Press Room NEWSLETTERS
ED Review - July 5, 2002
Archived Information


07/05/02 ED Review
 07/05/02
     Share this page Share this page
  Past issues
  Subscribe    Unsubscribe
What's inside...
NCLB Update: School choice and reading first
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
Funds for tests, choice
New Title IX panel
Student aid studies
Tribal Colleges and Universities
Quote to note
Upcoming events

NCLB Update: School choice and reading first
For the most recent news and information, visit http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/. (Today, the Department published in the Federal Register final regulations for the standards and assessment requirements of Title I. These regulations, available at http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2002-2/070502a.html, go into effect August 5, 2002.)

Using data from state reports, Secretary Paige announced that 8,652 schools nationwide failed to make adequate yearly progress. (AYP is a state's annual measure of school progress toward achieving state academic content standards.) As a result, students in those schools are eligible to choose and attend a higher-performing school within their school district, if their current school has fallen short of state standards for two consecutive years. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/07-2002/07012002a.html. (Note: Because of differences in the way each state defines school progress, state comparisons are not valid.)

On June 25, Alabama, Colorado, and Florida were named as the first recipients of Reading First (http://www.ed.gov/programs/readingfirst/), President Bush's reading reform initiative built on scientifically based research. The states' applications were considered excellent; each passed a rigorous panel review that judged state plans on 25 unique criteria. Alabama will receive $15.5 million this year and $102 million over six years. Colorado will receive $9 million this year and $59 million over six years. Florida will receive $45.6 million this year and $300 million over six years. The six year totals are subject to proper implementation, as well as congressional appropriations. Once funded, states will open competitions for sub-grants to eligible school districts. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/06-2002/06252002.html.

Top


Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
In perhaps the most important education decision since Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Cleveland's school choice program by a 5-4 vote. Under Cleveland's six-year-old program, some 3,700 of the district's 75,000 students use vouchers of up to $2,250 to attend private schools, with nearly all (96 percent in the 1999-2000 school year the court examined) attending religious schools. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said the 96 percent figure lacked "constitutional significance" because the program was "neutral in all respects toward religion" and parents exercised "genuine choice" in where to use their vouchers. Further, the figure was misleading in not taking into account the thousands who exercised their choice to leave their neighborhood public schools and attend charter or magnet schools. When those were added to the denominator, he said, the proportion of voucher students attending religious schools dropped to 16.5 percent. "Today's historic Supreme Court decision is one for America's children," Secretary Paige said in response. "It's one that can transform the education landscape in our country. The decision lifts the constitutional cloud that has been hanging over school choice programs for years and will open the doors of opportunity to thousands of children who need and deserve the best possible education." FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.supremecourtus.gov/. (Secretary Paige's remarks are available, in audio and print, at http://www.connectlive.com/events/deptedu/.)

To assist the public, the Education Department has also prepared a number of resources, including:



Top


Funds for tests, choice
A solicitation is being prepared for $17 million in competitive grants to help states meet the expanded testing requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act, supplementing the $387 million in formula grants already flowing to the states. (Another $387 million in formula grants is requested for FY 2003, along with $7 million in competitive grants.) The grants are intended as "seed money" for states to develop enhanced assessments, specially for students with disabilities. Meanwhile, applications are already available for the Department's Voluntary Public School Choice Program (http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2002-2/070502b.html). The program provides grants to state and local education agencies to help establish or expand a program of school choice.

Top


New Title IX panel
After applauding the successes of Title IX, the 30-year-old statute that prohibits public and private colleges and universities that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex, Secretary Paige announced a blue-ribbon panel of sports professionals and educators who will examine ways of strengthening enforcement and expanding opportunities to ensure fairness for all college athletes. In the decades since Title IX, the number of women graduating college and entering the professions has soared. So has the number of women's sports teams at higher education institutions. But recent complaints have raised questions of fairness for men's teams. The new Commission on Opportunity in Athletics will include 15 men and women, co-chaired by former WNBA star Cynthia Cooper and Ted Leland, director of athletics at Stanford University. The members will hold public hearings and speak with experts to gather information and prepare recommendations by a January 31, 2003 deadline. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/06-2002/06272002f.html.

Top


Student aid studies
The Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released three new reports from the 1999-2000 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS). "Profile of Undergraduates in U.S. Postsecondary Education Institutions: 1999-2000" (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002168) describes the diversity of the 16.5 million undergraduates enrolled by examining student characteristics, such as gender, race/ethnicity, age, citizenship, immigration status, parenthood, and disability. "Student Financing of Undergraduate Education: 1999-2000" (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002167) and "Student Financing of Graduate and First-Professional Education, 1999-2000: Profiles of Students in Selected Degree Programs and Their Use of Assistantships" (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002166) focus on financial aid and debt burden. One interesting statistic? While 14.5 percent of college students received mostly A's, more than a third of students received grades primarily at or below the C mark.

Top


Tribal Colleges and Universities
President Bush recently appointed 14 individuals to serve on his Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities. This board, chaired by Ron McNeil, president of Sitting Bull College and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, is charged with ensuring that tribal colleges and universities have full access to federal and private programs and funds that benefit other higher education institutions. President Bush's proposed 2003 budget includes more than $18 million for programs to strengthen TCUs, a 3.6 percent increase over current funding levels. TCUs (http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whtc/tclist.html) are located in 12 states and serve an estimated 30,000 students from 250 tribes. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/07-2002/07032002a.html.

Top


Quote to note
"It is difficult to overstate the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris. It comes at a time when education is a top priority for both the president and for the American people. Moreover, it adds momentum to two of President Bush's policy preferences: increasing education choices and options for parents and leveling the playing field for faith-based organizations to compete for federal dollars to run educational and community service programs.... Obviously, the court's establishment clause jurisprudence is shifting. The wall of separation between church and state -- a wall that for a long time has meant not only government neutrality toward religion but hostility toward it -- apparently has become somewhat permeable. If sectarian institutions are capable of providing a nonsectarian education to students, especially students who otherwise would be stuck in schools that do not work, then they should be free to compete for those students and the public dollars that come with them. The court correctly reasons that a public interest can be advanced by a private, in this case religiously affiliated, institution. But the court's decision sends a more significant message. The purpose of American public education is just that, education."

Top


-- Secretary of Education Rod Paige (6/28/02)

Top


Upcoming events
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans will hold its next town hall meeting July 15 in Los Angeles. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT Erica Romero @ (202) 401-3665.

The Department's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has scheduled another grants workshop July 24 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/faithandcommunity/.

Top


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.


Top





 
Print this page Printable view Send this page Share this page
Last Modified: 09/25/2003