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SEC. 1205. EXTERNAL EVALUATION.

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(a) IN GENERAL- From funds reserved under section 1202(b)(1)(C), the Secretary shall contract with an independent organization outside of the Department for a 5-year, rigorous, scientifically valid, quantitative evaluation of this subpart.

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(b) PROCESS- The evaluation under subsection (a) shall be conducted by an organization that is capable of designing and carrying out an independent evaluation that identifies the effects of specific activities carried out by State educational agencies and local educational agencies under this subpart on improving reading instruction. Such evaluation shall take into account factors influencing student performance that are not controlled by teachers or education administrators.

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(c) ANALYSIS- The evaluation under subsection (a) shall include the following:

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(1) An analysis of the relationship between each of the essential components of reading instruction and overall reading proficiency.

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(2) An analysis of whether assessment tools used by State educational agencies and local educational agencies measure the essential components of reading.

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(3) An analysis of how State reading standards correlate with the essential components of reading instruction.

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(4) An analysis of whether the receipt of a targeted assistance grant under section 1204 results in an increase in the number of children who read proficiently.

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(5) A measurement of the extent to which specific instructional materials improve reading proficiency.

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(6) A measurement of the extent to which specific screening, diagnostic, and classroom-based instructional reading assessments assist teachers in identifying specific reading deficiencies.

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(7) A measurement of the extent to which professional development programs implemented by State educational agencies using funds received under this subpart improve reading instruction.

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(8) A measurement of how well students preparing to enter the teaching profession are prepared to teach the essential components of reading instruction.

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(9) An analysis of changes in students interest in reading and time spent reading outside of school.

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(10) Any other analysis or measurement pertinent to this subpart that is determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

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(d) PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT- The findings of the evaluation conducted under this section shall be provided to State educational agencies and local educational agencies on a periodic basis for use in program improvement.