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February 13, 2004 ED Review
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 February 13, 2004
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NCLB Update
Parental Choice
FY 2005 Budget
Funding Opportunities
Notable Reports
New Appointments
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

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

Last week, the Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education notified states on the proper procedure for amending state accountability plans: submission of a written request, including the rationale for the amendment and any evidence relevant to the effect the amendment may have on the state's accountability system. Notably, for amendments that apply to the current year's assessment results, requests must be made no later than April 1. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/amproc.doc. (Some states will need to amend their plans to align with the final regulation on the use of alternate assessments.)

The first of three NCLB Leadership Summits, entitled "Empowering Accountability and Assessment Using Technology," is scheduled for March 10-12 in St. Louis. The intent is to provide policy guidance and implementation strategies for the decisionmaker involved in such systems. The program will feature over 60 workshops (for example: "illustrating how online assessments can inform instruction at the classroom level"), plenary sessions (with a keynote address by Secretary Paige), many exhibits, and a networking reception. There is a registration fee.

The What Works Clearinghouse has announced its first special request report topic: character education interventions. Studies must be received no later than February 17 to be included in the initial release of studies. For more information, please go to http://www.w-w-c.org/.

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Parental Choice

The next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (February 17, 8:00-9:00 ET) will explore the mix of educational choices available to parents, from charters, magnets, and theme-focus schools to new options available under the No Child Left Behind Act. Under the law's accountability provisions, districts are required to send parents "report cards" describing the performance of their children's schools, and parents with children enrolled in persistently low-achieving schools have the opportunity to move their children to higher performing public or charter schools in the district or to obtain supplemental educational services. Parents with children enrolled in "persistently dangerous" schools have similar transferability options. Ultimately, No Child Left Behind seeks to promote competition within the public school system, encouraging all schools to improve. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=173. (As before, you can watch live and archived webcasts of each show by going to http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)

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FY 2005 Budget

On February 2, the Secretary announced President Bush's FY 2005 budget request for education. The President requested $57.3 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, an increase of $1.7 billion, or a three percent increase over 2004, and the largest dollar increase of any domestic agency. Among the highlights:

  • $13.3 billion for Title I grants to local education agencies, an increase of $4.6 billion (52 percent) since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act;
  • $11.1 billion for special education grants, the highest level of federal support ever;
  • $4.36 billion for Improving Teacher Quality Grants, Educational Technology Grants, Grants for Innovative Programs, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools, all of which may be consolidated and used for any authorized educational purpose;
  • $1.1 billion for Reading First and $132 million for Early Reading First;
  • $681 million to help limited English proficient (LEP) students learn English and meet high standards;
  • $410 million for state assessment grants;
  • $333 million to support the "Jobs for the 21st Century" initiative (detailed earlier);
  • $219 million for charter schools and $100 million to assist charter schools in acquiring, leasing, and renovating facilities;
  • $50 million for a new Choice Incentive Fund and $27 million for Public School Choice grants;
  • $73.1 billion in student financial aid, to expand the number of recipients of grant, loan, and work-study assistance by 426,000, to an estimated 10 million individuals.
Meanwhile, the administration has been proposing fundamental changes for vocational and adult education programs—both of which are subject to reauthorization in 2005. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget05/summary/. (State-by-state data will soon be available at http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/.)

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Funding Opportunities

Staying on theme, the Department is soliciting grant applications under a number of competitions. The Magnet Schools Assistance Program provides grants to school districts to support magnet schools that are part of an approved desegregation plan (closes 3/15). The Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program complements the President's early reading initiative by funding replicable professional development programs that improve the knowledge and skills of early childhood educators who work in high-poverty communities and who primarily serve children from low-income families (closes 3/16). In the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program awards grants to districts to establish or expand school counseling programs (closes 3/19), and the Carol M. White Physical Education Program awards grants to districts to initiate, expand, or improve programs (during and after-school) to help students make progress toward state standards (closes 3/22). 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.

Also: The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has announced a program to fund graduate training programs in the education sciences. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/edresearch/applicant.html#predoc04.

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Notable Reports

Acknowledging the tremendous volume of high-quality scholarly reports released over the last two weeks, two studies deserve special attention. First, Secretary Paige introduced the 20th annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, subtitled "An Examination of School Leader," on February 5. The survey found that principals, teachers, and parents agree that the primary goal of school leadership is motivating both students and teachers to achieve. The survey also found a significant "disconnect" between theory and practice, with principals having a more positive view of atmosphere and relationships than do the other members of the school community. Consider: while principals (89%), teachers (67%), and parents (57%) say their school is safe, less than half the students (46%) describe their school this way. Second, earlier this week, the three sponsors of the American Diploma Project—Achieve, Education Trust, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation—released new graduation benchmarks, stating high school graduates must master more English and math for their diplomas to "signify readiness for jobs and college." Among the recommendations: states should stand firm on requiring exit exams for diplomas but also work with districts on additional ways of demonstrating skills that may not be captured on paper-and-pencil tests. For the full reports, please go to http://www.metlife.com/WPSAssets/2078125995107583747
0V1F2003%20Survey.pdf
and http://www.achieve.org/dstore.nsf/Lookup/ADPreport/$file/ADPreport.pdf.


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New Appointments

Secretary Paige has named Deborah Price as his Deputy Undersecretary in charge of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/02/02022004a.html) and promoted Susan Patrick to Acting Director of the Office of Technology (http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/). Price will oversee the Department's activities related to safe schools, alcohol and drug prevention, the well-being of students, and building strong character and citizenship. She will also lead the agency's homeland security efforts. Patrick will oversee the agency's efforts to coordinate e-learning and long-term planning in school technology. In addition, if you missed the news, the Senate confirmed Ray Simon as Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and Susan Sclafani as Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/01/01292004a.html).

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Quote to Note

"With his [FY] 2005 budget request, President Bush has reaffirmed his commitment to our nation's children, parents, and teachers. When the President said in his State of the Union address, 'We have not come all this way only to falter and leave our work unfinished,' I took that message to heart for our mission at the Department. In the last three years, we have witnessed watershed moments in education. States have all developed plans to ensure they will attend to the needs of all their students—every single one. And I believe that, one day, we will look back on these years and say 'this was the turning point.'"
— Secretary of Education Rod Paige (2/2/04)


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Upcoming Events

The Department is sponsoring seven regional high school summits to help state teams create short- and long-term plans for strengthening outcomes for youth and improving high schools. Each state's Chief State School Officer, working with the governor, will choose a team to attend the appropriate regional summit; the first summit is March 12-13 at Montana State University-Billings. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/hsinit/regional.doc.

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Credits, Subscribe & Unsubscribe

Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
Deputy Assistant Secretary—Ken Meyer, (202) 401-0404, Ken.Meyer@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: 12/07/2007