In His Own Words...
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
According to an analysis of data by the Education Trust and the National Alliance of Black School Educators, "[S]tates and districts are proving that public education can teach all children to higher levels, and it is clear that the No Child Left Behind Act is spurring real change." Specifically, the groups examined data on schools that met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2003-04 school year. In nine states aloneAlaska, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginiathe proportion of schools making AYP has increased by at least 10 percentage points. These states educate nearly one in three of the nation's African-American and low-income students and nearly four in 10 Hispanic students. And, while some of the improvement can be attributed to changes in federal and state regulations since last year's results, there is further evidence "that students are making... substantial academic gains." For example, despite a long-term commitment to education in North Carolina, black third-graders in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District still lagged 35 points behind their white peers in math in 2002. Today, the gap has narrowed to 16 points. For more information, please go to http://www2.edtrust.org/EdTrust/Press+Room/nabse+progress.htm.
As the 11 Summer Reading Achievers Program pilot sites celebrate the conclusion of a successful summer of reading (see http://www.ed.gov/parents/academic/summer/reading/press-releases.html for site-by-site press releases), the Department quickly transitioned into the new school year by announcing more than $90 million in three-year Early Reading First grants to improve the language and pre-reading skills of young children. Thirty-two school districts and organizations will share in the funding. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/earlyreading/.
Unable to attend any of Department's Teacher-to-Teacher Workshops? Never fear! At PAEC, all teachers have the opportunity to view sessions from the workshops on demand. Learn about reading in content areas, teaching algebra, turning data into information, and more.
In His Own Words...
For those who prefer primary sources, the Secretary has delivered a number of speeches to a variety of audiences over the last two weeks. Below are excerpts from a few of those speeches, touting the early successes of No Child Left Behind and encouraging sustained momentum.
- Back to School Address (September 24, National Press Club, Washington, DC): "I am pleased to report that this law is making a positive difference in millions of lives. There is clear evidence of success, noticeable patterns of change, upbeat reports from a variety of sources. Simply stated: the law is working, and we are at the beginning of a new era in education. If we remain resolute and steadfast, year by year, more powerful and positive changes will follow. But if we backtrack, if we falter, if we renege on our promise to our children, then we will lose the most important and profound opportunity in our lifetime to make education better for this generation of students and those that follow."
- New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Meeting (September 23, New Brunswick, NJ): "If we can improve the educational system, we can improve the corporate bottom line. And, I also ask you to help because the bottom line isn't the only line. This is about the future of our children.... This is the difference WE will make."
- Kiwanis International Leadership Council Meeting (October 1, Indianapolis, IN): "I am hopeful that we can press ahead with a joint program called Take the Lead. This is part of our Preparing America's Future: High School Initiative. The Department is equipping state and local education leaders with information, developing the expertise to provide effective technical assistance, and encouraging a national dialogue on students' needs for the future. We are working to disseminate information, arrange for speakers, initiate exhibits, and develop publications to promote improvements and inclusivity in American education.... You can take the lead. If you do, believe me, others will follow."
For the full text, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/latest/.
The next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (October 19, 8:00-9:00 ET) will highlight one of the No Child Left Behind Act's expanded options to assist students who are at risk of falling behind: supplemental educational services. These services, including tutoring, after-school programs, and remedial classes, are available to low-income students in poorly performing schools and can provide the extra help necessary for students to succeed academically. However, parental involvement is crucial; the law purposely sets up a marketplace so that parents can find a provider that works best for their child's needs. For more information, please go to http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=179. (As always, you can watch live and archived webcasts of each show at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)
First, the bad news. A new report issued by Action for Healthy Kids, a partnership of more than 40 government agencies and national organizations founded by former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, demonstrates that poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and weight problems can have a negative effect on student achievement. Additionally, the report indicates that schools may be losing significant funding due to the problems associated with poor nutrition and inactivity. Indeed, in states that utilize attendance to determine funding, a single day absence by just one student can cost anywhere from $9 to $20. For more information, please go to http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/AFHK/specialreports/.
Fortunately, the federal government is responding on several fronts. Last week, at North Ridge Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina, Secretary Paige announced 237 new grants worth $69 million under the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (http://www.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/), which allows school districts and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, or improve P.E. programs. This week, the Secretary announced 34 new grants worth $38 million under the Safe Schools/ Healthy Students Initiative (http://www.ed.gov/programs/dvpsafeschools/), which helps districts develop comprehensive plans to address school violence and drug and alcohol abuse. Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced $36 million in new funding for the Steps to a Healthier U.S. Initiative (http://www.healthierus.gov/steps/), and both agencies promoted a brochure titled "Help Your Child Grow Up Healthy and Strong" (http://www.ed.gov/parents/academic/
health/growhealthy/growhealthy.pdf). "There is an old saying, 'You are what you eat,'" Secretary Paige said in Raleigh. "I would add, you are what you do."
To gain insight into how schools are utilizing technology, BetterManagement.com invited educators and Department representatives to share their thoughts on current projects and future opportunities. The first session, concerning data warehousing, took place on October 5 and is archived. A second session, titled "Web-Based Program Transforming Schools in Georgia," is scheduled for October 12. The seminar is free, although parties must register in advance. For more information, please go to http://www.bettermanagement.com/Library/Library.aspx?LibraryID=10670.
Heads up! National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading, math, and science assessments are coming to schools throughout the U.S. January 24 through March 4. By participating in NAEP, students and schools provide important data that assist educators and policymakers seeking to improve elementary and secondary education programs. Approximately 20,000 schools and 1.2 million students in grades 4, 8, and 12 will be selected to participate in 2005; samples are carefully designed to truly reflect the country's "great diversity." For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/participation2005.asp.
Quote to Note
"I think a lot of us will look back at this moment in time as the 'tipping point.' It is the time where we changed our mindset; we stopped measuring educational success by inputslike money spentand instead started examining outputs, measuring whether students are indeed learning.... We can be confident about the years to come. We may have what has been called 'nostalgia for the future.' It is a future of powerful promise, a dream realized."
Secretary of Education Rod Paige (9/24/04)
The Department is hosting a national principals' workshop October 19-20 to tackle real world issues facing principals as they become instructional leaders. The forum is intended to help principals in schools struggling to improve student performance by sharing with them concrete strategies for improving their instructional ability. For more information, please go to http://www.principalworkshop.us/.
International Education Week (November 15-19) is almost here! The week offers schools, colleges and universities, and communities the opportunity to celebrate and promote the benefits of exchange and international education worldwide. Individuals and institutions are encouraged to join the mailing list and submit a report on planned activities. For more information, please go to http://exchanges.state.gov/iew/.
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