Request for Proposals
Improving Teacher Quality State Grant Program

Grant Information and Application Instructions

DEFINITIONS


TERMINOLOGY DEFINITIONS
(from Improving Teacher Quality State Grants: Title II, Part A
Non-Regulatory Draft Guidance Document January 2004)


AYP: Adequate Yearly Progress

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Arts and Sciences (A) When referring to an organizational unit of an institution of higher education, any academic unit that offers one or more academic majors in disciplines or content areas corresponding to the academic subjects in which teachers teach; and B) when referring to a specific academic subject, the disciplines or content areas in which an academic major is offered by an organizational unit [Section 2102(1)].

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CFR: Code of Federal Regulations

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Charter School: The term “charter school” means its the purpose of eligibility under the Federal Charter Schools program, a public school that:

  1. In accordance with a specific State statute authorizing the granting of charters to schools, is exempt from significant State or local rules that inhibit the flexible operation and management of public schools, but not from any rules relating to the other requirements of the paragraph of the statute that defines “charter schools”;
  2. Is created by a developer as a public school, or is adapted by a developer from an existing public school, and is operated under public supervision and direction;
  3. Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives determined by the school's developer and agreed to by the authorized public chartering agency;
  4. Provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or both;
  5. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and is not affiliated with a sectarian school or religious institution;
  6. Does not charge tuition;
  7. Complies with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  8. Is a school to which parents choose to send their children, and that admits students on the basis of a lottery, if more students apply for admission than can be accommodated;
  9. Agrees to comply with the same Federal and State audit requirements as do other elementary schools and secondary schools in the State, unless such requirements are specifically waived for the purpose of the Charter Schools program;
  10. Meets all applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety requirements;
  11. Operates in accordance with State law; and
  12. Has a written performance contract with the authorized public chartering agency in the State that includes a description of how student performance will be measured in charter schools pursuant to State assessments that are required of other schools and pursuant to any other assessments mutually agreeable to the authorized public chartering agency and the charter school [Section 5210(1)].

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Core Academic Subjects: The term “core academic subjects" means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography [Section 9101(11)].

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The Department: U.S. Department of Education

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EDGAR: Education Department General Administrative Regulations

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Eisenhower Program: Eisenhower Professional Development Program

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ESEA: Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended

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Eligible Partnership: This term includes a private or State institution of higher education and the division of the institution that prepares teachers and principals; a school of arts and sciences; and a high-need local educational agency; and may include another LEA, a public charter school, an elementary school or secondary school, an educational service agency, a nonprofit educational organization, another institution of higher education, a school of arts and sciences within such an institution, the division of such an institution that prepares teachers and principals, a nonprofit cultural organization, an entity carrying out a pre-kindergarten program, a teacher organization, a principal organization, or a business [Section 2131].

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ESL: English as a Second Language

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FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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FY: Fiscal Year

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High-Need LEA: An LEA that serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or for which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the agency are from families with incomes below the poverty line; and for which there is a high percentage of teachers not teaching in the academic subjects or grade levels that the teachers were trained to teach; or for which there is a high percentage of teachers with emergency, provisional, or temporary certification or licensing [Section 2102(3)].

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HEA: Higher Education Act

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Highly Qualified Paraprofessional: A paraprofessional who has not less than 2 years of experience in a classroom; and post-secondary education or demonstrated competence in a field or academic subject for which there is a significant shortage of qualified teachers [Section 2102(4)].

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Highly Qualified Teacher:

  1. When the term “highly qualified teacher” is used with respect to any public elementary school or secondary school teacher teaching in a State, it means that:
    1. The teacher has obtained full State certification as a teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification) or passed the State teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in such State, except that when the term is used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the term means that the teacher meets the certification or licensing requirements set forth in the State's public charter school law (see entry below for the definition of a highly qualified charter school teacher); and
      1. The teacher has not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.
  2. When the term “highly qualified teacher” is used with respect to:
    1. An elementary school teacher who is new to the profession, it means that the teacher has met the requirements of paragraph (a) above, and:
      1. Holds at least a bachelor's degree; and
      2. Has demonstrated, by passing a rigorous State test, subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum (which may consist of passing a State-required certification or licensing test or tests in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of basic elementary school curriculum); or
    2. A middle school or secondary teacher who is new to the profession, it means that the teacher has met the requirements of paragraph (a) above, holds at least a bachelor's degree, and has demonstrated a high level of competency in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches by:
      1. Passing a rigorous State academic subject test in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches (which may consist of a passing level of performance on a State-required certification or licensing test or tests in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches); or
      2. Successful completion, in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches, of an academic major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate academic major, or advanced certification or credentialing.
  3. When the term “highly qualified teacher” is used with respect to an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is not new to the profession, it means that the teacher has met the requirements of paragraph (a) above, holds at least a bachelor's degree, and:

    1. Has met the applicable standard requirements, which includes an option for a test; or

    2. Demonstrates competency in all the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches based on a high objective uniform State standard of evaluation that-
      1. Is set by the State for both grade appropriate academic subject matter knowledge and teaching skills;
      2. Is aligned with challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards and developed in consultation with core content specialists, teachers, principals, and school administrators;
      3. Provides objective, coherent information about the teacher's attainment of core content knowledge in the academic subjects in which a teacher teaches;
      4. Is applied uniformly to all teachers in the same academic subject and the same grade level throughout the State;
      5. Takes into consideration, but not be based primarily on, the time the teacher has been teaching in the academic subject;
      6. Is made available to the public upon request; and
      7. May involve multiple, objective measures of teacher competency [Section 9101(23)].

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Highly Qualified Charter School Teacher: Charter school teachers who teach core academic subjects must comply with any provision in a State’s charter school law regarding certification or licensure requirements. A teacher in a charter school does not have to be licensed or certified by the State if the State does not require such licensure or certification. However, teachers of core academic subjects in charter schools must meet the other requirements that apply to public school teachers, including holding a four-year college degree and demonstrating competency in the subject area in which they teach. (See definition above for information on how teachers can demonstrate subject area competence.)

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Highly Qualified Vocational Education Teacher: Only vocational education teachers who teach core academic courses are required to meet the definition of a highly qualified teacher. The term “core academic subjects” is defined in ESEA as “English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.”

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High-Quality Professional Development: See the definition for “professional development.”

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IHE: Institution of Higher Education

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LEA: Local educational agency

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Low-Performing School : The term “low-performing school” means an elementary school or secondary school that is identified under Section 1116 of ESEA.

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NCLB: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

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OMB: Office of Management and Budget

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Out-of-Field Teacher: A teacher who is teaching an academic subject or a grade level for which the teacher is not highly qualified [Section 2102(5)].

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Paraprofessional: A paraprofessional is an individual with instructional duties. Individuals who work solely in non-instructional roles, such as food service, cafeteria or playground supervision, personal care services, and non-instructional computer assistance are not considered to be paraprofessionals for Title I purposes.

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Principal: The term “principal” includes an assistant principal [Section 2102(6)].

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Professional Development: [Section 9101(34)] The term “professional development”:

  1. Includes activities that:
    1. Improve and increase teachers' knowledge of the academic subjects the teachers teach, and enable teachers to become highly qualified;
    2. Are an integral part of broad schoolwide and districtwide educational improvement plans;
    3. Give teachers, principals, and administrators the knowledge and skills to provide students with the opportunity to meet challenging State academic content standards and student academic achievement standards;
    4. Improve classroom management skills;
    5. Are high-quality, sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction and the teacher's performance in the classroom and are not 1-day or short-term workshops or conferences;
    6. Support the recruiting, hiring, and training of highly qualified teachers, including teachers who became highly qualified through State and local alternative routes to certification;
    7. Advance teacher understanding of effective instructional strategies that are:
      1. Based on scientifically based research (except that this subclause shall not apply to activities carried out under Part D of Title II); and
      2. Strategies for improving student academic achievement or substantially increasing the knowledge and teaching skills of teachers; and
    8. Are aligned with and directly related to:
      1. State academic content standards, student academic achievement standards, and assessments; and
      2. The curricula and programs tied to the standards described in subclause (a) [except that this subclause shall not apply to activities described in clauses (ii) and (iii) of Section 2123(3)(B)];
    9. Are developed with extensive participation of teachers, principals, parents, and administrators of schools to be served under this Act;
    10. Are designed to give teachers of limited English proficient children, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and appropriate language and academic support services to those children, including the appropriate use of curricula and assessments;
    11. To the extent appropriate, provide training for teachers and principals in the use of technology so that technology and technology applications are effectively used in the classroom to improve teaching and learning in the curricula and core academic subjects in which the teachers teach;
    12. As a whole, are regularly evaluated for their impact on increased teacher effectiveness and improved student academic achievement, with the findings of the evaluations used to improve the quality of professional development;
    13. Provide instruction in methods of teaching children with special needs;
    14. Include instruction in the use of data and assessments to inform and instruct classroom practice; and
    15. Include instruction in ways that teachers, principals, pupil services personnel, and school administrators may work more effectively with parents; and
  2. May include activities that:
    1. Involve the forming of partnerships with institutions of higher education to establish school-based teacher training programs that provide prospective teachers and beginning teachers with an opportunity to work under the guidance of experienced teachers and college faculty;
    2. Create programs to enable paraprofessionals (assisting teachers employed by a local educational agency receiving assistance under Part A of Title I) to obtain the education necessary for those paraprofessionals to become certified and licensed teachers; and
    3. Provide follow-up training to teachers who have participated in activities described in subparagraph (A) or another clause of this subparagraph that is designed to ensure that the knowledge and skills learned by the teachers are implemented in the classroom [Section 9101(34)].

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Pupil Services Personnel; Pupil Services: The term “pupil services personnel” means school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and other qualified professional personnel involved in providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services (including related services as that term is defined in Section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs. The term “pupil services” means the services provided by pupil services personnel [Section 9101(36)].

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RFP: Request for Proposal

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Scientifically Based Research: The term “scientifically based research”:

  1. Means research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs; and
  2. Includes research that--
    1. Employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;
    2. Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;
    3. Relies on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across multiple measurements and observations, and across studies by the same or different investigators;
    4. Is evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental designs in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest, with a preference for random-assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those designs contain within-condition or across-condition controls;
    5. Ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, offer the opportunity to build systematically on their findings; and
    6. Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review [Section 9101(37)].

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Secretary: Secretary of Education , U.S. Department of Education

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SAHE: State agency for higher education

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SEA: State educational agency

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Special Rule: Section 2132(c) of the law requires that no single participant in an eligible partnership, (i.e., no single high-need LEA, no single IHE and its division that prepares teachers and principals, no single school of arts and sciences, and no other single partner), may "use" more than 50 percent of the subgrant. The provision focuses not on which partner receives the funds, but on which partner directly benefits from them.

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Statute: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

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Massachusetts Public School Districts
With 20% (or more) Children from Families Below Poverty Line**

(2007 data source: www.census.gov/hhes/www/saipe/district.html)

Boston
Chelsea
Chicopee
Fall River
Fitchburg
Holyoke
Lawrence
Lowell
Lynn
New Bedford
North Adams
Revere
Southbridge
Springfield
West Springfield
Worcester

** see www.doe.mass.edu/titlei/FY09Allocations.xls for more information.

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