Museum and Library Awards
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
According to the first-ever report to Congress on the English language acquisition and academic achievement of limited English proficient (LEP) students, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have developed and implemented English language proficiency standards and annually assessed English language learners. (Before No Child Left Behind, only seven states had such standards, and they were not connected with academic content.) Moreover, under the revamped Title III program, states served more than four million LEP students in Fiscal Year 2003, approximately 80 percent of the LEP students nationwide. (Before No Child Left Behind, when Title III was changed from competitive grants to formula grants, only 15 percent of these students were being served through federal LEP programs.) As for the overriding goal of Title IIIensuring that LEP students attain proficiency in Englishof the 45 states that provided proficiency goals and performance data (2002-03 to 2003-04), 41 met at least some of their targets for English language proficiency, and 447,905 students transitioned out of language instruction programs into mainstream classrooms. "NCLB reflects a fundamental transformation in the relationship between the federal government and the states with regard to the education of LEP students," said Kathleen Leos, a top official in the Department's Office of English Language Acquisition. "As a result, we are no longer funding programs, we are funding children." For more information, please go to http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/oela/biennial05/. (A nine-element profile is available for each state at the bottom of the page.)
Building on the enormous success of last year's Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative workshops, the Department is planning six 2005 summer workshops for teachers and principals: Cincinnati, OH (6/20-22), Phoenix, AZ (6/27-29), Minneapolis, MN (7/11-13), Tampa, FL (7/18-20), Bethesda, MD (7/25-27), and San Jose, CA (8/1-3). Some of the nation's best teachers and researchers will share their strategies for raising student achievement and educate teachers of the latest, most effective research-based practices. Breakout sessions will cover the content areas of reading/literacy, math, science, and history. Other sessions will discuss the No Child Left Behind Act, English language learners, special education, and school leadership. Registration is free; participants are responsible for their own lodging and transportation. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/. (An application for presenters is available on the same page.)
Also, in case you missed it, Dr. Arthur Levine, president of Columbia University's Teachers College, released the first in a four-part series of studies on schools of education. This study found the quality of school leadership programs ranges from "inadequate to appalling." For more information, please go to http://www.edschools.org/.
This month, Secretary Spellings has testified before both House (March 10http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2005/03/03102005.html) and Senate (March 2http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2005/03/03022005.html) education appropriations subcommittees on the President Bush's Fiscal Year 2006 budget proposal. "The President's budget accomplishes several important goals," she said in her opening remarks. "The first is fiscal discipline. In his February 2 State of the Union Address, the President underscored the need to restrain spending in order to sustain our economic growth and prosperity.... [The FY 2006 budget's] savings and reforms will help us achieve the President's goal of cutting the budget deficit in half by 2009." "Second," she continued, "the budget would expand the promise of the No Child Left Behind Act to our nation's high schools," including $1.24 billion for a new High School Intervention initiative and $250 million for high school assessments. Third, the Secretary noted that "the budget continues the solid progress begun under the No Child Left Behind Act," with increases for Title I and special education grants. "Finally," she concluded, "the President's budget makes college affordability a high priority," with $19 billion over 10 years in mandatory funding for Pell Grants, resulting from student loan reforms.
Note: What does the President's budget proposal mean for your state? One-pagers are posted at http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statefactsheets/.
More money? A sundry mix of grant competitions are in progress. The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program assists students traditionally under-represented in gifted and talented programs, particularly economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient, and disabled students, to help diminish the achievement gap at the highest levels of performance. Either states or school districts may apply (closes 4/22). The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative supports efforts by communities to implement comprehensive education, juvenile justice, law enforcement, mental health, and social services for youth. However, this year, only districts or consortia of districts that have not previously received such funds or services are eligible (closes 4/29). Teacher Recruitment Grants allow states and partnerships to address the challenge of America's teacher shortage by making significant systemic changes in the way teachers are recruited, prepared, and supported to teach in high-need schools. Partnerships must comprise of an institution of higher education with an eligible teacher preparation program, a school of arts and sciences, and a high-need school district (closes 5/2). http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/ lists all the competitions that are currently underway and provides links to electronic application packages, forms, and other basic information.
The National Center for Education Statistics' "A Profile of the American High School Sophomore in 2002" examines the alignment of tenth-graders lofty expectations for their future education and their actual secondary school preparation. Indeed, in 2002, 72 percent of the nation's sophomores planned to get a bachelor's degree or higher and 83 percent rated getting a good education as "very important." But, just under two-thirds of whites who planned to complete a four-year degree were proficient in reading, while 31 percent of blacks and 35 percent of Hispanics were reading at level two (simple inference). And, only 33 percent of whites, six percent of blacks, and 12 percent of Hispanics were proficient in math. "This report shows that we as a society have done an excellent job selling the dream of attending college," Secretary Spelling said about the profile. "But we have to make sure that we are preparing high school students to succeed once they get in the door." Interestingly, twice as many females (20 percent) as males (12 percent) expected to complete a doctoral or professional degree and blacks (62 percent) and Hispanics (53 percent) were much more likely than whites (47 percent) to affirm getting good grades as something very important to them. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2005338.
Also: NCES has also been busy on the higher education front. For a full list of recent products, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/search.asp?searchcat=pubslast90.
Museum and Library Awards
Last week, First Lady Laura Bush presented the 2004 National Awards for Museum and Library Service to three museums and three libraries. The winners are very different, (large and small, urban and rural), but they have one thing in common: each have found innovative ways of using their collections and programs to provide lifelong learning and tackle critical community concerns. For example, the Zoological Society of San Diego's mentorship programs for middle school, high school, and college students offer engaging and rigorous conservation studies that can lead to career opportunities. Also, through the InternQuest Program, pre-collegiate candidates can explore careers in a variety of science disciplines, such as animal behavior, genetics, and pathology. The Zoo Society's assemblies and outreach programs served 57,257 school children in 2003. For more information, please go to http://www.imls.gov/whatsnew/current/031505.htm.
The Public School Choice and Supplemental Educational Services Listserv is a free service offered by the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement. Subscribers interested in issues related to the school choice and supplemental service provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act automatically receive periodic notification of information posted on the Department's web site relevant to those issues. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/nclb/choice/help/signupform.html.
Quote to Note
"I like to remind my colleagues... that the hard work of closing the achievement gap and providing every child with a quality education still belongs to state and local governmentsjust as the Founding Fathers wanted when they designed the Constitution.... No Child Left Behind preserves this balance of power. It encourages states to seek innovative solutions because we know the best new ideas come from states and not from Washington. At the federal level, our job is to simply provide the broad strategic goals and record levels of funding to help states get the job done. We want to be as flexible as the law permits. At the same time, there are some bright lines.... Without assessment, there will be no way of measuring the effectiveness of our reforms. Without measurement, there can be no accountability for results. And without accountability, children will continue to fall behind."
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (3/14/05)
The next "Innovations in Education Exchange," on choosing a school, is scheduled for April 12 (10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon) in the Department's auditorium (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 April 5.
The next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast, on early childhood development, is scheduled for April 19 (8:00 p.m. ET). For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/
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