ED Review (02/25/05)

  • From: Educational CyberPlayGround <admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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  • Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 11:54:41 -0500

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February 25, 2005

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

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

Soon, the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) will
release "Choosing a School for Your Child."  This booklet is a type of
"decision tool" that can help parents choose where they really want their
child to learn.  It explains some of the public school choices that are now
available in many communities (charter, magnet, virtual, etc.), as well as
private school options.  It also outlines steps parents can follow to make a
thoughtful choice and includes questions that parents might want to ask when
going through the process.  In addition, the booklet spotlights new options
for education provided in the No Child Left Behind Act, from allowing
low-income parents whose children are in public schools that need
improvement to choose other public schools or take advantage of free
tutoring to mandating that states and school districts provide a wealth of
public information.  "School choice is part of the strategy to give every
child an excellent education," Secretary Spellings declares in a letter to
parents that opens the booklet.  "I offer you [this resource]...to help you
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/.  (Copies, in both English [EU
0121P] and Spanish [EU 0122P], may be pre-ordered from ED PUBS at

The Manhattan Institute's latest report on high school graduation and
college-readiness rates, covering 1991 to 2002, is sobering:

=B7       The national high school graduation rate for all public school
students remained flat over the last decade, from 72 percent in 1991 to 71
percent in 2002.

=B7       There is a notable disparity in the graduation rates of white and
minority students.  In the Class of 2002, 78 percent of white students
graduated from high school with a regular diploma, compared to 56 percent of
African-American students and 52 percent of Hispanic students.

=B7       There is also a notable disparity among racial and ethnic groups=
the percentage of students who leave high school "eligible" for college
admission.  In the Class of 2002, 40 percent of white students graduated
from high school college-ready, compared to 23 percent of African-American
students and 20 percent of Hispanic students.

One positive finding: nationally, the percentage of all students who left
high school with the qualifications and skills necessary to attend college
increased from only 25 percent in 1991 to 34 percent in 2002.  For this, the
authors credit the "increased standards and accountability programs of the
last decade, which have required students to take more challenging courses
required for admission into college...."  "This study highlights the vital
need for high school reform," Secretary Spellings said in a prepared
statement.  "The President's $1.5 billion High School Initiative provides
the blueprint for states to reform our nation's upper grades so that a high
school diploma once again has some meaning."  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE
GO TO http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/ewp_08.htm.  (The Secretary's
statement is available at


In her first speech on higher education as Secretary of Education, Margaret
Spellings called on university presidents assembled at the American Council
on Higher Education's annual meeting to adopt the spirit of the No Child
Left Behind Act.  "Even though we federally fund less than one-tenth of
[K-12 education] -- compared to about one-third for higher education --
we've leveraged our investment through the No Child Left Behind Act, tying
it to the great goals of ensuring that children read and do math at grade
level....  The vast majority of states credit No Child Left Behind with
improving academic performance.  And, I believe states and postsecondary
institutions should view it as a model as you work to close your own
achievement gap, so vividly illustrated by the report you released today."
(That report showed minority enrollment had grown by 1.5 million students,
or 52 percent, between 1991 and 2001, but participation rates of blacks [40
percent] and Hispanics [34 percent] still trail that of whites [45
percent].)  Of course, a big part of that effort is better preparing high
school students, which is prioritized in the President's budget.  The
Secretary appealed, too, for "compatible and comprehensive measurements,"
including accurate cost information, how credit hours compare at different
institutions, and the average time it takes to graduate by major.  "This
way," she said, "both traditional and non-traditional education consumers
can make smart choices based on information, not anecdote."  Finally, the
Secretary encouraged high quality teacher preparation programs: "Remember,
you produce the teachers who produce the students who make up your freshman

Note: Two days later, Secretary Spellings called community colleges "truly
indispensable in a world defined less by where you were born or live and
more by what you know."  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO


Attention teachers!  Fifteen Teacher-to-Teacher sessions are currently
available online, and, over the next few months, eight more sessions will be
added.  Moreover, the Department is continuing to work to support teachers
by seeking state approval of these free professional development sessions,
which focus on improving teachers' content knowledge and teaching skills in
reading, math, and science.  So far, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, and Texas have agreed to accept these sessions as credit
toward teacher re-licensure; Arkansas, California, Colorado, Vermont, and
Wisconsin teachers need approval at the local level to receive credit.  Many
teachers are also using these sessions to earn credit or points to meet
their state's High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE)
to become highly qualified.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO


Be sure to review the FY 2005 Grants Forecast (as of February 23) at
http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/find/edlite-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 principal
program offices -- and will be updated regularly through July 2005.  (This
document is advisory only and is not an official application notice of the
Department of Education.)

Also: The School Leadership Program is designed to assist high-need school
districts with the development, enhancement, or expansion of innovative
programs to recruit, train, and mentor principals and assistant principals.
For eligibility purposes, a high-need district is defined as one that: (1)
either serves at least 10,000 children from low-income families or serves a
community in which at least 20 percent of children are from low-income
families and (2) has a high percentage of teachers teaching either outside
of their certification or with emergency, provisional, or temporary
certification.  Interested parties must submit a notice of intent to apply
by March 24.  The deadline for applications is April 15.  FOR MORE
INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/programs/leadership/.


Following in the footsteps of the latest results from PISA and TIMSS, a new
report from the National Center for Education Statistics compares the U.S.
education system to the other Group of 8 (G8) industrialized countries
(Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the
United Kingdom) in four areas: (1) the context of education; (2) pre-primary
and primary education; (3) secondary education; and (4) postsecondary
education.  The report is an update of a 2002 study and part of a series to
be published in alternate years.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO


The Charter Schools Program Listserv is a free service offered by OII's
Charter Schools Program.  Subscribers interested in K-12 charter school
issues automatically receive periodic notification of information posted on
the Department's web site relevant to charter schools nationally.  FOR MORE
INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/programs/charter/csplist.html.


"We're at a crossroads.  We still have the best system of higher education
in the world, but the world is catching up.  China graduates six times as
many engineering majors as the U.S.; Japan and South Korea, four times as
many.  In 2001, India graduated nearly one million more students from
college than the U.S., including 100,000 more in the sciences.  Meanwhile,
our young students lose ground as they age.  Our fourth- and eighth-graders
score above the international average in math and science, but our
15-year-olds lag below it.....  It's now our time.  Together, we can show
Americans a future where knowledge powers our economy and empowers our

         -- Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (2/14/05)


The Department's next "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast, on arts
education, is scheduled for March 15.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO

On March 23, the Department's Center for Faith-Based and Community
Initiatives will host a workshop in Las Vegas to assist faith-based and
community organizations applying to become approved supplemental educational
service providers.  The workshop is free, although pre-registration is
required.  The deadline for registration is March 21.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,


For your convenience, the current issue of ED Review is saved, below, as a
PDF file.  Viewing, printing, and forwarding the issue from the PDF file
should reveal all graphics.


Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any
Deputy Assistant Secretary -- Ken Meyer, (202) 401-0404,
Program Analyst -- Adam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003,
To be added or removed from distribution, or submit comments (we welcome
your feedback!),
please contact Adam Honeysett.  Or, visit

This newsletter contains hypertext links to information created and
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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
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