FY 2024 CSP CMO Call for Peer Reviewers

Charter Schools Program (CSP) Division 
Fiscal Year 2024 Call for Peer Reviewers for Grant Competition

COMPETITION NAME: Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP)—Grants to Charter Management Organizations for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CMO Grants) (Assistance Listing Number 84.282M)

CONTEXT: The U.S. Department of Education (Department), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Charter Schools Program Division administers discretionary grants that support the startup of new charter schools and the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools serving students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.  Funds also support grants to improve charter schools’ access to facilities and information dissemination and evaluation activities.  CSP seeks individuals from diverse backgrounds and regions to serve as peer reviewers to assess FY 2024 CSP CMO grant applications. 

Peer reviewers will receive an honorarium for their service. 

WHAT: The Department’s discretionary grants peer review process utilizes non-federal, independent, qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers.  The peer review process is designed to identify and fund the highest-quality applications and create opportunities for the general public to participate in government and gain insight into the federal funding process.  The Department relies on its peer reviewers to use their professional experience, content knowledge, expertise, and judgment to evaluate and score submitted applications against the selection criteria published in the program’s Federal Register notice inviting applications.  Scores from the peer reviewers are then rank ordered to inform the Department’s funding decisions.  For increased transparency, the Department also shares the peer reviewer’s scores and comments with each applicant and the general public.

WHO: The Department seeks peer reviewers from various educational backgrounds and professions with expertise in at least one of the following areas:

  • Experience in a charter school setting
  • Experience with charter school administration, operation, or leadership
  • Experience with charter school planning, program design, and implementation
  • Experience with high-quality charter school start-up and expansion
  • Experience with charter school authorizing and accountability
  • Experience with research, assessment, and evaluation
  • Knowledge of charter school strategy and policy
  • Knowledge of charter school technical assistance and resources

In addition to the specialized knowledge and experience described above, potential peer reviewers should also possess high analysis standards, strong evaluative writing skills, and the ability to assess grant applications with increased objectivity.

REQUIREMENTS: In addition to the skills, attributes, and expertise highlighted above, peer reviewers must also meet the following requirements:

Availability: Peer reviewers for the competition must dedicate approximately 15-40 hours to the entire review process.  The number of hours will vary depending on the number of applications received.  Peer reviewers must dedicate time to independently review their assigned applications, participate in panel discussions about those applications, and revise and finalize comments and scores for each application.  Independent review includes reading, scoring, and writing evaluative comments.  Peer reviewers will also participate in a 90-minute training session before starting the independent review of applications.

Timeframe: Peer review will take place from mid-January to early February 2024.

Location: All peer review activities will be conducted remotely.

Tools: Each peer reviewer must have access to the internet, a phone, and a computer.  Peer reviewers must also be able to interact within the web environment, specifically Microsoft Word, Microsoft Teams, and G5 (www.G5.gov) (the Department’s enterprise grants management system).

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: No individual with a conflict of interest will be permitted to serve as a peer reviewer for the grant competition.  If you are affiliated with an organization that intends to apply for a grant, depending on the nature of your affiliation, you may not be eligible to serve as a peer reviewer.

Before starting all peer reviews, CSP program staff are required to screen all potential peer reviewers for conflicts of interest.  For example, as a peer reviewer, you will have a conflict of interest if:

  • You helped prepare an application, regardless of financial interest in the success or failure of that application;
  • You have agreed to serve, or you have been offered a position, as an employee, advisor, or consultant on the project; and/or
  • Your personal financial interest will be affected by the outcome of the competition, which would include any family members, employees, or associates of the project applying for funding.

These and other potential conflicts of interest will be addressed on a case-by-case basis once identified or disclosed.   

INTERESTED: If you would like to be considered for this role, please complete both of the following steps:

  • Register as a peer reviewer in the Department’s grants management system, G5, at G5.gov, and
  • Submit an updated resume or curriculum vitae (limit to five pages or fewer) to CMOCompetition2024@ed.gov by December 1, 2023.

The Department solicits peer reviewers without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.  The Department will provide reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability so that the individual might participate in the peer reviewer application process.  If you require a reasonable accommodation to apply to participate in this review, please contact the CSP via email at CMOCompetition2024@ed.gov no later than December 1, 2023, to ensure we can properly facilitate the application process.