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School Improvement RFP of the Week (2): Third Party Evaluation is Becoming a Distinct Market Segment

Announcement: External Evaluator for Iowa’s Enhanced Teacher Compensation Implementation Pilot Program Due July 31 (Jun 23), 2008 Legislative Session
House File 2679, Section 85, Iowa Department of Education

Their Description:
The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to solicit proposals from qualified service providers to contract for an external evaluator to provide services to Iowa Department of Education.... Vendors should put together a proposal that covers expenses for the full 18-month contract. The Department has allocated a maximum of $100,000 for the evaluation of the Enhanced Teacher Compensation Pilot....

Enhanced Teacher Compensation Program is the pilot grant program implemented by the Department based on the recommendations from the Pay for Performance study established by Chapter 284.14 of the Code of Iowa as enacted by Acts 2006 (81 G.A.) HF 2792, § 27.

Iowa’s Enhanced Teacher Compensation Pilot Implementation Program is designed to test the effectiveness of pay-for-performance and career ladder models, evaluate cost effectiveness, analyze student achievement gains, review assessments, allow thorough review of data, and make necessary adjustments before the possible implementation of a statewide enhanced teacher compensation system.

Three Iowa districts are involved in the implementation pilot. All three districts have agreed to participate in an external evaluation of the pilot....

In order to determine the ability of the enhanced teacher compensation pilot approach to positively affect student learning for kindergarten through grade twelve in selected school districts, an external evaluation will be designed and implemented. The external evaluation will address the strengths and weaknesses of the program design, evaluate cost effectiveness, analyze student achievement gains, and recommend necessary adjustments to the implemented models for effective statewide implementation....

This RFP is designed to provide vendors with the information necessary for the preparation of competitive bid proposals.... It is not intended to be comprehensive. Each vendor is responsible for determining all factors necessary for submission of a comprehensive bid proposal....

The external evaluator, with guidance from the Department’s Project Director will:

(1) Cooperatively develop, with the Department and Department staff, an evaluation design for the Teacher Compensation Pilot demonstration sites.

(2) Assist with matching schools and/or establishing procedures for accounting for variance,

(3) Identify or develop evaluation tools for gathering the necessary data to accomplish the evaluation,

(4) Identify or develop a web-based database for data collection procedures, housing data, and generating reports,

(5) Identify tools for conducting data analysis,

(6) Provide training and/or technical assistance needed for implementing the evaluation design, and

(7) Prepare and submit a final report and quarterly progress briefings....

My Thoughts: No Child Left Behind’s concept of scientifically-based research has had very little impact on the sale of school improvement products, services and programs. It has had a great influence on the sale of evaluation services. Indeed, it has created an entirely new k-12 market segment.

K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report is a comprehensive weekly web-enabled report delivered by email on Monday. It covers grant and contract RFPs issued by every federal and state education and social services agency and every school district over the internet. K-12Leads is for school improvement providers who understand that their offerings are not commodities, rarely displayed as such, and so easily missed by traditional computer-based “word search” systems.


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