Special Education Report
From the Interagency Staff...
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
This week, President Bush and Secretary Paige traveled south to highlight provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. At Nashville's Kirkpatrick Elementary School, the focus was on supplemental educational servicesafter-school tutoring and other educational enrichment programs that children from low-income families can receive if they attend schools that are identified as needing improvement. "We have come from a really interesting little laboratory of excellence that Principal Kim Fowler set up, where three different providers were tutoring children," the President explained. "It gave me a chance to see that this school and this school district have not only reached out to parents but have also reached out to educational providers and said 'we want to enlist your services to make sure no child is left behind.'" Parents of eligible children in Nashville can select from 12 different providers during the 2003-04 school year. Across the nation, state-approved providers include private companies (795), local education agencies and schools (401), and colleges and universities (32). For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/
2003/09/09082003.html. (Bush's remarks are available http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/
09/20030908-2.html, and final SES guidance is posted at http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/suppsvcsguid.doc.)
At Jacksonville's Hyde Park Elementary School, the focus was on empowering parents and teachers with information. "Testing and report cards provide the information that allows us to diagnose a problem, so we can work together to fix it," the Secretary said. "For too long, we've been in the dark when it comes to solving our education challenges." In support, the President announced a new, web-based tool to assist states and schools with the basic data analysis and reporting requirements of No Child Left Behind. Created by a partnership of the Education Department, the Broad Foundation, the National Center for Education Accountability, and Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services, parents, teachers, and policymakers will be able to visit a web site to search, sort, and compare school performance trends. Ten states will be invited to have their data analyzed for January 2004. As promised, the President also unveiled a Toolkit for Teachers (http://www.ed.gov/
teachers/nclbguide/nclb-teachers-toolkit.pdf), with accurate information about the federal law. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/09/09092003.html. (Bush's remarks are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/
releases/2003/09/20030909-3.html, and final report card guidance will be posted at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/legislation.html.)
Special Education Report
According to the Department's 24th annual report to Congress on the condition of special education, which has become a benchmark in conveying the progress being made in serving America's 6.5 million children with disabilities, children who receive early intervention services show significant developmental progress a year later, and families report increased confidence in their ability to deal with their child. The report, "To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of All Children with Disabilities," cites several sources, including the Department's ongoing National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS). NEILS tracks 3,338 infants and toddlers with disabilities who received early intervention services. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2002/.
Note: Between 1995-96 and 1999-2000, the high school graduation rate for students with disabilities increased from 52.6 to 56.2 percent, and the percentage of students dropping out declined from 34.1 to 29.4 percent.
Secretary Paige has awarded more than $21 million in grants to Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina to help strengthen their charter school programs. The Department's Charter School Program, authorized in 1994, provides support for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools, as well as the sharing of best practices. This fall, more than 3,000 charter schools will serve an estimated 750,000 students; two-thirds have waiting lists. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/charter/. (Non-regulatory guidance on the Charter School Program, detailed in the previous issue, is now available at http://www.ed.gov/programs/charter/legislation.html.)
A new report spanning the ideological spectrum, "Education for Democracy," (http://www.shankerinstitute.org/downloads/efd%2Drelease.html) contends public schools offer students plenty about America's failings but not enough about its freedoms and values. In turn, the report warns that without a change of approach schools will continue to turn out large numbers of students who are disengaged in society and unappreciative of democracy. Specifically, it calls for a stronger social studies and history curricula, starting in elementary school and continuing through every year of schooling. It also suggests a bigger push for morality in education lessons. Meanwhile, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation recently released two studies aimed at revitalizing social studies: "Terrorists, Despots, and Democracy: What Our Children Need to Know" (posted at http://www.edexcellence.net/socialstudies/Democracy/
Democracy.html) and "Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong?" (posted at http://www.edexcellence.net/socialstudies/
Contrarians/WhereDidSocialStudiesGoWrong.html). Want to know more? On September 16, the American Enterprise Institute is hosting a forum titled "Social Studies and the Battle for America's Soul." Register at http://www.aei.org/events/type.upcoming,
President Bush intends to nominate Susan Sclafani to be Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education. She currently serves as counselor to the Secretary, advising him on all education issues and initiatives. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Educational Services in the Houston Independent School District. In that position, she represented the superintendent on education issues and coordinated activities of the departments directly involved in the education of children, including community and public relations, educational programs, legal services, school administration, and reading. Dr. Sclafani received her A.B. from Vassar College, her M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Chicago, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Ed. Administration from the University of Texas-Austin. The Office of Vocational and Adult Education has three priorities: to prepare every American youth to complete high school and be well-prepared for postsecondary education and employment; support community colleges in their mission of education, career preparation, and economic development; and expand adult learning to bring higher levels of literacy and English fluency to Americans. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/
Also: Chief of Staff John Danielson is resigning, effective October 10, to reunite with his family in Texas. This was Danielson's second stint at the federal agency. In 1991, he joined the Department as a special assistant to former Secretary Lamar Alexander. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/
From the Interagency Staff...
As part of its We the People initiative, the National Endowment for the Humanities is collaborating with the American Library Association to establish the We the People Bookshelfa program to encourage young people to read and understand great literature while exploring themes in American history. Public and school libraries are invited to apply to receive the Bookshelf, which consists of 15 thematically related books and supplemental materials to help with publicity and the organization of programs; at least 500 libraries will be chosen. Each year the Bookshelf will explore a different theme. For 2003-04, the theme is courage. Applications will be accepted online until October 22. For more information, please go to http://www.neh.gov/wtp/bookshelf/.
Quote to Note
"When you really think about it, a second aspect of the security of America is to make sure every child is educated.... A hopeful America is an America in which each child can read and write and add and subtract. A hopeful America is where children say, 'I'm going to get an education early, and I'm going to go to college.' A hopeful America is where people can dream and realize their dreams because the education system is fulfilling its promise. America's past has been defined by a public school system that has met the needs of a complex society. This No Child Left Behind Act, the good work of our principals and teachers, and the cooperation and hard work of governors will mean that the public school system, in the future, will meet the needs of a complex society."
President George W. Bush (9/9/03)
The Department's next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast, illuminating tools for parents to help their children succeed, is scheduled for September 16. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=169. Secretary Paige is encouraging the nation's more than 100,000 schools to mark Constitution Day (September 17) by participating once again in "Pledge Across America." The synchronized Pledge of Allegiance will begin at 2:00 p.m. EDT; 1:00 p.m. CDT; 12:00 noon MDT; 11:00 a.m. PDT; 10:00 a.m. in Alaska; and 8:00 a.m. in Hawaii. For more information, please go to http://www.celebrationusa.org/paa.htm.
Credits, Subscribe & Unsubscribe
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
Deputy Assistant SecretaryTerri Rayburn, (202) 401-0404, Terri.Rayburn@ed.gov
Program AnalystAdam 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.
Last Modified: 02/26/2007