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August 15 ED Review
Archived Information


 August 15, 2003
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
Teacher Preparation
From Mexico City...
Funding Opportunities
Anti-Harassment Rules
From the Interagency Staff...
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
NCLB Extra Credit (http://www.nclb.gov/extracredit/), which offers a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, is now archived back to April 2003. These succinct bits are an excellent resource to debunk myths and misunderstandings regarding NCLB and research success stories. For example, the July 23 Extra Credit explains what happens when a state identifies a school as "in need of improvement."

Interested in becoming a supplemental services provider? The Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement and Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives have produced a webcast (http://www.connectlive.com/events/supplemental/) to help non-profit organizations apply to become approved providers under the No Child Left Behind Act. The presentation details each step of the application process, like the essential assurance form, and offers some "winning reminders." Also, if you prefer to stay off-line, the Center provides a toolkit (http://www.ed.gov/admins/comm/suppsvcs/toolkit.html) with much of the same information.

On August 1, the Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education released guidance on the September 1, 2003, Consolidated State Application submission. (As described in the package that was distributed in May 2002, state submissions have been divided into multiple submissions and information requests.) In this submission, states must provide baseline data and performance targets under four No Child Left Behind goals and related indicators. These include: all limited English proficient students will become proficient in English and reach high academic standards in reading/language arts and math (Goal 2); by 2005-06, all students will be taught by highly qualified teachers (Goal 3); all students will be educated in learning environments that are safe, drug-free, and conducive to learning (Goal 4); and all students will graduate from high school (Goal 5). Special attention is paid to the calculation of graduation rates. The Department has developed a workbook format to facilitate states' preparation and submission. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/
admins/lead/account/consolidated/index.html#csapp.


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Teacher Preparation
A new report from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), "Eight Questions on Teacher Preparation: What Does the Research Say?," reviews 92 rigorous studies (from over 500 originally considered) to answer core questions about teacher preparation that are of particular importance to educators and policymakers. Among them:

  • To what extent does subject knowledge contribute to teacher effectiveness?
    Overall, the research provides moderate support for the common-sense belief that it is important for teachers to have strong subject-matter knowledge. The research is spotty, however, and the great majority of it concerns the teaching of math.


  • To what extent does pedagogical coursework contribute to teacher effectiveness?
    The research provides limited support for the conclusion that preparation in pedagogy can contribute significantly to effective teaching.... It is not clear from the research reviewed for this report, however, whether such knowledge and skills are best acquired through coursework, field experience, or on the job.


  • Are there "alternative route" programs that graduate high percentages of effective new teachers with average or higher-than-average rates of teacher retention?
    Overall, the research provides limited support for the conclusion that there are indeed alternative programs that produce teachers who are ultimately as effective as traditionally trained teachers. On the other hand, because of their limited pre-service training, alternative route participants may experience more difficulties than traditionally prepared graduates at the beginning of their teaching assignment.


  • Are there teacher preparation strategies that are likely to increase the effectiveness of new teachers in hard-to-staff and low-performing schools?
    The research could be said to provide limited support for the conclusion that deliberate efforts to prepare teachers for hard-to-staff, low-performing schools can be beneficial. It is far from clear, however, which particular strategies are effective. Field placement in an urban school, training in multicultural awareness, and effective recruitment and screening of teacher candidates are the only strategies with any real support in the research.


Subsequent reports will focus on what the research says about teacher recruitment and retention, licensure and certification, and professional development. For more information, please go to http://www.ecs.org/tpreport.

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From Mexico City...
In town for the third meeting of the Inter-American Educational Ministerial—all of the Western Hemisphere's 34 education ministers—Secretary Paige joined Mexican Secretary of Education Reyes Tamez and representatives from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Toshiba to announce the donation of 17 computers and several digital cameras and projectors to Mexico City's public school system. "On my last trip [in November 2002], I had the pleasure of visiting the Benito Juarez School here in Mexico City," said Paige. "There was such an energy there, with teachers, students, and staff all working so hard, that I wanted to do something to support their excellent work." Earlier, the Secretary kicked-off a U.S. Embassy-sponsored book donation program by presenting Tamez with a collection of children's Spanish-language books about the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/08/08132003.html.

Also: In an August 11 HispanicVista commentary, Secretary Paige references education as the "foundation for hemispheric prosperity." For more information, please go to http://www.hispanicvista.com/html3/081103gc.htm.

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Funding Opportunities
The Department's Office of Postsecondary Education is soliciting applications under several grant competitions. The Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program awards fellowships to students who undertake graduate study in selected fields in the arts, humanities, and social sciences leading to a doctoral degree (or, in cases where a doctoral degree is not offered, a master's degree). Applicants must demonstrate (1) superior academic ability and achievement; (2) exceptional promise; and (3) financial need. The deadline for applications is October 3. The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program supports overseas projects in research, training, and curriculum development in foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers or students engaged in a common endeavor. (This competition will not support advanced overseas intensive language projects.) Eligible applicants include states, colleges and universities, education organizations, and consortia of these entities. The deadline for applications is October 14. The Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Program awards fellowships in the areas of biology, chemistry, computer and information sciences, engineering, geological and related sciences, mathematics, and physics. Applicants must meet the Javits criteria listed above. The deadline for applications is November 7. 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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Anti-Harassment Rules
Staying on higher education, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Gerald Reynolds has released a "dear colleague" letter confirming that his office's regulations "do not require or prescribe speech, conduct, or harassment codes that impair the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment." "Some colleges and universities have interpreted OCR's prohibition of 'harassment' as encompassing all offensive speech regarding sex, disability, race, or other classifications," Reynolds continues. "Harassment, however, to be prohibited by the statutes within OCR's jurisdiction, must include something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols, or thoughts that some person finds offensive." The letter does not set new policy. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/firstamend.htmll.

(Secretary Paige addressed the issue of harassment after the 9/11 tragedy. His letter is available at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/arabletter.html.)

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From the Interagency Staff...
There are 19 million war veterans living in the U.S. today, but 1,500 are lost every day. To honor their service and collect their stories and experiences while they are still among us, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is asking individuals and organizations to interview veterans in their communities (according to guidelines) and send the results to the Library for permanent preservation. In addition to these oral histories, the Center is gathering documentary materials, such as diaries, letters, maps, movies, and photographs. For more information, please go to http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

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Quote to Note
"Over the past 20 years, countries throughout the [Western] Hemisphere have made significant progress in education. Enrollment in basic education has increased markedly in most countries, and innovative initiatives are underway to improve teacher quality and increase access for children who have been historically underserved. Importantly, most countries...have developed tests to assess student progress, making it possible to address problems early in a child's development. In addition, several have worked to decentralize authority, giving more freedom to schools and local communities. Yet, despite this progress, all countries have serious education challenges to overcome."
—Secretary of Education Rod Paige (8/11/03)


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Upcoming Events
On October 9, communities around the country will celebrate Lights On Afterschool!, bringing attention to the need for afterschool programs that keep kids safe, help working families, and improve academic achievement. An Afterschool Alliance project, the rally is sponsored by JCPenney Afterschool and supported by the Department's 21st Century Community Learning Centers. For more information, please go to http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/loa_2003/index.cfm.

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Credits
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
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/news/newsletters/edreview/index.html.


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Last Modified: 12/06/2007