Competitive Preference Priority--Cradle-to-Career Results, Resource Alignment, and Integrated Services

An applicant receives points under this priority based on the extent to which it integrates public and private resources to augment the schools' core resources by providing additional student and family supports, such as addressing the social-emotional, behavioral, and other needs of the participating students (as defined in this document), giving highest priority to those students in high-needs schools. A reform proposal does not need to be comprehensive, but could address a subset of these needs.

In determining the extent to which the applicant meets this priority, the Department will consider—

  1. Whether the applicant has formed a coherent and sustainable partnership with public and private organizations, such as public health, after-school, and social service providers; businesses, philanthropies, civic groups, and other community-based organizations; early learning programs; and post-secondary institutions to support the plan described in Absolute Priority 1. The partnership must identify not more than 10 population-level desired results for students in the LEA or consortium of LEAs, which may span from cradle to career, that align with the applicant's proposal and reform strategy. The results must include both educational results and other education outcomes (e.g., children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school, children exit 3rd grade reading at grade level, and students graduate from high school college- and career-ready) and education and family and community results (e.g., students demonstrate social-emotional competencies, students are healthy, students feel safe at school and in their communities, students demonstrate career readiness skills through internship and summer job opportunities).

  2. How the partnership would—

    1. track the selected indicator(s) that measure each result at the aggregate level for all children within the LEA or consortium, and at the student-level data for the participating students (as defined in this document);
    2. use the data to target its resources to improve results for each participating student (as defined in this document), with special emphasis on students facing significant challenges, such as students with disabilities, English learners, and students affected by impacts of poverty or family instability;
    3. develop a strategy to scale the model beyond the participating students (as defined in this document) to at least other high-needs students (as defined in this document) and communities in the region over time; and
    4. improve results over time;

  3. How the partnership will enable, within participating schools (as defined in this document), the integration of education and other services (e.g., services that address social-emotional, behavioral, and other special needs) for participating students (as defined in this document).

  4. How the partnership will build the capacity of staff in participating schools (as defined in this document) by providing them with tools and supports to—

    1. assess the needs and assets of participating students that are aligned with the goals for improving the education and family and community results identified by the partnership;
    2. identify and inventory the needs and assets of the school and community that are aligned with the goals for improving the education and family and community results identified by the partnership;
    3. create a decision-making process and infrastructure to select, implement, and evaluate solutions that address the individual needs of participating students (as defined in this document) and support improved results;
    4. engage parents and families of participating students in both decision-making about solutions and in addressing student, family, and school needs; and
    5. routinely assess the partnership's implementation progress and resolve challenges and problems.

  5. The extent to which the applicant has established annual ambitious yet achievable goals and performance measures for the proposed population-level desired results for students.

Comments

I concu with NAEYC's position that community partners as well as school partners be included here.

I agree with a previous post stating that often children's social and emotional needs are often considered separate from their learning. However, neuroscience research continues to show a significant link between a child's ability to manage their emotions and learning. Studies show that when children experience multiple stressors in their environment, their brain releases a stress hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol physically blocks the circuits of the brain for learning and memory. When children learn how to manage their emotions, it improves their concentration and ability to learn. Social and emotional learning is no longer just a good idea, it is a critical to the academic, personal and career success of our children. School districts in Illinois, Ohio, Alaska and Texas and Tennessee are implementing school-wide SEL programs and seeing significant results. Social and Emotional learning has proven to show a decrease in behavioral problems, emotional distress, and an increase in standardized test scores, attitude about self and others and emotion regulation. Furthermore, social and emotional skills are critical for our success throughout life. Research shows that it is our Emotional Intelligence that accounts for more of our success than IQ. If we think about it, what makes us successful in careers and relationships is our ability to relate to our self and others, work in a team and communicate effectively. SEL is an important issue that is often considered the missing link in education reform.

I would recommend additional funding to be given to schools who are willing to implement school-wide SEL - in all classrooms and considered part of the adopted curriculum at the school.

SEL skills can be taught just like cognitive skills and the more children practice them, the better they are at them. The problems we see in our schools and in our communities are a direct result of people not being equipped to respond in healthy ways to stress and environmental challenges. This stress is a barrier to our children's ability to learn, but it can be addressed through well implemented Social and Emotional Learning programs.

For further information, please refer to Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning at www.casel.org.

In regards to the Points Awarded for the Competitive Preference Priority the Department ought to be more explicit with regard to the number of additional points that could be awarded under the application. To help encourage partnerships under the RTT-D program, the Department should award significant points as part of the competitive preference priority to adequately incentivize partnerships. Moreover, the eligible applicants must ensure and demonstrate that partnerships with public and private organizations are coherent, sustainable, high-quality, and with high-performing partners and focused on the goal of transforming school culture into a positive teaching and learning environment. In particular, we encourage the Department to award points to eligible applicants that demonstrate a commitment and capacity to provide a substantial increase (at least 30 percent more) in total learning time, and enroll all, or a large portion (such as a whole grade level), of a school in the expanded learning time (ELT) schedule. Where eligible are proposing an ELT approach for reform, they should describe how they would ensure that the expanded day would avoid being “more of the same,” and instead introduce students to new teaching and learning techniques and new educators through partnerships with outside education non-profits.

Furthermore, as nonprofit partners bring their own vetted staff into schools, they are bringing dedicated talent to help students succeed. Afterschool and ELT partners have the potential to develop a pipeline of committed and experienced future full-time teachers. Programs like Citizen Schools also bring into schools scientists and engineers and other professionals with a breadth and depth of experiences. To maximize the impact of such talent resources brought into schools via nonprofit partnerships, eligible applicants should be asked in their applications to describe their plans to utilize after-school and ELT partners as part of their sustainability and talent pipeline strategies, and as partners in alternative pathway and certification programs, and awarded additional points under this application.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities appreciates the requirement “use the data to target its resources to improve results for each participating student (as defined in this document), with special emphasis on students facing significant challenges, such as students with disabilities, English learners, and students affected by impacts of poverty or family instability” articulated in the elements the Department will consider.

There is an underlying assumption in this proposal that social-emotional issues can be separated from learning. In the Competitive Preference Priority on Cradle-to-Career the proposed language describes students demonstrate social-emotional competencies and students feel safe at school as "community results" rather than school results. There is substantial evidence that social-emotional issues and students feeling safe at school are relating to learning – not to be separated as community or family issues. Personalized learning needs to be structured to take advantage of student motivation and engagement -- social-emotional components of learning. Please see the paper Motivation, Engagement and Student Voice for a review of the research on this topic. http://studentsatthecenter.org/papers/motivation-engagement-and-student-...

NAEYC is pleased that the Administration has highlighted the partnerships between schools and community organizations to support children’s learning, health and development, and to address the struggles of families and the communities. However, the draft states a one-way benefit for the partnership and the RTTT District grant resources: “the extent to which it integrates public and private resources to augment the schools’ core resources.” The purpose of the partnership should be to establish ongoing communication and to appropriately use these resources among the partners for the partnership’s agreed-upon goals and activities. If the submission includes the Competitive Priority, then the partners to the agreed partnership should be required to sign the submitted application to ensure that it represents all of the parties’ mutually agreed-upon goals, roles and responsibilities. Also, the submitted application should clarify that the grant resources shall be distributed, as appropriate to the community as well as school partners to fulfill their shared goals and respective responsibilities.

I concur with NAEYC's position.

There should be a Coordinated School Health requirement. http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/CSHP/

I think this is an incredibly essential component of the RFP. Wraparound services that are evidence-based and well-coordinated is essential to any school reform strategy. It takes nothing less than a backbone organization to ensure outside agencies are the right fit for schools and a community.

good-this section stress the importance of community/parent involvement; as well as supports parent and community participation must be made clearer in the language of this grant proposal.

To maximize and link US DOE funded projects, it would be ideal to include in #1 that the applicant should include a Parent Training & Information Center (and/or Community Parent Resource Center) as one of the key partner organizations to be included in the project. PTICs and/or CPRCs will be instrumental in assisting with 4.iv. engaging parents and families....

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