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June 6, 2003 -- ED Review
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06/06/03 ED Review
 06/06/03
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
Condition of Education 2003
Preparing for the Digital Age
Funding Opportunities
Students & Leaders
College Loan Rates
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update
As required under the No Child Left Behind Act, the Department is soliciting input from an array of education stakeholders in crafting a new National Education Technology Plan. Why develop a national plan? As the plan's web site explains, "To enable [No Child Left Behind's] important and sweeping changes to take place will require not only a rethinking and realignment of the industrial age factory model of education, but a rethinking of the tools available to support such change. From the back office to the classroom, schools of the information age will effectively employ technology to meet the needs of students, parents, teachers, and administrators." Interested parties have until July 1 to share top issues, opportunities, any policy or regulatory barriers or obstacles, and critical questions that need to be addressed through research. This will be the nation's third such plan. For more information, please go to http://www.nationaledtechplan.org/. (See http://www.nationaledtechplan.org/resources.asp to review the previous plans, as well as further reading on the intersection of education policy and technology.)

Over the last two weeks, seven more states (Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont) and Puerto Rico received formal approval for their state accountability plans. A number of the plans are available online at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/CFP/csas/index.html. To date, 31 plans have been approved.

Attention states! The Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) has released guidance on adjusting Title I basic, concentration, targeted, and education finance incentive grant allocations to school districts. Since OESE's list of school districts—based on Census data that is generally two years old—does not match the current universe of districts for many states, states must adjust Title I, Part A allocations to account for any boundary changes and for newly created districts, such as charter schools, that are not included in OESE's calculations. Moreover, states must adjust allocations to (1) reserve funds for administration, a state awards program, and school improvement activities and (2) allow, in the case of several states, the use of alternative data to re-distribute funds among districts with less than 20,000 residents. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SASA/seaguidancefor
adjustingallocations.doc
.


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Condition of Education 2003
Last week, the Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released its annual report (required by law) on the condition and progress of education in the U.S. "The Condition of Education 2003" includes 44 indicators in six main areas—participation in education, learner outcomes, student effort and educational progress, elementary and secondary education contexts, postsecondary education contexts, and societal support for learning—and a special analysis of children's reading achievement in kindergarten and first-grade. Trends "continue to show a mixed picture." In reading, American fourth-graders outscored their counterparts in many other countries, and the percentage of high school graduates completing advanced-level courses in English has increased since the early 1980s. Yet the literacy scores of American 15-year-olds are at the average among industrialized countries. In math, the performance of fourth- and eighth-graders increased steadily throughout the 1990s, but the performance of twelfth-graders declined in the latter part of the decade. In addition, gaps persist in the achievement and participation among different racial groups, socioeconomic groups, and school sectors. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/.

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Preparing for the Digital Age
This season's last "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (June 17, 8:00-9:00 ET) spotlights education technology as a "new basic," alongside reading, writing, and arithmetic. Technology has tremendous potential as a transforming tool, inspiring students, improving academic achievement, and narrowing the achievement gap for students that have historically been left behind. Technology can also help parents stay involved in their child's education: increasingly, schools are providing access to and information on their child's academic performance. At the same time, popular uses of today's technology—from "Instant Messaging" to cell phones—present a challenge, leaving children vulnerable to negative influences. The broadcast will explore changes that need to occur around technology to best support its effective utilization. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=168. (You can watch live and archived webcasts of each show by going to http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)

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Funding Opportunities
July is the final month to submit grant applications under several competitive programs. For example, the Community Technology Centers Program assists in the creation or expansion of community technology centers that will provide disadvantaged residents of distressed urban and rural communities with access to information technology and related training. For FY 2003, the competition for new awards gives absolute priority to those who focus on the academic achievement of low-achieving high school students. Eligible applicants include faith-based and community organizations, states, districts, institutions of higher education, and other non-profit groups (closes 7/7). The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program supports students under-represented in gifted and talented programs, particularly economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient, and disabled students—to diminish the achievement gap at the highest levels of performance. Eligible applicants include states, districts, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes (closes 7/7). The Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant Program funds efforts to (1) integrate arts into the core elementary and middle school curricula, (2) strengthen arts education in these grades, and (3) improve students' skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts (closes 7/10), while Professional Development for Arts Educators implements high-quality professional development programs in dance, drama, music, and visual arts (closes 7/10). Both of these programs require partnerships. http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/ lists all the competitions that are currently underway and provides links to electronic application packages, forms, and other key information.

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Students & Leaders
Last month, C-SPAN teamed with Comcast Cable in a unique, month-long project to bring 40 national leaders to Washington, D.C.-area schools. Representatives from Congress, the Bush Administration, the federal courts, and national media outlets discussed their careers and the concepts of leadership and public service. C-SPAN cameras recorded each of the events to share with other students across the country and the network's viewing audience. Secretary Paige spoke at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy. Students inquired "What is the No Child Left Behind Act?" and "Why do you favor Affirmative Access over Affirmative Action?" For more information, please go to http://www.studentsandleaders.org/.

Also: A survey conducted for the Center for Public Service at the Brookings Institution finds college seniors still put an emphasis on finding jobs that provide the opportunity to help people, learn new skills, and do challenging work. However, the majority consider the non-profit sector—rather than government—as the best form of "public service." For more information, please go to http://www.brook.edu/gs/cps/light20030603.htm.

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College Loan Rates
On May 28, Secretary Paige announced that federal student loan interest rates will drop to the historic low of 3.42, effective July 1. Borrowers with $10,000 in loan debt and a 10-year standard repayment plan can save about $362 in interest over the life of the loan. And, to ensure borrowers receive the lowest possible rates, the Secretary is having the Department hold applications to consolidate loans until the new rates are official. For more information, please go to http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/.

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Quote to Note
"Parents are a child's first teachers, and they can be the most effective instructors.... Parents' role as educators becomes even more important as schools across the country prepare for summer recess. Summertime is not only a time for children to relax and play, it is also a time for parents to strengthen their ties to their children by spending time with them and helping them to broaden their experiences.... Family, mentors, neighbors, and friends can [also] help mold America's next generation through their positive examples, showing them how to help those in need and encouraging them to set high standards for themselves.... By using their time, talents, and compassion to make a difference in the lives of others, America's children are learning to become responsible and engaged leaders in our democratic society."
—President George W. Bush (5/31/03)


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Upcoming Events
On June 26, in Portland, Oregon, the White House and the Departments of Education, Agriculture, 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 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. (The deadline for registration is June 13.)

The next "Innovations in Education Exchange" will be held July 10 at the White House. The topic: teaching American history. For more information, please contact Amber Hutchinson at (202) 401-0850 or Amber.Hutchinson@ed.gov.

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Credits
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
Deputy Assistant Secretary—Scott Jenkins, (202) 205-5158, Scott.Jenkins@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: 12/06/2007