OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
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News Archive for 2004
Archived Information

Read about OVAE and other Department of Education announcements, including administrative changes and grant information. From the field, see Other News and Initiatives and Articles and Media Information.

Please note that the some of these archived articles may no longer be available at the URL listed. Registration may be required to access older articles.

Department News

Learning from Career and Technical Education Student Organizations (Photos and Webcast)
OVAE's Assistant Secretary Susan Sclafani moderates a panel of career and technical education student leaders on building academic, technical and leadership skills.

Secretary Rod Paige Acknowledges American Diploma Project Report
Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts maintains that current high school diplomas do not signify that students are ready for college or work, and recommends developing national benchmark standards for high school graduates in cooperation with business and postsecondary institutions.

Community Technology Centers Notice
The Notice of Proposed Requirements, Priorities, and Selection Criteria is published. Comments must be received on or before March 3, 2004.

Preparing Young People and Adults for the Jobs of the Future 
[downloadable files] MS WORD (408K)
The President's 2005 budget invests in preparing America's youths and adults for the jobs of the future.

Susan Sclafani Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Department of Education press release from January 29, 2004.

Susan Sclafani Opens Association of Career & Technical Education's 2003 Convention
OVAE's Assistant Secretary discussed how high school and college students need both career & technical education and a strong academic background, as endorsed by No Child Left Behind (webcast).

Jobs for the 21st Century
The President has proposed a series of initiatives to help Americans get better jobs by improving high school education and expanding access to postsecondary education and training.

New Report - Promoting College Access and Success: A Review of Credit-Based Transition Programs [downloadable files] PDF (565K) [downloadable files] MS WORD (118K)
Many opportunities exist for high school students to earn college credit through such programs as dual credit, Tech Prep, and Advance Placement. This report examines program growth; program and student characteristics; and research showing whether the programs are effective at increasing college access and success.

Other News and Initiatives

Examining Success in Vocational Education (April 27, 2004)
The House Subcommittee on Education Reform held a hearing on "Examining Success in Vocational Education." Five witnesses describe their experiences with Career and Technical Education at the local level.

President Unveils Tech Initiatives for Energy, Health Care, Internet (April 26, 2004)
Remarks by the President at American Association of Community Colleges' Annual Convention.

Study Finds Urban School Progress Since "No Child Left Behind" (Council of the Great City Schools, 2004)
The Council of the Great City Schools latest "Beating the Odds" report shows significant gains in math and reading scores for 4th graders between 2002 and 2003.

The High School Transcript Study (NCES, 2004)
This study "examines the trends and changes in high school curriculum and student course taking patterns for the past decade." Among the findings are that students took more challenging courses as the decade progressed, and earned higher GPAs.

A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research (ECS and McREL, 2004)
A guide to help policymakers evaluate education research to determine how useful a particular study is when making policy decisions based on research.

Who Graduates? Who Doesn't? (Urban Institute, 2004)
Nationwide statistical analysis of high school graduation rates (based on No Child Left Behind accountability factors) that reveals a low overall rate of 68% and wide disparities between racial and ethnic groups.

Virginia Study Finds Challenged Schools Can Achieve (JLARC, 2003)
Virginia's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) compared test scores among Virginia schools and found that even the most challenged schools can achieve if they follow certain best practices.

Count Me In: Special Education in an Era of Standards (Education Week, 2004)
Part of Education Week's "Quality Counts" series, this report looks at the issues around ensuring a quality education for the nation's special education students.

Delivering Better Education (Adam Smith Institute, 2003)
"...[T]he authors develop a no-nonsense plan to open UK education up to the same choice and competition that is already improving school standards in the most disadvantaged communities in Europe and the US."

The College Track
PBS is launching a televisions series and national initiative to expand the definition of who is "college material" and open the doors to higher education a bit wider.

Articles and Media Information

Equal Access to Schools Fails to Equalize Education (USA Today, 4/29/04)
Fifty years after the Brown decision schools still do not provide equal eduation for African-Amerians, but that can be changed by insisting on high-quality teachers for poor and minority students, and holding schools accountable for the success of all students.

Ohio to Establish Charter Colleges (Education Week, 4/28/04)
Ohio will experiment with teacher education programs that focus on graduating top-quality teachers for the most troubled K-12 schools.

Va. Principal Cadre Aims to Fix Schools (Education Week, 4/28/04)
Virginia plans to form an elite group of principals who will specialize in turning around low-performing schools.

Dumbing Down Our Schools (Washington Post, 4/27/04)
A large percentage of the nation's most disadvantaged students are being taught subject material well below their grade level and ability.

Worcester's Wonder (Commwealth, Spring 2004)
A small urban high school in Massachusetts sends disadvantaged students to top universities with its high-level academic program and disciplined school culture (requires registration, free).

President Bush Endorses Testing of 12th-Grade Students (Washington Post, 4/7/04) The President would like the NAEP test made mandatory for high school seniors, and will also propose that traditional vocational education be eliminated in favor of technical education with a strong academic program.

As Data Show Fewer Report Race, Minority Scores on SAT are Questioned (Washington Post, 4/4/04) More students taking the SAT are declining to disclose their ethnicity, making it difficult to determine if the achievement gap between white and minority students is shrinking.

Military Schools Producing Army of Solid Performance (USA Today, 3/31/04) Department of Defense schools are very successful at educating all students to high standards, and elements from those programs could be studied and adopted by other public school systems.

Passionate About Vouchers (Connect for Kids, 3/29/04)
DC's Parents for Public Choice helped get a voucher program through Congress so students will have some choice about where they go to school.

Charter Schools & Quality Control (Connect for Kids, 3/29/04)
In Ohio, qualified not-for-profit groups can apply to be charter school authorizers, and the Thomas B. Fordham foundation, which supports charter schools, is taking up the challenge.

Shoring up the Academic Pipeline (Education Week, 3/24/04) According to Jobs for the Future, states need to invest in top-quality high schools and ensure that high school programs are linked to qualifications for college and employment if state economic prosperity is to be guaranteed.

Outsourcing Report Blames Schools (Wired, 3/24/04)
The American Electronics Association believes jobs are going overseas because there aren't enough skilled workers to fill them in the U.S., and recommends that skilled professionals visit schools to show students what they can do with science and math credentials.

One Teacher's Take: Stop Griping, Our Schools Can Measure Up (Christian Science Monitor, 3/23/04)
An Arizona teacher thinks NCLB can help students, if teachers are willing to make sure they learn.

Study Says U.S. Should Replace States' High School Standards (New York Times, 2/10/04) Three prominent education policy organizations (Achieve, the Education Trust, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation) are calling for national high school graduation standards.

Study Links Math, Achievement Gap (Pioneer Press, 1/30/04)
Minority students (except for Asians) are less likely to take advanced math classes in high school than white students, a fact that contributes to the racial achievement gap.

Charter School Growth Sought (Boston Globe, 1/25/04)
The governor of Massachusetts would like to remove the cap on charter schools, so they can expand to accommodate an estimated 13,000 students on waiting lists.

Developing Successful Partnership Programs (NAESP Journal, January-February, 2004)
Principals can encourage greater parental involvement in their schools by sponsoring Active Partnership Programs, as developed by the National Network of Partnership Schools.

Poll Shows Majority of Teens Not Interested in Fastest-Growing Jobs (Job, 1/12/04)
The disconnect between teens' current interests and future available jobs has some analysts worried about shortages of skilled workers.

Schools Squander Gains (The Oregonian, 1/11/04)
Academic achievement drops precipitously for Oregon high school students, reflecting a national problem with a high school model that no longer works.

Business Leaders Urge Congress to Give "No Child Left Behind" Time to Work (The Business Roundtable, 1/8/04)
Business groups sent a letter to Congress asking for continued support of NCLB.

The Skills Gap (Education Week, 1/7/04)
With greater demand for research-based practices, the education community needs qualified researchers.

An Eager New Principal's Dream of a School That Cares (Christian Science Monitor, 1/6/04)
The High School for Public Service in New York City sparks positive change in urban students through its small size, focus on service, and dedicated, caring staff.

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Last Modified: 02/04/2011