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Questions and Answers to RTT-ELC Evaluation RFP

Questions and answers to the Request for Proposals for the Independent Evaluation of the California Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge Quality Rating and Improvement System.

Questions and Answers

Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Independent Evaluation of California’s Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), 2012-2015

October 10, 2013

  1. Question: Is there a current/past vendor for this work? If so who is it?
    Answer: No, this is a new project.
  1. Question: Does the California Department of Education (CDE) expect the deliverables to be proceeded by deliverable expectation documents?
    Answer: Yes. Please refer to Task 1, 2, & 3.
  1. Question: Can you confirm that by “QRIS Strategies (referenced in Task 2.2, question 5) you mean the same as “RTT-ELC Strategies” (referenced in Task 2.2, question 1)?
    Answer: Yes, both refer to same QRIS strategies.

  2. Question: Will a video of the bidder's conference be placed online?
    Answer: No video was taken at Bidders' Conference.
  1. Question: Is it possible to find out details regarding the bidder’s conference on September 30th for the RFP? If so, is it possible to get that information or can you direct me to somewhere on your website that it may be posted?
    Answer: The bidder’s conference that was held on September 30, 2013, was to go through the various sections of the RFP and to verbally answer any non-program related questions such as DVBE Requirements. Information on the bidder’s conference will not be posted to the CDE website.
  1. Question: Will a transcript of the bidder’s conference be posted on the Bidsync site? Currently the link to a transcript does not lead to a document.
    Answer: No.
  1. Question: Was it mandatory to attend the bidder conference held on 9/30/13?
    Answer: No.
  1. Question: Were local consortia subject to a required time line for conducting the first QRIS rating?  If so, when were the first ratings conducted?  How many of the local consortia will have conducted two rounds of QRIS ratings (an initial rating and a 2-year renewal rating) by the second year of the research study (2014-15)?
    Answer: Please refer to Pages 51-56, Appendix A-F.
  1. Question: For what time frame will the RTT-ELC common data elements—including the site, child, and teacher/staff data—be available from the consortia? That is, what program years will these data cover? (Appendix G, pp. 57-82)
    Answer: See Addendum #1.
  1. Question: Please clarify the difference, if any, between “quality improvement activities” in question 1 and “quality improvement elements” in question 8. (2.2 Evaluate Child Outcomes and the Effectiveness of the RTT-ELC Quality Continuum Framework, p. 17)
    Answer: See Addendum #1.
  1. Question: The RFP mentions the half term report should include the "literature review from Task 1 and Task 2 of this RFP", but a new literature review other than the one conducted for the Descriptive Study isn't specifically mentioned elsewhere in the RFP as part of the scope of work. Please clarify whether a literature review is required as part of the scope of work for this study. (3.2 Half Term Report, p. 18)
    Answer: See Addendum #1.
  1. Question: The RFP mentions that bidders must have knowledge of “existing achievement data in California schools and the uses thereof for student impact, benefit, and academic achievement analysis sought in this RFP.”  The scope of work specified does not mention the use of school achievement data. Please clarify whether analysis of existing achievement data should be included in this scope of work. (4.2.g. Minimum Qualifications for Bidder’s Firm, p.22)
    Answer: No.
  1. Question: Is the CDE aware of a current cross-state evaluation effort with which the contractor would need to align its efforts? Is one planned during this time period?
    Answer: No
  1. Question: Is the CDE concerned primarily with QRIS assessment of early learning programs in low-income communities or should we address extending QRIS into a wider range of Early Childhood Educator (ECE) providers in middle-income communities as well?
    Answer: See RFP pages 5-7 and Addendum #1.
  1. Question: Is the CDE interested in how quality indicators drive organizational change, that is, the mechanisms that mediate publishing indicators and actual gains in provider quality? Or, is this beyond the scope of this RFP?
    Answer: See RFP pages 5-7, Purpose and Addendum #1.
  1. Question: Does the CDE have concerns about the accuracy of measures currently being reported? Counties vary in how they collect data on ‘quality indicators’.
    Answer: See RFP Task 2.1.
  1. Question: On page 6 of the RFP it states, “The intent of this evaluation project is to identify and evaluate how Consortia, at varied stages of implementation and experience using varied strategies and approaches, might contribute to higher program quality and improved child outcomes”. Does this indicate that the CDE is interested in evaluating the implementation of the QRIS? That is, would measures of the ‘fidelity’ of implementation be informative under the intended scope of work?
    Answer: Yes, See RFP Task 2.1. 
  1. Question: On page 15 of the RFP a research question to be addressed is stated, “How effective are the California Common Tiers’ structure and components/elements at defining and measuring quality in early learning settings?” What does “effective” mean in this case? It’s presumably too early to assess effects on parent knowledge, provider action, or discernible gains in quality.
    Answer: In this instance, the term “effective” refers tothe scoring matrix and rating protocol, and the degree to which the process and measures reflect accurate elements of quality.    
  1. Question: On page 15 of the RFP a research question to be addressed is stated, “How effective is the rating protocol at determining valid ratings versus an annual 100 percent assessment protocol?” Can you clarify what is meant by “… 100 percent assessment protocol”?
    Answer: See Appendix E.
  1. Question: What are the page limits for the Technical and Cost proposals?
    Answer: There is no page limit for the Technical and Cost Proposals.
  1. Question: Are there font size, margin or page orientation (e.g., landscape) requirements for the Technical or Cost Proposals, or any section within them (e.g., narrative, tables, figures)?
    Answer: No.
  1. Question: Which elements of the “RTT-ELC Consortia Draft List of Common Data Elements” of RFP Appendix G will be available for analysis at initiation of the project?
    Answer: See Addendum #1.
  1. Question: Are there any restrictions on including a consultant currently involved in the development of local California QRIS systems?
    Answer: Yes, please refer to attachment 12 “Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Statement”.
Questions:   Channa Hewawickrama | chewawickrama@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-3034
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