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November 23, 2007 ED Review
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 November 23, 2007
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Title I Report
TUDA 2007
Pandemic Flu
Gold Standard?
New Appointment
National Consequence
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

Title I Report

This month, Secretary Spellings submitted to Congress the final report of the "National Assessment of Title I." This two-volume study presents recent data on the implementation of the Title I program and an evaluation of the impact of four remedial reading programs on student achievement. Some highlights:

  • Title I Funding. After adjusting for inflation, funding for Title I, Part A has increased by 35% over the previous seven years, from $9.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2000 to $12.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2007. More than three-fourths of Title I funds went to high-poverty schools and school districts. However, the highest-poverty schools received smaller Title I allocations per low-income student compared with lower-poverty schools.
  • Student Achievement. In states that had three-year trend data available on their state assessments, the percentage of students achieving at or above the state's proficient level rose for most student subgroups in a majority of states. Also, both National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and state assessments results indicate that the achievement gaps between disadvantaged students and other students may be narrowing. However, at present pace, most states would not meet the goal of 100% proficiency by 2013-14.
  • Implementation of State Assessment Systems. During the 2005-06 academic year, all states administered assessments intended to meet No Child Left Behind requirements for reading and math. Further, as of this fall, 24 state assessment systems had been approved through the Department's peer review process, eight were designated as "approval expected," and 20 were as designated "approval pending" (see http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/nclbfinalassess/).
  • Accountability and Support for School Improvement. During the 2004-05 academic year, 75% of schools and districts met all applicable Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets. (Schools most often missed AYP for the "all students" group and/or for multiple subgroups, rather than single subgroups.) On the other hand, 18% of Title I schools were identified as in need of improvement.
  • School Choice and Supplemental Educational Services (SES). Although still low, the number of students opting for public school choice doubled over the three-year period from 2002-03 to 2004-05. SES participation increased ten-fold over the same period.

"We have made substantial progress in the last six years," the Secretary wrote in her transmittal letter, "but more work needs to be done. We will continue to work with states in developing challenging assessments, while focusing on secondary education. In addition, we need to expand participation in public school choice and SES. Finally…many states are going to have to redouble their efforts to reach the 100% proficiency target by 2014, but the progress made through 2004-05 suggests that it is possible." For more information, please go to http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20084012/.

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TUDA 2007

On November 15, the non-partisan National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) released results of the 2007 Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA), which provides comparable data on fourth- and eighth-grade reading and mathematics achievement in 11 of the nation's urban school districts. (This is the fourth time school districts have participated in the TUDA. In 2002, six districts took reading and writing assessments. In 2003, 10 districts took reading and math assessments. In 2005 and 2007, 11 districts took reading and math assessments.) Districts showed the most improvement in math. In fourth-grade, eight districts recorded increases compared to 2003, and four districts had higher average scores compared with 2005. In eighth-grade, eight districts recorded increases compared to 2003, and six districts had higher average scores compared with 2005. In reading, four districts showed increases in fourth-grade compared to 2002, and two districts had higher average scores versus 2005, while two districts showed increases in eighth-grade compared to 2002, and four districts had higher average scores versus 2005. For more information, please go to http://nationsreportcard.gov/.

Other new data analyses:

  • "Chance Favors the Prepared Mind" (http://www.air.org/publications/documents/
    phillips.chance.favors.the.prepared.mind.pdf
    ), by the American Institutes for Research, notes that students in most states are performing as well as or better than most students in foreign countries in math and science, but the highest-achieving states are still significantly below the highest-achieving nations.
  • The Institute of International Education's "Open Doors 2007" (http://opendoors.iienetwork.org) reports on Americans studying abroad and international students in the U.S.
  • Route 21 (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/route21/), from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is an online, interactive tool that demonstrates how new century skills can be supported through standards, assessments, and professional development.
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Pandemic Flu

The latest issue of "The Challenge" newsletter, a publication of the Department's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, shares critical information and key resources on preparing for a potential flu pandemic. Cases of influenza typically peak between November and March, though the season can last until May, and flu viruses circulate year round. Young children are more likely to transmit an infectious disease. For more information, please go to http://www.thechallenge.org/.

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Gold Standard?

On the heels of the College Board's first-ever audit of Advanced Placement (AP) classes (see https://apcourseaudit.epiconline.org/ledger/), the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation unveiled a report examining the AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. The authors generally praised AP's and IB's high academic standards and rigorous exams. Both biology courses earned A's, and the English and history courses scored in the B-range. The IB math course earned a B-. AP Calculus received a C+. For more information, please go to http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/APIB.pdf.

Meanwhile, the Department is inviting applications under the AP Test Fee Program. This program awards grants to states, enabling them to pay all or a portion of the exam fees of low-income students who are enrolled in an AP course and expect to take an AP test. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/apfee/.

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New Appointment

The President has nominated Tracy Justesen to serve as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Justesen currently serves as Deputy Director of the Department's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Earlier in his career, he served as an Associate Director on the Domestic Policy Council at the White House and as an Attorney-Advisor in the Disability Rights Section of the Justice Department. Justesen received his bachelor's degree from Southern Utah University and his master's degree from Utah State University. Then, moving east, he received his J.D. from Drake University and his LL.M. from George Washington University. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/11/11152007a.html.

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National Consequence

"To Read or Not to Read," from the National Endowment for the Arts, gathers statistics from more than 40 studies on the reading habits and skills of children, teenagers, and adults. The stark conclusion? Americans are reading less and reading less well. For example, less than one-third of 13-year-olds are daily readers, a 14% decline from 20 years earlier. Among 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers has doubled over that period, from 9% in 1984 to 19% in 2004. On average, Americans (ages 15 to 24) spend two hours a day watching TV and only seven minutes of daily leisure time on reading. Not surprisingly, reading scores on related assessments (NAEP, the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the Program for International Student Assessment, etc.) have remained flat or declined. Also, the research suggests deficient readers run higher risks of personal, professional, and social failure. For more information, please go to http://www.nea.gov/research/ToRead.pdf.

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Quote to Note

"Americans are a grateful people, ever mindful of the many ways we have been blessed. On Thanksgiving Day, we lift our hearts in gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, the people we love, and the gifts of our prosperous land.... This Thanksgiving, may we reflect upon the past year with gratefulness and look toward the future with hope."

        President George W. Bush (11/15/07), proclaiming November 22 as a National Day of Thanksgiving

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Upcoming Events

The National Mathematics Advisory Panel's tenth meeting is November 28 in Baltimore. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/.

The next book in the Department's "Innovations in Education" series, on advanced courses online, will be launched via webcast on December 12 (3:00-4:00 ET). TO REGISTER, PLEASE GO TO http://www.visualwebcaster.com/
US_Dept_Edu/42740/reg.html
.

December 5 is International Volunteer Day, an opportunity for individual volunteers and volunteer organizations to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Among those goals are combating disease, hunger, illiteracy, poverty, discrimination against women, and environmental degradation. For more information, please go to http://www.worldvolunteerweb.org/.

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Credits, Subscribe & Unsubscribe

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Last Modified: 11/27/2007