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Institute of Education Sciences: Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Special Education Interventions

Deadline: August 3, 2017

The program is designed to support rigorous evaluations of interventions that state and/or local education agencies (or other state or local agencies that oversee early intervention services) expect to produce meaningful improvements in education outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with or at risk for a disability within a short period (for example, within a single semester or academic year). The program will be carried out by research institutions and state or local agencies working together as partners. The evaluations will use randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity designs, or single-case experimental designs to determine the impact of interventions on education outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth, and will rely on administrative data or other sources of secondary data to provide measures of these outcomes.

The Institute views Low-Cost Evaluation projects as a means to obtain rigorous evidence of impact that state and local education agencies can use in making timely decisions regarding the scaling-up or revision of education interventions. Such evidence may help state and local education agencies meet their new responsibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in identifying evidence-based school improvement practices. Through this grant program, the Institute intends to support education agency decision-making on interventions they implement, contribute to a larger evidence base about education effectiveness, and learn more about the value of this type of evaluation and what it can contribute to the field.

All research supported under the Low-Cost Evaluation program must focus on children and youth with or at risk for a disability. The Institute encourages research on children/students with high-incidence and low-incidence disabilities, as well as English learners with disabilities, across topic areas of importance to state and local agencies. The Institute is most interested in child/student outcomes that support success in school and afterwards, including: academic and developmental outcomes, social and behavioral competencies, and functional skills.

Proposed research must be relevant to education in the United States and must address factors under the control of the U.S. education system (state or local). To help ensure such relevance, the Institute requires researchers to work within or with data from authentic education settings.

To ensure that findings from the Low-Cost Evaluation program are shared with all interested audiences, the Institute also requires all applicants to present a plan to disseminate project findings.

Amount: Grants of up to $250,000 will be made for a period of up to two years.

Eligibility: At a minimum, applications must include a research institution and a U.S. state or local education agency proposing to work together in partnership. Applicants that have the ability and capacity to conduct scientific research are eligible to apply as the research institution partner(s). These include, but are not limited to, non-profit and for-profit organizations and public and private agencies and institutions, such as colleges and universities, and research firms.

The U.S. education agency partners may include:

  • State education agencies such as education agencies, departments, boards and commissions that oversee early learning, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and/or adult education. The term state education agencies includes U.S. territories’ education agencies and tribal education agencies.
  • Local education agencies which are primarily public school districts and may also include county or city agencies that have primary responsibility for infant and child care, early intervention services, or preschool.
  • Other state or local agencies, including state or local health agencies and state agencies overseeing child care or early intervention services.

The Institute encourages the proposed partnerships to include other organizations that can contribute to the successful outcome of the work such as other state or local agencies (e.g., juvenile justice programs, social services, early intervention services, child or infant care, preschool), community organizations, parent organizations, and teacher and staff organizations.

Link: https://ies.ed.gov/funding/

Note: Letters of Intent to apply are strongly encouraged and due by June 22, 2017.

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