NEWSLETTERS
February 14, 2003 -- ED Review
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02/14/03 ED Review
 02/14/03
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
FY 2004 Budget
Better Citizens
Head Start Reform
School Prayer, Personal Rights
After-School Evaluation
Quote to Note


NCLB Update
Last week, Secretary Paige convened a Mathematics Summit and launched a math and science initiative with three interdependent goals: (1) engage the public in recognizing the need for better math and science education for every child in our nation's schools; (2) initiate a campaign to recruit, prepare, train, and retain teachers with strong backgrounds in math and science; and (3) develop an academic research base regarding what boosts student learning in math and science. The summit included representatives from academia, business, and the federal government, kicking-off with John Marburger, President Bush's science advisor discussing Mathematics in the 21st Century. "I must disclose at the outset that I love mathematics as many other people love music, poetry, or fine art," he said. "To me mathematics is a language rich with metaphor—and deep with insight beyond any other form of communication." Successive presenters offered practical steps to address the goals above. The five-year initiative is the product of the Education Department, the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies involved in education and workforce development. A follow-up meeting, to begin crafting action plans, is scheduled for March 13. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/inits/mathscience/. (Presentations from the summit are available at http://www.ed.gov/inits/mathscience/
presentations.html
.)


All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico submitted their educational accountability plans for review by the January 31 statutory deadline. The plans detail how and under what timeline states plan to achieve full proficiency on state academic content standards. The plans must also address how states intend to close persistent achievement gaps between disadvantaged children and their advantaged peers. Now, Department officials will review the plans, provide technical assistance, and, finally, submit the plans for a non-federal peer review. Five state plans were approved early: Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/
PressReleases/02-2003/02032003b.html
.


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FY 2004 Budget
On February 3, the Secretary announced President Bush's FY 2004 budget request for education. The President requests $53.1 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, an increase of $2.8 billion, or 5.6 percent above his 2003 spending plan, and the largest dollar increase of any domestic agency. Among the highlights:

  • $12.4 billion for Title I grants to local education agencies, an increase of $3.6 billion since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act;
  • $9.5 billion for special education grants, the highest level of federal support ever;
  • $4.4 billion for Improving Teacher Quality Grants, Educational Technology Grants, Grants for Innovative Programs, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools, all of which may be consolidated and used for any authorized educational purpose;
  • $1.05 billion for Reading First and $100 million for Early Reading First;
  • $390 million for state assessment grants;
  • $220 million for charter schools and $100 million for a new credit enhancement for charter school facilities;
  • $75 million for a new Choice Incentive Fund and $25 million for Public School Choice grants;
  • $185 million for research, an increase of $10 million from last year's request; and
  • $62.3 billion in student financial aid, to expand the number of recipients of grant, loan, and work-study assistance by 386,000, to an estimated 9.2 million individuals.
Meanwhile, the administration will be proposing fundamental changes to vocational and adult education programs during the upcoming reauthorization of both activities. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget04/summary/
index.html
. (State-by-state data is available at http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/index.html.)


Note: After 18 months of management improvements, the Department received its first clean audit in many years and only the second in its history. And, on its President's Management Agenda scorecard, the Office of Management and Budget conferred upon the Department all "green lights" for its progress in implementing management reforms. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/02-2003/02122003.html.

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Better Citizens
The next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (February 18, 8:00-9:00 ET) provides information and resources for parents to help their children become better citizens. Across the country, schools have created programs that focus on character, civic participation, responsibility, and service. These programs develop habits that are essential to American democracy and encourage students to put their knowledge and ideas into practice by helping to solve real community problems. Research has shown that students who participate in these programs demonstrate both increased civic and social responsibility and high academic achievement. But what can be done in the home and the community to help children develop strong character and become good citizens? In addition, the broadcast will detail where to get information on community and faith-based organizations dedicated to advancing the President's goal of volunteerism. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?
intEventID=164
. (You can watch live and archived webcasts of each show by going to http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)


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Head Start Reform
States could determine the future of the Head Start program under a White House policy proposal unveiled February 3. The proposal would allow states to coordinate other preschool programs with the Head Start federal grant program as long as they meet certain accountability requirements. Participating states would send plans for approval to the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. The plans would include state preschool goals and activities, an accountability program, coverage and maintenance of effort, professional development, and a description of the coordination efforts for funds. In a statement, the President asserted, "Given the vital role states already play in conducting [them], there should be a state option to foster comprehensive, high-quality preschool programs." For more information, please go to http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20030203.html.

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School Prayer, Personal Rights
As part of the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, Secretary Paige issued guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in public elementary and secondary schools (http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/index.html) and relevant obligations under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/). Prayer is generally allowed provided it happens outside of classroom instruction and is initiated by students and not school officials. Some new additions: students taking part in assemblies may not be restricted in expressing religious ideas, as long as they were chosen as speakers through "neutral, even-handed criteria," and teachers may meet together for "prayer or Bible study" before school or after lunch, as long as they make clear they are not acting in an official capacity. PPRA affords parents and students who are 18 certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, the collection and use of information for marketing, and physical exams; FERPA concerns students' education records. Model notices for both are posted on the same web site.

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After-School Evaluation
According to an evaluation conducted by Mathematic Policy Research, the Department's 21st Century Community Learning Center (after-school) program needs to be better aligned with the accountability and research principles of the No Child Left Behind Act. The findings reveal that these centers changed where and with whom students spent some of their after-school time and increased parental involvement. Yet, the findings also show that these programs had little influence on student academic performance and no influence on feelings of safety or the number of so-called latchkey kids. Moreover, student attendance in the programs was low, averaging less than two days a week. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/pubs/21cent/firstyear/.

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Quote to Note
"Let me offer this observation. The president is proposing a: $1 billion increase for Title I; $1 billion increase for IDEA; and $1.9 billion increase for Pell Grants. These three increases comprise just about one-third of the new domestic discretionary dollars the president is seeking for his entire domestic agenda. No other domestic agency has three programs receiving such monumental increases. Therefore, is our job—our duty to ensure that these funds are put to good use and help improve academic achievement for all our children."
—Secretary of Education Rod Paige (2/3/03)


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Be sure to review upcoming Federal Student Aid (FSA) conferences at
http://fsaconferences.ed.gov/index.html. For example, the spring conference is scheduled for March 5-7 in Kansas City, Missouri.

For assistance in preparing applications for the Literacy Through School Libraries Program, which provides students with increased access to up-to-date library materials and professionally certified library/media specialists, consider the March 6 conference call or the March 10 local workshop sponsored by the Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/LSL/ta.html.

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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: 02/27/2007