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May 19, 2006 ED Review
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 May 19, 2006
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Math and Science: Girls and More...
NCLB Update
Moment of Remembrance
Commencement Addresses
Personnel Changes
Food and Exercise
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

Math and Science: Girls and More...

On May 15, Secretary Spellings and Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation Kathie Olsen welcomed more than 100 female entrepreneurs, explorers, and scientists to the first-ever National Summit on the Advancement of Girls in Math and Science. "Girls continue to be under-represented in critical fields related to math and science," the Secretary explained. "They make up only a third of AP physics students and only 15 percent of AP computer science classes. At the college level, less than 20 percent of engineering majors are women, while the number of women with computer science degrees has dropped 25 percent since 1985.... Our country cannot afford to lose half of our potential innovators, especially in this ever-flattening, I-Pod-loving, TiVo-watching world." Consequently, the Secretary announced a comprehensive review of research on how and why girls are turning away from these fields of the future. She also announced a partnership with the Girls Scouts and the Ad Council. "The trailblazing women who are here remind us that America has always been the most innovative society in the world. Together, we'll make sure we always are." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/05/
05152006b.html
.

Later that same day, the Secretary announced the 17 expert panelists and six ex-officio members chosen to comprise the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMP). The NMP will examine and summarize the scientific evidence related to the teaching and learning of math, with a focus on algebra. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/.

Earlier, President Bush recognized 100 middle and high school teachers with the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation's highest honor for teaching in these fields. Winners will receive a $10,000 prize from the National Science Foundation, the agency that administers the program. For more information, please go to http://www.paemst.org/.

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

In a May 15 letter to Chief State School Officers (http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/
060515.html
), the Secretary requested assistance in implementing No Child Left Behind's public school choice and supplemental educational services (SES) provisions. Based on positive results from Virginia, she also extended into the 2006-07 school year the pilot program that allows school districts to reverse the order in which choice and SES are offered to students. Additional information about state and district eligibility for the program, the process by which states can apply, and the conditions that states and districts have to meet are in the letter.

Then, on May 17, the Secretary announced approval of two high-quality growth-based accountability models. Tennessee has received full approval to implement their model this year. North Carolina is also approved, provided its assessment system is fully approved by July 1. Six other states that were peer reviewed have been asked to submit revised proposals for consideration for the 2006-07 school year, and the deadline for other states to submit new growth model proposals is November 1. The total limit for approved plans remains at 10. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/growthmodel/
proficiency.html
.

Recently, the Department notified states on where they stand in achieving the No Child Left Behind goal of having all students taught by a "highly qualified teacher" (HQT) who holds at least a bachelor's degree, has obtained full state certification, and has demonstrated knowledge in the core academic subject he or she teaches. No state is likely to meet the goal of 100 percent HQTs by the end of this school year. Instead, states fall into three categories: 29 states are making good progress in implementing the HQT provisions; nine states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have significant work to do in their HQT plans and are at risk of being sanctioned; and, for 12 states, the process is not yet complete, so a rating is pending. All states must complete a revised HQT plan by July 7 that specifies the actions they will take to reach the goal in the next school year. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/hqtltr/.

Also: A new study funded by the Department examines the implementation of accountability and school improvement under Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act from 2001-02, the year before NCLB went into effect, through 2003-04, the second year of implementation. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/disadv/tassie3/.

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Moment of Remembrance

In a letter to educators, Carmella LaSpada, executive director of the White House Commission on Remembrance, asked schools to hold a Remembrance Ceremony as close to Memorial Day (Monday, May 29) as possible and actively encourage students to pause on Memorial Day at 3:00 p.m. local time, to think about the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. The idea of a moment of remembrance was born in 1996 when children touring Washington, D.C., were asked what Memorial Day meant to them. They responded, "That's the day the pools open!" Four years later, Congress established the White House Commission on Remembrance. The mid-afternoon time was chosen because that is when a majority of Americans are enjoying their freedoms. For more information, please go to http://www.remember.gov/.

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Commencement Addresses

It's that time of year! For some words of inspiration, see the following addresses:

  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/
    2006/05/20060506-2.html
    (May 6, Oklahoma State University; President Bush: "Treat the degree you receive today as the first step in a lifetime of learning, and your lives will be rich in purpose and reward.")

  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/
    2006/05/20060511-5.html
    (May 11, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; President Bush: "Today, I ask you to rise to the challenge of a generation, to apply your skill and your knowledge, your compassion and your character, and help write a hopeful new chapter in the history of the Gulf Coast."

  • http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/05/
    05152006.html
    (May 15, Texas Tech University; Secretary Spellings: "The greatest obstacle in life isn't failure, it's fear. Fear keeps you on the sidelines playing it safe, convincing yourself risks are for daredevils and greatness reserved for others. Yet, the reality is when you play it safe, the only guarantee you get is that you'll live with regret.")

  • http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/05/
    05172006.html
    (May 17, Montgomery College (Maryland); Secretary Spellings: "No matter what you do in life, I want to encourage all of you to find some way to give back. The impact of that choice will not only improve the lives of others, it

Not there yet? The Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released a new version of the College Opportunities Online Locator (COOL) web site. COOL allows users to compare profiles of nearly 7,000 colleges and universities across the U.S. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cool/.

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Personnel Changes

President Bush has chosen highly capable individuals for a number of key positions. First, Lawrence Warder is nominated to be Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Until recently, he was Global Director of Operations for Deloitte Consulting, where he had worked since 1969 in various senior management positions (including a stint in London). As CFO, Warder would advise the Secretary on all matters related to financial management and grants (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/04/
04252006a.html
). Second, Jim Manning is designated to be Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. He moves from the Chief of Staff role within the Office of Federal Student Aid to this new role, where he will formulate higher education policy and administer critical programs (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/05/
05042006b.html
). Third, Troy Justesen is nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education. He also shifts from another role—Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services—to provide crucial leadership on career, technical, and adult education (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/05/
05092006.html
).

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Food and Exercise

Prompted by a concern over the rate of obesity among school-age children, "Calories In, Calories Out," a new NCES study, presents information for public elementary schools on the availability of foods outside of full school meals, the opportunities for students to engage in physical activity, and the physical assessment of students. Three-quarters of U.S. public elementary schools offer physical education more than one day a week, and eight out of 10 have daily recess. On the other hand, seven percent report no daily recess, 15 percent sell candy (to raise funds), and 29 percent do not weigh students. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/Pubs2006/nutrition/.

Also: The Department's June 20 "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast will explore child health and nutrition. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/.

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Quote to Note

"This changing world presents you [graduates] with a lot of exciting opportunities. Yet, such a world also needs the anchor of old-fashioned values and virtues, like courage and compassion. These are the virtues that sustain our democracy and make self-government possible. These virtues are what we'll need to build a more hopeful future."
— President George W. Bush (5/6/06),
addressing the Oklahoma State Class of 2006

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Upcoming Events

On June 1, at 10:00 a.m. EST, NCES will release "The Condition of Education 2006." For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/.

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Last Modified: 02/26/2007