March 2004 E-News
The latest news and information from around the country.
“Preparing America’s Future”: The Secretary’s High School Initiative
Secretary of Education Rod Paige launched the Preparing America's Future High School Initiative during the fall of 2003 in order to address the significant challenges that face contemporary high schools. This initiative encourages leaders at the state and local levels to create educational opportunities that will fully prepare American youth for success in further education and training, as participants in a highly skilled U.S. workforce, and as productive and responsible citizens. As an inaugural step, in October of 2003, the Department of Education hosted the High School Leadership Summit in Washington, DC that was attended by over 700 educational leaders from across the country. In order to continue the momentum of the 2003 Summit, the U.S. Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Governor's Association will be co-hosting a series of seven regional high school summits that will take place during the spring of 2004. The goal of these regional summits is to convene small teams of state-level policymakers in order to assist them with the development or refinement of a customized state strategy that will help high schools to better meet the goals of No Child Left Behind. Content Experts from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) will serve as a resource to state policy teams at the regional summits.
New Legislation for High School Graduation in New Mexico
New legislation, “High School Graduation Next Step Program,” which requires every student in New Mexico from 8th-12th grade to prepare a “Next-Step” plan, was recently signed by New Mexico’s Governor, Bill Richardson. Students will work with their teachers and administrators each year to make sure they are on track for graduation. Available in PDF format (4 pages); information about this bill is appears on page three.
Social Security Administration: Strategic Workplace Planning Needed to Address Human Capital Challenges Facing the Disability Determination Services
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The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees and fully funds primarily state-operated Disability Determination Services (DDS’s) that determine whether applicants are eligible for disability benefits. The disability examiners employed by the DDSs play a key role in determining benefit eligibility. This report examines the challenges the DDSs face today in retaining and recruiting examiners and enhancing their expertise, the extent to which the DDSs engage in workforce planning and encounter obstacles in doing so, and the extent to which SSA is addressing present and future human capital challenges in the DDSs. Available in PDF (98 pages).
The Resource Zone
Bullying, Teasing, Youth Violence, and Prevention: Addressing the Needs of Youth with Disabilities
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of the NCSET national teleconference call held October 24, 2003. Presenters on this call addressed research, basic information, and best practice recommendations regarding youth with disabilities with respect to bullying, teasing, and youth violence; peer pressure and its relationship to bullying and teasing; and prevention and intervention. Presented by Dr. John Hoover, Professor, Department of Special Education, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota; and Dr. Liza Little, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, School of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire.
Bullying, Teasing, Youth Violence, and Prevention: Resource Listing
A listing of resources mentioned during the NCSET teleconference call, Bullying, Teasing, Youth Violence, and Prevention: Addressing the Needs of Youth with Disabilities, held in October 2003.
Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities: Building State and Local Capacity to Link and Align Resources
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of NCSET national teleconference held in December 2003 on linking and aligning resources to promote more positive postschool outcomes for youth with disabilities. During this call, participants learned about: (a) recent funding and policies supported by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to promote linking and aligning resources; (b) the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability – Youth, a technical assistance center funded by ODEP; and (c) ODEP’s efforts to assist NCSET with promoting better interagency collaboration and alignment of resources. Presented by Joan Wills, Director of the Institute on Educational Leadership and Kelli Crane, Senior Policy Analyst of TransCen, Inc.
Increasing Rates of School Completion: Moving from Policy and Research to Practice
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of the NCSET national teleconference call held January 27, 2004. Presenters shared what the research tells us about effective interventions that keep students with and without disabilities in school. They described critical conceptual issues linked to school completion and summarized research-based interventions, as found with Check & Connect, a model designed to prevent dropout and engage students in school and learning. Presented by Dr. Camilla Lehr, Research Associate of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota; and Dr. Sandra Christenson, Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota.
Person-Centered Planning: A Tool for Transition
NCSET Parent Brief
This brief provides a concise description of person-centered planning and an explanation of the benefits of this process. The brief also provides action steps for implementing person-centered planning, references within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that support the process, and a list of additional resources. See Spanish Version of this Parent Brief.
Supporting Dynamic Development of Youth with Disabilities During Transition: A Guide for Families
NCSET Information Brief
Volume 3 , Issue 2
This brief offers concrete, useful information about adolescent development to guide families in supporting youth with disabilities. It also provides the compassionate perspective of a parent of a youth with a disability regarding the transition process. Finally, the brief offers a list of further resources.
Other National Resources
A Shared Agenda: A Leadership Challenge to Improve College Access and Success
Pathways to College, an alliance of foundations, nonprofits, educational institutions, and the U.S. Department of Education, works to improve college access for under-served youth, including low-income, minority, and first-generation students, and those with disabilities. Its new report, “A Shared Agenda: A Leadership Challenge to Improve College Access and Success,” was released on February 19, 2004. The report outlines nearly 100 recommendations designed to make a college education attainable for all students. The Report and an Executive Summary are both available in PDF format (52 pages and 4 pages, respectively).
Access E-Learning (AEL) is a ten-module self-paced online tutorial on making distance education accessible for individuals with disabilities. AEL provides instruction in techniques that will enhance the usability of online materials for all students. AEL provides instruction in making the following elements accessible: Powerpoint Slides, Video, Flash, Word Documents, Excel Documents, PDF Documents, Common HTML Elements, and Advanced HTML Elements. Access E-Learning is a service of the Georgia Tech Research on Accessible Distance Education project in partnership with IDET Communication Inc.; funding for the project is provided by a grant from the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.
Americans with Disabilities Act Basic Building Blocks
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Basic Building Blocks is an introductory web course that explores the legal requirements and the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The course content is self-paced and organized into 12 topics that have been designed to be studied in order, covering the basic principles and core concepts of the Act. The Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center has developed this online course through a collaboration with the 10 Regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs).
Creating Partnerships, Bridging Worlds: Family and Community Engagement
For many students, particularly students from low-income families and students of color, a significant disconnect exists between the worlds of school, family, and community. This new guide helps schools and teachers bring these diverse worlds together and recognize the assets and strengths inherent in each. Such efforts help schools to be more successful in supporting and engaging students, resulting in higher student achievement. The guide provides resources, models, and tools to help schools create a framework for family and community engagement. The framework is based, in part, on the work of Dr. Joyce Epstein at the National Network of Partnership Schools, Johns Hopkins University. Available in PDF (25 pages).
Digest of Education Statistics, 2002
The 2002 edition of the Digest of Education Statistics is the 38th in a series of publications initiated in 1962. Its primary purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school.
LEA and School Improvement Guidance Webcast
In January, the U.S. Department of Education held a webcast to communicate directly with State Education Agency and Local Education Agency (LEA) staff—those who guide and support the work of schools—on issues related to the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. This web site includes a document on LEA and School Improvement Guidance and video segments on monitoring for continuous progress, requirements for school improvement and school improvement plans, and supporting the implementation of school improvement plans.
Motivating Moves for People with Parkinson's Disease
This video contains 24 short, stimulating exercises, particularly for people with Parkinson's, but also for friends and caregivers interested in exercising while seated. According to Janet Hamburg, creator of Motivating Moves, the exercises will improve breathing, flexibility, sense of balance, vocal range, and more. The program teaches how to improve strength and reduce risk of injury through movements coordinating the upper and lower body and the right and left sides.
Preparing Youth to Exercise Self-Determination: Quality Indicators of School Environments that Promote the Acquisition of Knowledge, Skills, and Beliefs Related to Self-Determination
This article, published in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies, identifies quality indicators of educational programs that promote self-determination and outlines a method for assessing and implementing these quality indicators in an educational program. Reprinted on the WorkSupport.com Web site with permission by PRO-ED, Inc.
Quality Counts 2004: Count Me In: Special Education in an Era of Standards
Within a decade, federal law requires that all students, including those with disabilities, be performing at the "proficient" level on state tests. It's a challenge of unprecedented proportions, particularly for the nation's nearly 6.6 million children receiving special education services. This report examines this explosive issue, which includes state-by-state data on state efforts to include students with disabilities in standards-based education. Published by Education Week. To access this report, you must be a registered user of the Education Week Web site. Registration is free.
The White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth Final Report
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President Bush established the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth in 2002 to develop for his consideration a comprehensive federal response to the problems of youth failure, with a focus on enhanced agency accountability and effectiveness. The Task Force’s comprehensive Federal response begins with their Vision for Youth in the form of a national youth policy framework—an outcome-focused approach designed to express what the country wants for disadvantaged youth and for all children. Namely, they want them to grow up: Healthy and Safe; Ready for Work, College, and Military Service; Ready for Marriage, Family, and Parenting; and Ready for Civic Engagement and Service. For these four goals, the Task Force has developed objectives and examples of ways the Federal government plays a role in addressing them.
Issues of Transition and Postsecondary Participation for Individuals with Hidden Disabilities
Capacity Building Institute
March 31, 2004 - April 1, 2004
This Institute will explore issues related to the transition and postsecondary participation of youth with “hidden” disabilities, which includes learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, psychiatric disabilities, emotional disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other such disabilities that cannot be “seen.” Individuals with these disabilities are often overlooked and misunderstood, despite the protection offered under Federal disability law and growing recognition that hidden disabilities profoundly effect many aspects of a person’s learning and everyday life. Sponsored by the National Center for Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota, and the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports, University of Hawaii in collaboration with the 20th Annual Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities.
Other National Events
2004 National Youth Leadership Conference: Learning, Living, Leading: Youth with Disabilities Continuing the Legacy
July 24, 2004 - July 27, 2004
Participants will have exciting opportunities to learn from national disability leaders, public officials, and other young leaders with disabilities from all over the country at this conference, sponsored by the National Youth Leadership Network. Approximately 65 young leaders will be chosen to participate. Application deadline: March 17, 2004.
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Achieve, Inc., is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit organization created by the nation's governors and corporate leaders to help states raise academic standards, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work, and citizenship.
ExceptionalNurse.com is a nonprofit 501(c)3 resource network committed to inclusion of more people with disabilities in the nursing profession. By sharing information and resources, ExceptionalNurse.com hopes to facilitate inclusion of students with disabilities in nursing education programs and foster resilience and continued practice for nurses who are, or become, disabled. This Web site is maintained by Donna Maheady, Ed.D., ARNP, an advocate for nurses and nursing students with disabilities.
Exceptional Vacations, LLC
Exceptional Vacations is an organization based out of South Florida that provides all-inclusive, supervised vacations for individuals with developmental disabilities. They ensure a safe environment that promotes integration, socialization, friendship, and fun. They also work as a travel agency for individuals, families, or agencies with special needs.
National Arts and Disability Center
The National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) is the national information dissemination, technical assistance, and referral center in the field of the arts and disability. The NADC is dedicated to promoting the full inclusion of children and adults with disabilities into the visual-, performing-, media, and literary-arts communities. The NADC is a project of the University of California, at Los Angeles (UCLA), Tarjan Center for Developmental Disabilities.
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress. Published by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Education Innovator
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This newsletter, published weekly by the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education, offers articles and resources about promising innovations in education.
Additional Funding and Award Opportunities
Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams is a nationwide initiative to foster inventiveness in high school students in order to raise the sights of young people with respect to the innovative contributions they can make. It provides grant support to teams composed of students, their teachers (must be teachers of science, math, or technology), and mentors from industry, formed for the purpose of inventing something useful that solves a problem they've identified. As many as fifteen grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded to teams nationwide for the 2004-2005 academic year. Application deadline: May 7, 2004.
Pathways Within Literacy Program
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The Pathways Within Literacy Program supports libraries in rural communities and organizations that conduct family-literacy programs with books and other education supplies. Pathways Within primarily seeks to help prepare young children to learn to read and to motivate older children to read regularly. Contact: Pathways Within, PO Box 1354, Brookline, MA 02446; (617) 482-0324; firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline: March 31, 2004.
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