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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2015

Title II-B: Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnership Program (MMSP)
Fund Code: 150-B

Introduction and Background: Title II, Part B, of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) authorizes the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnership (MMSP) grant program. The intent of this competitive grant program is to encourage districts and institutions of higher education to collaborate in professional development activities that increase the subject matter knowledge and improve the standards-based instructional practices of science, technology/engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators.

Funds for new partnerships through this 2014-2015 MMSP competitive grant program will be awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. For FY2015, approximately $1,000,000 is available for new MMSP awards.

Purpose: The purpose of the program is to improve student achievement in science, technology/engineering, and mathematics (STEM) particularly in the middle school level through intensive, effective professional development activities that focus on deepening educator's knowledge of subject matter standards, disciplinary practices and student learning. This grant program is also intended to promote the advancement of District Determined Measures (DDMs) to assess student growth and inform educator development.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has established the following goals for the MMSP program.

GOAL IDevelop and implement an effective and sustained course of study for in-service educators of STEM by integrating the courses of study into schools of arts and sciences and/or education at institutions of higher education.
GOAL IIIdentify credible, instructionally useful measures of student growth and select, develop, and pilot District Determined Measures (DDMs) that measure student growth relative to subject matter standards.
GOAL IIIIncrease the number of STEM educators in the partner school districts who participate in effective professional development and advance their knowledge of subject matter standards, disciplinary practices and student learning.
GOAL IVDevelop and implement a systemic approach to STEM education by integrating professional development with district and school STEM improvement initiatives.
Eligibility: Eligible MMSP proposals must:
  1. be a partnership as described below and include at least a high-need district and a STEM department from an institution of higher education (core partners); it is strongly recommended that the institution of higher education's education department be included in this partnership in addition to, but not in place of, the STEM department;

  2. propose the development of middle school science, technology/engineering, and /or mathematics DDMs and Professional Development as described in the General Requirements, elementary and/or high school can be included if it substantively supports the middle school work;

  3. address the Required Program Information; and

  4. be developed collaboratively by representatives from each partnering organization.

Core Partners
Core partner organizations share responsibility and accountability for the MMSP project. Core partners are required to provide evidence of their commitment to undergo coordinated institutional change necessary to sustain the partnership effort beyond the funding period.

Core partner organizations in each partnership must include:

  1. a high-need district (See Additional Information for the High-Need District List); and

  2. a STEM department from a Massachusetts institution of higher education, which can include community colleges.

Districts may submit, as a core partner, only one proposal.

Lead Partner
One of the core partner organizations serves as the lead partner and submits the MMSP proposal on behalf of the partnership. The lead partner accepts management and fiduciary responsibility for the projects. It is strongly recommended that a high-need district act as the lead partner.

Additional Partners
Additional partners from within Massachusetts may include: other local educational agencies, public charter schools, public or non-public elementary schools or secondary schools, or a consortium of such schools;

Additional partners from within or outside Massachusetts may include:

  1. the STEM department or education department of other institutions of higher education;

  2. non-profit or for-profit organizations with demonstrated effectiveness in improving the quality of STEM teachers; and/or

  3. business partners.

Massachusetts private schools are eligible to participate in a partnership and are to be given equitable opportunity for participation. (A minimum of fifty percent of the teachers participating in a partnership's activities must be employed in an MMSP qualifying high-need district.)

General Requirements: Proposed MMSP partnership activities must address the following general requirements (specific requirements are outlined in the Required Program Information):
  1. development and implementation of District-Determined Measures of student learning growth related to middle school STEM subject matter standards, disciplinary practices and student learning that are comparable across a grade or subject, district-wide. These measures may include, but shall not be limited to: portfolios, approved commercial assessments and district-developed pre and post unit and course assessments, and capstone projects. (See Additional Information for the Educator Evaluation - District Determined Measures)

  2. at least 45 hours (per course) of effective, subject matter professional development (PD) for middle school STEM educators relevant to STEM topics in state standards and the DDMs to be developed, to include special education teachers and teachers of English language learners. (See Additional Information for Curriculum Frameworks and the Draft Revised Science and Technology/Engineering Standards)

  3. at least 24 hours of supplemental activities per course to guide the implementation of standards-based instruction and facilitate connections between the PD course(s) and DDMs;

  4. PD must include instruction and assessment of standards for mathematics and/or science and engineering practices as student outcomes;

  5. integration of the state evaluator into program planning and compliance with state and federal reporting requirements; (See Additional Information for the MMSP Evaluation Approach for Partnerships)

  6. at least 50% of the participating educators must be from high need districts; (See Additional Information for the High Needs District List)

  7. all professional development initiatives funded by this grant program will be implemented in accordance with the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development. In addition to the planning practices described in this RFP, the district must affirm that any professional development conducted with the use of grant funds meets Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development. (See Additional Information for the Massachusetts Standard for Professional Development.)

    These standards encourage a set of coherent learning experiences that is systematic, purposeful, and structured over a sustained period of time with the goal of improving teacher practice and student outcomes. High quality PD enables educators to facilitate the learning of students by acquiring and applying knowledge, skills, and abilities that address student needs and improvement goals of the district, school, and individual.

Bonus points will be given to partnerships that help educators develop and assess students' understanding and facility with mathematical practices and science and engineering practices in appropriate contexts.

Proposed MMSP partnerships are encouraged to include additional activities for the high need districts that integrate the professional development with local STEM improvement initiatives (e.g., improvement plans, curriculum alignment or instructional documents, instructional leadership training and protocols, and/or Individual Professional Development Plans). Additional MMSP partnership activities may include:

  1. creating district/school STEM documents aligned to the Frameworks and/or STEM school improvement plans/curriculum;

  2. providing instructional leadership training to facilitate effective site-based supplemental activities and standards-based instruction or evaluation of instruction that incorporates the Curriculum Frameworks.

  3. Providing additional team or professional learning community (PLC) time for teachers to analyze data from common DDMs and adjust DDMs or assessments.

Funding: Approximately $1,000,000 will be available for these grants in this year (FY2015). Second and third year awards are contingent upon program funding by Congress and yearly progress towards meeting the goals and objectives established for the program. The level of funding for each grant award will depend primarily upon the number of teacher participants and the number of students affected. In order to be cost effective, the cost per teacher participant should be approximately $2,000 per professional development course. (This is an estimate and may be lower or higher depending upon the proposed program activities.)
Fund Use: Funds awarded shall be used to supplement, not supplant, state and/or local funds that would otherwise be used for proposed activities.
  1. Funds may be used to support STEM professional development programs, course development, DDMs development and activities that integrate the professional development with DDM development and administration and with local STEM improvement initiatives.

  2. Funds may be used for administrative costs, stipends, substitutes, materials for professional development, program evaluation, program dissemination, travel to state and national Title II-B meetings, etc. Note: Grant funds may not be allocated to pay for both a participant's graduate credit tuition and to provide a stipend.

  3. Funds may not be used for equipment (costing more than $5000 per unit), space rental, or food.

  4. Funds may not be used for equipment or instructional materials for the students of the participating teachers.

  5. Funds may not be used for full-time staff positions.

  6. 10% of the total proposal is set aside for the state evaluator, University of Massachusetts Donahue institute.

  7. Indirect costs, if charged, must be at the Department's approved rate and may not exceed a rate of 8%.

  8. Administrative costs and indirect costs combined may not exceed 20% of the total budget.

  9. Consultant fees may not exceed$100 per hour, up to $750 per day.

All budgets and budget descriptions must be aligned with the program activities and reflect any coordinated uses of resources from other sources.

Project Duration: Upon approval - 8/31/2015
Program Unit: Science, Technology/Engineering, and Mathematics
Contact: Anne DeMallie
Phone Number: (781) 338-3527
Date Due: Monday, September 15, 2014.
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms: Forms to be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on September 15, 2014.
Download PDF Document  Download Excel Document
All forms are included in the MMSP Application Workbook (Excel file)
  1. Section I - Signature Pages - including:
    1. Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants -Cover Page
      FY2015 (Upon approval - 8/31/2015)
    2. Partner Contributions and Commitments
    3. Statement of Assurances
    4. Equitable Participation of Private Schools
  2. Section II - General - including:
    1. Title and Abstract
    2. Project Impact
    3. Contact Information
  3. Section III - Required Program Information - including:
    1. General Program Narrative
    2. Work Plan Including Courses and Activities
    3. Project Timeline
    4. Evaluation Plan Summary
    5. Qualifications
  4. Budget Pages - including:
    1. Project Expenditures
    2. Budget Details
    3. Cumulative Budget
Additional Information:
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Required Program Information
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
FY2013 High Needs Districts List
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Definitions of Terms
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Technical Guide B: Measuring Student Growth and Piloting District-Determined Measures
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
MMSP Evaluation Approach for Partnerships
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Massachusetts Standard for Professional Development
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
Scoring Rubric
View HTML Page
2006 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Science and Technology/Engineering
View HTML Page
Draft Revised Science and Technology/Engineering Standards
View HTML Page
Educator Evaluation: District Determined Measures
Submission Instructions: The MMSP application package may be downloaded from the Science, Technology / Engineering, and Mathematics website. Submit 2 hardcopy sets of the complete application package with original signatures on Section 1A, 1B, and 1C to:

Anne DeMallie
Science, Technology/Engineering, and Mathematics
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Submit an electronic copy of the complete application package to Anne DeMallie with "2015 MMSP Competitive Application" in the subject line. The due date of September 15, 2014 also applies to the electronic submission.

Last Updated: July 18, 2014
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