U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige today welcomed more than 150 teachers from every grade level, academic discipline and nearly every state in the nation to the first-ever National Research-to-Practice Teacher Summit. The summit, part of the Bush Administration's Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative, teamed up leading education researchers and teachers who have successfully put research into practice in the classroom and asked them to demonstrate their strategies in reading, mathematics, science and the arts. The goal is to improve all students learning and to close the achievement gap by providing summit participants with the latest information about what works in the classroom. The following are excerpts from Secretary Paiges opening remarks:
"Unlike our colleagues in the ancient past, or even the recent past, we teach at a unique moment. For now our scholarship in education has advanced to the point where we can identify and measure best practices. We now have the skill, the statistical tools, the methodology, and the research to better examine educational practices. I am hopeful that research will take center stage in educational training, helping teachers learn how to reach their students and motivate them, not force them into stereotypes, categories, and columns."
"We know that research translates into success. One example of a successful effort is our Reading First Program. The program is designed to help teachers learn about scientifically proven, successful methods for reading instruction. States have already received almost $1.8 billion for this initiative, as well as almost $200 million for early childhood reading efforts. The Reading First Program has already made some substantial progress. In just two years, more than 45,000 teachers across the country have been trained. More students will become better readers because of this program."
"Certainly, the president has been supportive of education research efforts. Funding for education research and dissemination has increased 60 percent since 2000. We have established new programs of research in math, science, and reading education. [W]e have met with thousands of teachers across the United States through efforts like our Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative. By helping all teachers achieve at their best, we can help every student achieve at his or her best as well. By providing a quality education to every student, day by day and year after year, we will make this country stronger, nobler, more compassionate, and more tolerant. We will use education to give each student a full measure of the American Promise, a share of the American Dream."
Secretary Paiges speech is available online at: http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2004/07/07202004.html
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