Press Room NEWSLETTERS
September 27, 2002 -- ED Review
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09/27/02 ED Review
 09/27/02
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
NAEP Letter
Teaching American History and Civics
2020 Visions
Safe/Healthy Newsletter
Higher Education Funding
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update
On September 17, Secretary Paige announced the formation of two new offices within the Education Department: the Office of Innovation and Improvement and the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Both will be directed by new deputy undersecretaries of education (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/09-2002/09172002b.html AND http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/09-2002/09172002a.html) with the programs to form the offices coming primarily from the existing Office of Educational Research and Improvement and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (see http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/09-2002/edreorg.html for a program-by-program reorganization summary). In the end, less than 200 of the agency's 5,000 employees will be affected by the moves.

The Office of Innovation and Improvement is intended to be a nimble, entrepreneurial arm of the Department, making strategic investments in promising practices and widely disseminating their results. It will also lead the movement for greater parental options and information in education and free other offices to focus on their core missions by assuming a number of both OERI's and OESE's smaller, discretionary grant programs. (The Office of Non-Public Education, previously located in the Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, is moving to OII.) The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools will bring together into a single unit efforts that are currently scattered in several offices: safe schools/crisis response; alcohol and drug prevention; the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of students; and building strong character and citizenship. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/09-2002/09172002.html.

Meanwhile, the Secretary concluded his 25-city No Child Left Behind Tour Across America with a stop at the Bronx's Samuel Gompers Vocational & Technical High School. During his visit, Paige viewed an interactive classroom demonstration that featured Cablevision's Power to Learn technology and online learning resource (http://www.powertolearn.com/) that is used to support teachers in the classroom and connect classrooms to parents and the community. Cablevision intends to wire nearly 5,000 schools and libraries within its service territory with broadband Internet access, and to provide teacher training and online educational content. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/09-2002/09252002a.html. (Note: For highlights of the Secretary's other 24 stops, see http://www.nclb.gov/media/news/nclb-tour.html.)

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NAEP Letter
In a recent letter to governors and state legislative leaders, Secretary Paige explains the No Child Left Behind Act's requirements vis-à-vis the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and provides a window during which the 2003 assessment will be administered. By submitting a consolidated state application for ESEA formula-grant funds, each state has agreed to participate in the biennial reading and math tests, to ensure that school districts selected for the NAEP samples participate in all phases of the assessments, and to have the state results published. Testing is scheduled from January 27 through March 7, with results expected in September 2003. "NAEP assessments provide benchmarks on what our students know and can do, as well as help to compare an individual state's educational progress to that of other states and the nation as a whole," the Secretary said. "I know that many governors have found NAEP results to be important resources as they formulated education policy, and I am confident that this round of NAEP testing will once again provide important feedback." FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/News/Letters/020916.html.

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Teaching American History and Civics
On the 215th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution (September 17), President Bush unveiled three new initiatives to support the teaching of American history and civics:

  • First, the National Endowment for the Humanities is launching an initiative titled "We the People" (http://www.wethepeople.gov/) and consisting of three components: a call for projects designed to explore significant events and themes in our nation's history; an annual "Heroes of History" lecture by a scholar on an individual whose heroism has helped to protect America; and an "Idea of America" essay contest for high school juniors.

  • Second, "Our Documents" (http://www.ourdocuments.gov/), an initiative spear-headed by the National Archives and Record Administration (in collaboration with many others), includes an online database of 100 pivotal documents in U.S. history, along with lesson plans and competitions sponsored by National History Day.

  • Third, the President will host a "We the People" Forum on American History, Civics, and Service in February 2003.

On the 2001 NAEP U.S. History exam, 89 percent of high school seniors, 84 percent of eighth-graders, and 82 percent of fourth-graders scored below "proficient" levels. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/home/sitemap/index.asp.

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2020 Visions
On September 18, Undersecretary of Education Gene Hickok joined Secretary of Commerce Don Evans and National Science Foundation Director Rita Colwell to release "2020 Visions: Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies," an exciting compilation of visions prepared by leaders in the fields of education and technology. The visions are part of an effort among the federal agencies to bring together key stakeholders to accelerate and enable the development and deployment of emerging technologies. "These visions challenge us to question our assumptions of education—grades, classes, physical buildings—and instead provide us with a glimpse of how technology can allow us to think of new ways of achieving the same goal," lauded Hickok. "Our nation needs a revolution in the way we educate students in order to meet the expectations of excellence set forth by President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. These visions help paint a picture of that future." FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.technology.gov/Reports.htm.

Also: "Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2001," a new report by the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), found 99 percent of public schools in America had access to the Internet, compared to just 35 percent when the annual survey was first conducted in 1994. Moreover, 87 percent of instructional rooms now have Internet access, up from three percent back in 1994. The ratio of students to computers is currently 5.4 to 1. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002018.

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Safe/Healthy Newsletter
Looking for more information and resources to create safe and healthy environments for young people? The Challenge (http://www.thechallenge.org/), a newsletter produced by the Learning Systems Group with a grant from the Department's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, offers interviews with issue experts, "good ideas" from the field, and a growing prevention library. Of note: an special issue on the No Child Left Behind Act.

Also: Yesterday, the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice announced more than $80 million in Safe Schools/Healthy Students grants to 46 communities. The grants support school district efforts to link prevention activities with community-based services. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/09-2002/09262002.html.

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Higher Education Funding
The list of open grant competitions (http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/) includes a number of funding opportunities for colleges and universities, such as the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, both the Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Programs, and several Fulbright-Hays international initiatives for dissertation research, faculty study, and other group projects. Competitions close in late October or early November.

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Quote to Note
"Our Founders believed the study of history and citizenship should be at the core of every American's education. Yet today, our children have large and disturbing gaps in their knowledge of history.... Ignorance of American history and civics weakens our sense of citizenship. To be an American is not just a matter of blood or birth; we are bound by ideals, and our children must know those ideals. They should know about the nearly impossible victory of the Revolutionary War, and the debates of the Constitutional Convention. They should know the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, and how Abraham Lincoln applied its principles to fight slavery. Our children should know why Martin Luther King, Jr., was in a Birmingham city jail, and why he wrote a magnificent letter from that place. Our children need to know about America's liberation of Europe during World War II, and why the Berlin Wall came down. At this very moment, Americans are fighting in foreign lands for principles defined at our founding, and every American—particularly every American child—should fully understand these principles.
—President George W. Bush (9/17/02)


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Upcoming Events
The Department's next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast, on protecting your child at home and at school, is scheduled for October 15. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=161.

The Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a series of Student Achievement and School Accountability conferences in October. Materials shared at the closed conferences will be posted online. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SASA/conference.html.

White House Conference on Missing, Exploited, and Runaway Children is scheduled for October 2. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.whitehouse.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/offices/OIIA/OIA/edreview/.


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Last Modified: 06/22/2006