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August 29 ED Review
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 August 29, 2003
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What's inside...
NCLB Update
Parental Info
Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll
Exit Exams
Kick-off Event
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events
Loose Ends...

NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
To assist policymakers in addressing questions about the past, present, and future of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Department's Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs is distributing a new tri-fold brochure. In addition to explaining the evolution of the legislation, the publication offers interesting facts and quotes and several charts on appropriations, NAEP scores, and NCLB's 12-year plan for excellence. To request a PDF copy, please contact Adam Honeysett at Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov. Hard copies will be available in about two weeks at ED PUBS (http://www.edpubs.org/).

On August 26, Secretary Paige announced a new partnership with ABC Radio Networks to help inform the African-American community about the No Child Left Behind Act. "We have an educational emergency in the United States of America," the Secretary said. "Nationally, blacks score lower on reading and math tests than their white peers. But it doesn't have to be that way. We need to collectively focus our attention on the problem.... We have to make sure that every single child gets our best attention. We also need to help African-American parents understand how this historic new education law can specifically help them and their children." As part of the campaign, all 240 of ABC Radio's Urban Advantage Network affiliates will air detailed messages about bridging the achievement gap between black students and other students of different ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, the messages will give parents tips, informing them about what steps to take to ensure that their child is not left behind. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/08/
08262003.html
.


The Department has released non-regulatory guidance on the Charter School Program. The program, authorized in 1994, provides support for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools. The guidance tackles questions on admissions ("Under what circumstances must a charter school use a lottery?"), eligibility and use of funds ("Is a private school that converts to charter status eligible to receive funds?"), and the involvement of religious and community-based organizations ("May CSP schools enter into partnerships with religious organizations to provide secular services?"). For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/resources/pr.html.

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Parental Info
This next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (September 16, 8:00-9:00 ET) marks the beginning of the second full school year under the No Child Left Behind Act and the complete implementation of its accountability, choice, and reporting provisions. Through interviews and discussions with Department officials, notable educators, and parents in communities across the country, the show will describe the many new types of information available to parents on school and district performance -- such as the law's testing and accountability requirements, teacher quality expectations, and public school choice and supplemental educational services options for parents whose students attend underperforming or persistently dangerous schools. As always, the show will emphasize school communities and parents that are effectively using NCLB's provisions to improve education and ensure that no child is left behind. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/
event-flyer.asp?intEventID=169
. (You can watch live and archived webcasts at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)


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Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll
Phi Delta Kappa International and Gallup, Inc., has released its 2003 "Public Attitudes Toward the Public Schools" poll, which documents significant trends in public opinion and explores the latest approaches at school improvement (http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/k0309pol.htm). The poll found less than a quarter of the public considers itself well informed about the No Child Left Behind Act, although those that do have a favorable impression (58 percent are very or somewhat favorable). In response to specific provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, 83 percent believe decisions regarding what is taught should be made at the state level (22 percent) or by the local school board (61 percent), one of the law's four pillars; 45 percent would like tutoring for their struggling child to be provided by an "outside agency," as provided for under the law; and 58 percent believe it is possible to narrow the achievement gap without spending more money than is already being spent to help low-performing students. On the other hand, the public is concerned about using a single test to evaluate whether a school needs improvement (or a student is proficient); emphasizing English and math, exclusively; and expecting special needs students to meet the same standards as other students.

Other findings: (1) local schools continue to be regarded favorably, with 68 percent of public school parents giving the school their oldest child attends either a grade of A or B; (2) nearly six in ten respondents say teacher salaries are too low, and 65 percent believe higher salaries should be paid as an incentive for teaching in schools determined to be in need of improvement; (3) while 61 percent of those surveyed oppose vouchers, respondents are split on the extent to which providing vouchers would improve achievement in community schools. And, given a full-tuition voucher, 62 percent of respondents would choose a private school for their child.

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Exit Exams
According to a new report by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Education Policy, high school exit exams have led to improvements in curriculum and instruction but also to ballooning implementation costs and disproportionately low pass rates for minority, poor, disabled, and limited English proficient students. Among its useful data, "Put to the Test" includes charts showing the characteristics of various exit test regimens and state profiles that detail what the test covers, when it is given, when its "stakes" take effect (and in what form), and what alternatives are available for students. Exit exams are now required in 19 states that educate more than half of all public school students and 55 percent of minority public school students. Five additional states are scheduled to phase-in exit exams over the next five years. For more information, please go to http://www.cep-dc.org/highschoolexit/.

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Kick-off Event
On September 3, Secretary Paige will join Washington Redskins standout Art Monk and other former NFL players to kick-off USA Football's new public awareness campaign, utilizing the sport of football as a vehicle to promote reading, character development, and parental involvement. Going beyond the usual celebrity spotlight or marketing ploy, the campaign will reach out through non-traditional channels -- sporting events, sports broadcasting, and partnerships leveraged by the organization -- to get resources about the importance of reading into the hands of the people who need it and can use it most. For more information, please go to http://usafootball.phase2technology.com/tackleReading
PressRelease.html
.


Also: Since 1998, the National Football Foundation's PLAY IT SMART program has trained academic coaches to work in tandem with high school football teams and coaches, applying lessons learned on the field to the classroom and the community. Today, the program reaches 88 high schools in 55 cities, with close to 6,000 student-athletes participating. For more information, please go to http://playitsmart.footballfoundation.com/.

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Quote to Note
"Part of the [Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll] findings suggests that the public needs to become more familiar with this landmark legislation.... Our entire Department, members of Congress, the business community, and state and local leaders are thoroughly engaged in outreach efforts to better inform Americans about the significance of this new law and how it will affect them, our children, and our nation. One only needs to look at the many articles that now are appearing in newspapers and other media across the country to see how the principles of this law are taking root. In past years, the back-to-school articles often focused on bus schedules, lunch menus, and homeroom assignments. This year, the focus is on performance, results, and plans for helping students who historically have been left behind."—
Secretary of Education Rod Paige (8/20/03)


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Upcoming Events
To raise awareness about American high schools and to promote a more promising future for high school students and graduates, the Education Department will hold a one-day leadership summit for educators and policymakers on October 8, 2003, in Washington, D.C. The summit will use the framework of No Child Left Behind to promote a dialogue about transforming high schools and creating seamless transitions into and through postsecondary education. If you are interesting in participating, contact your governor or Chief State School Officer (who are assembling state delegations) or Ginger DeMint at Ginger.DeMint@ed.gov.

The Broad Center for Superintendents is accepting applications and/or nominations for the 2004 Urban Superintendents Academy, a rigorous, 10-month executive management course designed to prepare leaders from both inside and outside education to become successful urban superintendents. Deadlines are September 15 and October 15. For more information, please go to http://www.broadcenter.org/application.shtml.

Save the date! NetDay's Student Voices Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 29. On that day, elementary, middle, and high school students, public and private, will have an opportunity to share their ideas and viewpoints on how technology should be used in the educational process. Their comments will be reviewed, summarized, and synthesized into a written report to be submitted for the National Education Technology Plan. For more information, please go to http://www.netday.org/voice_
student_voices.htm
.


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Loose Ends...
ED Review is in the public domain, so please feel free to send it to others in the office or your community who are interested in activities at the U.S. Department of Education. Sharing is easy: either forward the text embedded in an email message (just as you receive it) or utilize the attached PDF file. Also, we are more than happy to add anyone to the initial distribution list. Simply submit name, organization, and email address to Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov.

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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