Teacher Loan Forgiveness
School Readiness Report
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
According to the College Board's first-ever "Advanced Placement Report to the Nation," 13.2 percent of the graduating class of 2004 demonstrated mastery (at least a 3 on a 5-point scale) of one or more Advanced Placement (AP) exams, up from 10.2 percent from the 2000 class. Moreover, over the past five years, all 50 states and the District of Columbia reported an increase in the percentage of students succeeding on AP exams. For example, New York is the first state in the nation to see more than 20 percent of its students achieve a grade of 3 or higher on an AP exam, and California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Utah are close to this level of achievement, with between 18 and 20 percent of students earning a 3 or higher. On the other hand, the success of ethnic minorities is mixed. Since 1996, there have been significant increases in African-American (+164%), Hispanic (+197%), and American Indian (+115%) students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams, and the proportion of Hispanic students taking AP exams (13.1%) is, today, about the same as the proportion of Hispanic students in public schools (12.8%). But African-American students remain significantly underrepresented in AP; African-American students make up 13.2 percent of the student population but only 6.0 percent of AP test takers. Research shows that students who succeed on one or more AP exams are more likely than their peers to complete a bachelor's degree in four years. For more information, please go to http://www.collegeboard.com/about/news_info/ap/2005/. (Secretary Spelling's statement is available at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2005/01/
01252005.html. President Bush has proposed a 73 percent increase in the Department's AP initiatives.)
Interested in becoming a supplemental service provider? The American Institutes for Research is offering a free "Providers' Toolkit for Supplemental Educational Services" (http://www.tutorsforkids.org/documents/
SESProvidersToolkit_002.pdf). The toolkit includes step-by-step tips, tools, and resources on designing, delivering, marketing, managing, and evaluating a quality program. Currently, under the No Child Left Behind Act, over 2,700 Title I schools are required to offer supplemental services.
Hours after President Bush was sworn in last week for his second term, the Senate unanimously confirmed Margaret Spellings as the eighth U.S. Secretary of Education. Below are excerpts from her first message to Department staff.
"As I indicated in my confirmation hearing, there is no more critical obligation each of us has to the American people than to educate our citizens. In our diverse country, we share the belief that education is the great equalizer. It is the key to success for individual Americans and the key to success of our nationnot just economic success but civic and democratic success. In our country, we believe that a great education must be available to each and every American."
"Our schools are, right now, preparing the individuals who will succeed each of us.... I have been involved in our public schools for more than two decades in many different ways. I am a parent of school-aged children. I have worked in both legislative and executive branches of government, as well as at the local, state, and federal levels. We have a lot of work ahead of us, work that will affect our nation's future in a most fundamental way."
As reported earlier this month, the Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is seeking comments and recommendations for developing regulations based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). As such, it has scheduled seven informal meetings to receive feedback, the first of which takes place today:
January 28, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.
University of Delaware at Newark, John M. Clayton Hall, Room 106, Newark, DE
February 3, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Ohio State University, Arps Hall, Room 384, Columbus, OH
February 7, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA
February 11, 1:00-5:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School, 6911 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, CA
February 15, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Frederick Douglass High School, 225 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive, Atlanta GA
February 18, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.
University of Wyoming at Laramie, Wyoming Union, Second Floor, Laramie, WY
February 24, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Academy for Education Research, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Academy Hall, Washington, DC
Registration is at the door, on a first-come, first-serve basis; individuals will have 2-5 minutes to comment, depending on the number of people who register. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/events/ideameetings.html. (Written comments and recommendations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 28.)
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Attention teachers! The Taxpayer-Teacher Protection Act, signed into law last year, authorizes up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for eligible, highly qualified math, science, and special education teachers. This dramatic increase$12,500 above the previous limit of $5,000is meant to ease the shortage of teachers in important subject areas. To be eligible, teachers (with no outstanding loan balances before October 1, 1998, and who have borrowed before October 1, 2005) must be highly qualified, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act; must have taught full-time, for five consecutive years, in a Title I school; and must have taught secondary math or science or elementary or secondary special education to students with disabilities. Also, an eligible teacher who has already received loan forgiveness may receive further loan forgiveness"up to the difference between $17,500 and the amount previously forgiven." For more information, please go to http://www.ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0414.html.
School Readiness Report
This week, the National Governors Association (NGA) released "Building the Foundation for Bright Futures: Final Report of the NGA Task Force on School Readiness" (http://www.nga.org/cda/files/0501taskforce
readiness.pdf). Two years of work from the task force and more than a decade's worth of research has gone into the list of recommendations, sorted into "Ready States," "Ready Schools," "Ready Communities," "Ready Families," and "Ready Children." Then, a companion piece, "A Governor's Guide to School Readiness" (http://www.nga.org/cda/files/0501govguide
readiness.pdf), ties the policy recommendations to concrete examples.
On January 14, at Florida Community College in Jacksonville, President Bush announced he will ask lawmakers to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $100 per year for the next five years, to $4,550. The President also reiterated his support for enhanced Pell Grants, which would give an additional $1,000 for the first two years of college to students from low-income families who complete the rigorous State Scholars program. For more information, please go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/01/
Note: In a recent national survey commissioned by the Job Shadow Coalition and sponsored by the Departments of Education and Labor, over 60 percent of teenagers said they would need higher education to accomplish the American Dream. Specifically, 12 percent of teenagers said "some college or postsecondary trade school" was necessary to succeed; 31 percent said a bachelor's degree; and 27 percent said a graduate degree or Ph.D. For more information, please go to http://www.jobshadow.org/.
Quote to Note
"In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time."
President George W. Bush (1/20/05)
A reminder: the President's State of the Union address is scheduled for Wednesday, February 2. And, on February 7, the President will release his FY 2006 budget request.
The Department's next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast, on drug and alcohol prevention, is scheduled for February 15. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/.
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Deputy Assistant SecretaryKen Meyer, (202) 401-0404, Ken.Meyer@ed.gov
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