Project Details

• Project TELL will provide funding for 12 scholars committed to pursuing a Ph.D. in Special Education administration with a minor in mild/moderate disabilities or autism.

• Project TELL is awarded for a five year period, beginning Summer, 2012 and selected scholars will be expected to complete their PhD before the grant ends.

• Selected scholars will be financially supported through a tuition and fees scholarship as well as a modest monthly stipend.

• Each student will be required to complete six competency requirements, ranging from applying for a grant to teaching a university course.  Competencies will help ensure each scholar student has mastered content and is qualified to meet challenges within their school settings.  For more information on competency requirements, click here.

• Priority for admission to Project TELL will be given to individuals currently working in high needs school districts in the DFS metroplex.  Project TELL is required to prepare leadership personnel from a variety of settings, including in high-need LEAs, high-poverty schools, and low performing schools, including persistently lowest-achieving schools.  OSEP defines these terms as follows:

  • For purposes of this priority, the term high-need LEA means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or (b) for which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line.

  • For the purposes of this priority, the term high poverty school means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunches under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 percent of students are from low-income families as determined using one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. For middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of comparable data from feeder schools.  Eligibility as a high-poverty school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most currently available data.

  • For purposes of this priority, the term persistently lowest-achieving schools is defined according to the final requirements for School Improvement Grants authorized under section 1003(g) of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), which were published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010 (75 FR 66363). According to Section I.A.3 of these requirements, the term ‘‘persistently lowest achieving schools’’ means, as determined by the State-
  • (a)(1) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that— (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and

  • (a)(2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I funds that— (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of schools is greater; or (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.

  • (b) To identify the lowest-achieving schools, a State must take into account both— (i) The academic achievement of the ’’all students’’ group in a school in terms of proficiency on the State’s assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and (ii) The school’s lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years in the ‘‘all students’’ group.