NCLB: Making a Difference
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
On December 20, Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs Laurie M. Rich joined Florida Commissioner of Education John Winn to highlight the importance of reading and present free books and toys to St. Lucie County Schools, a gift to students and school libraries whose materials were destroyed by Hurricanes Frances and Jean. The 71,000 items were provided by the sponsors of the No Child Left Behind Summer Reading Achievers program, which encourages students in grades K-8 to read during the summer months to maintain their skills. Over the past summer, students in 11 sites around the country participated in the program and read nearly 384,000 books. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/12/12202004a.html.
Staying on theme, the Department is inviting applications under the Early Reading First program, which supports local efforts to enhance the reading skills of preschool-age childrenespecially those from low-income familiesthrough strategies, materials, and professional development that are grounded in scientifically based research. (Note: the competition is limited to high-need school districts and organizations based within those districts. For a list of eligible districts, see http://www.ed.gov/programs/earlyreading/eligibility.html.) The deadline for transmittal of pre-applications is February 7. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/earlyreading/.
In 2004, Secretary Paige appointed 10 Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) to advise the Department on the technical assistance needs of educators in 10 geographic regions across the nation. These RACs are now conducting an educational needs assessment of their regions and, in March 2005, will submit a report to the Secretary identifying the challenges each region faces in improving student achievement. You can ensure that your input is considered by registering on the RAC web site at http://www.rac-ed.org/ and posting your comments in the public discussion area designated for your region. The results of these assessments will be used to assist the Secretary in establishing funding priorities for 20 new comprehensive technical assistance centers that will help states, school districts, and school to implement the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act.
NCLB: Making a Difference
The next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (January 18, 8:00-9:00 ET), celebrating the third anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act, will present videotaped success stories from past shows to help illustrate just how the law is changing the face of American education. Among the featured segments: high-performing schools from New York City and Sterling, Virginia, recognized as No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools for narrowing the achievement gap; the Toledo, Ohio, school district for its early success implementing the supplemental educational services provisions of No Child Left Behind; Spokane Public Schools in Washington and their "Fit for the Future" initiative, a standards-based health and fitness curriculum designed for students in grades 1-10; elementary schools from Silver Spring, Maryland, to Burbank, California, which have experienced dramatic turnarounds as a result of an emphasis on professional development, data analysis, and parental involvement; the Vail, Arizona, school district, which determined to identify children with learning challenges early and intervene immediately; an Atlanta program that recruits and prepares teachers from business and the military; a successful bullying intervention program at Spring Grove Intermediate School near York, Pennsylvania; and the Prince Edward County, Virginia, schools, where, some 50 years ago, African-American students walked out of their segregated schools to demand equal facilitiesa case that became part of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/. (You can watch live and archived webcasts at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)
Also: For each state, the Department has developed a PowerPoint slide of academic and budgetary improvements. These slides are updated regularly. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/importance/difference/.
On December 3, President Bush signed into law the much-anticipated reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In turn, the Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is soliciting comments and recommendations on regulatory issues under IDEA, mainly 34 CFR Parts 300 and 303 that would strengthen the federal effort to ensure the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and ensure every child with a disability has access to a free, appropriate education of high quality that is designed to meet the high standards reflected in the No Child Left Behind Act. Feedback may be sent via mail or email and should be received on or before February 28 to be assured of consideration. Also, OSERS will hold a series of informal meetings during the first few months of 2005 to receive public feedback. Dates and locations for these meetings, to be held in Newark (DE), Columbus (OH), Boston, San Diego, Atlanta, Laramie (WY), and Washington, D.C., will be published in the Federal Register. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/proprule/2004-4/122904a.html. (For a directory of items in the Federal Register, see http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister/.)
In recognition of the legacy of Dr. King (whose birthday will be observed on January 17), the Department is again soliciting applications under the Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholars Program, offering as many as 10 summer internships at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. Selected studentscontinuing undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in education or public policy and administrationwill receive temporary federal appointments for an eight week period from June 13 to August 5. They will be hired at federal pay grades GS-4, 5, 7, or 9, depending on qualifications and the level of education completed, and be assigned to the Office of the Secretary or the office of one of the assistant secretaries to assist with a variety of projects designed to offer developmental experiences and exposure to government and public policy. Applications are due by January 21. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/mlk/.
Student TECH CORPS, a new program developed by a national, non-profit organization, TECH CORPS, and sponsored by a $241,510 federal grant, is providing technology training and certification to middle school students in 20 rural schools in Georgia, Ohio, and Washington. Specifically, the program offers students in-depth technology skills training using standards-based technology curriculum and hands-on experience and helps students to apply their knowledge by managing a "Student-Run Help Desk" that provides on-site support to their school's technology infrastructure. Eventually, TECH CORPS plans to expand the program nationwide. For more information, please go to http://stcportal.easycgi.com/.
Note: This Friday (January 7), at 3:00 p.m., the Department will release the third National Education Technology Plan. For more information, please go to http://www.nationaledtechplan.org/.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 64.5 million Americans volunteered during the 12-month period ending September 2004. That is an increase from 63.8 million the year before (September 2002-2003) and 58.8 million the initial year of the study (September 2001-2002), following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Also, women volunteered at a higher rate than men (one-fourth of men and about one-third of women participated); persons age 35-44 were the most likely to volunteer, followed by 45-54-year-olds and 55-64-year-olds; parents with children under 18 were more likely to volunteer than persons without children of that age (36.9 percent versus 25.4 percent); and married persons volunteered at a higher rate than persons who have never married (33.9 percent versus 23.2 percent). For more information, please go to http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.nr0.htm.
Quote to Note
"These past few days have brought loss and grief to the world that is beyond our comprehension. [I know that our citizens are particularly troubled to learn that so many of the deaths were young children.] The United States will continue to stand with the affected governments as they care for the victims. We will stand with them as they start to rebuild their communities. And together the world will cope with their loss. We will prevail over this destruction."
President George W. Bush (12/29/04)
The next "Innovations in Education Exchange," concerning education service providers, is scheduled for January 28 (9:00-11:00 a.m.) at the Department (400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.). To RSVP, send your name, title, organization address, and telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 20.
The National School and Business Partnerships Awards, created by the Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, recognize exemplary school and business partnerships across the country. Partnerships involving public schools and/or school districts and businesses are eligible to apply for the award. The Council will present six awards; those selected will receive $10,000 to support partnership efforts. Applications sent via mail must be postmarked by January 28. Applications sent via email or fax or completed online must be received that day. For more information, please go to http://www.corpschoolpartners.org/award.shtml.
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Deputy Assistant SecretaryKen Meyer, (202) 401-0404, Ken.Meyer@ed.gov
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