Press Room NEWSLETTERS
ED Review - June 7, 2002
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06/07/02 ED Review
 06/07/02
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What's inside...
NCLB Update: Focus on libraries, new funds
Condition of Education 2002
Get smart and stay safe
Interest rate drop
Blue Ribbon Schools
Homework tips
Quote to note
Upcoming events

NCLB Update: Focus on libraries, new funds
For the most recent news and information, visit http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/.

On June 4, First Lady Laura Bush and Dr. Robert Martin, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, hosted a White House Conference on School Libraries, featuring model programs and the latest research on library science. "School libraries help teachers teach and children learn," noted Mrs. Bush, a former public school teacher and librarian. "Books, information technology, and school librarians who are part of the schools' professional team are basic ingredients for student achievement." Presenters included Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation and former President of Brown University and the New York Public Library; Dr. Susan Neuman, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education; Dr. Keith Lance, director of Library Research for the Colorado Department of Education; and Christine DeVita, President of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. Also, a panel of practitioners discussed their library experiences. At the conclusion, Mrs. Bush announced that over $5 million had been pledged to start building an endowment for the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.laurabushfoundation.org/. (Note: The Department is inviting applications for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program, http://www.ed.gov//programs/lsl/index.html, designed to improve the literacy skills and academic achievement of students by providing them with up-to-date library materials, well-equipped school libraries/media centers, and certified library/media specialists.)

Speaking of funding opportunities, a number of grant competitions are currently open. For example, the tri-agency Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative supports implementation and enhancement of comprehensive community-wide strategies for creating safe and drug-free schools and promoting healthy childhood development (http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org/grants/safeschools.html). The School Leadership Program is designed to assist high-need school districts in the development, enhancement, or expansion of innovative programs to recruit, train, or mentor principals and assistant principals (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OII/portfolio/leadership.html). The Advanced Placement Incentive Program and Advanced Placement Test Fees Program aim to increase the participation of low-income and disadvantaged students in AP courses and tests (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OII/portfolio/ap.html). FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GRANTS, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/.

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Condition of Education 2002
Last week, the Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released its annual report (required by law) on the condition and progress of education in the U.S. "The Condition of Education 2002" includes 44 indicators in six main areas -- participation in education, learner outcomes, student effort and educational progress, elementary and secondary education contexts, postsecondary education contexts, and societal support for learning -- as well as special analyses on the environment, climate, and student outcomes at private schools and on the enrollment and persistence of non-traditional undergraduates. Trends show a "mixed picture." While high school students have enrolled in more advanced courses since the 1980s, the performance of twelfth-graders in math and science has stagnated in recent years. While comparisons suggest that U.S. ninth-graders have relatively good civic knowledge (and superior civic skills), the reading literacy scores of 15-year-olds are average among industrialized countries. In addition, gaps persist in academic performance and educational participation among different racial/ethnic groups, socioeconomic groups, and school sectors. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/.

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Get smart and stay safe
The final Satellite Town Meeting (June 18, 8:00-9:30 ET) of the season -- a special, extended broadcast from Los Angeles -- will highlight the impact of afterschool and summer programs on student achievement and safety. Over 28 million school-age children have parents who work outside the home, and as many as 15 million children return to an empty house on any given afternoon. Between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., children are at greater risk of being involved in crime, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy. On the other hand, research shows that nearly eight in 10 teens that participate in afterschool programs are high-achieving students. And, children who regularly attend quality afterschool programs have: better grades and conduct in school; more academic and personal growth; better peer relations and emotional adjustment; and lower incidences of drug-use, violence, and pregnancy. Secretary Paige and his guests will delve into such issues as: (1) What quality afterschool and summer programs look like; (2) How schools, parents, and community organizations can work together to create and support afterschool and summer programs; and (3) How effective programs leverage available resources and plan for long-term sustainability. And YOU can be part of the discussion by calling a toll-free number during the live broadcast or submitting a question instantly online (see http://www.connectlive.com/events/edtownmeetings/). (You can also watch the live and archived webcasts at the same address.) FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=156.

Also: The Department's $1 billion 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative is now state-administered. State applications, non-regulatory guidance, and state contacts can be found at http://www.ed.gov/21stcclc/state.html.

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Interest rate drop
On July 1, the federal student loan interest rate will drop to its lowest rate in decades, resulting in significant savings for borrowers. The new rate for borrowers repaying Stafford loans issued beginning July 1998 is 4.06 percent, down from just under 6.00 percent last year. (The rate is 3.46 percent for students who are still in school, within the six month grace period, or in deferment). What does this mean? A borrower with $10,000 in student loan debt and a 10-year standard repayment plan can save $1,133 in interest over the life of the loan. Borrowers should contact their lender/loan servicer to explore financial options, such as consolidating their loans. The interest rates on most federal student loans are variable and adjusted each year, but interest rates on consolidation loans are locked in for the life of the loan. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/Students/.

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Blue Ribbon Schools
The 19-year-old Blue Ribbon Schools program honors schools from around the country that have excelled in school leadership, teaching, curriculum, student achievement, and parental involvement. This year, 145 public schools and 27 private schools in 35 states and two Department of Defense schools are recognized. The schools were nominated by state education agencies and the Council for American Private Education. Reviewers make recommendations -- based on an evaluation of written materials from the schools and reports of experienced principals and administrators who conduct site visits -- to the Secretary of Education for final selection. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/offices/OERI/BlueRibbonSchools/. (Note: Elementary and secondary schools participate in alternate years.)

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Homework tips
As part of the Parent's Tool Box (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/parents/) designed to give parents useful information to assist their child with learning, the Department's Partnership for Family Involvement in Education prepared "Homework Tips for Parents/ Consejos para los padres sobre la tarea escolar." This English/Spanish resource, similar to the "Reading Tips for Parents/Consejos pr?icos de lectura para los padres" booklet published last October, provides general homework tips ("When your child does homework, you do homework") and specific reading and math homework tips ("Before getting to the end of a story, ask your child what he/she thinks will happen next and why" and "Use household chores like cooking and repair activities as opportunities for reinforcing math learning"). The introduction includes a brief history of homework, research on the appropriate amount of homework, and an explanation of the different types of homework.

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Quote to note
"A good library launches young children on a journey of exploration and discovery, teaching them how to ask questions and find answers. And the wonderful thing is that once you learn to use a library, the doors to learning are open to you throughout your life." -- First Lady Laura Bush (6/4/02)

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Upcoming events
On June 13 and 14, in Washington, DC, Secretary Paige will host state superintendents, school district representatives, and potential for-profit and non-profit providers for a conference on supplemental education services. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/05-2002/05242002a.html. (To register for the conference, contact Tori Hatada at Tori.Hatada@ed.gov.)

A month later (July 8-10), also in Washington, DC, the U.S. Army will hold its third-annual Education Summit. The purpose is to spotlight successful education initiatives of the Army and other agencies, to continue work on the implementation of the Army Secondary Education Transition Study, and to begin looking at in-state college tuition for soldiers and family members. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Tony Fowler at Anthony.Fowler@ed.gov.

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Credits
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
Deputy Assistant Secretary -- Linda Wilson, (202) 401-0404, Linda.Wilson@ed.gov
Program Analyst -- Adam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003, Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov
To be added or removed from distribution, or submit comments (we welcome your feedback!), please contact Adam Honeysett. Or, visit http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edreview/.


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Last Modified: 05/03/2006