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January 2010 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


NAEP State Profiles
The NAEP State Profiles tool, which provides key data about each state’s performance in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), has added new features. The upgraded tool includes interactive maps, clear graphics, a comprehensive table of results, and comparisons of each state’s performance against the nation and all other states.

Calls to Participate


A New Day: We’re Listening
US Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez is spearheading a Listening Tour with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and other federal partners to solicit ideas from employers and individuals with disabilities on three key topics: more effective ways to increase employment of women, veterans and minorities with disabilities; identification of federal and state systems that are effectively collaborating to achieve successful employment results for people with disabilities; and top priorities on which the federal government should focus to support an increase in the employment of persons with disabilities. Six sites have been selected, from each of the six Department of Labor Regions: Dallas (January 21), Philadelphia (January 27), Chicago (February 11), San Francisco (February 16), Atlanta (February 24), and Boston (March 3), with registration/comment periods for each opening one month beforehand.


Call for Abstracts from the Children’s Division of American Humane
The Children’s Division of American Humane announces a call for abstracts for the journal Protecting Children. The issue entitled “Promising Results in Research and Practice: Understanding Disproportionality and Reducing Disparity in Child Welfare” will be published in March 2011. The deadline for abstract submission is February 5, 2010. Authors will be notified of the outcome of their abstract submissions in early September. If accepted, authors will be notified of a target word count, and full papers will be due July 1, 2010.


The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation: Public Policy Fellowship Program 2010-2011
The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation seeks exemplary professionals and/or family members of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are currently working or volunteering in the field of inclusive services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for an intensive one-year Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, DC. The purpose of the Fellowship is to prepare both early career and veteran leaders be leaders in public policy in their home state and/or nationally. The program provides a one-year full-time exposure to the federal public policy making process, and includes a stipend and modest relocation expenses.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Educational Technology in Public School Districts: Fall 2008  (December 2009)
This First Look report, from the National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences, presents data from a fall 2008 district Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) survey on the availability and use of educational technology, including information on networks and Internet capacity, technology policies, district-provided resources, teacher professional development, and district-level leadership for technology. The data are the results of a national district-level survey that is one of a set that includes district, school, and teacher surveys on educational technology.


Growth Models and Students with Disabilities: Report of State Interviews  (December 2009)
Policy Analysis
This policy analysis includes a description of accountability requirements from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the assessments states use to meet this requirement; a comparison between status models for determining performance levels and growth models; and discussion of the complexity of adding a growth model to a state’s accountability and assessment system, obstacles to including students who participate in alternate assessments based on alternate academic standards in a growth model, and progress in instruction and assessment for this population of students that could ease these obstacles. Available in pdf (17 pages, 211 KB).


National High School Center Research Report  (December 2009)
The National High School Center report, “What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on Students with Disabilities,” was co-released with the Consortium on Chicago School Research. The report determines that freshman year course performance (which entails more than background characteristics such as race, gender, socioeconomic status or prior achievement) predicts which students with disabilities are most at risk for dropping out of high school. The report, by Julia Gwynne, Joy Lesnick, Holly M. Hart and Elaine Allensworth, found that absences, course failures, course credits and GPA can all be used to accurately predict whether ninth-graders with disabilities will graduate from high school. Identifying early warning indicators is crucial for students with disabilities, who drop out of high school at alarming rates. Available in pdf (56 pages, 1.50 MB).


Special Education Scorecards from the National Center for Learning Disabilities  (September 2009)
The National Center for Learning Disabilities has issued special education scorecards for every state, with information on each state’s special education enrollment, including students with learning disabilities, student performance on key indicators, federal funding provided to states in support of special education, and the state’s latest rating by the US Department of Education on its State Performance.


What Works for Parent Involvement Programs for Adolescents: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations of Social Interventions  (December 2009)
Fact Sheet
This fact sheet from Child Trends presents lessons learned from 47 parent involvement programs that have had successful, unsuccessful, or mixed results for adolescents ages 12-17. The fact sheet includes a chart of the programs that worked or didn’t work for different outcomes, and a glossary summarizing the programs.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Quality Counts 2010: The New Surge Toward Common Standards
Web-based Event
January 19, 2010
2:00 AM - 3:00 AM   (Eastern)
Quality Counts 2010, hosted by, explores the national debate over common academic standards. The report’s authors will discuss what they discovered through their research and reporting, as well as the EPE Research Center’s annual updates in four key areas of education policy and performance. The presenters are Christopher B. Swanson, vice president of research and development, Editorial Projects in Education; Amy M. Hightower, Quality Counts project director, EPE Research Center director; and Mark W. Bomster, assistant managing editor, Education Week.

How to Be Sure All Your Youth Can Make It: The Guideposts
Web-based Event
January 27, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Guideposts are a framework for the successful transition of all youth to adulthood and a productive, independent, self-sufficient life. What does a youth with a disability need to “make it”? The complex needs of today’s youth cannot be met by any one professional, school district, government program, or private organization acting alone. This webinar will describe how the Guideposts for Success, developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, can be used to help youth service professionals navigate this complicated work, including the added supports that may be needed for youth with disabilities.

Hawthorne Math and Science Academy: Creating a Community of Learners
Web-based Event
January 27, 2010
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
Hawthorne Math and Science Academy in Los Angeles County, California, serves a high-poverty, high-minority student population that performs well above its peers and has received a “similar schools ranking” of 10 (on a 10-point scale) on the California Academic Performance Index (API) for the past four years. While roughly 40% of Hispanic high school students scored proficient or above in English language arts and math statewide, well over 80% of Hispanic high school students at Hawthorne scored proficient or above. Hawthorne is a small school, which fosters academic excellence, trust, safety, empowerment, and high expectations. In this webinar, Principal Joaquin Hernández will share how maintaining high expectations, enforcing rules consistently, and creating buy-in from and communication among students, teachers, and parents have helped the school achieve these results.

The 21st Annual National Service-Learning Conference
March 24, 2010 - March 27, 2010
San Jose, CA
The 21st Annual National Service-Learning Conference, “Inspire. Imagine. Innovate!” celebrates service-learning as a force that spans cultural and national boundaries, builds communities, and strengthens young people. The conference is the largest gathering of youth and practitioners involved in service-learning, drawing approximately 2,500 attendees from across the United States and many other countries each year and engaging participants in local, national, and global issues that service-learning addresses. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Eat Well, Spend Less, Save Time
Tight times mean tight family budgets, but don't have to mean unhealthy choices. Family Plus, a youth development and community building resource from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, has resources to help families plan ahead to improve nutrition and cut costs. Plan the meals to prepare in the coming week, make a list of the ingredients needed, and then shop, advise nutrition experts in the University of Georgia’s Department of Foods and Nutrition. Having everything needed for the week on hand means fewer trips to the grocery store, and most people spend less when they shop less often.


Youth and Health: Public Discussions and Personal Decisions (Online Magazine)
The health of young people is always a cause for concern, including such issues as childhood obesity, tobacco and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, or serious automobile accidents. Teens are not very active when it comes to health policy, but that doesn’t mean they are not interested. The youth-written online magazine, “What Kids Can Do,” reports on how teens seek out information about key topics including sexual health, mental illness and healthy eating.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Disaboom Scholarship Directory
Disaboom recently launched a scholarship directory for students with disabilities, listing over 125 scholarships.


Federal Student Aid Grant Program Fact Sheet
Disability.Gov has created a fact sheet that provides an overview of the major federal student aid grant programs. The federal government provides grant funds for students attending colleges, including career colleges and universities. Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. (A Spanish version is at: Available in pdf (1 page, 164 KB).


Funding Education Beyond High School
The US Department of Education’s Guide to Federal Student Aid (2009-2010) provides information for students and families on applying for federal student aid to pay for post-secondary education. This guide explains the application process, the various federal loans, grants, and work-study programs available, and how to apply for them. Education creates opportunities and is an important step toward success. Available in pdf (64 pages, 2.95 MB).


NASFAA and Casey Family programs: Guide to Financial Aid Assistance to Students from Foster Care and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
This guide provides information for those who help youth from foster care and unaccompanied homeless youth to secure financial aid for postsecondary education or training programs. It describes how to respond to new FAFSA questions 55-60 that will determine federal financial aid status for these students. A section on sensitive communications is also included. This guide will be useful for financial aid professionals, independent living coordinators, guidance counselors, financial aid counselors, social workers and advocates who are helping youth to secure the maximum allowable financial aid.


Scholarships and Internships for Latino Students with Disabilities
The World Institute on Disability (WID) has a five-year grant to establish the National Technical Assistance Center for Latinos with Disabilities living in the United States, through Proyecto Vision. Proyecto Vision's website has a list of scholarship opportunities for college students who are Latino and who are living with disability.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2009-2010
This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the U.S. Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards for fiscal year 2009-2010 and provides actual or estimated deadlines 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 include programs and competitions previously announced as well as those to be announced at a later date.


FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Disney Friends for Change Grants
Disney’s Friends for Change is a program that encourages kids everywhere to take steps together with their friends to help the planet. The Friends for Change Grants will fund kids’ projects that help the environment and will look to engage children ages 5-18 as leaders in their communities. Disney, working with Youth Service America (YSA), will award 150 $500 grants throughout 2010. The goal of each grant is to inspire children to work with their families, friends, schools, and communities to address critical needs in their local, national, and global communities. Apply to Youth Service America by January 29, 2010.


Global Youth Service Day
Youth Service America, partnering with Miley Cyrus, has launched “Get Ur Good On,” small grants to support projects celebrating Global Youth Service Day, April 23-25, 2010, and will award 100 $500 grants to projects addressing important community issues such as poverty, education, and environmental sustainability. Deadline: February 22, 2010.


National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program
Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program. Each year at its national convention in July, NFB gives 30 scholarships to recognize achievement by blind scholars. The scholarships are available to blind students who will be enrolled in college or a graduate program beginning in the fall of 2010, including incoming freshmen. Scholarships range in value from $3,000 to $12,000. In addition to a scholarship, each winner will receive assistance to attend the 2010 National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention in July, providing opportunities for networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations. Deadline March 31, 2010.


NEA Foundation Teaching Improvisation
The Teaching Improvisation Grants are dedicated to the development and implementation of ideas, techniques, and approaches for teaching music improvisation to American public middle and high school students. Improvisation (represented in the National Standards for Music Education as Standard 3) is an important part of the art and practice of many styles and genres of music, helping to develop the imaginative thinking so important to students and to develop that imaginative skill with critical links to key elements of our culture. Deadline February 1, 2010.


Shared Planet Youth Action Grants
The Starbucks Foundation has an open application period for its Shared Planet Youth Action Grants, which provide young people (ages 6-24) a continuum of services in social entrepreneurship and aid them in developing creative approaches to address pressing concerns. With these grants, Starbucks uses the spirit of innovation to inspire young people to take action and to create positive solutions to real local needs they see in their neighborhoods. Deadline for application: February 5, 2010.


Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announces the availability of grant funds and requests applications for the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Program for fiscal year (FY) 2010 to develop curriculum and programming based on the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) focused on underserved and/or minority youth. NIFA will provide approximately $466,650 in support of this program. Deadline: January 21, 2010.

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End of Issue

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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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