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November 2006 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Autism Society of America, Autism Research Institute Join Forces
On October 31, 2006, the Autism Society of America (ASA) and the Autism Research Institute (ARI) announced a strategic partnership that will improve the lives of all those affected by autism in the U.S. The two organizations will collaborate on conferences, publications, and services. ASA is the largest parent-based autism organization in the U.S., with over 100,000 members and supporters and 200 local chapters. ARI, with over 70,000 supporters nationwide, has pioneered the study of medical problems of individuals with autism and effective treatments.


IES Urban Education Research Task Force
On October 18, 2006, The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) announced formation of an Urban Education Research Task Force charged with advising IES on a broad range of issues pertaining to the nation’s largest public school districts. The 15-member panel comprises leading educators and researchers and is expected to make recommendations on areas of research and data collection not covered through existing programs. Additionally, the panel will help IES leaders think about the design of large, cross-district research projects, and it will serve to identify and support greater collaboration between the research community and urban educators.


Learning to Finish™ Campaign
Learning to Finish™ is a campaign launched by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change in October 2006 that seeks to address the dropout problem in communities ready to meet this challenge as a community-wide concern. Shreveport, LA and Jacksonville, FL will pilot the project, and will receive information, assistance, and needed tools, as well as assistance in monitoring their progress. The Pew Partnership plans to select 25 communities to participate in the Learning to Finish™ campaign by 2008. Each community will develop and implement an initiative that corresponds to its unique interests, resources, and capabilities with an emphasis on high school transition programs.


U.S. Department of Labor Forms Alliance with Society for Human Resource Management to Promote Employment of People with Disabilities
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) have established an alliance to promote the employment of people with disabilities. The formal alliance, ODEP’s first with a major organization, will ensure that SHRM and ODEP stakeholders collaborate in this national effort by providing information, guidance, and access to resources. The partnership will target areas in training and education, outreach and communication, and technical assistance, and encourage a national dialogue on the employment of persons with disabilities--an underutilized human resource.


Workforce3 One
Workforce3 One is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, the Center for Employment Security Education and Research (the 501c3 affiliate of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies), and the National Association of Workforce Boards. It represents the merging of national, state, and local leadership into one system committed to fostering a demand-driven culture in the publicly-funded workforce system and is another step toward preparing workers for new and in-demand job opportunities in high growth, high-demand, and economically vital sectors of the American economy.

Legislative Announcements


OSEP Director’s Presentation from Community-Based Public Meetings on IDEA 2004
To provide the public with an overview of the Part B Final Regulations implementing the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has been hosting a series of community-based public meetings. The presentation is available online and covers discipline, Response to Intervention, IEPs, monitoring, highly qualified teachers, private schools, the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS), and procedural safeguards.


U.S. Social Security Administration Announces 3.3 Percent Benefit Increase for 2007
On October 18, 2006, the U.S. Social Security Administration announced that the monthly benefits for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security beneficiaries will increase by 3.3 percent in 2007. In addition, the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level will increase by $40 per month for individuals with a disability and by $50 per month for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Calls to Participate


Nominate a Child/Youth with Disabilities for a Yes I Can! International Award
The Foundation for Exceptional Children's “Yes I Can Awards” honor children and youth (ages 2-21) with disabilities who have made significant achievements. Each year, three winners in each of the following categories are selected for their accomplishments: academics, the arts, athletics, community service, employment, extracurricular activities, independent living skills, self-advocacy, and technology. Winners receive a bronze statue and other recognition at the Council for Exceptional Children's 2007 Annual Convention. Nomination deadline: November 20, 2006.


Nominate a Leader in Service-Learning for the Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award
The Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award honors exemplary leaders who—through their actions, compassion, creativity, and courage—have inspired the service-learning field, positively impacted the lives of young people, and motivated others to take up the banner of service. The award is presented every year at the National Service-Learning Conference. The award is named for British humanitarian Alec Dickson (1914-94), whose vision, innovation, and commitment inspired many individuals to lead lives of service. Nomination deadline: January 22, 2007.


Nominate a Teacher for the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award Shepard Award/alan_shepard_award.htm
The Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award, presented by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation in partnership with the Space Foundation and NASA, acknowledges excellence in the development and delivery of K-12 educational technology programs, either in the classroom or in the professional development of teachers. The Award will be presented at the 23rd National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado in April 2007. The winner will receive a trip to the Symposium and a commemorative engraved trophy. Nomination deadline: January 31, 2007.


Submit Comments on the Aspen Institute’s Report on the Reauthorization of NCLB
The Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind is drafting a report regarding the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The report should be completed in early 2007 and will include recommended statutory language for the reauthorized NCLB. The Commission is soliciting public comment on NCLB to inform this report; click on “Give us YOUR comments on NCLB.”


Youth Ages 18-24: Apply to the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps
AmeriCorps*NCCC is a residential national service program for people ages 18-24. For 10 months, members work to meet urgent community needs in disaster services, housing, the environment, and youth development. Teams work on projects throughout the country with non-profit organizations, state and local agencies, and other community and faith-based groups. Members selected to serve with the winter 2007 class will live either in Denver, CO; Perry Point, MD; and Sacramento, CA. Members receive training in CPR and first aid, leadership, team building, and citizenship, and project skills such as building, tutoring, and community organizing. Application deadline: November 30, 2006.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


A Disability System for the 21st Century  (September 2006) PDF document
In its October 2003 report, “The Social Security Definition of Disability,” the Social Security Advisory Board raised the question of whether the current Social Security definition of disability facilitates an appropriate approach to supporting and enabling persons with disabilities. After three years of intensive study of this question, the Board has issued this followup report outlining its vision of a disability system in alignment with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Available in PDF (52 pages, 356 KB).


Academic Rigor in High Schools: Two Publications from the High School Alliance  (October 2006)
Misc. Publications

The High School Alliance has created two publications on academic rigor in high schools. “Increasing Academic Rigor in High Schools: Stakeholder Perspectives” summarizes major policy trends and describes how six organizations define, frame, and engage their constituents on the issue of increasing academic rigor in high schools. Available in PDF (24 pages, 155 KB).
“Defining Rigor in High School: Framework and Assessment Tool” provides 1) a conceptual framework for understanding what is meant by rigor in the context of high school improvement efforts, and 2) some common language for discussing rigor. Available in PDF (14 pages, 118 KB).


America 101: An Address by Bill Moyers  (October 2006) PDF document
This document is the transcription of an address given by veteran journalist Bill Moyers at the annual conference of the Council of the Great City Schools, October 27, 2006. In it, he identifies what he sees as the main problems with American education and offers suggestions for turning the tide. (Available in PDF: 13 pages, 56 KB).


Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century Workforce  (October 2006) PDF document
The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and The Society for Human Resource Management conducted a study of corporate perspectives on the readiness of new entrants into the U.S. workforce by level of educational attainment. This report details their findings and also includes a workforce readiness report card which summarizes the basic knowledge and applied skills that are either “deficient” or “excellent” in those areas that employer respondents rated as “very important”. Available in PDF (64 pages, 3.4 MB).


Closing the Gap: Keeping Kids in School  (July 2006)
This issue of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Infobrief focuses on using student engagement to combat high dropout rates.


Dropout Recovery as a Local Economic Development Strategy  (September 2006)
Forum Brief
This brief summarizes a forum co-sponsored by the American Youth Policy Forum and the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (NLC-IYEF). Andrew Moore, Senior Consultant to NLC-IYEF, outlined findings from a forthcoming publication on cross-system efforts to re-engage disconnected youth in nine U.S. cities. Deborah Feldman, Administrator for Montgomery County, OH, and Karen Sitnick, Director, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development in Baltimore, MD, provided overviews of their communities’ efforts to reconnect out-of-school youth.


Emerging Evidence on Improving High School Student Achievement and Graduation Rates: The Effects of Four Popular Improvement Programs  (November 2006) PDF document
Research Brief
This research brief from the National High School Center identifies lessons learned as well as key practices used to strengthen high schools based on evaluations of four widely used high school improvement programs—Career Academies, First Things First, Project GRAD, and Talent Development. Available in PDF (12 pages, 619 KB).


Focus on Using Data to Drive Reform  (2006) PDF document
This issue of WestEd’s “r&d alert” magazine focuses on using data to drive school reform. It includes several articles on the topic, including “Using Data for Decision-Making: A Comprehensive Process for School Reform” and “When Data Speak: English Learner Evaluation and Accountability Support.” Available in PDF (24 pages, 1.26 MB).


Parental Roles in Facilitating and Supporting an Active Lifestyle for a Child with a Disability  (October 2006)
Fact Sheet
This fact sheet from the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability details how parents can facilitate and support active lifestyles for children with disabilities, including the influence of parental attitudes, communication, selecting appropriate activities, goal setting, a healthy diet, facilitating independence and self-sufficiency, and resources for finding an adapted sports program.


Practices That Support Data Use in Urban High Schools  (October 2006) PDF document
This research brief from The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement reviews a study (Lachat & Smith, 2005) which examined how five low-performing, high-poverty urban high schools in three school districts used data to inform school improvement. The study examined four data-related issues: quality and access, data disaggregation, the role of collaborative inquiry in understanding data, and leadership structures that support data use. Available in PDF (4 pages, 192 KB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Independence Beyond Borders: A Teleconference for Parents of Children with Disabilities and Youth Influencers
Teleconference Call
November 3, 2006
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM   (Eastern)
If you are the parent of or work with youth with disabilities, The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange invites you to participate in this free teleconference to learn how international exchange can be part of youth with disabilities’ life experiences. Presenters will include two people with disabilities who have been abroad, a parent of a young woman with multiple disabilities who has been abroad, and a professional in the transition field.

Weaving Fatherhood into Criminal Justice, Education, and Human Services
November 13, 2006 - November 15, 2006
Mesa, AZ
Fathers and others who share an interest in the welfare of children will join criminal justice specialists, educators, social workers, and policymakers to address the unique concerns of Native American fathers at the inaugural National Native American Fatherhood Conference. Keynote speakers include Dr. Joe Shirley, President, Navajo Nation; the Honorable Delbert Ray, Sr., Chief Judge-Elect, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Dr. David Beaulieu, Director, Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University; and Quanah Crossland-Stamps, Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Presented by the Native American Fatherhood and Family Association.

Response to Intervention and Culturally Diverse Learners
Web-based Event
November 14, 2006
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
Participants in this Council for Exceptional Children Web seminar will learn about the implications of the NCLB and IDEA policies that impact the provision of early intervening supports of students placed at risk for special education identification; learn about different models for providing evidence- and scientifically-based intervention for students within the general education setting; and develop an awareness of existing models for pre-referral intervention that can be used to supplement and/or enhance the pre-referral process in their school/district/state. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

IDEA 2004 and the new IEP Regulations
Web-based Event
November 15, 2006
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
This Council for Exceptional Children Web seminar will review the new provisions in the IDEA 2004 regulations on IEPs, including those addressing the development of the IEP, content, team member responsibilities, children transferring into an LEA, and multi-year IEPs. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Building a Culturally and Linguistically Competent Workforce
Teleconference Call
November 16, 2006
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM   (Eastern)
This teleconference, presented by the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, will focus on increasing the number of bi/multi-cultural and bi/multi-lingual service providers, as well as enhancing cultural and linguistic competence in the entire workforce. It will also share the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Cultural Competence for the National Strategic Plan; provide an example of an approach to recruitment, training, credentialing, licensing, and reimbursement of providers to promote culturally and linguistically competent services and supports; and describe a community-based mental health service agency’s strategies of staff recruitment, retention, and training. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Standardized Testing and Students with Disabilities: The Stakes are High and so is the Anxiety!
Web-based Event
November 27, 2006
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM   (Eastern)
Individuals interested in the education of students with disabilities at the secondary and postsecondary levels are invited to join this free Webinar, sponsored by the University of Georgia Regents’ Center for Learning Disabilities and presented by Jo Anne Simon, Esq.

Maximizing Your Community’s Change Horsepower
Teleconference Call
November 28, 2006
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
Participants in this teleconference sponsored by the Forum for Youth Investment will learn more about frameworks and tools to help them assess their community’s collective commitment and capacity for change. Using the Core Assumptions about Change, they will learn how to take stock of their community’s current change “horsepower” in terms of stakeholders, strategies, and shared accountability. Participation is free, but registration is required; please RSVP to Tanya Tucker at or 703-535-3880 by November 24, 2006.

Keeping Committed Special Education Teachers: What Local Leaders Can Do
Web-based Event
November 28, 2006
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
This Council for Exceptional Children Web seminar will review what is known about special education teacher attrition and explore its implications for school leaders and policymakers. It will also consider new challenges that may impact future attrition rates, and pose questions for future research. Participants in this seminar will learn to identify the role that attrition plays in the special education teacher shortage, identify factors which contribute to teacher attrition in special education, and suggest policy and practical implications for improving teacher retention in special education. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

National Inclusive Schools Week

December 4, 2006 - December 8, 2006
The 6th Annual National Inclusive Schools Week, sponsored by the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative and the Education Development Center, Inc., will be celebrated in classrooms, schools, and communities throughout the country. The Week recognizes the nation’s progress in and promotes action toward increasing the capacity of schools and communities to provide a quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, especially students with disabilities. The goal of the Week is to help schools and communities across the nation make sustainable changes in the system to better support the principles of inclusive education.

Youth Service Institute: Building the Movement
December 5, 2006 - December 7, 2006
New Orleans, LA
This institute, presented by Youth Service America and funded by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, will focus on expanding the impact of the youth service movement in communities, schools, corporations, and governments and is designed to strengthen existing programs while providing innovative ways to engage youth as community assets. Participants will gain tools and strategies to expand their organizations’ impacts through workshops that illustrate the strength and power of the youth service movement. Registration deadline: November 16, 2006.

Using Formative Assessments to Improve the Achievement of All Students: Key Policy Questions and Practical Decisions (Parts I and II)
Web-based Event
December 6, 2006 - December 13, 2006
In this two-part interactive presentation, Robert Anderson, Senior Assessment Specialist at WestEd, will help participants gain a greater understanding of formative assessment—currently seen as a key component of district and school program improvement efforts—as a powerful tool in the efforts to overcome achievement gaps and to ensure educational equity. Participants are encouraged but not required to join both sessions. Participation is free, but registration is required; signing up will automatically register you for both sessions.

On the Road to Agreement - IDEA ‘04 & More: The Fourth National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education

December 7, 2006 - December 9, 2006
Washington, DC
Participants in this symposium, presented by CADRE: The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, will learn about the implementation of the dispute resolution provisions of IDEA 2004, including innovative practices; learn how to improve practices across the expanding dispute resolution continuum; acquire advanced conflict management skills and knowledge critical to the effective resolution of special education disputes; improve their understanding of the effective management and coordination of dispute resolution systems and programs; learn about current research in the field of special education dispute resolution; and connect with other state and local dispute resolution coordinators, practitioners, educators, and families.

What Every School Principal Needs to Know About Special Education
Web-based Event
December 13, 2006
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
School principals at all levels play an important role in the effectiveness of the planning and implementation of educational programs for children with disabilities. Indeed, a principal’s knowledge of, and involvement in, the process can make all the difference to a program’s success. Participants in this Council for Exceptional Children Web seminar will learn to fill in knowledge not available in pre-service programs, translate legalese into useful tools, and identify those areas in which principals have been the most vulnerable. Principals are especially invited to participate. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Online and On Time: Supporting Technology Implementation for All Students
Web-based Event
January 9, 2007
Participants in this Webinar from the Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) and Don Johnston, Inc. will be introduced to CITEd’s interactive Web tools that offer guidance to educators on effective technology implementation. CITEd offers just-in-time resources and tools to support instruction for diverse learners and facilitate communities of practice, and provides research on technology-supported instruction with an emphasis on students with special needs. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Online and On Time: Supporting Technology Implementation for All Students
Web-based Event
January 19, 2007
Participants in this Webinar from CITEd and Don Johnston, Inc. will be introduced to CITEd’s interactive Web tools that offer guidance to educators on effective technology implementation. CITEd offers just-in-time resources and tools to support instruction for diverse learners and facilitate communities of practice, and provides research on technology-supported instruction with an emphasis on students with special needs. Participation is free, but registration is required. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Advancing Literacy: A Web Site of the Carnegie Corporation of New York
In recognition of the sparse knowledge base for teaching reading beyond third grade, the Carnegie Corporation of New York established a program called “Advancing Literacy.” The program’s Web site includes information on the state of adolescent literacy today; resources for educators; resources for families, communities, and peers; information on adolescent literacy and public policy; information on standards and assessment; and information on next steps. Site users can also search the site by topic, audience, and format.


Best Evidence Encyclopedia
The Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University has created this Web site to present reliable, unbiased information on high-quality evaluations of educational programs. It includes brief, readable “educator’s summaries” of research on educational programs, using symbols à la Consumer Reports, as well as full-text reviews on each topic. Topics include elementary mathematics; comprehensive school reform (elementary, secondary, and Borman); education service providers; technology in reading and math; and reading for English Language Learners.


Google for Educators
Google, the popular search engine, has created a Web site just for educators. It includes a teacher’s guide to Google products, including basic information about each tool, examples of how educators are using them, and lesson ideas. The site also includes lesson plans and videos from Discovery Education focused on Google Earth and Google SketchUp. Users can also subscribe to the Google Teachers’ Newsletter.



News From NIDRR
News From NIDRR (the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research) is distributed four times a year to consumer and business organizations, researchers, practitioners, educators, and individuals who have an interest in disability and rehabilitation research and services as well as disability policy. To subscribe, e-mail

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Funding Forecast

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


American Educational Research Association Research Grants
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the American Educational Research Association announces its Research Grants. The program’s goals are to stimulate research on issues related to U.S. education policy and practice using NCES and NSF data sets; improve the educational research community’s firsthand knowledge of the range of data available at the two agencies and how to use them; and increase the number of educational researchers using the data sets. Grants of up to $20,000 for 1-year projects and $35,000 for 2-year projects will be awarded. Application deadline: January 5, 2007.


Classroom Grants from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) provides grants of $200 to help K-12 educators present mathematics, science, and technology principles to students in an exciting, hands-on manner. Grants can be used for classroom demonstration kits and science supplies, math and science software, graphing calculators, supplies for making flying objects, supplies for robotic programs, or other materials. Application deadline: November 30, 2006.


Clay Aiken Able-To-Serve Grants
The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and Youth Service America are offering grants of up to $1,000 to support youth-led service projects in which youth with and without disabilities serve their communities together on National and Global Youth Service Day, April 20-22, 2007. These grants support youth (ages 5-25), teachers, youth leaders, youth-serving organizations, or organizations that serve people with disabilities in implementing service projects. Projects must address community needs identified by youth, such as the environment, disaster relief, public health and awareness, community education, hunger, and literacy. Application deadline: November 30, 2006.


Community Action Grants from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation
In 2007-08, the American Association of University Women’s Educational Foundation will award one- and two-year grants. One-year grants of $2,000-$7,000 will provide seed money for new projects that include a clearly defined activity that promotes education and equity for women and girls. Two-year grants of $5,000-$10,000 will provide start-up funds for longer-term programs that address the particular needs of the community and develop girls’ sense of efficacy through leadership or advocacy opportunities (and also include a clearly defined activity that promotes education and equity for women and girls). Application deadline: January 15, 2007.


Hamilton Fish Institute Field-Initiated Studies Program: School Violence Prevention PDF document
The Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence is seeking innovative research proposals focused on original rigorous scientific research related to the prevention of violence in schools and their communities. Two 9-month grants of $80,000 each will be awarded with funding from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Institutions of higher education, state and local education agencies, and public and private organizations are eligible to apply. Application deadline: November 20, 2006. Request for Proposals available in PDF (4 pages, 56 KB).


Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to develop faculty and library leaders, to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, to conduct research, to encourage high school and college students to consider careers in libraries, to build institutional capacity in graduate schools of library and information science, and to assist in the professional development of librarians and library staff. Grants of up to $1,000,000 will be awarded. All types of libraries, except federal and for-profit libraries, and institutions of higher education may apply. Application deadline: December 15, 2006.


National Education Association Fine Arts Grants for Secondary Fine Arts Teachers
The National Education Association (NEA) Fine Arts Grants program helps fine arts teachers to create and implement fine arts programs that promote learning among students at risk of school failure. This year, the program is accepting applications from teachers of grades 6-12. Programs must address the arts (e.g., painting, sculpture, photography, music, theater, dance, design, media, or folk arts). At least ten grants of $2,000 each will be awarded. Grants may be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, transportation, software, and/or professional fees. Applicants must be NEA members and must work in a public secondary school serving economically disadvantaged students. Application deadline: December 15, 2006.

Scholarships and Awards


Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards
The Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards is Cable in the Classroom’s annual awards program to recognize administrators, educators, community leaders, and policymakers who demonstrate vision, innovation, action, and transformation in PreK-12 education. The awards seek to promote and encourage innovative learning practices by honoring individuals who have transformed an aspect of education on a large or small scale. Each awardee will receive, at minimum, lodging and transportation for two to Washington, DC for the Awards Gala and networking. In addition, winners will receive $3,000. Application deadline: December 15, 2006.


National Schools of Character Awards Program
The Character Education Partnership annually names ten public/private K-12 schools/districts as National Schools of Character in recognition of their outstanding work in character education. With support from the John Templeton Foundation, the 2007 award recipients will each receive a $20,000 grant: $10,000 to enhance their character education program and $10,000 to provide outreach to other educators. Eligible schools have been engaged in character education for a minimum of three full years, starting no later than December 2003; eligible districts have been engaged in character education for a minimum of four full years, starting no later than December 2002. Application deadline: December 4, 2006.

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End of Issue

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