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March 14, 2003 -- ED Review
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03/14/03 ED Review
 03/14/03
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
Math and Science Partnerships
Dual Roles
Teachers College
College Opportunities
ESTME Week
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update
On March 7, Secretary Paige joined Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge in unveiling a new web site—http://www.ed.gov/
emergencyplan/
—designed to be a one-stop shop to help school officials plan for any emergency, including natural disasters, violent incidents, and terrorist attacks. "As a former superintendent of the nation's seventh largest school district, I know the importance of emergency planning," Paige said. "The midst of a crisis is not the time to start figuring out who ought to do what. At that moment, everyone involved—from top to bottom—should know the drill and know each other." At present, the web site houses examples of promising practices in school emergency response from Montgomery County, Maryland, North Carolina state, and Fairfax County, Virginia. Later this month, the Education Department, working with school safety experts across the country, will release a model emergency response and management plan. In addition, Secretary Paige announced the availability of $30 million in funding to help school districts improve and strengthen their own plans. Funds can be used to train school personnel, parents, and students in crisis response; coordinate with local emergency responders, including police and fire; purchase equipment; and coordinate with groups and organizations responsible for recovery issues, such as health and mental health agencies. Further details will be made available in early spring.


Information on what families and communities can do to be ready for an emergency is accessible at http://www.ready.gov/.

Starting Monday, the Secretary is inviting applications under the Early Reading First program. Part of President Bush's "Good Start, Grow Smart" initiative, ERF is designed to transform existing early education programs into centers of excellence that provide high-quality, early education to young children, especially those from low-income homes. Specifically, the program strives to prepare young children to enter kindergarten with the necessary language, cognitive, and early reading skills to prevent reading difficulties and ensure school success. Pre-applications, from eligible school districts and community organizations, are due by April 11. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/
earlyreading/index.html
.


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Math and Science Partnerships
On the heels of the February 6 Mathematics Summit, the Department's Math and Science Partnerships received a 708 percent increase this year—up from $12.5 million in fiscal 2002 to $101 million in fiscal 2003. And because the appropriation exceeds $100 million, funds will flow to every state for the establishment of partnerships of schools, universities, businesses, and nonprofit groups to address the needs of math and science education. Under the smaller 2002 allotment, just two states received money. (Because the Department received such a small amount in fiscal 2002, it decided to pool that money with a $150 million National Science Foundation effort to pay for projects.) Meanwhile, on March 13, the Department hosted a follow-up meeting, with participants convening to discuss what is currently going on to improve the quality of such education (http://www.ed.gov/inits/
mathscience/descriptions/
lists hundreds of examples) and the nature of the problems confronting those who would do more. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/inits/mathscience/follow_up.html.


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Dual Roles
To make sure the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act is "as swift and smooth as possible," Secretary Paige named Undersecretary of Education Gene Hickok Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education has reported directly to Hickok's office for more than a year. In addition, when the bill was signed into law, the Secretary assigned Hickok and former Assistant Secretary Susan Neuman with the primary responsibility for implementation, so he is well versed in the office's operations. Neuman resigned on January 14 to resume her reading research. Hickok will continue to serve as Undersecretary. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/03-2003/03052003.html.

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Teachers College
Assisted by a $10 million, five-year Start Schools grant, Western Governors University launched its online Teachers College (http://www.wgu.edu/tc/), which offers accredited certificate, undergraduate, and graduate academic degrees for both current and prospective teachers. The college's approach to education is based on competency in critical knowledge and skills, as measured by assessments, versus the number of hours spent in a college classroom. Rather than developing its own courses, Teachers College collaborates with higher education institutions, corporations, and training organizations, making the best use of distance learning materials; the catalog has 1,200 courses from 45 partnering institutions. Given No Child Left Behind's emphasis on a teacher quality, Secretary Paige praised the college's creative path to alternative certification. "Teachers College will be a boon to states seeking training for current teachers and paraprofessionals to help them meet education requirements under No Child Left Behind and speed licensure. The program will also aid recruiting second-career professionals." Western Governors University is a consortium of 19 Western states and 40 universities.

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College Opportunities
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) College Opportunities On-Line (COOL) is a direct link to nearly 7,000 colleges and universities in the country. Whether for large universities, small liberal arts colleges, specialized schools, community colleges, career or technical colleges, or trade schools, IPEDS COOL offers information on enrollment, awards/degrees conferred, cost (updated for 2002-03) and financial aid, accreditation, and campus crime statistics. Moreover, IPEDS COOL holds tools to help in the search for college. One can search based on location, program, or degree offering, either alone or in combination. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cool/. (Note: An institution's inclusion does not imply approval of the institution or its programs by the Department. Schools that participate in federal financial aid have recognized accreditation.)

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ESTME Week
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has joined with representatives from public and private organizations to coordinate activities and events for this year's Excellence in Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education Week (March 16-22). (Last year, this celebration was known as Global Science and Technology Week.) It is hoped that the week will ignite student interest in math and science by

  • drawing attention to the many ways their lives are enhanced by scientific and technological advances;

  • stressing the ways that young people, themselves, can apply science and technology to benefit their community, their country, and their planet;

  • highlighting the international nature of science, and stressing the importance of math and science education in today's era of globalization; and

  • emphasizing how U.S. citizens benefit from scientists of diverse backgrounds and cultures working together to solve the complex problems of today.

For more information, please go to http://www.ostp.gov/html/estme/. (Be sure to download the poster at http://www.ostp.gov/html/estme/downloads.html, with activities presented by federal agencies from NASA to the Agriculture Department.)

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Quote to Note
"I know that you're facing tight budgets, but education is generously and adequately funded.... Despite reports to the contrary, a recent study by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy found that the increased federal funding for New Hampshire is more than enough to cover the costs of testing, attracting highly qualified teachers, new technology plans, and special education—and still have another $6 million left over to fund other state and local priorities. Caroline Hoxby, a leading economist and Harvard professor, has also found that the cost of assessments averages only $5.81 of the more than $8,100 spent on average per pupil.... As director of the Economics of Education Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, she found that the costs for assessments were 'so tiny that even the most generous accounting could not make them appear large, relative to other education programs. The most expensive [assessment] programs in the United States cost less than one-quarter of one percent of per pupil spending.'"
—Secretary of Education Rod Paige (3/10/03)


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Upcoming Events
The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives will host a series of free workshops to assist organizations in applying to become approved providers of extra academic help (supplemental educational services) for disadvantaged students. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OIIA/
faithandcommunity/suppserv_workshops.html
.


The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is sponsoring six new seminars on the use of several of its data series. For qualified applicants, there is no fee to attend. NCES will provide training materials as well as computers for hands-on practice. NCES will also pay for transportation, accommodations, and a per diem for meals and expenses. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/conferences/.

On May 4-6, ASPIRA is hosting its fifth-annual Latino Education Conference in sunny Las Vegas. This year's theme is "The Latino School Dropout Dilemma: An Agenda for Action," featuring Leslie Sanchez, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. For more information, please go to http://www.latinoedconference.org.

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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: 05/05/2008