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ED Review - July 19, 2002
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07/19/02 ED Review
 07/19/02
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NCLB Update: Tour acoss America resumes
Revitalizing special education
New bilingual site
Monitoring America's children
Education finance center
Quote to note
Upcoming events
Loose ends

NCLB Update: Tour acoss America resumes
For the most recent news and information, visit http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/.

Last week, Secretary Paige made three more stops on his 25-city "No Child Left Behind" Tour of America. On July 8, he addressed the National Federation of the Blind meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. "Our President believes there are no limits to what can be achieved when all Americans have the opportunity to learn," the Secretary asserted (http://www.nclb.gov/media/news/070902.html). "The Department of Education is aggressively leading the effort to remove barriers preventing people with disabilities from finding meaningful work." A day later, he joined Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in Orlando (http://www.nclb.gov/media/news/070902b.html) to celebrate the importance of reading and try the "Phone Line Story Time," a toll-free number children can call to hear their favorite stories read to them by such children celebrities as Barney the dinosaur. (Florida was one of the first three states to receive a Reading First grant.) On July 12, the Secretary turned his attention to technology, discussing the potential of e-learning at a Denver Center for the Performing Arts forum. "A click of a mouse button provides any student anywhere with unprecedented opportunities to learn," he said (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/07-2002/07122002a.html). "So if a child in Grand Junction wants to master Japanese, it's possible online. If a budding artist in Five Points wants to study the masterpieces of the Louvre, it's possible online. If a future Stephen Hawking in La Junta wants to study Gravitational Entropy with the man himself, it's possible online."

While in Florida, the Secretary also enlisted the support of the 8,500-member strong Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, America's first Greek-letter organization established by African-American college women. "Our Partnership for Academic Achievement calls on each of you to...reach out to children most in danger of being left behind. And the place to start is reading," he explained. Last March, Paige joined Dorothy Height, the chair of the National Council of Negro Women, in announcing the partnership to close the achievement gap between African-American youngsters and their peers. Over the next three years, the partnership will expand the reach and impact of best practices in high-performing, high-poverty schools. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.nclb.gov/media/news/070902a.html.

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Revitalizing special education
The final report from the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education, "A New Era: Revitalizing Special Education for Children and their Families," concludes "the central themes of the No Child Left Behind Act must become the driving force behind IDEA reauthorization." In support, the report contains 33 recommendations spread across the following areas:

  • federal regulations and monitoring, paperwork reduction, and increased flexibility;
  • assessment and identification (for example, implement research-based, early identification and intervention programs to better serve children with learning and behavioral difficulties at an earlier age);
  • special education finance;
  • accountability, flexibility, and parental empowerment (for example, IDEA funds should be available for parents to choose schools or services -- particularly for parents whose children are in schools that have not made adequate yearly progress under IDEA for three consecutive years);
  • postsecondary results for disabled students and effective transition services;
  • teacher and administrator preparation, training, and retention (for example, state licenses and endorsements should require specific training on the needs of students with disabilities, as well as integrating parents into special education services); and
  • special education research and dissemination of information.
The commission held 13 open hearings and meetings across the country; the members heard from 109 expert witnesses and more than 175 teachers, parents, students with disabilities, and community leaders. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whspecialeducation/. (The Secretary's statement is available at http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/07-2002/07092002c.html.)

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New bilingual site
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans recently unveiled a new web site, http://www.YesICan.gov/ (http://www.YoSiPuedo.gov/), to provide parents with a one-stop center of information to increase college knowledge. Among the resources online are: "Myths and Facts About College Costs," "20 Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor," and "Things You Need to Know About Paying for College." In addition, the new mascot, Pablo the Eagle, encourages reading and educational achievement among the community's youngest members. (Note: The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute found that 96 percent of Hispanic parents surveyed expected their children to go to college, but fully 66 percent of parents failed to answer four out of eight questions about what it takes to make college a reality.)

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Monitoring America's children
Education data from the 2002 edition of "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being," compiled by the interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, suggests that the next generation of adults is off to a healthy start. Indeed, between 1999 and 2001, the percentage of children ages 3 to 5 read to daily by a family member increased from 54 to 58 percent, with the largest increases among children in poverty, children with mothers who work more than 35 hours a week, and Hispanic children. Moreover, the percentage of high school graduates ages 25 to 29 who continued their education and received a bachelor's degree remained at an all-time high of 33 percent, and the percentage of African-American high school graduates who earned a bachelor's degree increased from 14 percent in 1985 to 20 percent in 2001. However, not all of the news is positive. The percentage of children ages 3 to 5 who were enrolled in early childhood education centers declined, from 60 percent in 1999 to 56 percent in 2001. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://childstats.gov/pubs.asp.

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Education finance center
Looking for education finance information on either public or private schools? Be sure to explore the EDFIN (Education Finance) web site, http://nces.ed.gov/edfin/, managed by the Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The URL houses all of NCES' finance publications, products, and graphics; offers a tool to compare the 1997-98 finances of a chosen school district with its peers (those school districts which share similar characteristics); and provides an overview of state finance litigation cases.

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Quote to note
"Good economic policy starts with good education policy.... I know what happens in school systems that say there are certain children who can't learn. It basically means, if we want to be honest about it, inner-city African-American kids are just shuffled through the school system as if they don't matter. Children whose parents don't speak English as a first language, they're deemed to be hard to educate, so it's just easy to move them through. For the good of our country, for the good of the job base, for the good of the American Dream, we must end that kind of education policy in America." -- President George W. Bush (7/15/02)

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Upcoming events
As part of its effort to ensure the effective implementation of No Child Left Behind, the Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary has scheduled a series of Student Achievement and School Accountability conferences in October. The governor and Chief State School Officer of each state will nominate teams of between 10 and 15 state and district-level education leaders to participate in the appropriate region: Orlando, FL (2-4), Washington, DC (7-9), Denver, CO (23-25), and Chicago, IL (28-30). FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SASA/conference.html.

In November, Secretary Paige will host regional Early Childhood Educator Academies to share research on early childhood cognitive development and spotlight the ways that state and local pre-kindergarten administrators can best use that knowledge. Teams, including representatives from state agencies that serve young children and families, will be selected by governors to participate in Detroit, MI (6-7), Albuquerque, NM (12-13), Los Angeles, CA (18-19), Miami, FL (18-19), or St. Louis, MO (21-22). FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/earlychildhood/eceacademy.html.

The Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds' third-annual conference on school leadership, August 4-6 in Fairfax County (VA), will bring together experts in education, policy, and research to address how school leaders can be most effective and what changes are required to help school leaders succeed. Former North Carolina Governor James Hunt will deliver the opening keynote. Counselor to the Secretary Susan Sclafani plans to discuss the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on district and school leadership. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://ntserver.wallacefunds.org/lc_registration/.

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Loose ends
ED Review is in the public domain, so please feel free to send it to others in the office or your community who are interested in activities at the U.S. Department of Education. Sharing is easy: either forward the text embedded in an email message (just as you receive it) or utilize the attached PDF file. Also, we are more than happy to add anyone to the initial distribution list. Simply submit name, organization, and email address to Adam.Honeysett@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/index.html.


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Last Modified: 07/19/2006