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April 2011 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


U.S. Department of Labor Launches New Web-Based Occupational Information Tool
The U.S. Department of Labor has launched My Next Move, a web-based tool to provide jobseekers with information on more than 900 occupations, as well as local job openings and training opportunities. Users can search for jobs in three categories: jobs with a “bright outlook” in growing industries, jobs that are part of the “green” economy, and jobs with Registered Apprenticeship programs. Each listing has a one-page profile with information about what knowledge, skills, and abilities are needed; the occupation’s outlook; level of education required; technologies used in the job; other similar jobs; and links to local salary information, training opportunities, and relevant job openings.

Calls to Participate


CADRE Seeking Proposals to Present at Showcasing Exemplary Practices
CADRE, the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, is seeking proposals to present at Showcasing Exemplary Practices: The Fifth National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education. The Symposium will convene October 26-28, 2011, in Eugene, Oregon. Further information on the Request for Proposals, available by email from Deadline for proposals: May 27, 2011.


Learning Disabilities Association of America Seeks Submissions for 2012 Conference
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is seeking submissions for the 2012 Conference to be held in Chicago, IL, February 22-25, 2012. Proposals to present a paper, conduct a workshop, provide an informational session, or make a formal presentation are invited. LDA values sessions on current and best practices, including basic information about the nature of learning disabilities as well as innovative approaches to advocacy, assessment, intervention, and instruction; sessions on new ways to ensure successful transition, use assistive technology, access the general curriculum, provide a continuum of services, and foster productive adulthood; and hands-on practical techniques for Table Talk and reports of research for Poster Sessions. Presenters are limited to one major presentation, that sessions may not promote commercial products and/or services. Deadline for submissions: May 15, 2011.


United Way Announces Effort to Recruit Education Volunteers
To help schools and communities improve, United Way Worldwide has announced that it plans to recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors, and mentors. “Few issues are as important as the national debate on our education systems, yet the voices of everyday people haven't been part of the conversation,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “United Way has been listening to the concerns of Americans across the country, and what we're hearing is that they care deeply about the success of the schools and young people in their communities, and they want to be involved.”

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


After-School Programs Boost In-School Achievement  (March 2011)
“The Impact of Youth Development Programs on Student Academic Achievement,” a report on evaluation research and success stories, has been published by the National Collaboration for Youth and is available online from SparkAction. Participation in Boys and Girls Clubs and other after-school programs is not just socially beneficial, but is an under-leveraged academic resource, found to improve in-school performance for their members. Available in pdf (359 KB, 8 pp).


All Means All: Secretary Duncan’s Remarks to the American Association for People with Disabilities  (March 2011)
Speech Transcription
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke March 15, 2011, at the 2011 American Association of People with Disabilities Leadership Awards Gala, where he vowed to abolish the “2% proxy rule” that obscures an accurate portrait of the academic needs of America’s students with disabilities. Since 2005, the Department of Education has used its regulatory authority to permit states and local school districts to shield certain test scores of students with disabilities when determining adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act. The full transcript of the speech has been posted.


America’s High School Graduates: Results of the 2009 NAEP High School Transcript Study  (April 2011)
The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), through its National Center for Education Statistics, has released the results of the 2009 High School Transcript Study, performed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Study presents information about the types of courses that high school graduates in the class of 2009 took during high school, how many credits they earned, what grades they received, and how their course-taking patterns related to their performance on the 2009 NAEP mathematics and science assessments; and about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) course taking, possible ways in which students found time to earn more credits (summer school, online courses, and high school courses taken in middle school), and the course-taking patterns of students with disabilities and English language learners.


Community in Schools Scores High in Evaluation Study  (October 2010)
ICF International has published its five-year comprehensive evaluation of the Communities In Schools (CIS) network, a federation of independent 501(c)(3) organizations in 27 states and the District of Columbia that work to address the dropout epidemic. The organization identifies and mobilizes existing community resources and fosters cooperative partnerships for the benefit of students and their families. The evaluation findings indicate that the CIS model successfully reduces dropout rates.


Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation  (April)
“Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation,” from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, finds that students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma. For readers who can’t master even basic skills by third grade, the rate is six times greater. These findings suggest three environments where new policies and programs could foster children’s school success: schools; family; and federal, state, and local policy.


Education and the Economy: Further Costs of the Crisis  (2011)
“Education and the Economy: Boosting State and National Economies by Improving High-School Graduation Rates” is a new study from the Alliance for Excellent Education showing the likely economic benefits to states if they halved the number of high school dropouts. Economic benefits projected in the state-by-state profiles include higher individual earnings, increased home and auto sales, job and economic growth, higher levels of spending and investment, and larger state tax revenues. Later this spring, the Alliance will release similar projections for metropolitan statistical areas, updating those released last year and adding nearly 150 additional areas.


Edutopia Top 10 Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning  (2011)
Classroom Guide
Edutopia’s “Top Ten Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning” promotes project-based learning (PBL) as an authentic learning process that nurtures skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and global awareness. The guide provides tips to K-12 educators in assessing learning to implement PBL.


Family Engagement from Cradle to Career  (April 2010)
The Harvard Family Research Project’s April 2010 Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) Newsletter focuses on family engagement from birth through young adulthood. Featured articles highlight effective family engagement strategies for parents of adolescents and a cradle-to-career system of support in Cincinnati, Ohio, that includes family and community engagement.


File Your Taxes for Free at One Stop Career Centers  (January 2011)
The Department of Labor’s One Stop Career Centers and a public-private partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and a number of tax software companies have made free, online tax filing available to an estimated 70% of all taxpayers. Information about these resources is now available on the Department’s blog.


File Your Taxes for Free at One Stop Career Centers  (January 2011)
The Department of Labor’s One Stop Career Centers and a public-private partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and a number of tax software companies have made free, online tax filing available to an estimated 70% of all taxpayers. Information about these resources is now available on the Department’s blog.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Addressing Diverse Student Learning Needs
Web-based Event
April 7, 2011
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM   (Eastern)
This webinar from Education Week will discuss the 2010 MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, released this month, and explore how schools and individual teachers can better accommodate diverse learning needs. The Survey found that 60% of K-12 educators say strengthening resources and programs to help students with diverse learning needs become college- and career-ready should be a top priority in education; and that math teachers, in particular, struggle with differentiating instruction to reach all learners. Because of demographic changes and evolving school instructional policies, many teachers today face an increasingly wide range of student learning differences, whether academic, behavioral, physical, or cultural, in their classrooms.

Understanding Extended Year Graduation Rates: Lessons Learned by States
Web-based Event
April 26, 2011
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Eastern)
This webinar co-hosted by the American Youth Policy Forum, Gateway to College National Network, and the National Youth Employment Coalition, will focus on how states can effectively calculate and use extended-year graduation rates (5- and 6-year rates) to improve outcomes for all students. In particular, off-track students and out-of-school youth benefit as extended-year graduation rates encourage states to create options to serve these students, both for accountability purposes and to increase opportunities for high school students to earn diplomas.

SchoolsMovingUp: Defining Principal Effectiveness, Lessons from the Field on the Principal Role in Student Achievement and Teacher Quality
Web-based Event
April 26, 2011
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
In this webinar, Ben Fenton, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for New Leaders for New Schools, will present a framework for principal effectiveness and expectations for principal practice based on field research in high-poverty public schools. (Questions about this topic, to help inform the presentation, can be sent in advance to

Tech Counts 2011- Unleashing Technology to Personalize Learning: K-12 Seeks a Custom Fit
Web-based Event
April 28, 2011
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
A growing number of educators around the country are turning to technology and different teaching and learning approaches to give students personalized learning experiences that mirror the customized experiences they take for granted outside of school. To meet students’ individual needs, they are putting in place 1-to-1 computing programs and using online courses and curricula, digital assessments, data tools, and Web-based games for education. The speakers will talk about how to use these tools and approaches to customize education based on students’ strengths and weaknesses. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


AAIDD Online Learning Website
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), in partnership with Essential Learning, has launched an Online Learning Web site of continuing education courses and training opportunities for developmental disability professionals. It offers access to more than 300 courses developed by content experts and accredited by leading organizations in behavioral health and human services, to help disability professionals get continuing education (CE) credits, remain in compliance with training requirements, improve staff performance, and deliver high quality services to people with developmental disabilities and their families. Subject areas include such topics as developmental disability, aging, substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, compliance, workplace skills and more.


AskEARN Web site
The National Employer Technical Assistance Center (NETAC) has launched a new Web site, a one-stop resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, and retain qualified employees with disabilities. The site is an employer resource provided by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN). NETAC is funded by a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to Cornell University.


Chapin Hall Web site
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago reports on their policy research that benefits children, families, and their communities on their website.


Dare to Dream Student Leadership Conferences Highlights
The annual Dare to Dream Student Leadership conferences, sponsored by the New Jersey Office of Special Education Programs, focus on the importance of student self-advocacy and leadership. Each conference features presentations from students and young adults with disabilities who have demonstrated exemplary self-advocacy and leadership skills. Students also participate in workshops led by their peers; some topics include goal setting, self-discovery, student self-advocacy, and planning for college. This video shows some of the conference highlights.


Leadership in the History of the Developmental Disabilities Movement: A Web-Based Instructional, Discussion, and Wiki Program
The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the Institute on Community Integration has launched a wiki website on leadership in the history of the developmental disabilities movement. The website profiles the experiences of some of the key leaders in the developmental disabilities movement from 1845 through the present through historical trends and public and professional perceptions, including the evolving context of acceptance of and services available to persons with disabilities, the features of effective leadership, and the different styles of leadership (e.g., visionaries, researchers, organizers, policy-makers, opinion-makers) required for sustainable change.



Annenberg Institute Launches Center for Education Organizing
A powerful solution in problems of public education is democratic participation by parents, students, and community members to challenge educational inequality. To build up this approach to school reform, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (AISR) has formed the Center for Education Organizing. The Center will focus on providing policy and strategic support to community organizations that increases the capacity of low- to moderate-income parents and students of color to lead and participate in the process of transforming America’s urban schools; and on building a strong research-based policy agenda for reform that reflects the community’s aspirations. Parents, students, and community members are invited to sign up for Center news.


Institute of Education Sciences Education Research News Listserv
The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) publishes its newsletter, “Education Research News,” on its listserv.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2010-2011
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 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 2010-2011 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2010-2011 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


AIAA Foundation: Grants for Excellence in Math, Science, Technology and Engineering
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Classroom Grants encourage excellence in educating students about math, science, technology, and engineering. Eligibility: current AIAA Educator Associate or AIAA Professional members actively engaged as K-12 classroom educators. Maximum award: $200. Deadline: rolling.


Captain Planet Foundation: Grants for the Environment
The Captain Planet Foundation funds hands-on environmental projects that encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. Maximum award: $2,500. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations. Application deadline: May 31, 2011.


Dollar General Literacy Foundation: Back to School Literacy and Youth Literacy Grants
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides support to schools, libraries, and literacy-based nonprofit organizations throughout its 35-state market. The foundation is now accepting applications for Back to School Literacy Grants and Youth Literacy Grants. Back to School Grants provide funding to help school libraries and media centers meet some of the financial challenges they face in implementing, supporting, or expanding literacy programs. Applicants must be K-12 public, private, or charter schools. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded. Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations working to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Applicants must be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, a K-12 private or public school, a college or university, or a public library. Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded. Applicant organizations must reside in and provide direct service within Dollar General's 35-state market area and must be located within twenty miles of a Dollar General store. Deadline for applications: May 18, 2011.


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 work together throughout the fall 2011 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.” Maximum award: international cooperation and collaboration between youth. Eligibility: all U.S. schools, elementary and secondary, public or private. Deadline: August 15, 2011.


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 social studies educators implement social studies innovations. Grants are 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. Eligibility: Full-time social studies teachers or social studies teacher educators currently engaged with K-12 students; NCSS membership required. Deadline: May 1, 2011.


Nominations Invited for Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes seeks nominations for its 2010 awards. The Barron Prize honors young people between the ages of 8 and 18 who “have shown leadership and courage in public service to people and our planet.” Each year, ten winners receive $2,500 each to support their service work or higher education focused on helping their communities and fellow beings, or on protecting the health and sustainability of the environment. Nominees must have participated in their service within the twelve months prior to the nomination deadline of April 30, and must be legal residents of, and currently residing in, the United States or Canada. Nominations are invited from adults such as teachers, librarians, civic or religious leaders who know the nominee and his or her work but who are not related to the nominee. Deadline: April 30, 2011.


Target: Arts and Culture in Schools Grants
Target Arts and Culture in Schools Grants help schools and nonprofits to bring arts and cultural experiences directly to K-12 students. These programs must have a curriculum component. Maximum award: $2,000. Schools and nonprofit organizations are eligible. Deadline: April 30, 2011.


Target: Early Childhood Reading Grants
Target Early Childhood Reading Grants promote a love of reading and encourage young children to read together with their families by supporting programs such as after-school reading events and weekend book clubs. Maximum award: $2,000. Schools, libraries, and nonprofit organizations are eligible. Deadline: April 30, 2011.


Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching
Nominations are invited for the Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching, a new award, to honor educators who excel at teaching students from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. A grant from The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University will enable the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program to share best practices on videos in schools across the United States, showcasing techniques used by the award-winning educators, as part of Teaching Tolerance’s professional development initiative to help teachers become more effective. The five winning educators will each receive $1,000 at a ceremony in Washington, DC, later this year. All teachers are eligible to apply and do not need to use education resources developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be eligible. Deadline: June 1, 2011.


Toshiba America Foundation: Grants for Math and Science
The Toshiba America Foundation makes grants for projects in math and science designed by classroom teachers to improve instruction for students in grades 6-12. Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: Grades 6-12. Deadline: August 1, 2011.

Scholarships and Awards


ASCD: Outstanding Young Educator Award
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Young Educator Award, which recognizes a teacher under the age of 40 who demonstrates excellence in his or her profession, a positive impact on students, creativity in the classroom, and leadership in his or her school or district. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: K-12 teachers under age 40; self-nominations accepted. Deadline: August 1, 2011.


George Washington University’s Youth Transition, Career, and Vocational Services: A Distance Education Master of Arts Program Financial Aid
George Washington University announces the inauguration of its on-line Youth Transition, Career, and Vocational Services Master's degree program. The first course in the program's sequence, SPED 236: Introduction to Vocational, Career, and Transition Services, will be offered summer 2011, along with SPED 235: Employment Models for Individuals with Disabilities. Students are expected to register for at least 2 courses (6 credits) per semester. This will enable them to be eligible for a range of financial aid programs such as Federal Stafford loans. Further information on financial aid is available at the website. For more information about the new degree program, email Dr. Michael Ward at Application deadline (to allow sufficient time for the application to be reviewed and approved, which must take place before students can register for class): April 15, 2011.


University of Maryland Scholarships for the Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition Graduate Certificate Program
The University of Maryland in conjunction with TransCen, Inc., is offering scholarships for the Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition Graduate Certificate Program. The scholarships offer a tuition and stipend award for 12 graduate credits in the University of Maryland’s Department of Counseling and Personnel Services. They are intended for professionals with a bachelor’s degree who are employed in special education, rehabilitation or related programs. The four courses start in Fall 2011. Application deadline: May 1, 2011.

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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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