IDEA Determination Letters
CC Virtual Summit
Title IX Anniversary
Quote to Note
This week's National Summit on Supplemental Educational Services (SES) and Public School Choice was an opportunity for states, school districts, SES providers, comprehensive centers, parents, and federal staff to share strategies and tips for better implementing the SES and choice provisions of No Child Left Behind. At the event, Secretary Spellings released a study on the achievement of students participating in SES and school choice in nine large urban districts. "This report reinforces what I hear from parents from across the countrythat SES is helping more students achieve," she asserted. "SES is a lifeline for students who need more resources and for parents who want more options. And, research shows that students benefiting from SES are improving in both their reading and math skills." Among the study's findings:
- Participation in both Title I SES and school choice was highest in elementary grades. Indeed, for SES, 24% to 28% of eligible students in grades 2-5 participated, while fewer than 5% of eligible students in high school participated.
- African-American students had the highest rates of participation in SES and school choice, compared with other racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic students had higher rates than white students in SES but lower rates in school choice. Also, limited English proficient (LEP) students and students with disabilities had relatively high rates in SES and relatively low rates in school choice.
- Across seven of the districts (those with at least 100 participating students with test score data), student participants in SES experienced gains in reading and math achievement that were statistically significant. In many cases, students participating for two or more years experienced gains twice as large as those of students participating for one year.
The Department's No Child Left Behind reauthorization proposal seeks to expand SES and school choice by allowing schools to make tutoring available to students as soon as they know they need improvement; providing more funding for SES to students who need more help; and giving districts more discretion in using federal funding to inform parents of their options and to operate the program. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/choice/implementation/.
The Secretary previewed the study's findings when she touted SES in a USA Today op-ed. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/opeds/edit/2007/06202007.html.
Several Department grant competitions strategically invest in core academic subjects. For example, on June 14, the agency announced 52 school districts in 20 states received $8.7 million in grants to increase the number of American students learning foreign languages essential to commerce and national security. As part of President Bush's National Security Language Initiative (http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/competitiveness/nsli/), the grants will encourage students to study such languages as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, and Russian in programs from kindergarten to college. Currently, less than one percent of U.S. high school students study those languages, and only eight percent of U.S. undergraduates take any foreign language courses (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/06/06152007.html). Also, on June 21, the agency announced 122 districts in 40 states received $116 million to improve the quality of American history education. The Teaching American History program supports three-year projects to improve teachers' knowledge and understanding of traditional U.S. history through on-going professional development. All grantees must work in partnership with one or more organizations that have extensive background in American history, including libraries, museums, non-profit organizations, and institutions of higher education (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/06/06212007a.html).
IDEA Determination Letters
As required by statute, the Department recently issued determination letters regarding states' implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Each state was evaluated on key indicators under Part B (ages 3 through 21) and Part C (infants through age 2) and placed into one of four categories: meets requirements, needs assistance, needs intervention, and needs substantial intervention. Staff carefully considered states' Annual Performance Reports, information obtained through monitoring visits, and other public records. Overall, most states fell into the two middle categories. Nine states earned the highest rating for Part B, and 14 states earned the top rating for Part C. No states were in the lowest category on either part. For states in the lower categories, the IDEA identifies technical assistance or actions which the agency must take under specific circumstances. The Department will work with states that need assistance or intervention using its network of technical assistance centers. Determination letters will be issued annually. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/monitor/factsheet.html.
CC Virtual Summit
Yesterday (June 28), the Department hosted its second Virtual Summit on the Community College. Building upon the recommendations of the Secretary's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the event focused on four issues: the two-to-four-year transition, approaches for serving adults and working students, accountability, and leadership. A distinguished panel of community college leaders interacted with a live audience in Washington, D.C., and four downlink sites: Coastline Community College in California, Monroe Community College in New York, Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, and the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin. These institutions invited area colleges, high schools, businesses, community leaders, and policymakers to participate in the summit. The broadcast will be posted online in the next couple of weeks. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/cclo/.
Attention number crunchers!
- According to a survey commissioned by the Educational Testing Service, when clearly defined, there is strong public, parent, teacher, and administrator support for reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (although teachers and administrators are calling for major changes). Also, the greatest segment of respondents (45%) say the federal government should play a role in funding and accountability. For more information, please go to
- To help administrators pursue partnerships with business, DeHavilland Associates polled business coalitions on their activities, interests, and experiences in working with schools. Coalitions ranked workforce preparedness as their top priority, followed by graduation rates and mastery of basic skills. For more information, please go to http://www.dehavillandassociates.com/DeHavilland
- The National Council of Teacher Quality has unveiled a 51-volume report on how policies affecting the teaching profession (preparation, licensure, evaluation, and compensation) vary from state to state. A national summary draws 10 striking conclusions. For more information, please go to http://www.nctq.org/stpy/.
Title IX Anniversary
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of Title IX, the Department's Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Stephanie Monroe released a data-packed letter detailing the significant strides women have made in education since 1972. "While Title IX has attracted much attention in the areas of interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics, it profoundly affects all aspects of education far beyond the playing field," she said. Consider just a few of the statistics: from 1972 to 2005, the percentage of women who enrolled in college immediately after graduating from high school rose from 46% to 70%; between 1971-72 and 2004-05, the percentage of bachelor's degrees earned by women increased from 44% to 55%, with similar increases in master's (41%-59%) and doctoral (16%-49%) degrees; and, by 2004, 71% of female high school students had completed advanced-level biology, chemistry, and/or physics and 52% had completed advanced-level math. Yet, challenges remain. For instance, there is still a notable gap between the percentage of degrees awarded to men and women in almost all math and science fields. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague
Quote to Note
"Our ability to compete in the 21st century depends upon educating children just like the ones standing behind me.... As Presidential Scholars, you leave your high school with confidence in your ability, and you've got a great foundation for success. We want to make sure the same confidence is instilled in every single child that's getting out of high school. And so what can we do? First, we can make sure No Child Left Behind gets reauthorized."
|||President George W. Bush (6/25/07),
at the Presidential Scholars award ceremony
Over the next two weeks, the Department will be exhibiting at Baltimore's sixth annual African-American Heritage Festival (July 6-8); the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's annual convention in Detroit (July 7-12); the League of United Latin American Citizens' national convention in Chicago (July 9-14); the College Board's Advanced Placement annual conference in Las Vegas (July 11-15); and the American Federation of Teachers' QuEST (Quality Educational Standards in Teaching) conference in Washington, D.C. (July 12-15). If you are attending any of these events, please stop by the Department's booth.
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Please feel free to contact the Office of Communications and Outreach with any questions:
Director, Intergovernmental AffairsRogers Johnson, (202) 401-0026, Rogers.Johnson@ed.gov
Deputy DirectorMarcie Ridgway, (202) 401-6359, Marcie.Ridgway@ed.gov
Program AnalystAdam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003, Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov
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