PEN Weekly NewsBlast for January 20, 2006

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Public Education Network Weekly NewsBlast "Public Involvement. Public Education. Public Benefit." ******************************************************** SELF DISCIPLINE IS BETTER PREDICTOR OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS THAN I.Q. A study by University of Pennsylvania researchers suggests that self-discipline and self-denial could be a key to saving U.S. schools, reports Jay Mathews. "Underachievement among American youth is often blamed on inadequate teachers, boring textbooks, and large class sizes," the researchers said. "We suggest another reason for students falling short of their intellectual potential: their failure to exercise self-discipline... We believe that many of America's children have trouble making choices that require them to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain, and that programs that build self-discipline may be the royal road to building academic achievement."

Classroom Discipline and Management Tips
Solutions for Handling 117 Misbehaviors
You Can Handle Them All, Bullying

Far from being the magic potion miraculously raising student achievement,
the No Child Left Behind law has proven to be a dependable prod, pushing a
moribund system into action. Far more attention is being paid to the needs
of struggling schools and students. Teacher quality is the new buzz
phrase. Accountability has emerged from the twin system of assessments and
consequences, opine the editors of the Seattle Times. On the fourth
anniversary of the largest federal effort in our schools, public education
is becoming accessible and accountable to all. There will be no magic cure
for what ails failing schools and students, only hard work to reverse the
trend. Federal education reform is slated for reauthorization next year.
The need for congressional input is an opportunity to continue the
tinkering and fine-tuning necessary with major reform. But the essential
features of the law -- high standards, assessment and accountability --
should be protected. Public education is not where it needs to be. Four
years into a major overhaul, no one expects it to be. But the system is
farther down the road than if nothing had been attempted.

Assessment Rubrics, Technology Assessment
Testing & Assessment - the mother load
Evaluating the Evaluators
Retention - Who Will benefit?

California's schools are among the most segregated in the nation -- and
they are becoming even more divided, with Latino and African-American
students clustered together and isolated from whites, according to a study
by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. This trend -- driven by
economic, policy and demographic changes within the state -- compounds the
disadvantages of Latino and black students. And white students miss an
important lesson about life in a diverse society, reports Lisa Krieger.
"Segregation is growing in degree and complexity as the nation becomes
increasingly multiracial," said Gary Orfield, lead author of the report
and director of the project. "We have to get away from thinking of
segregation as something that came out of the Old South -- and think about
how it's happening in the new California." The findings hold true even in
diverse Silicon Valley. In the San Jose Unified School District, the
average black student in 1991 went to a school with 40 percent white
students and 40 percent Latino students. By 2003, that changed to 28
percent white students and 50 percent Latinos. In general, the study said,
schools with high concentrations of blacks and Latinos have less-qualified
teachers, lower levels of student competition, more limited curriculum,
more serious health problems and a higher dropout rate. There are fewer
fluent native speakers of standard English, a skill that's essential in
college. Asian-Americans are the most integrated racial group. Even when
they are in predominantly minority schools, they are seldom in schools
overwhelmingly Asian, and are unlikely to have the kind of ``linguistic
segregation'' that affects Latino students, the study found. During the
civil rights era, California schools were far more racially integrated
than schools in other regions of the country. By 2003-04, it was among the
top five most-segregated states for both blacks and Latinos. Schools in
Nevada and Texas, also once well integrated states, have lost ground, too.
This is not because of a flight to private schools, as seen after the
civil rights era, Orfield said. The reasons for today's segregation:
Minorities tended to move to the cities, while whites moved to the
suburbs. Also, Latinos and blacks tend to have more children. "These
groups are inheriting the city," he said.

***************************************************************** INTEGRATE FOLKLORE, MUSIC, & TRADITIONAL CULTURE <> Bridge the divide with culturally relevant content Folk music - sung during the days before there was a music industry when the role of music was about your life - about the life and times that most of us don't experience anymore and when the music was sung because it helped people through it and sustained them. Teach history through song. *****************************************************************

How stupid is the public discourse about America's public schools?
Consider John Stossel's amazingly stupid recent hour-long 20/20 episode.
In fairness, Stossel raises a string of worthwhile questions in his addled
report. How well do American children read and cipher compared to kids
from other countries? That's a question well worth asking -- and Stossel
asks it early on. "Stupid in America" also asks a series of worthwhile
policy questions. For example, would expanded "school choice" improve
public education? Early and often, Stossel swears that it would. And
Stossel asks other worthwhile questions during this remarkable program.
However, Daily Howler takes Stossel to task for using shoddy questioning
and research, and for oversimplifying complex issues. Is Stossel
conducting journalism or a jeremiad? ABC News insults the public interest
by airing a ludicrous show of this type.

Literacy Defined: how to read, how to write, how to use computers,
how to find and evaluate information found on the net.
What do Administrators, Teachers, and the Public need to know?
Find out more about literacy and approaches to improving it.

SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN THE UNITED STATES It is common knowledge that few schools come close to having enough resources to deal with a large number of students with mental health and psychosocial problems. Schools report having many children and adolescents in need of assistance. For some schools, the numbers have risen to over half those enrolled. Given this state of affairs, it is poignant to see how low a priority schools assign in both policy and practice to addressing psychosocial and mental health concerns. According to a new survey of schools from the Center for Mental Health in Schools and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this arena of activity is extremely marginalized. As a result, interventions are developed and function in relative isolation of each other. The problem category that schools reported most frequently as a top mental health issue was social, interpersonal, or family problems. This problem was also most frequently reported to consume the most resources, followed by aggression or disruptive behavior and behavioral problems associated with neurological disorders. Depression was more frequently reported as a top mental health problem in high school (for both boys and girls) than in middle school, as was substance abuse. Most schools reported that they provide a range of mental health services, but these results are tempered by the fact that half of schools also reported that inadequate mental health supports in schools are a serious barrier. Financial constraints of families were reported by over half of schools as barriers to service. The majority of schools also reported that they provide school-wide or curriculum-based prevention and early intervention programs.

"The new requirements of standards-based education, coupled with the
increasing introduction of competition to traditional public providers,
makes it imperative that the professionals in mainstream public schools
find new, more effective ways of working together to improve student
achievement," writes Paul Reville, President of the Rennie Center for
Education Research & Policy, in the preface to a new handbook for union
leaders, teachers and managers offering innovative best practices on how
to reform the collective bargaining process for the benefit of students.
Covering topics like "peer review," "pay for performance," and "school
intervention processes," this book provides a unique national review of
path-breaking collective-bargaining agreements and illustrates how
districts and unions are putting their shared interests in students and
learning at the forefront of their work together. Strides made by
districts throughout the nation are highlighted, as well as best practices
implemented in major urban regions. "The good news is that challenges
posed by collective bargaining contracts are not insurmountable. We
document dozens of instances where unions and local school officials have
broken through traditional barriers and implemented innovative and
effective practices that benefit students and professionals," said
Reville. Read the introduction and first chapter for free at:

A study released today by the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE)
documents significant achievement by students who attend Boston's Pilot
Schools. The research found Pilot School students performing better than
the district averages across every indicator of student engagement and
performance. Among the documented results were higher performance by Pilot
students at every grade level, on every test administered as part of the
MCAS (the state standardized test), as well as a higher college going rate
among Pilot students, along with higher attendance and lower suspension
rates. Dan French, Executive Director of CCE, said, "This data suggests
that the Pilot model of granting schools control over their resources and
holding them to increased accountability is a powerful formula for
improving our urban public schools." Unique to Boston, Pilot Schools are
generally small schools that set their own course in everything from
curriculum and budget to schedule and staffing. Each Pilot School is
guided by its own governing board. Pilot Schools were established in the
mid-1990's to provide increased choice to Boston's families, in response
to new state legislation creating charter schools, and to be models of
educational innovation for the district. There are currently 19 Pilot
Schools spanning PreK-12, and enrolling approximately 5,900 students, or
about 10% of the district's student enrollment. The report cites
comparative attendance rates at Pilot Schools as evidence of a high level
of "engagement." Starting with a slightly higher Pilot attendance rate in
elementary schools, the disparity increased at the middle school level and
grew to where the Pilot high school attendance rate was 95%, compared to a
rate of 89% for other high schools -- representing a difference of two
weeks of attendance in a school year. One key to the Pilot story over the
years has been the commitment of the Boston Teachers Union to an
innovative agreement for a network of Boston's schools. Pilot Schools
have, in fact, influenced an evolution in many Boston schools. The
transformation of large schools to small schools, the use of varied forms
of assessment, and the introduction of course sequences unique to
individual schools all reflect growing recognition that students and
teachers work better when the motivation comes from within, rather than
from the central office.

Are your school districts trying to teach to the state standards?
Find out what standards there are for teachers and administrators.
Who sets the standards and how to improve achievement.
Testing and Assessment

Across the American public school system, fewer than 10 percent of
substitutes get any skills training, and only about 42 percent go through
an orientation, says a researcher at Utah State University. But the trend
is positive. The demands of the school day are altering the role of
substitute teachers as placeholders or baby sitters. More districts are
training their subs in classroom management and instructional skills so a
teacher's absence does not mean a lost day of learning. In this recent
article, Education World explores substitute training programs.

Talk of $1 billion-plus Wake County (NC) school construction bond issues
is making some voters question why bonds are needed when the new state
lottery will provide money for building schools. Such thoughts are giving
ulcers to Wake school and county leaders working on a bond referendum for
November. They say the lottery has led to the mistaken impression that
local school bond issues will no longer be needed. School board chairwoman
Patti Head said the new state lottery would give Wake only about $9.2
million a year for school construction. That wouldn't even cover half the
$23 million cost of building one new elementary school. School leaders say
several large bond issues will be needed for the foreseeable future as
long as Wake continues to experience rapid growth. Wake is projected to
add 72,000 students over the next decade.

The annual school construction "begathon" took place recently in
Annapolis. This is a yearly ritual in which county executives, and school
board members and superintendents plead their case for state money to
build new public schools or fix the windows and roofs of old ones. In the
end, the panel approved $211 million in spending that had previously been
recommended by the state's public school construction committee. The other
$70 million will be doled out in the spring. Not all the participants were
so sure the exercise had been so useful. "We shouldn't have to go through
this hysteria of begging for money," said State Sen. Lisa Gladden
(D-Baltimore). "The hysteria demeans the need."

For many years it's been "no excuses" for schools. What about "no excuses"
for the people who are supposed to fund schools so they can adequately do
their job? It's time for some blunt talk, writes Robert F. Sexton.
According to Census data, Kentucky's investment in K-12 schools compared
to the ability to invest has sunk to 50th in the nation. Kentucky invests
between $800 and $1,400 less per student every year than other states,
depending on what measure you use. That's between $500 million and $1
billion short. Nobody claims that education's challenges will be solved
solely by more money. But people who think we can make great strides
without investing are kidding themselves. The "no excuses" era for schools
began in 1990 when, for the first time in history, Kentucky started
measuring student achievement and holding schools accountable for it. The
school leader who doesn't know that proficiency for all students has to be
achieved by 2014 has been living on Mars. "No excuses" accountability is
not perfect, and many parents still hear excuses from their schools. But
the culture of accountability for student learning is strongly taking
hold. On the other hand, the state's constitution says "the General
Assembly shall provide for an efficient system of common schools
throughout the State." This sounds to Sexton like "no excuses" for the
legislature, and that's what the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in 1989.

The achievement yardstick, which began in 1969 ...
 periodically tracks achievement on a range
the new state achievement test, the California Learning Assessment
demanding measure of achievement, and the Ravenswood scores

A new study by the Youth Development Institute of the Fund for the City of
New York reveals emerging lessons from the New Century High Schools
Initiative. The urgent need for redesign of urban high schools is clear
and has become a major focus of reform efforts nationally. The
three-year-old initiative reinvents large, underperforming high schools in
New York City by creating small autonomous schools and developing
partnerships with outside organizations that are central to the
conceptualization and implementation of the new schools. Partnering
organizations include settlement houses, museums, universities, youth
development organizations, and cultural institutions. The initiative's
hallmark strategy of "school-level partnerships," has resulted in
innovative curricula, greater personalization for students, and improved
school management practices that offer important lessons for policymakers
and school leaders across the nation. Key findings from the report
include: (1) Education partnerships attract more school resources and
enhance academic content; (2) A growing number of superintendents are
recognizing the potential of partnerships to make systemic changes in
schools; (2) When fully implemented, partnerships help transcend
traditional approaches to school governance, teaching practices, and
social supports for students. New Visions for Public Schools, a local
education fund, manages the initiative, which is supported by the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Open
Society Institute. Dr. Janice M. Hirota, the principal investigator says,
"Organizational partners bring new resources, approaches, expertise, and
opportunities to the students in their schools. But actually putting these
partnerships into practice does more. It requires reframing the means and
meaning of the high school educational enterprise..."

Chronic poverty in rural areas, and urban areas for that matter,
represents long-term neglect and lack of investment -- a lack of
investment in people as well as communities. According to Cynthia M.
Duncan, that lack of investment began as deliberate efforts by those in
power -- local elites or employers -- to hold people back. Because it has
worked for them, to keep their labor force vulnerable, keep them
powerless. In the case of Appalachia, the coal operators wanted to keep
workers from unionizing and demanding higher wages in the early days of
coal mining because the industry was so competitive. Historians have shown
that the large Northeastern utilities and Midwestern utilities were
pitting one small company against another. In the face of this bitter
competition, coal operators tried to control everything about workers'
lives to keep their labor costs down. And part of controlling everything
was to not educate people, to be in control of the ministers, the doctors,
the stores ... and to discourage workers' participation in community life,
making the workers dependent on the coal operators for everything about
their livelihood and their community. Of course, we know the history of
slavery and sharecropping was one where the white plantation owners
deliberately kept blacks from learning to read or owning property or
gaining skills that would give them the freedom to make more choices or to
choose something besides the conditions that the plantation owners had
created. According to Duncan, the places we see deep, persistent, rural
poverty are the places where there is a combination of this economic
control and, in many cases, racism.

INPUT NEEDED ON TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEEDS The American Psychological Association (APA) wants to obtain input from America's teachers about their professional development needs. APA's Teachers' Needs Survey, which has been approved by the University of Maryland Institutional Review Board, is gathering information about teachers' perceptions of professional development in several areas, including classroom management, instructional practices, classroom diversity, family and community outreach, and other teaching skills and knowledge informed by psychological science. The survey will help inform public policy as well as the creation of APA professional development courses for teachers based on the needs teachers identify. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and it is confidential. To protect confidentiality, data will be released in the aggregate only. Survey results will be available in the PEN Weekly NewsBlast and on the APA website later this year. Please share the following link to the Teachers' Needs survey with PK-12 teachers nationwide:

|---------------GRANT AND FUNDING INFORMATION--------------|

"Leaders in Learning Awards"
Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards honor individuals whose innovative
practices or policies have made a major contribution to the education of
children and youth. Maximum Award: $3000. Eligibility: educators,
administrators, community leaders, and policymakers. Deadline: January 31,

"Support for Study and Professional Advancement of Teachers"
K-12. Wright Fellowships for Teachers of Science provide support for study
and professional advancement to teachers whose significant innovations in
their school's science curriculum have improved their students'
understanding of science. Maximum Award: $47,500.  Eligibility: full-time
teachers, at the elementary, middle-school or high-school level with a
minimum of five years' science teaching experience. Deadline: February 1,

"HP Technology for Teaching Grants"
This program supports innovative and effective uses of technology to teach
in the classroom setting. Awards will go to public schools that are using
a collaborative, team-based approach to implementing technology
integration projects. Maximum Award: $30,000. Eligibility: K-12 public
schools in the U.S. Deadline: February 15, 2006.

"Free National & Global Youth Service Day Materials" Free National & Global Youth Service Day Materials are available to in the planning of service projects for the 18th Annual National & Global Youth Service Day, April 21-23, 2006. Planning Tool Kits, Service-Learning Curriculum Guides, and Classroom Posters are now available in print and on-line. Download these materials or order free printed copies at:

"Learning in the Arts Grants"
National Endowment for the Arts LEARNING IN THE ARTS FOR CHILDREN AND
YOUTH Program offers funding for projects that help children and youth
acquire appreciation, knowledge, and understanding of and skills in the
arts. Projects must provide participatory learning and engagement of
students with skilled artists, teachers, and excellent art, and ensure the
application of national, state, or local arts education standards. Maximum
Award: $5,000-$150,000.  Eligibility: school-based or community based
projects. Deadline: June 12, 2006.

"Coming Up Taller Awards"
The Coming Up Taller Awards recognize and reward outstanding after-school
and out-of-school arts and humanities programs for underserved children
and youth. Maximum Award: $10,000. Eligibility: Programs initiated by
museums, libraries, performing arts organizations, universities, colleges,
arts centers, community service organizations, schools, businesses, and
eligible government entities. Deadline: January 30, 2006.

"National School and Business Partnerships Award"
The National School and Business Partnerships Award supports and
recognizes the efforts of schools and businesses that partner to improve
the academic, social or physical well-being of students. Maximum Award:
$10,000. Eligibility: Partnerships involving kindergarten through 12th
grade public schools and/or school districts and businesses. Deadline:
January 30, 2006.

"National Teach-In celebration of National Youth Service Day and National
Law Day"
Youth for Justice, the national coordinated law- related education (LRE)
consortium funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention of the United States Department of Justice, invites 100 middle
and high school classes across the United States to teach others about the
fundamental ideas of American democracy through the Third Annual National
Teach-In celebration of National Youth Service Day and National Law Day.
Maximum Award: $200. Eligibility: middle school and high school classes.
Deadline: January 31, 2006.

"Grants for In-school Music Projects"
The Mockingbird Foundation is offering grants for in-school music projects
that promote creative expression through music, encouraging applications
associated with diverse or unusual musical styles, genres, forms, and
philosophies. Maximum Award: $5,000. Eligibility: non-profit
organizations, public schools. Deadline: February 1, 2006.

"NEA Fine Arts Grants"
On behalf of the National Education Association (NEA), The NEA Foundation
offers NEA Fine Arts grants to NEA members. Available to elementary
(grades K-6) school art specialists through local NEA affiliates, the
grants allow fine arts educators to create and implement programs that
promote learning among students at risk of school failure. Deadline:
February 1, 2006.

"The NEA Foundation"
Grants are provided for the purpose of engaging in high-quality
professional development or implementing project-based learning and
break-the-mold innovations that raise student achievement. Maximum Award:
$5,000. Eligibility: public school teachers, public school education
support professionals, and faculty and staff in public higher education
institutions. Deadline: February 1, 2006.

"Youth Nutrition & Fitness Grant Program"
General Mills Foundation Champions Youth Nutrition and Fitness grant
program to encourage communities in the United States to improve the
eating and physical activity patterns of young people, ages 2-20. Grants
will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and agencies working with
communities that demonstrate the greatest need and likelihood of
sustainable impact on young people's nutrition and activity levels through
innovative programs. Maximum Award: $10,000. Eligibility: community-based
groups. Deadline: February 1, 2006.

"Excellence in Summer Learning Award"
The Excellence in Summer Learning Award recognizes an outstanding summer
program that demonstrates excellence in accelerating academic achievement
and promoting positive development for young people between kindergarten
and twelfth grade. Award: national recognition, increased press
opportunities, conference presentations and complimentary registrations,
professional development opportunities for staff, and increased publishing
opportunities. Eligibility: public or private organization or agency
(schools, community-based organizations, libraries, universities,
faith-based organizations, etc.) serving young people between the ages of
kindergarten and twelfth grade over the summer months. Deadline: February
10, 2006.

"Christopher Columbus Awards Program"
The Christopher Columbus Awards Program combines science and technology
with community problem-solving. Students work in teams with the help of an
adult coach to identify an issue they care about and, using science and
technology, work with experts, conduct research, and put their ideas to
the test to develop an innovative solution. Maximum Award: $25,000 and an
all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to attend the program's
National Championship Week. Eligibility: middle-school-age (sixth,
seventh, and eighth grade) children; teams do not need to be affiliated
with a school to enter. Deadline: February 13, 2006.

"MathMovesU Grants and Scholarships Program"
Raytheon Company has launched the MathMovesU Grants and Scholarships
Program to reward real-life "Math Heroes" for their dedication to
improving math education and their inspiration of participation in math.
Maximum Award: $2,500. Eligibility: full-time teachers currently employed
and teaching a mathematics curriculum at a middle school or high school in
the U.S. Deadline: February 15, 2006.

"Stimulating Interest in Careers in Fisheries Science and Management"
The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program is designed to stimulate
interest in careers in fisheries science and management among groups
underrepresented in the fisheries professions, including minorities and
women. Students (Grades 10-12) spend 8 weeks in the summer working
alongside their mentor who is a fishery professional in their local
community. Maximum Award: Participants receive a $3,000 scholarship paid
out in 6 installments over the summer months. Eligibility: all sophomore,
junior, and senior high school students regardless of race, creed, or
gender. Because the principal goal of the program is to increase diversity
within the fisheries professions, preference will be given to qualified
women and minority applicants. Deadline: February 15, 2006.

"CiviConnections Program"
The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) CiviConnections program
links local historical inquiry with community service-learning activities
nationwide in 3rd-12th grade classrooms. CiviConnections projects during
the 2006/07 school year will focus on: Poverty, Health Care,
Discrimination, or the Environment. Maximum Award: $7,500. Eligibility:
teams of three teachers from grades 3-12 in the same public school
district with membership in NCSS or agreeing to join if selected; must
partner with at least one local community agency and meet certain other
requirements (see website). Deadline:  February 24, 2006.

"The Purpose Prize: $100,000 for Five Innovators Over 60"
As the first of 77 million baby boomers turn 60, Civic Ventures, a
nonprofit organization working to help America achieve the greatest return
on experience, announces The Purpose Prize -- five $100,000 investments in
Americans over 60 whose creativity, talent and experience is transforming
the way our nation addresses critical social problems, including
education.  The Purpose Prize is for those "with the passion, smarts, and
experience to discover new opportunities, create new programs, or find
inventive ways to make lasting social change."  Sixty semi-finalists ("60
at 60") will also receive national recognition for their work.  To
nominate someone or apply yourself, click below. Deadline: February 28,

"New Leaders for New Schools Seek Candidates to Become Urban School
New Leaders for New Schools is currently accepting applications for
candidates who meet our 10 selection criteria (see website) and want to
lead change for children in low income communities by becoming urban
public school principals.  Candidates should have  a record of success in
leading adults, an expertise in K-12 teaching and learning, a relentless
drive to lead an excellent urban school, and most importantly, an
unyielding belief in the potential of every child to achieve academically
at high levels. Eligibility: a minimum of 2-3 years of successful K-12
instruction experience; a teaching certificate preferred. Deadline: March
1, 2006.

"Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest"
The Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest is expanding its prize
categories to include honoring the teacher of the nation's best
handwriting student. Maximum Award (for student): a new computer system
and Zaner-Bloser handwriting software; (for teacher): a trip for two to
Boston. Eligibility: students grades 1-8 whose school uses Zaner-Bloser
Handwriting. Deadline: March 1, 2006.

"Recognizing a Teacher Who Overcomes Adversity"
Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Freida J. Riley Teacher Award
annually recognizes an American teacher who overcomes adversity or makes
an enormous sacrifice in order to positively impact students. It is given
in honor of teacher Freida J. Riley who died of Hodgkin's disease at the
age of 31. Maximum Award: $10,000. Eligibility: full-time teachers (grades
K-12), in any accredited U.S. public, private, or charter school.
Deadline: March 1, 2006.

"Grants to Integrate Literacy with Personal and Civic Action"
Starbucks Foundation Grants fund programs that integrate literacy with
personal and civic action in the communities where they live. Maximum
Award: $5,000. Eligibility: 501 (c) 3 organizations that work with
underserved youth ages 6-18 in the fields of literacy (reading, writing
and creative/media arts) and environmental literacy. Deadline: March 1,

"Horace Mann-Abraham Lincoln Fellowship"
Horace Mann Corporation and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library have
partnered to form the Horace Mann-Abraham Lincoln Fellowship, a program
designed to help educators study the life and legacy of America's 16th
president. The program features a five-day institute at the new library in
June and July, 2006. Maximum Award: $1,000 each to cover expenses for
their trip to the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois,
to participate in programs created by the ALPL Foundation. Eligibility:
full-time educators teaching kindergarten through 12th grade in the U.S.
Deadline: March 4, 2006.

"Healthy Eating Research Grants" Healthy Eating Research is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports research to identify, analyze and evaluate environmental and policy strategies that can promote healthy eating among children and prevent childhood obesity. Special emphasis will be given to research projects that will benefit children in the low-income and racial/ethnic populations at highest risk for obesity. Maximum Award: $75,000-$400,000. Eligibility: Preference given to 501(c)(3) organizations. Must be U.S.-based. Deadline: March 7, 2006.

"Grants for Service-Learning Projects"
Learn and Serve America, part of the Corporation for National and
Community Service, has released a Notice of funding Opportunity for grant
funds to support school-based, community-based, higher education, and
tribal and U.S. territory service-learning projects. The grant competition
is to promote the development and sustainability of high-quality
community-based service-learning programs in youth-serving community
organizations across the nation.  Maximum Award: Varies. Eligibility: K-12
schools, colleges, volunteer centers, faith-based organizations. Deadline:
March 7, 2006.

"Unsung Heroes Awards Program"
The ING Unsung Heroes awards program recognizes innovative and progressive
thinking in education through monetary awards. Maximum Award: $25,000 to
Grand Prize Winner. Eligibility: full-time educators, teachers,
principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff members with effective
projects that improve student learning at an accredited K-12 public or
private school. Deadline: May 1, 2006.

"J8 Global Citizen Programme" The J8 Global Citizen Programme gives winners of its competition the opportunity to travel to Russia in July 2006 to join young people from all the other G8 countries at J8 St Petersburg 2006. Maximum Award: an all-expenses-paid, 3-day Summit in July 2006, plus various prizes. Eligibility: groups of 6-8 students aged 13-16.Deadline: March 31, 2006.

"Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year"
These awards recognize exceptional classroom social studies teachers for
grades K-6, 5-8, and 7-12 who teach social studies regularly and
systematically in elementary, and at least half time in middle or junior
high, and high school settings. Maximum Award: $2,500. Eligibility: Anyone
may nominate. Self nominations will be accepted. NCSS Membership is
required. Deadline: April 1, 2006.

"Nickelodeon Announces Giveaway Program to Encourage Healthy Play"
Children's television network Nickelodeon will distribute more than $1
million from September 2005 to June 2006. The "Let's Just Play" Giveaway
offers kids around the United States the opportunity to take action and
enter for a chance to improve their school or community program's fitness
resources. Maximum Award: $5000. Eligibility: Kids (6-15 years of age),
partnering with teachers and other community-based leaders. Deadline:
rolling, until May 31, 2006.

"Show Me the Money: Tips & Resources for Successful Grant Writing"
Many educators have found that outside funding, in the form of grants,
allows them to provide their students with educational experiences and
materials their own districts can't afford. Learn how they get those
grants -- and how you can get one too. Included: Practical tips to help
first-time grant writers get the grants they need.

"Department of Education Forecast of Funding"
This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which
the Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications
for new awards for FY 2006 and provides actual or estimated deadline dates
for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in
the form of charts -- organized according to the Department's principal
program offices -- and includes previously announced programs and
competitions, as well as those planned for announcement at a later date.
Note: This document is advisory only and is not an official application
notice of the Department of Education. They expect to provide regular
updates to this document.

"Ironically, reform of the No Child Left Behind Act may be one of the few
issues Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Officeholders from both
sides of the aisle have complained that NCLB centralizes too much power in
Washington, that it imposes onerous testing requirements, and that it
punishes schools for not meeting unrealistic expectations. The act even
has liberal educators now repeating traditional conservative arguments for
flexibility and local control and against bureaucracy and federal power."
-Richard Skinner, visiting assistant professor of Government at Bowdoin

Howie Schaffer
Public Outreach Manager
Public Education Network
601 Thirteenth Street, NW #710S
Washington, DC 20005

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  • » PEN Weekly NewsBlast for January 20, 2006