Teacher Awards and Workshops
Federal Student Aid
NCLR on NCLB
Job Shadow Day
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.ed.gov/nclb/)
On January 8, Secretary Spellings celebrated the fifth anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act with a major address to national business and education leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an Oval Office meeting with President Bush and Congressional leaders. "Anniversaries remind us that we have to recommit ourselves to the things that are important to us. And when it comes to education policy, this is a critical moment," she asserted. With No Child Left Behind, we set the goal to have every student reading and doing math on grade level by 2014. And it's working!" As evidence, the Secretary cited gains by fourth-graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) (see fact sheet at http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/importance/nclb5anniversary.html). She also reminded leaders of the administration's efforts over the past five years and explained why she and the President are pushing for renewal this year, noting some of her "bright line" principles to be preserved while improving the law: annual testing in grades 3-8 and high school; disaggregated test score data; and grade-level proficiency for all students by 2014. "The truth is, No Child Left Behind helps kids by measuring their progress and holding schools accountable for helping them improve," she said. I've worked in policymaking for 20 years, and I've yet to see a perfect lawespecially one as far-reaching as this one. But, the core principles of No Child Left Behind are as strong and sound as they were five years ago." For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/01/01082007.html.
Later that afternoon, the Secretary hosted an "Ask the White House" chat on No Child Left Behind and other topics. For more information, please go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/20070108.html.
Then, on January 11, the Secretary visited M. Hall Stanton Elementary School in north Philadelphia and participated in an education roundtable with district chief Paul Vallas. In anticipation of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service (January 15), she also presented a Stanton student and parent with the President's Volunteer Service Award. Despite its challenging urban environment, the number of Stanton fifth-graders reading at grade level has increased almost six-fold since 2002, while the percentage of fifth-graders proficient in math increased from 19 percent in 2003 to 83 percent in 2006. Principal Barbara Adderley employed many strategies to turn things around, including breaking the school into smaller academies, carefully structuring the school day, and closely tracking student progress through regular assessment. Last year, Stanton was named a "Dispelling the Myth" school by Education Trust. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/01/01112007.html.
Teacher Awards and Workshops
The Department is currently accepting nominations for its 2007 American Stars of Teaching awards, which recognize teachers who are improving student achievementusing innovative strategiesand making a difference in the lives of their students. Anyone can nominate an American Star. After the Department receives a nomination, a verification form is sent to the teacher's principal. One teacher will be recognized from each state and the District of Columbia. The deadline for nominations is April 1. For more information, please go to https://www.t2tweb.us/AmStar/About.asp. (Note: Previous award winners are posted at https://www.t2tweb.us/AmStar/Prior.asp.)
Also, in a recent press release, the Department named 22 cities as sites for its summer regional workshops for teachers to learn best practices from fellow educators who have proven effective at raising student achievement. This year's co-hosts include two federal agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Park Service (NPS); a number of TechNet partners: Microsoft, EMC, AMD, Symantec, the University of Nevada, and Motorola; and General Motors, Siemens, Target, and MATHCOUNTS. Agendas for each workshop will be posted during January. Registration for the workshops, which are free of charge, will begin April 8. For more information, please go to http://www.t2tweb.us/Workshops/Schedule.asp. (Note: Some teachers may be eligible for professional development credits through their states or school districts. Go to http://www.t2tweb.us/Workshops/FAQ.asp.)
Federal Student Aid
January marks the start of the season for new and returning college students to apply for financial aid. Therefore, Secretary Spellings is encouraging all students to file for a share of the more than $80 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study assistance. Meanwhile, to further publicize the availability of federal aid, the Department is launching a public awareness campaign with the message, "The most costly education is the one not begun." For more information, please go to http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/.
Also, students who participate in a recognized secondary school program of study may qualify to receive an Academic Competitiveness (AC) grant of up to $750 for the first-year of higher education and up to $1,300 for the second-year of higher education, if otherwise eligible. The Department's Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) has released a list of recognized programs for each state for students graduating in 2007 (see http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/about/
ac-smart/2007/state-programs-07.html). (For students graduating in 2005 or 2006, see http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/about/
ac-smart/state-programs06.html.) For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/ac-smart.html.
More money? A couple of new grant competitions are in progress. The Teaching American History Grant Program funds three-year projects to improve teachers' appreciation for and knowledge of traditional American history through intensive, on-going professional development. School districts and independent charter schools are eligible to apply. All grantees must work in partnership with one or more organizations that have extensive knowledge of American history: libraries, museums, non-profit history or humanities organizations, and/or higher education institutions. A notice of intent to apply is due February 7. Applications are due March 9. The Transition to Teaching Grant Program funds the development and expansion of alternative routes to state teacher certification and the recruitment and retention of highly qualified mid-career professionals, recent college graduates who have not majored in education, and paraprofessionals to teach in high-need schools operated by high-need school districts. States, high-need school districts, and partnerships of states, high-need districts, and for- or non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. A notice of intent to apply is due February 7. Applications are due March 26. http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/ lists all competitions that are underway and provides links to electronic application packages, forms, and other basic information.
NCLR on NCLB
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, recently unveiled a new web site with links to major publications, data sources, and analyses offering information on the No Child Left Behind Act and Latinos. In particular, the site provides information on English language learners (ELLs) in the U.S. public education system. For more information, please go to http://www.nclr.org/nclb.
Job Shadow Day
On February 2, working professionals across the country will kick-off Job Shadow Day, part of a national, year-long effort to enrich the lives of students by acquainting them with the world of work through on-the-job experiences and a special school curriculum that ties academics to the workplace. Sponsored by the financial services firm ING and coordinated by America's Promise, Junior Achievement, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, over one million students and 100,000 businesses are expected to participate. Notable past workplace mentors include former President George Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, governors, mayors, and other elected officials, and Today show anchors Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, and Ann Curry. For more information, please go to http://www.jobshadow.org/.
Quote to Note
"I am proud of this piece of legislation. I think it's made an enormous difference, particularly in the lives of some of our poorer students. This country needs to get it right when it comes to public education, and the bill that I was honored to sign is an important first step toward making sure every child gets a good education in America. And in our discussions today, we've all agreed to work together to address some of the major concerns that some people have about this piece of legislationwithout weakening the essence of the billand get a piece of legislation done. We showed in the past that we can work together to get positive results, and I'm confident we can do so again."
|||President George W. Bush (1/8/07),
on reauthorization of No Child Left Behind
A negotiating committee will begin tackling issues related to the Academic Competitiveness (AC) and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) grant programs February 5, 6, and 7 in Washington, D.C. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/
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