PEN Weekly NewsBlast for January 27, 2006

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Public Education Network Weekly NewsBlast "Public Involvement. Public Education. Public Benefit." ******************************************************** IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, THE NAME GAME AS A DONOR LURE The trend of buying naming rights for public school facilities has expanded nationwide -- and far beyond athletic facilities. Strapped school districts have begun a blitz of new efforts to attract private money, reports Tamar Lewin. Many have hired development officers to seek out their community's big donors, and consider everything from corporate sponsorship of the high school prom to selling advertising space on school roofs. In states where it is legal, there are districts that now sell advertisements on their school buses. And districts across the country are for the first time dangling naming privileges as an incentive to contribute or rewriting their policies to specify what can be made available for what level of donation. The push for private money stems from several different pressures, school officials say. In most states, tight budgets, new government requirements and rising operating costs have left the pool of state education financing too small to keep up with school needs or desires. Many communities already feel taxed out and are unwilling to support increases in local property taxes. And public schools have become increasingly aware of how colleges, hospitals and private schools use naming rights in fund-raising. But policy experts and school officials say private financing for public schools carries real risks: What happens if and when the private money dries up? Will donors take a disproportionate role in shaping school policy? And each time private money fills the gaps left by public financing, does it enable legislators and taxpayers to shrug off responsibility for supporting education?

States now spend more on health care for the poor than they do on
elementary and secondary education, a policy group said in its annual
review of efforts to deal with the growing problem of the uninsured. The
states spent 21.9% of their revenue on Medicaid in fiscal year 2004.
Elementary and second education consumed about 21.5% of states' budgets.
Higher education came in at a distant third, 10.5%. "Today, Medicaid
accounts for the largest and fastest growing category of state
expenditures," said the State Coverage Initiatives program, which provides
technical support to help states broaden health insurance coverage. The
increase in Medicaid costs for the states stems from the continued decline
in employer-sponsored health insurance, the report said. Medicaid
generally covers children who lost access to employer-sponsored coverage,
but those programs often don't cover adults who have lost such coverage.

A new organization aims for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to
reallocate school spending so that at least 65 cents on every dollar goes
directly into the classroom -- on books and teacher pay -- by the end of
2008. The concept is taking hold: The "65 percent solution" has already
swept through state capitol domes in Texas, Kansas, and Louisiana, reports
Patrik Jonsson. Earlier this month, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R)
introduced legislation, joining 17 other states that have proposed bills
to meet that 65 percent threshold. Currently, the national average
classroom spending is about 61.5 cents on the dollar, according to the
National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). Nationally, public
opinion supports the school reform measure. A Harris Interactive Poll last
November showed that 70 to 80 percent of all demographic groups backed the
65 percent solution and the politicians who bring it to the table. But
education researchers are not sure whether the plan will work. Although
nationwide statistics show a correlation between percentage of money spent
statewide and standardized test scores, that correlation is not clear at
the local district level. The average US school district now spends 81
percent of its budget on personnel, including teachers, support staff, and
administrators. A "one-size-fits-all" limit at the state level would ruin
the existing system of local control over how money gets spent, says Bruce
Hunter, of the American Association of School Administrators.

Parents and students vented their frustration with the state of public
education to a packed crowd Wednesday at a unique hearing about the
controversial No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) at the San Francisco Public
Library?s Koret Auditorium. The hearing, one in a series held nationwide
by Public Education Network (PEN), was designed to gauge the impact of the
legislation, which tightened standards for teacher certification and
student performance. The event was the eighth of ten public hearings in
cities throughout the United States, reports Jacob Schneider. Ultimately,
PEN will consolidate the information gathered at the hearings and in
written testimony and compile a report for reference in future revisions
of the act. Most speakers took issue with provisions of NCLB which require
annual standardized testing and entail harsh penalties for schools which
perform poorly for two years in a row, including loss of funding. "The
communities are blamed, the parents are blamed, the students are blamed,
rather than recognizing that there?s no stabilization of funding," said
Berkeley parent Maria Lucero Padilla. Students said that the emphasis on
standardized testing is detrimental to the classroom environment. Another
point of contention was NCLB?s strict standards for teacher

An analysis of the 2003 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)
reports surprising results. Christopher and Sarah Lubienski find that
traditional public school students score higher in mathematics than
students in private and charter schools, once demographic characteristics
and school location are taken into account. Specifically, fourth grade
public school students outscore private and charter school students by
between 4 and 12 points. A 10-11 point difference on the NAEP is generally
viewed as representing a difference of one grade level. Findings were
mixed at the eighth grade level. Public school students scored below
Lutheran private school and charter school students, but outperformed
Catholic, Conservative Christian, and other private school types.
Interestingly, the performance of charter schools rose in relation to
traditional public school students once student background characteristics
were considered. Thus, charter schools may enroll students who are more
disadvantaged in the NAEP sample. Overall, this analysis undermines the
common perception that private institutions provide a superior learning
experience relative to public schools. In the past, research has suggested
that the need to compete for students forces private schools to operate
efficiently and focus on improving educational outcomes. Charter schools
and vouchers, as well as the choice provisions located in No Child Left
Behind are based on this argument. However, this study suggests that
privatization and choice-based policies are not quick fixes to the
problems found in education.

Funding from the New York Life Foundation allowed Public Education Network
(PEN) and its member local education funds (LEFs) in Minneapolis, San
Francisco and Tampa to update and refurbish library media centers in four
high schools. The Revitalizing High School Libraries (RHSL) initiative has
increased the number of students reading more for fun as well as for
class. Survey results suggest that students are talking more about books
and reading with family and friends. These behaviors are strongly
associated with higher reading and academic achievement. This pilot
program has invested in computer technology, revised collections, revamped
library design, and extended hours of school library operation
facilitating use before school, during school (including lunch hour), and
after school. Grantee sites report greater student access to media centers
with current materials that supplement core subject areas and that are of
interest to students. Library media center specialists purchase
high-interest books that are appropriate for a variety of reading levels.
As a result, many students across all schools report increased reading
levels, and especially greater comprehension and use of new vocabulary.

THE 2006 FEDERAL EDUCATION BUDGET IS NOT SO ROSY The federal budget is final and it does not please the education community, writes David A. DeSchryver. The FY 2006 budget provides the first cut in federal education spending in over a decade and it terminates many state-based programs that were not deemed to be effective. Overall, the Department of Education will receive $56.5 billion in discretionary for FY 2006, which began Oct. 1, which is $59 million less than it received in 2005. Education technology did not avoid the knife. The program lost $221 million from FY 2005, yet that is, oddly, good news for many in the sector. Early in the year the program faced termination, but for some fierce lobbying (making it clear that it is difficult to have a data driven technology culture without technology funding) the entire program would have vanished. Other programs did not fare as well. Forty eight programs will be eliminated and their funds will be used to buttress other areas and absorb the loss. There are, however, some bright points. First, Congress did make an exceptional effort to accommodate the needs of the states and districts rampaged by hurricane Katrina by providing more than $253 million through the Hurricane Education Recovery Act. Poverty and special education programs also received a boost. The federal Title I program will increase by $603 million and funding for disabled students will increase $508 million to $11.1 billion. All considered, it is unfortunate that such a cornerstone of the Bush Administration did not receive the attention is deserves, but that was the case for most non-defense programs in the 2006 federal budget.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY ABOUT SCHOOL-BASED CHILD CARE? Each year, half a million teenagers become mothers in the United States. School-based child care programs are a positive way for educational institutions to encourage young mothers to return to or stay in school, prepare for employment, and acquire accurate information about child development and appropriate parenting practices. Nationwide, school-based child-care centers are increasing in number and are used to meet a variety of needs: They give teenage mothers an incentive to stay in school, and students interested in working with babies and young children get practical experience by changing diapers, resolving disputes over toys, and writing lesson plans. For some schools, career education is the main objective for operating child-care facilities. And in some cases, the centers provide on-site child care for teachers and other school employees. Evidence suggests: (1) When there are child care centers in public high schools, teen-age parents whose children attend the facility are more likely to complete their education and less likely to become dependent on welfare. (2) Schools benefit through lower dropout rates, improved parent education programs, vocational training for students, and increased performance from faculty who enroll their children in the facility. (3) Communities profit from having a lower number of welfare participants; more efficient use of public health, nutrition, and social services; and more accessible high quality child care. (4) The child care profession gains trained professionals, and all the children involved benefit from a high-quality preschool education.

There are two ways to interpret "Green Eggs and Ham." It is as a
terrifying torture-and-kidnap story: It begins, famously, with a question,
"Do you like green eggs and ham?" -- and a proffered platter. In spite of
its unorthodox greenness, the ham looks rather succulent. Yet the offer is
refused. The Protagonist -- a typical Seussian creature with furry
exterior and rumpled top-hat -- then retreats grumpily to his house, where
Sam-I-am harasses him, confronting him first with a rodent, and then with
a smug-faced fox. The second way to interpret the book is as a
celebration, albeit a mischievous one, of two particularly American
traits: salesmanship and open-mindedness. Sam-I-am is the consummate
entrepreneur, although, clearly, he does not believe in soft-sell, writes
Tunku Varadarajan. Sam-I-am is convinced of his product's attractiveness,
and the evangelism of his pitch is evident. "Green Eggs and Ham" is a book
written to be read aloud to preliterate children. And new research--by
economists such as James Heckman, and others--now reveals that a child's
intellectual and civic development is often made (or marred) by the
stimuli he receives well before he learns to read. So a book that
electrifies a child when read aloud is not merely a source of pleasure,
but a building block for his future.

Some critics see specific curriculum programs pushed on public schools as
part of a larger right-wing push to privatize public education. In a
recent issue of the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies,
university researchers Patricia Hinchey and Karen Cadiero-Kaplan wrote
that by "putting public funds into private pockets" with its blatant
promotion of companies such as Voyager Expanded Learning, the Bush
administration is setting the stage for a widespread acceptance of
for-profit charter schools funded by public money. In Texas, for example,
Betty Brink reports that Voyager has been helped by government policy
changes like that mandated by the Texas Legislature in 2003, which
attached a little-known rider to an appropriations bill to give the Texas
Education Agency $12 million to spend on reading, that is, to spend on a
single intervention program for struggling readers in kindergarten and
elementary schools. All districts had to use the one program chosen by TEA
or pay for their own. The TEA?s choice: Voyager. When schools in the state
of New York bought Voyager under pressure from presidential advisor Reid
Lyon, Big Apple public advocate Betsy Gotbaum blasted the state?s decision
as one that chose what was best for a company rather than "what?s best for
our children." After observing it in the Birmingham schools for a year,
University of Alabama professor Fran Perkins called Voyager?s curriculum
"the best example of the worst reading program for young children" she'd
ever seen. Detractors say that Voyager has indeed become a major success
story in the annals of educational entrepreneurship, based not on
producing a superior product but on its founders? ability to attract
well-funded and well-connected investors and to hire top educators away
from public schools that then become its clients.
And in spite of all of the millions that have poured into
the district for new reading programs since 1998, reading
scores for most Fort Worth Texas students have not improved.
School For Profit Scam - By 1994, Dallas entrepreneur
Randy Best had made a fortune in investment banking.
That year he decided to branch out. He rounded up investors and,
with $3.5 million in hand, founded a for-profit company called
Voyager Expanded Learning. One of those investors was
Charles Miller, a millionaire friend of George Bush.
The Texas governor tapped Miller to lead the statewide task force on school reform.

REACHING STUDENTS? FAMILIES ON THEIR TERMS How do you translate "authentic assessment" into Urdu? "Stakeholders" into Spanish? "Paradigm shift" into Cambodian? Translation is a notoriously difficult task, but in the world of education, which often employs a language all its own, the job can be even more daunting. After all, in education, parents aren't just parents, they're "stakeholders." A test isn't a test -- it's an "outcome-based assessment." Increasingly, education is not just about how to reach students in the classroom -- it's about how to communicate and connect with their families outside of school. "Immigrant families are the fastest-growing sector of the school population in the U.S.," said Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, co-director of New York University's Immigration Studies Program. "Schools in every corner of the country are facing this issue." In Montgomery County (MD), where students speak more than 140 languages, letters go home in five languages in addition to English: Spanish, French, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese. Fairfax County officials translate student handbooks and notices into seven tongues: Spanish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic and Farsi. "There is so much educationese out there that even an English speaker doesn't have total understanding," said Cindy Kerr, president of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations, which has pressed for improved translation services in the county, where the number of non-English-speaking students increased 83 percent from 1995 to 2005. To help non-English-speaking parents understand the nuances of the U.S. school system, it's not enough to be fluent in English and say, Farsi. Translators must also understand the meaning of terms and acronyms that some educators have difficulty explaining in English.

SURVIVAL SPANISH FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS "Eighty Fort Worth school district professionals [are] taking a free course being offered through a $20,000 grant from the Texas Christian University Strategic Initiatives Fund. When district officials announced the free classes, the response was overwhelming; 400 people applied for the available slots in ?Survival Spanish for School Administrators.? ?The classes filled up in an hour,? said Charles Hoffman, the district's executive director for student and social services. ?People see the need to be able to communicate with Spanish speakers in the district.? Hoffman said the classes will help district employees establish better rapport with the Spanish-speaking community ... About 43,000 Hispanic children make up 54 percent of the district's student population and half of them speak Spanish at home, district officials said. A desire to communicate with newly arrived Spanish-speaking immigrant students and their parents is why many educators joined the class. 'We have a lot of parents who primarily speak Spanish,? said Cheryl Chappell, a teaching assistant from Monnig Middle School. ?We always have to have an interpreter.? The 12-hour program is geared specifically for the K-through-12 learning environment. Classes are being held on the TCU campus and at the district's Professional Development Center. More classes will be held later this year."

Affirmative Action refers to a set of practices undertaken by employers,
university admissions offices, and government agencies to go beyond
nondiscrimination, with the goal of actively improving the economic status
of minorities and women with regard to employment, education, and business
ownership and growth. This additional activity can take the form of
special recruitment efforts to draw more applicants in these areas from
minorities and women, but might also include some additional consideration
of (or preference for) these applicants, given that their credentials
along certain dimensions might look weaker than those of their white male
counterparts. This paper reviews research on the effects of affirmative
action in employment, university admissions, and government procurement.
Harry Holzer and David Neumark conclude that affirmative action does
redistribute jobs, university slots and government contracts away from
white males and toward minorities and females, though these shifts are
relatively modest.

Most people will agree that principals are the most important leaders in
our school system, writes Mike Schmoker. Most will also agree that
effective leadership in schools is still dismayingly, exceedingly rare.
The key to improving school leadership begins with demystifying it. We
must clarify the most high-leverage routines and procedures for bringing
effective leadership within reach of "average" human beings. To do this,
leadership must be redefined around professional learning communities:
team-based, cooperative arrangements between instructors and
administrators. At the heart of such professional learning communities is
a commitment to having all teachers meet regularly with their colleagues
for two primary purposes: 1) to determine, in common, the essential
standards they will teach in each course on a common schedule; and 2) to
prepare lessons and units together, assess their impact on student
learning, and refine their instruction on the basis of these assessment
results. If administrators focus on and coordinate such work, we will see
record proportions of "average" human beings become highly successful
school leaders.

After more than a year of delays, the Department of Homeland Security says
it plans to launch a preparedness program next month aimed at alerting and
preparing children for natural disasters. The program, called Ready Kids,
is scheduled to roll out with TV ads, school programs and other events.
"Ready Kids is a tool for parents and teachers to use to be able to speak
to their students and children about how to be prepared for any type of
disaster," said DHS spokeswoman Joanna Gonzalez. Gonzalez said the program
will include age-appropriate activities and lessons on preparedness. FEMA,
an agency within the DHS, already has a program preparing children for
disasters. "FEMA for Kids" ( includes a pudgy and
nervous-looking airplane leaking a trail of smoke, a hermit crab mascot
named "Herman," and a song with a rap beat: "Disaster ? it can happen
anywhere, But we've got a few tips, so you can be prepared, For floods,
tornadoes, or even a 'quake, You've got to be ready -- so your heart don't

At the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington,
psychologists meet with parents about educational goals and test a child's
intelligence for fees of up to $756. Students in 5th through 10th grade
who score in the top 3 percent on standardized tests may, for $700, attend
a challenging summer course with their intellectual peers. At Stanford,
the Education Program for Gifted Youth offers classes via computer;
students work at home, communicating with a tutor, for $350 to $700 a
course each quarter. Children in these kinds of specialized programs
sometimes become excited about learning "at a level their parents have
never seen before," said Ray Ravaglia, the program's deputy director.
"They really hit their stride," he added. Some parents find these programs
enriching for smart children who are bored with their usual schoolwork.
Other parents may sign them up for the chess club, the debate team or
another extracurricular activity at their regular schools, in part to find
other parents with whom they can discuss educational and social issues. Or
the parents may simply want to find playmates who will understand their
child's jokes. Whatever their motivation, parents can find that the cost
of the care and feeding of a prodigy, starting with testing, may quickly
run into the thousands of dollars.

The ranks of blacks parents opting to teach their children at home is
growing, reports Rona Marech. Black parents -- some of whom consider
themselves to be part of a movement -- share the common concerns of most
families that home-school their children: They're dissatisfied with
expensive private schools or the failure and hopelessness they see in
public schools, or they want to emphasize religious education. But they
mention other factors, too, including the desire to broaden lessons by
incorporating multicultural or Afrocentric perspectives. Some worry that
public schools particularly disserve black children. Others say that, as
students, they were steered away from four-year colleges or otherwise
treated differently from their white peers, and they want to protect their
children from those inequities. Black home-schooling families say they are
seeing their numbers increase noticeably in Baltimore, Washington and
surrounding suburbs, areas with large black populations and, in some
cases, notoriously underperforming schools.,1,7784106.story?coll=bal-education-top

TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS & SONS TO WORK DAY Shaping the Future is the 2006 theme for Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day. Shaping the Future represents girls and boys discussing, sharing, and creating the future they envision for their lives. From how they want their work, home, and community lives to be to how they want the world to be. This national event takes place on Thursday, April 27, 2006 (recommended for girls and boys ages 8-12). Ms. Foundation encourages workplaces and individuals to ensure that all our nation's daughters and sons have the opportunity to participate in the program. This year, consider inviting children from housing developments and shelters, nieces and nephews, or neighbors and friends. Help them also gain the knowledge and experience the day has to offer. For more information visit:

The pressures of federally mandated exams have pushed public schools in
Florida and in several other states to begin classes weeks earlier than
usual to squeeze in more days of instruction before the critical tests,
sometimes striking August entirely from vacation calendars and devoting
the month, traditionally left open for childhood leisure, to class time.
But a widespread backlash, led by disgruntled parents organized into
loosely affiliated Save Our Summers groups across the country, is
underway. Legislators in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and
Pennsylvania are weighing bills this year that would peg school start
dates to Labor Day. North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin passed
similar measures in recent years. The issue is one of the most
controversial aspects in the ongoing debate over the exams used to comply
with the No Child Left Behind law, leading to widening opposition and
adding to the litany of complaints about the side effects of what critics
call high-stakes testing. Public schools in Florida, reports Peter
Whoriskey, began classes at the beginning of August, essentially wiping
out a month many had counted on for a spell of unhurried pleasure. Sherry
Sturner, a mother of two in Miami-Dade County, had been looking forward to
a family reunion up north and time at the swimming pool. But the new
schedule did not accommodate them. ''It just felt so out of whack," said
Sturner, who created a Save Our Summers group to shift the school calendar
back. ''Every year, the schools were taking another week out of our
summers. It was hot. So I said, 'You know what? I've had enough.' "

WHAT MAKES A TRUE TEACHER COMMUNITY? Educators tend to throw the term "community" around quite flippantly, says researcher Sam Wineburg. While we hear of school community, learning community, teacher community, professional community, or communities of practice, "We often assign the term when there is no semblance of community life taking place." What distinguishes a community of teachers from a group of teachers sitting in a room for a meeting? Wineburg and his colleagues Pamela Grossman and Stephen Woolworth explore this question in their paper, "What Makes Teacher Community Different from a Gathering of Teachers?" It's a highly engaging but lengthy paper -- if you have limited time to read it, you might begin on page 44 with the section "Toward Community," or on page 49 with "Why Care about Community?"

A wave of research over the past two decades has documented bullying's
harmful and lasting impact on children of all ages. Results clearly show
the psychological damage inflicted by violence, insults, and intimidation.
But less clear has been what schools can actually do to prevent bullying.
Some anti-bullying programs have gotten good results, some haven't, and
the jury is still out on others. In this article, Amy Wilson surveys the
bullying research and looks at what schools have done recently to try to
address bullying among their students. She explores the complexity of
developing effective anti-bullying programs, but she also identifies
several principles and methods that distinguish the effective programs
from the rest. The article from the most recent issue of Greater Good is a
valuable resources for teachers, school administrators, and parents alike.

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

"AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award"
This award program recognizes and encourages collaboration between school
library media specialists and teachers in meeting goals through joint
planning of a program, unit, or event in support of the curriculum and
using media center resources. Maximum Award: $2,500. Eligibility: school
library media specialists and teachers who have worked together to execute
a project, event, or program to further information literacy, independent
learning, and social responsibility using resources of the school library
media center. The library media specialist must be a personal member of
the AASL. Deadline: February 1, 2006.

"BP A+ for Energy Program" BP?s A+ for Energy program gives grants for implementing creative and innovative educational programs to teach students about energy use, alternative and sustainable energy types and sources, and energy conservation. Maximum Award: $10,000. Eligibility: all California teachers K-12. Deadline: April 7, 2006.

"American Stars of Teaching Program"
The U.S. Department of Education plans to honor outstanding classroom
teachers through the American Stars of Teaching program. The Department's
Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative is seeking nominations and information about
teachers who are improving student achievement, using innovative
strategies in the classroom, and making a difference in the lives of their
students. Eligibility: teachers across all grades and disciplines.
Deadline: April 15, 2006.

"National KIND Teacher Award"
National Association for Humane and Environmental Education National KIND
Teacher Award recognizes an outstanding teacher who consistently
incorporates humane and environmental education into his or her
curriculum. Maximum Award: n/a. Eligibility: teachers K-6. Deadline:
February 15, 2006.

"P. Buckley Moss Foundation Education Grants"
The grant program aids and supports teachers who wish to establish an
effective learning tool using the arts in teaching children with learning
disabilities and other special needs. Maximum Award: $1,000. Eligibility:
Programs in the planning stages or in existence for less than two years.
Deadline: March 1, 2006.

"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.

"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, 2006.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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:

"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.

"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.

"Learning in the Arts Grants"
National Endowment for the Arts "Learning in the Arts Grants" 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.

"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.

"Many articles have been published during the past two decades on the
subject of suicide among gifted children, and, although there is no good
evidence for it, some people think that their rate of suicide may be
higher than average. Among the factors cited, besides the risks of social
and intellectual isolation, are the attendant pressures of perfectionism
(described by one psychologist as 'an emotional need to develop themselves
and master the world') and the possibility that the gifted have heightened
sensitivity: even if they treat success and failure as equals, they take
them both hard."
-Eric Konigsberg (journalist), "Prairie Fire: The Life and Death of a
Prodigy" The New Yorker, January 6, 2006.

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


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