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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to request reinstatement 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 the 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 the 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 August 27, 2012, 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 email to


Suzanne Plimpton on (703) 292-7556 or send email to Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays).


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: Not applicable.

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 the knowledge, skills and ways of thinking inherent in mathematics, computer science, engineering, and/or the natural sciences. 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; (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; (5) MSP-Start Partnerships are for awardees new to the MSP program, especially from minority-serving institutions, community colleges and primarily undergraduate institutions, to support the necessary data analysis, project design, evaluation and team building activities needed to develop a full MSP Targeted or Institute Partnership; and (6) Phase II Partnerships for prior MSP Partnership awardees focus on specific innovation areas of their work where evidence of significant positive impact is clearly documented and where an investment of additional resources and time would produce more robust findings and results.

The MSP monitoring information system, comprised of seven web-based surveys and one paper survey, 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.

Use of the information: This information is required for effective program planning, administration, communication, program and project monitoring and evaluation, and for measuring attainment of NSF's program, project and strategic goals; the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-171) which established the Academic Competitiveness (ACC). The MSP program is also directly aligned with two of NSF's long-term investment categories: (1) Transform the Frontiers and (2) Innovate for Society.

2. Expected Respondents

Individuals or households, not-for-profit institutions, business or other for profit, and Federal State, local or tribal government. 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

Number of Respondents: 1,687.

Burden of the Public: The total estimate for this collection is 16,245 annual burden hours.

This figure is based upon the previous 3 years of collecting information under this clearance and anticipated collections. The average annual reporting burden is estimated to be between 2 and 22 hours per respondent depending on whether a respondent is a direct participant who is self-reporting or representing a project and reporting on behalf of many project participants. The majority of respondents (60%) are estimated to require fewer than two hours to complete the survey. The burden on the public is negligible because the study is limited to project participants that have received funding from the MSP Program.

Dated: June 22, 2012.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

[FR Doc. 2012-15695 Filed 6-26-12; 8:45 am]