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November 18, 2005 ED Review
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 November 18, 2005
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NCLB Update
Hurricane Relief
Graduation Rates
International Collaboration
HSF: 30 Years
Student Engagement
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)

Today, at 2:00 p.m. ET, Secretary Spellings will be making an announcement concerning the use of growth models under the No Child Left Behind Act. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/latest/index.html?src=ln this afternoon.

Last week, the Secretary discussed the road to education reform for states—how far we have come and where we need to go—at the James B. Hunt, Jr., Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy's 2005 Governors' Education Symposium in Charlotte, North Carolina. She also unveiled a new, user-friendly guide, "No Child Left Behind: A Road Map to State Implementation," to help state policymakers navigate the road ahead. "The Road Map breaks down a 670-page law into clear principles for success," she said, "and it recaps and frames how states have adapted those principles to raise student achievement." Among its numerous examples, the guide offers an overview of peer reviews of state standards and assessment systems; refinement of accountability/adequate yearly progress (AYP) measurement; assessments for students with limited English proficiency and students with disabilities; supplemental educational service pilots; and meeting highly qualified teacher requirements. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/roadmap/.

Also last week, the Secretary honored 2005 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia. That ceremony included special recognition of five Blue Ribbon principals as Terrel H. Bell Award recipients: Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat (Whittier Primary School, Peoria, IL); Orene Lea (Chesbrough Elementary School, Kentwood, LA); Hilda Puryear (Chase City Elementary School, VA); Linda Reed (Dr. Jessie Hayden Elementary School, Midway City, CA); and Wayne Rodolfich (formerly of Gautier High School, MS). The principals—chosen by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Middle School Association, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals—reflect strong leadership in overcoming extensive educational challenges to achieve dramatic increases in student outcomes in their schools. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/. (Note: Each school's Blue Ribbon application, demonstrating a dramatic turn-around, is available at http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/2005/applications/.)

Then, yesterday, the Secretary visited a school and spoke at the annual conference of the National Alliance of Black School Educators in Detroit, Michigan. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2005/11/11172005.html.

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Hurricane Relief (http://hurricanehelpforschools.gov/)

On November 7, the Department released guidelines on how colleges and universities can apply to receive additional student aid to help students who have been affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Under the Natural Disaster Aid Fairness Act, which was signed into law last month, the Secretary is authorized to reallocate unexpended funds (from the 2004-05 award year) under three campus-based programs: Federal Work Study, Perkins Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Institutions that participate in at least one of these programs and have accepted any affected students may apply to receive a portion of these funds. Colleges and universities that receive aid do not have to match a portion of it, as institutions usually must do when receiving funds under the programs. Also, colleges and universities do not necessarily have to spend funds directly on affected students. However, the guidelines advise, "it is possible that the amount received by an institution that has enrolled fewer than 20 affected students would be minimal, when compared to the time and effort institutions might need to prepare and submit a request." The guidelines list several data requirements. For more information, please go to http://www.ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/FR11072005.html. (Note: The application deadline is November 29.)

Meanwhile, the Department is closely monitoring the effects of Hurricane Wilma and will provide additional guidance, as more information becomes available. Any guidance related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita does not apply to Wilma; only the provisions of GEN-04-04 (http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0404.html) are currently applicable. For more information, please go to http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/katrina.html.

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Graduation Rates

As promised, the Department has calculated averaged freshman graduation rates for public high schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories, and Department of Defense bases overseas. This rate provides an estimate of the percentage of high school students who graduate on time, four years after they enter, and, importantly, is comparable across jurisdictions:

  • Comparing the averaged freshman graduation rate in the class of 2001-02 to that of the class of 2002-03, the rate increased from 72.6 to 73.9 percent; 39 states experienced increases in the rate, one state experienced no change, and 11 states experienced declines in the rate over this two-year period.

  • For the class of 2001-02, the rate ranged from a high of 85.8 percent (New Jersey) to a low of 57.9 percent (South Carolina). Nine states had rates of 80.0 percent or higher, while 13 states and the District of Columbia had rates below 70.0 percent.

  • For the class of 2002-03, the rate ranged from a high of 87.0 percent (New Jersey) to a low of 59.6 percent (District of Columbia). Fourteen states had rates of 80.0 percent or higher, while 10 states and the District of Columbia had rates below 70.0 percent.

For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006601.

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International Collaboration

To continue the momentum built by another successful International Education Week, the Department recently released a revised "Teachers Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet." The guide provides resources, tips, and tutorials, as well as specific curriculum-based projects in which U.S. teachers can participate to establish school-to-school global interaction on the Internet. Opportunities span the curriculum, from science and social studies to the arts and world languages. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tech/international/. (Note: The guide was written and revised by a team assembled by iEARN-USA.)

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HSF: 30 Years

This week, Secretary Spellings participated in a luncheon celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. "On your 25th anniversary five years ago, you pledged to award an additional $50 million for scholarships in the next five years," she said in her remarks. "Today, you've done much more than just meet this goal. You've more than doubled it! Congratulations! Over the last 30 years, the HSF has awarded nearly $170 million of scholarship more to more than 34,000 Hispanic students.... And, best of all, you don't just send students to college. You help them graduate—97 percent of your students go on to get their degrees." The Secretary also praised HSF's four cutting-edge partnerships with other major foundations (Goizueta, Kellogg, Lilly, and Lumina) and stressed the Department is committed to doing its part. For instance, "We've partnered with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to give young Hispanic Americans more opportunities to intern and work at the Department." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2005/11/11152005.html.

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Student Engagement

The 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) report, self-supported through institutional participation fees, summarizes the views of 237,000 first-year and senior year students at 528 four-year colleges and universities on five key benchmarks: (1) level of academic challenge, (2) active and collaborative learning, (3) student-faculty interaction, (4) enriching education experiences, and (5) supportive campus environment. On the one hand, by their own admission, three of 10 first-year students do just enough academic work to get by, and two-fifths of students (43% first-years, 48% seniors) spend no time on co-curricular activities. On the other hand, a majority of students (54% first-years, 63% seniors) say they often discuss ideas from readings or classes with others outside of class, and one-fifth of all seniors worked on a research project with a faculty member. Also, almost half (45%) of seniors completed at least one course at another college or university prior to enrolling at their current institution, and one-third of seniors took at least one course at another institution since enrolling at their current institution. These students are referred to as "swirling" seniors. For more information, please go to http://nsse.iub.edu/pdf/NSSE2005_annual_report.pdf.

Note: The independent Community College Survey of Student Engagement summarizes the views of 133,281 students at 257 community colleges. For more information, please go to http://www.ccsse.org/.

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Quote to Note

"The Department understands that at the very core of this work is a commitment to collecting, sharing, and utilizing better educational data. The reporting of disaggregated data has been one of the hallmarks of NCLB from day one. As we look at the challenges ahead, the sharing and public reporting of data will continue to be among the things the Department considers in reviewing state policies, particularly when allowing alternate policy options to implement specific requirements of NCLB. Sound data will continue to be one of the things the Department expects in exchange for extending flexibilities."
— Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (11/10/05)

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Upcoming Events

On December 8, the White House and several Cabinet agencies will host a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, to help faith-based and other community organizations learn more about the President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative. The conference is free, but pre-registration is required. Please register by December 2. For more information, please go to http://www.fbci.gov/.

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Last Modified: 01/13/2009