April 26, 2002
...a bi-weekly update on U.S. Department of Education activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community
NCLB UPDATE: REGIONAL MEETINGS AND STATE FLEX
For the most recent news and information, visit http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/.
As part of his effort to partner with state and local leaders on the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, Secretary Paige recently announced regional meetings to educate the public about the critical need for challenging content standards and high-quality assessments, as well as to give parties the opportunity to comment on new rules for Title I. The one-day meetings will take place May 6 in Cincinnati, May 7 in Atlanta, May 13 in San Diego, and May 16 in Little Rock. The date and exact location (New York City metropolitan area) of the fifth meeting will be announced shortly. Each meeting consists of two sessions: the morning session (9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon) will include presentations from fellow educators who have successfully adopted standards and assessment systems in their communities and researchers with experience studying high-quality assessments; during the afternoon session (1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.), officials will receive public comment on proposed Title I regulations.
Meanwhile, the Department is seeking public comment on the State-Flex program, which proposes to give up to seven states the authority to consolidate and focus state-level funds under several major elementary and secondary education
NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR
During a Rose Garden ceremony with President Bush, Chauncey Veatch, a ninth- through twelfth-grade social studies teacher at Coachella Valley (California) High School, was named National Teacher of the Year -- the 52nd recipient of the nation's top teaching honor. The National Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc., designates an outstanding representative of the country's teachers from among the 56 State Teachers of the Year (representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense, and four territories -- see http://www.ccsso.org/projects/national_teacher_of_the_year/National_Teachers/). During the year of recognition, starting June 1, the winner serves as a spokesperson for the entire teaching profession, addressing colleagues, the business community, government officials, parents, and students at forums and meetings across the country. Veatch was selected by a panel of educators representing the 15 leading national education organizations. The other three finalists were from Connecticut, Florida, and Kansas. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/04/20020424-1.html. (Note: May 7 is National Teacher Day. May 5-11 is Teacher Appreciation Week.)
Continuing the pursuit of research as the foundation for education programs and classroom instruction, the Education Department will collaborate with the Council for Excellence in Government's Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy on an initiative investigating how the agency can most effectively advance evidence-based approaches in federal education policy. According to Russ Whitehurst, Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement, "The success of federal education programs depends ultimately on the ability to evaluate which programs are working as intended and which are not.... The coalition has brought together representatives from various disciplines and areas of policy to provide an independent analysis of how the Department can use its authority strategically and effectively to embed the collection and use of evidence in all of its programs." Transforming education into an evidence-based field is one of six goals in the Department's strategic plan (http://www.ed.gov/about/reports/strat/plan2002-07/). FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/04-2002/04242002a.html.
Over the last two weeks, a number of senior officers have testified before the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations. On April 17, Assistant Secretaries Susan Neuman (Elementary and Secondary Education), Bob Pasternack (Special Education and Rehabilitative Services), and Russ Whitehurst offered remarks on "Foundations for Learning." On April 24, Maria Hernandez Ferrier, the newly appointed Director of English Language Acquisition, and Assistant Secretaries Neuman, Pasternack, Sally Stroup (Postsecondary Education), and Whitehurst discussed the topic of "Teacher Recruitment, Preparation, and Development." On April 25, Assistant Secretaries Carol D'Amico (Vocational and Adult Education), Neuman, Pasternack, Stroup, and Whitehurst tackled "High Schools and Transition into the Workforce." Each bit of testimony provides an overview of programs and insight into administration ideology. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget03/.
Also: On April 23, Susan Neuman joined Undersecretary of Education Gene Hickok before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to testify on implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/04-2002/04232002.html). When asked about the number of schools that will be deemed "failing" next fall, the Undersecretary estimated 3,000 to 5,000. (A definitive answer will be available by the end of May.)
DEALING WITH TRAUMA
Did you miss "The Three R's to Dealing with Trauma in Schools: Readiness, Response, and Recovery," a live satellite television and webcast training session sponsored earlier this week (April 23) by the Department's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Los Angeles-based Prevention Institute, and the Education Development Center of Newton, MA? The presentation, moderated by former court judge (and current advisor to the Secretary) Eric Andell, aimed to help viewers understand the benefits of mental health services in schools and the importance of incorporating mental health into school safety plans. In-studio experts, including Marleen Wong (director of mental health services for Los Angeles Unified School District) and Pamela Cantor (president of the Children's Mental Health Alliance), spotlighted elements of mental health services related to trauma, as well as school-based models for readiness, response, and recovery. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.walcoff.com/prevention/.
UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION
During the recent World Bank meetings in Washington, DC, international finance ministers approved an ambitious plan to "ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling." To start, 10 poor nations that have been making progress on education (like Bangladesh and Tanzania) could receive nearly $1 billion in aid to implement local education strategies. Eventually, the World Bank plans grants for all 88 developing countries it considers having significant numbers of unschooled children. Between the ages of 5 and 11, about 125 million children, or about one in five in poor nations, do not attend school. More than three-quarters live in African or South Asian nations, and more than two-thirds are girls. "We will never be able to eradicate poverty without delivering on education," argued Norway Development Minister Hilde Johnson. "We will never be able to halve the number of the world's poor without delivering on education. We will never be able to deliver in terms of economic growth without delivering on education." FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.developmentgoals.org/education.htm. (The Department's Office of International Affairs, at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OUS/PES/international_ed.html), has a list of the agency's international activities.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"A good teacher instills in their students a life-long interest in learning. A good teacher gives young people a sense of their own possibilities, along with a respect for themselves and for others. To paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes, the greatest teacher makes others believe in greatness. And they leave a lasting mark on the lives around them. Teachers are indispensable. We ask a lot from them -- and teachers are right to expect a lot from us."
-- President George W. Bush (4/24/02)
The Department's next Satellite Town Meeting, on early childhood education, is planned for May 21. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=155.
"Exploring the Future of Learning," a ThinkQuest Live (http://www.thinkquestlive.org/) event July 20-21 in Seattle, is a unique, hands-on exploration of today's emerging and most promising technologies and pedagogies. It combines an interactive technology and learning laboratory ("Exploratory") with a series of in-depth discussions facilitated by a group of renowned thinkers ("Symposium").
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
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