May 24, 2002
...a bi-weekly update on U.S. Department of Education activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community
NCLB UPDATE: NORTHEAST SWING AND POWERPOINT
For the most recent news and information, visit http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/. (For example, as of last week, 11 states have applied for State-Flex authority: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.)
Earlier this week, Secretary Paige made two more stops on his "No Child Left Behind" Tour Across America. On May 20, he was in the Pittsburgh-area (Aliquippa) to talk about the new law's supplemental service provisions. "For more than 30 years, parents have had few options when it came to their children's education," the Secretary said. "Now, when schools fail to meet state standards for three years in a row, children from disadvantaged backgrounds will be eligible to obtain supplemental services, including tutoring, remedial education, extra classes, summer school, after-school programs, and other academic services to help boost their achievement." States must establish a list of approved supplemental service providers by the start of the 2002-03 school year, and school districts with one or more schools in the second year of school improvement must provide parents with a list of the programs available in the area. A day later, on May 21, he was in Albany to rally business leaders to get more involved in local schools. "We need every business leader, every parent, every teacher in every community to come together to ensure every child in America receives the best possible education," the Secretary told more than 1,000 State Farm employees, joined by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Rust, Jr. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.nclb.gov/media/news/052002.html AND http://www.nclb.gov/media/news/052102.html.
Looking for a straight-forward, visually appealing overview of the No Child Left Behind Act's guiding principles? The Department has released the PowerPoint presentation used at its Title I regional meetings, titled "Closing the Achievement Gap in America's Public Schools" (http://www.nclb.gov/next/closing/closing-the-gap.ppt). Similarly, see the National Center for Education Accountability's new PowerPoint presentation (also used at the regional meetings), titled "Using Data to Promote Improvement and Identify Best Practices" (http://www.just4kids.org/documentation/NCLB1B.ppt).
READING FIRST PANELISTS
In collaboration with the National Institute for Literacy, the National Research Council, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Secretary Paige announced 72 Reading First review panelists, tasked with analyzing state applications for $900 million in grants. The Reading First program aims to help states and districts improve early (K-3) reading instruction and student achievement based on methods proven by rigorous scientific research. Once funded, states will open competitions for sub-grants to eligible school districts. Panelists must ensure that applications reflect statutory requirements, including those based on the National Reading Panel's (http://www.nationalreadingpanel.org/) findings that effective instruction combines instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/05-2002/05132002.html. (Note: State applications must be received May 29 to receive funding by July 1. Applications received before June 12 will be reviewed by June 28. Applications received after June 12 will be reviewed on a rolling basis.)
PREVENTION OF SCHOOL ATTACKS
A joint report from a three-year partnership between the Education Department and the U.S. Secret Service reveals that incidents of targeted violence in school are rarely impulsive and that attacks are typically the end result of a process of thinking and behavior that can be detected by others. Among the key findings of "Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the U.S.," consider:
In the next few weeks, a guide will be disseminated to schools and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. "A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and Creating Safe School Climates" will also be used in 12 regional training sessions (http://www.threatassessmentseminars.org/). FOR MORE INFORMATION (and, eventually, the report), PLEASE GO TO http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac.shtml.
Also: A second report on school violence, from the National Research Council, examines the antecedents in urban, suburban, and rural incidents (ranging from Pearl, Mississippi, to Conyers, Georgia). FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10370.html.
The Presidential Scholars program, established in 1964 by Executive Order, honors some of the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. (In 1979, it was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts.) Each year, 141 students are named, including at least one young man and woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad. Another 15 scholars are chosen at-large, and 20 awardees are scholars in the arts. The 25-member Commission on Presidential Scholars (appointed by the president) makes the final selection from a field of 2,600 candidates. Also, each Presidential Scholar is asked to invite the teacher who has had the greatest impact on his or her academic success to travel to Washington, DC, to participate in the recognition ceremony and receive a certificate of excellence. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/programs/psp/index.html.
Be sure to review the revised (as of May 24, 2002) 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 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 program offices. (This document is advisory only and is not an official application notice of the Department. Open competitions are listed, with their application package, at http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/.)
LEARNING IN THE ARTS
A new compendium from the Arts Education Partnership brings together a group of studies focused on understanding the cognitive capacities developed in learning and practicing the arts (dance, drama, music, multiple arts, visual arts) and the relationship of those capacities to students' academic performance and social development. Indeed, "critical links" are established in the following areas: reading and language development, mathematics, fundamental thinking skills and capabilities, motivations to learn, effective social behavior, and school environment. The report suggests that for certain populations -- students from economically disadvantaged circumstances, students needing remedial instruction, and young children -- arts instruction may be uniquely able to advance learning and success in other areas. The partnership, a coalition of arts, education, business, philanthropic, and government organizations, was formed in 1995; the Education Department is a founding partner. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://aep-arts.org/CLTemphome.html.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I'm challenging you [the children] to read more than you watch TV, aim high, work hard, and never give up.... Anyone here know Dr. Seuss? Right -- he wrote The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and a lot of other books. Dr. Seuss couldn't get anyone to buy his first children's book. Twenty-seven publishers turned him down. But he kept trying, and finally, the twenty-eighth publisher said 'Yes! We'll print your book.' And they did. And Dr. Seuss's book sold six million copies."
-- Secretary of Education Rod Paige (5/20/02)
On May 27, at 3:00 p.m. local time, Americans are invited to pause for a moment of silence -- reclaiming Memorial Day for its intended purpose: honoring those who died in service of the country. The time was chosen because it is an hour when many are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.remember.gov/.
The Department's next Satellite Town Meeting, on after-school and summer programs, is scheduled for June 18. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=156.
Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
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