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June 20, 2003 -- ED Review
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06/20/03 ED Review
 06/20/03
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
NAEP Reading
After-School Summit
Funding for Parents and Students
Adult Education
International Education Week
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update
Proclaiming "the era of low expectations and low standards is ending [and] a time of great hopes and proven results is arriving," President Bush announced that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico now have in place new accountability plans outlining how they will achieve the goal of ensuring no child in America is left behind. "The development of these plans involved a lot of hard work," the President continued. "Governors stepped up to the line, along with the education chiefs. I also want to thank the principals, teachers, and parents on the frontlines who are working to improve our public schools. Instead of throwing up your hands in despair, you decided to challenge the status quo and to help each child." Notably, the Department accepted a variety of state strategies, offering flexibility without compromising the intent of the legislation. For example, the law requires states to establish intermediate goals to move all students to proficiency on state tests by 2013-14. Although states were encouraged to adopt goals that require steady progress over time, officials approved plans by at least 20 states that require less improvement in the early years and much steeper gains later on. "But this is not the end. It is the beginning," Secretary Paige added. "The extraordinary efforts of the states have laid the foundation for education improvement and accountability." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/06-2003/06102003.html. (The President's remarks are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/06/20030610-4.html. Most plans are posted online at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/CFP/csas/index.html.)

The No Child Left Behind Parents Guide (http://www.nclb.gov/next/parentsguide.html), revised from its April 2002 edition, summarizes the main provisions of the law, answers common questions, and provides information on additional resources.

In the June 16 Federal Register, Judge Eric Andell, the Deputy Undersecretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools, responded to comments regarding the implementation of No Child Left Behind's Unsafe School Choice Option requirements. Andell agreed with commenters that the proposed July 1, 2003, deadline for identifying schools that meet the definition of "persistently dangerous" might force a state to omit this school year's data. The final deadline simply requires states to identify schools "in sufficient time" to permit districts to offer students the option to transfer "at least 14 calendar days before the start of the 2003-04 school year." However, Andell held firm on the deadline that states allow students to transfer in advance of the 2003-04 school year. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2003-2/061603a.html.

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NAEP Reading
Results from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment, released yesterday, suggest the nationwide focus on reading is having some impact. Among the findings:

  • The percentage of fourth-graders reaching the Basic achievement level increased from 60 percent in 1998 to 64 percent last year—its highest level ever. The percentage reaching the Proficient achievement level rose from 29 to 31 percent.
  • In eighth-grade, the percentage reaching Basic increased from 73 percent in 1998 to 75 percent last year. But the percentage at or above Proficient was virtually unchanged at 33 percent. The average score was also flat.
  • The percentage of twelfth-graders reaching Basic dropped from 80 percent in 1992 to 76 percent in 1998 and 74 percent last year. The percentage of high school seniors reaching Proficient fell from 40 percent in 1998 to 36 percent in 2002.
  • The average scores of black and Hispanic fourth-graders increased more sharply from 1998 to 2002 than did those of whites, but the gap in average scores remains the same as it had been ten years earlier. The racial/ethnic gaps in average scores at eighth- and twelfth-grade were also virtually unchanged.
State-by-state results show variations in average scores, the proportion of students reaching the different achievement levels, and the achievement of particular groups of students, like those eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Later this year, results of the 2003 NAEP reading assessment will be tendered. For the first time, scores of all 50 states and other jurisdictions will be available, as required by No Child Left Behind. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading/results2002/.

Also: In support of the No Child Left Behind Summer Reading Achievers Program (http://www.ed.gov/parents/academic/summer/reading/index.html), First Book recently donated 20,000 books to the Atlanta Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. A number of other corporate and non-profit sponsors have contributed to the program since its kick-off in March. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/06-2003/06182003.html.

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After-School Summit
Slipping the due date of the previous issue, Secretary Paige, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, co-hosted an After-School Summit on June 6 that focused on the identification of three items: student performance indicators, effective program elements, and evaluation measures for after-school programs. According to the Secretary, "This summit is just the first step in what will be an ongoing process at the Department to identify and support high-quality after-school programs.... While good after-school programs exist, we know that many others are not achieving their full potential. We want to find out how we can help strengthen after-school programs." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/06-2003/06062003a.html.

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Funding for Parents and Students
The Education Department is accepting applications for grants to establish and operate Parental Information and Resource Centers. These centers will help parents participate more effectively in their children's education by providing information to school staff who work with parents; coordinating early childhood programs with school-age programs; and informing the parents of children who attend schools in need of improvement about their options. The competition is open to non-profit agencies, including faith-based and community organizations, and consortia of non-profit agencies and school districts (school districts, alone, are not eligible). Also, the Secretary is placing special emphasis on first-time applicants and applicants who propose "specific strategies" to help parents better understand their state accountability system and how to access the public school choice and supplemental educational services opportunities provided under the No Child Left Behind Act. The deadline for applications is July 18. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OII/portfolio/pirc.html. (Note: A webcast on writing a grant proposal can be found at http://www.connectlive.com/events/pirc/.)

With public health challenges such as obesity, SARS, and West Nile Virus dominating the news, the College Board and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched the Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) student competition. The program, open to high school juniors and seniors, is seeking outstanding, original research projects in which students apply the principles of epidemiology to a health-related area. The program also includes a teacher competition that highlights creative epidemiology curricula. The deadline for entries is February 6, 2004. For more information, please go to http://www.collegeboard.com/yes/.

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Adult Education
With the statute set to expire September 30, 2004, Secretary Paige unveiled a set of recommendations for reauthorization of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, which serves 2.8 million adults with limited proficiency in reading, writing, mathematics, and the English language. To strengthen the existing system and align adult education with the principles of No Child Left Behind, the recommendations stress accountability for results; funding what works; expanding options and choices for students; and increasing flexibility and reducing red tape. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/index.html.

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International Education Week
Planning is underway for the Department's fourth annual International Education Week (November 17-21, coinciding with American Education Week). The week provides schools, colleges and universities, and communities the opportunity to promote and celebrate the benefits of exchange and international education worldwide. Individuals and institutions are encouraged to join the IEW listserv and submit a report on planned IEW activities. For more information, please go to http://exchanges.state.gov/iew/. (Secretary Paige's statement on IEW is available at http://exchanges.state.gov/iew/statements/paige.htm.)

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Quote to Note
"The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a very complex law. It is a tough law. It requires a change in the way business is being done in most states and schools. It has many challenging elements. But the requirement that appears the most challenging is the highly qualified teacher element of the law. While all schools and school districts agree that having a highly qualified teacher in every classroom is important, some face challenges in ensuring that every Title I school has highly qualified teachers this year. Adequate yearly progress is a close second. However, I am pleased that schools and school districts have accepted responsibility for the achievement of all their students."
—Secretary of Education Rod Paige (6/10/03)
(http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/20030610.html)


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Upcoming Events
Personnel from the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) are featured speakers at a number of meetings across the country on No Child Left Behind and innovative, entrepreneurial approaches to education. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/programs.html?exp=0#road.

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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: 02/06/2009