Kits and Tips...
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
Don't forget! This afternoon, at 1:00 p.m. ET, Secretary Paige will deliver his annual Back to School Address. The speech will be broadcast live (and archived) as a webcast at http://www.connectlive.com/events/deptedu/. Also, the speech's text will be posted on the Department's web site.
On September 17, Secretary Paige named over 250 public and private elementary and secondary schools, from 38 states and the District of Columbia, as No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools. The program recognizes schools that achieve at high levels (schools whose students, regardless of background, perform in the top 10 percent on state assessments [public] or national norm-referenced assessments [private]) or make significant progress in closing the achievement gap (schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance on state assessments or national norm-referenced assessments). Chief State School Officers nominate public schools, and the Council for American Private Education nominates private schools. Of the schools nominated by each state, at least one-third must meet the significant progress criterion, and winners must meet adequate yearly progress requirements, as defined by their states. The winners will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on November 4-5. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/awards.html.
Congratulations to the Garden Grove (CA) Unified School District, winner of the 2004 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The California system edged out four other finalists: Aldine (TX), Boston, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and Norfolk. Garden Grove will be awarded $500,000 for college scholarships. For more information, please go to http://www.broadprize.org/past.shtml.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's "Education at a Glance," which tracks 30 industrialized nations, the U.S.'s "lead" in education is rapidly eroding. For example, while the U.S. ranks first among adults ages 45-64 with a high school diploma, it falls to fifth among adults ages 35-44 and tenth among adults ages 25-34. Likewise, although the U.S. still has the top college graduation rate among adults ages 35-64, it slips to second -- behind Norway -- among adults ages 25-34, and America's college dropout rate is above the international average (six times higher than Japan's). Indeed, the average American adult now has 12.7 years of schooling, less than one year in front of the average international adult with 11.8 years. "In this dynamic global economy, it's extremely important that we measure ourselves against our friends and competitors," Secretary Paige said in response. "The 30 nations measured...account for about 80 percent of world trade. If we are less competitive educationally, we will soon become less competitive economically. It's just a fact." Some other key findings: internationally, the benefits of a college education (e.g., salary) far exceed the cost of the additional education; the U.S. spends more per student on all levels of education ($10,871) than any nation; and the U.S. reports the highest number of teaching hours per year in elementary and high school and the second-highest number in middle school. For more information, please go to http://www.oecd.org/edu/eag2004/.
Throughout this week, the Education Department focused attention on exemplary classroom teachers who are successful in raising student achievement for all students, often through the use of innovative classroom strategies. American Stars of Teaching have been identified in each state and the District of Columbia and represent every grade level and discipline. Officials from the agency visited the classes of each teacher to congratulate them on their success. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/american-stars.html.
The Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) continues to publish a variety of outstanding resources:
- A new issue brief (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2004035) examines the growth of English Language Learner (ELL) students in public schools between the 1994 and 2000 school years. Nationally, the number of ELL students increased from 2.1 million (five percent of the population) in 1993-94 to three million (seven percent of the population) in 1999-2000. However, this growth was not evenly distributed across the country. Today, the West region has over half of the nation's ELL students. Moreover, whereas 62 percent of the nation's students attend schools with an ELL population under one percent, 19 percent of Western students attend schools with an ELL population greater than 25 percent and seven percent of Western students attend schools with an ELL population greater than 50 percent.
- "A Decade of Undergraduate Student Aid" (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2004158) utilizes data from four national studies to analyze changes in financial aid among full-time undergraduates. The report also discusses the 1992 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and its effect on how financial aid was distributed over time.
- The "Report on Historically Black Colleges and Universities" (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2004062) has data on enrollment, degrees conferred, staff, finances, and student financial aid at the nation's HBCUs. (Note: The Secretary's remarks at the annual celebration of HBCUs are available at http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2004/09/09132004.html.)
Kits and Tips...
With Election Day fast approaching, CNN has developed a fun, informative course of study called "The America Votes 2004 Teaching Kit," comprised of a CD-ROM of multi-media resources and teaching activities related to the presidential election process. The materials in this kit, covering primaries and caucuses, national party conventions, polls, presidential debates, the Electoral College, and Inauguration Day, may be used independently or as a supplement to an existing program. For more information, please go to http://www.learning.turner.com/cnnelectionkit/splash.htm.
As a safe school is critical to helping students achieve, KSA-Plus Communications and the National Crime Prevention Council have teamed up to offer "11 Tips to Help Parents Create Safer Schools." This is the latest in a series of tip sheets that help parents become more effective advocates for their children and partners with their schools. For more information, please go to http://www.parents.ksaplus.com/plpubs.html#11Tips.
The national student loan default rate has dropped to an all-time low of 5.2 percent, and all -- but one -- of the nation's colleges and universities have default rates low enough (less than 40 percent in one year and 25 percent for three consecutive years) to ensure they remain eligible for federal financial aid programs. The national default rate has dropped almost every year since 1990, when it peaked at 22.4 percent. The FY 2002 rates represent the most current data available and include borrowers who attended 5,955 schools that participate in the Federal Family Education Loan and William Ford Federal Direct Loan programs. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/09/09142004.html. (Individual school default rates are at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html.)
Quote to Note
"There are many, many good schools in America, and we thank the outstanding and dedicated educators who made them that way. But some clearly need improvement. They rob our children of their true potential, which robs our nation of its true potential. It's time that taxpayers demand more. Americans must shed their 'Lake Wobegon' mentality -- the belief that every school is above-average, especially our own. A poorly performing school somewhere affects Americans everywhere. The OECD findings bear this out. The price we pay is in lost opportunity, both as a nation and as individual citizens."
Secretary of Education Rod Paige (9/13/04)
The Department's next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast, regarding supplemental services, is scheduled for October 19. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=179.
Due to tremendous demand and positive feedback, the Department is sponsoring additional Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative workshops this fall. Math workshops will be held October 9 (Bentonville, AR) and October 23 (Redmond, WA). Reading workshops will be held October 16 (Wheeling, WV) and November 6 (Madison, WI). All four workshops will include sessions on the No Child Left Behind Act and school leadership. For more information, please go to http://www.teacherquality.us/teachertoteacher/workshops.asp.
On October 19, in Miami, Florida, the White House and the Departments of Education, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Labor are hosting a conference to help the country's faith-based and community organizations learn more about President Bush's Faith-Based and Community Initiative. For more information, please go to http://www.fbci.gov/. (Note: The deadline for registration is October 11.)
NetDay's Student Voices Day is scheduled for October 20. 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 education process. For more information, please go to http://www.netday.org/speakupday.htm.
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