ED Review (01/13/06)

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ED REVIEW January 13, 2006 (Happy New Year!)

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

NCLB UPDATE (http://www.ed.gov/nclb/)

On January 9, Secretary Spellings joined President Bush and First Lady
Laura Bush at North Glen Elementary School in Glen Burnie, Maryland,
to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act.
"I'm here today to talk about the spirit of the No Child Left Behind
Act, the evidence that says it's working, and my deep desire to work
with Congress," the President said, "to make sure it continues to have
the desired effect on children all across the country."  He also
issued a warning to those seeking to fundamentally alter the
legislation (up for reauthorization in 2007): "I'll fight any attempt
to [roll back the accountability in Washington, D.C.].  I'm just not
going to let it happen.  We're making too much progress."  Indeed,
North Glen's students have made great progress.  Reading proficiency
increased from 57 percent in 2003 to 82 percent in 2005, and
mathematics proficiency increased from 46 percent in 2003 to 84
percent in 2005.  Further, among African-American students, reading
proficiency increased from 45 percent in 2003 to 84 percent in 2005,
and mathematics proficiency increased from 35 percent in 2003 to 82
(Secretary Spellings' statement is available at
http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/01/01092006.html, and a new
fact sheet, "No Child Left Behind is Working," is posted at

That afternoon, Secretary Spellings participated in an "Ask the White
House" chat (http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/20060109.html).  And, the
"Teachers Ask the Secretary" web site
(http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/reform/teachersask/) has been updated,
covering a range of topics.

Meanwhile, the Department is accepting nominations for its 2006
American Stars of Teaching awards, which recognize teachers who are
improving student achievement -- using innovative strategies -- and
making a difference in the lives of their students. Anyone can
nominate an American Star.  After the Department receives a
nomination, a verification form is sent to the teacher's principal.
The deadline is April 15.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
http://www.teacherquality.us/TeacherToTeacher/AmericanStars.asp.  (For
the latest news and information, subscribe to Teacher Updates at

HURRICANE RELIEF (http://hurricanehelpforschools.gov/)

As noted in the last issue, the Department's Fiscal Year 2006
appropriations includes $1.6 billion in hurricane-related aid, part of
the Hurricane Education Recovery Act.  Last week (January 5),
Secretary Spellings announced the immediate availability of some of
those funds in four states for restarting schools and meeting the
needs of displaced students.  Louisiana and Mississippi will receive
$100 million each; Texas will receive $50 million, and Alabama will
receive $3.75 million (see
http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/051230.html).  This week
(January 11), the Department offered guidance for all states on
applying for emergency impact aid for displaced students and
assistance for homeless youth.  A single application covers both
programs (see http://hurricanehelpforschools.gov/proginfo).


Addressing the recent U.S. University Presidents Summit on
International Education, President Bush proposed a new $114 million
national initiative on the teaching of critical foreign languages.
The initiative, which would be administered jointly by the Departments
of Education, State, and Defense and the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence, has three broad goals:

·       increase the number of Americans mastering critical need
languages and start at a younger age;
·       increase the number of advanced-level speakers of foreign
languages, with an emphasis on critical needs languages; and

·       increase the number of foreign language teachers and the
resources for them.

Education's Fiscal Year 2007 budget proposal will have $57 million for
the initiative: $24 million for the revised Foreign Language Assistant
Program (FLAP); $24 million for new college-based language
partnerships with 24 school districts; $5 million to recruit 1,000
foreign language teachers by 2010 (Language Teacher Corps); $3 million
to expand Teacher-to-Teacher seminars to reach thousands of foreign
language teachers; and $1 million for a new e-learning language
clearinghouse.  According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, only
31 percent of American elementary schools (24 percent of public
elementary schools) report teaching foreign languages, and 79 percent
focus on giving introductory exposure to a language, rather than
achieving overall proficiency.  And, only 44 percent of American high
school students are enrolled in foreign language classes -- 69 percent
in Spanish and 18 percent in French.  Less than one percent of
American high school students, combined, study Arabic, Chinese, Farsi,
Japanese, Korean, Russian, or Urdu.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO
TO http://exchanges.state.gov/universitysummit/.


On February 2, working professionals across the country will kick-off
Job Shadow Day, part of a national, year-long effort to enrich the
lives of students by acquainting them with the world of work through
on-the-job experiences and a school curriculum that ties academics to
the workplace.  Coordinated by America's Promise-the Alliance for
Youth, Junior Achievement, and the Departments of Education and Labor,
over one million students and 100,000 business are expected to
participate.  Past work place mentors include former President George
Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Today show anchors Katie
Couric, Matt Laurer, Al Roker, and Ann Curry.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.jobshadow.org/.


Belated congratulations to Jenks Public Schools, located south of
Tulsa, Oklahoma, for becoming just the fourth school system to receive
a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.  The award, founded in
1998, promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes
the quality and performance achievements of U.S. organizations, and
publicizes successful performance strategies.  Judges lauded JPS for
its student performance, low dropout rate (1.2% in 2003-04), and high
graduation rate (95% in 2005).  Also, JPS boasts an inter-generational
program with young students and the elderly, a Parents as Teachers
program, and a student-teacher exchange program with Chengdu, China.
http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/baldrige_2005/jenks.htm.  (Jenks'
application is at


Education Week's tenth-annual "Quality Counts" report examines the
progress that states have made on a core set of policy indicators
related to standards-based reform.  It finds that state efforts to
devise standards, assessments, and accountability systems are
positively related with gains on the National Assessment of
Educational Progress from 1996 to 2005.  "An increasing number of
states have embraced a standards-based education framework," said
Virginia Edwards, the report's editor, "with some of the earliest and
most ardent adopters of standards-based accountability systems making
some of the most progress in student achievement.  But, improvements
still have not come far or fast enough."  As is true every year,
"Quality Counts" tracks student achievement across the 50 states and
the District of Columbia and charts progress on states' education
systems in four areas: standards and accountability, teacher quality,
school climate, and school resources.  States averaged a C+ across the
graded categories, the same as last year.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2006/01/05/.  (To view the
content, you must register.  Education Week is offering free access to
"Quality Counts" until February 4.)


On January 6, the Secretary issued the following statement regarding
the Florida Supreme Court's decision on the state's Opportunity
Scholarship program:

"The Florida Supreme Court's decision is an unfortunate setback for
educational accountability and freedom.  In a matter of months, it
could cause parents to remove their sons and daughters from good
schools and, in some cases, return them to underperforming schools.
It may also make it more difficult to close the achievement gap, a
major priority under the No Child Left Behind Act.  Accountability is
only as good as its consequences.  Florida's Opportunity Scholarship
program holds all schools accountable by turning a monopoly into a
marketplace and helping parents become educated consumers.  If a
public school cannot meet the high standards promised by the Florida
Constitution, we must work to fix the school, not punish the families,
many of them minority or economically disadvantaged, who seek a better


The Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher
Education will hold its third meeting in San Diego, California
(February 2-3), as well as a hearing in Seattle, Washington (February

On February 7, the White House and several Cabinet agencies will host
a conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to help faith-based and
other community organizations learn more about the President's
Faith-Based and Community Initiative.  The conference is free, but
pre-registration is required.  Please register by February 2.  FOR
MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.fbci.gov/.


Please feel free to contact the Office of Communications and Outreach
with any questions:
Special Assistant -- Tom Bolvin, (202) 205-3809, mailto:Thomas.Bolvin@xxxxxx
Program Analyst -- Adam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003,

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