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Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII); Overview Information; Ready-to-Learn Television Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 13515

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.295A.

Dates:

Applications Available: March 22, 2010.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 21, 2010.

Date of Meeting for Prospective Applicants: April 8, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 21, 2010.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 20, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program:

The Ready-to-Learn Television Program is designed to: (1) Facilitate student academic achievement by supporting the development and distribution of educational video programming for preschool and elementary school children and their parents; and (2) develop and disseminate educational outreach materials and programs that are designed to promote school readiness, are interactive, and use multiple innovative technologies and digital media platforms.

Background:

Research shows that building and fostering numeracy and spatial thinking skills in young children are critical to eliminating differences in student achievement or student growth that tend to develop between children from low-income families and children from middle-income families during their school years.[1]

Authorized under section 2431 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), the Ready-to-Learn Television Program has in the past focused primarily on supporting the development and distribution of educational television content. Through this competition, the Secretary is encouraging applicants to use transmedia storytelling, as defined in this notice, to deliver early learning content. Individual studies show that low-income preschool children, in particular, can benefit substantially from participating in a media-rich curriculum that exposes them to educational content, and engages them in learning activities through a variety of educational media platforms, including television, video, and online games.[2] To ensure that the transmedia content benefits the widest audience possible, we encourage applicants to provide access to the early learning content through open educational resources.

Section 2431 of the ESEA requires that projects funded under this program provide educational outreach at the local level. To ensure that low-income children benefit from the early learning content developed under this program, the Ready-to-Learn Television Program seeks to support a variety of content-related activities where programming and outreach are blended and reach high-need communities. To carry out these activities, applicants may wish to consider partnering with persistently lowest achieving schools (as defined in the final requirements for the School Improvement Grants program, 74 FR 65618; 75 FR 3375), a media production program within an accredited postsecondary institution, and a teacher preparation program within an accredited postsecondary institution that focuses on early childhood education.

The Secretary also encourages applicants to consider developing rigorous research and evaluation strategies to increase the body of knowledge about the impact of educational technology on improving school readiness and success for low-income children.

Statutory Requirements:

As set forth in section 2431 of the ESEA, to be eligible to receive a cooperative agreement under the Ready-to-Learn Television Program, an applicant must:

(1) Develop, produce, and distribute educational and instructional video programming for preschool and elementary school children and their parents in order to facilitate student academic achievement;

(2) Facilitate the development, directly or through contracts with producers of children and family educational television programming, of educational programming for preschool and elementary school children, and the accompanying support materials and services that promote the effective use of such programming;

(3) Facilitate the development of programming and digital content containing Ready-to-Learn-based children's programming and resources for parents and caregivers that is specially designed for nationwide distribution over public television stations' digital broadcasting channels and the Internet;

(4) Contract with entities (such as public telecommunications entities) so that programs developed under this section are disseminated and distributed to the widest possible audience appropriate to be served by the programming, and through the use of the most appropriate distribution technologies; and

(5) Develop and disseminate education and training materials, including interactive programs and programs adaptable to distance learning technologies, that are designed—

(i) To promote school readiness; and

(ii) To promote the effective use of materials developed under paragraphs (2) and (3) among parents, teachers, Head Start providers, Even Start providers, providers of family literacy services, child care providers, early childhood development personnel, elementary school teachers, public libraries, and after-school program personnel caring for preschool and elementary school children.

Priorities: This competition contains two invitational priorities and one competitive preference priority.

Invitational Priorities: Under this competition we are particularly interested in applications that address the following priorities. For FY 2010 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

These priorities are:

Invitational Priority 1. Applications that provide for the development of high-quality, age-appropriate educational content in reading and/or mathematics that is designed to increase the literacy and/or numeracy skills of low-income children ages two to eight years old. This invitational priority encourages applicants to deliver early learning content through the well-planned and coordinated use of multiple media platforms, commonly known as transmedia storytelling, as defined in this notice. Applicants are also encouraged to develop effective outreach strategies, activities, and materials that are designed to Start Printed Page 13516supplement and enhance early learning content and improve the reading literacy and/or mathematics skills and early learning outcomes of low-income children.

Invitational Priority 2. Applications that provide for the development and dissemination of products and results through open educational resources (OER). OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or repurposing by others. This invitational priority encourages applications that describe how the applicants will make their Ready-to-Learn products and resources freely available through various media platforms in an effort to share content, proven teaching strategies, and lessons learned in implementing Ready-to-Learn properties and resources with other early childhood and early elementary school educators.

Note:

Each applicant addressing this priority is encouraged to include plans for how the applicant will disseminate resources, for example through a Web site that is freely available to all users. Each applicant is also encouraged to include plans specifying how the project will identify quality resources, including content and/or outreach activities, for presentation to other educators and parents.

Competitive Preference Priority: This priority is from the notice of final priority for Scientifically Based Evaluation Methods, published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2005 (70 FR 3586). For FY 2010 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 20 points to an application, depending on how well an 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, we will review the applications using a two-stage review process. In the first stage, we will review the applications based on the selection criteria without taking the competitive priority into account. In the second stage of the process, we will review the applications rated highest in the first stage of the process to determine whether they will receive the competitive preference points. We will consider awarding competitive preference points only to those applicants with top-ranked scores based on the selection criteria.

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-experimental 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 cut-off 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.

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.

While we will not score applicants based on the invitational priorities, we encourage applicants to take advantage of the competitive preference priority if their model allows them to do so.

Definitions:

As used in invitational priority 1 in this notice:

Transmedia storytelling means conveying content and themes to audiences through the well-planned, connected use of multiple media platforms (examples include but may not be limited to: television, Web sites, cell phones, e-books, electronic games, handheld devices, and other yet to be developed technologies).

As used in the competitive preference priority in this notice—

Scientifically based research (section 9101(37) of the ESEA, 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;Start Printed Page 13517

(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 design 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. 6775.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) 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: Cooperative agreements.

Estimated Available Funds: $26,884,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $3,500,000-$5,000,000 for the first year of the project. Funding for the second, third, fourth, and fifth years is subject to availability of funds and the approval of continuation awards (see 34 CFR 75.253).

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $4,250,000.

Estimated Maximum Size of Awards: $5,000,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 5-7.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $5,000,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: To receive a cooperative agreement under this competition, an entity must be a public telecommunications entity that is able to demonstrate each of the following:

(A) A capacity to develop and nationally distribute educational and instructional television programming of high quality that is accessible by a large majority of disadvantaged preschool and elementary school children.

(B) A capacity to contract with the producers of children's television programming for the purpose of developing educational television programming of high quality.

(C) A capacity, consistent with the entity's mission and nonprofit nature, to negotiate such contracts in a manner that returns to the entity an appropriate share of any ancillary income from sales of any program-related products.

(D) A capacity to localize programming and materials to meet specific State and local needs and to provide educational outreach at the local level.

Note:

The term public telecommunications entity means any enterprise which (a) is a public broadcast station or a noncommercial telecommunications entity; and (b) disseminates public telecommunications services to the public. (20 U.S.C. 6775)

Note:

If more than one public telecommunications entity 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 75.129 of EDGAR.

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

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​fundgrant/​apply/​grantapps/​index. To obtain a copy from Start Printed Page 13518ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: U.S. Department of Education—ED Pubs-NTIS, PO Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6791. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or 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 84.295A.

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

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 program. 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 applicant's intent to submit. The e-mail notification should be sent to Joe Caliguro at readytolearn@ed.gov.

Applicants that fail to provide this e-mail notification may still apply for funding. Meeting for Prospective Applicants: The Ready-to-Learn program will hold a webinar for prospective applicants on April 8, 2010 from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Washington, DC time. The conference will offer information about how to apply for a Ready-to-Learn cooperative agreement. For information and to register, please send an e-mail to joseph.caliguro@ed.gov.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applications are strongly encouraged to limit the application narrative (Part III) to the equivalent of no more than 50 single-sided 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 program narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

The 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 resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section (Part III).

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: March 22, 2010.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 21, 2010.

Date of Meeting for Prospective Applicants: April 8, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 21, 2010.

Applications for grants under this program under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible through the Department's e-grant site. 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 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: July 20, 2010.

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: An entity that receives a Ready-to-Learn grant, contract, or cooperative agreement may not use more than five percent of the amount received under the grant for administrative purposes. 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 Ready-to-Learn Television Program—CFDA Number 84.295A must be submitted electronically using e-Application, accessible through the Department's e-Grants Web site at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

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.

While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this program after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6:00 a.m. Monday Start Printed Page 13519until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
  • 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 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 in this paragraph 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.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.

(2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

(3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.

(4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 245-6272.

  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because e-Application is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if—

(1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have initiated an electronic application for this competition; and

(2)(a) E-Application is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date; or

(b) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under For Further Information Contact (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If e-Application is unavailable due to technical problems with the system and, therefore, the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an e-Application. Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of e-Application.

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 e-Application because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to e-Application; 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 prevents 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: Joe Caliguro, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W214, Washington, DC 20202-5980. FAX: (202) 205-5720.

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 84.295A), 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 84.295A), 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. Start Printed Page 13520and 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 grant 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

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from section 34 CFR 75.210. 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 (6) is guidance to help applicants in preparing their applications and is not required by statute or regulations. The selection criteria are as follows:

(1) Need for project (15 points). The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project by considering the following factors:

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

(b) 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.

(2) Significance (10 points). The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project by considering the following factor:

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) Quality of the project design (25 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project by considering the following factors:

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

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

(4) Quality of project personnel (10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

In addition, the Secretary considers the following factor.

The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

(5) Quality of the management plan (20 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project by considering the following factors:

(a) 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.

(b) 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.

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

(6) Quality of the project evaluation (20 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project by considering the following factors:

(a) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.

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

Note on Factors Applicants May Wish To Consider in Developing an Evaluation Plan:

The quality of the evaluation plan is one of the selection criteria by which applications in this competition will be judged. A strong evaluation plan should be used, as appropriate, to shape the development of the project from the beginning of the grant period. The evaluation 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 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 these instruments will be developed; (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 notify you informally, also.

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 directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Start Printed Page 13521Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

5. Performance Measures: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) performance measures for the Ready-to-Learn Television Grant Program: (1) the percentage of Ready-to-Learn programming and educational content deemed to be of high quality and (2) the percentage of Ready-to-Learn outreach products deemed to be of high quality.

These measures constitute the Department's indicators of success for this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under this program to give careful consideration to these measures in conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for its proposed project. Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and final reports, data about its progress in meeting these measures.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Joe Caliguro, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W214, Washington, DC 20202-5980. Telephone: (202) 205-5449 or by e-mail: readytolearn@ed.gov.

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

VIII. Other Information

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 computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: 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) 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.

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: March 17, 2010.

James H. Shelton, III,

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.

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Footnotes

1.  National Research Council. 1998. Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children.

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2.  Penuel, W. R., Pasnik, S., Bates, L., Townsend, E., Gallagher, L. P., Llorente, C., & Hupert, N. (2009). Preschool teachers can use a media-rich curriculum to prepare low-income children for school success: Results of a randomized controlled trial. New York and Menlo Park, CA: Education Development Center, Inc., and SRI International.

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[FR Doc. 2010-6289 Filed 3-19-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P