[ECP] K12 Newsletters

  • From: "K.E." <admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12NewsLetters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 08 Jan 2010 09:55:13 -0500


January 8, 2010 (Happy New Year!)

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


Earlier this week, Secretary Duncan and Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice 
President Joe Biden and a long-time educator, joined students at Washington, 
D.C.?s Benjamin Banneker Senior High School as they worked with counselors to 
complete the new, streamlined Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
 The 2010-11 FAFSA-on-the-Web has been redesigned to be shorter, simpler, and 
more user-friendly.  Questions are now asked only if relevant to the applicant; 
low-income students, for example, are no longer asked for asset information, 
and only returning students are asked about prior drug convictions because the 
question does not apply to first-year students.  Also, immediately after 
submitting the FAFSA, applicants will now receive a confirmation email message 
which indicates Pell Grant eligibility and links to information about the 
schools they are applying to, such as graduation and transfer rates and a 
detailed breakdown of costs and expected expenses associated with the schools.

Later this month, those applying for aid in the spring semester using the 
2009-10 FAFSA will be able to retrieve and import their tax data from the 
Internal Revenue Services (IRS).  And, in summer 2010, those applying for aid 
in the 2010-11 a year will also be able to access the IRS web site to retrieve 
income information to complete the FAFSA.

President Obama has challenged the nation to have the world?s highest 
percentage of college graduates by 2020.  Simplifying the federal student aid 
application process supports that goal by making it easier for students to 
access financial support for postsecondary studies.  Students could begin 
filing FAFSAs for the 2010-11 academic year on January 1.  

On December 16, the President signed into law an omnibus appropriations bill 
(H.R. 3288), Division D of which provides funding for the U.S. Department of 
Education.  Overall, the bill includes $63.7 billion in discretionary spending 
for the agency?s education programs, about a 2% increase over Fiscal Year 2009, 
excluding the $100 billion in education funding under the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which covers both FY 2009 and FY 2010.  Specifically, 
the bill includes:

$14.5 billion for Title I grants to local education agencies;

$11.5 billion for special education state grants;

$2.95 billion to help states improve the quality of their teachers and leaders;

$250 million for an expanded (PK-12) Striving Readers program; and

$17.5 billion in Pell Grants for low- and middle-income college undergraduates.

Among the key new items, there is $50 million for the High School Graduation 
Initiative; $10 million for the Promise Neighborhood initiative; and a 
technical change, sought by the Department, to expand school district 
eligibility for the $650 million Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund created 
under the ARRA. http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/news.html#10action.

On December 24, the Department announced it will hold a second round of public 
input meetings to listen and learn from assessment experts and practitioners.  
To date, the Department has convened seven meetings in three cities (Boston, 
Atlanta, and Denver), with 37 states joining agency leaders and nearly 700 
members of the public to hear from experts in general assessment, high school 
assessment, the role of technology in assessment, assessing students with 
disabilities, and assessing English language learners.  Three additional 
meetings will be held in the Washington, D.C., metro area.  As with the 
previous meetings, the goals of the meeting are two-fold: to gather technical 
input to inform development of a Race to the Top Assessment Competition and to 
enable states -- who will be the grant applicants -- and the public to 
participate in and learn from these events.  Secretary Duncan has pledged to 
reserve up to $350 million (of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund) to 
support consortia of states that are working to create new assessments tied to 
a common set of standards.  The grants would be distributed through a 
competitive process this year.

The meetings will be held on January 13 (a full-day on project and consortium 
management), 14 (a half-day on procurement in complex cross-state initiatives), 
and 20 (a full-day on general and technical assessment issues).

All the meetings are open to the public.  The official notice, along with 
information on how to RSVP for the meetings, can be found online.  The 
Department also encourages the submission of written input (see instructions on 
the submission process online) and plans to post transcripts of every meeting 
session and all written input submitted to the agency.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, 
PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/.



The deadline for State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Phase II applications is 
January 11, at 4:30 p.m. 

The deadline for Race to the Top Phase I applications is January 19, at 4:30 
p.m. ET.  http://www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/resources.html

Revised Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Department ARRA reporting 
guidance, for the reporting period covering October 1 through December 31, 
2009, is posted at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/section-1512.html

President Obama, as part of his Educate to Innovate campaign, has announced a 
number of new and innovative partnerships involving companies, universities, 
foundations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, designed to 
improve the participation and performance of America?s students in science, 
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  These five public-private 
partnerships -- Intel?s Science and Math Teachers Initiative, expansion of the 
National Math and Science Initiative?s UTeach Program, a commitment by more 
than 75 public university presidents to train 10,000 math and science teachers 
annually by 2015, the PBS Innovative Educators Challenge, and Woodrow Wilson 
Teaching Fellowships in Math and Science -- represent a combined $250 million 
in financial and in-kind support, adding to the $260 million in support 
announced in November 2009 at the launch of the campaign.  Furthermore, the 
President called on the 200,000 scientists and engineers working for the 
federal government to engage in high-impact volunteering alongside STEM 
educators.  In response, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
(NASA) is organizing a multiple-year ?Summer of Innovation? enrichment program, 
in which NASA staff will work with thousands of students and teachers on 
cutting-edge learning opportunities.  At the same event, the President also 
honored more than 100 outstanding math and science teachers, winners of the 
Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching or the 
Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering 

Teach Non Fear Based Internet Curriculum
"Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online? 
 a free guidebook produced through a partnership of over a dozen federal 
agencies and the technology industry, is designed to help parents when talking 
with children about Internet safety.  Topics include safe use of social 
networking web sites, cyberbulling, and protecting computers from viruses and 
other malicious software.

Meeting with students, educators, and community leaders, Secretary Duncan and 
Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner recently announced the first step in an 
effort to promote stronger financial capability among students: the National 
Financial Capability Challenge.  This non-monetary awards program challenges 
students to take control of their financial future, by learning about personal 
finance.  It also challenges teachers and schools to incorporate personal 
finance topics into instruction.  Those teachers who sign up to participate 
will receive a helpful teachers? toolkit.  In March, students will take a 
voluntary online exam to demonstrate what they have learned, assess their 
financial knowledge, and learn more about why financial capability is 
important.  Top scoring students from each school will receive awards in April, 
and outstanding teachers and schools will be recognized.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, 
PLEASE GO TO http://www.challenge.treas.gov/

Also: Financial literacy was among the topics covered when correspondent Hari 
Sreenivsan interviewed the Secretary on ?The Rundown,? the PBS NewsHour?s 

A new Department video 
(http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2009/12/12162009.html) tells the story of 
three counselors in the Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools whose jobs were 
saved by the ARRA.

"It?s time, once and for all, to make teaching the revered profession it should 
be,? the Secretary writes in ?Elevating the Teaching Profession,? an article 
published last month in both "NEA Today" and AFT?s ?American Educator."  ?Our 
guiding principle is simply that teachers should be treated as professionals: 
they should have the support, tools, and opportunities to perform at their full 
potential by having timely and accurate data about their students to inform 
instruction; they should have time to consult and collaborate with their peers; 
and they should be evaluated, compensated, and advanced based in part on 
student learning." 

"Educational Technology in Public School Districts: Fall 2008" 
(http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2010003), a report from the 
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of 
Education Sciences (IES), includes information on Internet capacity and 
networks, technology policies, district resources, teacher professional 
development, and district-level leadership.

"Now is the time to allocate resources to students -- not to banks -- so they 
have access to college and other educational opportunities,? the Secretary 
argues in ?Banks Don?t Belong in the Student Loan Business," an op-ed which ran 
December 17 in the Wall Street Journal.  ?We cannot in good conscience let $87 
billion in subsidies go to banks, when our students desperately need financial 
help to realize the dream of getting a college education." 

"In September 2009, the Department?s Family Policy Compliance Office issued 
important guidance for institutions of higher education pertaining to the 
applicability of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to 
disclosures to Census Bureau representatives in regard to the 2010 Census.  
Consistent with that guidance, the office has also issued additional guidance 
relating to the Bureau?s current American Community Survey (ACS).  

January is National Mentoring Month, spotlighting the importance of mentors and 
the need for every child to have a caring adult in his or her life.  FOR MORE 
INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.nationalmentoringmonth.org/

January 21-24, the Department will exhibit at the National Title I Conference 
in Washington, D.C.  If you are attending this event, please stop by the 
Department?s booth.

sent by: Educational CyberPlayGround

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