[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 107 (Friday, June 3, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32148-32159]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-13592]



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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Investing in Innovation Fund

AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information: Investing in Innovation Fund; notice inviting 
applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2011.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.411A 
(Scale-up grants).

DATES: Applications Available: June 6, 2011.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: June 23, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 2, 2011.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: October 3, 2011.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Investing in Innovation Fund, established 
under section 14007 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 
2009 (ARRA), provides funding to support (1) local educational agencies 
(LEAs), and (2) nonprofit organizations in partnership with (a) one or 
more LEAs or (b) a consortium of schools. The purpose of this program 
is to provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of 
improving student achievement and attainment in order to expand the 
implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are 
demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or 
student growth (as defined in this notice), closing achievement gaps, 
decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or 
increasing college enrollment and completion rates.
    These grants will (1) Allow eligible entities to expand and develop 
innovative practices that can serve as models of best practices, (2) 
allow eligible entities to work in partnership with the private sector 
and the philanthropic community, and (3) support eligible entities in 
identifying and documenting best practices that can be shared and taken 
to scale based on demonstrated success.
    Under this program, the Department awards three types of grants: 
``Scale-up'' grants, ``Validation'' grants, and ``Development'' grants. 
Applicants must specify the type of grant they are seeking at the time 
of application. Among the three grant types, there are differences in 
terms of the evidence that an applicant is required to submit in 
support of its proposed project; the expectations for ``scaling up'' 
successful projects during or after the grant period, either directly 
or through partners; and the funding that a successful applicant is 
eligible to receive. This notice invites applications for Scale-up 
grants. Notices inviting applications for Validation and Development 
grants are published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Scale-up grants provide funding to ``scale up'' practices, 
strategies, or programs for which there is strong evidence (as defined 
in this notice) that the proposed practice, strategy, or program will 
have a statistically significant effect on improving student 
achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing 
dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing 
college enrollment and completion rates, and that the effect of 
implementing the proposed practice, strategy, or program will be 
substantial and important. An applicant for a Scale-up grant may also 
demonstrate success through an intermediate variable strongly 
correlated with these outcomes, such as teacher or principal 
effectiveness.
    An applicant for a Scale-up grant must estimate the number of 
students to be reached by the proposed project and provide evidence of 
its capacity to reach the proposed number of students during the course 
of the grant. In addition, an applicant for a Scale-up grant must 
provide evidence of its capacity (e.g., qualified personnel, financial 
resources, management capacity) to scale up to a State, regional, or 
national level, working directly or through partners either during or 
following the grant period. We recognize that LEAs are not typically 
responsible for taking to scale their practices, strategies, or 
programs in other LEAs and States. However, all applicants, including 
LEAs, can and should partner with others (e.g., State educational 
agencies) to disseminate and take to scale their effective practice, 
strategy, or program.
    The Department will screen applications that are submitted for 
Scale-up grants in accordance with the requirements in this notice, and 
determine which applications have met the eligibility and other 
requirements in the notice of final priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria for this program, published in the 
Federal Register on March 12, 2010 (75 FR 12004-12071) (2010 i3 NFP). 
Peer reviewers will review all eligible Scale-up grant applications. 
However, if the Department determines that an application for a Scale-
up grant does not meet the definition of strong evidence in this 
notice, or any other eligibility requirement, the Department will not 
consider the application for funding.
    Finally, we remind LEAs that participate in submitting an i3 
application of the continuing applicability of the provisions of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to students who may 
be served under these awards. Programs proposed in applications in 
which LEAs participate must be consistent with the rights, protections, 
and processes of IDEA for students who are receiving special education 
and related services or are being evaluated for such services. As 
described later in this notice, in connection with making competitive 
grant awards, an applicant is required, as a condition of receiving 
assistance under this program, to make civil rights assurances, 
including an assurance that its program or activity will comply with 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Department's 
Section 504 implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination on 
the basis of disability. Regardless of whether students with 
disabilities are specifically targeted as ``high-need'' students under 
a particular application for a grant program, recipients are required 
to comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of these laws. Among 
other things, the nondiscrimination requirements of these laws include 
an obligation that recipients ensure that students with disabilities 
are not discriminated against because benefits provided to all students 
under the recipient's program are inaccessible to students because of 
their disability. The Department also enforces Title II of the 
Americans with Disabilities Act and Title II implementing regulations, 
which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by public 
entities, with respect to certain public educational entities.
    Priorities: This competition includes five absolute priorities and 
five competitive preference priorities that are explained in the 
following paragraphs.\1\ These priorities are from the 2010 i3 NFP and 
from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for 
discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on 
December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486-78511) (Supplemental Priorities).
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    \1\ The notice of final revisions to priorities, requirements, 
and selection criteria for this program, published elsewhere in this 
issue of the Federal Register, establishes that the Secretary may 
use any of the priorities established in the 2010 i3 NFP when 
establishing the priorities for a particular Investing in Innovation 
competition.


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    Note on removing Absolute Priority 2-- Innovations that Improve 
the Use of Data: For this year's competition, the Secretary chooses 
not to use the priority Innovations That Improve the Use of Data 
(Absolute Priority 2 in the 2010 i3 NFP). This action is not 
intended to discourage applicants from proposing projects that 
improve the use of data, so long as the proposal addresses one of 
the absolute priorities in this notice. Specifically, proposed 
projects that address Absolute Priority 1--Innovations That Support 
Effective Teachers and Principals, Absolute Priority 3--Innovations 
That Complement the Implementation of High Standards and High-
Quality Assessments, and Absolute Priority 4--Innovations That Turn 
Around Persistently Low-Performing Schools may also include using 
data in innovative ways to support the broader aims of the absolute 
priorities. The Secretary recognizes the importance of data 
collection, analysis, and use, and believes that focusing on these 
strategies in the context of the remaining absolute priorities meets 
the goals of the Investing in Innovation program and the overall 
education reform goals of ARRA.

    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2011 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one of these 
priorities. Under this competition for Scale-up grants, each of the 
five absolute priorities constitutes its own funding category. The 
Secretary intends to award grants under each absolute priority for 
which applications of sufficient quality are submitted.
    An applicant for a Scale-up grant must choose one of the five 
absolute priorities contained in this notice and address that priority 
in its application. An applicant must provide information on how its 
proposed project addresses the selection criteria in the project 
narrative section of its application.
    These priorities are:
    Absolute Priority 1--Innovations that Support Effective Teachers 
and Principals.
    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to increase the 
number or percentages of teachers or principals who are highly 
effective teachers or principals or reduce the number or percentages of 
teachers or principals who are ineffective, especially for teachers of 
high-need students, by identifying, recruiting, developing, placing, 
rewarding, and retaining highly effective teachers or principals (or 
removing ineffective teachers or principals). In such initiatives, 
teacher or principal effectiveness should be determined through an 
evaluation system that is rigorous, transparent, and fair; performance 
should be differentiated using multiple rating categories of 
effectiveness; multiple measures of effectiveness should be taken into 
account, with data on student growth as a significant factor; and the 
measures should be designed and developed with teacher and principal 
involvement. (2010 i3 NFP)
    Absolute Priority 2--Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, 
and Mathematics (STEM) Education.
    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
projects that are designed to address one or more of the following 
areas:
    (a) Providing students with increased access to rigorous and 
engaging coursework in STEM.
    (b) Increasing the number and proportion of students prepared for 
postsecondary or graduate study and careers in STEM.
    (c) Increasing the opportunities for high-quality preparation of, 
or professional development for, teachers or other educators of STEM 
subjects.
    (d) Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally 
underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with 
disabilities, and women, who are provided with access to rigorous and 
engaging coursework in STEM or who are prepared for postsecondary or 
graduate study and careers in STEM.
    (e) Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally 
underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with 
disabilities, and women, who are teachers or educators of STEM subjects 
and have increased opportunities for high-quality preparation or 
professional development. (Supplemental Priorities).
    Absolute Priority 3--Innovations that Complement the Implementation 
of High Standards and High-Quality Assessments.
    Under this priority, the Department provides funding for practices, 
strategies, or programs that are designed to support States' efforts to 
transition to standards and assessments that measure students' progress 
toward college- and career-readiness, including curricular and 
instructional practices, strategies, or programs in core academic 
subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)) that are aligned 
with high academic content and achievement standards and with high-
quality assessments based on those standards.\2\ Proposed projects may 
include, but are not limited to, practices, strategies, or programs 
that are designed to: (a) Increase the success of under-represented 
student populations in academically rigorous courses and programs (such 
as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses; dual-
enrollment programs; ``early college high schools;'' and science, 
technology, engineering, and mathematics courses, especially those that 
incorporate rigorous and relevant project-, inquiry-, or design-based 
contextual learning opportunities); (b) increase the development and 
use of formative assessments or interim assessments, or other 
performance-based tools and ``metrics'' that are aligned with high 
student content and academic achievement standards; or (c) translate 
the standards and information from assessments into classroom practices 
that meet the needs of all students, including high-need students.
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    \2\ Consistent with the Race to the Top Fund, the Department 
interprets the core academic subject of ``science'' under section 
9101(11) of the ESEA to include STEM education (science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics) which encompasses a wide-range of 
disciplines, including computer science.
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    Under this priority, an eligible applicant must propose a project 
that is based on standards that are at least as rigorous as its State's 
standards. If the proposed project is based on standards other than 
those adopted by the eligible applicant's State, the applicant must 
explain how the standards are aligned with and at least as rigorous as 
the eligible applicant's State's standards as well as how the standards 
differ. (2010 i3 NFP).
    Absolute Priority 4--Innovations that Turn Around Persistently Low-
Performing Schools.
    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
strategies, practices, or programs that are designed to turn around 
schools that are in any of the following categories: (a) Persistently 
lowest-achieving schools (as defined in the final requirements for the 
School Improvement Grants program); \3\ (b) Title I schools that are in

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corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA; or 
(c) secondary schools (both middle and high schools) eligible for but 
not receiving Title I funds that, if receiving Title I funds, would be 
in corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA. 
These schools are referred to as Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute 
Priority 4 schools.
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    \3\ Under the final requirements for the School Improvement 
Grants program, ``persistently lowest-achieving schools'' means, as 
determined by the State, (a) any Title I school in improvement, 
corrective action, or restructuring that (i) is among the lowest-
achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I 
schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the 
State, whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high 
school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) 
that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and (b) any 
secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I 
funds that (i) is among the lowest-achieving five percent of 
secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in 
the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, 
whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) is a high school 
that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that 
is less than 60 percent over a number of years. See http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html.
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    Proposed projects must include strategies, practices, or programs 
that are designed to turn around Investing in Innovation Fund Absolute 
Priority 4 schools through either whole-school reform or targeted 
approaches to reform. Applicants addressing this priority must focus on 
either:
    (a) Whole-school reform, including, but not limited to, 
comprehensive interventions to assist, augment, or replace Investing in 
Innovation Fund Absolute Priority 4 schools, including the school 
turnaround, restart, closure, and transformation models of intervention 
supported under the Department's School Improvement Grants program (see 
Final Requirements for School Improvement Grants as Amended in January 
2010 (January 28, 2010) at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html); 
or
    (b) Targeted approaches to reform, including, but not limited to: 
(1) Providing more time for students to learn core academic content by 
expanding or augmenting the school day, school week, or school year, or 
by increasing instructional time for core academic subjects (as defined 
in section 9101(11) of the ESEA); (2) integrating ``student supports'' 
into the school model to address non-academic barriers to student 
achievement; or (3) creating multiple pathways for students to earn 
regular high school diplomas (e.g., by operating schools that serve the 
needs of over-aged, under-credited, or other students with an 
exceptional need for support and flexibility pertaining to when they 
attend school; awarding credit based on demonstrated evidence of 
student competency; and offering dual-enrollment options). (2010 i3 
NFP).
    Absolute Priority 5--Improving Achievement and High School 
Graduation Rates (Rural Local Educational Agencies)
    Under this priority, the Department provides funding to support 
projects that are designed to address accelerating learning and helping 
to improve high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and 
college enrollment rates for students in rural local educational 
agencies (as defined in this notice). (Supplemental Priorities)

    Note:  The Secretary encourages applicants that choose to 
respond to Absolute Priority 5 to also address how their 
applications meet one of the other Absolute Priorities. In addition, 
applicants that choose to respond to Absolute Priority 5 should 
identify in the application and the i3 Applicant Information Sheet 
all rural LEAs (as defined in this notice) where the project will be 
implemented, or identify in the application how the applicant will 
choose any rural LEAs where the project will be implemented, and 
explain how the proposed innovative practices, strategies, or 
programs address the unique challenges of high-need students in 
schools within a rural LEA, resulting in accelerated learning and 
improved high school graduation and college enrollment rates. 
Applicants may also provide information on the applicant's 
experience and skills, or the experience and skills of their 
partners, in serving high-need students in rural LEAs in responding 
to Selection Criterion D. Quality of the Management Plan and 
Personnel.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2011 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities. Applicants may address more than one of the competitive 
preference priorities; however, the Department will review and award 
points only for a maximum of two of the competitive preference 
priorities. Therefore, an applicant must identify in the project 
narrative section of its application the priority or priorities it 
wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning the 
competitive preference priority points.

    Note:  The Department will not review or award points under any 
competitive preference priority for an application that (1) fails to 
clearly identify the competitive preference priorities it wishes the 
Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive 
preference priority points, or (2) identifies more than two 
competitive preference priorities.

    These priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 6--Innovations for Improving Early 
Learning Outcomes (zero or one point).
    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to improve educational outcomes for high-need students who are 
young children (birth through 3rd grade) by enhancing the quality of 
early learning programs. To meet this priority, applications must focus 
on (a) improving young children's school readiness (including social, 
emotional, and cognitive readiness) so that children are prepared for 
success in core academic subjects (as defined in section 9101(11) of 
the ESEA); (b) improving developmental milestones and standards and 
aligning them with appropriate outcome measures; and (c) improving 
alignment, collaboration, and transitions between early learning 
programs that serve children from birth to age three, in preschools, 
and in kindergarten through third grade. (2010 i3 NFP)
    Competitive Preference Priority 7--Innovations that Support College 
Access and Success (zero or one point).
    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to enable kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) students, 
particularly high school students, to successfully prepare for, enter, 
and graduate from a two- or four-year college. To meet this priority, 
applications must include practices, strategies, or programs for K-12 
students that (a) address students' preparedness and expectations 
related to college; (b) help students understand issues of college 
affordability and the financial aid and college application processes; 
and (c) provide support to students from peers and knowledgeable 
adults. (2010 i3 NFP)
    Competitive Preference Priority 8--Innovations to Address the 
Unique Learning Needs of Students with Disabilities and Limited English 
Proficient Students (zero or one point).
    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
would implement innovative practices, strategies, or programs that are 
designed to address the unique learning needs of students with 
disabilities, including those who are assessed based on alternate 
academic achievement standards, or the linguistic and academic needs of 
limited English proficient students. To meet this priority, 
applications must provide for the implementation of particular 
practices, strategies, or programs that are designed to improve 
academic outcomes, close achievement gaps, and increase college- and 
career-readiness, including increasing high school graduation rates (as 
defined in this notice), for students with disabilities or limited 
English proficient students. (2010 i3 NFP)
    Competitive Preference Priority 9--Improving Productivity (zero or 
one point).
    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
are designed to significantly increase efficiency in the use of time, 
staff,

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money, or other resources while improving student learning or other 
educational outcomes (i.e., outcome per unit of resource). Such 
projects may include innovative and sustainable uses of technology, 
modification of school schedules and teacher compensation systems, use 
of open educational resources (as defined in this notice), or other 
strategies. (Supplemental Priorities)
    Competitive Preference Priority 10--Technology (zero or one point).
    We give competitive preference to applications for projects that 
are designed to improve student achievement \4\ or teacher 
effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital tools or 
materials, which may include preparing teachers to use the technology 
to improve instruction, as well as developing, implementing, or 
evaluating digital tools or materials. (Supplemental Priorities)
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    \4\ For purposes of this priority, the Supplemental Priorities 
define student achievement as follows:
    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; and, as 
appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those 
described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are 
rigorous and comparable across classrooms; and
    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: Alternative measures of 
student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement 
that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
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    Definitions:
    The Secretary establishes the following definitions for the 
Investing in Innovation Fund. We may apply these definitions in any 
year in which this program is in effect.

    Note:  This notice invites applications for Scale-up grants. The 
following definitions apply to the three types of grants under the 
i3 program (Scale-up, Validation, or Development). Therefore, some 
definitions included in this section may be more applicable to 
applications for Validation grants.

Definitions Related to Evidence

    Carefully matched comparison group design means a type of quasi-
experimental study that attempts to approximate an experimental study. 
More specifically, it is a design in which project participants are 
matched with non-participants based on key characteristics that are 
thought to be related to the outcome. These characteristics include, 
but are not limited to: (1) Prior test scores and other measures of 
academic achievement (preferably, the same measures that the study will 
use to evaluate outcomes for the two groups); (2) demographic 
characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English proficiency, 
ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational attainment, and single- 
or two-parent family background; (3) the time period in which the two 
groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children entering 
kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); and (4) 
methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of reading 
skills administered in the same way to both groups).
    Experimental study means a study that employs random assignment of, 
for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to 
participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not to 
participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project 
is the average difference in outcomes between the treatment and control 
groups.
    Independent evaluation means that the evaluation is designed and 
carried out independent of, but in coordination with, any employees of 
the entities who develop a practice, strategy, or program and are 
implementing it. This independence helps ensure the objectivity of an 
evaluation and prevents even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
    Interrupted time series design \5\ means a type of quasi-
experimental study in which the outcome of interest is measured 
multiple times before and after the treatment for program participants 
only. If the program had an impact, the outcomes after treatment will 
have a different slope or level from those before treatment. That is, 
the series should show an ``interruption'' of the prior situation at 
the time when the program was implemented. Adding a comparison group 
time series, such as schools not participating in the program or 
schools participating in the program in a different geographic area, 
substantially increases the reliability of the findings.
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    \5\ A single subject or single case design is an adaptation of 
an interrupted time series 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. In some single 
subject designs, treatment reversal or multiple baseline designs are 
used to increase internal validity. In a treatment reversal design, 
after a pretreatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared 
with a post treatment measure, the 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. A multiple baseline design addresses 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.
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    Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies whose 
designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high 
internal validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate 
external validity), or studies with high external validity but moderate 
internal validity. The following would constitute moderate evidence: 
(1) At least one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this 
notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this 
notice) supporting the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or 
program, with small sample sizes or other conditions of implementation 
or analysis that limit generalizability; (2) at least one well-designed 
and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental or quasi-
experimental study (as defined in this notice) that does not 
demonstrate equivalence between the intervention and comparison groups 
at program entry but that has no other major flaws related to internal 
validity; or (3) correlational research with strong statistical 
controls for selection bias and for discerning the influence of 
internal factors.
    Quasi-experimental study means an evaluation design that attempts 
to approximate an experimental design and can support causal 
conclusions (i.e., minimizes threats to internal validity, such as 
selection bias, or allows them to be modeled). Well-designed quasi-
experimental studies include carefully matched comparison group designs 
(as defined in this notice), interrupted time series designs (as 
defined in this notice), or regression discontinuity designs (as 
defined in this notice).
    Regression discontinuity design study means, in part, a quasi-
experimental study design that closely approximates an experimental 
study. In a regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned 
to a treatment or comparison group based on a numerical rating or score 
of a variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an 
application for funding. Another example would be assignment of 
eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain 
score (``cut score'') to the treatment group and assignment of those 
below the score to the comparison group.
    Strong evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs 
can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal 
validity), and studies that in total include enough of the range of 
participants and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, 
or national level (i.e., studies with high external validity). The 
following are

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examples of strong evidence: (1) More than one well-designed and well-
implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental study (as defined 
in this notice) or well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in 
this notice) quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) that 
supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program; or 
(2) one large, well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this 
notice) randomized controlled, multisite trial that supports the 
effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program.
    Well-designed and well-implemented means, with respect to an 
experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice), 
that the study meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards, 
with or without reservations (see http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1 and in particular the 
description of ``Reasons for Not Meeting Standards'' at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/Doc.aspx?docId=9&tocId=4#reasons).

Other Definitions

    Applicant means the entity that applies for a grant under this 
program on behalf of an eligible applicant (i.e., an LEA or a 
partnership in accordance with section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA).
    Consortium of schools means two or more public elementary or 
secondary schools acting collaboratively for the purpose of applying 
for and implementing an Investing in Innovation Fund grant jointly with 
an eligible nonprofit organization.
    Formative assessment means assessment questions, tools, and 
processes that are embedded in instruction and are used by teachers and 
students to provide timely feedback for purposes of adjusting 
instruction to improve learning.
    Highly effective principal means a principal whose students, 
overall and for each subgroup as described in section 
1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically disadvantaged 
students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, migrant 
students, students with disabilities, students with limited English 
proficiency, and students of each gender), achieve high rates (e.g., 
one and one-half grade levels in an academic year) of student growth. 
Eligible applicants may include multiple measures, provided that 
principal effectiveness is evaluated, in significant part, based on 
student growth. Supplemental measures may include, for example, high 
school graduation rates; college enrollment rates; evidence of 
providing supportive teaching and learning conditions, support for 
ensuring effective instruction across subject areas for a well-rounded 
education, strong instructional leadership, and positive family and 
community engagement; or evidence of attracting, developing, and 
retaining high numbers of effective teachers.
    Highly effective teacher means a teacher whose students achieve 
high rates (e.g., one and one-half grade levels in an academic year) of 
student growth. Eligible applicants may include multiple measures, 
provided that teacher effectiveness is evaluated, in significant part, 
based on student growth. Supplemental measures may include, for 
example, multiple observation-based assessments of teacher performance 
or evidence of leadership roles (which may include mentoring or leading 
professional learning communities) that increase the effectiveness of 
other teachers in the school or LEA.
    High-need student means a student at risk of educational failure, 
or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as 
students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools, 
who are far below grade level, who are over-age and under-credited, who 
have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who 
are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on 
time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been 
incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are limited English 
proficient.
    High school graduation rate means a four-year adjusted cohort 
graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1) and may also 
include an extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent 
with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(v) if the State in which the proposed project 
is implemented has been approved by the Secretary to use such a rate 
under Title I of the ESEA.
    Interim assessment means an assessment that is given at regular and 
specified intervals throughout the school year, is designed to evaluate 
students' knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of academic 
standards, and produces results that can be aggregated (e.g., by 
course, grade level, school, or LEA) in order to inform teachers and 
administrators at the student, classroom, school, and LEA levels.
    National level, as used in reference to a Scale-up grant, describes 
a project that is able to be effective in a wide variety of communities 
and student populations around the country, including rural and urban 
areas, as well as with the different groups of students described in 
section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., economically 
disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, 
migrant students, students with disabilities, students with limited 
English proficiency, and students of each gender).
    Nonprofit organization means an entity that meets the definition of 
``nonprofit'' under 34 CFR 77.1(c), or an institution of higher 
education as defined by section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 
1965, as amended.
    Official partner means any of the entities required to be part of a 
partnership under section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA.
    Other partner means any entity, other than the applicant and any 
official partner, that may be involved in a proposed project.
    Regional level, as used in reference to a Scale-up or Validation 
grant, describes a project that is able to serve a variety of 
communities and student populations within a State or multiple States, 
including rural and urban areas, as well as with the different groups 
of students described in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA (i.e., 
economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and 
ethnic groups, migrant students, students with disabilities, students 
with limited English proficiency, and students of each gender). To be 
considered a regional-level project, a project must serve students in 
more than one LEA. The exception to this requirement would be a project 
implemented in a State in which the State educational agency is the 
sole educational agency for all schools and thus may be considered an 
LEA under section 9101(26) of the ESEA. Such a State would meet the 
definition of regional for the purposes of this notice.
    Regular high school diploma means, consistent with 34 CFR 
200.19(b)(1)(iv), the standard high school diploma that is awarded to 
students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's 
academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a 
General Education Development (GED) credential, certificate of 
attendance, or any alternative award.
    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA; and, as 
appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those 
described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are 
rigorous and comparable across classrooms; and

[[Page 32153]]

    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: Alternative measures of 
student learning and performance such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
    Student growth means the change in student achievement data for an 
individual student between two or more points in time. Growth may be 
measured by a variety of approaches, but any approach used must be 
statistically rigorous and based on student achievement data, and may 
also include other measures of student learning in order to increase 
the construct validity and generalizability of the information.

Definition From Supplemental Priorities

    Note: These definitions are from the Supplemental Priorities and 
apply to Absolute Priority 5 and Competitive Preference Priority 9.

    Open educational resources (OER) means 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.
    Rural local educational agency means a local educational agency 
(LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) 
program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized 
under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine 
whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to 
information on the Department's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html.
    Program Authority: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 
Division A, Section 14007, Pub. L. 111-5.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (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, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program, 
published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2010 (75 FR 12004-
12071). (c) The notice of final revisions to priorities, requirements, 
and selection criteria for this program, published elsewhere in this 
issue of the Federal Register) (2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions). (d) 
The notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for 
Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on 
December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486-78511).

    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: $148,200,000.
    These estimated available funds are for all three types of grants 
under the i3 program (Scale-up, Validation, and Development).
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of the 
applications received, we may make additional awards in FY 2012 or 
later years from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards:
    Scale-up grants: Up to $25,000,000.
    Validation grants: Up to $15,000,000.
    Development grants: Up to $3,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards:
    Scale-up grants: $24,000,000.
    Validation grants: $12,000,000.
    Development grants: $2,800,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards:
    Scale-up grants: Up to 2 awards.
    Validation grants: Up to 5 awards.
    Development grants: Up to 15 awards.

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

    Project Period: 36-60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Providing Innovations that Improve Achievement for High-Need 
Students: All eligible applicants must implement practices, strategies, 
or programs for high-need students (as defined in this notice). (2010 
i3 NFP)
    2. Eligible Applicants: Entities eligible to apply for Investing in 
Innovation Fund grants include: (a) An LEA or (b) a partnership between 
a nonprofit organization and (1) one or more LEAs or (2) a consortium 
of schools. An eligible applicant that is a partnership applying under 
section 14007(a)(1)(B) of the ARRA must designate one of its official 
partners (as defined in this notice) to serve as the applicant in 
accordance with the Department's regulations governing group 
applications in 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129. (2010 i3 NFP)
    3. Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for an award, an 
eligible applicant must--except as specifically set forth in the Note 
about Eligibility for an Eligible Applicant that Includes a Nonprofit 
Organization that follows:
    (1)(A) Have significantly closed the achievement gaps between 
groups of students described in section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA 
(economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and 
ethnic groups, students with limited English proficiency, students with 
disabilities); or
    (B) Have demonstrated success in significantly increasing student 
academic achievement for all groups of students described in that 
section;
    (2) Have made significant improvements in other areas, such as 
graduation rates or increased recruitment and placement of high-quality 
teachers and principals, as demonstrated with meaningful data;
    (3) Demonstrate that it has established one or more partnerships 
with the private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, 
and that the private sector will provide matching funds in order to 
help bring results to scale; and
    (4) In the case of an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit 
organization, provide in the application the names of the LEAs with 
which the nonprofit organization will partner, or the names of the 
schools in the consortium with which it will partner. If an eligible 
applicant that includes a nonprofit organization intends to partner 
with additional LEAs or schools that are not named in the application, 
it must describe in the application the demographic and other 
characteristics of these LEAs and schools and the process it will use 
to select them as either official or other partners. An applicant must 
identify its specific partners before a grant award will be made. (2010 
i3 NFP).

    Note: Applicants should provide information addressing the 
eligibility requirements in Appendix C, under ``Other Attachments 
Form,'' of their applications.


    Note About LEA Eligibility: For purposes of this program, an LEA 
is an LEA located within one of the 50 States, the District of 
Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (2010 i3 NFP)


    Note About Eligibility for an Eligible Applicant That Includes a 
Nonprofit Organization:  The authorizing statute (as amended) 
specifies that an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit 
organization is considered to have met the requirements in 
paragraphs (1) and (2) of the eligibility requirements for this 
program if the nonprofit organization has a record of significantly 
improving student achievement, attainment, or retention. For an 
eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization, the 
nonprofit organization must demonstrate that it has a record of 
significantly improving student achievement, attainment, or 
retention through its record of work with an LEA or schools. 
Therefore, an eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit 
organization does not

[[Page 32154]]

necessarily need to include as a partner for its Investing in 
Innovation Fund grant an LEA or a consortium of schools that meets 
the requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2).

    In addition, the authorizing statute (as amended) specifies that an 
eligible applicant that includes a nonprofit organization is considered 
to have met the requirements of paragraph (3) of the eligibility 
requirements in this notice if the eligible applicant demonstrates that 
it will meet the requirement relating to private-sector matching. (2010 
i3 NFP)
    1. Cost Sharing or Matching: To be eligible for an award, an 
eligible applicant must demonstrate that it has established one or more 
partnerships with an entity or organization in the private sector, 
which may include philanthropic organizations, and that the entity or 
organization in the private sector will provide matching funds in order 
to help bring project results to scale. An eligible applicant must 
obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 5 percent 
of its grant award.\6\ Selected eligible applicants must submit 
evidence of the full amount of private-sector matching funds following 
the peer review of applications. An award will not be made unless the 
applicant provides adequate evidence that the full amount of the 
private-sector match has been committed or the Secretary approves the 
eligible applicant's request to reduce the matching-level requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ The 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions modified the ``Cost 
Sharing and Matching'' requirement established in the 2010 i3 NFP by 
providing that the Secretary will specify the amount of required 
private-sector matching funds or in-kind donations in the notice 
inviting applications for the specific i3 competition. For this 
competition, the Secretary establishes a matching requirement of at 
least 5 percent of the grant award.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Secretary may consider decreasing the matching requirement in 
the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-case basis. An 
eligible applicant that anticipates being unable to meet the full 
amount of the private-sector matching requirement must include in its 
application a request to the Secretary to reduce the matching-level 
requirement, along with a statement of the basis for the request. (2010 
i3 NFP, as revised by the 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions).
    2. Other: The Secretary establishes the following requirements for 
the Investing in Innovation Fund. We may apply these requirements in 
any year in which this program is in effect.
     Evidence Standards: To be eligible for an award, an 
application for a Scale-up grant must be supported by strong evidence 
(as defined in this notice). (2010 i3 NFP)

    Note: Applicants should provide information addressing the 
required evidence standards in Appendix D, under ``Other Attachments 
Form,'' of their applications.

     Funding Categories: An applicant must state in its 
application whether it is applying for a Scale-up, Validation, or 
Development grant. An applicant may not submit an application for the 
same proposed project under more than one type of grant. An applicant 
will be considered for an award only for the type of grant for which it 
applies. (2010 i3 NFP)
     Subgrants: In the case of an eligible applicant that is a 
partnership between a nonprofit organization and (1) one or more LEAs 
or (2) a consortium of schools, the partner serving as the applicant 
may make subgrants to one or more official partners (as defined in this 
notice). (2010 i3 NFP)
     Limits on Grant Awards: (a) No grantee may receive more 
than two new grant awards of any type under the i3 program in a single 
year; (b) In any two-year period, no grantee may receive more than one 
new Scale-up or Validation grant; and (c) No grantee may receive more 
than $55 million in new grant awards under the i3 program in a single 
year. (2010 i3 NFP, as revised by the 2011 Notice of Final i3 
Revisions).
     Evaluation: A grantee must comply with the requirements of 
any evaluation of the program conducted by the Department. In addition, 
the grantee is required to conduct an independent evaluation (as 
defined in this notice) of its project and must agree, along with its 
independent evaluator, to cooperate with any technical assistance 
provided by the Department or its contractor. The purpose of this 
technical assistance will be to ensure that the evaluations are of the 
highest quality and to encourage commonality in evaluation approaches 
across funded projects where such commonality is feasible and useful. 
Finally, the grantee must make broadly available through formal (e.g., 
peer-reviewed journals) or informal (e.g., newsletters) mechanisms, and 
in print or electronically, the results of any evaluations it conducts 
of its funded activities. For Scale-up and Validation grants, the 
grantee must also ensure the data from their evaluations are made 
available to third-party researchers consistent with applicable privacy 
requirements. (2010 i3 NFP).
     Participation in ``Communities of Practice'': Grantees are 
required to participate in, organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, 
communities of practice for the Investing in Innovation Fund. A 
community of practice is a group of grantees that agrees to interact 
regularly to solve a persistent problem or improve practice in an area 
that is important to them. Establishment of communities of practice 
under the Investing in Innovation Fund will enable grantees to meet, 
discuss, and collaborate with each other regarding grantee projects. 
(2010 i3 NFP).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Submission of Proprietary Information:
    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications 
for the Investing in Innovation Fund, some applications may include 
proprietary information as it relates to confidential commercial 
information. Confidential commercial information is defined as 
information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to 
cause substantial competitive harm. Upon submission, applicants should 
identify any information contained in their application that they 
consider to be confidential commercial information. Consistent with the 
process followed in the FY 2010 i3 competition, we plan on posting the 
project narrative sections of all Scale-up applications on the 
Department's Web site. Identifying proprietary information in your 
application will help facilitate this public disclosure process. 
Applicants are encouraged to identify only the specific information 
that the applicant considers to be proprietary and list the page 
numbers on which this information can be found in the appropriate 
Appendix section, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' of their 
applications. In addition to identifying the page number on which that 
information can be found, eligible applicants will assist the 
Department in making determinations on public release of the 
application by being as specific as possible in identifying the 
information they consider proprietary. Please note that, in many 
instances, identification of entire pages of documentation would not be 
appropriate.
    2. 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://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or 
call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 
22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: 
(703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

[[Page 32155]]

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.EDPubs.gov or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.411A.
    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 person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    3. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Notice of Intent To Apply: June 23, 2011
    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing 
grant applications if we know the approximate number of applicants that 
intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the 
Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of 
the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by 
completing a web-based form. When completing this form, applicants will 
provide: (1) The applicant organization's name and address, (2) the 
type of grant for which the applicant intends to apply, (3) the one 
absolute priority the applicant intends to address, and (4) a maximum 
of two of the competitive preference priorities the applicant wishes 
the Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive 
preference priority points. Applicants may access this form online at 
http://go.usa.gov/bsG.
    Applicants that do not complete this form may still apply for 
funding.
    Page Limit: The application 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 the application narrative [Part III] for a Scale-up 
application to no more than 50 pages. Applicants are also strongly 
encouraged not to include lengthy appendices that contain information 
that could not be included in the narrative. Applicants should use 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 application 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 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 resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application 
narrative section [Part III].
    4. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: June 6, 2011.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: June 23, 2011.
    Pre-Application Meeting: The i3 program intends to hold pre-
application meetings designed to provide technical assistance to 
interested applicants for all three types of grants. Detailed 
information regarding the pre-application meeting locations, dates, and 
times will be provided in a separate notice in the Federal Register. 
Once the notice is published, it will be available, along with 
registration information, on the Investing in Innovation (i3) Web site 
at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 2, 2011.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV. 8. 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: October 3, 2011.
    5. 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.
    6. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    7. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined in the 
Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/section910/Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf).
    8. Other Submission Requirements:

[[Page 32156]]

    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 Investing in Innovation Fund, 
CFDA number 84.411A (Scale-up grants), must be submitted electronically 
using the Governmentwide 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 Investing in 
Innovation Fund at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the 
downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA 
number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search 
(e.g., search for 84.411, not 84.411A).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: The 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) 
format only. If you upload a file type other than a .PDF or submit a 
password-protected file, we will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, 
on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and 
provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with 
Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will 
accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem 
occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your 
ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, 
on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after 
a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

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

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day

[[Page 32157]]

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: Thelma Leenhouts, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W302, 
Washington, DC 20202-5900. FAX: (202) 401-8466.
    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 84.411A) 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 84.411A) 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from the 2010 i3 NFP and from 34 CFR 75.210.\7\ The points assigned 
to each criterion are indicated in the parenthesis next to the 
criterion. Applicants may earn up to a total of 100 points.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ The 2011 Notice of Final i3 Revisions establishes that the 
Secretary may use one or more of the selection criteria established 
in the 2010 i3 NFP, any of the selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210, 
criteria based on the statutory requirements for the i3 program in 
accordance with 34 CFR 75.209, or any combination of these when 
establishing selection criteria for each particular type of grant 
(Scale-up, Validation, and Development) in an i3 competition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The selection criteria for the Scale-up grant competition are as 
follows:
    A. Need for the Project (up to 30 points).
    The Secretary considers the need for the project.
    In determining the need for the project, the Secretary considers 
the following factors:
    (1) The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or 
the activities to be carried out by the proposed project.
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the 
competition.
    (3) The importance and magnitude of the effect expected to be 
obtained by the proposed project, including the extent to which the 
project will substantially and measurably improve student achievement 
or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, 
increase high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment 
and completion rates. The evidence in support of the importance and 
magnitude of the effect would be the research-based evidence provided 
by the eligible applicant to support the proposed project. (2010 i3 
NFP)

    Note Linking Magnitude of Effect to Presented Evidence: The 
Secretary notes that the extent to which the proposed project is 
consistent with the research evidence provided by the eligible 
applicant to support the proposed project is relevant to addressing 
the third factor of Selection Criterion A and, therefore, will be 
considered by the Secretary in evaluating the importance and/or 
magnitude of the impact expected to be obtained by the proposed 
project.

    B. Quality of the Project Design (up to 30 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the project design of the 
proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the project design, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project has a clear set of 
goals and an explicit strategy, with actions that are (a) aligned with 
the priorities the eligible applicant is seeking to meet, and (b) 
expected to result in achieving the goals, objectives, and outcomes of 
the proposed project. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (2) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.
    (3) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective 
practice.
    (4) The eligible applicant's estimate of the cost of the proposed 
project, which includes the start up and operating costs per student 
per year (including indirect costs) for reaching the total number of 
students proposed to be served by the project. The eligible applicant 
must include an estimate of the costs for the eligible applicant or 
others (including other partners) to reach 100,000, 500,000, and 
1,000,000 students. (2010 i3 NFP)

    Note:  The Secretary considers cost estimates both (a) to assess 
the reasonableness of the costs relative to the

[[Page 32158]]

objectives, design, and potential significance for the total number 
of students to be served by the proposed project, which is 
determined by the eligible applicant, and (b) to understand the 
possible costs for the eligible applicant or others (including other 
partners) to reach the scaling targets of 100,000, 500,000, and 
1,000,000 students for Scale-up grants. An eligible applicant is 
free to propose how many students it will serve under its project, 
and is expected to reach that number of students by the end of the 
grant period. The scaling targets, in contrast, are theoretical and 
allow peer reviewers to assess the cost-effectiveness generally of 
proposed projects, particularly in cases where initial investment 
may be required to support projects that operate at reduced cost in 
the future, whether implemented by the eligible applicant or any 
other entity. Grantees are not required to reach these numbers 
during the grant period.

    (5) The potential and planning for the incorporation of project 
purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing work of the eligible 
applicant and any other partners at the end of the Scale-up grant. 
(2010 i3 NFP)
    C. Quality of Project Evaluation (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the project evaluation.
    In determining the quality of the project evaluation to be 
conducted, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will include a 
well-designed experimental study or, if a well-designed experimental 
study of the project is not possible, the extent to which the methods 
of evaluation will include a well-designed quasi-experimental study. 
(2010 i3 NFP)
    (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
high-quality implementation data and performance feedback, and permit 
periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes. 
(2010 i3 NFP)
    (3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide sufficient 
information about the key elements and approach of the project so as to 
facilitate replication or testing in other settings. (2010 i3 NFP).
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes 
sufficient resources to carry out the project evaluation effectively. 
(2010 i3 NFP).

    Note:  We encourage eligible applicants to review the following 
technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) What Works 
Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1; and (2) 
IES/NCEE Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_methods/.

    D. Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
personnel for the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the management plan and personnel 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, as well as tasks related to the sustainability and 
scalability of the proposed project. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director and key project personnel, especially in 
managing large, complex, and rapidly growing projects. (2010 i3 NFP)
    (3) The eligible applicant's capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the 
proposed project to scale on a national, regional, or State level 
working directly, or through partners, either during or following the 
end of the grant period. (2010 i3 NFP)
    2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will screen 
applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this 
notice, and will determine which applications have met eligibility and 
other statutory requirements.
    The Department will use independent reviewers from various 
backgrounds and professions including: Pre-kindergarten-12 teachers and 
principals, college and university educators, researchers and 
evaluators, social entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, grant makers 
and managers, and others with education expertise. The Department will 
thoroughly screen all reviewers for conflicts of interest to ensure a 
fair and competitive review process.
    Reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the 
applications assigned to their panel, using the selection criteria 
provided in this notice. For Scale-up grant applications, the 
Department intends to conduct a single tier review and peer reviewers 
will review and score all four selection criteria. If eligible 
applicants have chosen to address a maximum of two of the competitive 
preference priorities for purposes of earning the competitive 
preference priority points, reviewers will review and score those 
competitive preference priorities. If points are awarded, those points 
will be added to the eligible applicant's score.
    We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in 
any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 
34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying 
out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement 
of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The 
Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a 
timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable 
quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is 
not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; 
has a financial or other management system that does not meet the 
standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    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. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information,

[[Page 32159]]

as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you 
must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current 
performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the 
Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more 
frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific 
requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: The overall purpose of the Investing in 
Innovation program is to expand the implementation of, and investment 
in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on 
improving student achievement or student growth for high-need students. 
We have established several performance measures for the Investing in 
Innovation Scale-up grants.
    Short-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of grantees 
that reach their annual target number of students as specified in the 
application; (2) the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies 
supported by a Scale-up grant with ongoing well-designed and 
independent evaluations that will provide evidence of their 
effectiveness at improving student outcomes at scale; (3) the 
percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Scale-
up grant with ongoing evaluations that are providing high-quality 
implementation data and performance feedback that allow for periodic 
assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes; and (4) the 
cost per student actually served by the grant.
    Long-term performance measures: (1) The percentage of grantees that 
reach the targeted number of students specified in the application; (2) 
the percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a 
Scale-up grant that implement a completed well-designed, well-
implemented and independent evaluation that provides evidence of their 
effectiveness at improving student outcomes at scale; (3) the 
percentage of programs, practices, or strategies supported by a Scale-
up grant with a completed well-designed, well-implemented and 
independent evaluation that provides information about the key elements 
and the approach of the project so as to facilitate replication or 
testing in other settings; and (4) the cost per student for programs, 
practices, or strategies that were proven to be effective at improving 
educational outcomes for students.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thelma Leenhouts, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W302, Washington, DC 20202-
5900. Fax: (202) 401-8466. Telephone: (202) 453-7122 or by e-mail: 
i3@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service, 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: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, 
as well as all other documents of this Department published in the 
Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: http://www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: May 26, 2011.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2011-13592 Filed 6-2-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P