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School Improvement RFP of the Week (2)

Why Such Short Notice for a Major Department of Education RFI With Small-Business Potential?

From Monday's issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report

Announcement: Professional Development Module Due March 20 (Mar 10), U.S. Department of Education

Their Description: The U.S. Department of Education’s, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is a State formula-grant program authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act....

The No Child Left Behind Act converted the 21st CCLC program from discretionary grants, administered directly by the Department of Education, to a program in which.... States must use their allocations to make competitive awards to eligible entities. Grants made under the antecedent program will continue to be managed at the Federal level until they expire. The Secretary may reserve up to one percent of the total appropriation for the 21st CCLC program to carry out an array of national activities, including but not limited to national evaluations and the technical assistance.

The objective of the 21st CCLC program is to enable community learning centers to have the ability to plan, implement, or expand after-school learning enrichment opportunities to help students meet State and local standards in core content areas. 21st CCLC programs must primarily serve children who attend schools identified with high-poverty, while also giving priority to serving children in low-performing schools....

Contractors responding to this Request for Information shall have the minimum capacity to:

• Develop and implement a rigorous process for identifying afterschool programs with promising academic practices throughout the country;

• Provide technical and analytic support to three large-randomized controlled trials assessing the impacts of promising afterschool reading curricula on student academic achievement outcomes;

• Develop and host web-based tools and other applications pertaining to afterschool programs;

• Establish a national technical assistance network within state education agencies (SEAs) for infusing high quality content into afterschool programming;

• Partner with the U.S. Department of Education and SEAs in providing training opportunities for afterschool programs and adopting promising practices for high quality academic programming; and

• Disseminate findings and resources to afterschool practitioners, educators, and policy makers through a wide variety of national and regional events.

In addition, the contractor shall possess the ability to design professional development databases and modules using a hybrid of distance learning techniques, train the trainer techniques, and regional study circles to increase the capacity of local 21st CCLC project and program directors to use nationally recognized best practices to improve the academic outcomes of their participating students.

All interested parties are encouraged to respond to this Request for Information with a brief capability statement outlining the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities in meeting Department of Education requirements by March 20, 2008 close of business EST. If two or more small businesses are identified and determined by the Contracting Officer to be capable of successfully meeting contractual objectives, the Department of Education will set-aside this procurement for small-businesses.

My Thoughts: Have problems with how this RFI was issued? The time line is not exactly encouraging for small organizations. Here’s the Point of Contact: Thurl Frazier, Contract Specialist, Phone 202-245-6187, Fax 202-245-6278, Email [email protected] (cc: Sylvia Reid, Contracting Officer at [email protected]).

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