ESSA UPDATE

Peer review written on a white board

On March 28, the Department released Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan peer review criteria for Title I, Part A; Title III, Part A; and the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Programs under theMcKinney-Vento Act.  These are the only programs of the consolidated state plan which are required to be peer reviewed; for all other sections of the plan, Department staff will review the state’s submission.  This document is intended to help ensure that each state submits a complete state plan, as well as guide peer reviewers in making recommendations to the Secretary on whether each state plan meets the requirements in the revised template for those programs subject to peer review.

The document presents each of the requirements in the template in the form of questions, broken down into smaller segments (webinar presentation).

Meanwhile, on April 3 — the first of two submission dates; the second is September 18nine states and the District of Columbia submitted state plans to the agency.  Another seven states indicated that they had submitted plans to their governors’ office (for the statutorily-required 30-day review period) and will submit plans to the agency no later than May 3.  Department staff are checking plans to determine if they are complete and, if so, will post plans online once scrubbed of personally identifiable information.

Peer Reviewers for EIR Competition

*BPC is sharing info on a survey for peer reviewers. Please use contact info below for any questions.

The purpose of this survey is to determine potential peer reviewer availability and to determine if there are possible conflicts of interest. Please complete the potential peer reviewer survey at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MQWCQMC. We ask that you pay particular attention to questions 4 through 16. In reviewing applications for the EIR competition, all potential peer reviewers must confirm that there are no organizations or individuals described in each application with which you may have a conflict of interest. If you believe that there is a potential conflict of interest, you must notify the EIR Peer reviewer inbox ateirpeerreview@ed.gov as soon as possible so that we can determine who will be available to review during our competition season.

If you have any further questions about the review processes please don’t hesitate to contact the EIR Peer Reviewer inbox.

EIR Team

U.S. Department of Education

Office of Innovation and Improvement

i3 Management and Program Analyst

400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.

Room 4C109

Washington D.C. 20202

(p) 202-453-5653

(F) 202-205-5631

Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) Purpose Area 9: Tribal Youth Program Peer Review

Interested in participating in the peer review of grant applications for the FY 2017 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) Purpose Area 9: Tribal Youth Program? Please review the information below and respond by Monday, April 3, 2017 if you are interested in participating in a peer review for this solicitation. For your reference, please visit the linked grant announcement:

https://www.justice.gov/tribal/page/file/913601/download

Call for ESSA State Plan Reviewers!

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Calling Peer Reviewers for ESSA State Plans

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is seeking highly qualified individuals to serve in a critical role as peer reviewers of State plans, as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Those interested in applying to serve as a peer reviewer must apply by February 17, 2017.

Under the ESSA, States will build on their experience making progress toward providing a high-quality, well-rounded education for all students. On November 29, 2016, the Department published final regulations that govern consolidated State plans under the ESSA. To facilitate the development of State plans, the Department published a required Consolidated State Plan template that aligns with the statutory and regulatory requirements. Under sections 1111(a)(4) and 8451(d) of the ESEA, the Department must facilitate a review by external peer reviewers of each State’s plan.

The ESSA requires that the Department establish multi-disciplinary peer review teams and appoint members of such teams that include:

  • Educators (e.g., teachers, principals or other school leaders, or specialized instructional support personnel);
  • State and local educational agency personnel;
  • Researchers who are familiar with the implementation of standards, assessments and accountability systems; and
  • Researchers who are familiar with how to meet the needs of disadvantaged students, children with disabilities, and English learners, the needs of low-performing schools, and other educational needs of students.

To the extent practicable, the peer reviewers should represent a regionally diverse cross-section of States and include individuals who have had practical experience in the classroom, school administration, or State or local government (such as direct employees of a school, district, or State) in the past two years.

Peer reviewers will work individually and on a panel to evaluate whether each State plan meets statutory and regulatory requirements and the degree to which each State plan will support a comprehensive and coherent set of improvements in the areas of: consultation and performance management; academic assessments; accountability, support, and improvement for schools; supporting excellent educators; and supporting all students. Peer reviewers will make recommendations to the Department to inform our review and approval of each State’s plan.

Questions about this request for peer reviewers may be sent to ESSA.PeerReview@ed.gov.

Application Process

To apply to be a peer reviewer, please go to the following link to submit your resume/curriculum vitae and complete the Peer Reviewer Application and Conflict of Interest Questionnaire by February 17, 2017. APPLY HERE.

Availability

Peer reviewers must commit to the following review process:

  • Virtual peer reviewer training for approximately four hours during the week of March 21, 2017;
  • Read and provide detailed comments during off-site individual review for four-five State plans between April 3 and May 3; and
  • Participate in a 5-day panel review in Washington, DC in early May (specific dates to be established in early 2017).

The Department will conduct a second peer review process beginning in September 2017.

Conflict of Interest

Please be aware that any applicant’s selection as a peer reviewer for the State plan peer review will include a review for possible, apparent, and/or actual conflicts of interest. If a potential conflict of interest is identified, the Department will consider whether the applicant can participate as a peer reviewer in full compliance with all applicable Department policies and procedures designed to ensure the integrity of the Department’s process for reviewing and approving State plans.

Honorarium and Other Information

Peer reviewers will receive an honorarium for their time and effort, contingent upon satisfactory completion of the above requirements and consistent with the required schedule. Travel costs to the events in Washington, DC will also be covered.

ED Call for Peer Reviewers

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is seeking highly qualified individuals to serve in a critical role as peer reviewers of State plans, as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Under ESSA, States will build on their experience making progress toward high quality education for all students while reclaiming the promise of well-rounded education in individual State contexts.  Under sections 1111(a)(4) and 8451(d) of the ESEA, the Department must conduct a peer review process to facilitate the approval of State plans, with multi-disciplinary peer review teams that include:

·       Educators (e.g., teachers, principals, or other school leaders, or specialized instructional support personnel), ideally within the past two years;

·       State and local educational agency personnel, ideally within the past two years;

·       Researchers who are familiar with the implementation of standards, assessments, and accountability systems; and

·       Researchers who are familiar with how to meet the needs of disadvantaged students, children with disabilities, and English learners, the needs of low-performing schools, and other educational needs of students.

Peer reviewers will evaluate whether each State plan meets statutory and regulatory requirements and the degree to which each State plan will support a comprehensive and coherent set of improvements within the areas of: consultation and performance management; academic assessments; accountability, support, and improvement for schools; supporting excellent educators; and supporting all students.  Peer reviewers will work together on panels to offer vital feedback to the Department for State plans.  For more information, including a link to the application, visit https://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplan17/index.html.

Please share this notice with colleagues who may be interested in helping the Department with this important activity, noting applications are due by January 27, 2017.

Questions about this request may be sent to ESSA.PeerReview@ed.gov.

PEER REVIEWERS NEEDED: ED’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students

ED’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students Seeks Qualified Reviewers for FY 2014

 

The Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS) is seeking qualified peer reviewers to read and evaluate discretionary grant proposals for the following FY 2014 grant competitions:

  • Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program
  • Project Prevent Grant Program
  • Grants to SEAs for Emergency Management
  • School Climate Transformation Grant Program

For OSHS discretionary grant competitions, a background in one or more of the following content areas is particularly helpful: alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention; character education and civic education; state education and/or local education agency-level school emergency management and disaster response and/or school safety and security; physical education and school nutrition, school counseling and mental health; violence prevention, and school climate improvement; multi-tiered behavioral frameworks such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and/or significant experience working at the elementary and secondary educational levels. Peer reviewers may be required to review and evaluate the evidenced-based practice and programs grant applicants proposed to implement school-based programs in the above mentioned content areas.

The OSHS Grant Application Peer Review Process is designed to ensure that each discretionary grant is awarded on the basis of how well the evaluation selection criteria are responded to.  Therefore, we rely on qualified, external peer reviewers to critically evaluate all submitted grant applications to ensure we receive objective and independent ratings.  Each year we assemble panels of educators, policymakers, and experts to participate in our peer review process.  We would like your assistance in identifying possible candidates for consideration, or for registering to be considered.

The peer review process consists of an orientation, evaluation and scoring of applications consistent with established selection criteria, written reviews of each application to support the scores, and discussions with other panelists.  The review process for each program is conducted electronically via the Internet, eliminating the need for any travel to Washington, D.C.  Each peer reviewer is expected to commit approximately 35-40 hours to complete a review of applications on schedule.  They are expected to review 10-12 applications assigned to their panel and participate in three conference calls.  The time for each review is generally compressed, reviewers can have as little as two weeks, meaning that the commitment can be very intense.

Reviewers will receive an honorarium after completion of required work assigned to them and submission of mandatory forms.  Persons

interested in serving as peer reviewers may apply at any time.

The following are essential in what we seek in peer reviewers and should be noted when applying:

-proficient communication ability;

-access to the internet, a phone, and a printer, and the ability to interact in a web-based environment;

-superior analytical skills, including the ability to provide thoughtful, objective evaluations of proposals using the designated selection criteria;

-relevant education, training, and/or experience in the subject area of the grant program, and knowledge of related evidenced-based programs and practices;

-knowledge of and/or experience with program planning, implementation, and/or research and evaluation processes;

-ability to work collegially with others in a team environment, and meeting established deadlines; and

-experience working with diverse communities.

ED solicits reviewers without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability. Also, please be aware that participation in the peer review process will require reviewers to determine if they have a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict, in reviewing assigned grant applications.  A peer reviewer is considered to have a conflict of interest when the reviewer, or certain individuals and entities with which the reviewer has a relationship, has a financial interest in the outcome of the competition for which he/she is serving as a reviewer.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please register, provide your background information, and upload your most recent resume at www.g5.gov.  This will allow your information to be available to other offices in the Department that are searching for reviewers.  If you have trouble registering, you may contact the G5 Help Desk for assistance.  Their contact information is located on the G5 login screen.

For further information about the review process or how to apply to be a peer reviewer, please contact Christine Pinckney at Christine.Pinckney@ed.gov

CALL FOR PEER REVIEWERS – Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program

FY 2014 U.S. Department of Education Discretionary Grant Competition

 Deadline:  June 1, 2014

CONTEXT: The purpose of the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program is to improve children’s literacy by providing books and high-quality childhood literacy activities for children and families living in high need communities.  The competition is designed so that funds are awarded to entities that have evidence of effectiveness or high-quality plans for addressing childhood literacy activities.  At a minimum, proposed projects may include activities that increase access to a wide range of print and electronic resources that provide learning opportunities to all participating students, but particularly those less likely to have access to such materials at home.  Additionally, proposed projects may include scientifically research-based formative and summative assessments, including tools to measure growth in student achievement as well as innovative approaches to improving student literacy; provide high-quality, scientifically research based professional development; or support literacy-rich academic and enrichment activities and services aligned with respective statewide literacy plans or district-wide literacy standards.  Recipients receiving funds may include school libraries (through grants to local educational agencies (LEAs)), national not-for-profit organizations and consortia of these agencies and organizations.  The Department expects that at least 50% of IAL funds will be awarded to high needs LEAs.

WHO: The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) seeks peer reviewers with demonstrated experience in the educational evaluation.  The Department seeks reviewers with experience in designing, conducting, and reviewing rigorous educational evaluations, including:

  • Understanding of education research and recent findings in the relevant literature
  • Knowledge of education data sources and measures of program implementation and outcomes
  • Expertise with experimental and quasi-experimental research designs
  • Fluency in reviewing organizational and project evaluation plans and evaluation results.

The Department considers reviewers without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability.

WHAT: The Department will offer peer reviewers an honorarium.  Peer reviewers will independently read, score, and provide written comments for the educational evaluation portion of grant applications submitted to the Department under the IAL program.  These reviews will be used as part of a process to recommend applications for funding.  Copies of the reviewer’s comments will be shared with respective applicants following the review; however, Personally Identifiable Information will be redacted.   Reviewers must adhere to the requirements listed in this Call for Peer Reviewers.

 

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Availability:  Each reviewer will need to dedicate approximately 50-60 hours of time for reading, scoring, developing comments, and discussing assigned applications over a two-week period, during the July/August 2014 timeframe.  Reviewers must also participate in the Department’s web-based technical assistance conferences to prepare for the review.
  • Tools:  Each reviewer must have access to the Internet, a phone, a printer and have the ability to interact within the web environment.   The review will be conducted totally online.
  • Quality of review:  Each reviewer must provide detailed, objective, constructive, and timely written reviews for each assigned application.

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST ISSUES:

You have a conflict of interest and may not serve as a reviewer if:

  • An application will be submitted for this competition in which you will benefit financially from grant funds (if awarded).
  • An application will be submitted for this competition in which your spouse will benefit financially from grant funds (if awarded).
  • You will be participating in the development of an application.

 

You have a conflict of interest, but one that does not necessarily disqualify you from reviewing, if:

  • You are affiliated with an organization plans to submit an application, but you will not benefit financially from that application.
  • Your spouse is affiliated with an organization that plans to submit an application, but he or she will not benefit financially from that application.
  • An applicant names you as a consultant in an application without your prior knowledge.
  • A situation exists that may be perceived as a conflict, such as reviewing proposals from your region of the country, reviewing proposals in which a family member (other than your spouse) stands to benefit financially, reviewing proposals from an organization or individual with whom you are negotiating employment, etc.

 

TO APPLY: Send an updated resume, in DOC or PDF format, to ial@ed.gov no later than June 1, 2014.  You must include the term “IAL 2014 REVIEWER” in the subject line of your electronic message. Your resume should include:

 

  • Full Name
  • Education (list all college degrees, with dates of degrees, institutions, and majors must be listed)
  • All professional position titles, descriptions, and dates in chronological order beginning with, or going back to, your first position after receiving your B.A. or B.S.
  • A detailed description of your current organizational affiliation (s) and position title.
  • Telephone numbers (work, home, and fax [if applicable])
  • Home and work mailing addresses
  • Preferred E-mail address

 

Please note:  If you are retired, please make it clear when you retired, and that you are retired at present, and list all consulting positions or other relevant positions you have held since retirement.  There is no need to emphasize grant writing or grant reviewing experience.  Please provide a full description of your professional work experience and substantive professional experience that are relevant to this type of work.

 

Reasonable Accommodation Policy: The Department’s policy is to provide reasonable accommodation for volunteers, part-time employees, student interns, detailees, and temporary employees who are qualified individuals with disabilities. After a candidate is notified of his or her appointment as a reviewer, it is the reviewer’s responsibility to inform the Department in a timely manner of any disability that would require a need for reasonable accommodations in order to perform the duties of the position.

 

If you have any questions about resume requirements or conflict of interest issues, please contact Melvin Graham on (202) 260-8268 or melvin.grahm@ed.gov ; or Beth Yeh on (202) 205-5798 or beth.yeh@ed.gov.   Please do not send resumes/cover letters to these individuals; send resumes/cover letters directly to ial@ed.gov, and include “IAL2014 REVIEWER” in the subject line of your email.