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January 2006 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Center for Rural Education
In December 2005, the U.S. Department of Education launched the Center for Rural Education, a new resource on the specific issues facing rural schools—particularly, the challenges of implementing No Child Left Behind. The Center will provide information to local, state, and federal policymakers.


National High School Center
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the American Institutes for Research (AIR) a five-year grant to establish a National High School Center to help states effectively implement the provisions and goals of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The National High School Center will serve as the central source of information and expertise on high school improvement for states, districts, and a national network of U.S. Department of Education-sponsored technical Regional Comprehensive Centers.

Legislative Announcements


To Raise Achievement of Students with Disabilities, Greater Flexibility for States, Schools
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings recently announced proposed regulations to enhance the ability of schools and states to more effectively measure the achievement of America’s students with disabilities. The proposed rules are designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities who may not reach grade level within the same time frame as their peers, but who can make significant strides given the right instruction.

Calls to Participate


Educators: Become an Urban Public School Principal Through New Leaders for New Schools
New Leaders for New Schools (NLNS) selects and trains passionate and results-focused educators and former educators to become urban public school principals. NLNS is currently seeking applicants for its next cohort of trainees. Applicants should have a minimum of 2-3 years of successful K-12 instruction experience and preferably a teaching certificate as well as experience working with and leading adults. Application deadline: March 1, 2006.


Filmmakers Under Age 20: Enter the Future Filmmakers Festival!
The Future Filmmakers Festival celebrates the work of film and video makers under the age of 20 from across the U.S. The 2006 Festival will be held June 16-18 in Chicago. Filmmakers accepted into the festival will be invited to attend, watch their film with an audience, attend workshops, meet in-the-know film professionals, and hang out with other young filmmakers. Deadline to submit films: January 31, 2006.


K-12 Schools and Libraries: Apply to Receive the “We the People Bookshelf”
As part of its We the People initiative, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association are presenting the We the People Bookshelf, a program that encourages young people to read classic books and explore themes in American history, culture, and ideas. K-12 schools and public libraries are invited to apply for fifteen thematically related books which embody the theme of “Becoming American.” In return for receiving a Bookshelf, libraries are required to organize programs that introduce the books and the “Becoming American” theme to the library's students/patrons. Application deadline: January 17, 2006.


Submit Comments on the IDEA Multi-Year IEP Demonstration Program
In the Federal Register for December 19, 2005, the U.S. Department of Education published notices of proposed requirements and selection criteria for the multi-year IEP pilot program permitted under IDEA 2004. (Note: These are not regulations.) The multi-year IEP pilot allows up to 15 states to seek approval for proposals to offer parents the option of a multi-year IEP, not to exceed 3 years. This pilot was developed to offer the opportunity for long-term planning. The Department of Education seeks public comment on these requirements and criteria. Deadline to submit comments: March 6, 2006.


Submit Comments on the IDEA Paperwork Waiver Demonstration Program
In the Federal Register for December 19, 2005, the U.S. Department of Education published notices of proposed requirements and selection criteria for the paperwork reduction pilot program permitted under IDEA 2004. (Note: These are not regulations.) The paperwork reduction pilot allows up to 15 states to seek waivers of certain IDEA statutory and regulatory requirements for a period not to exceed 4 years. The Department of Education seeks public comment on these requirements and criteria. Deadline to submit comments: March 6, 2006.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


A City Platform for Strengthening Families and Improving Outcomes for Children and Youth
This document from the National League of Cities gives towns and cities concrete steps for strengthening families and improving outcomes for children and youth by identifying and strengthening needed infrastructure, promoting collaboration, encouraging youth participation and leadership, and measuring progress. Available in PDF (4 pages, 217 KB).


A Health Profile of Adolescent and Young Adult Males: 2005 Brief  (2005)
This brief from the National Adolescent Health Information Center at the University of California, San Francisco highlights priority health issues for adolescent and young adult males and identifies key gender and racial/ethnic disparities. Health topics addressed include violence, substance abuse, mental health, reproductive health, and healthcare access and utilization. Available in PDF (13 pages, 503 KB).


Assessing the Impact of Policies on Families  (2000) PDF document
The Family Criteria (Ad Hoc) Task Force of the Consortium of Family Organizations (COFO) developed a checklist to assess the intended and unintended consequences of policies and programs on family stability, family relationships, and family responsibilities. The checklist includes six basic principles that serve as the criteria of how sensitive to and supportive of families policies and programs are. Each principle is accompanied by a series of family impact questions. Available in PDF (3 pages, 84 KB).


Beach Center Blogs: Autism, Eugenics, Head Injury  (December 2005)
Web Logs
The Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas has 3 moderated Web logs (or blogs) available for public reading and comment: one on autism written by Donna and Paul Smith, one on head injury written by Mark and Ben Ogle, and one on eugenics written by noted eugenics historian Garland Allan.


Choosing Small: The Essential Guide to Successful High School Conversion  (November 2005)
Choosing Small, a book from the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), offers guidance for dividing large schools into new small autonomous schools that are effective in educating all students. The authors draw on CES’ extensive experience in school design and research on completed school conversions to provide strategic and practical guidance to educators who are either contemplating or undertaking a high school conversion process. Available at cost.


Dropping Out of High School and the Place of Career and Technical Education: An Analysis of Surviving High School  (October 2005)
This report, based on research conducted by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, looks at the correlation between academic and career and technical education coursetaking and high school completion.


Enhancing High School Reform: Lessons from Site Visits to Four Cities  (November 2005) PDF document
This report from the American Youth Policy Forum summarizes practices and policies that were successful in innovative high schools visited recently by national policymakers. Available in PDF (36 pages, 414 KB).


Family Guide to Systems of Care for Children with Mental Health Needs  (November 2005)
This guide from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is intended to help parents and caregivers seek help for children with mental health needs. Information is provided on what parents and caregivers need to know, ask, expect, and do to get the most out of their experience with systems of care.


Gaining Traction, Gaining Ground: How Some High Schools Accelerate Learning for Struggling Students  (November 2005)
This report from The Education Trust describes the findings of a study of the practices of public high schools that serve high concentrations of either low-income or minority children and have a strong track record of accelerating learning for students who enter high school below grade level. Available in PDF (74 pages, 1.2 MB).


Impact of Policies on Families  (July 2005)
This issue of Consortium Connections from the Children, Youth and Family Consortium at the University of Minnesota focuses on the intersection of families and policy.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Closing the Gaps in Health Care for Adolescents

January 10, 2006
Washington, DC
This forum will bring together representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss current policy and programs focused on adolescents and young adults, with a special emphasis on transition to adult care systems, which poses unique problems for health care access and delivery. The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation is holding this forum as part of its grant with the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

On Your Own Without A Net: The Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Populations
Teleconference Call
January 24, 2006
Connect for Kids and the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood are hosting a conference call on the services and supports needed by four groups of vulnerable youth making the transition to adulthood: those leaving the juvenile justice and adult corrections systems, homeless youth, youth with mental health issues, and youth leaving foster care. These populations and others are examined in the Network’s latest book, “On Your Own Without a Net.” Participation is free but registration is required; e-mail Barbara Ray, Network communications director, for the phone number and call-in instructions at

Data Mentoring: Building Capacity for Data-Driven Decision Making

January 25, 2006
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
Darrell Brown, Assessment & Accountability Coordinator with Beaumont Unified School District, and Lori Van Houten, Senior Associate with WestEd’s Comprehensive School Assistance Program, will describe how Data Mentoring helped Beaumont USD go from a declining school district to part of the top 11% statewide by building the capacity of teachers to use data to inform their planning. Offered by SchoolsMovingUp, a project of WestEd. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Technology and Transition for Individuals with Learning Disabilities

January 26, 2006
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM   (Central)
Participants in this Webcast will come to understand the new definition of learning disability (LD) and the functional limitations associated with it, understand the rights and responsibilities of people with LD as they move to postsecondary and work environments, and review current technology and the evolution of mainstream technology as effective tools for people with LD. Presented by Wendy Strobel, Director of Training and Project Manager of Demand Pull, and sponsored by T-TAP and Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Hot Topics in Employment: Pre-Employment Testing and Leave as an Accommodation
Teleconference Call
February 21, 2006
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
This teleconference presented by the ADA & IT Technical Assistance Center will explore issues around pre-employment testing and exactly what constitutes a permissible “test” and what the gray areas of testing are under the ADA. In addition, this teleconference will explore “leave as an accommodation” and clarify how “leave” applies under the ADA for qualified employees. The interplay between FMLA and the ADA will also be discussed. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Disclosure of Disability

February 21, 2006
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM   (Central)
This Webcast will approach the topic of disability disclosure from two different perspectives. The first will be more of a legalistic focus—i.e., what can and cannot be disclosed or discussed, in light of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The second will address the disclosure issue from a "best technique" perspective—i.e., once the decision to disclose has been made, what's the best way to do so. Presented by Peggy Anderson, Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, and sponsored by T-TAP and Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

A System of Care for Children’s Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base
February 22, 2006 - February 24, 2006
Tampa, FL
This annual conference, sponsored by the Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health, is a nationally recognized forum to explore contemporary, empirical research on systems of care that promote the emotional and behavioral well-being of children and their families. Innovative methods presented at prior conferences have been utilized in practice and policy to create a framework of best practices to improve the way communities address the mental health needs of children and their families. This event is designed for researchers, evaluators, administrators, policy makers, advocates, and family members interested in applied practical systems-of-care research.

National Forum on Post-School Outcomes

March 8, 2006 - March 9, 2006
Portland, OR
Participants in this Forum will learn about collecting and using post-school outcome data for students with disabilities. State education agency staff, college and university personnel, technical assistance providers, and other stakeholders interested in post-school outcome data collection are encouraged to attend. Sponsored by the National Post School Outcomes Center.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities on State Assessments: What Works?
March 19, 2006 - March 21, 2006
Savannah, GA
This conference will provide a forum for practitioners and leading researchers in the disability field to discuss the latest issues associated with accommodating students with disabilities on state standards-based assessments. State testing directors, school administrators, guidance counselors, special education coordinators and instructors, and researchers are encouraged to attend. Co-sponsored by the Educational Testing Service, the College Board, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Institute for Urban School Development.

Providing Employment Supports for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities
Web-based Event
April 11, 2006
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM   (Eastern)
The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health endorses evidence-based supported employment as a way to assist people with serious mental illness lead productive work lives. This Webcast from will focus on individualized job supports and ways to develop the employer relationship. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Evidence-Based Education “Help Desk”
The Evidence-Based Education Help Desk, established by the What Works Clearinghouse of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, provides federal, state, and local education officials, researchers, program providers, and educators with practical, easy-to-use tools to 1) advance rigorous evaluations of educational interventions (i.e., programs, products, practices, and policies), and 2) identify and implement evidence-based interventions.


Families and Work Institute
Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit center for research that provides data to inform decision-making on the changing workforce, changing family, and changing community. Its Web site provides links to its work-life research, publications and other resources, events, and more.


Small Business and Self-Employment Service
The Small Business and Self-Employment Service (SBSES) is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor which provides information, counseling, and referrals about self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities. Its Web site provides information about the service, links to resources for small business and self-employment, and information about services available through the Job Accommodation Network.


United We Ride: Coordinating Human Service Transportation
United We Ride is an interagency federal national initiative that supports states and their localities in developing coordinated human service delivery systems. In addition to state coordination grants, United We Ride provides state and local agencies with a transportation-coordination and planning self-assessment tool, technical assistance, and other resources. is a one-stop information resource on all federal programs funding human service transportation.



Public Engagement Watch (Annenberg Institute for School Reform, National League of Cities)
This e-mail newsletter from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and the National League of Cities is “a resource for municipal leaders to build strong connections with local public schools.” It comes out about once a month and includes the following sections: News, Findings from Research, Tools, and Philanthropy.


SmartBrief (Council for Exceptional Children)
CEC SmartBrief is a free E-mail news briefing from the Council for Exceptional Children. It comes out 3 times a week and contains news relevant to special education professionals.


The Chapin Hall Alert (Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago)
The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago’s motto is, “Building knowledge to serve children.” Its e-mail newsletter comes out about once a month and includes the following sections: Conferences, Reports from Chapin Hall, and Data. e-Newsletter (RRTC on Workplace Supports and Job Retention)
This E-mail list provides free updates from on the latest news related to disability and work issues. is a Web site of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports and Job Retention at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Federal Funds for Organizations That Help Those in Need  (2005) PDF document
This publication from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives provides basic information about the Federal grants process to those who run organizations that help those in need. Available in PDF (90 pages, 1.7 MB).

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


CiviConnections Teacher Grant Program
CiviConnections is a three-year teacher grant program funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). From 2003-2006, CiviConnections will involve about 300 teachers and 7,500 3rd-12th grade students nationwide in linking local history inquiry with community service-learning activities. A team of three teachers can apply for a $7,500 grant to cover their costs for attending a summer workshop, implementing the CiviConnections program during the 2006-07 school year, and attending the 2006 NCSS Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Application deadline: February 24, 2006.


Disney Minnie Grants for Youth Service Day
Youth Service America and Disney are offering the Disney Minnie Grants of $500 for youth (ages 5-14), or the teachers, schools, and organizations that engage them to implement service projects on National and Global Youth Service Day, April 21-23, 2006. Application deadline: January 13, 2006.


Dr. Scholl Foundation Grants
The Dr. Scholl Foundation considers applications for grants in the following areas: 1) private education, including elementary, secondary, college and university level; and 2) programs for children, people with developmental disabilities, senior citizens, civic and cultural institutions, social service agencies, hospitals and health care, environmental organizations, and religious institutions. Application deadline: March 1, 2006.


Grants for Service-Learning Projects
Learn and Serve America, part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, will award grants to support school-based, community-based, higher education, and tribal and U.S. territory service-learning projects. This grant competition aims to promote the development and sustainability of high-quality community-based service-learning programs in youth-serving community organizations across the nation. K-12 schools, colleges, volunteer centers, and faith-based organizations are eligible to apply. Application deadline: March 7, 2006.


HP Technology for Teaching Grant Program
In 2006, HP will award grants totaling over $8 million in cash and equipment to K-12 public schools and two- and four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to support the innovative use of mobile technology in K-16 education and to help identify K-12 schools and higher education institutions that HP might support with future grants. Based on the outcomes of the projects funded through the initiative in 2006, HP will offer grant recipients the opportunity to receive additional higher-value grants in 2007. Application deadline: February 15, 2006.


National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars and Institutes
The National Endowment for the Humanities offers summer Seminars and Institutes for K-12 teachers, librarians, and administrators. Seminars are limited to 15 participants and are led by university scholars with a special interest or expertise in the specific subject. Institutes are limited to 25-35 participants and are typically led by a team of core faculty and visiting scholars. Participants receive stipends to help cover travel costs, living expenses, books, and other research materials. Application deadline: March 1, 2006.

Scholarships and Awards


Christopher Columbus Awards
The Christopher Columbus Awards program is a national competition that combines science and technology with community problem-solving. With the help of an adult coach, middle school students work in teams to identify an issue they care about and use science and technology to develop an innovative solution. They work with experts, conduct research, and test their ideas. Participating in the Christopher Columbus Awards program is a cross-curricular activity that meets science education standards. It's free and can be used in any setting -- public or private schools, home schools, and youth organizations. Entry deadline: February 13, 2006.


Freida J. Wiley Teacher Award
The Freida J. Riley Teacher Award recognizes an American teacher who has overcome adversity or made an enormous sacrifice in order to positively impact students. The award will be presented to a teacher who is working with a physical disability, is dealing with an especially challenging educational environment, or has performed a heroic act for his/her students. The award recipient will receive a check for $10,000 to use as he/she wishes. Nomination deadline: March 1, 2006.


Inspired Teacher Scholarship Rookie Awards for Visual Learning
Inspiration Software is offering 5 scholarships of $750 each to K-12 educators just starting out in the area of visual learning who are ready to learn more. To be eligible for a Rookie Award, candidate must be new to the area of visual learning and demonstrate a desire and capacity to learn and apply visual learning principles in the classroom. Application deadline: January 30, 2006.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
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E-News features resources, activities, products, and funding information from around the country. E-News is dedicated to assisting youth, parents, educators, service providers, and administrators to stay connected and informed about secondary education and transition issues.

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The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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