Press Room NEWSLETTERS
May 13, 2016

ED Review ... ...a bi-weekly update on U.S. Department of Education activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community and other stakeholders

What's inside...
Teacher Appreciation Week
Beyond the Box
Civil Rights Report
Presidential Scholars
FAFSA Completion Tool
Odds and Ends
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

Teacher Appreciation Week

Throughout Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6), the Administration celebrated the vital role that teachers play in supporting students and strengthening the future of the nation.

The signature event—on Teacher Appreciation Day (May 3)—was a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, where President Obama honored not only the National Teacher of the Year and State Teachers of the Year but hundreds of educators from across the country. "Every year on this day, we say publicly as a country what we should be eager to say every day of the year, and that is thank you," the President said in his remarks. "That's what this event is about. That's why it is one of my favorites. It's a good day with all of you here in Washington to say thank you for the extraordinary work that teachers do all across the country. It's also, I guess, a pretty good day for substitute teachers because we got a lot of teachers playing hooky today."

Corresponding with the event, several individuals penned blogs, including:

That same day, the White House and the Department issued a report highlighting the educational progress since the President took office—from raising the high school graduation rate and reducing the number of dropouts, to raising academic standards to prepare students for college and careers, to expanding the availability of high-quality preschool and digitally connecting America's classrooms. The pace and scale of change in America's educational system would not have been possible without the committed work of educators at every level—from classroom teachers to Chief State School Officers. The White House also announced new actions to support excellent educators, including further commitments toward reaching the President's goal of preparing 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021 (fact sheet).

Also, the Department announced it is collaborating with ASCD and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) to provide direct support to teachers to strengthen professional development and improve student outcomes. Through the Teacher Impact Grants (TIG) program from ASCD, teachers will be able to develop, expand, and evaluate promising practices and programs that may transform the academic trajectory of students. The grants build on work by the Teach to Lead initiative, jointly led by the Department, ASCD, and NBPTS to cultivate the expertise of teachers (press release).

Next, on May 4, Department staff—many of them former teachers—called thousands of teachers to express their gratitude.

Then, on May 6, the Department hosted a National Summit on Teacher Diversity and released a report on trends in the diversity of educators. The report notes a lack of racial diversity among teachers nationwide. Less than one in five public school teachers—18%—are individuals of color, while approximately half of public school students—49%—are individuals of color. The report also reveals decreasing diversity at multiple points along the "teacher pipeline," including postsecondary education, teacher preparation programs, hiring, and retention. The report serves as a call to action for stakeholders to do more to support teachers of color, so that students can yield the benefits of a diverse teaching force.

Don't miss these additional teacher-themed blog posts:

Top


Beyond the Box

This week, speaking at the University of California at Los Angeles, Secretary King urged the nation's colleges and universities to remove barriers that can prevent the estimated 70 million citizens with criminal records from pursuing higher education, including considering the chilling effect of inquiring early in the application process whether prospective students have ever been arrested. "We believe in second chances, and we believe in fairness," the Secretary said. "The college admissions process shouldn't serve as a roadblock to opportunity, but should serve as a gateway to unlocking untapped potential of students" (press call audio and transcript).

In follow-up to his call, the Secretary issued a Dear Colleague letter to college and university leaders. Also, the Department released a resource guide, which encourages promising alternatives to inquiring about criminal histories during college admissions, offers recommendations to support a more holistic review of applicants, and presents strategies for supporting postsecondary persistence and completion for justice-involved individuals (fact sheet).

Some of the nation's largest university systems—such as the University of California—do not collect criminal justice information as part of the application process. Others, like New York University, review criminal involvement only after preliminary admissions decisions have been made. Research suggests that schools that admit students with a criminal justice history have no greater crime than those that do not.

Top


Civil Rights Report

The Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published its Fiscal Year 2015 annual report, detailing efforts during the past year to protect students' civil rights and increase educational equity nationwide. The report, "Delivering Justice," cites examples of OCR's enforcement activities, including processing a record 10,392 civil rights complains, opening more than 3,000 investigations, and reaching more than 1,000 substantive resolutions with schools that included with remedies or changes designed to protect students' civil rights. Among the notable case profiled are those related to equitable access to courses and educational opportunities, racial harassment, equal opportunity for English Learners, bullying and harassment, accessible technology for students with disabilities, and sexual harassment and violence. Also covered in the report is OCR's work to provide technical assistance to schools, engage with stakeholders, administer the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), and develop policy guidance on civil rights issues. Later this year, OCR plans to release the 2013-14 CRDC, a collection of data from all public schools and districts.

Top


Presidential Scholars

On May 4, Secretary King announced the 2016 class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. This program was established by Executive Order in 1964 to honor academic achievement by graduating high school seniors. It was expanded in 1979 to honor students in the arts and just last year to honor students in career and technical education (CTE). Each year, up to 161 students are named, including at least one young man and woman from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American families living abroad. Another 15 students are chosen at-large, 20 students are scholars in the arts, and 20 students are scholars in CTE. More than 5,600 candidates qualified on the basis of outstanding ACT or SAT scores or through nominations by Chief State School Officers, partner organizations, or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts competition. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars—appointed by the President—selects the finalists based on their academic success, school evaluations, transcripts, and essays, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Scholars will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 19.

Top


FAFSA Completion Tool

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion Tool was created to help financial aid professionals, school administrators, and guidance counselors track and increase FAFSA completion. The tool—updated weekly through June—provides every high school whose students have completed five or more FAFSAs with information about how many applications were submitted and completed for the application year, as well as comparison data from past application years. This year, for the first time, the tool also provides FAFSA completion rates for school districts, allowing communities to tailor communications, support, and counseling to students while helping schools monitor their progress.

Top


Odds and Ends

  • The Department posted an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

  • On May 12, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning Libby Doggett participated in the unveiling of the National Institute for Early Education Research's (NIEER) latest "State of Preschool Report," covering the 2014-15 school year. Earlier, the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services issued a policy statement that sets a vision and provides recommendations to states, districts, schools, and early childhood programs for implementing effective family engagement policies and practices to improve outcomes for young children from birth through third-grade.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative announced five finalists under the Reach Higher Career App Challenge, a prize competition to promote the development of mobile app solutions that will help students navigate educational and career pathways, including CTE.

  • The Administration is demonstrating an enhanced commitment to promote career pathways, providing updated information and resources from an expanded federal partnership to help states, regions, local entities, and tribal communities integrate service delivery across multiple funding streams (blog post).

  • The Department's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) launched the first phase of its web site redesign project, featuring a contemporary, mobile-friendly renovation.

  • An annual National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, "Indicators of School Crime and Safety," presents statistics on crime and safety at K-12 schools and higher education institutions, covering topics such as victimization, school conditions, discipline, safety and security measures, and criminal incidents.

  • The Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) is seeking applications for $65 million in grants to as many as 20 charter management organizations (CMOs).

  • The Forum for Youth Investment's study, "Transforming Government, Transforming Communities," shines a light on the critical roles frontline federal staff play in helping communities implement place-based initiatives, while a related blog post shares how place-based work is transforming rural Kentucky so students do not have to leave to succeed.

Top


Quote to Note

"I urge you to remember that there is so much promise in every young child, in every school, and in every community. Whether your path leads you to become business leaders, doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, or engineers, we need your purpose to turn that promise into reality. We need you to be actively engaged in the community, to take that young person aside who is struggling in your family or in your neighborhood and tell them that you believe in them and then mentor them, guide them, and help them to achieve their dreams—just as others have supported you in your pursuit of your dreams.... Let your purpose keep you moving forward, as you apply the wisdom and knowledge you have earned here. We need you. The country needs you. And I'm so honored and thrilled to congratulate you all!"

        Secretary of Education John King (4/30/16), from his Florida A&M University commencement address

Top


Upcoming Events

Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative contracting and financial model that tests and advances proven and promising interventions, while providing funds for successful outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. The Department will host a Pay for Success (PFS) convening on June 10 in Washington, D.C., bringing together state and local education leaders and policymakers, foundations, funders, non-profit organizations, and PFS experts to explore opportunities and applications. The event is primarily invitation only; to request an invitation, please send a message with a short statement on why you would like to attend and your professional affiliation to PFS@ed.gov by May 20 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

On June 14, the White House Council on Women and Girls will host the Summit on the United State of Women in Washington, D.C., celebrating the progress made to improve the lives of women and girls and showcasing innovative solutions to the obstacles they face.

Through July 15, submissions are open for the third White House Student Film Festival. This year's theme is "The World I Want to Live In." K-12 students are asked to tell a story about what they hope the future will hold. Films cannot be more than three minutes. The official selections will be featured on the White House web site and shared across the world via official social media accounts, and students may have a chance to attend the film festival at the White House.

Top


Credits, Subscribe & Unsubscribe

ED Review is a product of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Communications and Outreach, State and Local Engagement—Lindsay O'Mara, Deputy Assistant Secretary

To be added or removed from distribution or submit comments (we welcome your feedback!), please contact Managing Director Adam Honeysett at (202) 401-3003 or Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov. Or, visit http://www2.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edreview/.


This newsletter contains hypertext links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user's convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Furthermore, the inclusion of links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered, on these sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.

Top




   
Last Modified: 05/13/2016