November 9, 2001
...a bi-weekly update on Education Department activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community
CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY
Yesterday (November 8), Secretary Paige joined educators, business leaders, and policymakers in announcing the establishment of the National Center for Education Accountability, a collaborative effort to improve learning through the effective use of school and student data and the identification of best practices. The Center is a joint venture of Just for Kids, an Austin-based nonprofit organization that uses accountability data to examine and improve school performance; the University of Texas at Austin; and the Education Commission of the States, an interstate compact that helps state officials shape education policies. Associates will go into the schools, talk with teachers and administrators about their challenges, and observe the daily instructional strategies and leadership practices that have garnered success. "I would suggest that this time of change is an excellent chance for every school to examine its teaching methods, identify those that do not work, and replace them with better ones," the Secretary said. "Once accountability systems are in place in states around the country, I think parents and communities will have less patience for failing schools." FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ecs.org/ecsmain.asp?page=/clearinghouse/30/83/3083.htm. (Secretary Paige's remarks are available at http://www.ed.gov/Speeches/11-2001/011108.html.)
Looking for an excuse to celebrate next week? Three worthwhile recognition periods are scheduled for the week of November 11-17:
NCLB: WHAT IT MEANS FOR PARENTS
The next Satellite Town Meeting (November 20, 8:00-9:00 EST) aims to inform and prepare parents for the changes, legislative and otherwise, that will help the nation realize President Bush's vision of leaving no child behind in school. The centerpiece of the President's plan is a system of high standards, annual tests against those standards for every child in third- through eighth-grade, a system of accountability that makes schools responsible and provides parents with school report cards, and a commitment to doing what works, especially when it comes to teaching young children how to read. During the hour, Secretary Paige and his guests will discuss such themes as: (1) features of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation; (2) how testing can provide schools and parents with critical information; (3) how schools and districts will be held accountable for achieving results; and (4) how schools can use research-based approaches to improve learning. 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=150.
FINAL REPORT: MANAGEMENT REFORM
On October 30, capping a six-month process, Secretary Paige issued a detailed plan for transforming the Education Department into a high-performance organization and restoring public trust in the agency. The new "Blueprint for Management Excellence" sets goals for management improvements that will reduce possible abuse, fraud, and waste of taxpayer dollars, reduce the risk of errors, and permit effective monitoring of programs. In the area of financial management, the goal is to make improvements that will provide managers and stakeholders with accurate and timely financial reports and information. "President Bush is asking schools to be accountable to their communities, and it is only fair that the Department of Education should be accountable to Congress and the public," the Secretary said in his statement. "Thanks to the work of...dedicated men and women, we can move forward more vigilantly and more focused on our goal of ensuring that no child in America is left behind." FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/inits/mit/index.html.
SCHOOL CRIME AND SAFETY
The annual "Indicators of School Crime and Safety," released last week, shows that most types of school crime dropped between 1995 and 1999, with the proportion of students saying they were victims of crimes dropping to one in 12. Indeed, between 1993 and 1999, the percentage of high school students who reported being in a fight declined from 16 percent to 14 percent and students who reported carrying a weapon during the previous 30 days dropped from 12 percent to seven percent. Moreover, students who reported street gangs in their school fell by nearly half (from 29 percent in 1995 to 17 percent in 1999) and fewer students said drugs were available on campus (from 32 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 1999). Nevertheless, the percentage of students who were threatened or injured with a weapon remained constant between seven and eight percent. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/iscs01.htm. (This publication is issued jointly by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.)
Also: On November 6, Secretary Paige met with school security chiefs from more than 25 school districts to discuss the variety of school safety issues currently being faced. The group discussed local emergency preparation; responses to the tragic events of September 11; biological threats, prevention, and responses; and a forthcoming guide that will help schools respond to bomb threats. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/11-2001/11062001.html.
Be sure to review the FY 2002 Grants Forecast (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCFO/grants/forecast.html), which lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the Department has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards and provides actual or estimated dates for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts, organized according to the Department's principal program offices, and will be updated monthly starting the first week of November and continuing through the first week of May 2002. (Note: This document is advisory only and is not an official application notice of the Department of Education.)
QUOTE TO NOTE
"In these difficult days, I ask all of us, children and adults, to remember the valor and sacrifice of our veterans. American veterans have extraordinary stories. We should listen to them. American veterans preserved our world and freedom. We should honor them. American veterans show us the meaning of sacrifice and citizenship. We should learn from them.... At this moment, we especially need the example of their character, and we need a new generation to set examples of its own -- examples in service and sacrifice and courage. These veterans have shaped our history, and, with their values, [the next] generation will help guide our future."
-- President George W. Bush (10/30/01)
Results from the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science assessment will be released on November 20. In 2000, NAEP administered the test to approximately 50,000 students at grades 4, 8, and 12 in the nation. The test was also administered to approximately 200,000 students in individual states at grades 4 and 8 (to facilitate state-level analysis). Overall, 41 states and six jurisdictions participated. The last science assessment was administered in 1996. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/science/.
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
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