NCEE Seeks to Evaluate ESSA Pilots

One office in the U.S. Department of Education is conducting research on whether to conduct evaluations on two ESSA pilot programs.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Evaluation is looking for proposals from vendors complete an evaluations for two programs authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act — the Innovative Assessment and Accountability Authority (IADA) and the Flexibility for Equitable Per-Pupil Funding.  The evaluations will be focusing on describing implementations in pilot sites, challenges faced and approaches to mitigating challenges.

The evaluations could also include looking into how key education inputs, such as instructional practices, school-level spending and student outcomes, evolve during the pilot process.  The contract for the pilots will last for three years and could last an additional four years if ED is interested in more investigations.

The priority of the evaluation process will be to conduct an evaluation of the IADA, including ways to refine the study design, the development of data collection forms, two rounds of data collection, data analysis and preparation of two reports. The selected vendor will also have the ability to conduct an evaluation of the Flexibility for Equitable Per-Pupil Funding, which includes a development of data collection forms, an Office of Management and Budget forms clearance package, data analysis and the preparation of two reports.

The IADA program is designed to allow up to up to seven states to pilot innovative assessment systems for three years in some districts.  Through participation, these states can avoid having to double-test students in pilot districts. Currently, Louisiana and New Hampshire are the only states that were approved for an initial demonstration period for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Flexibility for Equitable Per-Pupil Finding program allows up to 50 districts to pilot a weighted per-pupil funding system for three years.  Through participation, school districts are allowed pool funds from ESSA programs and pick the types of students and specific weights to determine how the pooled funds are allocated to schools.

This request for information is to conduct market research on whether there are sufficient interest capabilities from vendors to conduct these evaluations.  Responses to the RFI are due on January 18.

The full RFI can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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