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May 2006 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


Loan Forgiveness for Special Education Teachers
The President has signed new legislation to address our nation’s critical shortage of highly qualified special education teachers. On February 8, 2006, a new provision was enacted ensuring the availability of loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 for individuals who are currently or who are seeking to become highly qualified special education teachers.


National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has launched the National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center, an online searchable database of materials on the recruitment and retention of direct support professionals, for the use of government and non-profit organizations, employers, and professionals. In addition, state Medicaid Agencies can receive in-depth technical assistance through the site or by calling toll-free: 1-877-822-2647.


Project Forum of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education
Each year, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education’s Project Forum identifies 15 hot topics within special education; conducts policy analyses on them; convenes policy forums on some of them; helps to maintain a national database of state laws, policies, and regulations governing special education; and distributes information to encourage better results for children with disabilities. Project Forum has a new Web site, where visitors can search existing documents, suggest future topics, join the Project’s e-mail list, view a list of topics in progress, view information on related resources, and contact the Project.


Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities
On April 25, 2006, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the Office of Elementary and Special Education released a Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities. It provides up-to-date guidance on designing and implementing high-quality assessments for students with disabilities, and includes a set of technical assistance products that offer practical, research-based approaches to the challenges schools face in assessment, instruction, behavioral interventions, and use of accommodations. The Tool Kit also includes information about research now underway to further expand our knowledge about how best to support teaching, learning, and assessing.

Calls to Participate


Apply to New Doctoral Program in Culturally Responsive Special Education PDF document
Arizona State University and the University of Arizona are seeking applications for a joint Ph.D. program in Special Education with an emphasis on culturally responsive education for students with learning disabilities or emotional/behavioral disorders. Students who are accepted into the program will receive support including a tuition waiver, research or teaching assistantship stipend, conference travel support, books, and health insurance. Informational flier available in PDF (1 page, 88 KB).


College Students: Apply to Be a White House Intern
The White House Internship Program is seeking applicants. In addition to normal office duties, interns attend weekly lectures and tours and complete a service project. College students who are at least 18, who are U.S. citizens, and who have sound academic credentials, a history of community involvement and leadership, solid verbal/written communication skills, and a demonstrated interest in public service are encouraged to apply. Application deadline for the fall 2006 term (September 5 to December 15, 2006): June 16, 2006.


Filmmakers Ages 5-18: Enter National Neighborhood Day Short Film Contest
National Neighborhood Day is hosting its second Short Film Contest for both professional and amateur filmmakers (including K-12 students and adults) to illustrate, through a film of five minutes or less, what a neighborhood that inspires them means to them. Film entries will be judged by a panel of renowned filmmakers. One or two prizes of $2,000 will be awarded in the K-12 category. Entry deadline: June 15, 2006.


Submit a Paper Proposal: 2007 CEC Convention and Expo
The Council for Exceptional Children is soliciting paper proposals for its 2007 Convention and Expo, to be held April 18-21, 2007 in Louisville, KY. Proposal submission deadline: May 15, 2006. Call for Papers available in PDF (4 pages, 748 KB).


Young Artists with Disabilities: Enter a National Juried Exhibit
VSA arts, with support from Volkswagen of America, is seeking entries for “Destination Anywhere,” a national juried exhibit for artists ages 16-25 who have physical, cognitive, or mental disabilities. Art must be an original work that has been completed in the last three years. Both representational and abstract works are welcomed. Eligible media include paintings and drawings, fine art prints, photography, computer-generated prints, and two-dimensional mixed media. The program will award 15 prizes ranging from $2,000 to $20,000. Entry deadline: July 14, 2006.


Young Hispanic Entrepreneurs: Apply for a LEAD Award
The Guardian Life Insurance Company’s Latino Entrepreneurial Award of Distinction (LEAD) rewards the entrepreneurial efforts of Hispanic youth ages 12-18. LEAD awards cash prizes totaling $30,000 to 15 young people across the U.S. who demonstrate budding entrepreneurship and who are taking the first steps toward financial independence and making a difference in their communities. Awards may be used to further educational goals and/or to support individual entrepreneurial pursuits. Entry deadline: May 31, 2006.


Youth: Enter Samsung's Hope for Education Essay Contest
The winner of the Samsung and Microsoft Hope for Education Essay Contest will receive up to $200,000 in Samsung electronics and Microsoft educational software for his/her school. Entrants must provide an original, sincere, no more than 100 word essay answering the following question: “Do you know of an individual student or teacher or group of students who are missing out on opportunities because they don’t have access to technology?” Entrants must be legal residents of the fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and minors must obtain parent/guardian’s consent. Entry deadline: June 30, 2006.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


What does Health Have to Do with Transition? Everything!  (May 2006)
NCSET Parent Brief
This Parent Brief provides information on the benefits of and strategies for including health in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

Other National Resources


AccessCollege: Postsecondary Education and Students with Disabilities  (2005)
Web Page
In order for students with disabilities to be successful in college, they need to be adequately prepared and programs, information resources, and facilities must be accessible to them. This Web page from the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) project at the University of Washington is designed to help faculty, administrators, and staff create accessible environments, programs, and resources for students with disabilities.


Behavior Problems and Educational Disruptions Among Children in Out-of-Home Care  (2005)
This study explores the intersection of placement in foster care and the classification of emotional disturbance (ED). It compares the demographic, placement, and educational experiences of children in care who are classified with ED with children in care with other special education classifications, and with students with ED who are not in care. Study findings reveal a complex set of trends contributing to the overrepresentation of children in care among students with ED classifications.


Charting a Course: Meeting the Special Education Needs of Foster Children  (April 2006)
Web Conference Archive
A complete recording of the Chapin Hall Center for Children’s April 5 Web conference, including PowerPoint presentations, is now available online. The panelists were Cheryl Smithgall, Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall; Bernadette Pinchback, Manager of Foster Youth Services for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools; and Gene Griffin, Management Team Coordinator at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Also included is the question-and-answer session moderated by Martha Shirk, co-author of On Their Own: What Happens to Kids When They Age Out of the Foster Care System.


Disabled and Challenged: Reach for Your Dreams!  (November 2005)
Terry Scott Cohen, who has myotonic muscular dystrophy, wrote this book with his father Barry. In it, Terry describes his experiences and know-how for living a full life with and despite disabilities. The book covers topics such as communicating with doctors, making friends, looking for and getting a job, and planning for the future. It is available from


Growing Community Schools: The Role of Cross-Boundary Leadership  (April 2006)
This report from the Coalition for Community Schools highlights 11 communities around the country where community school initiatives are growing. It describes how innovative cross-boundary leaders from education; local government; public, private, and community-based agencies; business; and other sectors are organizing themselves and their communities to create and sustain community schools.


IDEA Parent Guide  (April 2006)
Web Page
The National Center for Learning Disabilities has created an online guide to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in order to explain the federal laws that underpin special education in every state. Although created primarily for parents, the guide is also a valuable source of information—in accessible language—for classroom teachers who may not have a background in special education. Teachers can use the guide to better understand the rights and requirements of their students with special needs.


Incorporating Youth Development Principles into Adolescent Health Programs: A Guide for State-Level Practitioners and Policy Makers  (2006)
The youth development approach has gained traction over the past twenty-plus years across a range of youth-serving fields including public health. This paper from the Forum for Youth Investment describes concrete ways to incorporate youth development principles into state adolescent health programs. It is relevant across a range of issues (e.g., teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, violence, substance abuse, etc.). Available in PDF (37 pages, 440 KB).


Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates  (April 2006)
A new Manhattan Institute for Policy Research study of the high school class of 2003 breaks down their graduation rates by race, gender, and state, and by the 100 largest school districts in the country. Nationwide findings include: 72% of girls graduated, compared with 65% of boys, and Black and Hispanic girls had graduation rates 9-10% higher than those of their male counterparts.


Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men  (January 2006)
Because the U.S. “can ill afford to have so many of its young people and adults be unskilled, unemployed, and thus unproductive,” a new book from the Urban Institute Press tackles the thorny challenge of getting disconnected young men back into school or the workforce.


Research Center at NICHCY  (2006)
Web Page
This Web page from NICHCY, the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, provides research-based information to people who work with children with disabilities. It includes publications on “Research Basics” and a Research-to-Practice database organized by topic and grade level. Users can sign up to receive notice via e-mail when the Research Center is updated.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


The Youthhood: A New Online Futures Planning Tool
Web-based Event
May 24, 2006
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Central)
The North Central Regional Resource Center and the Exiting Community of Practice are offering this Web seminar on Youthhood, a free, dynamic Web-based curriculum which helps all youth set goals and plan for the future. Although Youthhood addresses youth directly, it is intended to be used in classrooms, community programs, and other settings where adults work with youth. This event will provide an overview and live tour of Youthhood and a demonstration of how to use its tools. To participate, contact Donna Johnson at or 612-624-1143.

Other National Events


Bridging Cultures
Web-based Event
May 17, 2006
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
Participants in this free interactive event offered by WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative will learn about the differences between more collaborative and individualistic cultures, and how some of those differences can surface in school settings. Noelle Caskey, Senior Research Associate at WestEd, will lead participants in an exploration of alternative ways of understanding the values and behavior of children and families from non-mainstream cultures that are collaboratively oriented. Participation is free, but registration is required.

NCLB Commission Hearing: Holding Schools Accountable for Student Achievement: Comparing Models to Evaluate Our Schools

May 22, 2006
Atlanta, GA
The Commission on No Child Left Behind, led by former Secretary Tommy Thompson and former Governor Roy Barnes, will host this hearing to assist in the formulation of policy recommendations to Congress in preparation for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. Different accountability models that are being used to hold schools accountable for student performance will be discussed.

U.S. Department of Education Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop

June 5, 2006 - June 6, 2006
Denver, CO
The Denver Teacher-to-Teacher workshop will offer sessions for teachers of grades 6-12 in all subject areas. Some of America’s best teachers will share classroom strategies that have been effective in their programs and schools. Attendees may be able to earn professional development credit through their district or state.

Accelerated Learning: Shaping Public Policy to Serve Underrepresented Youth

June 8, 2006 - June 9, 2006
Atlanta, GA
Attendees at this national policy forum, sponsored by Jobs for the Future and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, will include state policy leaders, school developers, and national policy organizations interested in policies and practices that can promote dual enrollment, AP, IB, and early college high school options as strategies for increasing postsecondary access and success for underrepresented youth.

NCLB Commission Hearing: Successful Interventions: Helping Schools Achieve Academic Success

June 9, 2006
Madison, WI
The Commission on No Child Left Behind, led by former Secretary Tommy Thompson and former Governor Roy Barnes, will host this hearing to assist in the formulation of policy recommendations to Congress in preparation for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. The impact of NCLB’s requirements on schools that have not made State standards will be examined.

Community Schools: Creating the Conditions for Learning

June 14, 2006 - June 16, 2006
Baltimore, MD
The 2006 National Forum of the Coalition for Community Schools will highlight how community schools create the conditions for learning through changes in leadership, policy, systems, and practice. Leaders from the fields of education, youth development, health and human services, family support, neighborhood and community development, government, and philanthropy are invited to attend.

Georgetown University Training Institutes: Developing Local Systems of Care for Children and Adolescents with Emotional Disturbances and Their Families
July 12, 2006 - July 15, 2006
Orlando, FL
This conference, held by the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, will provide in-depth, practical information on how to develop, operate, and sustain comprehensive, coordinated, community-based systems of care for children and adolescents with emotional disturbances, and how to provide high-quality, effective clinical interventions and supports within such systems. It will highlight service delivery approaches that are family driven, youth guided, and individualized and that represent evidence-based or promising practices that achieve positive outcomes for children and their families. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


CopeCareDeal: A Mental Health Site for Teens
This Web site from the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands (with support from the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania) provides information and tools to help teens cope and deal with their own mental health issues and care for friends and loved ones with mental health issues.


National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development
The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development at the University of Oklahoma, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau, provides training and technical assistance to publicly administered and supported child welfare agencies. Its Web site includes links to news, publications, programs, resources, state fact pages, a discussion board, and the Center’s mailing list.



AUCDigest (Association of University Centers on Disabilities)
AUCD, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, sends out a monthly e-newsletter which includes international news and resources, requests for information or assistance, events, policy issues, funding and employment opportunities, and other resources, in addition to AUCD news and information.


Data Trends (Research and Training Centers: Portland State University, University of South Florida)
The Research and Training Center at Portland State University collaborates with the Research and Training Center at the University of South Florida to produce Data Trends, a series of one-page briefs addressing current themes, summarizing recent literature, or presenting new developments in the field of children’s mental health. You can receive an e-mail alert when a new Data Trends report is published by signing up using the link on this page.


E-Bulletin (American Youth Policy Forum)
The American Youth Policy Forum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. To subscribe to its e-bulletin, e-mail


E-Newsletter, etc. (The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement)
The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement, funded by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, supports schools and districts engaged in comprehensive school reform and improvement by providing reliable information about research-based strategies and assistance. You can sign up to receive the Center’s e-newsletter, e-mail updates, and publication announcements.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Moving On: Analysis of Federal Programs Funding Services for Transition-Age Youth with Serious Mental Health Conditions
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has published this collection of fact sheets on 57 federal programs that address the wide range of needs of youth with serious mental health conditions who are transitioning into adulthood. Each fact sheet offers information about the program’s purpose, services and funded activities, the administering federal agency, grantee and beneficiary eligibility, and a brief assessment of the program’s impact.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


“Bee” the Change Community Service Grant for Literacy
Youth Service America and Lionsgate announce the “Bee” the Change Community Service Grant for literacy, a $1,000 grant which will be awarded to one young person (age 5-25) to support him/her to develop and implement a sustainable community service project to increase literacy in his/her community using the movie “Akeelah and the Bee” as inspiration. The project should be led and created by the young person, though working in partnership with adults is acceptable. A portion of the project should take place on National and Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2007). Application deadline: June 9, 2006.


Grants for School District Web Site Development
SchoolSpan offers “Set-You-Free” Grants for school districts nationwide that feel they are financially unable to escape from their current content management software vendors. The grant offers complete setup of a new Web site; added functionality such as alumni portals, teacher course sites, and newsletters; and one year of free Web site service. All public and private school systems currently using a third-party company to manage their Web sites and school districts using independent consultants or local firms to manage their Web sites are eligible to apply. Application deadline: May 30, 2006.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
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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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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.

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