[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 135 (Friday, July 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32651-32659]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15054]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With 
Disabilities--Model Demonstration Projects To Improve Academic Outcomes 
of Students With Intellectual Disabilities in Elementary and Middle 
School

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting 
applications for a new award for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for Technical 
Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for 
Children with Disabilities--Model Demonstration Projects to Improve 
Academic Outcomes of Students with Intellectual Disabilities in 
Elementary and Middle School, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
(CFDA) number 84.326M.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: July 13, 2018.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 13, 2018.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at 
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristen Rhoads, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5142, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-5108. Telephone: (202) 245-6715. Email: 
Kristen.Rhoads@ed.gov.
    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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve 
results for children with disabilities by providing technical 
assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating 
useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by 
scientifically based research.
    Priorities: This notice includes one absolute priority. In 
accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), the absolute priority, and the 
competitive preference priority within this absolute priority, are from 
allowable activities specified in the statute or otherwise authorized 
in the statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 20 U.S.C. 1463, 1481(d)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Academic Outcomes of 
Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Elementary and Middle 
School.
    Background: The mission of the Office of Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is to improve early childhood, 
educational,

[[Page 32652]]

and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with 
disabilities, their families, their communities, and the Nation.
    Model demonstrations to improve early intervention, educational, or 
transitional results for students with disabilities have been 
authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 
since the law's inception. For the purposes of this priority, a model 
is a set of existing evidence-based (as defined in this notice) 
interventions and implementation strategies (i.e., core model 
components) that research suggests will improve outcomes for children, 
teachers, instructional personnel, school or district leaders, or 
systems, when implemented with fidelity. Model demonstrations involve 
investigating the degree to which a given model can be implemented and 
sustained in typical settings, by staff employed in those settings, 
while achieving outcomes similar to those attained under research 
conditions.
    The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative 
agreements to establish and operate model demonstration projects that 
will assess how models can:
    (a) Improve outcomes in English Language Arts, including literacy, 
and other academic subjects for students with intellectual disabilities 
\1\ in elementary or middle schools;
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    \1\ For this competition, having an IEP with intellectual 
disability as a primary or secondary disability category is not 
required to be a student with an intellectual disability.
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    (b) Align instruction to grade-level, State-adopted content 
standards and provide access to the general education curriculum;
    (c) Provide students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity 
to meet challenging objectives and receive an individualized education 
program (IEP) that is both meaningful and appropriately ambitious in 
light of each student's circumstances; and
    (d) Be implemented and sustained by educators in both general and 
special education settings.
    On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) issued a 
unanimous opinion in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Re-1, 
137 S. Ct. 988 (2017). The Court interpreted the scope of the free 
appropriate public education (FAPE) requirements in IDEA and overturned 
the Tenth Circuit's decision that Endrew, a child with autism, was 
entitled to an educational benefit that was guaranteed to provide only 
``merely more than de minimis'' progress. The Court determined that, 
``[t]o meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must 
offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress 
appropriate in light of the child's circumstances.'' The Court 
additionally emphasized the requirement that ``every child should have 
the chance to meet challenging objectives.'' This decision underlines 
the importance of exploring models focused on improving academic 
outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities, a population 
frequently subject to low expectations and held to low standards.
    A growing research base indicates that students with intellectual 
disabilities demonstrate gains in reading at the same rate as their 
peers despite demonstrating significantly lower levels of overall 
performance (Schulte, Stevens, Elliott, Tindal, & Nese, 2016). 
Promising strategies, practices (e.g., embedded trial instruction with 
time delay, peer tutoring, direct instruction, systematic prompting 
with feedback, and more), and curricula exist that support academic 
instruction and improve student outcomes in literacy and other academic 
content areas (Browder, Mims, Spooner, & Ahlgrim-Delzell, & Lee, 2008; 
Butler, Miller, Lee, & Pierce, 2001; Jimenez, Browder, Spooner, & 
DiBiase, 2012; Hudson, Browder, & Wood, 2013; Lemons, Allor, Al Otaiba, 
& LeJune, 2016).
    Instruction of students with intellectual disabilities, however, 
has not typically provided them with the chance to meet challenging 
objectives. Instead of teaching grade-level content that meets State 
standards, instruction for students with intellectual disabilities has 
been typically limited to non-academic functional life skills. For 
example, literacy instruction for students with intellectual 
disabilities has historically focused on only one component of literacy 
development--recognition of sight words considered important for daily 
living (Browder, Wakeman, Spooner, Ahlgrim-Delzell, & Algozzine, 2006).
    Further, teachers have reported difficulties in aligning 
instruction to grade-level academic content standards for students with 
intellectual disabilities (Jimenez & Henderson, 2011). This is due, in 
part, to the reality that, when compared to their peers, these students 
may have greatly divergent levels of functional and academic skill 
attainment, may require significant modifications and individualization 
of the curriculum, need differing modes of access to content and 
instruction, or need additional time for learning (Allor, Mathes, 
Roberts, Cheatham, & Champlin, 2010).
    To overcome this history and these challenges, to ensure that 
students with intellectual disabilities in elementary and middle 
schools receive appropriate access to challenging objectives and grade-
level academic standards, and to ensure that these students progress in 
the general education curriculum, with accompanying services and 
supports as required under IDEA, educators must have access to 
evidence-based practices on instruction in academic subjects, 
particularly English Language Arts, including literacy. This 
competition, therefore, aims to fund model demonstration projects that 
will demonstrate and refine methods of professional development that 
result in educators successfully implementing appropriate, evidence-
based practices in English Language Arts, including literacy, and other 
academic subjects. The model demonstration projects proposed under this 
priority must make use of evidence-based practices.
    This priority is consistent with two priorities from the 
Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant 
Programs, published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 
9096) (Supplemental Priorities): Priority 5--Meeting the Unique Needs 
of Students and Children With Disabilities and/or Those With Unique 
Gifts and Talents; and Supplemental Priority 8--Promoting Effective 
Instruction in Classrooms and Schools. In particular, priority 5 from 
the Supplemental Priorities emphasizes meeting the unique needs of 
students with disabilities, including their academic needs, through 
offering the opportunity to meet challenging objectives and receive an 
educational program that is both meaningful and appropriately ambitious 
in light of each student's circumstances. Priority 8 from the 
Supplemental Priorities emphasizes promoting innovative strategies to 
increase the number of students who have access to effective educators 
and principals or other school leaders.
    Priority: The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative 
agreements to establish and operate model demonstration projects. The 
proposed model demonstration projects must address instruction that 
improves outcomes in English Language Arts, including literacy, for 
students with intellectual disabilities, and may include instruction in 
other academic subjects. The model demonstration projects will assess 
how models can:
    (a) Improve outcomes in English Language Arts, including literacy, 
and other academic subjects for students

[[Page 32653]]

with intellectual disabilities in elementary or middle schools;
    (b) Align instruction to grade-level, State-adopted content 
standards and provide access to the general education curriculum;
    (c) Provide students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity 
to meet challenging objectives and receive an IEP that is both 
meaningful and appropriately ambitious in light of each student's 
circumstances; and
    (d) Be implemented and sustained by educators in both general and 
special education settings. Applicants must propose models that meet 
the following requirements:
    (a) The model's core intervention components must include:
    (1) A framework that includes, at a minimum, assessment, 
incorporating approaches for measuring student progress, and the 
application of evidence-based core instructional practices;
    (2) Evidence-based instructional practices for improving outcomes 
in English Language Arts, including literacy, or other academic 
subjects, as appropriate, for students with intellectual disabilities 
in elementary or middle school that are designed to--
    (i) Help students meet challenging objectives; and
    (ii) Support comprehensive, standards-aligned instruction in grade-
level content.
    (3) Valid and reliable measures of student-level, instructor-level, 
and system-level outcomes, using standardized measures when applicable;
    (4) Procedures to refine the model based on the ongoing assessment 
of student-level, instructor-level, and system-level performance; and
    (5) Measures of the model's social validity, i.e., measures of 
educators', parents', and students' \2\ satisfaction with the model 
components, processes, and outcomes.
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    \2\ Applicants must ensure the confidentiality of individual 
student data, consistent with the Confidentiality of Information 
regulations under both Part B and Part C of IDEA, which incorporate 
requirements and exceptions under section 444 of the General 
Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the 
``Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act'' (FERPA), but also 
include several provisions that are specifically related to children 
with disabilities receiving services under IDEA and provide 
protections beyond the FERPA regulations. Therefore, examining the 
IDEA requirements first is the most effective and efficient way to 
meet the requirements of both IDEA and FERPA for children with 
disabilities. Applicants should also be aware of State laws or 
regulations concerning the confidentiality of individual records. 
See https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/ptac/pdf/idea-ferpa.pdf and 
https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/resources/ferpaidea-cross-walk. Final 
FERPA regulatory changes became effective January 3, 2012, and 
include requirements for data sharing. Applicants are encouraged to 
review the final FERPA regulations published on December 2, 2011 (76 
FR 75604). Questions can be sent to the Family Policy Compliance 
Office (www.ed.gov/fpco) at (202) 260-3887 or FERPA@ed.gov.
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    (b) The model's core implementation components must include:
    (1) Criteria and strategies for selecting \3\ and recruiting sites, 
including approaches to introducing the model to, and promoting the 
model among, site participants,\4\ with consideration given to the 
following criteria:
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    \3\ For factors to consider when selecting model demonstration 
sites, the applicant should refer to Assessing Sites for Model 
Demonstration: Lessons Learned for OSEP Grantees at http://mdcc.sri.com/documents/MDCC_Site_Assessment_Brief_09-30-11.pdf. The 
document also contains a site assessment tool.
    \4\ For factors to consider while preparing for model 
demonstration implementation, the applicant should refer to 
Preparing for Model Demonstration Implementation at http://mdcc.sri.com/documents/MDCC_PreparationStage_Brief_Apr2013.pdf.
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    (i) Each project must include at least three elementary or at least 
three middle schools; and
    (ii) In each of the schools, all of the students participating in 
the model demonstration project must have an intellectual disability, 
as defined in this notice. Across all implementation sites, the project 
must serve no fewer than 50 students with intellectual disabilities;
    (2) A lag site implementation design, which allows for model 
development and refinement at the first site in year one of the project 
period, with sites two and three implementing a revised model based on 
data from the first site beginning in subsequent project years.

    Note: When designing the project, applicants should consider 
project period length as well as relevant research indicating that 
learning may take longer for students with intellectual disabilities 
(Allor et al., 2010) and provide strong justification for timing of 
implementation for sites two and three.

    (3) A professional development component that includes an evidence-
based coaching strategy, to enable site-based staff to implement the 
interventions with fidelity; and
    (4) Measures of the results of the professional development (e.g., 
improvements in teachers'/service providers' knowledge) required by 
paragraph (b)(3) of this section, including measures of the fidelity of 
implementation.
    (c) The core strategies for sustaining the model must include:
    (1) Documentation that permits current and future site-based staff 
to replicate or appropriately tailor and sustain the model at any site; 
\5\ and
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    \5\ For a guide on documenting model demonstration sustainment 
and replication, the applicant should refer to Planning for 
Replication and Dissemination From the Start: Guidelines for Model 
Demonstration Projects Revised at http://mdcc.sri.com/documents/MDCC_ReplicationBrief_SEP2015.pdf.
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    (2) Strategies for the grantee to disseminate or promote the use of 
the model, such as developing easily accessible online training 
materials, coordinating with TA providers who might serve as future 
trainers, or providing technical support (e.g., webinars, training 
sessions, or workshops) for users who may want to learn about and 
implement the model and its components.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. Each project funded under this absolute priority also must 
meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the 
priority.

Application Requirements

    An applicant must include in its application--
    (a) A detailed review of the literature addressing the proposed 
model or its intervention or implementation components and processes to 
improve access to challenging objectives and grade-level content, and 
improve outcomes, in English Language Arts, including literacy, and 
other academic subjects, as appropriate, for students with intellectual 
disabilities in elementary or middle school;
    (b) A logic model (as defined in this notice) that depicts, at a 
minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes (described in 
paragraph (a) under the heading Priority) of the proposed model 
demonstration project.

    Note: The following websites provide resources for constructing 
logic models: www.osepideasthatwork.org/logicModel and 
www.osepideasthatwork.org/resources-grantees/program-areas/ta-ta/tad-project-logic-model-and-conceptual-framework.

    (c) A description of the activities and measures to be incorporated 
into the proposed model demonstration project (i.e., the project 
design) to improve access to grade-level content and improve outcomes 
in English Language Arts, including literacy, and other academic 
subjects, as appropriate, for students with intellectual disabilities, 
including a timeline of how and when the components are introduced 
within the model. A detailed and complete description must include the 
following:

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    (1) All the intervention components, including, at a minimum, those 
listed under paragraph (a) under the heading Priority.
    (2) The existing and proposed child, teacher, service provider, or 
system outcome measures and social validity measures. The measures 
should be described as completely as possible, referenced as 
appropriate, and included, when available, in Appendix A.
    (3) All the implementation components, including, at a minimum, 
those listed under paragraph (b) under the heading Priority. The 
existing or proposed implementation fidelity measures, including those 
measuring the fidelity of the professional development strategy, should 
be described as completely as possible, referenced as appropriate, and 
included, when available, in Appendix A. In addition, this description 
should include:
    (i) Demographics, including, at a minimum, the number of students 
with intellectual disabilities, their ages, and their grade levels 
(while ensuring confidentiality of individual data), at all 
implementation sites that have been identified and successfully 
recruited for the purposes of this application using the selection and 
recruitment strategies described in paragraph (b)(1) under the heading 
Priority;
    (ii) Whether the implementation sites are located in rural, urban, 
or suburban local educational agencies (LEAs) or are schools identified 
for comprehensive support and improvement \6\ or schools implementing 
targeted support and improvement plans \7\ under title I of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by 
the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and
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    \6\ For the purposes of this priority, ``schools identified for 
comprehensive support and improvement'' means a statewide identified 
category of schools that includes (a) not less than the lowest-
performing five percent of all schools receiving funds under this 
part in the State; (b) all public high schools in the State failing 
to graduate one-third or more of their students; (c) public schools 
in the State described under subsection 1111(d)(3)(A)(i)(II) of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the 
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA); and (d) at the discretion of the 
State, additional statewide categories of schools, as defined in 
section 1111(c)(4)(D)(i) of the ESEA.
    \7\ For the purposes of this priority, ``schools implementing 
targeted support and improvement plans'' means a school that has 
developed and is implementing a school-level targeted support and 
improvement plan to improve student outcomes based on the indicators 
in the statewide accountability system as defined in section 
1111(d)(2) of the ESEA.

    Note: Applicants are encouraged to identify, to the extent 
possible, the sites willing to participate in the applicant's model 
demonstration. Final site selection will be determined in 
consultation with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 
project officer following the kick-off meeting described in 
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paragraph (e)(1) of these application requirements.

    (iii) The lag site implementation design for implementation 
consistent with the requirements in paragraph (b)(2) under the heading 
Priority.
    (4) All the strategies to promote sustaining and replicating the 
model, including, at a minimum, those listed under paragraph (c) under 
the heading Priority.
    (d) A description of the evaluation activities and measures to be 
incorporated into the proposed model demonstration project. A detailed 
and complete description must include:
    (1) A formative evaluation plan, consistent with the project's 
logic model, that includes evaluation questions, source(s) of data, a 
timeline for data collection, and analysis plans. The plan must show 
how the outcome data (e.g., child, teacher, or systems measures, social 
validity) and implementation data (e.g., fidelity, effectiveness of 
professional development activities) will be used separately or in 
combination to improve the project during the performance period. These 
data will be reported in the Annual Performance Report (APR). The plan 
also must outline how these data will be reviewed by project staff, 
when they will be reviewed, and how they will be used during the course 
of the project to adjust the model or its implementation to increase 
the model's usefulness, generalizability, and potential for 
sustainability; and
    (2) A summative evaluation plan, including a timeline, to collect 
and analyze data on positive changes to child, teacher, service 
provider, or system outcome measures over time or relative to 
comparison groups that can be reasonably attributable to project 
activities. The plan must show how the child, teacher, service 
provider, or system outcome and implementation data collected by the 
project will be used separately or in combination to demonstrate the 
promise of the model.
    (e) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A one and one half-day kick-off meeting to be held in 
Washington, DC, after receipt of the award;
    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
occurring twice during the project performance period; and
    (3) Four travel days spread across years two through four of the 
project period to attend planning meetings, Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP, to be held in Washington, DC.
    Other Project Activities: To meet the requirements of this 
priority, each project, at a minimum, must:
    (a) Communicate and collaborate on an ongoing basis with other 
Department-funded projects, including, at minimum, OSEP-funded TA 
centers that might disseminate information on the model or support the 
scale-up efforts of a promising model;
    (b) Maintain ongoing telephone and email communication with the 
OSEP project officer and the other model demonstration projects funded 
under this priority; and
    (c) If the project maintains a website, include relevant 
information about the model, the intervention, and the demonstration 
activities that meets government- or industry-recognized standards for 
accessibility.
    Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we 
give competitive preference to applications that address the following 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two 
points to an application that meets this priority.
    The priority is:
    Promising Evidence Supporting the Proposed Model (Two Points).
    Projects that are supported by evidence that meets the conditions 
set out in the definition of ``promising evidence'' (as defined in this 
notice). The application must include:
    A literature review, as required under paragraph (a) under the 
heading Application Requirements, that includes research that meets at 
least the promising evidence standard supporting the proposed model, 
its components, and processes to improve academic grade-level content, 
particularly English Language Arts, and academic outcomes for students 
with intellectual disabilities in elementary or middle school.

    Note:  An applicant addressing this competitive preference 
priority must identify at least one, but no more than two, study 
citations that meet this standard and must clearly mark them in the 
reference list of the proposal.

References

Allor, J.H., Mathes, P.G., Roberts, J.K., Cheatham, J.P., & 
Champlin, T.M. (2010). Comprehensive reading instruction for 
students with intellectual disabilities: Findings from the first 
three years of a longitudinal study. Psychology in the Schools, 
47(5), 445-466.
Browder, D.M., Mims, P.J., Spooner, F., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., & Lee, 
A. (2008). Teaching elementary students with multiple disabilities 
to participate in shared stories. Research and Practice for

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Persons with Severe Disabilities, 33(1-2), 3-12.
Browder, D.M., Wakeman, S.Y., Spooner, F., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., & 
Algozzine, B. (2006). Research on reading instruction for 
individuals with significant cognitive disabilities. Exceptional 
Children, 72(4), 392-408.
Butler, F.M., Miller, S.P., Lee, K.H., & Pierce, T. (2001). Teaching 
mathematics to students with mild-to-moderate mental retardation: A 
review of the literature. Mental Retardation, 39(1), 20-31.
Hudson, M.E., Browder, D.M., & Wood, L.A. (2013). Review of 
experimental research on academic learning by students with moderate 
and severe intellectual disability in general education. Research 
and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 38(1), 17-29.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, 
Public Law 108-446. (2004). 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.
Jimenez, B.A., Browder, D.M., Spooner, F., & DiBiase, W. (2012). 
Inclusive inquiry science using peer-mediated embedded instruction 
for students with moderate intellectual disability. Exceptional 
Children, 78(3), 301-317.
Jimenez, B. & Henderson, K. (2011). Math education: Students with 
significant cognitive disabilities--A PowerPoint presentation for 
professional development. Modules Addressing Special Education and 
Teacher Education (MAST). Greenville, NC: East Carolina University.
Lemons, C.J., Allor, J.H., Al Otaiba, S., & LeJeune, L.M. (2016). 10 
Research-Based Tips for Enhancing Literacy Instruction for Students 
With Intellectual Disability. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 49(1), 
18-30.
Schulte, A.C., Stevens, J.J., Elliott, S.N., Tindal, G., & Nese, 
J.F. (2016). Achievement gaps for students with disabilities: 
Stable, widening, or narrowing on a statewide reading comprehension 
test? Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(7), 925-942.

Definitions

    The following definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1 or 34 CFR 
300.8(c)(6):
    Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in 
the project's logic model is informed by research or evaluation 
findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve 
relevant outcomes.
    Evidence-based means the proposed project component is supported by 
one or more of strong evidence, moderate evidence, promising evidence, 
or evidence that demonstrates a rationale.
    Experimental study means a study that is designed to compare 
outcomes between two groups of individuals (such as students) that are 
otherwise equivalent except for their assignment to either a treatment 
group receiving a project component or a control group that does not. 
Randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity design studies, 
and single-case design studies are the specific types of experimental 
studies that, depending on their design and implementation (e.g., 
sample attrition in randomized controlled trials and regression 
discontinuity design studies), can meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) 
standards without reservations as described in the WWC Handbook:
    (i) A randomized controlled trial employs random assignment of, for 
example, students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to receive the 
project component being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to 
receive the project component (the control group).
    (ii) A regression discontinuity design study assigns the project 
component being evaluated using a measured variable (e.g., assigning 
students reading below a cutoff score to tutoring or developmental 
education classes) and controls for that variable in the analysis of 
outcomes.
    (iii) A single-case design study uses observations of a single case 
(e.g., a student eligible for a behavioral intervention) over time in 
the absence and presence of a controlled treatment manipulation to 
determine whether the outcome is systematically related to the 
treatment.
    Intellectual disability means significantly subaverage general 
intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in 
adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that 
adversely affects a child's educational performance.
    Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a 
framework that identifies key project components of the proposed 
project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are hypothesized to be 
critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the 
theoretical and operational relationships among the key project 
components and relevant outcomes.
    Moderate evidence means that there is evidence of effectiveness of 
a key project component in improving a relevant outcome for a sample 
that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive that 
component, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:
    (i) A practice guide prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``strong evidence base'' or ``moderate 
evidence base'' for the corresponding practice guide recommendation;
    (ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 
or 3.0 of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``positive effect'' or 
``potentially positive effect'' on a relevant outcome based on a 
``medium to large'' extent of evidence, with no reporting of a 
``negative effect'' or ``potentially negative effect'' on a relevant 
outcome; or
    (iii) A single experimental study or quasi-experimental design 
study reviewed and reported by the WWC using version 2.1 or 3.0 of the 
WWC Handbook, or otherwise assessed by the Department using version 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook, as appropriate, and that--
    (A) Meets WWC standards with or without reservations;
    (B) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive 
(i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome;
    (C) Includes no overriding statistically significant and negative 
effects on relevant outcomes reported in the study or in a 
corresponding WWC intervention report prepared under version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook; and
    (D) Is based on a sample from more than one site (e.g., State, 
county, city, school district, or postsecondary campus) and includes at 
least 350 students or other individuals across sites. Multiple studies 
of the same project component that each meet requirements in paragraphs 
(iii)(A), (B), and (C) of this definition may together satisfy this 
requirement.
    Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, 
process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence 
may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of 
project components (e.g., training teachers on instructional practices 
for English learners and follow-on coaching for these teachers).
    Promising evidence means that there is evidence of the 
effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant 
outcome, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:
    (i) A practice guide prepared by WWC reporting a ``strong evidence 
base'' or ``moderate evidence base'' for the corresponding practice 
guide recommendation;
    (ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC reporting a 
``positive effect'' or ``potentially positive effect'' on a relevant 
outcome with no reporting of a ``negative effect'' or ``potentially 
negative effect'' on a relevant outcome; or
    (iii) A single study assessed by the Department, as appropriate, 
that--
    (A) Is an experimental study, a quasi-experimental design study, or 
a well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with 
statistical controls for selection bias (e.g., a study

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using regression methods to account for differences between a treatment 
group and a comparison group); and
    (B) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive 
(i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome.
    Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that 
attempts to approximate an experimental study by identifying a 
comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important 
respects. This type of study, depending on design and implementation 
(e.g., establishment of baseline equivalence of the groups being 
compared), can meet WWC standards with reservations, but cannot meet 
WWC standards without reservations, as described in the WWC Handbook.
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) 
the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the 
specific goals of the program.
    Strong evidence means that there is evidence of the effectiveness 
of a key project component in improving a relevant outcome for a sample 
that overlaps with the populations and settings proposed to receive 
that component, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:
    (i) A practice guide prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``strong evidence base'' for the 
corresponding practice guide recommendation;
    (ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 
or 3.0 of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``positive effect'' on a 
relevant outcome based on a ``medium to large'' extent of evidence, 
with no reporting of a ``negative effect'' or ``potentially negative 
effect'' on a relevant outcome; or
    (iii) A single experimental study reviewed and reported by the WWC 
using version 2.1 or 3.0 of the WWC Handbook, or otherwise assessed by 
the Department using version 3.0 of the WWC Handbook, as appropriate, 
and that--
    (A) Meets WWC standards without reservations;
    (B) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive 
(i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome;
    (C) Includes no overriding statistically significant and negative 
effects on relevant outcomes reported in the study or in a 
corresponding WWC intervention report prepared under version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook; and
    (D) Is based on a sample from more than one site (e.g., State, 
county, city, school district, or postsecondary campus) and includes at 
least 350 students or other individuals across sites. Multiple studies 
of the same project component that each meet requirements in paragraphs 
(iii)(A), (B), and (C) of this definition may together satisfy this 
requirement.
    What Works Clearinghouse Handbook (WWC Handbook) means the 
standards and procedures set forth in the WWC Procedures and Standards 
Handbook, Version 3.0 or Version 2.1 (incorporated by reference, see 34 
CFR 77.2). Study findings eligible for review under WWC standards can 
meet WWC standards without reservations, meet WWC standards with 
reservations, or not meet WWC standards. WWC practice guides and 
intervention reports include findings from systematic reviews of 
evidence as described in the Handbook documentation.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and other 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the absolute priority and 
related definitions in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget 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 as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474.

    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian Tribes.


    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions 
of higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $375,000 to $400,000 per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $400,000 per year.
    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $400,000 for a 
single budget period of 12 months.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs); LEAs, 
including charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; 
IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying 
areas; freely associated States; Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations; 
and for-profit organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708 (b) and (c) a grantee under 
this competition may award subgrants--to directly carry out project 
activities described in its application--to the following types of 
entities: IHEs and private nonprofit organizations suitable to carry 
out the activities proposed in the application. The grantee may award 
subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application.
    4. Other General Requirements:
    (a) Recipients of funding under this competition must make positive 
efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with 
disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
    (b) Applicants for, and recipients of, funding must, with respect 
to the aspects of their proposed project relating to the absolute 
priority, involve individuals with disabilities, or parents of 
individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26, in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of 
IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to 
submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for 
Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, 
published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and 
available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.
    2. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34

[[Page 32657]]

CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental 
review in order to make awards by the end of FY 2018.
    3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of 
the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection 
criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend 
that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 50 pages 
and (2) use the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double-space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, reference citations, and captions, as well as 
all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.
     Use a font that is 12 point or larger.
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover 
sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the 
abstract (follow the guidance provided in the application package for 
completing the abstract), the table of contents, the list of priority 
requirements, the resumes, the reference list, the letters of support, 
or the appendices. However, the recommended page limit does apply to 
all of the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, 
figures, graphs, and screen shots.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows:
    (a) Significance (15 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed 
project.
    (2) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The potential contribution of the proposed project to increased 
knowledge or understanding of educational problems, issues, or 
effective strategies.
    (ii) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build 
local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the 
needs of the target population.
    (iii) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in 
teaching and student achievement.
    (iv) The likely utility of the products (such as information, 
materials, processes, or techniques) that will result from the proposed 
project, including the potential for their being used effectively in a 
variety of other settings.
    (b) Quality of the project design (35 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the 
proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.
    (ii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project 
includes a thorough, high-quality review of the relevant literature, a 
high-quality plan for project implementation, and the use of 
appropriate methodological tools to ensure successful achievement of 
project objectives.
    (iii) The quality of the proposed demonstration design and 
procedures for documenting project activities and results.
    (iv) The extent to which the design for implementing and evaluating 
the proposed project will result in information to guide possible 
replication of project activities or strategies, including information 
about the effectiveness of the approach or strategies employed by the 
project.
    (v) The extent to which performance feedback and continuous 
improvement are integral to the design of the proposed project.
    (c) Adequacy of resources and quality of the management plan (25 
points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources and the 
quality of the management plan for the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the adequacy of resources and the quality of the 
management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the 
following factors:
    (i) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the 
lead applicant organization.
    (ii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.
    (iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project.
    (iv) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives 
are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including 
those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of 
disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of 
services, or others, as appropriate.
    (v) 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.
    (vi) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products 
and services from the proposed project.
    (d) Quality of the project evaluation (25 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
proposed project.
    (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward 
achieving intended outcomes.
    (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for 
examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies.
    (iv) The extent to which the evaluation will provide guidance about 
effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other 
settings.
    (v) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible.
    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

[[Page 32658]]

submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of 
unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
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 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, 
the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain 
competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as 
peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The standing panel 
requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional 
constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department 
has determined that for some discretionary grant competitions, 
applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and 
selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make 
it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring that 
greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers 
for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of 
interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness 
of the review process, while permitting panel members to review 
applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also 
have submitted applications.
    4. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific 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.
    5. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your 
integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal 
awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before we make 
an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that 
is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as 
the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant 
funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. 
This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. 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 multiyear 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.
    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee 
with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In 
this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
    5. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993, the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and 
quality of the Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Academic 
Outcomes of Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Elementary and 
Middle School under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to 
Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities program. 
These measures are:
     Current Program Performance Measure: The percentage of 
effective evidence-based program models developed by model 
demonstration projects that are promoted to States and their partners 
through the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network.
     Pilot Program Performance Measure: The percentage of 
effective program models developed by model demonstration projects that 
are sustained beyond the life of the model demonstration project.
    The current program performance measure and the pilot program 
performance measure apply to projects

[[Page 32659]]

funded under this competition, and grantees are required to submit data 
on these measures as directed by OSEP.
    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's 
performance in annual and final performance reports to the Department 
(34 CFR 75.590).
    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee 
has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of 
the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is 
consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the 
Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the 
performance targets in the grantee's approved application.
    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. 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) by contacting 
the Management Support Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 
Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5113, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 
20202-2500. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call 
the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations 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 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: July 10, 2018.
Johnny W. Collett,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2018-15054 Filed 7-12-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P