[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 81 (Tuesday, April 28, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23507-23514]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-09898]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Enhanced Assessment Instruments 
Grants Program--Enhanced Assessment Instruments

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 23508]]

Overview Information

    Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program--Enhanced Assessment 
Instruments.
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2015.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.368A.


DATES: Applications Available: April 28, 2015.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 28, 2015.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2015.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 2015.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Enhanced Assessment 
Instruments Grant program, also called the Enhanced Assessment Grants 
(EAG) program, is to enhance the quality of assessment instruments and 
systems used by States for measuring the academic achievement of 
elementary and secondary school students.

Background

    States are continuing to improve their college- and career-ready 
assessment systems. These improvement efforts include initiatives to 
use technology to enhance the quality of assessments and timeliness and 
utility of the results, emphasize the leveraging of information gained 
from assessments in support of personalized learning, and survey 
existing State and local assessment frameworks to determine whether the 
assessment is serving its intended purpose to help schools meet their 
goals. For example, the Department appreciates that States need to 
continue developing new, innovative item types for use in summative 
assessments to find new, more authentic methods for collecting evidence 
about what a student knows and is able to do as it relates to State 
learning standards. Examples of this could include items that provide 
multi-step mathematics problems where students demonstrate their 
approach to solving each step; items that permit graphs or other visual 
response types; or simulated game environments where students interact 
with stimuli and interaction information is collected.
    As technology continues to advance and become embedded in the 
classroom, assessment developers and educational leaders are looking 
for ways to leverage these advancements to improve the testing 
experience for students. For example, computer-adaptive tests could be 
used to capture a greater range of student performance. Leveraging 
technology could also improve the timeliness of reporting results, 
provide more options in the search for alternative ways to capture 
student knowledge and abilities, and improve the capability to 
automatically score non-multiple choice items.
    These enhancements--improved assessments, faster assessment 
results, and alternative ways to capture student knowledge--are also 
important to support an initiative many States and school districts are 
pursuing, personalized learning for all students. Personalized 
classroom instruction is dependent upon having diagnostic, formative, 
interim, and summative assessments that produce reliable, valid, fair, 
and timely results in order to inform and tailor instruction for each 
student.
    In addition, recently, there has been significant discussion about 
the amount of time students spend in formal testing, including 
classroom, district, and State assessments. Some State educational 
agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools are 
currently in the process of reviewing assessments administered to 
students in kindergarten through grade 12 to better understand if each 
assessment is of high quality, maximizes instructional goals, has a 
clear purpose and utility, and is designed to provide information on 
students' progress toward achieving proficiency on State standards and 
assessments. The Department wants to invest in and recognize States 
that are reviewing and streamlining their assessments, including 
eliminating redundant and unnecessary assessments, for the purposes of 
identifying promising practices that could be followed by other SEAs, 
LEAs, and schools to maximize the utility of assessments to parents, 
educators, and students.
    The Department also wants to invest in and support the development 
and enhancement of assessment systems to better measure the knowledge 
and abilities of all students, as is reflected in the priorities for 
this year's competition.
    Priorities: This competition includes four absolute priorities, two 
competitive preference priorities, and three invitational priorities. 
In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), the absolute priorities are 
from section 6112 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 7301a. The competitive preference 
priorities are from the Department's notice of final supplemental 
priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published 
in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425).
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2015 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 or more of the 
absolute priorities.
    These priorities are:
Absolute Priority 1--Collaboration
    Collaborate with institutions of higher education, other research 
institutions, or other organizations to improve the quality, validity, 
and reliability of State academic assessments beyond the requirements 
for these assessments described in section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA.
Absolute Priority 2--Use of Multiple Measures of Student Academic 
Achievement
    Measure student academic achievement using multiple measures of 
student academic achievement from multiple sources.
Absolute Priority 3--Charting Student Progress Over Time
    Chart student progress over time.
Absolute Priority 4--Comprehensive Academic Assessment Instruments
    Evaluate student academic achievement through the development of 
comprehensive academic assessment instruments, such as performance- and 
technology-based academic assessments.
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), the Department awards up to 
an additional 15 points to an application depending on how well the 
application meets competitive preference priority 1 and up to an 
additional 15 points to an application depending on how well the 
application meets competitive preference priority 2, for a total of up 
to 30 points if both competitive preference priorities are addressed.
    These priorities are:
Competitive Preference Priority 1--Implementing Internationally 
Benchmarked College- and Career-Ready Standards and Assessments
    Projects that are designed to support the implementation of, and 
transition to, internationally benchmarked college- and career-ready 
standards and

[[Page 23509]]

assessments, including projects in one or more of the following:
    (a) Developing and implementing student assessments (such as 
formative assessments, interim assessments, and summative assessments) 
or performance-based tools that are aligned with those standards, that 
are accessible to all students.
    (b) Developing and implementing strategies that use the standards 
and information from assessments to inform classroom practices that 
meet the needs of all students.
    Within this competitive preference priority, we are particularly 
interested in applications that address the following invitational 
priority.
    Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an 
application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications.
    This priority is:
Invitational Priority 1--Developing Innovative Item Types
    Projects that develop new, innovative item types for use in 
summative assessments to find new, more authentic methods for 
collecting evidence about a student's knowledge and abilities.
Competitive Preference Priority 2--Leveraging Technology To Support 
Instructional Practice and Professional Development
    Projects that are designed to leverage technology through one or 
more of the following:
    (a) Implementing high-quality accessible digital tools, 
assessments, and materials that are aligned with rigorous college- and 
career-ready standards.
    (b) Using data platforms that enable the development, 
visualization, and rapid analysis of data to inform and improve 
learning outcomes, while also protecting privacy in accordance with 
applicable laws.
    Within this competitive preference priority, we are particularly 
interested in applications that address the following invitational 
priority.
    Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an 
application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications.
    This priority is:
Invitational Priority 2--Leveraging Technology To Support Personalized 
Learning and To Improve Assessment Tools
    Projects that focus on leveraging technology to:
    (a) Support personalized learning, including diagnostic, formative, 
interim, and summative assessments that can inform instruction;
    (b) Develop new types of test items that use alternative or 
innovative methods to capture student knowledge and abilities; or
    (c) Improve the capability to automatically score non-multiple 
choice items, such as to aid the development of computer-adaptive 
testing or improve the timeliness of reporting results.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational 
priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.
    This priority is:
Invitational Priority 3--Audit of State and Local Assessment Systems
    Projects that propose exemplary approaches for reviewing existing 
assessments to ensure that each test is of high quality, maximizes 
instructional goals, has a clear purpose and utility, and is designed 
to help students demonstrate mastery of State standards.
    Requirements: The following requirements for this competition are 
from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register 
on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 21985).
    An eligible applicant awarded a grant under this program must:
    (a) Evaluate the validity, reliability, and fairness of any 
assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under a 
grant from this competition, and make available documentation of 
evaluations of technical quality through formal mechanisms (e.g., peer-
reviewed journals) and informal mechanisms (e.g., newsletters), both in 
print and electronically;
    (b) Actively participate in any applicable technical assistance 
activities conducted or facilitated by the Department or its designees, 
coordinate with Race To The Top Assessment program in the development 
of assessments under this program, and participate in other activities 
as determined by the Department;
    (c) Develop a strategy to make student-level data that result from 
any assessments or other assessment-related instruments developed under 
a grant from this competition available on an ongoing basis for 
research, including for prospective linking, validity, and program 
improvement studies; \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Eligible applicants awarded a grant under this program must 
comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 
and 34 CFR part 99, as well as State and local requirements 
regarding privacy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (d) Ensure that any assessments or other assessment-related 
instruments developed under a grant from this competition will be 
operational (ready for large-scale administration) at the end of the 
project period;
    (e) Ensure that funds awarded under the EAG program are not used to 
support the development of standards, such as under the English 
language proficiency assessment system priority or any other priority;
    (f) Maximize the interoperability of any assessments and other 
assessment-related instruments developed with funds from this 
competition across technology platforms and the ability for States to 
move their assessments from one technology platform to another by doing 
the following, as applicable, for any assessments developed with funds 
from this competition by--
    (1) Developing all assessment items in accordance with an industry-
recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is approved by 
the Department during the grant period, without non-standard extensions 
or additions; and
    (2) Producing all student-level data in a manner consistent with an 
industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is 
approved by the Department during the grant period;
    (g) Unless otherwise protected by law or agreement as proprietary 
information, make any assessment content (i.e., assessments and 
assessment items) and other assessment-related instruments developed 
with funds from this competition freely available to States, technology 
platform providers, and others that request it for purposes of 
administering assessments, provided that those parties receiving 
assessment content comply with consortium or State requirements for 
test or item security; and
    (h) For any assessments and other assessment-related instruments 
developed with funds from this competition, use technology to the 
maximum extent appropriate to develop, administer, and score the 
assessments and report results.
    Definitions: The following definitions are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
program published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 
21985), the notice of final priorities, requirement, definitions, and

[[Page 23510]]

selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register 
on May 23, 2013 (78 FR 31343), and from the Department's notice of 
final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 
73425).
    English learner means a child, including a child aged three and 
younger, who is an English learner consistent with the definition of a 
child who is ``limited English proficient,'' as applicable, in section 
9101(25) of the ESEA.
    Formative assessment (also known as a classroom-based or ongoing 
assessment) means assessment questions, tools, and processes--
    (a) That are--
    (1) Specifically designed to monitor children's progress;
    (2) Valid and reliable for their intended purposes and their target 
populations; and
    (3) Linked directly to the curriculum; and
    (b) The results of which are used to guide and improve 
instructional practices.
    Student with a disability means a student who has been identified 
as a child with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities 
Education Act, as amended.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7301a and 7842.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 
84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on 
Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 
180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
program published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2011 (76 FR 
21985). (e) The notice of final priorities, requirement, definitions, 
and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal 
Register on May 23, 2013 (78 FR 31343). (f) The Department's notice of 
final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 
73426).

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $8,945,000-$17,870,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards from the list of unfunded 
applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $1,000,000 to $6,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $2,500,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3-6.

    Note: Applicants should submit a single budget request for a 
single budget and propose a project period of up to 48 months. 
Applicants should request a time period that is up to 48 months, 
based on a timeline that takes into account the urgency of the need 
of the final project findings and products to be accessible to the 
field. Subject to the availability of future years' funds, the 
Department may make supplemental grant awards to the grants awarded 
in this competition.


    Note: Applicants may not propose a budget for Invitational 
Priority 3, if addressed, of greater than $100,000.


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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs as defined in section 9101(41) of the 
ESEA and consortia of such SEAs.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: An application from a consortium of SEAs must designate 
one SEA as the fiscal agent.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address To Request Application Package: You can access the 
electronic grant application for the Enhanced Assessment Instruments 
Grants Program at 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 
84.368, not 84.368A). You can also obtain a copy of the application 
package by contacting the program contact, Erin Shackel, Enhanced 
Assessment Grants Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary 
Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 
3W111, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 453-6423 or by 
email: [email protected].
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the person listed under Accessible 
Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. a. 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.
    Page Limit: The project narrative (part 3 of the application) is 
where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers 
use to evaluate your application. You must limit the project narrative 
(part 3) to the equivalent of no more than 65 pages, using the 
following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the project narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use Times New Roman font no smaller than 11.0 point for 
all text in the project narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables figures, and graphs. Font sizes that are smaller than 11 
but round up to 11, such as 10.7 point, will be considered smaller than 
11.0.
     Any screen shots included as part of the narrative should 
follow these standards or, if other standards are applied, be sized to 
equal the equivalent amount of space if these standards were applied.
    The page limit applies to the project narrative (part 3), including 
the table of contents, which must include a discussion of how the 
application meets one or more of the absolute priorities; if 
applicable, how the application meets one or both of the competitive 
preference priorities; if applicable, how the applicant addresses the 
invitational priorities; and how well the application addresses each of 
the selection criteria. The page limit also applies to any attachments 
to the project narrative other than the references/bibliography. In 
other words, the entirety of part 3 of the application, including the 
aforementioned discussion and any attachments to the project narrative, 
must be limited to the equivalent of no more than 65 pages. The only 
allowable attachments other than those included in the project 
narrative are outlined in part 6, ``Other Attachments Forms,'' in

[[Page 23511]]

the application package. Any attachments other than those included 
within the page limit of the project narrative and those outlined in 
part 6 will not be reviewed.
    The 65-page limit, or its equivalent, does not apply to the 
following sections of an application: Part 1 (including the response 
regarding research activities involving human subjects); part 2 (two-
page project abstract); part 4 (the budget sections, including the 
chart and narrative budget justification); part 5 (standard assurances 
and certifications); and part 6 (memoranda of understanding or other 
binding agreement, if applicable; copy of applicant's indirect cost 
rate agreement; letters of commitment and support from collaborating 
SEAs and organizations; and other attachments forms, including, if 
applicable, references/bibliography for the project narrative and 
individual r[eacute]sum[eacute]s for project director(s) and key 
personnel). Applicants are encouraged to limit each 
r[eacute]sum[eacute] to no more than five pages.
    In addition, do not use hyperlinks in an application. Reviewers 
will be instructed not to follow hyperlinks if included. Our reviewers 
will not read any pages of your project narrative that exceed the page 
limit, or the equivalent of the page limit if you apply other 
standards. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications that meet 
the page limit following the standards outlined in this section rather 
than submitting applications that are the equivalent of the page limit 
applying other standards.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: April 28, 2015.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: May 28, 2015.
    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing 
grant applications if we have a better understanding of the number of 
applicants that intend to apply for funding under this competition. 
Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us 
of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. This 
notification should be brief, and provide the applicant organization's 
name and the SEA the applicant will designate as the fiscal agent for 
an award. Submit this notification by email to [email protected] with 
``Intent to Apply'' in the email subject line or mail to Erin Shackel, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W111, 
Washington, DC 20202-6132. Applicants that do not provide this email 
notification may still apply for funding.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2015.
    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. 7. 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: August 26, 2015.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to E.O. 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under E.O. 12372 is in the 
application package for this competition.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and System for Award Management: 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 System for Award 
Management (SAM) (formerly 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 SAM 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 to two business days.
    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 SAM registration process can take approximately seven business 
days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the 
completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by 
an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal 
financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, 
please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number 
and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:  Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to 
allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in 
Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through 
Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, 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 registration annually. This may take three or more business days.
    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further 
assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in 
SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov 
Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
    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 at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    Applications for grants under the EAG competition, CFDA number 
84.368A, must be submitted electronically using

[[Page 23512]]

the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 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 email an electronic copy of a grant 
application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the EAG 
competition at 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 
84.368, not 84.368A).
    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 4:30:00 
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 4:30:00 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 
4:30:00 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 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) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable 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 email. 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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 
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 before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked

[[Page 23513]]

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: Erin Shackel, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W111, 
Washington, DC 20202-6132. FAX: (202) 205-0310.
    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 84.368A), 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 84.368A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7039, 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 EDGAR General Selection Criteria 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed 
in the application package. Specifically, the following general 
selection criteria apply to this competition: need for project, 
significance, quality of the project design, quality of project 
services, quality of project personnel, adequacy of resources, quality 
of the management plan, quality of the project evaluation, and strategy 
to scale.
    2. Review and Selection Process: 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 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may 
impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk 
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 2 CFR part 
200, subpart D; 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); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your 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, 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 www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993, the Department has developed four measures to 
evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Enhanced Assessment 
Instruments Grants program: (1) The number of States that

[[Page 23514]]

participate in Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants projects funded 
by this competition; (2) the percentage of grantees that, at least 
twice during the period of their grants, make available to SEA staff in 
non-participating States and to assessment researchers information on 
findings resulting from the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants 
through presentations at national conferences, publications in refereed 
journals, or other products disseminated to the assessment community; 
(3) for each grant cycle and as determined by an expert panel, the 
percentage of Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants that yield 
significant research, methodologies, products, or tools regarding 
assessment systems or assessments; and (4) for each grant cycle and as 
determined by an expert panel, the percentage of Enhanced Assessment 
Instruments Grants that yield significant research, methodologies, 
products, or tools specifically regarding accommodations and alternate 
assessments for students with disabilities and limited English 
proficient students. Grantees will be expected to include in their 
interim and final performance reports information about the 
accomplishments of their projects because the Department will need data 
on these measures.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Shackel, Enhanced Assessment 
Grants Program, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W111, 
Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 453-6423 or by email: 
[email protected].
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll-free, at 1-800-877-
8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
in section VII in 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: 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: April 23, 2015.
Deborah S. Delisle,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2015-09898 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P