Press Room NEWSLETTERS
September 14, 2018

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...
Hurricane Florence
Back to School Tour
G20 Ministerial Meeting
Federal Student Aid
NAGB Nominations
Odds and Ends
Quote to Note
Upcoming Events

Hurricane Florence

In anticipation of the severe impacts of Hurricane Florence, the Department has activated its emergency response contact center. Education stakeholders seeking informational resources, as well as those seeking relief from agency-based administrative requirements, may contact the Department at 1-844-348-4082 or HurricaneRelief@ed.gov. The agency is also posting relevant information on its Disaster Relief web page.

Moreover, the Department has directed federal student loan servicers to provide impacted borrowers flexibility in managing their loan payments during this time. Borrowers may contact their servicer directly or call 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to find out their servicer's contact information.

The full extent of Florence's impact will not be known for some time, but the agency will remain in close contact with its state and local partners.

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Back to School Tour

This week, as part of the Department's "Rethink School" back to school tour, senior officials traveled to more than 40 states to highlight the Administration's key initiatives and meet with educators who are challenging the status quo and taking innovative approaches to student learning.

Among the tour stops:

  • Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan visited Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School in Milwaukee, learning about the school's anti-bullying program. He also visited Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis, learning about the school's unique teaching and learning environment. "All students learn differently, so we need to foster learning environments that meet the individual needs of students rather than use a one-size-fits-all approach," he said. "We have worked with states to ensure their plans meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) while embracing the flexibility the law allows. We're excited about what we are seeing and hearing under this new flexibility."

  • Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Johnny Collett traveled across New England, visiting schools focused on supporting all students—including those with disabilities.

  • Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education Scott Stump visited the National Center for Aviation Training in Wichita, Kansas, to tour the facility, meet with students and administrators, and participate in a roundtable discussion with students and faculty. From aviation maintenance to robotics technology, the center delivers training for a range of jobs critical to all phases of aircraft manufacturing. High school students have the opportunity to earn a technical certificate in aviation production/maintenance that prepares them for employment in aviation.

  • Assistant Deputy Secretary for English Language Acquisition José Viana traveled to Wyoming, visiting Afflerbach Elementary School, Johnson Junior High School, and South High School in Cheyenne (all part of the Laramie County School District). He met with students, teachers, administrators, and top community leaders. He also held a roundtable discussion with parents.

  • White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Executive Director Johnathan Holifield traveled to Kentucky State University and met with HBCU presidents and students, business and industry leaders, and elected officials. The initiative also announced 63 students from 54 HBCUs selected as 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars—its highest student recognition.

Also, extending the tour beyond the mainland, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Executive Director Aimee Viana will visit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands next week.

Throughout the tour, senior officials, the Department, and local schools were using #RethinkSchool, sharing photos and notes about their stops.

Unfortunately, due to the passing of her father-in-law, Secretary DeVos had to postpone her tour stops. She still intends to conduct her tour at a later date. ED Review will cover her stops in a subsequent issue.

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G20 Ministerial Meeting

Last week, Secretary DeVos traveled to South America, visiting schools in Chile and Argentina to learn about their approaches to career and technical education and leading the U.S. delegation at the first-ever meeting of Group of 20 (G20) Education Ministers and first-ever joint meeting of G20 Education and Employment Ministers.

"This gathering provides an important opportunity to learn from each other, acknowledging the vital link between education and the economy," she said in her remarks at the G20 Education Ministerial Meeting. "Here, we can discuss our respective challenges, and, importantly, discuss ways to improve education for all students on their lifelong learning journeys as they prepare for today's and tomorrow's careers. Indeed, education and the economy are indivisible, especially given the interconnectedness of the world today. In the U.S., we are focused on expanding pathways to success. We recognize that a dynamic and changing economy requires dynamic and changing approaches to education."

The declaration of the G20 Education Ministerial Meeting reaffirms the unique role of education as a key driver of fair and sustainable development, acknowledging the need to place education "at the center of the global agenda." Agreed to by all G20 members countries, the document stresses the "transformative power and cross-cutting nature of education," an essential tool to address global challenges and contribute to the pursuit of dialogue, consensus, cooperation, and collaboration. With respect to the future of work—one of the priorities defined by the Argentine G20 presidency—the declaration calls for promoting "multiple and flexible pathways into lifelong education and training that enhance the linkage and transition between all educational levels" and for adopting curricula that are highly responsive to evidence-based practices and future employment trends.

The declaration of the G20 Education and Employment Ministerial Meeting underlines the importance of creating coordinated education and employment policies to address the future of work. It recognizes that technological innovation, along with other social, economic, and environmental transformations, is profoundly affecting the future of work and explains that these trends bring challenges and opportunities that require developing new skills through an inclusive and lifelong learning approach, so as to adapt to new scenarios. In the appendix to the declaration, G20 ministers make 22 proposals, including promoting basic skills, fostering science and technology-related skills, and promoting entrepreneurship and "21st century skills," such as critical thought, creativity, problem-solving, communication, flexibility, and collaboration.

"This was a really important step for the G20 to take, to elevate education," the Secretary told reporters in a conference call after the summit. "Without education, nothing else really follows. Education is really the foundation for everything."

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Federal Student Aid

The 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) will be available starting October 1. Both new and returning students who plan to attend college between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. To assist students and parents in the process, the Department's Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) is penning informative blog posts, starting with "7 Things You'll Need Before You Fill Out the FAFSA Form and "3 Types of FAFSA Deadlines You Should Pay Attention To."

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool returns with the new FAFSA, allowing students to import tax information directly into the FAFSA form.

The next free FSA webinar, "FAFSA Process: Filling Out the FAFSA Form" (September 25, 4-5 p.m. Eastern Time), will offer tips to help students and families along the way of completing the FAFSA.

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NAGB Nominations

The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), is seeking nominations for seven open positions—business representative, Chief State School Officer, curriculum specialist, twelfth-grade teacher, local school superintendent, state school board member, and testing and measurement expert—by October 31. Candidates can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. All nominations must include the nominee's personal statement, his or her resume or curriculum vitae, and at least one letter of support.

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Odds and Ends

  • In a tweet, Secretary DeVos declared, "Let me be clear. I have no intention of taking any action concerning the purchase of firearms or firearms training for school staff under the [Elementary and Secondary Education Act]. Congress did not authorize me or the Department to make those decisions."

  • A timely #RethinkSchool Homeroom blog recaps how a Florida teacher supported students displaced by Hurricane Maria.

  • On September 7, the Department of Health and Human Services posted the announcement for the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) funding opportunity. This initial, one-year grant differs significantly from the Preschool Development Grants that are currently funded. The PDG B-5 grant targets comprehensive, statewide birth-through-age-five needs assessments, strategic planning, parent choice and knowledge about mixed delivery systems, and sharing best practices prior to implementation of any quality initiatives. (Note: Applications are due by November 6.)

  • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Director Mark Schneider is considering some changes for IES's Fiscal Year 2020 requests for research applications.

  • "Education at a Glance," the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) annual report, compares education systems in 35 member countries and a number of partner countries using a range of indicators, such as student participation and achievement, public and private spending, conditions for students and educators, and the state of lifelong learning.

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Quote to Note

"On Patriot Day, we honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 precious lives we lost on September 11, 2001, and of every hero who has given their life since that day to protect our safety and our freedom. We come together, today, to recall this timeless truth: when America is united, no force on Earth can break us apart. Our values endure; our people thrive; our Nation prevails; and the memory of our loved ones never fades.... On September 11, 2001, the world came to understand the true source of America's strength: a people of an indomitable will and a society rooted in the timeless values of liberty. Our love of country was made manifest through the examples of Americans engaging in countless acts of courage, grit, and selflessness. Their actions gave us hope and helped to sustain us in the days of healing that followed.... We pray for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen currently serving our Nation in harm's way. We thank the dedicated men and women who keep our homeland safe and secure. We applaud the unsung patriots in city halls, community centers, and places of worship across our country, whose simple acts of kindness define the greatness of America."

        President Donald Trump (9/10/18), in a proclamation commemorating 9/11

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Upcoming Events

Given the significant threat of Hurricane Florence, the Department postponed the opening of the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards student art exhibit until November 15. On that date, the agency will hold a joint opening of winning works from Scholastic and student works from arts education programs at 15 member museums of the Association of Art Museum Directors. To RSVP to attend or learn more about the Department's year-round exhibit program, please contact Jacquelyn.Zimmermann@ed.gov.

National Preparedness Month—observed each September—is a reminder that everyone must take action to prepare for emergencies. This year's theme is "Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How." Tomorrow (September 15) is a National Day of Action, an opportunity to prepare for hazards with drills, exercises, and group discussions.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 20 (primary date) or October 3 (secondary date). The WEA portion of the test (via cell phones) will commence at 2:18 p.m. ET; the EAS portion of the test (via television and radio) will follow at 2:20 p.m. ET. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.

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Last Modified: 09/14/2018