ED Review (03/11/05)

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  • To: K12NewsLetters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 11:14:40 -0500

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March 11, 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/)

On February 26 and 27, the nation's governors, educators, and business
leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss strategies to transform
America's high schools and restore the value of a high school diploma.  The
summit (http://www.2005summit.org/), sponsored by the National Governors
Association (NGA) and Achieve, Inc., featured major addresses by Secretary
Spellings (http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2005/02/02272005.html) and
Microsoft's Bill Gates and resulted in two concrete initiatives. First, six
foundations (Carnegie, Dell, Gates, Prudential, State Farm, and Wallace)
announced a $42 million initiative to help states raise high school
graduation and college-readiness rates.  The NGA's Center for Best Practices
will award and administer the grants through a competitive process open to
all states. Second, 13 states (AR, GA, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, NJ, OH, OR, PA,
RI, and TX), which educate more than one-third of U.S. students, formed a
new coalition committed to "significantly raising the rigor of high school
standards, assessments, and curriculum to better align them with the demands
of higher education and work."  Achieve will report regularly on the states'
progress.  "Change is hard," the Secretary declared.  "Getting every child
to graduate high school -- is one of the biggest challenges our country
faces.  It's never been done.  That's why there is push-back from both sides
of the political spectrum.  In Washington, when both sides attack you, it
means that you are doing something right....  I look forward to working with
you, the governors, and Congress to reach a solution together for our kids."

Also, the summit produced a plethora of deliverables, including:
=B7      The official briefing book
=B7      "America's High Schools: The Front Line in the Battle of Our=
Future" (http://www.2005summit.org/en_US/pdf/economicbackground.pdf),
investigating the relationship between America's high schools and challenges
to our economy.

=B7      "Rising to the Challenge"
(http://www.2005summit.org/en_US/pdf/pollreport.pdf), a survey of college
students, high school graduates who went directly into the workforce,
professors, and employers.  (Nearly two in five college students say there
are gaps between the education they received in high school and the "overall
skills, abilities, and work habits that are expected of them today in
college and in the workforce.")

A day later, Secretary Spellings praised the contribution Catholic schools
have made to educating students across the country and encouraged them to
become providers of supplemental educational services under the No Child
Left Behind Act.  Incidentally, Spellings is the first U.S. Secretary of
Education to have a child currently attending Catholic school.  (Her other
daughter attends a public school.)  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO


In a March 4 memorandum to Department employees, Secretary Spellings
announced a new coordinating structure that focuses the resources of the
agency on "the people we primarily serve and aligns our leadership with the
results we all seek..."  The details are still being worked out, but, in
terms of the "big picture," several changes are underway.  One change
involves the portfolios of the Deputy Secretary, who will oversee all K-12
education policy (the No Child Left Behind Act, high school initiative,
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, etc.), and the Undersecretary,
who will oversee all higher and adult education policy (federal student aid,
the Higher Education Act, etc.).  Another change will create two new
offices: Communications and Outreach and Planning, Evaluation, and Policy
Development, each led by an Assistant Secretary who will report directly to
the Secretary.  The Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs'
functions will be divided between the new Office of Communications and
Outreach and the existing Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs.


Next week's "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (March 15, 8:00-9:00
ET) will feature teachers and community leaders who are dedicated to
ensuring that all children have a chance to learn and explore the arts.
Research shows that when students study the arts -- whether dance, drama,
music, or the visual arts -- academic performance improves in core subjects
such as reading, math, and writing.  This is especially true for students
who are most at risk of struggling with their school work or of dropping
out, including students with physical or learning disabilities and those
with limited English proficiency.  In addition, recent studies point to a
direct connection between music and spatial reasoning and spatial temporal
skills, which are key to understanding and using mathematical concepts.
Ultimately, the arts help schools and school districts achieve their
mission: to shape a nation of compassionate, creative, and productive
citizens prepared to participate in a global economy.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/.  (You can watch live and
archived webcasts at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)

National Children's Folksong Repository Project

An historic electronic online archive of children's folk songs.
A public folklore project built by the children of the United States
and territories.
Children pick up the Phone and SING OR CHANT (SAY) THEIR SONG. It's simple.
Children are our unknown culture makers and they get to record and
save their songs, then submit them into the database so that they
can hear themselves on the net. They collect history, and they will
make history at the same time. Contributions make them netizens.
They are doing this for the world. Using the internet and technology
allows them to record their personal knowledge. This is their contribution.
And we all know what's personal is political, so we all help to raise
future citizens who will care about the net.
Teachers can get the idea by watching the streaming video.

For More Information contact
Educational CyberPlayGround


LITERACY - Evolution of Language - How the Brain Works

Pedagogy Problems to Solutions

Sync Sense, Social Rhythm Research Experts
Speech, Music, Reading, & Technology
Motivation, Play, Culturally Relevant Content
Using Multiple Intelligences and different learning styles
Literacy Defined: how to read, how to write, how to use
computers, how to find and evaluate information found on the net.


The Education Department is partnering with the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) and other federal agencies and scientific
societies to sponsor activities for this year's Excellence in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (ESTEME) Week (April
11-16).  Activities during ESTEME Week are an opportunity for the nation's
schools to focus on improving math and science by:

=B7      drawing attention to the many ways our lives are enhanced by
scientific and technological advances;
=B7      stressing how students can apply science and technology to benefit
their community, their country, and their planet;

=B7      emphasizing the importance of math and science education in this=
of globalization; and
=B7      highlighting how U.S. citizens benefit from scientists of diverse
backgrounds and cultures working together to solve the complex problems of

The web site offers a list of specific activities for schools; colleges and
universities; libraries; museums, parks, and zoos; business and industry;
professionals; and other public agencies and community groups.  FOR MORE
INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.esteme.org/.

Note: ESTEME sponsors are partnering with the Newspapers in Education
Institute to develop a special print supplement on ESTEME Week.  The
supplement will be published in several regional newspapers (including,
locally, The Washington Times) and delivered to partner schools for
classroom use.


The Department is re-competing its 10 regional Equity Assistance Centers
(EACs).  EACs offer technical assistance to states, school districts, and
schools who seek to resolve civil rights conflicts and promote equity and
social justice.  More recently, they provide resources and training in the
areas of bullying, hate crimes, and racial prejudice.  All public agencies
-- other than state education agencies or school boards -- and private,
non-profit organizations are eligible to apply; proposals will be read based
on the region they represent (for a list of regions, see
http://www.edgateway.net/pub/docs/eacn/home.html), with one award in each
region.  The deadline for applications is April 29.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/programs/equitycenters/.


"We can all agree on the goals for Education for All," Secretary Spellings
said during remarks at UNESCO's "Calling Higher Education to a Higher
Calling" conference at Georgetown University.  UNESCO's education campaign
calls for, among other things, universal primary education by 2015; a 50
percent expansion in adult literacy; improved quality as well as access; and
opportunity for "excluded and marginalized" populations.  "[But] those
objectives have special resonance to Americans," the Secretary continued, in
light of our own education reform effort, No Child Left Behind. Its goals
complement UNESCO's good work."  Then, eluding to both NCLB's expansion into
high schools and the international effort to reach the more than 800 million
adults (one in seven worldwide) who still cannot read or write, the
Secretary said, "I believe our higher education community is ready to make a
real difference.  [Colleges and universities] are our greatest ambassadors
to the world.  Half a million foreign students come...each year to study.
They return home, passing their knowledge and experiences on to their
families and countries.  Many become leaders in their nations."  "Like
freedom, a quality education is worth fighting for," Secretary Spellings
concluded.  "In [UNESCO] Director-General [Koichiro] Matsuura's words,
literacy 'enables [people] to make choices, to participate and to exercise
their rights; in other words, to be free.'"  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO
TO http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2005/02/02282005.html.


The National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) "Distance Education
Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: 2002-03," the
first national survey to explore K-12 distance learning, provides nationwide
estimates of the number of school districts and schools with students
enrolled in distance education courses, as well as the number of enrollments
in those courses.  Moreover, it examines the reasons for having distance
education courses, the instructional level of populations served, entities
delivering the courses to students, and data pertaining to online courses.
Some teasers: one-third (36 percent) of districts and nine percent of
schools had students enrolled in distance education courses in 2002-03;
approximately 45,300 students were enrolled in Advanced Placement or
college-level courses through distance education in 2002-03; and a larger
proportion of districts located in rural areas (46 percent) than in urban or
suburban areas (23 and 28 percent, respectively) indicated that they had
students enrolled in distance education courses.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=3D2005010.


"Education and literacy are necessities in a world devoid of certainty but
abundant with opportunity.  Lives can be transformed -- lifted over time
from poverty and chaos to dignity and independence.  Education offers a
ladder on which to climb and a foundation upon which to stand."

         -- Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (2/28/05)


Today, at 3:00 p.m. ET, the Technology in Education Programs Office is
hosting, online, a technical assistance workshop to give potential
applicants an overview of the focus and priorities of the Fiscal Year 2005
Ready to Learn, Ready to Teach, and Star Schools competitions.  There will

NCES is sponsoring seven advanced studies seminars to demonstrate the
richness of NCES databases and provide hands-on instruction on how to use
the data properly and effectively.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO


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

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