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December 2005 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Education “Data Quality Campaign” Launched by Ten National Organizations
On November 17, 2005, a national campaign to improve the quality, accessibility, and use of data in education was launched at the Council of Chief State School Officers and U.S. Department of Education's Data Summit. The Data Quality Campaign is a collaborative effort of 10 national organizations that aims to provide tools and resources that will assist states in their development of quality longitudinal data systems, while also providing a national forum for reducing duplication of effort and promoting greater coordination and consensus among organizations focusing on improving data quality, access, and use.

Legislative Announcements


Report to the President: Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility
In November 2005, the federal Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility submitted a report to the President on Human Service Transportation Coordination. The report, Executive Order 13330, outlines recommendations to help existing transportation services to be more cost-effective and accountable and to help providers become more responsive to people with disabilities.


Secretary Spellings Announces Growth Model Pilot Proposal Under NCLB
On November 18, 2005, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced a pilot program where interested and qualified states can submit proposals for developing high-quality growth models that follow the bright-line principles of No Child Left Behind. These states will be allowed to meet NCLB accountability requirements by measuring student growth over time, rather than the current practice of comparing this year's students against last year's students.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Implications for Transition Personnel  (October 2005)
NCSET Essential Tool
This volume in NCSET’s Essential Tools series summarizes current research about transition issues and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) youth with disabilities. It offers information on how transition personnel can effectively support these youth by building on their strengths and enhancing natural supports available within their families and communities. Also included are numerous practical tools and information on further resources. Available only on the Web.

Other National Resources


Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment of Students with Disabilities  (August 2005) PDF document
This manual from the Council of Chief State School Officers details a five-step plan for use of accommodations in assessments and provides fact sheets and teacher tools. The five steps are: expect students with disabilities to achieve grade-level academic content standards, learn about accommodations for instruction and assessment, select accommodations for individual students, administer accommodations, and evaluate and improve accommodations use. Available in PDF (56 pages, 299 KB).


Addressing Achievement Gaps: The Progress and Challenges of Women and Girls in Education and Work  (2005) PDF document
This report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) provides an overview of the presentations made at a May 2005 ETS symposium on the progress women and girls have made in education and work and the challenges they still face. Available in PDF (12 pages, 245 KB).


Addressing the Disproportionate Representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education through Culturally Responsive Educational Systems  (September 2005)
Conceptual Framework
The Education Policy Analysis Archives has published the National Center on Culturally Responsive Educational Systems’ (NCCRESt) conceptual framework. It details NCCRESt’s approach to improving students’ educational opportunities and reducing inappropriate referrals and placements to special education.


Building Active Citizens: The Role of Social Institutions in Teen Volunteering  (November 2005) PDF document
According to this report from the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau and Independent Sector, 55% of American teenagers volunteered last year, compared to only 29% of adults. Based on a survey of 3,178 youth ages 12-18, the study found that 15.5 million teenagers contributed more than 1.3 billion hours of service in 2004 and that approximately 38% of youth had engaged in community service as part of a school activity. Available in PDF (24 pages, 857 KB).


Financing Alternative Education Pathways: Profiles and Policy 2005  (August 2005)
The National Youth Employment Coalition has published a report containing profiles of nine alternative schools and programs that have accessed state and local education funds. It highlights innovative practices and creative state and local policy mechanisms used to finance alternative education pathways.


Native American Heritage Teaching Resources  (November 2005)
Web Page
In honor of Native American Indian Heritage Month (November 2005), the U.S. Department of Education compiled the following Web page of resources to help students learn more about Native Americans.


Navigating Special Education  (October 2005)
Online Chat Transcript
This is a transcript from the October 26, 2005 LD Talk online discussion with Alan Brue, Ph.D. and Linda Wilmshurst, Ph.D., authors of A Parent’s Guide to Special Education. Brue and Wilmshurst answered questions from parents and others across the country. LD Talk, a service of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, is an online discussion devoted to topics of interest to the learning disabilities community.


No Child Left Behind: A Road Map to State Implementation  (November 2005)
This U.S. Department of Education document in the administrators’ section of their Web site describes how the Department—together with parents, educators and policymakers—is making the No Child Left Behind Act work for states, schools and students.


Promoting Life Success for Students with Learning Disabilities  (September 2005)
Online Chat Transcript
This is a transcript from the September 28, 2005 LD Talk online discussion with Roberta Goldberg, Ph.D. and Eleanor Higgins, Ph.D., researchers at the Frostig Center in Pasadena, CA. Goldberg and Higgins answered questions from parents and others across the country. LD Talk, a service of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, is an online discussion devoted to topics of interest to the learning disabilities community.


Special Education: Ensuring Excellence for All Students  (November 2005)
Webcast Archive
On November 15, 2005, the U.S. Department of Education celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by profiling researched-based early identification and intervention initiatives and showcasing successful inclusion programs in schools in this Webcast. You can view the archived Webcast with or without captioning on the Web.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Developing Inclusive, High Performing Middle and High Schools: A Leadership Institute
December 13, 2005 - December 14, 2005
Newton, MA
This professional development training from the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative is designed for special and general educators who are involved with inclusive education in grades 6-12. Participants will learn about innovative instructional strategies that improve student achievement, curricular adaptations in a high stakes environment, strategies to promote social success among middle and high school students, and more.

The Social Side of Learning Disabilities
Web-based Event
December 14, 2005
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
From 8:00-9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, 2005, you can submit questions to Richard Lavoie, leading expert on learning disabilities, via a link on Rick will answer your questions and his answers will be posted to at a later date.

White House Targeted Workshop on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

January 12, 2006
Kansas City, MO
The White House and the Departments of Justice, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Health & Human Services, Housing & Urban Development, and Education, the Agency for International Development, and the Small Business Administration will host a targeted workshop in Kansas City, MO to help faith-based and community organizations learn more about President Bush's Faith-Based and Community Initiative. The event is geared towards representatives from social service groups that have a track record of applying for government funding, especially those from groups that have not yet won grants.

TransPlanner! Web Seminar

January 18, 2006
Web Seminar
Wizdom Education will provide a live, online presentation of its Web-based transition planning and assessment tool, the TransPlanner!. With the TransPlanner!, students, family members, and teachers can conduct a computer-assisted student interview; generate a three-year transition services plan across multiple domains; ensure transition services plans are IDEA 2004 compliant; link to community resources; and create reports that highlight student goals, visions, strengths, preferences, needs, and interests—reports suitable for use by students in IEPs. For more information or to RSVP, e-mail Phil Vitkus at by January 11.

Teaching All Students, Reaching All Learners: Innovative Ways to Address Disability and Other Forms of Diversity in the Postsecondary Classroom
March 16, 2006
Honolulu, HI
This conference, to be held following the PacRim Conference on Disabilities, will share evidence-based practices associated with the improvement of access, retention, and completion of postsecondary education by students with disabilities. Persons associated with postsecondary education, including faculty, disability support personnel, high school personnel, administrators, persons with disabilities, and family members of persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend. Pre-registration is required. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Abilities Fund
The Abilities Fund is committed to the economic advancement of people with disabilities and devoted to the fullest expression of their entrepreneurial spirit. To that end, the Fund develops and serves three primary markets—entrepreneurs with disabilities, microenterprise development organizations, and vocational rehabilitation agencies and other disability-related organizations—by offering a range of financial products, customized training, technical assistance, policy recommendations, and linkages to resources.


Mind Your Own Business
Mind Your Own Business is a Web site for youth entrepreneurs created by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Junior Achievement. The site walks users through five easy steps of business ownership, whether they’ve just had a brainstorm for their first business venture or they’ve been at it a few years.


Person-Centered Planning Education Site
This Web site of the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University helps users enhance their awareness of and appreciation for person-centered planning by providing an overview of the person-centered planning process, self-study courses covering the basic processes involved, a compendium of readings and activities, and various downloadable resources and links.


Teen Business Link
This Web site from the U.S. Small Business Administration helps teens identify ideas for businesses they could start, find a mentor, write a business plan, start a business, meet other entrepreneurs in their community, and protect their business’ idea, product, or name. It also includes information about the benefits of owning a business, legal issues, and insurance.



E-NEWS (National Institute for Urban School Improvement)
eNEWS, the monthly e-mail newsletter of the National Institute for Urban School Improvement and the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems, provides current information on issues in education, school reform, cultural diversity, disproportionality, inclusive practices, and more.


Get ICI Updates
This monthly e-mail newsletter from the Institute on Community Integration, NCSET’s parent organization and a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, includes announcements about the Institute’s new publications, projects, Web sites, and services.


NCLB Insights (Washington Partners, LLC)
Washington Partners, LLC, a government affairs and public relations firm specializing in education policy, has launched NCLB Insights, a free monthly e-newsletter with updates and insights into the No Child Left Behind Act as it moves to reauthorization. You can view the first issue of NCLB Insights on Washington Partners’ Web site.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


U.S. Department of Labor Selected Demonstration Project for High-Risk Youth and Adults
This project provides for high quality learning, developing leadership skills among youth, and preparing both youth and adults for entry into employment, re-employment, further education or training, and long-term follow-up services to promote employment retention and career advancement. Maximum Award: $1,000,000. State or local public agencies and public and private non-profit organizations demonstrating an ability to work with "high-risk" youth and adults are invited to apply. Application deadline: February 4, 2006.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Mini-Grants for Peer Teaching About Core American Issues
Youth for Justice, funded by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, invites middle and high school classes across the country to teach others about the fundamental ideas of American democracy through the Third Annual National Teach-In celebration of National & Global Youth Service Day and National Law Day. The first 100 classes to register will receive a mini-grant of $200 with which they can buy materials to conduct their teach-in, provide law-related education resources for their class or school library, host a teach-in conference with another school, or support a school club or charity. Deadline to register: January 31, 2006.


Mockingbird Foundation Music Grants
The Mockingbird Foundation offers grants of $50-$5000 to schools and nonprofits to support music education for children. Mockingbird is interested in projects that foster creative expression in any musical form, but also recognizes needs within conventional instruction. It encourages applications associated with diverse musical styles, genres, forms, and philosophies. Mockingbird will also support the provision of instruments, texts, and office materials, and the support of learning space, practice space, performance space, and instruction. It is interested in projects that foster self-esteem and free expression, and programs which benefit disenfranchised groups, including children with disabilities. Letter of inquiry submission deadline: February 1, 2006.


State Farm Companies Foundation Grants
The State Farm Companies Foundation offers grants to K-12 public schools for teacher excellence programs that improve teacher quality, service-learning programs that integrate core classroom curriculum with service to the community, and programs that incorporate established criteria to improve the effectiveness of school systems. Application deadline: January 15, 2006.


Students with Disabilities Invited to Apply for Congressional Internship Program
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and the American Association of People with Disabilities offer a summer congressional internship program for college students with disabilities. The program provides an opportunity for students to work on Capitol Hill for eight weeks. As congressional interns, participants will gain insight into congressional office operations, public policy development, and constituents’ roles in the legislative and political processes. Undergraduate students studying at a college or university who, at the time of application, are first-semester sophomores through second-semester juniors are eligible to apply. Participants will receive a $1,500 stipend. Application deadline: December 12, 2005.


The Anne Ford Scholarship 2005-2006
The National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. is seeking applicants for its Anne Ford Scholarship, which is available to high school seniors of high merit with an identified learning disability who are planning on pursuing an undergraduate degree. Application deadline: December 31, 2005.


Transition Best Practices Mini-Grants
The Division on Career Development and Transition of the Council for Exceptional Children is offering two competitive grants of $1000 each to local transition practitioners. The project funded can focus on any aspect of transition best practices. The amount funded must be matched in cash or in kind by the local school district, agency, or related setting in which the practitioner is involved in transition programming. The project’s activities must be carried out within the 2005-2006 academic year, and plans for project continuation beyond that time period, including plans for solicitation of further funding or resources, must be in place. Applications are limited to ten pages. Please submit applications electronically to Application deadline: January 1, 2006.

Scholarships and Awards


2006 Coming Up Taller Awards
The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, invites nominations for the 2006 Coming Up Taller Awards. The Awards recognize and support outstanding community arts and humanities after-school and out-of-school programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people and provide them learning opportunities and chances to contribute to their communities. Nomination deadline: January 30, 2006.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
You are welcome to copy and paste portions of this E-News issue into your own e-mail newsletter; however, please credit the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition E-News and link to as follows: “Excerpted from NCSET E-News, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”

Contributing to E-News
If you have information on new products, resources, funding opportunities, and conferences or training events and want to contribute these to a future E-News issue, please e-mail the information to or see Suggest an Item for E-News for more information.

Purpose of the Listserv
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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E-News Disclaimer
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.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.

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