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Notice

Office of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information; Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 6184

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.351D.

Dates:

Applications Available: February 6, 2006.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: March 8, 2006. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 7, 2006. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 6, 2006.

Eligible Applicants: (1) One or more local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law and regulations, that may work in partnership with one or more of the following:

  • A State or local non-profit or governmental arts organization,
  • A State educational agency (SEA) or regional educational service agency,
  • An institution of higher education, or
  • A public or private agency, institution, or organization, such as a community- or faith-based organization; or

(2) One or more State or local non-profit or governmental arts organizations that must work in partnership with one or more LEAs and may partner with one or more of the following:

  • An SEA or regional educational service agency,
  • An institution of higher education, or
  • A public or private agency, institution, or organization, such as a community-or faith-based organization.

Note:

If more than one LEA or arts organization wishes to form a consortium and jointly submit a single application, they must follow the procedures for group applications described in 34 CFR 75.127 through 34 CFR 75.129 of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR).

Estimated Available Funds: $8.7 million. Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2007 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $225,000-$275,000 for the first year of the project. Funding for the second, third and fourth years is subject to the availability of funds and the approval of continuation awards (see 34 CFR 75.253).

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $250,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 35.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

Note:

The first 12 months may be used to build capacity to effectively carry out the comprehensive activities involved in the evaluation plan described in the competitive preference priority.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) program supports the enhancement, expansion, documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, cohesive models that are based on research and have demonstrated that they effectively: (1) Integrate standards-based arts education into the core elementary and middle school curricula; (2) strengthen standards-based arts instruction in these grades; and (3) improve students' academic performance, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts. Projects funded through the AEMDD program are intended to increase the amount of nationally available information on effective models for arts education that integrate the arts with standards-based education programs.

Priorities: This competition includes one absolute priority and one competitive preference priority.

Absolute Priority: This priority is from the notice of final priorities for this program, published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2005 (70 FR 16234). For FY 2006, and any subsequent year in which we make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

This priority supports projects that enhance, expand, document, evaluate, and disseminate innovative cohesive models that are based on research and have demonstrated their effectiveness in (1) integrating standards-based arts education into the core elementary or middle school curriculum, (2) strengthening standards-based arts instruction in the elementary or middle school grades, and (3) improving the academic performance of students in elementary or middle school grades, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.

In order to meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that the model project for which it seeks funding (1) serves only elementary school or middle school grades, or both, and (2) is linked to State and national standards intended to enable all students to meet challenging expectations and to improve student and school performance.

Competitive Preference Priority: This priority is from the notice of final priority published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2005 (70 FR 3586). For FY 2006 and any subsequent years in which we make awards based on 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 20 points to an application, depending on how well the application meets this priority. These points are in addition to any points the application earns under the selection criteria.

When using the priority to give competitive preference to an application, the Secretary will review applications using a two-stage process. In the first stage, the application will be reviewed without taking the priority into account. In the second stage of review, the applications rated highest in stage one will be reviewed for competitive preference. We will consider awarding additional (competitive preference) points only to those applicants with top-ranked scores on their selection criteria. We expect that up to 30 applicants will receive these additional competitive preference points.

This priority is:

The Secretary establishes a priority for projects proposing an evaluation plan that is based on rigorous scientifically based research methods to assess the effectiveness of a particular intervention. The Secretary intends that this priority will allow program participants and the Department to determine whether the project produces meaningful effects on student achievement or teacher performance.

Evaluation methods using an experimental design are best for determining project effectiveness. Thus, when feasible, the project must use an experimental design under which participants—e.g., students, teachers, classrooms, or schools—are randomly assigned to participate in the project activities being evaluated or to a control group that does not participate in the project activities being evaluated.

If random assignment is not feasible, the project may use a quasi-Start Printed Page 6185experimental design with carefully matched comparison conditions. This alternative design attempts to approximate a randomly assigned control group by matching participants—e.g., students, teachers, classrooms, or schools—with non-participants having similar pre-program characteristics.

In cases where random assignment is not possible and participation in the intervention is determined by a specified cutting point on a quantified continuum of scores, regression discontinuity designs may be employed.

For projects that are focused on special populations in which sufficient numbers of participants are not available to support random assignment or matched comparison group designs, single-subject designs such as multiple baseline or treatment-reversal or interrupted time series that are capable of demonstrating causal relationships can be employed.

Proposed evaluation strategies that use neither experimental designs with random assignment nor quasi-experimental designs using a matched comparison group nor regression discontinuity designs will not be considered responsive to the priority when sufficient numbers of participants are available to support these designs. Evaluation strategies that involve too small a number of participants to support group designs must be capable of demonstrating the causal effects of an intervention or program on those participants.

The proposed evaluation plan must describe how the project evaluator will collect—before the project intervention commences and after it ends—valid and reliable data that measure the impact of participation in the program or in the comparison group.

If the priority is used as a competitive preference priority, points awarded under this priority will be determined by the quality of the proposed evaluation method. In determining the quality of the evaluation method, we will consider the extent to which the applicant presents a feasible, credible plan that includes the following:

(1) The type of design to be used (that is, random assignment or matched comparison). If matched comparison, include in the plan a discussion of why random assignment is not feasible.

(2) Outcomes to be measured.

(3) A discussion of how the applicant plans to assign students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to the project and control group or match them for comparison with other students, teachers, classrooms, or schools.

(4) A proposed evaluator, preferably independent, with the necessary background and technical expertise to carry out the proposed evaluation. An independent evaluator does not have any authority over the project and is not involved in its implementation.

In general, depending on the implemented program or project, under a competitive preference priority, random assignment evaluation methods will receive more points than matched comparison evaluation methods.

Application Requirement

To be eligible for AEMDD funds, applicants must propose to address the needs of children from low-income families by carrying out projects that serve at least one elementary or middle school in which 35 percent or more of the children enrolled are from low-income families (based on data used in meeting the poverty criteria in Title I, Section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA)).

Definitions

As used in the absolute priority in this notice—

Arts includes music, dance, theater, media arts, and visual arts, including folk arts.

Integrating means (i) encouraging the use of high-quality arts instruction in other academic/content areas and (ii) strengthening the place of the arts as a core academic subject in the school curriculum.

Based on research, when used with respect to an activity or a program, means that, to the extent possible, the activity or program is based on the most rigorous theory, research, and evaluation available and is effective in improving student achievement and performance and other program objectives.

As used in the competitive preference priority in this notice—

Scientifically based research (section 9101(37) of the ESEA as amended by NCLB, 20 U.S.C. 7801(37)):

(A) Means research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs; and

(B) Includes research that—

(i) Employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;

(ii) Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;

(iii) Relies on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across multiple measurements and observations, and across studies by the same or different investigators;

(iv) Is evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental designs in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest, with a preference for random-assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those designs contain within-condition or across-condition controls;

(v) Ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, offer the opportunity to build systematically on their findings; and

(vi) Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review.

Random assignment or experimental design means random assignment of students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project is the difference in outcomes between the treatment and control groups.

Quasi-experimental designs include several designs that attempt to approximate a random assignment design.

Carefully matched comparison groups design means a quasi-experimental design in which project participants are matched with non-participants based on key characteristics that are thought to be related to the outcome.

Regression discontinuity design means a quasi-experimental design that closely approximates an experimental design. In a regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned to a treatment or control group based on a numerical rating or score of a variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an application for funding. Eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain score (“cut score”) are assigned to the treatment group and those below the score are assigned to the control group. In the case of the scores of applicants' proposals for funding, the “cut score” is established at the point where the program funds available are exhausted.

Single subject design means a design that relies on the comparison of treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. There is little confidence that findings based on this Start Printed Page 6186design would be the same for other members of the population.

Treatment reversal design means a single subject design in which a pre-treatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared with a post-treatment measure. Treatment would then be stopped for a period of time, a second baseline measure of the outcome would be taken, followed by a second application of the treatment or a different treatment. For example, this design might be used to evaluate a behavior modification program for disabled students with behavior disorders.

Multiple baseline design means a single subject design to address concerns about the effects of normal development, timing of the treatment, and amount of the treatment with treatment-reversal designs by using a varying time schedule for introduction of the treatment and/or treatments of different lengths or intensity.

Interrupted time series design means a quasi-experimental design in which the outcome of interest is measured multiple times before and after the treatment for program participants only.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7271.

Applicable Regulations: (a) EDGAR in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priorities for this program, published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2005 (70 FR 16234). (c) The notice of final priority for Scientifically Based Evaluation Methods, published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2005 (70 FR 3586).

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

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $8.7 million. Contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2007 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $225,000-$275,000 for the first year of the project. Funding for the second, third and fourth years is subject to the availability of funds and the approval of continuation awards (see 34 CFR 75.253).

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $250,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 35.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

Note:

The first 12 months may be used to build capacity to effectively carry out the comprehensive activities involved in the evaluation plan described in the competitive preference priority.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants:

(1) One or more LEAs, including charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law and regulations, that may work in partnership with one or more of the following:

  • A State or local non-profit or governmental arts organization,
  • An SEA or regional educational service agency,
  • An institution of higher education, or
  • A public or private agency, institution, or organization, such as a community- or faith-based organization; or

(2) One or more State or local non-profit or governmental arts organizations that must work in partnership with one or more LEAs and may partner with one or more of the following:

  • An SEA or regional educational service agency,
  • An institution of higher education, or
  • A public or private agency, institution, or organization, such as a community- or faith-based organization.

Note:

If more than one LEA or arts organization wish to form a consortium and jointly submit a single application, they must follow the procedures for group applications described in 34 CFR 75.127 through 34 CFR 75.129 of EDGAR.

2. Cost Sharing and Matching: This program does not involve cost sharing or matching but does involve supplement-not-supplant funding provisions.

Under section 5551(f)(2) of the ESEA, the Secretary requires that assistance provided under this subpart be used only to supplement, and not to supplant, other assistance or funds made available from non-Federal sources for the activities assisted under this subpart.

This restriction also has the effect of allowing projects to recover indirect costs only on the basis of a restricted indirect cost rate, according to the requirements in 34 CFR 75.563 and 34 CFR 76.564 through 34 CFR 76.569. As soon as they decide to apply, applicants are urged to contact the ED Indirect Cost Group at (202) 377-3833 for guidance about obtaining a restricted indirect cost rate to use on the Budget Information form (ED Form 524) included with the application package.

3. Coordination Requirement: Under section 5551(f)(1) of the ESEA, the Secretary requires that each entity funded under this program coordinate, to the extent practicable, each project or program carried out with funds awarded under this program with appropriate activities of public or private cultural agencies, institutions, and organizations, such as museums, arts education associations, libraries, and theaters.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call (toll free): 1-877-576-7734.

You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or you may contact ED Pubs at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.351D.

You may also obtain the application package for the program via the Internet at the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​artsedmodel/​applicant.html.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the program contact person listed in section VII of this notice.

2. 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 program.

Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if it has a better understanding of the number of entities that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify the Department by sending a short e-mail message indicating the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. The e-mail need not include information regarding the content of the proposed application, only the Start Printed Page 6187applicant's intent to submit it. This e-mail notification should be sent to Diane Austin at artsdemo@ed.gov.

Applicants that fail to provide this e-mail notification may still apply for funding.

Page Limit for Program Narrative: The program narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 30 single-sided, double-spaced pages printed in 12-font type or larger.

The suggested page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the competitive preference priority, the absolute priority, curriculum vitae, or bibliography of literature cited. However, you must include all of the program narrative in Part III.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: February 6, 2006.

Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: March 8, 2006.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 7, 2006.

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 by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

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

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 6, 2006.

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 of this notice.

6. 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 AEMDD program—CFDA Number 84.351D—must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site at: http://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 e-mail 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 AEMDD program at: http://www.grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search.

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 time and date stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted, and must be date/time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not consider your application if it is date/time stamped by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date/time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 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 program 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 at http://eGrants.ed.gov/​help/​GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://www.Grants.gov/​GetStarted). These steps include (1) registering your organization, (2) registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​assets/​GrantsgovCoBrandBrochure8X11.pdf). You also must provide on your application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please note that the registration process may take five or more business days to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to allow you to successfully submit an application via Grants.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 typically included on the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified above 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 an automatic acknowledgment from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov Start Printed Page 6188tracking number. The Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you a second confirmation by e-mail that will include 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 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 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 as described elsewhere in this notice. If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the deadline date, please contact the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number (if available). 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 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:

Extensions referred to 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 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: Diane Austin, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W210, Washington, DC 20202-5950. FAX: (202) 205-5630.

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 applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.351D), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260; or,

By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center—Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.351D), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, 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, or

(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, or

(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 84.351D), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 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 4 of the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424) the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which you are submitting your application.

(2) The Application Control Center will mail a grant application receipt acknowledgment to you. If you do not receive the grant application receipt acknowledgment 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

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from section 75.210 of EDGAR. The maximum score for all the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. Each criterion also includes the factors that the reviewers will consider in determining how well an application meets the criterion. The Note following selection criterion (e) is guidance to help applicants in preparing their applications, and are not required by statute or regulations. The criteria are as follows:

(a) Need for project (10 points). The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the Start Printed Page 6189need for the project the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the proposed project will provide services or otherwise address the needs of students at risk of educational failure.

(2) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.

(b) Significance (20 points). The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in teaching and student achievement.

(2) The likely utility of the products (such as information, materials, processes, or techniques) that will result from the proposed project, including the potential for their being used effectively in a variety of other settings.

(3) The potential replicability of the proposed project or strategies, including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation in a variety of settings.

(4) The extent to which the results of the proposed project are to be disseminated in ways that will enable others to use the information or strategies.

(c) Quality of the project design (35 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.

(2) The extent to which the proposed project is part of a comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support rigorous academic standards for students.

(3) The extent to which the design for implementing and evaluating the proposed project will result in information to guide possible replication of project activities or strategies, including information about the effectiveness of the approach or strategies employed by the project.

(4) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance.

(d) Quality of the management plan (15 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

(2) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.

(3) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project.

(e) Quality of the project evaluation (20 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.

(2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.

(3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other settings.

Note:

A strong evaluation plan should be included in the application narrative and should be used, as appropriate, to shape the development of the project from the beginning of the grant period. The plan should include benchmarks to monitor progress toward specific project objectives and also outcome measures to assess the impact on teaching and learning or other important outcomes for project participants. More specifically, the plan should identify the individual and/or organization that has agreed to serve as evaluator for the project and describe the qualifications of that evaluator. The plan should describe the evaluation design, indicating: (1) What types of data will be collected; (2) when various types of data will be collected; (3) what methods will be used; (4) what instruments will be developed and when; (5) how the data will be analyzed; (6) when reports of results and outcomes will be available; and (7) how the applicant will use the information collected through the evaluation to monitor progress of the funded project and to provide accountability information both about success at the initial site and about effective strategies for replication in other settings. Applicants are encouraged to devote an appropriate level of resources to project evaluation.

VI. Award Administration Information

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). We may also notify you informally.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we 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. Grant Administration: Applicants should budget for a three-day meeting for project directors to be held in Washington, DC.

4. Reporting: 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 specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 75.118. For specific requirements on grantee reporting, please go to: http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html and review the links on that Web page specifically associated with ED Form 524B.

5. Performance Measures: In response to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the Department has established the following performance measure for assessing the effectiveness of the AEMDD program: the percentage of students participating in arts models programs who demonstrate higher achievement than those in control or comparison groups. Grantees funded under this competition will be expected to collect and report to the Department data on the numbers of these students applicable to their project.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Diane Austin, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W210, Washington, DC 20202-Start Printed Page 61905950. Telephone: (202) 260-1280 or by e-mail: artsdemo@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed in this section.

VIII. Other Information

Electronic Access to This Document: You may 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) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​fedregister.

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.

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: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

Start Signature

Dated: February 1, 2006.

Christopher J. Doherty,

Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Innovation and Improvement.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 06-1076 Filed 2-3-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P