ED Review (11/04/05)

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  • Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 08:17:45 -0500

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November 4, 2005

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

********************************************************************* Emergency Communication Disaster Plan Check List

HISTORY - have we learned anything yet?
Is your State Prepared? Does your school have a plan?
The Personal Disaster Plan

HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA (http://hurricanehelpforschools.gov/)

This week, to streamline the process for getting furniture and other
supplies to schools affected by the recent hurricanes, Secretary Spellings
announced the Furniture for Schools Task Force.  This task force --
consisting of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of
Defense's Defense Logistics Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), and the General Services Administration (GSA) -- allows federal
agencies to combine resources and expertise to quickly provide surplus
bookshelves, cabinets, computers, desks, and room dividers to schools in
devastated areas.  Already, the task force has arranged for nearly 1,100
desks to go to school districts in the hardest hit areas of Louisiana and
Mississippi.  "Across this country, we are seeing families, schools, and
communities open their hearts and doors to children displaced by the
hurricanes," the Secretary said.  "We are committed to doing everything we
can to help local communities provide educational opportunities for these
children.  The Furniture for Schools Task Force will ensure that surplus
federal government property is made available...."  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2005/11/11012005.html.

Also, the Department's Hurricane Help for Schools web site
(http://hurricanehelpforschools.gov/) continues to make solid "matches" (as
of November 1, 420!) between schools requesting supplies and companies and
organizations looking to help, and the Department is working continuously to
stay in contact with governors, Chief State School Officers, state education
agencies, and districts to identify schools' needs -- particularly those
without electricity or Internet access.

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

Last month, the Department granted the Chicago Public Schools the
flexibility to serve as a supplemental educational services provider, even
though the district has been identified in need of improvement and thus,
under No Child Left Behind, would normally be prohibited from providing its
own tutoring program.  This month, the Department and the Council of the
Great City Schools announced similar flexibility arrangements with six
additional districts: New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Memphis,
Anchorage, and Dayton (OH).  The seven systems are part of the agency's
pilot program aimed at boosting participation rates, improving student
achievement, and enhancing the effectiveness of supplemental services.  As
many as 10 systems are expected to benefit.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO
TO http://www.cgcs.org/pdfs/UE-October%2005.pdf (page 4).

Epitomizing the breadth of constituencies touched by the No Child Left
Behind Act, Secretary Spellings, over the last two weeks, addressed Davidson
College (NC) students
(http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2005/10/10222005.html), administrators and
school board members in her home state of Texas, with an emphasis on helping
students with disabilities
(http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2005/10/10312005.html), and American Indian
tribal and community leaders assembled in Oklahoma
(http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2005/10/10312005a.html).  Then, yesterday,
Deputy Secretary Ray Simon helped Education Trust honor five high-performing
and gap-closing schools
/2005ConferenceBook.pdf, pages 21-25).

Evaluation and Assessment


The next "Education News Parents Can Use" (November 15, 8:00-9:00 ET)
broadcast will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Education for All
Handicapped Children Act, which later became the Individuals with
Disabilities Education, or IDEA, Act.  Today, thanks to this legislation, a
growing majority of children with disabilities are being educated in their
neighborhood schools and in regular classrooms alongside their non-disabled
peers; high school graduation rates and employment rates among youth with
disabilities have increased dramatically; and postsecondary enrollment among
individuals with disabilities continues to rise.  Yet, with the advent of No
Child Left Behind and the recent reauthorization of IDEA, a "new era" in
special education has commenced -- one that does not seek to meet minimum
requirements but rather embraces increased academic achievement and real
results for every child.  Consequently, the program will profile
researched-based, early identification and intervention initiatives, as well
as showcase successful inclusion programs in schools.  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/.)


Monthly Curricula Calendar of supplemental conceptual groupings and
classroom activities.
Related links - supplemental curricular conceptual groupings

Three worthwhile recognition periods are scheduled for the next two weeks:

National Veterans Awareness Week (November 6-12) encourages schools to
invite veterans into their classrooms in the days leading up to and
following Veterans Day (November 11).  Veterans are asked to share their
experiences and teach students lessons about the history and significance of
Veterans Day, helping students reflect upon the importance of the ideals of
liberty, freedom, and democracy.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
http://www.va.gov/vetsday/.  (Note: A school kit is posted at

American Education Week (November 13-19), co-sponsored by the Department and
12 other organizations, celebrates teachers and school staff.  The 2005
theme, "A Strong America Starts with Great Public Schools," highlights the
importance of bringing together the community in a united effort to build
great public schools.  As part of the week, support staff (teachers' aides,
bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors, etc.) will be honored on Wednesday
and substitute teachers will be honored on Friday.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.nea.org/aew/.

International Education Week (November 14-18) recognizes the importance of
educating students about people and nations throughout the world in
preparing students to live in a diverse and tolerant society and succeed in
a global economy.  This year marks the sixth annual commemoration of the
week, jointly sponsored by the Departments of Education and State.  FOR MORE
INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://iew.state.gov/.  (Note: Individuals and
institutions are encouraged to view and submit activities at


On October 27, First Lady Laura Bush convened the White House Conference on
Helping America's Youth at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  More than
500 parents, educators, civic leaders, faith-based and community service
providers, foundations, researchers, and experts in child development
gathered to discuss various problems facing America's youth and proven
solutions in overcoming those challenges.  And, during the event, the First
Lady unveiled the Community Guide to Helping America's Youth
(http://www.helpingamericasyouth.gov/), a web-based guide with up-to-date
research on youth development and effective programs.  FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE GO TO http://www.helpingyouthconference.org/.  (You can watch the
entire conference at http://www.helpingyouthconference.org/webcast.htm.)

Reading Research http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Literacy/research.asp


The 2004 edition of the "Digest of Education Statistics" is the 40th in a
series of publications.  Its primary purpose is to provide a compilation of
statistical information covering the broad field of American education, from
pre-kindergarten through graduate school, drawn from both government and
private sources, but especially from surveys and other activities carried
out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  For example,
the publication contains information on the number of schools and colleges,
teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment,
finances, federal funds for education, libraries, technology, and
international comparisons.  Supplemental information on population trends,
education attitudes, characteristics of the labor force, and government
finances provides background for evaluating education data.  FOR MORE
INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d04/.

Note: Major evaluation reports by the Department's Office of Planning,
Evaluation, and Policy Development, including a new cross-cutting study on
single-sex education, are compiled at


"If it's Halloween, it must be time to scare the children.  This time, the
bogeyman is testing.  Critics claim it's a trick and that high schools
should keep the treats -- taxpayer dollars -- without showing accountability
for results.  This is nonsense.  Accountability assessments are valuable
tools.  They let students see the rewards of hard work, teachers intervene
before problems become intractable, and parents know if their child's school
is measuring up....  What is scary is an education system that keeps
parents, educators, and policymakers in the dark.  That's what we had before
the No Child Left Behind Act."

                                        -- Secretary of Education Margaret
Spellings (10/20/05)


Speak Up Event 2005 is a unique, online opportunity for students and
teachers to share their views on how technology is supporting the
development of modern learning environments -- both in- and out-of-school.
The survey, which has already attracted over 45,000 students and 4,000
teachers, will be open through November 18.  The data is used to inform
local, state, and national policies and plans for education technology.  FOR
MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.netdayspeakup.org/.

December 8-9, the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of
Higher Education will hold its second meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.  FOR

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