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October 25, 2002 -- ED Review
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10/25/02 ED Review
 10/25/02
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
Project SERV
Education Partnerships
New Awards
Grants Forecast
Research Reorganization
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update
In a recent letter to Chief State School Officers (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10232002a.html), Secretary Paige offers praise for those states, school districts, and schools that have accepted the "challenge" of the No Child Left Behind Act by identifying schools "in need of improvement" and committing resources to help students "reach their potential as soon as possible." "By devoting new energy to those schools identified for improvement, you have refocused the debate and taken the first steps toward changing students' lives for the better," he explains. "Such honesty is a badge of courage and should be acknowledged as such by the citizens in your state." At the same time, he warns against those "trying to 'game' the system for short-term benefits," declaring "it is nothing less than shameful that some defenders of the status quo are trying to hide the performance of underachieving schools in order to shield parents from reality." "Admittedly, our nation's commitment to teach every child is ambitious," the Secretary concludes. "But we have the tools. And we have the know-how. Where we face a real challenge is in generating the will to see this vision through."

An October 9 "dear colleague" letter, from Secretary Paige and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, reminds the nation's high schools about student information disclosure requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act designed to help recruiters share information about potential military opportunities available to young Americans. The law states that every school district that receives federal funds must comply with a request by a military recruiter for secondary students' names, addresses, and telephone numbers, unless a parent has "opted out" of providing such information. Furthermore, the law requires districts to provide military recruiters the same access as they generally provide to postsecondary institutions or prospective employers. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10112002a.html.

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Project SERV
On October 23, the Education Department released $600,000 in federal grants to help schools in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia affected by the approximate sniper attacks. These Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence program) funds can be used for activities and costs that are reasonable, necessary, and essential: mental health assessments, referrals, and services related to the traumatic event; overtime for teachers, school counselors, and law enforcement or security personnel; substitute teachers and other staff; emergency transportation; technical assistance on developing appropriate responses to the crisis; and temporary security measures—non-permanent metal detectors and additional guards and cameras. The funds flow to state education agencies, which in turn allocate the resources to eligible school districts. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10232002b.html.

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Education Partnerships
Over the past two weeks, the Department has entered into five unique partnerships, each dedicated to a particular subject or special population:

  • First, Secretary Paige and National Urban League President and CEO Hugh Price announced Reading Information Centers in the cities of Cleveland, Houston, Miami, and Washington, DC. These centers will distribute information on reading and literacy development to help parents assist their children in meeting state and/or local reading and language arts standards. The centers will also assist state, local, and community-based literacy programs that promote scientific-based reading. (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10112002.html)


  • Second, with the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), the agency is developing a public information campaign to reach parents about their choices under the No Child Left Behind Act. BAEO will focus on cities with high concentrations of low-income African-Americans and low-performing schools—using direct mail, TV, radio, newspapers, the Internet, and door-to-door visits—and provide assistance to eligible parents through call centers and local volunteer corps. (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10152002a.html)


  • Third, the new Partnership for Excellence in Latino Higher Education, created with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, seeks to increase parental involvement in elementary and secondary schools in Latino communities across the country. Although research shows that parental involvement plays a key role in children's academic achievement and that an effective method for actively engaging Latino parents is to provide them with the information and resources necessary for them to play an active role, much of what is available is not user-friendly, culturally relevant, or distributed properly. (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10172002a.html)


  • Fourth, as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Department and Chamber of Commerce's Center for Workforce Preparation introduced an effort to acquaint employers with available programs that can help them incorporate people with disabilities into the workforce. In addition, a series of forums is being planned to provide businesses with an opportunity to partner, share successful practices, and recruit from new sources. (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10182002.html)


  • Finally, Secretary Paige and Zhou Jil, vice president of education for the People's Republic of China, signed a memorandum of understanding to build an project that will use web-based technology to help students and educators learn another language, initially in Chinese and English, free of charge over the Internet. This project will help schools that lack the teachers with the requisite foreign language skills and boost schools with large immigrant populations needing English as a Second Language instruction. (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10212002b.html)


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New Awards
The Education Department has awarded grants under two of First Lady Laura Bush's education priorities: recruiting effective teachers and promoting high moral character. The Transition to Teaching program (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10152002.html) helps school districts tackle teacher shortages by recruiting talented and capable individuals from other professions and academic fields, as well as recent college graduates with strong academic records but a bachelor's degree outside of education, to serve as teachers. These individuals will receive special assistance, guidance, and support—and in some cases stipends and other incentives—to become highly qualified teachers through alternative certification routes and commit long-term to teaching. The Partnerships in Character Education program (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/10-2002/10232002.html) seeks to establish character education programs for youth, with a focus on caring, civic virtue and citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness. Programs are measured according to their success in reducing discipline problems and improving student grades, increasing participation in extracurricular activities, and strengthening parent and community involvement.

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Grants Forecast
Be sure to review the FY 2003 Grants Forecast (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCFO/grants/forecast.html), which lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the Department has invited or expects to invite applications for awards and provides actual or estimated dates for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts—organized according to the Department's principal program offices—and will be updated regularly starting the first week of November and continuing through July 2003. (This document is advisory only and is not an official application notice of the Department of Education.)

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Research Reorganization
The Education Sciences Reform Act (H.R. 3801), now awaiting the President's signature, replaces the Department's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) with an Academy of Education Sciences to oversee federal education research. "One of the major tenets of our education policy is that teaching and learning practices be based on sound, scientific research," Secretary Paige said in a statement upon the bill's bipartisan passage. "Congress shares that understanding with us, and it is clear...that they view the role of research as the cornerstone of educational reform." The academy will be led by a director appointed for a six-year term (instead of a appointee that varies upon the administration) and advised by a 15-member board of research experts and practitioners. It will also have three separate centers—research, evaluation, and statistics—thereby ensuring more autonomous research. For more information, please go to http://edworkforce.house.gov/issues/107th/education/oeri/
billsummary.htm.


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Quote to Note
"As a former superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, I understand the promise and peril of improving schools. It takes courage to confront the forces of bureaucracy, regulation, and special interests that try to cripple even the most sincere efforts to increase achievement and accountability. Fortunately, there are schools and reform leaders across our nation who have shown how quickly effective leadership can transform student achievement—and how swiftly success can sweep through a school. With a dedicated focus on accountability and achievement, any school that needs improvement can create a new culture of learning and excellence in just two years..."
—Secretary of Education Rod Paige (10/22/02)


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Upcoming Events
The Department's next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast, on math and science, is scheduled for November 19. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=162.

The Appalachian Youth Entrepreneurship Education "Springboard" Awards competition recognizes youth entrepreneurship education programs. Youth education programs—targeted to rural areas—often serve as a "springboard" for Appalachian residents to launch their own businesses, creating jobs in their communities, and further diversifying and strengthening the region's economy. For more information, please go to http://www.arc.gov/index.do?nodeId=1502.

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Credits
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
Deputy Assistant Secretary—Terri Rayburn, (202) 401-0404, Terri.Rayburn@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: 12/03/2007