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Institute of Education Sciences

IES Centers
Funding Opportunities | Education Research Grant Programs

Program Announcement: Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies CFDA 84.305H

Program Officer:
Dr. Allen Ruby
Telephone: (202) 219-1591

The Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies topic was previously a separate grant program. For FY 2014, it has been merged into the Partnerships and Collaborations Focused on Problems of Practice or Policy program (84.305H) as Topic 3.

Under the Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies (State/Local Evaluation) topic, the Institute funds partnerships composed of research institutions and State and local education agencies to carryout rigorous evaluations of education programs or policies (programs/policies) that are implemented by State or local education agencies.

The State/Local Evaluation topic takes advantage of the ongoing implementation of programs/policies to improve student achievement by State and local education agencies. These education agencies may lack the funds and/or the research capacity to evaluate such programs/policies, yet such evaluations are necessary to distinguish those programs/policies producing the expected outcomes from those that do not, to identify the particular groups (e.g., types of students, teachers, or schools) for which programs/policies work, and to determine which aspects of programs/policies need to be modified. The results of such evaluations are of value not only to the education agency directly involved but also to other States and districts that may be using or considering the use of similar programs/policies.

The Institute intends to invest in the evaluation of programs and policies that substantially modify or differ from existing practices. The modest changes in programs/policies that States and districts make on an ongoing basis, such as small changes in daily schedules or making minor adjustments to teacher certification systems, are not the targets of this research program. Ongoing projects are evaluating State and local programs/policies that include: expansion of preschool, technology-based formative testing, rigorous curriculum requirements, high-stakes testing, professional development programs, and multi-pronged reading interventions.

The Institute expects the grantee to provide the following at the end of a funded State/Local Evaluation project:

  1. Evidence of the impact of a clearly specified program/policy, implemented by a State or local education agency, on relevant student academic outcomes relative to a comparison condition using a rigorous research design which can be used to make causal inferences. The impacts include both overall impacts and impacts under a variety of conditions.
  2. Conclusions on and revisions to the theory of change that guides the program/policy and a discussion of the broader contributions the study makes to our theoretical understanding of education processes and procedures.
  3. If a beneficial impact is found, then the identification of the organizational supports, tools, and procedures that are needed for sufficient implementation of the core components of the program/policy under routine practice.
  4. If a beneficial impact is not found, then a determination of whether and what type of further research would be useful to revise the program/policy and/or its implementation.
  5. The financial costs of the program/policy.

Note: The 84.305H Request for Applications (RFA) was updated with minor corrections on May 9, 2013. If you downloaded this RFA before May 9, 2013, please download the revised RFA.