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November 8, 2002 -- ED Review
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11/08/02 ED Review
 11/08/02
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
Ballot Issues
Math and Science
Fed Up Regulations
Early Childhood Educators
Interagency Spotlight: Lewis & Clark
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update
A new Department resource, Resources + Reforms = Results: President Bush's Commitment to Our Nation's School Children, explains—in charts, graphs, and text—the Bush administration's financial commitment to public education. "There recently have been several reports that distort the president's record on education funding," said Deputy Secretary Bill Hansen at the release. "The American people need to hear the facts about his and Secretary Rod Paige's strong commitment to our children and our schools." For example, one chart tracks the growth in such education programs as Title I ($6.730 billion in 1996 to $10.350 billion in 2002), teacher quality ($275 million to $2.850 billion), and special education ($2.324 billion to $7.529 billion). Also included are figures on reading, English language acquisition, and higher education (Pell Grants). "We believe the combination of the very substantial new funding provided over the past three years and the reforms in the No Child Left Behind Act," the guide concludes, "will make a real difference in improving the performance of our schools and the achievement of all students." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ods/resources-reform/.

The National Center for Educational Accountability, a collaborative effort to improve learning through the effective use of school and student data and the identification of best practices, recently announced a partnership with the Washington, DC-based National Alliance of Business. The partnership aims to (1) strengthen the center's state-level corporate support and (2) provide more education data to businesses. NCEA is a joint venture of Just for Kids, an Austin-based nonprofit organization that utilizes accountability data to examine and improve school performance; the University of Texas at Austin; and the Education Commission of the States, an interstate compact that helps state officials shape education policies. Associates are visiting schools, talking with teachers and administrators about challenges, and noting instructional strategies and leadership practices that have garnered success. For more information, please go to http://www.measuretolearn.org/.

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Ballot Issues
While most of the attention during Tuesday's general election was reserved for key state and federal races, voters in 22 states decided education-related ballot issues. Consider:

  • Colorado voters maintained support for bilingual education, while Massachusetts opted for English-immersion (as did Arizona and California in previous elections);
  • Proposition 49, supporting before- and after-school programs, passed in California, and Florida approved a provision requiring voluntary pre-kindergarten education;
  • Florida's class size reduction amendment prevailed, while Arizona voters approved propositions (202 and 300) to provide additional funding for class size reduction, teacher salary increases, and reading and dropout-prevention programs.
  • Voters in Michigan were not willing to reallocate tobacco settlement dollars from college scholarships to health programs; and
  • Bond issues were approved in Alaska, California, Hawaii (for not-for-profit, private education institutions), New Mexico, Oregon, and Virginia.
For more information, please go to http://www.ecs.org/ (select "Election Roundup").

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Math and Science
The next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (November 19, 8:00-9:00 ET) emphasizes the importance of math and science education, in a world where good jobs—not just high-level and technical opportunities—demand a significant understanding of these essential subjects. Notably, the achievement gap in math and science between white and minority students remains significant. And, even though U.S. fourth-graders scored second in a major international study, twelfth-graders ranked only 16th, behind every industrialized country (and ahead of only Cypress and South Africa). Experts will tackle questions like how much class time should be devoted to math and science; what should students be learning at the elementary, middle, and high school levels; and how can parents encourage their children to learn math and science outside of the class-room? To participate, all you need is a facility with satellite downlink capabilities. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=162. (Note: As before, you can watch live and archived webcasts of each show by going to http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)

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Fed Up Regulations
On November 1, the Education Department published final regulations eliminating or changing burdensome or unnecessary federal student aid regulations. The regulations eliminate the double standard known as the "12-hour rule," that restricts financial aid for students enrolled in distance education and other non-traditional term programs. Moreover, the regulations ensure rules on the treatment of overpayments are applied consistently to all Title IV programs; eliminate the time limits in which a student without a diploma must pass a test assessing their "ability to benefit" from Title IV aid; increase the time frame within which an institution may make a late disbursement from 90 to 120 days (and, in instances where the student is not at fault, the school may disburse funds after 120 days); clarify the time frame that institutions must return unearned Title IV funds (currently, schools have 30 days to issue a check); add more jobs to those that qualify as federal work-study positions—and specify that some jobs may never be used for work-study; and elucidate that a GEAR-UP scholarship can be awarded without considering the student's expected family contribution (in situations where the Title IV aid does not exceed the student's cost of college attendance). For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2002-4/110102a.html.

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Early Childhood Educators
Earlier this week, Secretary Paige announced $14.6 million in grants aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of early childhood educators in communities with high levels of poverty. The nine projects—in California, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—are partnerships of higher education institutions or other entities that provide professional development services, public agencies such as state or local education agencies, and entities that train teachers to identify and prevent behavioral problems, as well as identify victims of abuse. Each will provide professional development for educators in high-need areas and will measure progress toward objectives, including improved language and pre-reading skills among children. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SASA/ecprofdev.html. (Note: The agency has added a fourth Early Childhood Educator Academy, April 7-8 in Lowell, Massachusetts. See http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/earlychildhood/eceacademy.html for more details.)

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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.

A new web site, www.lewisandclark200.gov, a partnership among 32 federal agencies and organizations, offers a single, easy-to-use web portal with information about various Lewis and Clark historical places. Online, students can read about stops along the trail using an interactive map, teachers can download lessons on the multiple disciplines—from art to world languages—applied by the team in order to complete their mission, and interested parties can find biographical information on Corps of Discovery members and American Indian tribes encountered on the route. From 2003 to 2006, the U.S. will observe the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark's journey through the Louisiana Territory. (Note: Signature event information is available at http://www.lewisandclark200.org/.)

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Quote to Note
"There are currently more than 25 million living American veterans, many of whom put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms.... Our proud veterans have also helped to shape the American character. They have given us an extraordinary legacy of patriotism and honor, and their service represents the very highest form of citizenship. So that young Americans can better understand the commitment and sacrifice of these heroes in securing the blessings of liberty, I ask all schools to observe November 10-16, 2002, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage educators to invite veterans to teach our young people about their experiences. By sharing their knowledge on some of the most proud and dramatic moments in our history, they can help educate and inspire a new generation of Americans."
—President George W. Bush (11/6/02)


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Upcoming Events
Learn more about National Veterans Awareness Week at http://www.va.gov/vetsday/.

The theme of American Education Week (November 17-23), "Making Public Schools Great for Every Child," reflects the cooperation and hard work of all education staff, parents, community members, and businesses who help students achieve. For more information, please go to http://www.nea.org/aew/.

International Education Week (November 18-22), a joint effort by the Departments of Education and State, affirms that education is a common value—a positive path that can lead to a more secure future for all citizens. For more information, please go to http://exchanges.state.gov/iew/.

On December 12, in Philadelphia, the White House and the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Labor are hosting a conference to help faith-based and community organizations learn more about President Bush's Faith-Based and Community Initiative. The federal government is committed to helping these groups compete on an equal footing for federal dollars, receive greater private support, and face fewer bureaucratic barriers. For more information, please go to http://www.fbci.gov.

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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: 09/17/2003