Press Room NEWSLETTERS
Octobver 10, 2003 ED Review
Archived Information


 October 10, 2003
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NCLB Update
Return to UNESCO
Crisis Planning
End-of-Year Grants
College Costs
From the Interagency Staff...
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)

On October 8, before 700 delegates to the National High School Leadership Summit, Secretary Paige unveiled a package of projects to help promote educational excellence in secondary education. "Many of our high schools are the finest in the world," he said. "But the number of children who leave our educational system unprepared is staggering. By the time they reach twelfth-grade, only one in six African-Americans and one in five Hispanics can read proficiently. Math scores are even worse.... We are facing an unrecognized educational crisis in this country." The package includes:

  • A leadership initiative for high schools, called "Preparing America's Future," aimed at building "the next generation of high schools" by working with parents, teachers, education policymakers, elected officials, and foundations. (The Secretary warned delegates that structural reforms, like block scheduling, often "minimize or overlook the need for improving the quality of instruction.") A series of regional summits on high school improvement will be held across the country.

  • $11 million in grants for promising activities in grades 6-12 to increase the number of low-income students who are ready to succeed in advanced courses.

  • $2.4 million in grants to expand the State Scholars Initiative, a business-led effort to increase the percentage of students completing a defined set of rigorous courses so that they are better prepared for higher education and the workforce.

  • A comprehensive web tool (http://studentaid.ed.gov/) to guide parents and students through the college application and financial aid process.

For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/
pi/hsinit/
. (Paige's remarks are available at http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2003/10/10082003.html.)


Looking for No Child Left Behind policy guidance, such as the 43-page teacher quality document released in September? http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/list.jhtml lists all guidance, starting with the most recent.

Last week, the Secretary named 19 more schools in nine states as No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools. The schools were not among the initial list of winners (announced September 17) because the Department was waiting for state information on adequate yearly progress. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/10/10022003.html.

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Return to UNESCO

After a 19-year absence, the United States formally rejoined the United Nations' Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary Paige led the American delegation. In her keynote address, Bush called for the body's resources to be devoted to four vital areas: literacy and primary education; education in tolerance; post-conflict schooling; and HIV/AIDS awareness. "I challenge all of us to work together," she said, "to make this a decade of literacy and a century of liberty. Literacy and liberty are natural allies." Addressing the UNESCO Roundtable of Ministers on Quality Education, the Secretary emphasized similarities between No Child Left Behind and Education for All, the body's commitment to quality education for all by 2015. "Education is the common denominator of all people, the road to emancipation and liberty, the way we find our humanity and discover our soul," he explained. "This mission unites us." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/
list/ous/international/unescopub.pdf
. (Bush's remarks are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/
2003/09/20030929-6.html
, while Paige's remarks are available at http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2003/10/
10032003.html
.)


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Crisis Planning

The next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (October 21, 8:00-9:00 ET) will feature interviews and discussions with Department officials, school safety personnel, mental health professionals, community first responders, and activist parents on preparing schools and school districts to handle emergencies. Throughout, the show will highlight schools and communities that have created model crisis plans, offer "lessons learned" from officials that have faced crises in their schools, and recommend tools and resources for crisis planning and emergency response. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?
intEventID=170
. (You can watch live and archived webcasts at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)


Note: The Partnership for Learning's "Tutoring and Academic Enrichment Guide" (http://www.partnershipforlearning.org/article.asp?ArticleID=1999), from last month's show, walks families through four steps to finding extra academic help.

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End-of-Year Grants

The close of the previous fiscal year (September 30) corresponded with several new grant awards. For example, on September 29, the Department awarded eight districts with nearly $3 million in Character Education Grants (http://www.ed.gov/news/
pressreleases/2003/09/09292003.html
). A day later, Director of Indian Education Vicki Vasques announced nearly $105 million in grants (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/09/09302003b.html) to 1,200 districts, serving 470,000 Indian students. On October 1, the Department's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools announced funding under four programs, including the Carol M. White Physical Education Program and the Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plans Discretionary Grants Program (http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osdfs/news.html). Moreover, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence received a five-year, $35 million grant for the first national alternative route to teacher certification (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/10/10012003.html).


Meanwhile, in the last two weeks, four more states have received Reading First grants (http://www.ed.gov/programs/readingfirst/awards.html?exp=0) and Early Reading First awards were announced for two Massachusetts projects (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/10/10032003.html) and a Milwaukee literacy program (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/10/10062003.html). How about something new? The National Science Foundation has issued a solicitation for the 2004 Math and Science Partnership Program (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03605/nsf03605.htm).

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College Costs

A new National Center for Education Statistics report, "Getting Ready to Pay for College," found that while the vast majority of students and parents report plans for higher education, they are generally unable to estimate accurately the cost of tuition. When they do estimate, they tend to overestimate. In 1998-99, the average yearly in-state undergraduate tuition at public four-year colleges was $3,200. Yet students and parents estimated tuition at between $5,400 and $5,800. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2003030. (To watch a webcast on college costs, demonstrating the Student Aid on the Web tool cited above, see http://www.connectlive.com/events/deptedu/.)

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From the Interagency Staff...

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Veterans Day celebration. Schools are encouraged to invite veterans into their classrooms in the days leading up to and following Veterans Day (November 11); veterans are asked to share their experiences and teach students lessons about the history and significance of Veterans Day, helping students reflect upon the importance of the ideals of liberty, democracy, and freedom. To assist teachers, the Department of Veterans Affairs developed a resource guide (http://www.appc1.va.gov/vetsday/docs/Vetkit03.pdf), chronicling the day's history, suggesting activities, and summarizing U.S. war statistics. For more information, please go to http://www.va.gov/vetsday/.

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Quote to Note

"UNESCO, an institution born [in 1945] of a yearning for peace that survived years of war, can now help achieve peace by spreading the values that help defeat terror and lead to a better and safer world: education, tolerance, respect for all human life, and respect for each other's differences. These are our common dreams for our children, and these are the charge of UNESCO. Now more than ever, the nations of the world, the peoples of the world, must affirm the purpose of this organization: to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law, and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language, or religion. Important work, and it's our work...."
— First Lady Laura Bush (9/29/03)


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Upcoming Events

The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools' National Conference, subtitled "Meeting the Challenge: The Science and Practice of Safe and Drug-Free Schools," will be held October 27-29 right here in Washington, D.C. For more information, please go to http://www.osdfsnationalconference.org/.

June 16-18, 2004, the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement will host the next National Charter Schools Conference. And, in the spirit of grassroots effort that marks the movement, the office is asking professionals in the field for their ideas on topics that should be featured. Results from this survey, as well as six focus groups held across the country, will determine the conference agenda. For more information, please go to http://www.conferencepros.org/chartersurvey04.htm.

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Credits, Subscribe & Unsubscribe

Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
Deputy Assistant Secretary—Terri Rayburn, (202) 401-0404, Terri.Rayburn@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/news/newsletters/edreview/index.html.


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Last Modified: 12/06/2007