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March 2005 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


President's New High School Initiative, Other Proposed Programs Tackle Issues Important to Hispanics
President Bush's new High School Initiative has the potential to do more to curtail the high dropout rate among Hispanics and other minorities than any other federal initiative in history, senior Department of Education officials said during a recent press briefing for Hispanic journalists. Available in Spanish.


Quality Education Can Bring Opportunity for All, Secretary Spellings Says
In a recent address, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings declared that a quality education is worth fighting for; observed that the No Child Left Behind Act and UNESCO's Education For All initiative share complementary goals, including special attention for students once ignored and left behind; and claimed that quality, access, and scientifically-based research are keys to educational success for all students.

Calls to Participate


ICARE Schools Project Requests School Nominations
The ICARE (Involve, Collaborate, Affirm, Respect, and Empower) Schools project at Education Development Center, Inc. seeks nominations of middle schools (must include grades 7 and 8) that successfully involve all families in the education of their children with disabilities. ICARE Schools Project is a national study funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, and will examine schools that use innovative approaches to engage families from culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds in the creation and implementation of their child's IEP. Nomination deadline: March 15, 2005.


New Freedom Initiative Award: Call for Nominations
U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao invites non-profits, small businesses, corporations, and individuals that have demonstrated exemplary and innovative efforts in advancing the employment and improving the workplace environment of people with disabilities to apply for the 2005 New Freedom Initiative Award. The Award recognizes public-private partnerships and programs that have had a positive impact on the employment of people with disabilities through access to assistive technologies, the use of innovative training, and hiring and retention techniques. Application deadline: May 22, 2005.


Nominees Sought for 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 2005 Coming Up Taller Awards. The Awards recognize and support outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people and provide them learning opportunities and chances to contribute to their communities. Each year, ten awards of $10,000 each are presented to Coming Up Taller Awards honorees. Nomination deadline: March 24, 2005.


Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference Seeks Presenters PDF document
The Pennsylvania Community on Transition State Leadership Team is seeking presenters for the 4th Annual Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference, “Strengthening Transition: Achieving Results” to be held July 20-22, 2005 in State College, PA. The purpose of the conference is to expand the capacity of community partners to promote the successful transition of young adults with disabilities to postschool outcomes of employment, postsecondary education and training, community participation, and healthy lifestyles. Information and application form available in PDF (8 pages, 49.5 KB). Proposal submission deadline: March 14, 2005.


U.S. Department of Education Seeks Presenters for Summer 2005 Teacher-to-Teacher Workshops
The U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative is seeking applications from elementary and high school educators who work directly with students (or their teachers) and who have evidence of raising student achievement or having a positive impact on teaching. Presenters must also be “highly qualified” as defined by the state in which you teach (and be prepared to submit proof); have a complete proposal that includes the final presentation and handouts submitted by April 11, 2005; and commit to attending a two-day training session and all six workshops.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood: Rethinking Public Policy for a New Century  (February 2005) PDF document
Conference Proceedings
In November 2004, the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood and Public Policy cosponsored a two-day conference entitled “Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood: Rethinking Public Policy for a New Century.” Conference participants, including researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, discussed current research and practice and what they suggest about how well our major social institutions have adapted to support young people as they make the transition to adulthood in the twenty-first century. A proceedings document from this conference is now available in PDF (19 pages, 355 KB).


American Rehabilitation Magazine Special Issue - Empowerment  (2004)
Online Newsletter
The autumn 2004 issue of American Rehabilitation magazine, the official publication of the U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration, provides strategies and ideas for rehabilitation partners including consumers, professionals, educators, service providers, and advocates. This issue’s theme was “Empowerment,” and its articles include: “How Empowerment Changed My Life,” “Enhancing the Personal Empowerment of People with Psychiatric Disabilities,” “Self-Determination and the Empowerment of People with Disabilities,” “Slaying Dragons: Building Self-Confidence and Raising Expectations Through Orientation Center Training,” “Empowering People with Disabilities Through Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling,” and “Consumer Organizations: Important Resources for VR Agencies.” Articles available in Word and PDF.


Career Development Web Page from Diversity World
Web Page
Diversity World, an organization that works to enrich workplaces and reduce employment barriers, has created a career development page on its Web site about employment issues for persons with disabilities. The page includes a list of links to career development resources, scholarships, internships, and awards.


Closing Achievement Gaps  (March 2005) PDF document
Policy Brief
The Future of Children—The Journal, a publication of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution, has just released a new policy brief entitled “Closing Achievement Gaps.” By the time black and Hispanic children reach kindergarten, they are on average already far behind their more advantaged peers in reading and math readiness. Such disparities in achievement persist or even increase during the school years. Educational programs for parents and preschool education programs for children have the potential to narrow these disparities by at least half. Available in PDF (8 pages, 143 KB).


Community Colleges: A Pathway to Success for Youth with Learning, Cognitive, and Intellectual Disabilities in Secondary Settings  (March 2004) PDF document
This study involved a national survey of 25 postsecondary education options that support youth with learning, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities while they are still enrolled in secondary school. Main survey findings, detailed profiles of six programs, and recommendations for future empirical research are presented. Available on the University of Maryland Web site. Available in PDF (13 pages, 455 KB).


Keeping Medicare and Medicaid When You Work, 2005: A Resource Guide for People with Disabilities, Their Families, and Their Advocates  (February 2005)
This guide from the Kaiser Family Foundation helps to explain the program rules for Medicare and Medicaid with regard to work. Medicare and Medicaid have come to play important roles in the lives and the futures of roughly 20 million children, adults, and seniors with disabilities. This guide gives people with disabilities new information to help them get the most from these programs.


Make Tax Time Pay! The 2005 Earned Income Tax Credit Outreach Kit  (December 2004)
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has created a kit that contains fact sheets on the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, including new information on how workers with disabilities and families raising children with disabilities may take advantage of these credits.


Navigating Medicare and Medicaid, 2005: A Resource Guide for People with Disabilities, Their Families, and Their Advocates  (February 2005)
This guide from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains the critical role Medicare and Medicaid have come to play in the lives and the futures of roughly 20 million children, adults, and seniors with disabilities and gives people with disabilities new information to help them get the most from these programs.


Que Ningún Niño se Quede Atrás: Una Guía Para los Padres – No Child Left Behind: A Parent’s Guide in Spanish  (2003)
"No Child Left Behind (NCLB): A Parents’ Guide" from the U.S. Department of Education is now available on the Web in Spanish. It summarizes NCLB, answers questions about the law, and explains what it means for parents.


Recursos en Español - Resources for Spanish Speakers from the U.S. Department of Education
Web Page
The U.S. Department of Education has updated its resources for Spanish speakers. Links include Noticias del Departamento; Para los estudiantes que están aprendiendo el inglés; Para los estudiantes con discapacidades; Que Ningún Niño se Quede Atrás; Servicios Educativos Suplementarios; Ayuda económica para estudiantes; Preguntas y respuestas frecuentes sobre educación; Publicaciones y materials; Sitios adicionales; and Margaret Spellings, Secretaria de Educación.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


The Escalera Project: Taking Steps to Success
Teleconference Call
March 22, 2005
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Central)
Eduardo Garcia, director of the Center for Latino Economic Opportunities, National Council of La Raza, will present on the Escalera Project: Taking Steps to Success, a model and curriculum that encourages at-risk Latino high school students to graduate from high school, prepare for college, and explore and take advantage of career opportunities in fields in demand. It incorporates best practices in youth employment and development to provide academic support, work-readiness/work maturity training, and career exploration and planning. To participate in this teleconference, dial 1-703-639-1159 a few minutes before the call begins, and refer to the "NCSET Teleconference Call" if asked by the operator.

Minority Disproportionality and the Achievement Gap: Common Issues, Shared Solutions
Teleconference Call
March 31, 2005
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM   (Central)
Dr. Anthony Sims, senior associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership, will explore minority disproportionality in special education and the achievement gap by examining connections between achievement and disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse children; exploring alternate paths to meaningful data concerning the interaction between school factors and students placed at risk for school failure; and providing recommendations for staff development activities aimed at building consensus, capacity, and shared responsibility. Transcript now available.

Other National Events


Contributions of Career and Technical (Education) Student Organizations: Policy Maker and CTSO Student Views

March 3, 2005
Web Cast
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM   (Eastern)
The National Career and Technical Education Student Organizations, such as FFA, DECA, and FBLA, are an integral part of career and technical education programs. This Webcast of the National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education will highlight the experiences of the national student leaders with these organizations and show how the organizations contribute to improving high schools and preparing a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills. Moderated by Dr. Susan Sclafani, Assistant Secretary, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education.

Graduated Sanctions: Effective Intervention Strategies for Addressing Delinquency

March 22, 2005
12:45 PM - 2:15 PM   (Central)
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Juvenile Sanctions Center will host a satellite videoconference entitled "Graduated Sanctions: An Effective Intervention Strategy for Addressing Delinquency." This event will be a virtual town hall meeting dedicated to helping communities use graduated sanctions. The goal of this event is to highlight the efforts of OJJDP and the Juvenile Sanctions Center in graduated sanctions; provide examples of community efforts to improve collaboration, intervention strategies, and public awareness surrounding the issue of graduated sanctions; and promote available graduated sanctions resources. Participation is free, but online registration is required.

National Rehabilitation Transition Conference: From Roots to Wings: Guiding Youth With Disabilities to Employment
June 16, 2005 - June 17, 2005
Washington, DC
The Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), State VR agencies, State educational agencies, youth leadership organizations, consumer organizations, and other stakeholder groups are planning a national conference that will offer learning experiences and networking opportunities for State VR agency and State education agency staff at both the state and local levels. This conference will bring together VR and education policymakers and practitioners, as well as personnel from collaborating agencies who work with transitioning youth with disabilities. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Alliance for Excellent Education
The mission of the Alliance for Excellent Education is to promote high school transformation to make it possible for every child to graduate prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. Its Web site offers publications, legislative updates, events, and ways to take action.


Learning to Give: An Action of the Heart, A Project for the Mind
This Web site teaches the importance of voluntary action for the common good in a democratic society. It offers lesson plans, activities, and resources to educate youth about the power of philanthropy (sharing time, talent, and treasure) to help empower young people to make a difference in their school, their community, and their world. en Español – Una guia para padres con ninos que tienen dificultades del aprendizaje
SchwabLearning has revised its Spanish Web site, “Una guia para padres con ninos que tienen dificultades del aprendizaje.” The site includes over 20 articles that have been translated into Spanish in the following categories: Identificando, Enfrentando Asuntos, Recursos, and Quienes Somos.


A new Web site from the Institute on Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts-Boston, designed to provide information to students with cognitive disabilities who are interested in finding ways to attend college. The site includes information for students, family members, and professionals, and features a searchable database of postsecondary education programs, a discussion board designed by students, a listserv, and links to Web-based resources.


Web Accessibility Resource Planner (WARP)
Few teacher training and certification institutions teach the issues and strategies of Web accessibility. The Web Accessibility Resource Planner (WARP) is designed to provide content, simulations, assignments, and evaluation tools and to aid in any other teaching opportunities that involve Web accessibility. WARP is a user-friendly online interface for creating Web accessibility lessons. These lessons are then available online at any time. WARP provides a free and easy way to view Web accessibility resources, organize these resources into lessons, and view lessons created by other WARP users. General Web accessibility resources also available.



The Charter Schools Program Listserv is a free service offered by the Office of Innovation and Improvement--Charter Schools Program, U.S. Department of Education. Subscribers receive periodic notification of information on topics such as new grant programs and grant opportunities; key NCLB legislative, regulatory and policy changes; new reports, studies, evaluations, publications and/or resources; and pertinent special initiatives within the U.S. Department of Education.


eSchool News
eSchool News offers a free weekly online newsletter with information about school technology news, products, events, and other school resources. Visit their Web site for a free trial issue.


Government Accountability Office E-Mail Lists
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) offers four e-mail lists: “Today’s Reports and Testimony,” a daily e-mail containing links to all GAO reports and testimonies released on that day; “GAO reports by topic;” “Month in Review,” a monthly e-mail with links to all GAO reports, testimonies, and legal products issued the previous month; and “Comptroller General Decisions,” a daily e-mail containing all comptroller general decisions released on that day.

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Funding Forecast

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement Grants for Youth-Led Community Research
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement has announced a new grant competition for community research conducted by youth. Teams of at least five youth researchers under age 18 working in affiliation with a community organization or institution, and teams who partner with an organization that has an operating fiscal agent, are both invited to apply for grants of $5,000-$10,000. Teams may also include adult advisors/mentors. Teams can research a community issue of their choice and must have a plan for disseminating their findings and an audience they want to target. Application deadline: March 31, 2005.


First Amendment Schools
First Amendment Schools, a national initiative designed to transform how schools teach and practice the rights and responsibilities of citizenship that frame civic life in our democracy, will select five Project Schools for the 2005-2006 school year to receive a $10,000 grant subject to review and renewal for the 2006-2007 school year. Schools may apply individually, or school pathways—i.e. one high school, one feeder middle school, and one feeder elementary school—may apply for a joint grant. Schools with different multiyear configurations may apply. Application deadline: April 29, 2005.


Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes seeks nominations for its 2005 awards to honor youth ages 8-18 who have shown leadership and courage in public service to people and/or the planet. Ten national winners will receive $2,000 to support their service work or higher education. Nomination deadline is April 30, 2005.


Horace Mann Companies Funding for Educators
The Horace Mann Companies, a national insurance company focusing on educators' financial needs, will offer scholarships totaling $30,000 to help educators continue their education. This year's program will offer 36 awards, including one $5,000 award payable over four years, 15 $1,000 awards payable over two years, and 20 one-time $500 awards. Eligible applicants must be educators employed by a U.S. public or private school district or public or private college/university with a minimum of two years' teaching experience and be planning to take classes at a two- or four-year accredited college or university. Application deadline: May 14, 2005.


Jordan Fundamentals Program Offers Support for Teachers in Low-Income Schools
Presented by the Jordan Brand at Nike, Inc., the Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program recognizes outstanding teaching and instructional creativity in public secondary schools that serve economically disadvantaged students by offering up to 400 grants of $2500 apiece. Applicants must be public school teachers or paraprofessionals working with students in grades 1-12 and be employed by an accredited public school where at least 50% of the school's student population is eligible for the free or reduced school lunch program. Application deadline: June 15, 2005.


MetLife Foundation Bridge Builders’ Grants
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) invites proposals from public middle and high schools which serve large numbers of low-income students and underrepresented minorities (greater than 40% of student body) and who want to strengthen ties between their schools and their students' neighborhoods and communities. Principals are invited to submit a proposal that will build bridges between their school faculty and the surrounding community. $5,000 grants to implement these proposals will be awarded to 25 schools and five exemplary programs will be highlighted at the 2007 NASSP National Convention. Application deadline: April 16, 2005.


Schools as Centers of Community: A National Search for Excellence
Public Education Network in partnership with KnowledgeWorks Foundation announces the 2005 Schools as Centers of Community: A National Search for Excellence, an initiative which seeks schools nationwide that successfully model the growing trend to build schools as centers of community. The top selected school, chosen by a panel of national experts, will receive the Richard W. Riley Award for Excellence and a $5,000 grant. The panel will also select several runner-up schools with innovative design elements and initiatives to be members of the Schools as Centers of Community Honor Society and be part of the National Search Web site. Submission deadline: June 24, 2005.


Student Video Discovery Awards;_hbguid=7cfefc17-39ad-444c-b1dc-c58b85618e4c
The 2005 “Student Video Discovery Awards” from eSchoolNews are designed to recognize and honor excellence in student video production. The winning student video producers will receive national recognition and bring technology to their schools' video programs. A panel of experts in journalism and video production will select three teams of finalists at each of three educational levels: high school, community college, and university institutions. Student video teams will be honored during an awards ceremony at the National Education Computing Conference on June 27-29, 2005 in Philadelphia. Entry submission deadline: April 8, 2005.

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End of Issue

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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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