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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Ehanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program-Enhanced Assessment Instruments-Kindergarten Entry Assissment Competition

This article was corrected by an article published on 05/30/2013. View Correction

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Table of Contents Back to Top

Overview Information Back to Top

Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program—Enhanced Assessment Instruments—Kindergarten Entry Assessment Competition

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2012 funds.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.368A.

DATES: Back to Top

Applications Available: May 23, 2013.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 24, 2013.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 8, 2013.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 5, 2013.

Full Text of Announcement Back to Top

I. Funding Opportunity Description Back to Top

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grant program, also called the Enhanced Assessment Grants (EAG) program, is to enhance the quality of assessment instruments and systems used by States for measuring the academic achievement of elementary and secondary school students.

In 2013, the Department will hold a competition for fiscal year (FY) 2012 EAG funds to support the development or enhancement of a kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) that is aligned with the State's early learning and development standards and that must cover all of the essential domains of school readiness. We will give priority to early learning collaborative efforts among States (collaborative efforts) in developing this assessment.

Priorities: This competition includes five absolute priorities and one competitive preference priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), absolute priorities 1 through 4 (Statutory Priorities) are based on section 6112 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 7301a. Absolute priority 5 (Regulatory Priority) and competitive preference priority 1 are from the notice of final priorities, requirement, definitions, and selection criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Absolute Priorities: For awards made in 2013 with FY 2012 funds, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet: (a) one or more of the Statutory Priorities (Absolute Priorities 1 through 4) and (b) the Regulatory Priority (Absolute Priority 5).

These priorities are:

Absolute Priority 1—Collaboration

Collaborate with institutions of higher education, other research institutions, or other organizations to improve the quality, validity, and reliability of State academic assessments beyond the requirements for these assessments described in section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA.

Absolute Priority 2—Use of Multiple Measures of Student Academic Achievement

Measure student academic achievement using multiple measures of student academic achievement from multiple sources.

Absolute Priority 3—Charting Student Progress Over Time

Chart student progress over time.

Absolute Priority 4—Comprehensive Academic Assessment Instruments

Evaluate student academic achievement through the development of comprehensive academic assessment instruments, such as performance- and technology-based academic assessments.

Absolute Priority 5—Kindergarten Entry Assessment

To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project that supports the development or enhancement of a KEA that meets the following requirements:

(a) Purpose. The KEA must—

(1) Provide, at kindergarten entry, valid, reliable, and fair information on each child's learning and development across the essential domains of school readiness (as defined in this notice) with each domain making a significant contribution to the overall comprehensive score.

(2) Not be used—

(i) To prevent children's entry into kindergarten; or

(ii) For purposes for which it has not been validated or as a single measure for high-stakes decisions.

(b) Design. The KEA must—

(1) Be a component of a State's student assessment system, including, a State's comprehensive early learning assessment system (as defined in this notice) for the applicant State and, if the State applies as part of a consortium, each State in the consortium, in which a comprehensive early learning assessment system exists;

(2) Be aligned with a set of early learning and development standards (as defined in this notice);

(3) Measure the full range of learning and development across the essential domains of school readiness (as defined in this notice);

(4) Measure children's learning and development against a set of levels of performance where the levels of performance encompass descriptors of what a child knows and is able to do for each level, are common statewide, and, if the applicant State applies on behalf of a consortium, are common across States in the consortium;

(5) Provide a summative assessment of each child's learning and development at kindergarten entry across the essential domains of school readiness (as defined in this notice);

(6) Be capable of assessing all children in the applicant State, and if the State applies as part of a consortium, all children in the consortium;

(7) Be developed consistent with universal design principles to be accessible to all children, including children with disabilities or developmental delays and English learners (as defined in this notice);

(8) As needed, provide appropriate accommodations and supports for children with disabilities or developmental delays and English learners (as defined in this notice) (e.g., augmentative communication devices and assistive technologies);

(9) Be administered soon enough after a child's enrollment into kindergarten to achieve the purposes for which the assessment was developed, including the purpose specified in paragraph (a) of this priority;

(10) Use multiple methods (e.g., performance tasks, selected responses, observational ratings) to measure children's performance and development;

(11) Be administered by a trained assessor or assessors;

(12) Be designed to incorporate technology in the collection of student data and in the process of assessing children's performance on learning and development tasks; and

(13) Be cost-effective to administer, maintain, and enhance during and after the project period.

(c) Technical Quality. The KEA must measure children's learning and development at kindergarten entry in ways that—

(1) Are consistent with nationally recognized professional and technical standards for assessment;

(2) Are consistent with current research and best practices in the field, and the recommendations of the National Research Council report on early childhood assessments; [1]

(3) Are valid, reliable, fair, and appropriate for their intended purposes;

(4) Provide a valid, reliable, and fair measure across the performance spectrum of each child's learning and development at kindergarten entry, including children with disabilities or developmental delays and English learners.

(d) Data. The KEA must produce data and information that—

(1) Can guide individualized instruction for children enrolled in kindergarten and throughout the school year;

(2) Can be reported to and easily understood and used by various stakeholders, including families, teachers, administrators, early learning providers, and policy-makers, consistent with requirements of federal, State, and local privacy laws; and

(3) Can be incorporated into a State's longitudinal data system (SLDS) and a State's early learning data system (if it is separate from an SLDS), consistent with requirements of Federal, State, and local privacy laws.

(e) Compatibility. The KEA must use approaches to assessment design and implementation (e.g., use of technology, assessment administration, scoring, and reporting) that facilitate the integration of the KEA with a State's student assessment system, including a State's comprehensive early learning assessment system (as defined in this notice) for each State included in an application in which a comprehensive early learning assessment system exists.

Competitive Preference Priority: For awards made in 2013 with FY 2012 funds, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 30 points to an application, depending on how well the application meets this priority.

In awarding these points, an applicant will receive more points based on the extent to which it includes a larger number of States in the consortium, with three to four States representing a low number of States, five to seven States representing an intermediate number of States, and eight or more States representing a high number of States.

This priority is:

Competitive Preference Priority 1— Early Learning Collaborative Efforts Among States

To meet this priority, an applicant must—

(a) Include a minimum of three States in the consortium and propose developing or enhancing a common KEA for those States. An applicant will receive a greater number of points under this priority based on the extent to which it includes a greater number of States in its consortium;

(b) Adopt or propose a plan for all States in the consortium to adopt a set of early learning and development standards (as defined in this notice) that, for at least the year prior to kindergarten entry, are substantially identical across all States in the consortium;

(c) Adopt or propose a plan for all States in the consortium to adopt the common KEA; and

(d) Provide in the memorandum of understanding or other binding agreement executed by each State in the consortium an assurance that, as a condition of remaining in the consortium, the State will, no later than the end of the project period, adopt the common KEA developed under this priority and the set of early learning and development standards (as defined in this notice) upon which the KEA is based.

Requirements: The following requirements for this competition are from the final priorities, requirements, definitions and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21986), and from the final priorities, requirement, definitions and selection criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. An eligible applicant awarded a grant under this program must:

(a) Evaluate the validity, reliability, and fairness of any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under a grant from this competition, and make available documentation of evaluations of technical quality through formal mechanisms (e.g., peer-reviewed journals) and informal mechanisms (e.g., newsletters), both in print and electronically;

(b) Actively participate in any applicable technical assistance activities conducted or facilitated by the Department or its designees, coordinate with Race To The Top Assessment program staff in the development of assessments under this program, and participate in other activities as determined by the Department;

(c) Develop a strategy to make student-level data that result from any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under a grant from this competition available on an ongoing basis for research, including for prospective linking, validity, and program improvement studies; [2]

(d) Ensure that any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under a grant from this competition will be operational (ready for large-scale administration) at the end of the project period;

(e) Ensure that funds awarded under the EAG program are not used to support the development of standards, such as under the English language proficiency assessment system priority or any other priority.

(f) Maximize the interoperability of any assessments and other assessment-related instruments developed with funds from this competition across technology platforms and the ability for States to move their assessments from one technology platform to another by doing the following, as applicable, for any assessments developed with funds from this competition by—

(1) Developing all assessment items in accordance with an industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is approved by the Department during the grant period, without non-standard extensions or additions; and

(2) Producing all student-level data in a manner consistent with an industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is approved by the Department during the grant period;

(g) Unless otherwise protected by law or agreement as proprietary information, make any assessment content (i.e., assessments and assessment items) and other assessment-related instruments developed with funds from this competition freely available to States, technology platform providers, and others that request it for purposes of administering assessments, provided that those parties receiving assessment content comply with consortium or State requirements for test or item security; and

(h) For any assessments and other assessment-related instruments developed with funds from this competition, use technology to the maximum extent appropriate to develop, administer, and score the assessments and report results.

(i) Adopt and implement any assessments, other assessment-related instruments developed or enhanced under the proposed project, and any standards upon which they are based. In addition, if the applicant State applies as, or on behalf of a consortium of States, it must provide in any memorandum of understanding or other binding agreement executed by each State in the consortium an assurance that, to remain in the consortium, the State will adopt and implement any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed or enhanced under the proposed project and any standards upon which they are based by the end of the project period.

Definitions: The following definitions are from the final priorities, requirements, definitions and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21986), and the final priorities, requirement, definitions and selection criteria for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Comprehensive early learning assessment system means a coordinated and comprehensive system of multiple assessments, each of which is valid and reliable for its specified purpose and for the population with which it will be used, that organizes information about the process and context of young children's learning and development in order to help teachers make informed instructional and programmatic decisions and that conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council report on early childhood assessments [3] by including, at a minimum: (a) screening measures (as defined in this notice); (b) formative assessments; (c) measures of environmental quality (as defined in this notice); (d) measures of the quality of adult-child interactions (as defined in this notice); and (e) a kindergarten entry assessment (KEA).

Early learning and development standards means a set of expectations, guidelines, or developmental milestones that—

(a) Describe what all children from birth to kindergarten entry should know and be able to do and their dispositions toward learning;

(b) Are appropriate for each age group (e.g., infants, toddlers, and preschoolers); for English learners; and for children with disabilities or developmental delays;

(c) Cover all essential domains of school readiness (as defined in this notice);

(d) Are universally designed and developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate; and

(e) Are aligned with the State's K-3 academic standards in, at a minimum, early literacy and mathematics.

English learner means a child, including a child aged three and younger, who is an English learner consistent with the definition of a child who is “limited English proficient,” as applicable, in section 9101(25) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.

Essential domains of school readiness means the domains of language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge (including early mathematics and early scientific development), approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development (including adaptive skills), and social and emotional development.

Formative assessment (also known as a classroom-based or ongoing assessment) means assessment questions, tools, and processes—

(a) That are—

(1) Specifically designed to monitor children's progress;

(2) Valid and reliable for their intended purposes and their target populations; and

(3) Linked directly to the curriculum; and

(b) The results of which are used to guide and improve instructional practices.

Measures of environmental quality means valid and reliable indicators of the overall quality of the early learning environment.

Measures of the quality of adult-child interactions means the measures obtained through valid and reliable processes for observing how teachers and caregivers interact with children, where such processes are designed to promote child learning and to identify strengths and areas for improvement for early learning professionals.

Screening measures means age and developmentally appropriate, valid, and reliable instruments that are used to identify children who may need follow-up services to address developmental, learning, or health needs in, at a minimum, the areas of physical health, behavioral health, oral health, child development, vision, and hearing.

Student with a disability means a student who has been identified as a child with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended.

Universal design means a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities, which include products and services that are directly usable (without requiring assistive technologies) and products and services that are made usable with assistive technologies. This meaning is given to the term in section 3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 3002).

Program Authority: Back to Top

20 U.S.C. 7301a and 7842.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department suspension and debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21986). (d) The final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

II. Award Information Back to Top

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds:$9,200,000 in FY 2012 funds to be awarded in a competition in 2013.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards with FY 2013 funds from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards:$4,200,000 to $5,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards:$4,600,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 2.

Note:

Applicants should submit a single budget request for a single budget and project period of up to 48 months. Subject to the availability of future years' funds, the Department may make supplemental grant awards to the grants awarded with FY 2012 funds.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information Back to Top

1. Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs) as defined in section 9101(41) of the ESEA and consortia of such SEAs.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

3. Other: An application from a consortium of SEAs must designate one SEA as the fiscal agent.

IV. Application and Submission Information Back to Top

1. Address to Request Application Package: You can access the electronic grant application for the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.368, not 84.368A). You can also obtain a copy of the application package by contacting the program contact, Erin Shackel, Enhanced Assessment Grants Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 3W110, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 453-6423 or by email: Erin.shackel@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

2. a. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page Limit: The project narrative (Part 3 of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the project narrative (Part 3) to the equivalent of no more than 65 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the project narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use Times New Roman font no smaller than 11.0 point for all text in the project narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables figures, and graphs. (Font sizes that are smaller than 11 but round up to 11, such as 10.7 point, will be considered smaller than 11.0.)
  • Any screen shots included as part of the narrative should follow these standards or, if other standards are applied, be sized to equal the equivalent amount of space if these standards were applied.

The page limit applies to the project narrative (Part 3), including the table of contents, which must include a discussion of how the application meets one or more of the statutory absolute priorities and how well the applicant meets the regulatory absolute priority; if applicable, how the application meets the competitive preference priority; and how well the application addresses each of the selection criteria. The page limit also applies to any attachments to the project narrative other than the references/bibliography. In other words, the entirety of Part 3 of the application, including the aforementioned discussion and any attachments to the project narrative, must be limited to the equivalent of no more than 65 pages. The only allowable attachments other than those included in the project narrative are outlined in Part 6, “Other Attachments Forms” in the application package. Any attachments other than those included within the page limit of the project narrative and those outlined in Part 6 will not be reviewed.

The 65-page limit, or its equivalent, does not apply to the following sections of an application: Part 1 (including the response regarding research activities involving human subjects); Part 2 (two-page project abstract); Part 4 (the budget sections, including the chart and narrative budget justification); Part 5 (standard assurances and certifications); and Part 6 (memoranda of understanding or other binding agreement, copy of applicant's indirect cost rate agreement, letters of commitment and support from collaborating SEAs and organizations, and other attachments forms, including, if applicable, references/bibliography for the project narrative, individual résumés for project director(s) and key personnel. Applicants are encouraged to limit each résumé to no more than five pages).

In addition, do not use hyperlinks in an application. Reviewers will be instructed not to follow hyperlinks if included. Our reviewers will not read any pages of your project narrative that exceed the page limit, or the equivalent of the page limit if you apply other standards. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications that meet the page limit following the standards outlined in this section rather than submitting applications that are the equivalent of the page limit applying other standards.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: May 23, 2013.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 24, 2013.

We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we have a better understanding of the number of applicants that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. This notification should be brief, and provide the applicant organization's name and the SEA the applicant will designate as the fiscal agent for an award. Submit this notification to by email to Erin.Shackel@ed.gov with “Intent to Apply” in the email subject line or mail to Erin Shackel, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 3W110, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Applicants that do not provide this email notification may still apply for funding.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 8, 2013.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 5, 2013.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Central Contractor Registry, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)—and, after July 24, 2012, with the System for Award Management (SAM), the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active CCR or SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

The CCR or SAM registration process may take five or more business days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at SAM.gov.

In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

Applications for grants under the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants KEA competition, CFDA number 84.368A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants KEA competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.368, not 84.368A).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

and

  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Erin Shackel, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 3W110, Washington, DC 20202-6132. FAX: (202) 205-0310.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.368A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.368A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information Back to Top

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from the final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21986), and the final priorities, requirement, definitions, and selection criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, and are listed in the application package.

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information Back to Top

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we will also notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has developed four measures to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants program: (1) The number of States that participate in Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants projects funded by this competition; (2) the percentage of grantees that, at least twice during the period of their grants, make available to SEA staff in non-participating States and to assessment researchers information on findings resulting from the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants through presentations at national conferences, publications in refereed journals, or other products disseminated to the assessment community; and (3) for each grant cycle and as determined by an expert panel, the percentage of Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants that yield significant research, methodologies, products, or tools regarding assessment systems or assessments. Grantees will be expected to include in their interim and final performance reports information about the accomplishments of their projects because the Department will need data on these measures.

VII. Agency Contact Back to Top

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Erin Shackel, Enhanced Assessment Grants Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W110, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 453-6423 or by email: Erin.Shackel@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information Back to Top

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Dated: May 17, 2013.

Deborah S. Delisle,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

[FR Doc. 2013-12212 Filed 5-22-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

Footnotes Back to Top

1. National Research Council. (2008). Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How. Committee on Developmental Outcomes and Assessments for Young Children, C.E. Snow and S.B. Van Hemel, Editors. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Available at www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12446.

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2. Eligible applicants awarded a grant under this program must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and 34 CFR Part 99, as well as State and local requirements regarding privacy.

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3. National Research Council (2008). Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How. Committee on Developmental Outcomes and Assessments for Young Children, C.E. Snow and S.B. Van Hemel, Editors. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Available at www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12446.

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