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ED Review - June 21, 2002
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 06/21/02
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What's inside...
NCLB update: Guidance, guidance, guidance
Highly qualified teachers
Character and community
Summer workshops
Community Technology Centers
Interagency spotlight: Lewis & Clark
Quote to note
Upcoming events

NCLB update: Guidance, guidance, guidance
For the most recent news and information, visit http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/.

In a June 14 letter to Chief State School Officers and school superintendents (http://www.ed.gov/News/Letters/020614.html), Secretary Paige announced preliminary guidance on implementing the public school choice, supplemental education services, and collective bargaining provisions under the No Child Left Behind Act. He also encouraged school leaders to move quickly: "Once again, because the law requires implementation of these programs to begin this coming school year, I want to reiterate that your planning processes for this should be underway." Schools identified as needing improvement after three years of failure must allow students to transfer (and provide or pay the student's transportation) to another public school in the district that has not been identified for improvement -- unless prohibited by state law. Schools identified as needing improvement for two years in a row must provide students with supplemental services (http://www.nclb.gov/parents/supplementalservices/), such as tutoring and afterschool and summer school programs, as well as public school choice. Formal guidance and draft regulations are expected next month.

In an earlier (June 6) letter to the same parties (http://www.ed.gov/News/Letters/020606.html), Secretary Paige promised a series of "current thinking" letters, starting with the public school choice/supplemental services letter above and a piece on "Adequate Yearly Progress" in mid-July. And, staff continue to prepare non-regulatory guidance. For example, last week, guidance was released for Early Reading First (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/earlyreading/erfguidance.doc), the Title II/ Improving Teacher Quality State Grants (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SIP/TitleIIguidance2002.doc), and the CSR Program (http://www.ed.gov/programs/compreform/index.html).

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Highly qualified teachers
"Meeting the Highly Qualified Teachers Challenge," a first annual report to Congress on teacher quality, suggests that state certification systems allow too many teachers into the classroom who lack solid content knowledge of the subjects they teach. Among the highlights:

  • Only 23 states to date have implemented teacher standards tied to their respective academic content standards for grades K-12.
  • Academic standards for teachers are low. On one teacher licensure test -- used by 29 states -- only one state set its passing score near the national average in reading, while 15 set their passing scores below the 25th percentile. Similarly, for math and writing, only one state requires a score above the national average. Not surprisingly, more than 90 percent of teachers pass these tests.
  • States are increasingly relying on teachers who lack full certification and are teaching on emergency licenses and waivers. Nationwide, six percent of teachers lack full certification, but the share of uncertified teachers is higher in high-poverty schools and certain fields, including math, science, and special education.
To meet the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires highly qualified teachers in every classroom by the end of the 2005-06 school year, the report calls for a "new model for teacher preparation and certification" consisting of (1) high standards for verbal ability and content knowledge and (2) streamlined certification requirements. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/teachprep/. (Note: The Secretary's remarks about the report are available at http://www.ed.gov/Speeches/06-2002/061102.html.)

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Character and community
On June 19, the President and Mrs. Bush hosted a Conference on Character and Community. "Now, I know there's a debate about character and values.... But we have got to recognize in our society that strong values are shared by good people of different faiths, and good people who have no faith at all," President Bush declared. These are universal values, values we share in all our diversity: respect, tolerance, responsibility, honesty, self-restraint, family commitment, civic duty, fairness, and compassion. We should teach them with confidence -- and we should teach them with conviction." Presentation topics included "Preventing Chronic Violence in Schools" and "The Character of Moral Exemplars." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov//admins/lead/safety/character/index.html.

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Summer workshops
The Education Department's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, spearheaded by John Porter, is touring the nation this summer, spreading the word that religious and community groups are welcome to vie for federal education dollars. Approximately 500 people attended the center's initial workshop in Pittsburgh, and more than 1,000 are expected for the next stop: June 22 at Livingston College (Salisbury, North Carolina). The event will include an overview of the CARE Act, ideas for partnerships with federal, state, and local governments, and a grant writing session. A representative from the Department's Office of Non-Public Education will also present a workshop on opportunities for private schools. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/faithandcommunity/.

Also: Even if you are unable to attend a workshop this summer, be sure to review the center's "Guide to Grant Programs Amenable to the Participation of Faith-Based and Community Organizations in Fiscal Year 2002." The guide offers several discretionary and state-managed formula grant programs for which both types of groups are eligible. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/faithandcommunity/grantguide.html.

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Community Technology Centers
The Department's Office of Vocational and Adult Education is inviting applications under the Community Technology Centers Program, which provides grants to libraries, public housing facilities, and other community centers to make educational technology available to residents of low-income urban and rural communities. Research shows that lack of access to computers and other information technology by residents of such communities limits their ability to obtain job information, educational resources, and other benefits of the Internet. Current grantees are providing access to preschool and family education programs, afterschool activities, adult basic and English-as-a-Second-Language instruction, and online job databases. July 19 is the deadline for applications. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/comtechcenters/index.html.

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Interagency spotlight: Lewis & Clark
From time-to-time, this section of ED Review will highlight the education-related activities of other federal agencies. Twenty-two federal agencies meet regularly, under the auspices of the Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE), to discuss and coordinate the federal investment in education.

From 2003 through 2006, the U.S. will observe the bicentennial of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's journey through the Louisiana Territory. The observance is being coordinated and supported by a national council, partnering with federal agencies, state commissions and historical societies, a growing number of American Indian tribes encountered upon the expedition, and a host of institutional partners. To begin with, the National Park Service is organizing a mobile national park (Corps of Discovery II), offering living history reenactments, interpretive programs, and various cultural and natural history lessons. In addition, the council -- through its partners -- is promoting stewardship of the National Historic Trail and rivers, Tribal Legacy Projects, and other arts and humanities, education, and youth projects. The bicentennial kick-off is set for January 18, 2003, at Monticello, the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's letter to Congress requesting appropriations for the expedition. For more information, please go to http://www.lewisandclark200.org/.

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Quote to note
"Most of us can remember a favorite teacher. President Bush loved teachers so much he married one. I had two favorite teachers: my parents. By day, they taught other children in Monticello, Mississippi. But on nights and weekends, they taught my sisters and brothers and me. Books filled our house, and so did love.... Their example inspired me to become a teacher as well. And it was while working in the classroom that I discovered the truth in the words of World War II General Omar Bradley when he said: 'The teacher is the real soldier of democracy. Others can defend it, but only he can make it work.' Very few people have the influence over our lives that teachers do. And that is why the President, Congress, and I are determined to meet the goal of a quality teacher in every classroom by 2006."

-- Secretary of Education Rod Paige (6/11/02)

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Upcoming events
Results from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) geography assessment will be released today. In 2001, NAEP conducted a national geography assessment of fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade students. For more information, please go to http://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/geography/.

The President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education held its fifth and final meeting June 13-14. The commission is charged with submitting its recommendations by July 1. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whspecialeducation/.

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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/index.html.


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Last Modified: 10/20/2004