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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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National Science Foundation.




The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to request clearance of this collection. In accordance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are providing opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare for submission requesting OMB clearance of this collection for no longer than 3 years.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of Start Printed Page 18431the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.


Written comments should be received by June 10, 2005, to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date would be considered to the extent practicable.


Written comments regarding the information collection and requests for copies of the proposed information collection request should be addressed to Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Rm. 295, Arlington, VA 22230, or by e-mail to

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Suzanne Plimpton on (703) 292-7556 or send e-mail to Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday.

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Title of Collection: Monitoring for the National Science Foundation's Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Program.

OMB Control No.: 3145-0199.

Expiration Date of Approval: September 30, 2005.

1. Abstract

This document has been prepared to support the clearance of data collection instruments to be used in the evaluation of the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program. The goals for the program are to (1) ensure that all K-12 students have access to, are prepared for, and are encouraged to participate and succeed in challenging curricula and advanced mathematics and science courses; (2) enhance the quality, quantity, and diversity of the K-12 mathematics and science teacher workforce; and (3) develop evidence-based outcomes that contribute to our understanding of how students effectively learn mathematics and science. The motivational force for realizing these goals is the formation of partnerships between institutions of higher education (IHEs) and K-12 school districts. The role of IHE content faculty is the cornerstone of this intervention. In fact, it is the rigorous involvement of science, mathematics, and engineering faculty—and the expectation that both IHEs and K-12 school systems will be transformed—that distinguishes MSP from other education reform efforts.

The components of the overall MSP portfolio include active projects whose initial awards were made prior MSP competitions: (1) Comprehensive Partnerships that implement change in mathematics and/or science educational practices in both higher education institutions and in schools and school districts, resulting in improved student achievement across the K-12 continuum; (2) Targeted Partnerships that focus on improved K-12 student achievement in a narrower grade range or disciplinary focus within mathematics or science; (3) Institute Partnerships: Teacher Institutes for the 21st Century that focus on the development of mathematics and science teachers as school—and district-based intellectual leaders and master teachers; and (4) Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance (RETA) projects that build and enhance large-scale research and evaluation capacity for all MSP awardees and provide them with tools and assistance in the implementation and evaluation of their work.

The MSP monitoring information system, comprised of six web-based surveys, collects a common core of data about each component of MSP. The Web application for MSP has been developed with a modular design that incorporates templates and self-contained code modules for rapid development and ease of modification. A downloadable version will also be available for respondents who prefer a paper version that they can mail or fax to the external contractor. Information from the system will be used to document the Partnerships' annual progress toward meeting the Key Features of MSP projects, i.e., developing partnerships between IHEs and local school districts, increasing teacher quality, quantity, and diversity, providing challenging courses and curricula, utilizing evidence-based design and outcome measures, and implementing institutional change and sustainability.

2. Expected Respondents

The expected respondents are principle investigators of all partnership and RETA projects; STEM and education faculty members and administrators who participated in MSP; school districts and IHEs that are partners in an MSP project; and teachers participating in Institute Partnerships.

3. Burden on the Public

During the first year of data collection, Cohort 1 projects were asked to report two years of project data for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 school years. Cohort 2 projects were asked to report one year of data for the 2003-04 School Year. The total elements for this first year collection were estimated to be 43,825 burden hours for a maximum of 2,384 participants, assuming a 100% response rate. The average annual reporting burden was estimated to be approximately 18 hours per respondent. In subsequent data collection cycles (2004-05) the burden for these existing surveys will decline substantially since each project will be familiar with the items and will only report for that current year. The surveys have already been shared with Cohort 3 projects in order to familiarize them with the system. The burden on the public is negligible because the study is limited to project participants that have received funding from the MSP Program.

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Dated: April 6, 2005.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 05-7176 Filed 4-8-05; 8:45 am]