, the No Child Left Behind initiative, is embedded in the 
major revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 
as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L. 107-110). 
The President's plan includes the MSP, an initiative to improve student 
achievement in mathematics and science. The MSP builds on the Nation's 
dedication to educational reform through--
     Support of partnerships that unite the efforts of local 
school districts with science, mathematics, engineering, and education 
faculties of colleges and universities and other individuals and 
entities with an interest in improving student achievement in 
mathematics and science; and
     High expectations and achievement for all students.
    The MSP Program is newly authorized in title II, part B of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Together, the funds 
committed by NSF and the funds that the Congress appropriated to the 
Department for the MSP will support projects to raise student 
achievement in these core subject areas by giving teachers greater 
knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the mathematics and 
science they teach.
    As section 2201 of the ESEA explains, the program would 
specifically meet this broad objective by encouraging SEAs, IHEs, high-
need LEAs, and schools to participate in programs that--
    1. Improve and upgrade the status and stature of mathematics and 
science teaching by encouraging IHEs to assume greater responsibility 
for improving mathematics and science teacher education;
    2. Focus on the education of mathematics and science teachers as a 
career-long process;
    3. Bring mathematics and science teachers together with scientists, 
mathematicians, and engineers to improve the teachers' content 
knowledge and teaching skills; and
    4. Develop more rigorous mathematics and science curricula that are 
aligned both with challenging State and local academic achievement 
standards, and the standards expected for postsecondary study in 
engineering, mathematics, and science.
    The complete text of title II, part B is available on the Internet 
at: www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA02/pg26.html.
    The Department and NSF are collaborating to implement the MSP in 
ways that will maximize services and technical assistance to grantees 
by eliminating duplicative efforts of the two agencies and, at the same 
time, building on the strengths of each agency. There will be a single 
grant competition this year administered by NSF with the collaboration 
of the Department. A single set of reviewers will review all 
applications. After they have recommended those applications that they 
believe are of highest quality, the Department will make awards with 
Title II, part B funds to those that meet the special criteria 
contained in the statute.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on proposed regulations. However, to make timely grant awards 
in FY 2002, the Secretary has decided to issue these final requirements 
without first publishing them as proposals for public comment. These 
requirements will apply to the FY 2002 grant competition only. The 
Secretary takes this action under section 437(d)(1) of the General 
Education Provisions Act.
    At a later date the Assistant Secretary plans to publish a notice 
of proposed requirements for this program and offer interested parties 
the opportunity to comment. The proposed requirements would apply to 
grant competitions under the program beginning in FY 2003.
    The remainder of this notice explains the application content, 
selection criteria, and other information that prospective applicants 
will need to know to qualify for MSP grants that the Department will 
competitively award under title II, part B.

Requirements for FY 2002 Competition

    NSF published a grant solicitation for the MSP on January 31, 2002 
(announcement NSF-02-061). This solicitation gives applicants until 
April 30, 2002, to submit their applications, provides other rules that 
govern the content and formatting of these applications, and announces 
the selection criteria that NSF will use to assess the relative merit 
of each application.
    All of the rules, deadlines, and selection criteria in the NSF 
announcement also apply to those wishing to receive MSP grants from the 
Department. Therefore, applicants that want to be considered for 
Department funding must respond to these selection criteria and 
application requirements, and adhere to the instructions for preparing 
applications contained in this NSF solicitation.
    A copy of the NSF grant solicitation may be obtained on the NSF web 
site at: www.ehr.nsf.gov.
    For general and continually updated information, applicants should 
consult the following web site: www.nsf.gov.
    Invitational priorities. The Secretary is particularly interested 
in having applicants submit to NSF proposals that address one or more 
of the following strategies:
    1. Engaging classroom teachers in mathematical or scientific 
research and development projects sponsored by IHEs or other private- 
and public-sector research organizations.
    2. Engaging practicing teachers as professional colleagues who work 
together with scientists, mathematicians and engineers to master 
advanced, new content and teaching strategies.
    3. Demonstrating how technology can be used in the classroom both 
to deepen teachers' scientific and mathematical understanding and to 
promote higher student achievement.
    4. Establishing and evaluating the effectiveness of differential 
salary scales used to make the mathematics and science teaching 
profession more comparable in pay to the private sector. These 
differential salary scales would be both a tool to attract beginning 
teachers with deep mathematical or scientific training, and a means to 
create a career ladder capable of retaining highly skilled and 
effective teachers.

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    Other pre-award requirements. Consistent with section 2202 of the 
ESEA, before making any grant awards the Department must have the 
following additional information from applicants it has selected for 
    1. The results of a comprehensive assessment of the teacher quality 
and professional development needs of any schools, LEAs, and SEAs that 
comprise the eligible partnership with respect to the teaching and 
learning of mathematics and science.
    2. A description of how the activities to be carried out by the 
eligible partnership will be aligned with (a) challenging State 
academic content and student academic achievement standards in 
mathematics and science, and (b) other educational reform activities 
that promote student academic achievement in mathematics and science.
    3. A description of how the activities to be carried out by the 
eligible partnership will be based on a review of scientifically based 
research, and an explanation of how the activities are expected to 
improve student academic achievement and strengthen the quality of 
mathematics and science instruction.
    4. A description of (a) how the eligible partnership will carry out 
the activities described in this notice under ``Authorized 
Activities'', and (b) the eligible partnership's plan for evaluation 
and accountability as described in section 2202(c) of the ESEA.
    5. A description of how the eligible partnership will continue the 
activities funded by this program after the original grant has expired.
    Eligible partnerships. To be eligible to receive an MSP grant from 
the Department, a partnership must include a high-need LEA. Section 
2102(3) of the ESEA defines ``high-need LEA'' to mean an LEA--
    1. (a) That serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families 
with incomes below the poverty line; or
    (b) For which not less than 20 percent of the children served by 
the agency are from families with incomes below the poverty line; and
    2. (a) For which there is a high percentage of teachers not 
teaching in the academic subjects or grade levels that the teachers 
were trained to teach; or
    (b) For which there is a high percentage of teachers with 
emergency, provisional, or temporary certification or licensing.

    Note: Section 2102(3) of the ESEA expressly applies only to the 
programs authorized in title II, part A of the ESEA, the Teacher and 
Principal Training and Recruiting Fund, and to the title II, part C 
Transition to Teaching Program. However, because the MSP authorized 
in Title II, part B of the ESEA includes no definition of the term 
``high-need LEA,'' we believe it is reasonable to have the part A 
definition apply to this program as well. The Department will need 
to confirm that participating high-need LEAs meet this definition 
before it can award grants of title II, part B funds.

    LEA poverty rates can be found in information about the 
``Application Process'' for the Rural Education Achievement Program 
(REAP), on the Department's web site at the following address: 
    The poverty rates are available only for LEAs that are included in 
the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Common Core of 
    The total number of students in poverty in any LEA can be found on 
the Census Bureau web site at: www.census.gov/housing/saipe/sd97/
    (Note: The number of children in poverty is the number in the sixth 
    An applicant also should consider whether its proposed activities 
would be enhanced by including such other entities as: other 
mathematics, science, engineering, business, or teacher-training 
departments of higher education institutions; other LEAs; public 
charter schools, public or private elementary or secondary schools or 
consortia of these schools; businesses; professional organizations of 
scientists, engineers, and mathematicians; and nonprofit organizations 
with demonstrated effectiveness in improving the quality of mathematics 
and science teachers.
    Authorized activities. The NSF program announcement identifies the 
activities that a partnership may carry out, consistent with the 
narrative and other content of its approved application and the 
activities authorized in section 2202(c) of the ESEA.
    Supplement, not supplant. Section 2202(a)(4) of the ESEA requires a 
grantee to use funds the Department awards under the MSP to supplement, 
and not supplant, funds that the grantee otherwise would use for 
activities that the program authorizes.
    Administration of grants. We administer all MSP grants funded with 
title II, part B funds under requirements of the Education Department 
General Education Regulations (EDGAR). Hence, a grantee must submit any 
programmatic or fiscal report to the Department, not to NSF. However, 
as part of the joint NSF-Department collaboration, the two agencies 
jointly will monitor grant activities and provide technical assistance. 
Moreover, the two agencies intend that Department-funded projects be 
joined with NSF-funded projects in a common system of collaboration and 
support coordinated by NSF.
    Special application instructions. An application for title II, part 
B funds must conform to the NSF protocols; otherwise, NSF may reject 
the application. For this reason, we advise an applicant to review 
carefully both the grant solicitation announcement for the MSP that NSF 
published on January 31, 2002 (NSF-02-061), and NSF's general 
guidelines in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of 
the GPG is available electronically on the NSF web site at: www.nsf.gov
    Other program requirements. If you are a member of a partnership 
receiving funds from the Department under this program, you must by law 
(section 2202(d)(1) of the ESEA) coordinate your use of these funds 
with any related activities that you or the partnership carry out with 
funds made available under section 203 of title II, part B of the 
Higher Education Act (the Partnership Program component of the Teacher 
Quality Enhancement Grant programs).
    In addition, in implementing your project, we strongly encourage 
you to coordinate your activities with other Department programs that 
have teacher quality and mathematics and science components, including 
the following ESEA programs: title II, part A (Improving Teacher 
Quality State Grants); title I, part A, (Improving Basic Programs 
Operated by LEAs); title I, part F (Comprehensive School Reform); and 
title IV, part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers).
    Applicable Regulations: (a) EDGAR in 34 parts 74, 75 except for 
Secs. 75.200-75.210, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) 
The special rules announced in this notice.
    For Applications and Further Information Contact: To obtain a copy 
of the NSF solicitation, visit the NSF web site at: www.nsf.gov
    For further information on the Department of Education portion of 
the MSP, call or write Alexis Radocaj, U.S. Department of Education, 
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, 
S.W., Room 5W234, FOB6, Washington, DC 20202-6175. Telephone: (202) 
401-0821, by FAX: (202) 260-3420; or via Internet at: 
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-888-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 

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format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape or computer diskette) on 
request to the contact person listed under For Applications and Further 
Information Contact.

Electronic Access to This Document

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    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 on GPO Access at: www.access.gpo.gov/nara/

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6661.

    Dated: March 25, 2002.
Susan B. Neuman,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 02-7644 Filed 3-28-02; 8:45 am]