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April 2010 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Disabilities At Work Internet Talk Radio
Disabilities At Work (DAW) Internet Talk Radio focuses on broad areas of interest to people with disabilities, their advocates, and employers. The show is searching for topics, ideas, suggestions, sponsors, comments, or speakers. DAW Radio spotlights businesses that go “beyond compliance” in finding and hiring qualified people with disabilities, or who support people with disabilities through philanthropy or in other ways. Debuting April 14, 2010, on VoiceAmerica Business Channel, the show will air every Wednesday at Noon EST.

Legislative Announcements


Delaware, Tennessee win grants in Race to the Top
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Delaware and Tennessee have won grants in the first phase of the Race to the Top competition.

Calls to Participate


Call for Presentations: The Arc’s National Convention
The Arc of the United States’ 2010 National Convention in Orlando, FL, November 3-6, 2010, is seeking dynamic and inspiring speakers or panels who will engage participants and give them a plan for “A Clear Way Forward.” The Online Presentation Application is available through April 30, 2010.


NASSP/MetLife Foundation: Breakthrough Schools
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the MetLife Foundation are calling for entries in the search for the nation’s top “Breakthrough Schools.” Applicants should be high-achieving middle or high schools, or schools that are making dramatic improvements in student achievement, whose best practices and outstanding results can help other schools in their own improvement efforts. Honorees will be chosen based on documented success in implementing strategies aligned with the three core areas of NASSP’s Breaking Ranks II publication: collaborative leadership; personalization; and curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Deadline: May 15, 2010.


National Center for Education Statistics Seeking Proposals
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is sponsoring the STATS-DC 2010 Data Conference July 28-30, in Bethesda, MD. The Conference is designed for education researchers, policymakers, and data system managers from all levels of government who want to share innovations in the design and implementation of education data collections and information systems and to provide insight and comment on technical and policy issues related to the collection, maintenance, and use of education data. NCES invites interested parties to attend the conference and to submit a proposal for presenting a session that will add to the conference’s usefulness. Presentations of all relevant topics will be considered, but the major focus will be on education data system design and management, data standards, data delivery methods, and strategies for improving data use. Deadline for proposals: May 7, 2010.


Peer Reviewers Needed at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), is seeking peer reviewers (field readers) for its discretionary grant program application reviews. The application review process involves a reader orientation, reading and evaluation of applications, and discussions with other panelists. Apply on-line to become a reader for the OPE grant program.


The Gateway Project
The Gateway Project, a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE), which is itself a collaboration between Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University, and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, aims to serve as a gateway to research committed to the values of inclusion, respect, accessibility and relevance. The Gateway Project is recruiting participants on the autistic spectrum, and participants with and without disabilities for a series of continuing Internet-based research studies on topics such as health care, well-being, and problem solving.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


A Closer Look at Career-Changers  (February 2010) PDF document
A new report from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, underwritten by the MetLife Foundation, points to the shortfalls in preparation and support for those who change careers to teach, and debunks common assumptions about their paths to teaching. To be eligible for the survey, interviewees had to be current teachers who had been teaching in public schools for no more than 20 years, and who had held positions in other fields for at least three years before teaching. Available in pdf (47 pages, 506 KB).


Alternative Schools and Programs for Public School Students at Risk of Educational Failure: 2007-08  (March 2010)
This report presents data from a recent district Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) survey about alternative schools and programs available to students during the 2007-08 school year. Alternative schools and programs are specifically designed to address the educational needs of students at risk of school failure in a setting apart from that of the regular public school. They can be administered by the district or by another entity besides the district. The study includes information on the availability and number of such schools and programs, the number of students enrolled in them, and district policy on returning students to a regular school.


Beyond the Classroom: Creating Pathways to College and Careers for Latino Youth  (February 2010)
This report, from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), provides evidence that Latino youth have a greater potential to diversify and enhance America’s workforce when they have access to a broader range of education and career networks. The study identifies common challenges to education and career success that Latino youth face and documents the role that NCLR’s after-school initiative, the Escalera Program: Taking Steps to Success, plays in improving participants’ academic and career preparation, as compared to their non-Escalera peers.


Building a Learning Agenda Around Disconnected Youth  (March 2010)
Built on a MDRC research review and consultation with youth policy experts, this report makes the case for developing a menu of approaches for the heterogeneous population of disconnected youth; building knowledge about mature programs (to better understand whether they work, for whom, and why), and creating new programs that address areas of unmet need. This framework may be particularly relevant for the Administration’s newly proposed Youth Innovation Fund.


Building a Learning Agenda Around Disconnected Youth  (March 2010)
In December 2007 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave MDRC a grant to conduct research on promising strategies to reengage disconnected young people and improve their long-term outcomes. The grant’s objective was to identify key points for future investment by government and foundations. MDRC consulted with researchers and policy experts, reviewed the results of completed and ongoing evaluations of youth programs, visited a number of innovative youth programs and cities with strong youth strategies, and hosted a meeting of youth practitioners. The goal of the paper’s recommendations is to develop a menu of approaches for the heterogeneous population of disconnected youth – analogous in some ways to the multiple pathways that are being developed for high school students.


Current Challenges and Opportunities in Preparing Rural High School Students for Success  (February 2010) PDF document
Recent debate on high school reform at the federal level has not focused on rural schools, but a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education, Current Challenges and Opportunities in Preparing Rural High School Students for Success in College and Careers, finds that high schools in many rural communities are in trouble; currently, one in four rural students fails to graduate from high school, and the rate is even lower for minority youth. The report also looks at the development of promising practices that stem from the tight-knit nature of rural communities. Available in pdf (48 pages, 706 KB).


Didn’t Win? Consider the Progress, Regardless….  (April 2010)
Research Brief
The Race to the Top competition, despite what many saw as its flaws, spurred tremendous change in reform climates across the country, according to a new monograph from the Policy Innovators in Education Network. The brief finds “important victories” in many states, whether selected as finalists, first-round winners, or neither. The initiative prompted regulatory changes in California, Illinois, Washington, and Tennessee, where until recently there had been “impenetrable legal barriers to education reform.” The competition also proved a “ready vehicle” for comprehensive efforts for widespread overhaul in states like Delaware, Florida, and Tennessee. The second round of the contest yields ongoing opportunities to leverage tougher reforms in states like California, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Oregon, none of which advanced to the first round, and also challenges states like Washington, one of 10 that didn't apply.


Education Research News  (March 2010)
The Institute of Education Sciences’ March issue of Education Research News features interventions for students with learning disabilities, a new topic area added to the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC); a discretionary grant program to study Race to the Top’ special education research grants; and others.


Going to Work: A Guide to Social Security Benefits And Employment for Young People with Disabilities  (January 2010)
Resource Guide
This booklet from the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), provides basic information about Social Security disability and health benefit programs, discusses what happens to Social Security disability and health benefits when a young person goes to work, and explains how to maximize a young person's options when he or she goes to work.


Grading the Standards  (March 2010)
A review by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute of the National Governors’ Association Common Standards proposal finds that, contrary to other analyses, the draft’s math component is stronger than its English language arts one, earning an “A-”. ELA standards need greater “adjustment,” in the view of the reviewers, with “vague spots” and insufficient specific references to essential content. The reviewers call attention to the fact that, without an actual curriculum, the standards are merely aspirational. All this said, “assuming this draft only improves in the process of revision, the Common Core represents a rare opportunity for American K-12 education to re-boot,” the reviewers write, and is “a chance to set forth, across state lines, a clear, ambitious, and actionable depiction of the essential skills, competencies, and knowledge that our young people should acquire in school and possess by the time they graduate.”

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Debunking the Myth of PDF Inaccessibility
Web-based Event
April 5, 2010
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM   (Eastern)
This free webinar will demonstrate how Adobe’s ubiquitous PDF is accessible by people with disabilities using assistive technology. Topics to be covered include different types of PDFs, using Adobe’s built-in accessibility features, and navigating PDF documents. This webinar is for users of assistive technology, keyboard users, webmasters, content providers/authors, Section 508 coordinators, and rehabilitation trainers.

Wraparound Practice
Web-based Event
April 20, 2010
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM   (Pacific)
This webinar in the National Wraparound Webinar Series will discuss details on implementing a team-based wraparound model in individual communities, and options for training, coaching, and supervising core staff.

Virginia’s NEXT STEPS Transition Program for Families, Youth, and Professionals: The New Ticket To Work Program – What’s in it for Young People
Web-based Event
May 3, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
The PEATC NEXT STEPS transition-training program offers free webinars to help families, youth with disabilities, and professionals develop effective partnerships while learning to tap into valuable community resources. With knowledge and partnership development skills, youth with disabilities and their families have an opportunity to plan a future of their own design. May 3, 2010, is “The New Ticket To Work Program – What’s in it for Young People.”

Whose Life Is It? Supporting Self-Determination and Transition of Youth with Disabilities Aging-Out of the Child Welfare System
Web-based Event
May 11, 2010
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   (Pacific)
The presentation will share research findings on the efficacy of “My Life,” an intervention designed to enhance the self-determination and adult outcomes of young people in foster care and special education. The presentation will also focus on the transition experiences of foster youth with disabilities and review information about current services for supporting their transition, such as Chafee and the Independent Living Program.

Keep It Real! Youth Leadership Development in Centers For Independent Living

May 12, 2010 - May 14, 2010
Atlanta, GA
Presented by the Centers for Independent Living (IL), this training will be led by young leaders in the IL Movement who are experts at organizing their communities for change. Participants will gain tools for building successful youth leadership development programs, as trainers present initiatives from across the nation, best practices in the field, and strategies for recruiting youth and fostering meaningful involvement using the IL philosophy.

Virginia’s NEXT STEPS Transition Program for Families, Youth, and Professionals: Universal Design for Learning – a Pathway for Lifelong Learning
Web-based Event
May 17, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
May 17, 2010, 2:00-3:00 PM, Eastern Time (Webinar) The PEATC NEXT STEPS transition-training program offers free webinars to help families, youth with disabilities, and professionals develop effective partnerships while learning to tap into valuable community resources. With knowledge and partnership development skills, youth with disabilities and their families have an opportunity to plan a future of their own design. May 17, 2010, is “Universal Design for Learning – a Pathway for Lifelong Learning.”

1st Global Youth Justice Institute

June 15, 2010 - June 17, 2010
Cape Cod, MA
The 1st Global Youth Justice Institute and Retreat is for adult staff who currently work or have previously worked, full- or part-time, in local youth justice programs in capacities including operational, administrative, or support capacities such as board members and key volunteers. Peer training and sharing will be a primary focus of this 1st Global Youth Justice Institute and Staff retreat. Topics will include funding, grant writing, improving and managing community service and volunteer training, implementing and enhancing state coalitions/networks, program sustainability, obtaining resources associated with the service and volunteer networks, supporting the professional advancement of careers in local youth court and teen court programs, and more.

Reap What You Sow: Harvesting Support Systems

July 29, 2010 - July 31, 2010
Raleigh, NC
This National Youth Leadership Network hands-on training opportunity focuses on ways to work with young people to help create their own support systems. Support systems are teams of people that help individuals make their goals realities. This event is created for young people, parents, siblings, friends, allies, teachers, and community support providers. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Going To Work: Real People, Real Jobs
The Institute for Community Inclusion’s Real People, Real Jobs Web site is a growing catalogue of success stories about individuals working in paid jobs in their communities. Through the use of innovative, front-line employment support practices, these individuals are earning money, forming networks, and contributing to their communities.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


NCSER/NCER (IES) Research Funding Opportunities Webinars
The National Center for Special Education Research and the National Center for Education Research within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will host a series of webinars related to research funding opportunities in April 2010, each at 1:00-2:30 PM (Eastern time). Upcoming webinars include grant-writing workshops on education policy (April 19), efficacy and replication projects (April 20), development and innovation projects (April 21), and adult education (April 27); and an overview of the evaluation of state and local education programs and policy program (April 22). To receive information about future webinars, register for the IES Newsflash.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2010
This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the U.S. Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards for fiscal year 2009-2010 and provides actual or estimated deadlines for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts organized according to the Department’s principal program offices and include programs and competitions previously announced as well as those to be announced at a later date.


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


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

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Autism Speaks Accepting Letters of Intent for Family Services Community Grants Program
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to organizations working to expand the range of services for individuals and communities dealing with autism. Recognizing that there are multiple needs in the expansive and varied autism community, the focus of Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grants is on proposals that serve to build the field of services for individuals with autism and expand the capacity to effectively serve this growing community. Organizations interested in submitting an application must address one of the four areas of need. Successful applicants will apply grant funding to support new programs or the expansion of existing projects. Deadline: June 10, 2010.


Captain Planet Foundation: Education Grants
Captain Planet Foundation Education Grants support hands-on environmental projects for children and youth around the world that empower them to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. All projects must promote understanding of environmental issues, focus on hands-on involvement, involve children and young adults 6-18 and promote interaction and cooperation within the group. Deadline: June 30, 2010.


Do Something Invites Applications for Six Flags Friends Scholarships
Do Something has teamed up with Six Flags Friends to award college scholarships to young leaders who are taking action to make their community (locally or globally) a better place. Scholarships will be awarded based on past, current, and planned action in the community as well as the applicant’s passion, commitment, and proven leadership skills. Six scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded.


Dominion Foundation: Education Partnerships
Educational grants from Dominion and the Dominion Foundation provide elementary and secondary educators with tools to revitalize math and science programs through the study of energy and the environment. Dominion accepts grant applications in K-12 education, for up to $10,000, to encourage the development of new programs to strengthen math and science education through the study of energy or the environment. Deadline: May 1, 2010, 5:00 PM.


ING: Unsung Heroes
The ING Unsung Heroes awards program recognizes innovative and progressive thinking in education through monetary awards. The program’s “alumni” have inspired success in the classroom and impacted countless numbers of students. Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects; three receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. Deadline: April 30, 2010.


NAIS: Challenge 20/20 Partnership
The National Association of Independent Schools invites schools to participate in Challenge 20/20, a program that brings together one school from the United States and one school from outside of the United States. Teacher-student teams from both schools will work together throughout the fall 2010 school semester to come up with a solution to a global problem. Challenge 20/20 is based on Jean Francois Rischard's book, “High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them.” Deadline: August 15, 2010.


National Endowment for the Arts Accepting Grant Applications for Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth
The National Endowment for the Arts’ Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth category offers funding for projects that help children and youth acquire knowledge and understanding of and skills in the arts. Projects must provide participatory learning and engage students with skilled artists, teachers, and excellent art. All proposed projects must provide the chance for students to experience exemplary works of art (e.g., live performances); to study works of art in order to understand their cultural and social contexts and to appreciate their technical and/or aesthetic qualities; and to create artwork. Deadline: June 10, 2010.


NCSS: Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award
The National Council for the Social Studies Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award aims to help a social studies educator make his or her dream of innovative social studies a reality. Grants will be given to assist classroom teachers in: (1) developing and implementing imaginative, innovative, and illustrative social studies teaching strategies; and (2) supporting student implementation of innovative social studies, citizenship projects, field experiences, and community connections. Maximum award: $2,500; deadline: May 1, 2010.


NEA Foundation: Student Achievement Grants
NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants aim to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area(s). The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving to deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: K-12 public school teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff at public colleges and universities. Deadline: June 1, 2010.


NEA Learning and Leadership Grant
NEA’s Learning & Leadership grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for two purposes: grants to individuals to fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; and grants to groups to fund college study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.

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End of Issue

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