Facts About Funding
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
On June 23, five urban school officials testified before the House of Representatives' Committee on Education and the Workforce that the No Child Left Behind Act is having a positive impact on student achievement in the nation's inner-city schools.
Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, cited data from the Council's annual "Beating the Odds" report, which shows improving reading and math test scores for students in 61 big city school districts in 37 states. "We should no longer worry about whether student achievement can be raised," he said. "It clearly can be. The question now is, 'How fast?'"
Eric Smith, superintendent of Anne Arundel County (MD) Public Schools, discussed how NCLB has "transformed the debate about public education...from one about the lack of student achievement and issues beyond the control of schools and school systems to one about using research-proven strategies to ensure that each child can read, compute, and write on grade level." For example, he continued, "Some might think it is great that nearly two-thirds of the county's third-graders were proficient in reading [last year], but it highlighted that more than one-third of our third-graders were basic in reading.... This is something that we were able to focus on and improve." In 2004, 78.5 percent of the county's third-graders were proficient.
Philadelphia School District superintendent Paul Vallas stressed the importance of disaggregating test score data to determine if the achievement gap is closing. "With this recognition comes our obligation to provide whatever resources we have to correct this historic imbalance, and the structure of the [No Child Left Behind] Act provides districts with the opportunity to do so." Indeed, over the past two years, the district has "aggressively implemented" public school choice, supplemental educational services, corrective action plans, and the recruitment of highly qualified teachers.
Marcus Newsome, superintendent of Newport News (VA) Public Schools, also addressed the achievement gap, highlighting his district's An Achievable Dream Academy. The academy, a public school supported by private businesses, has the highest poverty index in the city yet has closed the achievement gap and exceeded all expectations. "We can not expect schools to be great unless we expect government to be great," he concluded, "and communities, businesses, churches, and families to be great as well. It takes all of us to close these achievement gaps."
Margaret Raymond, director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at the Hoover Institution (Stanford University), presented evidence that "introducing accountability systems into a state tends to lead to larger achievement growth than would have occurred without accountability...and that the force of accountability comes from attaching consequences to school performance."
For witness testimony, please go to http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings/108th/fc/
Meanwhile, the Department has issued proposed regulations on testing requirements for students with limited English proficiency. The regulations mirror Secretary Paige's February announcement, granting states and school districts greater flexibility, but provide additional details on how the provisions will be implemented. The deadline for comments is August 9. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/proprule/2004-2/062404a.html.
Last week, Secretary Paige and Kiwanis President-Designate Case Van Kleef announced the "Take the Lead in Preparing America's Future" partnership -- a campaign to further engage the business community in the agency's efforts to ensure students are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce. As part of the effort, Kiwanis clubs across the country will work within their communities to create and support mentoring and tutoring programs and share their business knowledge and experiences with students and teachers. The term "Kiwanis" comes from an expression in an American Indian language of the Detroit area, "Nunc Kee-wanis," which means, "we trade" or "we share our talents." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/06/06252004.html.
Also: At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Committee of 100 meeting, the Secretary expanded on the linkage between the quality of education and U.S. economic success, asking top business leaders for their continued support. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2004/06/06282004.html.
Want to know more about the National Education Technology Plan? In a series of streaming video clips, Susan Patrick, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, outlines the purpose of the plan and the steps taken by the Department to solicit input from students. Over 200,000 students provided feedback online. The plan is scheduled for release in late summer. For more information, please go to http://doe.unitedstreaming.com.
Facts About Funding
In an revised brochure, the agency summarizes 10 facts about K-12 education funding, including:
- The federal share of K-12 spending has risen very quickly, especially in recent years. In 1990-91, the federal share of total K-12 spending was just 5.7 percent. Since that time, it has risen by more than one-third to 8.2 percent. Further, the historic federal funding increases since 2001 are only now reaching into the classroom.
- Total education funding has increased substantially in recent years at all levels of government, even when accounting for enrollment increases and inflation. National K-12 education spending has increased 101 percent since 1990-91, 48 percent since 1996-97, and 22 percent since the 1999-2000 school year. When this is calculated on a per-pupil basis and is adjusted for inflation, funding has increased seven percent in the last three years for which data is available, 15 percent over five years, and 21 percent over ten years.
- Federal funding for two main federal K-12 programs will increase $9.3 billion since 2001 under the President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2005. Sixty-three percent of the U.S. Department of Education's elementary and secondary school funds would go to help schools with economically disadvantaged students (ESEA, Title I) and to support children with disabilities (IDEA, Part B). If the President's FY 2005 request is enacted, the increases in these programs will have substantially exceeded any previous increases since their creation.
At the request of Congress, the Department contracted with Charol Shakeshaft of Hofstra University for a literature review of, among other items, the incidence and prevalence of sexual abuse, patterns of sexual misbehavior, and prevention strategies. The best estimate? Nearly one in 10 students faces some type of misconduct, from inappropriate jokes to forced sex. "The overwhelming majority of America's educators are true professionals doing what might be called the 'essential' work of democracy," states the preface. "Nevertheless, we must be willing to confront the issues that are explored in this study. We must all expand our efforts to ensure that children have safe and secure learning environments that engender public confidence." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/.
At least three more reports deserve mention this two-week period. First, a new National Center for Education Statistics paper documents the growth between 1979 and 1999 in the number and percentage of youth and young adults who speak languages other than English at home (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2004/2004009.pdf). Second, according to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population is becoming more educated, but significant differences in educational attainment remain with regard to age, sex, and race/national origin (http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p20-550.pdf). Third, after reviewing thousands of studies, the What Works Clearinghouse has released a series of studies evaluating the evidence of effectiveness on middle school mathematics curricula and peer-assisted learning interventions (http://w-w-c.org/).
Quote to Note
"Education may be the industry upon which all others depend. A thriving national and international economic policy is dependent on sound national educational policy. Together, you and I can help transform our educational system. We can help make it better. We can work with superintendents, teachers, and parents to make sure every single child receives a quality education."
Secretary of Education Rod Paige (6/28/04)
Here is the remaining schedule for Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative summer workshops: Pittsburgh (July 6-8), Orlando (July 12-14), Anaheim (July 21-23), St. Louis (July 28-30), and Boston (August 2-4). Registration is closed, but all workshop materials will be made available through the web site below. The Research-to-Practice Summit is slated for July 20, by invitation only. For more information, please go to https://www.teacherquality.us/default.asp.
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Deputy Assistant SecretaryKen Meyer, (202) 401-0404, Ken.Meyer@ed.gov
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