Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center Request

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center
Request for Proposals (RFP)
Developing American Sign Language Content Standards Grades K-12
The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center (Clerc Center) at Gallaudet
University is seeking a qualified Candidate (company, group or individual) to develop American
Sign Language (ASL) content standards for language development in grades K-12 for deaf and
hard of hearing students. The Clerc Center invites Candidates with expertise in ASL acquisition
and development, teaching, and learning, and who possess the capability to develop and
implement a process through which ASL standards will be developed, to bid on this RFP.
This RFP is issued to satisfy the following objective of the Clerc Center Strategic Plan:
Goal One: Students will reach their full potential linguistically and academically from
kindergarten through 21 years of age.
Objective 2: The Clerc Center will lead a collaborative effort with identified experts to
develop national content standards for American Sign Language from kindergarten through
twelfth grade by 2012.
About the Clerc Center
The Clerc Center‟s mission is to improve the quality of education afforded to deaf and hard of
hearing students from birth to age 21 throughout the United States.
The Clerc Center has been mandated by Congress, in the Education of the Deaf Act
(EDA), to provide information, training, and technical assistance for parents and personnel
throughout the nation to meet the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing with a broad
spectrum of needs, including students who:
are lower achieving academically
come from non-English speaking homes
have secondary disabilities
are members of minority groups
are from rural areas.
The Clerc Center is expected to maintain exemplary elementary and secondary educational
programs, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and the Model Secondary School for the
Deaf, and to develop, evaluate, and disseminate innovative curricula, materials, and instructional
techniques and strategies that can be used in various educational environments, including:
regular classes
resource rooms
separate classes
separate nonresidential schools (public or private)
separate residential schools (public or private).
In addition, the Clerc Center is expected to establish and publish priorities for research,
development, and demonstration through a process that allows for public input.
Currently in the U.S. and its territories, almost 73,000 deaf and hard of hearing children
between age 6 and 21 are served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
(U.S. Department of Education, 2009). The use of ASL with these students in the classroom is
an area that has received very little attention. There are no formal data tracking the level of ASL
competence students possess or the level of competence they need at each grade to be able to
meet grade-level achievement standards.
Current standards-based accountability systems require the ability to measure what the
student knows and can do. IDEA requires measurable data to be used in the development of
students‟ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) (20 U.S.C. § 1414 (d)). Both IDEA and the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) require States, school districts, and schools to
ensure that all students meet the same State identified academic benchmarks (20 U.S.C. §
1412(a)(15)(A)(ii) and 20 U.S.C. § 6311(b)(2)(A), respectively). To find competitive
employment in today‟s global environment, students in the United States are expected to reach
higher standards than ever. In order for deaf students, who use ASL as their language, to access
and master high level academic content, they must have the ASL skills necessary to provide such
access (Padden & Ramsey, 1998; Prinz & Strong, 1998). Aside from academic considerations,
the acquisition of age appropriate language is necessary for deaf students to achieve full
cognitive and social-emotional development. It is also considered a human right for deaf
children to have their education “delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and
means of communication” (United Nations, 2007).
Absent valid ASL content standards for language development, there is no reliable way to
measure or monitor ASL development for these students. Lacking a way to measure such skills,
it is difficult to assure that students will acquire them. Currently, no commonly accepted ASL
content standards are available in the United States. Teachers and other personnel use spoken or
English language development standards designed for hearing children and adapt them to
measure the learning of ASL. While teachers and others should be commended for their efforts
to make the most of the limited resources they have, this practice cannot be sustained. It is
subjective, without common criteria, and unable to provide consistent, reliable information. The
field of education does not have the tools and expertise needed to be able to report how many
deaf students have acquired grade-appropriate ASL skills. It does not have a commonlyaccepted definition of grade-appropriate ASL skills. And it does not have the tools and expertise
needed to be able to study the effect of deaf children‟s ASL level on educational performance.
This impacts educational planning for individual deaf children and for the entire population of
children who use ASL for learning.
Eligible Applicants
Eligible Candidates include schools, institutions of higher learning (IHEs), non-profit
organizations and agencies, for-profit companies, and individuals. Proposals involving multiple
individuals and/or institutions are encouraged.
A single Candidate (individual, organization, or collaboration) will be funded to provide
the products and services described in this RFP.
A successful proposal must address the following:
1. Principles directing the content standards development
2. A viable plan for how the research review and synthesis and ASL standards
development will be accomplished
3. Capacity to interact and participate in activities with stakeholders
4. Capacity and timeline for completing the work.
5. Detailed budget request and plan (see Section H).
In addition, proposals must include a plan for ASL standards development that includes
completion of the following deliverables:
1. Written report providing a critical review and synthesis of the research that supports
the structure and content of the standards and benchmarks. The report should
include discussion and recommendations by the Candidate regarding proposed
standards strands (standards strands are domains or major concepts that will serve as
a framework for the standards; for example, strands for English Language Arts might
be writing, reading, literature, and language).
2. Written report providing the Kindergarten – 12th grade framework of specific
standards strands as defined by the research.
3. Written report delineating Kindergarten – 12th grade content standards that reflect the
knowledge and skills students should know and be able to do to demonstrate
competence in ASL language acquisition and use. Content standards should be
aligned with the approved framework, as delineated in deliverable #2 above.
a. Benchmarks that describe what students should know by the end of
kindergarten, 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 12th grades aligned with the content standards.
All deliverables will be reviewed and validated in accordance with review processes designed, facilitated,
and overseen by the Clerc Center.
Comprehensive Plan
Development Process
The Candidate will serve as the Standards Development Group. The Candidate will perform a
critical review and synthesis of existing research on ASL acquisition and development and will
document its findings in a format appropriate for future publication and/or dissemination by the
Clerc Center. Based on the research findings, the Candidate will develop a framework of
specific standards strands for development of the content standards. Once the framework is
approved by the Clerc Center (see below), the Candidate will draft ASL standards based on this
Review Process
The Candidate must agree to participate in a structured review process, planned and facilitated
by the Clerc Center. The process includes defined opportunities for public input, both from
targeted experts and members of the general public, to finalize and validate the standards. The
Clerc Center will ensure that information about opportunities for review of the draft standards is
distributed widely. The review process will include, but is not limited to, the following four
1. Stage One - Synthesis Review: The Clerc Center will convene an Expert Panel to review
and accept the critical review and synthesis of the research and the proposed framework
for the content standards strands.
a. The research synthesis and framework must be accepted before the Candidate
begins development of the content standards and benchmarks.
2. Stage Two – Feedback Group: The Clerc Center will convene a Feedback Group,
consisting of teachers with knowledge and expertise in the instruction of ASL, linguists
with ASL expertise, and other related educators. The Feedback Group will review the
draft standards and benchmarks in relation to the Standards Criteria defined in section II.
E. of this RFP and will provide input to further the standards development process.
3. Stage Three – Public Comment: Following incorporation of input from the Feedback
Group by the Candidate, the Clerc Center will make available for public comment the
draft standards and benchmarks. The opportunity for comment will be open to all
interested individuals. Feedback will be synthesized by the Clerc Center and shared with
the Candidate to inform subsequent revisions of the draft.
4. Stage Four – Validation Committee: The Clerc Center will convene a Validation
Committee, consisting of independent, identified experts, for the final phase of the
review process. The Validation Committee will review the standards development
process and the substance of standards to ensure they are comprehensive, rigorous, and
aligned with the research synthesis.
At each stage of the review process, the Candidate will modify the draft standards as
necessary. Work is not finalized until accepted by the Clerc Center. Upon acceptance,
the Clerc Center will assume responsibility for all future dissemination of the standards.
All products or original works produced in this Agreement shall be deemed works made for
hire, and the Clerc Center therein shall retain all rights in copyright.
In this Agreement, „Intellectual Property” means all works, including literary works,
pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, architectural works, works of visual arts and any
other work that may be the subject matter of copyright protection; advertising and marketing
concepts; information; data; formulas; designs; models; drawings; computer programs,
including all documentation, related listings, design specifications, and flowcharts, trade
secrets, source codes, and any inventions including all processes, machines, manufactures
and composition of matter, and any other invention that may be the subject matter of patent
protection, and all statutory protection obtained or obtainable thereon. Candidate hereby
assigns to the Clerc Center all worldwide rights, title and interest in and to Intellectual
Property created, made, conceived, reduced to practice, or authored by Candidate, or any
persons provided by Candidate either solely or jointly with others, during the performance of
this Agreement or with the use of information, materials or facilities of the Clerc Center
received by Candidate during the term of this Agreement. The Clerc Center shall be free to
make, have made, use and sell products utilizing the Intellectual Property assigned to the
Clerc Center.
Candidate shall retain ownership of all Intellectual Property that has been made by
Candidate, other than the products or works produced under this Agreement.
No License, express or implied, under any patents or copyrights, is granted hereunder by the
Clerc Center to Candidate.
Relationship with the Clerc Center
Consistent with the implementation of its Strategic Plan, the Clerc Center has established
an ASL Standards Action Plan Team. The Team will provide oversight and support for the ASL
Standards Development process and will plan and manage the review process. The Candidate
will work closely with the Team, meeting on-site at the Clerc Center a minimum of three times
during the course of the contract, providing monthly detailed written updates, scheduling
monthly videophone conferences, and incorporating the Team‟s suggestions and feedback into
its work.
The Candidate will submit and adhere to a clear timeline in accordance with Section III
of this RFP and ensure that it allows sufficient time for the Comprehensive Plan to be carried
out. Timeline should include anticipated dates for completion of major milestones in the
development process for all deliverables as well as anticipated meetings with the Clerc Center.
Standards Criteria
The ASL standards and benchmarks developed under this contract should describe the
breadth, depth, and range of complexity of language skills needed for deaf and hard of hearing
students to meet the academic expectations of their grade. The standards and benchmarks
1. Be aligned with college and work preparedness expectations
2. Include higher-order thinking skills that allow students to demonstrate and apply what they
know in increasingly complex ways
3. Build upon strengths and lessons of current practice supporting the development of ASL
4. Be research-based
In addition, the standards should be:
5. Reasonable in scope to define the knowledge and skills
6. Rigorous
7. Clear and Specific - they are teachable learnable, and measurable; understood by the
general public
8. Instructible - sufficient guidance to design curricula and instructional material
9. Coherent - unified vision of big ideas that reflects a progression of learning
Applicant must provide a minimum of three (3) references, including name, address, phone
number, and professional relationship. Letters of reference are also encouraged.
Candidate Qualifications
A successful proposal must demonstrate evidence that the Candidate:
1. Understands the needs of deaf education teachers for appropriate language standards
2. Understands the unique language and communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing
3. Understands instructional implications of language use for educational purposes
4. Has experience in researching ASL acquisition, development, and assessment
5. Has experience documenting effective use of ASL in the classroom.
6. Has the ability to communicate in ASL
Proposals should include a detailed budget plan that delineates, in sufficient detail, the
anticipated use of requested funds from start-up through completion of standards development.
The budget request should be all-inclusive, including any costs related to travel to the Clerc
Center. It should also include specific detail on deliverables for each fiscal year. (Fiscal year
begins October 1).
Proposal Evaluation Criteria
Proposals will be evaluated based on the applicant‟s abilities to meet the qualifications
defined in II. G. of this RFP and provide quality deliverables in accordance with the timeline, as
well as on the overall quality of the proposal and the reasonableness of the cost, in conformance
with the following criteria:
Quality of Proposal
Proposal demonstrates a clear understanding of the tasks outlined in the Scope of Project.
Proposal clearly responds to specific requirements outlined in the Scope of Project as
well as all other elements of the RFP.
Quality of Key Personnel
Proposal demonstrates that the key personnel have the technical knowledge and
experience required for the functions, activities, and tasks described in the Scope of
Proposal describes relevant past and current experience in projects of comparable size,
complexity, and similarity.
Proposal adequately describes the staff hours needed for each task, and that the applicant
has dedicated adequate staff hours sufficient to complete the requirements according to
the established timeline.
Quality of Management Plan
Proposal provides clear, logical, and specific plans and a process for ensuring quality and
timeliness of the final product.
Proposal provides clear description of costs.
Costs are reasonable for the work being performed.
Payment: Payment will be made in accordance with the contract between the Clerc Center and
the Candidate. Final payment will not be released until all deliverables are accepted by the Clerc
Proposal format
Only complete proposals will be considered.
Proposal introduction and overview only may be submitted in ASL via video format
(either .mov or .m4v) not to exceed three minutes. This information must also be
included in the written proposal.
Proposals should be single-spaced with one inch margins, using Times New Roman,
Arial, Helvetica, or Palatino font no smaller than 11 pt.
Proposals should be no longer than 15 pages, excluding bibliography and letters of
Applicants must submit 1) five complete proposals in paper format and 2) one electronic
copy in PDF format.
Proposals must be received in both paper and electronic formats by 4:00 pm EST on
November 15, 2010.
Request for Proposal Available: September 10, 2010
Letter of Intent due: October 15, 2010
Proposals due: November 15, 2010
Submit to:
Elizabeth Stone
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
[email protected]
Grant to be awarded no later than: January 30, 2011
Research Summary and Synthesis due: June 15, 2011
Draft of Standards due: March 1, 2012
Delivery of final product: November 30, 2012
Contact: Questions about this RFP may be directed to Janet Weinstock
([email protected]) and Jennifer Ortiz ([email protected]), Action
Plan Team Leaders.
Elementary Secondary Education Act. (20 U.S.C. § 6311(b)(2)(A).
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (2004). 20 U.S.C. § 1414 (d).
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (2004). 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(15)(A)(ii).
Padden, C., & Ramsey, C., (1998). Reading ability in signing deaf children. Topics in Language
Disorders, 18(4), 30-46.
Prinz,P., & Strong, M. (1998). ASL proficiency and English literacy within a bilingual deaf
education model of instruction. Topics in Language Disorders, 18(4), 47-60.
U.S. Department of Education. (2009). 28th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004, Vol. 2, Table 1-3).
United Nations. (2007), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
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