[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 171 (Tuesday, September 4, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 53819-53826]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21814]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Subtitle A

[DOCKET ID ED-2012-OII-0013]
RIN 1855-AA08


Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection 
Criteria--Supporting Effective Educator Development

[CFDA Number: 84.367D.]

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

ACTION: Proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement 
proposes priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
under the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant 
program. We may use these priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria for competitions of the SEED Grant program for 
fiscal year (FY) 2012 and later years. We intend for the priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria to help national not-
for-profit organizations to build evidence on how best to recruit, 
train, and support effective teachers and school leaders; recruit and 
prepare effective science, technology, engineering, and mathematics 
teachers; and invest in efforts that enhance the teaching and school 
leadership professions.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before October 4, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not 
accept comments by fax or by email. To ensure that we do not receive 
duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, 
please include the Docket ID and the phrase ``Supporting Effective 
Educator Development'' at the top of your comments.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to 
submit your comments electronically. Information on using 
Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site 
under ``How To Use This Site.'' A direct link to the docket page is 
also available at www.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html.
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery. If you 
mail or deliver your comments about these proposed

[[Page 53820]]

priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, address 
them to Office of Innovation and Improvement (Attention: Supporting 
Effective Educator Development Comments), U.S. Department of Education, 
400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4C131, Washington, DC 20202.
     Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all 
comments received from members of the public available for public 
viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include 
in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly 
available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Wilson Telephone: (202) 453-
6709 or by email: seed@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-
877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria, we urge you to identify clearly the specific 
proposed priority, requirement, definition, or selection criterion that 
each comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall 
requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from the 
proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. 
Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs 
or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and 
efficient administration of the Department's programs and activities.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this notice by accessing Regulations.gov. You may also 
inspect the comments in person, in room 4W335, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in the 
SUMMARY section of this notice.
    Purpose of Program: The SEED Grant program provides funding for 
grants to national not-for-profit organizations for projects that 
support teacher or principal training or professional enhancement 
activities and are supported by at least moderate evidence of 
effectiveness (as defined in this notice).

    Program Authority: Department of Education Appropriations Act, 
2012 (Pub. L. 112-74, Title III, Division F).

Proposed Priorities

    This notice contains seven proposed priorities.

Background

The Statutory Context

    The Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2012, requires the 
Secretary to reserve up to 1.5 percent of the funds for the Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act's (ESEA) Title II, Part A programs for 
competitive awards to national not-for-profit organizations for teacher 
or principal training or professional enhancement activities.

Overview of the SEED Grant program

    Reforming and improving schools with high concentrations of high-
need students is a key priority for the Department. Strengthening 
teacher and principal leadership is an essential part of any strategy 
to make a difference in these schools. Research shows that teachers are 
a critical element in improving student learning.\1\ Additionally, 
there is compelling evidence that strong principals have positive, 
although indirect, effects on student learning.\2\ The Department is 
using the SEED Grant program as a mechanism to identify and support 
projects that will strengthen teaching and school leadership 
specifically for high-need schools. As proposed in this notice, 
applicants must demonstrate how they will build evidence on how best to 
recruit, prepare, and support effective teachers and principals.
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    \1\ Lee S. Shulman, Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the 
New Reform, Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 57, No. 1 (February 
1987), pages 1-22; Eric A. Hanushek, John F. Kain, & Steven G. 
Rivkin. Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement (NBER Working 
Paper No. 6691) (1998), National Bureau of Economic Research, 
Retrieved April 25, 2012, from http://www.nber.org/papers/w6691.pdf; 
Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, Gathering Feedback for 
Teaching: Combining High-Quality Observations with Student Surveys 
and Achievement Gains, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (January, 
2012).
    \2\ Kyla L. Wahlstom, Karen Seashore-Louis, Kenneth Leithwood, & 
Stephen E. Anderson, Learning from Leadership: Investigating the 
Links to Improved Student Learning, Center for Applied Research and 
Educational Improvement, University of Minnesota, Ontario Institute 
for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, sponsored by 
the Wallace Foundation (July, 2010).
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    The following priorities focus on this goal.

Proposed Priority 1: Teacher or Principal Recruitment, Selection, and 
Preparation

Background

    This proposed priority would support projects that will recruit, 
select, and prepare teachers, principals, or both who are able to 
increase student achievement and student learning, particularly in 
high-need schools. Although we included a similar priority in our 
September 8, 2011, notice inviting applications (76 FR 55658-55664) 
(2012 SEED NIA), that priority focused only on teachers. The Department 
of Education Appropriations Act, 2012, provides that projects may serve 
principals, teachers, or both and, therefore, we are modifying this 
priority accordingly. Additionally, we propose to include a more 
explicit focus on schools with high concentrations of high-need 
students (as defined in this notice) and to provide more direction on 
required project activities.

Proposed Priority 1

    Under this proposed priority, the Secretary would fund projects 
that will create or expand practices and strategies that increase the 
number of highly effective teachers (as defined in this notice) or 
highly effective principals (as defined in this notice) by recruiting, 
selecting, and preparing talented individuals to work in schools with 
high concentrations of high-need students (as defined in this notice). 
Projects would include activities that focus on creating or expanding 
high-performing teacher preparation programs, principal preparation 
programs, or both. Activities may include but are not limited to 
expanding clinical experiences, re-designing and implementing program 
coursework to align with State standards and district requirements for 
their P-12 teachers, providing induction and other support for program 
participants in their classrooms and schools, and developing strategies 
for tracking the effect of program graduates on the achievement of 
their students or their schools.
    In addition, an applicant would need to propose a plan 
demonstrating a

[[Page 53821]]

rigorous, competitive selection process to determine which aspiring 
teachers or principals participate in the applicant's proposed 
activities.

Proposed Priority 2: Professional Development for Teachers of English 
Language Arts With a Specific Focus on Writing

Background

    This proposed priority is based on Absolute Priority 2 published in 
the 2012 SEED NIA. We propose changing the priority by requiring that 
the professional development be aligned with State standards. We also 
propose to require that the professional development align with 
district needs and include a rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness 
of teachers who participate in the professional development.

Proposed Priority 2

    Under this proposed priority, the Secretary would fund projects 
designed to improve student literacy and writing skills by creating or 
expanding practices and strategies that increase the number of highly 
effective teachers (as defined in this notice) of English language arts 
by improving their knowledge, understanding, and teaching of English 
language arts, with a specific focus on teaching writing. Projects 
would focus on increasing student achievement (as defined in this 
notice) in English language arts by providing high-quality professional 
development to teachers in schools with high concentrations of high-
need students (as defined in this notice).
    An applicant would be required to describe the need of the proposed 
districts to be served for teacher professional development in English 
language arts and demonstrate alignment of its proposed project with 
State standards.
    In addition, applicants would have to describe how they plan to 
measure the impact the professional development has on the 
effectiveness of teachers served by the project. Applicants would need 
to determine teacher effectiveness through a rigorous, transparent, and 
fair evaluation in which performance is differentiated using multiple 
measures of effectiveness and based in significant part on student 
growth (as defined in this notice).

Proposed Priority 3: Advanced Certification and Advanced Credentialing

Background

    This proposed priority would support projects that will develop or 
enhance systems to develop and recognize teachers, principals, or both 
who will serve as models, coaches, and mentors from whom other 
teachers, principals, or both can learn and strengthen their practices. 
We propose changing this priority from Absolute Priority 3 in the 2012 
SEED NIA by encouraging applicants to target services to teachers, 
principals, or both who are working or agree to work in schools with 
high concentrations of high-need students (as defined in this notice). 
We also propose adding requirements for the selection of participants 
and the evaluation of outcomes or effectiveness of participants.

Proposed Priority 3

    Under this proposed priority, the Secretary would fund projects 
that will create or expand practices and strategies that increase the 
number of highly effective teachers (as defined in this notice), highly 
effective principals (as defined in this notice), or both, who work in 
schools with high concentrations of high-need students (as defined in 
this notice).
    Applicants would be required to focus their proposed projects on 
encouraging and supporting teachers, principals, or both, who seek a 
nationally recognized, standards-based advanced certificate or advanced 
credential through high-quality professional enhancement projects 
designed to improve teaching and learning for teachers who would take 
on career ladder positions (as defined in this notice), principals, or 
both who would serve as models, mentors, and coaches for other 
teachers, principals, or both working in schools with high 
concentrations of high-need students (as defined in this notice).
    In addition, effectiveness of teachers or principals who receive 
advanced certification or credentialing would need to be determined 
through a rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation in which 
performance is differentiated using multiple measures of effectiveness 
and based in significant part on student growth (as defined in this 
notice).
    Finally, an applicant would need to propose a plan demonstrating a 
rigorous, competitive selection process to determine which teachers or 
principals participate in the applicant's proposed activities.

Proposed Priority 4: Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and 
Mathematics (STEM) Education

Background

    This proposed priority would support projects that will improve 
professional development for STEM teachers and increase the number of 
STEM teachers from traditionally underrepresented groups. Improving 
STEM education is critical in developing a globally competitive 
workforce.
    This priority was not used in the 2012 SEED NIA. We propose adding 
this priority because it would respond to the high demand for highly 
effective STEM teachers, particularly in high-need schools. We also 
note that this proposed priority is based on 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), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637-27641) 
(Supplemental Priorities). However, in both subsections (a) and (b) of 
this proposed priority, we removed the term ``other educators'' because 
the appropriations language for the SEED Grant program allows projects 
that provide services only to teachers, principals, or both.

Proposed Priority 4

    Under this proposed priority, the Secretary would fund projects 
that address one or both of the following priority areas:
    (a) Increasing the opportunities for high-quality preparation of, 
or professional development for, teachers of STEM subjects.
    (b) Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally 
underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with 
disabilities, and women, who are teachers of STEM subjects and have 
increased opportunities for high-quality preparation or professional 
development.
    In addition, applicants would have to describe how they plan to 
measure the impact the proposed project activities have on teacher 
effectiveness. Applicants would need to determine teacher effectiveness 
through a rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation in which 
performance is differentiated using multiple measures of effectiveness 
and based in significant part on student growth (as defined in this 
notice).

Proposed Priority 5: Professional Development for Teachers of Core 
Academic Subjects

Background

    This proposed priority would support projects that will provide 
professional development to teachers of core academic subjects, 
including special education teachers, to help them continue to improve 
their pedagogy, increase their knowledge of core subjects, and become 
highly effective

[[Page 53822]]

teachers in schools with high concentrations of high-need students (as 
defined in this notice). We propose adding this priority to support the 
creation and expansion of high-quality professional development 
projects that strengthen instruction and raise student achievement 
across core academic subjects. The priority would require that the 
professional development be aligned with State standards. We also 
propose to include requirements for the selection of participants that 
align with district needs and for the evaluation of the effectiveness 
of participants.

Proposed Priority 5

    Under this proposed priority, the Secretary would fund projects 
that will create or expand practices and strategies that increase the 
number of highly effective teachers (as defined in this notice) by 
providing professional development opportunities to teachers, including 
special education teachers, in schools with high concentrations of 
high-need students (as defined in this notice). Projects would focus on 
increasing student achievement (as defined in this notice) in core 
academic subjects by providing high-quality professional development to 
teachers. The academic subjects that may be addressed through 
professional development under this priority include foreign languages, 
civics and government, economics, arts, history, physical education, 
geography, environmental education, and financial literacy.
    Applicants would be required to describe the need of the proposed 
districts to be served for teacher professional development in the 
selected high-need core academic subjects and to demonstrate alignment 
of its proposed project with State standards.
    In addition, applicants would have to describe how they plan to 
measure the impact the professional development has on teacher 
effectiveness. Applicants would need to determine teacher effectiveness 
through a rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation in which 
performance is differentiated using multiple measures of effectiveness 
and based in significant part on student growth (as defined in this 
notice).

Proposed Priority 6: Improving Efficiency

Background

    This proposed priority would support projects that identify cost-
effective strategies to improve project outcomes. In order to meet this 
priority, applicants would be required to demonstrate how they will 
efficiently improve educational outcomes, including student 
achievement. We propose changing the language in this priority from the 
Competitive Preference Priority 2 in the 2012 SEED NIA in order to 
emphasize the use of cost-effective strategies.

Proposed Priority 6

    Under this proposed priority, the Secretary would fund projects 
that will identify strategies for providing cost-effective, high-
quality services at the State, regional, or local level by making 
better use of available resources. 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.

Proposed Priority 7: Supporting Practices and Strategies for Which 
There Is Strong Evidence of Effectiveness

Background

    This proposed priority would support projects that are supported by 
strong evidence. The Department firmly believes that the strongest 
available evidence should inform educational funding and policy 
decisions. Creating a larger pool of evidence-supported implementation 
sites will provide more opportunities to scale up projects that have a 
history of success and to improve educational outcomes for more 
students. We propose to leave this priority unchanged from the 2012 
SEED NIA; however, we propose a slightly different definition of 
``strong evidence of effectiveness'', as explained in the Definitions 
section of this notice.

Proposed Priority 7

    Under this proposed priority, the Secretary would fund projects 
that are supported by strong evidence of effectiveness (as defined in 
this notice).

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, as specified by 34 
CFR 75.105(c)(3), we would consider only applications that meet the 
priority.
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Proposed Requirements

    The Secretary proposes the following requirements for the SEED 
Grant program. We may apply these requirements in any year in which 
this program is in effect.
    Eligible applicants: To be eligible for a SEED Grant program grant, 
an entity must be a national not-for-profit organization (as defined in 
this notice). Each applicant must provide in its application 
documentation that it is a national not-for-profit organization (as 
defined in this notice).
    Evidence of effectiveness: To be eligible for funding, an applicant 
must demonstrate that its proposed project is supported by at least 
moderate evidence of effectiveness (as defined in this notice).
    Each applicant must provide in its application documentation that 
its proposed project is supported by at least moderate evidence of 
effectiveness. An applicant that applies for Proposed Priority 7 also 
must provide documentation that its proposed project is supported by 
strong evidence of effectiveness. An applicant must ensure that all 
evidence is available to the Department from publically available 
sources and provide links, references, or copies of the evidence in the 
application. If the Department determines that an applicant has 
provided insufficient evidence that its proposed project meets the 
definition of ``moderate evidence of effectiveness,'' or ``strong 
evidence of effectiveness,'' the applicant will not have an opportunity 
to provide additional evidence to support its application.
    Evaluations: An applicant receiving funds under this program must 
comply with the requirements of any evaluation of the program conducted 
by the Department. In addition, an applicant receiving funds under this 
program 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.

[[Page 53823]]

Proposed Definitions

    The Secretary proposes the following definitions for this 
competition. We propose to modify the definition of ``national not-for-
profit organization'' from the definition used in the 2012 SEED NIA to 
add more objective criteria for determining what type of organizations 
meet the definition. Additionally, the definitions relating to levels 
of evidence have both been changed to align more closely with other 
Department definitions of levels of evidence. We may apply one or more 
of these definitions in any year in which this program is in effect.
    Career ladder positions means school-based instructional leadership 
positions designed to improve instructional practice, which teachers 
may voluntarily accept, such as positions described as master teacher, 
mentor teacher, demonstration or model teacher, or instructional coach, 
and for which teachers are selected based on criteria that are 
predictive of the ability to lead other teachers.
    High-need students means students at risk of educational failure, 
such as students who are living in poverty, who are English learners, 
who are far below grade level or who are not on track to becoming 
college- or career-ready by graduation, who have left school or college 
before receiving, respectively, a regular high school diploma or a 
college degree or certificate, who are at risk of not graduating with a 
diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who are 
pregnant or parenting teenagers, who have been incarcerated, who are 
new immigrants, who are migrant, or who have disabilities.
    Highly effective principal means a principal whose students, 
overall and for each subgroup as described in section 
1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as 
amended (ESEA) (i.e., economically disadvantaged students, students 
from major racial and ethnic groups, students with disabilities, and 
students with limited English proficiency), 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 development learning communities) that increase 
effectiveness of other teachers in the school or local educational 
agency (LEA).
    Large sample means a sample of 350 or more students (or other 
single analysis units) who were randomly assigned to a treatment or 
control group, or 50 or more groups (such as classrooms or schools) 
that contain 10 or more students (or other single analysis units) and 
that were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group.
    Moderate evidence of effectiveness means one of the following 
conditions is met:
    (1) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets the 
What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations; \3\ 
found a statistically significant favorable impact on a relevant 
outcome (as defined in this notice) (with no statistically significant 
unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant populations in the 
study or in other studies of the intervention reviewed by and reported 
on by the What Works Clearinghouse); and includes a sample that 
overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive the 
process, product, strategy, or practice.
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    \3\ See What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards 
Handbook (Version 2.1, September 2011), which can currently be found 
at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/DocumentSum.aspx?sid=19.
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    (2) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets the 
What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations,\4\ found 
a statistically significant favorable impact on a relevant outcome (as 
defined in this notice) (with no statistically significant unfavorable 
impacts on that outcome for relevant populations in the study or in 
other studies of the intervention reviewed by and reported on by the 
What Works Clearinghouse), includes a sample that overlaps with the 
populations or settings proposed to receive the process, product, 
strategy, or practice, and includes a large sample (as defined in this 
notice) and a multi-site sample (as defined in this notice) (Note: 
multiple studies can cumulatively meet the large and multi-site sample 
requirements as long as each study meets the other requirements in this 
paragraph).
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    \4\ See What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards 
Handbook (Version 2.1, September 2011), which can currently be found 
at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/DocumentSum.aspx?sid=19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Multi-site sample means more than one site, where site can be 
defined as an LEA, locality, or State.
    National level describes the level of scope or effectiveness of a 
process, product, strategy, or practice that is able to be effective in 
a wide variety of communities, including rural and urban areas, as well 
as with different groups (e.g., economically disadvantaged, racial and 
ethnic groups, migrant populations, individuals with disabilities, 
English learners, and individuals of each gender).
    National not-for-profit organization means an entity that meets the 
definition of ``nonprofit'' under 34 CFR 77.1(c) and is of national 
scope, meaning that the entity provides services in multiple States to 
a significant number or percentage of recipients and is supported by 
staff or affiliates in multiple States.
    Open educational resources 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.
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome or outcomes (or the 
ultimate outcome if not related to students) that the proposed project 
is designed to improve, consistent with the specific goals of a 
program.
    Strong evidence of effectiveness means that one of the following 
conditions is met:
    (1) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets the 
What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations; \5\ 
found a statistically

[[Page 53824]]

significant favorable impact on a relevant outcome (as defined in this 
notice) (with no statistically significant unfavorable impacts on that 
outcome for relevant populations in the study or in other studies of 
the intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works 
Clearinghouse); includes a sample that overlaps with the populations 
and settings proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or 
practice; and includes a large sample (as defined in this notice) and a 
multi-site sample (as defined in this notice) (Note: multiple studies 
can cumulatively meet the large and multi-site sample requirements as 
long as each study meets the other requirements in this paragraph).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards 
Handbook (Version 2.1, September 2011), which can currently be found 
at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/DocumentSum.aspx?sid=19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) There are at least two studies of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed, each of which 
meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with 
reservations,\6\ found a statistically significant favorable impact on 
a relevant outcome (as defined in this notice) (with no statistically 
significant unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant 
populations in the studies or in other studies of the intervention 
reviewed by and reported on by the What Works Clearinghouse), includes 
a sample that overlaps with the populations and settings proposed to 
receive the process, product, strategy, or practice, and includes a 
large sample (as defined in this notice) and a multi-site sample (as 
defined in this notice).
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    \6\ See What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards 
Handbook (Version 2.1, September 2011), which can currently be found 
at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/DocumentSum.aspx?sid=19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under 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 
schools.
    (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 schools.
    Student growth means the change in student achievement (as defined 
in this notice) for an individual student between two or more points in 
time. An applicant may also include other measures that are rigorous 
and comparable across classrooms.

Proposed Selection Criteria

Background

    The proposed selection criteria are intended to ensure that 
applicants can demonstrate that they have the experience and capacity 
to expand or develop practices and strategies to recruit, select, and 
prepare or provide professional enhancement activities for teachers, 
principals, or both.
    In the absence of specific selection criteria for the SEED Grant 
program, the Department would use the general selection criteria in 34 
CFR 75.210 of the Education Department General Administrative 
Regulations (EDGAR) in selecting grant recipients. While many of the 
selection criteria subfactors are taken directly from EDGAR at 34 CFR 
75.210, they have been combined in some cases or organized under 
different criteria in other cases. In addition, some subfactors have 
been edited to focus on that which would affect the ability of the 
applicant to implement an effective project that meets the SEED Grant 
program's purposes.
    Under the proposed selection criteria, the Secretary would assess 
the extent to which an applicant would be able to sustain a project 
once Federal funding through the SEED Grant program is no longer 
available. Thus, eligible applicants should propose activities that 
they will be able to sustain without funding from the program and 
should include in their management plan the specific steps they will 
take for sustained implementation of the proposed project.

Proposed Selection Criteria

    The Secretary proposes the following selection criteria for 
evaluating an application under the SEED Grant program. We may apply 
one or more of these criteria, as well as other criteria or factors 
established in 34 CFR 75.210, in any year in which this program is in 
effect. In the notice inviting applications or the application package, 
or both, we will announce the maximum possible points assigned to each 
criterion.
    (a) Significance. The Secretary considers the significance of the 
proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The significance of the proposed project on a national level 
(as defined in this notice).
    (2) The potential contribution of the proposed project to the 
development and advancement of teacher and school leadership theory, 
knowledge, and practices.
    (3) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in 
teaching and student achievement.
    (b) Quality of the Project Design and Services. The Secretary 
considers the quality of the design and services of the proposed 
project. In determining the quality of the design and services of the 
proposed project, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified, aligned, and 
measurable.
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project is part of a 
comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support 
rigorous academic standards for students.
    (3) The extent to which the training or professional development 
services to be provided by the proposed project will be of sufficient 
quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice 
among the recipients of those services.
    (c) Quality of the Management Plan and Personnel. The Secretary 
considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project 
and of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In 
determining the quality of the management plan and the project 
personnel, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director, key project personnel, and project consultants 
or subcontractors.
    (2) 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.
    (3) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate 
to meet the objectives of the proposed project.
    (4) The extent to which the proposed management plan includes 
sufficient and reasonable resources to effectively carry out the 
proposed project, including the project evaluation.
    (d) Sustainability. The Secretary considers the adequacy of 
resources to continue the proposed project after the grant period ends. 
In determining the adequacy of resources and the potential for utility 
of the proposed project's activities and products by other 
organizations, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build 
capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of 
Federal financial assistance.

[[Page 53825]]

    (2) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to yield 
findings and products (such as information, materials, processes, or 
techniques) that may be used by other agencies and organizations.
    (3) The extent to which the applicant will disseminate information 
about results and outcomes of the proposed project in ways that will 
enable others, including the public, to use the information or 
strategies.
    (e) Quality of the Project Evaluation. The Secretary considers the 
quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In 
determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers one 
or more of the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
proposed project.
    (2) The extent to which the evaluation includes the use of 
objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended 
outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative 
data.
    (3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide performance 
feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving 
intended outcomes.
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes 
sufficient resources to carry out the project evaluation effectively.

    Note: We encourage 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/.

Final Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria

    We will announce the final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria in a notice in the Federal Register. We will 
determine the final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria after considering responses to this notice and other 
information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude 
us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or 
selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 
requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use these priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria, we invite applications through a notice in 
the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory 
action subject to review by OMB under section 3 (f) of Executive Order 
12866.
    We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under 
Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the 
principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review 
established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, 
Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practical--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety and other advantages; 
distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavior 
changes.''
    We are taking this proposed regulatory action only on a reasoned 
determination that the benefits justify the costs. In choosing among 
alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that 
maximize net benefits. The Department believes that this proposed 
regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 
13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not 
unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory action. 
The potential costs associated with this regulatory action are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.

Summary of Costs and Benefits

    The costs of carrying out activities would be paid for with program 
funds and with matching funds provided by private-sector partners. 
Thus, the costs of implementation would not be a burden for any 
eligible applicants, including small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, the Department conducts a preclearance consultation program to 
provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to 
comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: the public understands the 
Department's collection instructions, respondents can provide the 
requested data in the desired format, reporting burden (time and 
financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly 
understood, and the Department can properly assess the impact of 
collection requirements on respondents.
    We estimate that each applicant would spend approximately 176 hours 
of staff time to address the proposed requirements and selection 
criteria, prepare the application, and obtain necessary clearances. The 
total number of hours for all expected applicants is an estimated 2,640 
hours. We estimate the total cost per hour of the applicant-level staff 
who will carry out this work to be $57 per hour. The total estimated 
cost for all applicants is estimated to be $150,480.
    Under the PRA, the Department has submitted to OMB for its review a 
copy of the information collection (including the burden estimates) for 
the SEED discretionary grant application using the proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. Through this NPP, 
OII seeks comment on this information collection. If you want to 
comment on the proposed information collection, please send your 
comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, 
Attention:

[[Page 53826]]

Desk Officer for U.S. Department of Education. Send these comments by 
email to OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov or by fax to (202) 395-6974. You may 
also send a copy of these comments to the Department contact named in 
the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.
    In preparing your comments you may want to review the ICR, which we 
maintain in the Education Department Information Collection System 
(EDICS) at http://edicsweb.ed.gov. Click on Browse Pending Collections. 
This proposed collection is identified as proposed collection (04833) 
1855-New. This ICR is also available on OMB's RegInfo Web site at 
www.reginfo.gov.
    We consider your comments on this proposed collection of 
information in--
     Deciding whether the proposed collection is necessary for 
the proper performance of our functions, including whether the 
information will have practical use;
     Evaluating the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection, including the validity of our methodology and 
assumptions;
     Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the 
information we collect; and
     Minimizing the burden on those who must respond. This 
includes exploring the use of appropriate automated, electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques.
    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of 
information contained in these proposed priorities, requirements, and 
selection criteria between 30 and 60 days after publication of this 
document in the Federal Register. Therefore, to ensure that OMB gives 
your comments full consideration, it is important that OMB receives 
your comments on the proposed collection within 30 days after 
publication. This does not affect the deadline for your comments to us 
on the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria.
    Please note that a Federal agency cannot conduct or sponsor a 
collection of information unless OMB approves the collection under the 
PRA and the corresponding information collection instrument displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. Notwithstanding any other provision 
of law, no person is required to comply with, or is subject to penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information if the 
collection instrument does not display a currently valid OMB control 
number. We will provide the OMB control number when we publish the 
notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR Part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive Order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive Order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    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: 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: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: August 30, 2012.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2012-21814 Filed 8-31-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P