NAICU Washington Update

Department of Education to Prioritize Remote Learning in Future Grant Competitions

September 11, 2020

The Department of Education issued a proposed priority and definitions for future competitive grant competitions signaling that the agency may be giving special consideration to capacity building for remote learning in any future grant competitions.

Under this proposed priority, an applicant may be required to plan a project that is designed to address one or more of the following priority areas:
  • Models that leverage technology and provide high-quality digital learning content, applications, and tools.
  • Personalized and job-embedded professional learning to build the capacity of educators to effectively use technology to create remote learning experiences that advance student engagement and learning.
  • Access to any of the following, especially to serve learners without access to such technologies: reliable, high-speed internet; learning devices; and software applications that meet all students’ and educators’ remote learning needs whether in the classroom or at a remote location. These technology costs cannot exceed 10 percent of the overall costs for all activities of the project.
  • Performance-based assessments that promote competency-based education that can be delivered remotely or in-person to students and obtain valid and reliable results that accurately document students’ skills.
  • The development of digital interoperable credentials that make the competencies achieved through remote learning experiences transparent and allow students to access, control, and share their achievements across a variety of education and training processes. Information on these credentials must be publicly accessible using linked open data formats to ensure their transferability and the continuity of learning for students.
  • High-quality remote learning or competency-based education specifically for one or more of the following student subgroups: students from low-income families, students with disabilities, English learners, Native American students, homeless students, and students attending schools in rural areas.
The department can use the priority in future competitive grant applications at its discretion by choosing to include the entire priority or elements from the list. If the department chooses to not include all elements of the priority, then the last element, ensuring service to a high need population, must still be integrated in some form into one or more of the elements from the list.  Public comments are due on October 8, 2020.

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