/Vol. 62, No. 160/Tuesday, August 19, 1997/Notices
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
National Awards Program for High-Quality Professional Development
Department of Education.
Notice of Proposed Eligibilityand Selection Criteria.
The Secretary proposeseligibility and selection criteria togovern the National Awards Program forModel Professional Development forFiscal Year 1998. Under these criteria,the National Awards Program wouldrecognize a variety of schools andschool districts with model professionaldevelopment activities in the pre-kindergarten through twelfth gradelevels that have led to increases instudent achievement.
Comments must be received bythe Department on or before September18, 1997.
All comments concerningthese proposed definitions and selectioncriteria should be addressed to SharonHorn, Office of Educational Researchand Improvement, 555 New JerseyAvenue, NW—Room 506E, Washington,DC 20208 phone: 202–219–2203.Comments also may be sent by e-mail tosharon
firstname.lastname@example.org or by FAX at(202) 219–2198.Comments that concern informationcollection requirements must be sent tothe Office of Management and Budget atthe address listed in the Paperwork Reduction Act section of this notice. Acopy of those comments may also besent to the Department representativenamed in the
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Sharon Horn, phone: (202) 219–2203.Individuals who use atelecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal InformationRelay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Throughthis notice the Secretary proposesdefinitions and criteria to governapplications for recognition submittedunder the second National AwardsProgram for Model ProfessionalDevelopment. This Program began in1996, in coordination with a wide rangeof national education organizations, tohighlight and recognize schools andschool districts whose professionaldevelopment activities are aligned withthe statement of Mission and Principlesof Professional Development that theDepartment developed in 1994. SeeAppendix A. This second NationalAwards Program, to be conductedduring Fiscal Year (FY) 1998, will beimplemented in ways similar to lastyear’s program (see, for example, theNotice Inviting Applications for Awardspublished in the
onJune 14, 1996 at 61 FR 30450), but withcriteria designed to better informapplicants of the kind of informationthat successful applicants will need toprovide. Again this year, the Secretarywould recognize successful applicantsat a ceremony in Washington, D.C., andpresent each successful applicant withan award of not less than $5,000 that therecipient could use to expand, promoteor publicize its professionaldevelopment activities.The reasons for wanting to continuethe National Awards Program are clear.Schools and school districts throughoutthe Nation are undertaking efforts toraise academic standards and toimprove the academic achievement of all students. For these efforts to besuccessful they must include strategiesfor permitting teachers (and otherschool and local educational agency(LEA) staff) to obtain the skills andknowledge they need to enable allstudents to achieve. Indeed, whateverthe school reform initiative, teachers arethe core. However, teachers need accessto new knowledge and skills to enablethem to continue to teach to higherstandards and to respond to thechallenges facing education today.Realizing that high-qualityprofessional development must be at thecore of any effort to achieve educationalexcellence, the Secretary in 1994directed a broadly representative teamwithin the U.S. Department of Education to examine the best availableresearch and exemplary practicesrelated to professional development,and work with the field to develop a setof basic principles of high-qualityprofessional development. Out of thisnational effort came the Department’sStatement of Mission and Principles of Professional Development. Thisstatement reflected both extensivecollaboration with a wide range of education constituents and review of public comment received on a draftStatement of Mission and Principles of Professional Development published inthe
on December 9,1994 (59 FR 63773). The Departmentissued the final Statement of Missionand Principles (Appendix A) in 1995after review of public comment andreexamination of the best availableresearch on exemplary practices. Thisstatement is grounded in the practicalwisdom of leading educators across thecountry about the kind of professionaldevelopment that, if implemented,maintained, and supported, will have apositive and lasting effect on teachingand learning in America.The Statement of Mission andPrinciples of Professional Developmentrepresents a framework for guidingschool and school district staff as theydesign and implement their professionaldevelopment activities. Many of thesame national education organizationsthat worked with the Department todevelop the Mission and Principles of Professional Development sought theDepartment’s help last year inidentifying and recognizing thoseprofessional development efforts acrossthe pre-kindergarten through twelfthgrade spectrum that reflect the Missionand Principles. Given the efforts of schools and school districts throughoutthe Nation to pursue school reforminitiatives, the Secretary agreed withthese organizations about the urgentneed to identify sites whoseprofessional development activities canbe models for other schools and districtsthat are working to enhance their ownprofessional development activities.Therefore, the Secretary last yearannounced the first National AwardsProgram for Model ProfessionalDevelopment. The public expressedgreat interest in the program, and theDepartment received over 100applications. In February of this year,the Department recognized five schoolsand school districts in Massachusetts,Connecticut, Kansas and California forthe high quality of their professionaldevelopment activities and the link between those activities and improvedstudent learning. But the importance of high-quality professional developmentto successful strategies to increasestudent achievement demands that thisAwards Program be continued, andmore schools and school districts havethe opportunity for national recognition.Therefore, the Secretary is pleased topropose definitions and criteria togovern the second National AwardsProgram.The Secretary will announce the finaleligibility and selection criteria in anotice in the
. The finaleligibility and selection criteria will bedetermined by responses to this noticeand other considerations of theDepartment.
This notice does not solicitapplications. A notice inviting applicationsunder this competition will be published inthe
concurrent with orfollowing publication of the notice of finaleligibility and selection criteria.
Proposed Eligibility Criteria
As with last year’s program, eligibleapplicants would be schools and schooldistricts in the States (including schools