April 12, 2002
...a bi-weekly update on U.S. Department of Education activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community
NCLB UPDATE: TOUR AND NEW WEB SITE LAUNCHED
On Tuesday, April 8, Secretary Paige kicked-off his 25-city "No Child Left Behind" Tour Across America with a visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Joining Olympic Gold Medalist Tristan Gale and Tejano songstress Stefani Montiel, the Secretary declared, "I'll take this message of 'No Child Left Behind' and what's in it for children, parents, teachers, and principals into town hall meetings, school libraries, barber shops and beauty parlors, shopping centers, factory lunch rooms, and senior citizens centers all over this country" (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/media/news/040802.html). A day later, flanked by Olympic Silver Medalist Shannon Bahrke and Atlanta Falcons running back Bob Christian, he reached out to Atlanta parents about the importance of the new law and asked for their help in improving local schools. "For education to be transformed and schools to be improved, parents must let their local schools know they support this bipartisan law," the Secretary explained. "Parents must expect the law to be implemented and do their part to help teachers -- and track their school's improvement" (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/media/news/040902.html). Then, on April 11, he returned to Washington, DC, and stood with Washington Redskins all-pro cornerback Darrell Green and National Council of Negro Women chair Dorothy Height (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/media/news/041102.html). (The next stop, in Las Vegas on April 17, is slated in conjunction with a meeting of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.)
Along the way, Secretary Paige unveiled a number of new Department resources to help educate the public on the No Child Left Behind Act. First is a one-stop website, http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/, consolidating the most recent news and information surrounding the law. The website includes sections on key dates to remember (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/next/key/), frequently asked questions and answers (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/next/faqs/), and what is happening in the states . There are also one-page fact sheets on a slew of topics, ranging from "The Facts About Reading Achievement" to "The Facts About Good Teachers" (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/start/facts/). Second, as featured on Fox News, the "No Child Left Behind" toolkit (parts of which are at http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/parents/) offers an interactive CD and guidebooks on "What to Know and Where to Go" to answer questions and find resources. Finally, a toll-free number (1-888-814-NCLB) has been dedicated to address concerns.
No Child Left Behind Act funds are quickly becoming available. For example, last week, Secretary Paige announced applications for the $900 million Reading First state grant program, which aims to assist schools in improving K-3 reading instruction (and, thereby, children's reading achievement) based on methods proven by rigorous scientific reading research (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/04-2002/04022002.html). The joint ED-NSF Mathematics and Science Partnerships initiative intends to unite school districts with math, science, engineering, and education faculties of colleges and universities and other individuals with an interest in improving student achievement in these subjects (http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/msp/mathandsciencepp.asp). The Dropout Prevention program supports coordinated, effective, and sustainable school dropout prevention and re-entry programs in high schools with an annual dropout rate greater than the state average -- and in feeder middle schools. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GRANTS, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/.
PREPARING AMERICA'S FUTURE
The next Satellite Town Meeting (April 16, 8:00-9:00 EST) will explore how communities across the nation are working to ensure all high school students possess the academic and technical skills necessary to successfully transition to college and enter meaningful careers. No matter what type of degree or certification, or what type of school, continuing education past high school graduation is the key to expanding individual career opportunities and success in the 21st century economy. Yet, there are still millions of high school youth who are reading at very low levels, and too many students need to take remedial courses during their first-year of college -- with almost half dropping out by the end of their second year. During the hour, Undersecretary of Education Gene Hickok and his guests will discuss such issues as: (1) How do we teach reading to high school youth and improve their literacy skills?; (2) In what ways can internships, project-based learning, and technology enrich the high school curriculum?; and (3) What types of student support mechanisms and programs are successful in helping all students meet academic standards upon graduation? And YOU can be part of the discussion by calling a toll-free number during the live broadcast or submitting a question instantly online (see http://www.connectlive.com/events/edtownmeetings/). (You can also watch the live and archived webcasts at the same address.) FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=154.
HIGH SCHOOL SYMPOSIUM
Speaking of high school, the Department's Office of Vocational and Adult Education released eight commissioned papers at its "Preparing America's Future: High School Symposium" at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Among the thought-provoking titles: "Re-conceptualizing Extra Help for High School Students in a High Standards Era," "Aligning Education and the Knowledge Economy," and "What Role Can Dual Enrollment Play in Easing the Transition Between High School and Postsecondary Education?." Several of the papers discuss the federal role (if any) in spurring high school reform. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/offices/OVAE/HS/commisspap.html. (Note: You can watch the archived webcast at http://www.nccte.org/events/profdevseries/20020404PAF1/.)
EARLY CHILDHOOD ANNOUNCEMENT
On April 2, President Bush announced a new initiative to boost early childhood education for millions of America's youngest children. "Good Start, Grow Smart" will:
In response, the Education Department will (1) host regional Early Childhood Educator Academies to share research on early childhood cognitive development and spotlight ways that administrators can best use that knowledge and (2) sponsor an annual Sunshine Schools and Initiatives recognition program to draw attention to effective state and local preschool efforts. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/earlychildhood/ AND http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/04-2002/04042002a.html.
According to a new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the consequences of college drinking are much larger and more destructive than commonly realized. Indeed, drinking by college students (ages 18-24) contributes to an estimated 1,400 student deaths, 500,000 injuries, and 70,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape each year. Moreover, more than one-fourth of college students have driven in the past year while under the influence. What to do? The study outlines a "3-in-1 Framework" to help colleges and universities design prevention programs that target students as a whole, the college and its surrounding environment, and the individual at-risk or alcohol-dependent drinker. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/. (Secretary Paige's statement on the study is available at http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/04-2002/04092002a.html.)
QUOTE TO NOTE
"For 'No Child Left Behind' to work, we need the energy, enthusiasm, and expectations of parents. We need them to tell their local schools, their state officials, and their elected representatives that this law doesn't just increase the resources, it also expects results.... If no child is to be left behind, it means every American must take a stand to get involved and change the culture and expectations we have for every school. And the most important help of all will be parents who care, parents who read with their children, and parents who are informed so they can get their child the very best education possible."
-- Secretary of Education Rod Paige (4/8/02)
Register now for the Department's fourth annual National Charter School Conference, June 19-22 in Milwaukee. This year's conference, subtitled "Gaining Momentum for Choice: The Next Decade of Charter Schools in America," celebrates the tenth anniversary of charter schools on the national stage. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.conferencepros.org/pastconferences.htm.
Also, charter school leaders and supports are gearing up for the nation's third annual National Charter Schools Week (April 29-May 3). FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.charterfriends.org/csweek.html. (A state-by-state listing of events is available at http://www.charterfriends.org/csweek-events.html.)
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