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2011 Promise Neighborhoods

CONTEXT: The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), is seeking individuals to serve as peer reviewers for the FY 2011 Promise Neighborhoods planning and implementation grant competitions. Promise Neighborhoods is a competitive grant program that supports cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational and developmental outcomes for students in distressed urban and rural neighborhoods. Evidence shows that children who are low-income and grow up in high-poverty neighborhoods face education and life challenges above and beyond those faced by children who are low-income and grow up in neighborhoods with low levels of poverty. President Obama, the Department, and Congress have responded to this challenge by introducing Promise Neighborhoods to support the transformation of high-poverty communities into communities of opportunity. The Department of Education is pleased that Congress has appropriated nearly $30 million to support a new set of planning grants and implementation grants. Qualified peer reviewers must meet the criteria listed below. NOTE: Even if you applied to be a peer reviewer last year, please complete the Peer Review Application Form as directed below by Monday, August 8, 2011 to be considered for this new competition in 2011.

WHO: We are seeking peer reviewers from various backgrounds and professions, including: State or district education officials, PK-12 teachers and principals, college or university educators, researchers, evaluators, community development practitioners, social entrepreneurs, strategy consultants with experience in the nonprofit or social sectors, and grant makers or managers. Peer reviewers may have expertise in various geographies, including urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities. The selected reviewers should have expertise in at least one of the following areas: education reform, community and youth development, strategy and policy, and grant application review.

Education Reform:

Community and Youth Development:

Strategy and Policy:


WHAT: Peer reviewers will independently read, score, and provide written comments for planning and/or implementation grant applications submitted to the U.S. Department of Education under the Promise Neighborhoods program. Planning grants are designed to support eligible applicants in the development of plans for a "continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions," with strong schools at the center, so that all children will have the tools, resources, and supports to succeed academically. Implementation grants will support the development and implementation of a continuum of solutions of both educational programs and family and community supports. The application review will be conducted electronically from the reviewer's location.

REQUIREMENTS: In addition to the skills, attributes and expertise highlighted above, peer reviewers must also meet the following requirements:

Reviewers will receive an honorarium for their time and effort, contingent upon satisfactory completion of the above requirements and consistent with the required schedule.

IF INTERESTED: If you would like to be considered as a peer reviewer, please click here and complete the Peer Reviewer Application Form as well as send your resume to the email address provided in the Peer Review Application Form by Monday, August 8, 2011. Please do not exceed the five-page limit for resumes.

If you have any questions about the peer review process, please contact us by email:

PROGRAM INFORMATION: For more information about the Promise Neighborhoods Program, go to

Last Modified: 07/18/2011