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August 10, 2007 ED Review
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 August 10, 2007
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NCLB Update
NAEP Economics
Teaching: 10 Years Later
Transforming Higher Education
Monitoring America's Children
Organizational Assessment
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

NCLB Update

Congress has recessed until September. However, before departing, U.S. Rep. George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, outlined his top priorities for reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and pledged to pass an improved bill, both in committee and on the floor of the House, by next month. "We would be wrong to waver when it comes to the existing goals and standards of No Child Left Behind," the Congressman noted, stressing America's need for accountability with high expectations, standards, and assessments. "We would also be wrong if we failed to respond to the serious concerns with the law raised by people who sincerely care about America's educational future." Thus, he proposed doing "six key things"—from giving states and schools credit for the progress that their students make over time through the use of growth models to providing for performance pay for teachers and principals based on fair and proven models—much of which is reflected in the administration's own reauthorization proposal (http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/nclb/buildingonresults.html). "I want to thank Chairman Miller for his commitment to strengthening and improving the law that holds us accountable for every child, regardless of race, income, or zip code," Secretary Spellings responded in a statement. "[He] shares my belief that every child is capable of succeeding in school. In order to achieve that goal, we must not roll back the clock on accountability for our schools or the progress our poor, minority, and special education students have made since we created No Child Left Behind." For more information, please go to http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/
edlabor_dem/RelJul30NCLBSpeech.html
.

Before leaving Washington, Congress also approved the America Competes Act. Now signed into law by President Bush, this bill establishes several new federal math and science programs as well as expands existing initiatives. Among its provisions, the bill creates "Math Now," under which the Department will award grants to states to implement proven strategies in mathematics instruction; increases the number of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes in schools nationwide; and initiates two new competitive grants for university programs that prepare teachers in math, science, and critical foreign languages. A word of caution: the legislation only authorizes new spending. Appropriations are still being debated. For more information, please go to http://www.science.house.gov/legislation/
leg_highlights_detail.aspx?NewsID=1938
.

On August 1, at the National Parental Information and Resource Center (PIRC) Conference in Baltimore, the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) released the latest in its respected, eight-booklet series on innovations in education: "Engaging Parents in Education." This new resource outlines five PIRCs that are representative of how the centers and their partnering organizations can successfully increase parental involvement in education. PIRCs emphasize the power of strong parent-educator partnerships to improve schools and raise students' academic achievement. Future booklets in the series will cover topics such as online coursework, charter school authorizing, and K-8 charter schools. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/pubs/intro/innovations.html.

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NAEP Economics

Earlier this week, the Department released data from the first National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment of economics. A nationally representative sample of 11,500 twelfth-grade students from nearly 600 public and non-public high schools answered questions representing a wide range of content from three areas: market, national, and international economics. The overall average score, 150 on a 300-point scale, fell in the NAEP basic achievement level. About 79% of students performed at basic or above, and 42% performed at proficient or above. Data is also available by selected demographic groups: gender (males outperformed females), race/ethnicity (white and Asian students outperformed other racial/ethnic groups), location (students in big city schools had lower scores than students in other schools), and parent education (students with at least one parent who completed college had higher scores than students whose parents had less education). For more information, please go to http://nationsreportcard.gov/economics_2006/.

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Teaching: 10 Years Later

A new report from the Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), "To Teach or Not to Teach?," profiles 1992-93 bachelor's degree recipients' preparation for and experience with teaching in the subsequent decade. Nearly all graduates (93%) who were teaching in 2003 expressed satisfaction with their job. Indeed, 90% reported that they would choose teaching again, and two-thirds said they would remain a teacher for the rest of their working life. The report also found just 18% of graduates had changed jobs within the first four years, a lower attrition rate than other occupations among 1992-93 graduates. Yet, the news was not all encouraging. While 67% of all teachers said they planned to keep teaching, only 37% of African-American teachers concurred. In addition, math, science, and engineering graduates were the most likely to leave teaching to work outside of education. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2007163.

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Transforming Higher Education

Meanwhile, on the higher education front:

  • In about a week, Secretary Spellings, Undersecretary Sara Martinez Tucker, and representatives from the U.S. Department of State will lead a delegation of eight U.S. college and university presidents to Brazil and Chile to emphasize the importance of postsecondary education exchanges and partnerships between the U.S. and other nations. While in South America, the delegation will meet with students, university officials, and government and business leaders. This is the third high-level delegation of college and university presidents sent to a vital world region since the 2006 U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education. Last fall, Secretary Spellings led a group to China, Japan, and Korea. This year, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes led a similar group to India. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/
    pressreleases/2007/08/08082007.html
    .

  • Based on the work of the negotiated rulemaking committees that met late last year and early this year, the Department has issued Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on issues related to the Academic Competitiveness and National SMART grant programs and the programmatic, institutional eligibility, and general provisions of Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Comments are due by September 6 and 7, respectively. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/
    hearulemaking/2007/nr.html
    .

  • In response to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the student loan industry, the Department issued a statement detailing the steps it has taken to tighten its oversight responsibilities of federal student financial aid programs. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/
    pressreleases/2007/08/08012007a.html
    .

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Monitoring America's Children

According to the 2007 edition of "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being," compiled by the 22-member Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the teen birth rate declined to a record low in 2005 (the most recently available data); the percentage of children living in a household with at least one working parent is up; and more high school students are taking advanced math and science courses. On the other hand, the birth rate for unmarried women and the proportion of infants with low birth weight increased. For more information, please go to http://childstats.gov/americaschildren/.

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Organizational Assessment

As part of the Department's annual organizational assessment, the Office of Communications and Outreach (OCO) is soliciting feedback from customers for each of its primary publications, including ED Review. This short, five-question survey should take no more than five minutes to complete and will remain confidential. Your participation is strongly encouraged; your responses enable OCO and the Department to serve you more effectively. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edreview/.

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Quote to Note

"While we all hope to see action on [No Child Left Behind] reauthorization soon, a comprehensive bill that has bipartisan support and holds firm to the goal of every child reading and doing math on grade level by 2014 is worth the wait. I look forward to seeing legislation this fall that continues to hold America accountable for providing every child with a quality education, something students deserve and parents expect."

        Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (7/30/07)

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Upcoming Events

The National Mathematics Advisory Panel's eighth meeting is September 6 and 7 in St. Louis. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/.

National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week will be observed September 9-15. For more information, please go to http://hbcuweek.ed.gov/.

On September 24, the White House and several Cabinet agencies (including Education) will host a conference in Washington, D.C., to help social service organizations learn more about the President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative. The conference will share key information about the federal grant process and funding opportunities, as well as basic legal responsibilities that come with federal aid. Although presenters will specifically highlight successful educational partnerships within the Hispanic community, the information will be of benefit to organizations that work with youth of all backgrounds. The conference is free, but pre-registration is required. Please register online by September 18. For more information, please go to http://www.fbci.gov/.

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Credits, Subscribe & Unsubscribe

Please feel free to contact the Office of Communications and Outreach with any questions:
Director, Intergovernmental Affairs—Rogers Johnson, (202) 401-0026, Rogers.Johnson@ed.gov
Deputy Director—Marcie Ridgway, (202) 401-6359, Marcie.Ridgway@ed.gov
Program Analyst—Adam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003, Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov
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Last Modified: 08/14/2007