Duncan Cites Benefits, Proposes Doubling ESEA Funding for Parent Engagement
Secretary Duncan gave the keynote address to the first annual Mom Congress on Education and Learning produced by Parenting magazine and Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies on May 3. He emphasized the crucial role that parents play in helping implement America’s education goals for improving the country’s schools and the educational opportunities available to the nation’s children. He also said, “In communities where adults need better literacy and language skills, more schools should be running family literacy programs where adult education classes take place after hours—with transportation and child care provided so students can study at school.” Secretary Duncan cited the Springdale, Ark., Toyota Family Literacy Program funded by the National Center for Family Literacy. The program primarily serves Latino and immigrant parents in eight schools. Each parent spends at least two hours a week in class with her or his child learning model literacy practices for use at home. The reading scores of both children and their parents have risen significantly as a result. The administration’s proposal for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) would double funding under Title I for family engagement to $270 million. It also would allow states to use $145 million of existing Title I funds to establish a Family Engagement and Responsibility Fund to support outstanding local family involvement programs.
“In communities where adults need better literacy and language skills, more schools should be running family literacy programs where adult education classes take place after hours—with transportation and child care provided so students can study at school.” -Secretary Duncan Speech at Mom Congress on Education and Learning
Workforce Strategy Center Report on Green Jobs
The Workforce Strategy Center (WSC) published a report in May 2010 that examines the realities of “green jobs.” Building Effective Green Energy Programs in Community Colleges examines how community colleges leading the field in green energy education are grappling with issues such as the small number of green jobs that currently exist or are likely to exist in the near future, the marginal demand within green energy sectors for lower-skilled workers, and the still-evolving credentials and competencies across the industry and among employers. The report “makes the case that community colleges should be substantially involved in training low-income individuals, especially the low-skilled, if in fact the goal is to help them lead self-sustaining lives.” WSC’s aim is “to help community colleges across the country navigate a path forward through evolving terrain as they develop green energy education and training programs for low-income populations.” WSC argues, “Their success will enable national and state policies incentivizing growth in the green economy to propel disadvantaged people towards family-supporting employment. WSC “undertook this study in the fall of 2009 and published it in collaboration with Green For All, a nonprofit organization working to build an inclusive green economy. It was commissioned by Living Cities, an innovative philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, to inform its Green Sector Jobs initiative.”
Comments Sought for Next Round of CTE Programs of Study Grants
On May 27, 2010, OVAE published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Priorities, Requirements and Selection Criteria (NPP) for its upcoming discretionary grant competition, “Career and Technical Education--Promoting Rigorous Programs of Study” (RPOS). The competition aims to encourage states to develop and implement career and technical education programs of study that link secondary and postsecondary education and to combine academic education with career and technical education in a structured sequence of courses. The courses should progress from helping students develop broad foundation skills to more occupationally specific skills. The program also aims to offer students opportunities to earn postsecondary credits for courses taken in high school that lead to a postsecondary credential, certificate, or degree.
OVAE will provide specific information about the upcoming competition shortly. In the meantime, states that may be interested in applying for the next round of RPOS grants should review the Federal Register notice carefully as it contains important information that will be relevant to the next competition. The public has until June 28, 2010, to comment on the NPP.