March 29, 2002
...a bi-weekly update on U.S. Department of Education activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community
NCLB UPDATE: CLOSING THE GAP
Today and in future issues, this section of ED Review will highlight developments surrounding the No Child Left Behind Act, the historic elementary and secondary education reauthorization bill signed by President Bush last January. For the most recent news and information, see http://www.ed.gov/nclb/.
On March 19, Secretary Paige and Dorothy Height, the chair of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), announced a "Partnership for Academic Achievement" aimed at closing the achievement gap between African-American students and their white peers. Over the next three years, the partnership will:
Finally, by working through established Equity Assistance Centers, the partnership will ensure that each child's progress is tracked and that outcomes are properly measured at the community level. "It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the esteemed Dr. Height on this important project," Secretary Paige said. "I am especially grateful that she is announcing the gift of her time, dedication, and expertise to the children of America at a time when we should be giving gifts to her: Dr. Height will celebrate her 90th birthday later this week!" FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/03-2002/03192002.html.
WHAT WORKS CLEARINGHOUSE
The Department's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) is seeking proposals to develop a national, web-based clearinghouse that summarizes programs and strategies proven to be effective in improving education. Claims of effectiveness will be assessed with respect to the quality, quantity, and relevance of evidence, as well as magnitude of effects of interventions -- as determined through reviews of research. A core expectation is that the products in the registry can be adopted by a significant number of practitioners throughout the nation. Therefore, the system designed under the contract must ensure that listings have high potential for transportability to many other settings. The use of research-proven strategies is one of the key principles of the No Child Left Behind Act. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.eps.gov/spg/ED/OCFO/CPO/ED-02-R-0009/listing.html. (Note: The RFP will close on or about May 9, 2002.)
ED TECH FUNDS
The Education Department is publicizing the availability of funds under the new "Enhancing Education Through Technology" program. The goals of the program are to improve student achievement through the use of technology in elementary and secondary schools; assist students in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that they are technologically literate by the time they finish the eighth-grade; and ensure that teachers are able to integrate technology into the curriculum to improve achievement. (Note: This program consolidates several education technology programs, including Technology Literacy Challenge Funds and Technology Innovation Challenge Grants.) Once a state application is approved -- see http:// www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SST/edtech.html for details on applying as part of the consolidated state application or applying through an individual application -- states receive formula grants, then allocate half of the funds to districts by formula and the remainder competitively to high-need districts and/or consortia in partnership with an entity having expertise in integrating technology. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/03-2002/03222002b.html.
On March 21, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee heard testimony from Robert Pasternack, the Department's Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. "From Reading First...to the Title I accountability provisions...the No Child Left Behind Act makes great strides in improving educational opportunities for students with disabilities," he explained. "With these and other changes in place, we must now turn our attention to the IDEA and determine what we need to do to further improve the law." Among the challenges cited: preparing both regular and special education personnel ("The successful implementation of the IDEA is perhaps most critically dependent on the quality of the people who implement the principles contained in the law..."); making sure that children with disabilities are part of accountability systems; providing research and assistance on alternate assessments and appropriate accommodations ("For example, curriculum and assessment materials can be designed for maximum flexibility by allowing information to be presented in a variety of visual or auditory modes..."); lowering the dropout rate and boosting the graduation rate of students with disabilities; and ensuring the proper identification of children with disabilities ("We know...that many are classified as such because of the lack of effective reading instruction using scientifically based instructional approaches..."). What about mandatory funding? "What we need to do is identify what works," he said. "It is not always about money." FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/Speeches/03-2002/20020321.html. (See also the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education at http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whspecialeducation/.)
NEW ASSISTANT SECRETARY
Sally Stroup has been sworn in as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. As the Secretary's principal advisor on all higher education matters, she will coordinate Department programs relating to financial assistance for eligible students enrolled in colleges and universities and recommend policies to recruit and prepare disadvantaged students to enroll and complete postsecondary educational programs. Before accepting her current post, Stroup served as the Director of Industry and Government Affairs for the Apollo Group/University of Phoenix. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/03-2002/03202002a.html.
Also: On the same day, Susan Bonesteel (Region VI -- Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas; http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/03-2002/03182002b.html) and Mary Elizabeth Davidson Cohen (Region VII -- Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska; http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/03-2002/03182002a.html) were appointed Secretary's Regional Representatives (SRRs). SRRs serve as the Department's liaison to state and local education agencies, schools, colleges and universities, and state and local elected representatives. In addition, they disseminate information about Department programs and initiatives to key constituency groups, such as parents, members of the business community, and civic leaders. FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF SRRs, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/regions.html.
GLOBAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY WEEK
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (http://www.ostp.gov/) has joined with representatives from over 27 public and private organizations to coordinate activities for this year's Global Science and Technology Week (April 28-May 4). It is hoped that the week will ignite student interest in math and science by:
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ostp.gov/html/gstw.html. (Note: Current events and classroom activities will be posted online starting April 3.)
QUOTE TO NOTE
"Last month, we celebrated the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, and his words about the judgment of history often remind me of the significance of our task.... We cannot recover the years that were wasted on an education system that has failed so many children, but we can recast the future of that system. The No Child Left Behind Act shows us the way. If we earnestly enact its reforms and vigorously pursue its goals, we will create schools worthy of the next generation of Americans. It is our charge. It is our responsibility. It is our honor. And it is within our power. If we set our minds and our hearts to it, we shall nobly save the last best hope of earth."
-- Secretary of Education Rod Paige (3/13/02)
The Department's next Satellite Town Meeting, on improving high schools, is scheduled for April 16. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=154.
The Teaching American History Program (http://www.ed.gov/OII/portfolio/history.html) is conducting a series of outreach sessions in preparation for its 2002 grant competition, which will award $100 million in grants to local schools districts in partnership with providers of history expertise. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/offices/OII/portfolio/historyresources/outreach.html.
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
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