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July 2007 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Calls to Participate


Parents/Family Members and Professionals: Apply to Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellowship Program
The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is seeking parents/family members of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and professionals in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for its Public Policy Fellowship Program. Each year, the Foundation brings 1) a parent or close family member of a child with a disability and 2) accomplished professionals to Washington, DC for a full year, where they learn how legislation is initiated, developed, and passed by Congress, or how programs are administered and regulations promulgated by federal agencies. Application deadline for 2008 fellowships: September 14, 2007.


Secondary School Teachers: Apply to the Toyota International Teacher Program
The Toyota International Teacher Program for Costa Rica Study will send 20 secondary school teachers to Costa Rica from February 24-March 7, 2008 on a fully-funded study program. The Program seeks to provide educators with the opportunity to observe, interact with, and understand Costa Rican communities and their efforts to preserve their environment and culture in a rapidly-modernizing global society. U.S. secondary school teachers with at least three years of full-time teaching experience are eligible to apply. Application deadline: September 7, 2007.


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: “What is the single most significant benefit that technology can provide in the classroom?” Entrants must be legal residents of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia, and minors must obtain parent/guardian’s consent. Entry deadline: July 22, 2007.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


“My Future My Plan” Proven Effective  (November 2006)
Press Release
My Future My Plan—the video, student resource workbook, and parent/teacher guide developed by State of the Art, Inc. in partnership with NCSET—provides comprehensive information on transition planning, including how to use the IEP to drive the transition process. It was evaluated with parent/student dyads that closely represent the national IEP population. The research yielded promising results, including positive attitudinal changes toward IEP meetings, increased self-efficacy related to managing transition planning tasks, and desired behavior changes such as increased information-seeking about transition planning.

Other National Resources


Collecting Post-School Outcome Data: Strategies for Increasing Response Rates  (January 2007) PDF document
This document from the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities and the National Post-School Outcomes Center provides an overview of the IDEA requirements for collecting post-school outcome data, challenges faced by states in collecting such data, and recommended strategies for securing sufficient response rates, especially from youth who drop out of school. Available in PDF (11 pages, 3.0 MB).


Dropout Rates in the United States: 2005  (June 2007)
This report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) builds upon a series of NCES reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. It presents estimates of dropout rates for 2005 and provides data on trends in dropout and school completion rates over the last three decades (1972-2005), including characteristics of dropouts and completers.


Family Involvement in Middle and High School Students’ Education  (2007)
This brief from the Harvard Family Research Project synthesizes research studies that link family involvement in middle and high school to youths’ academic and social outcomes. It also profiles evaluated programs to show what works to promote family involvement and student achievement during this critical developmental period, and highlights how to use this research to promote effective policies and practices.


Foreign Languages and Students with Learning, Hearing, or Vision Disabilities  (July 2007)
Tip Sheet
This Tip Sheet from the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange offers strategies for optimizing students with learning, hearing, or vision disabilities’ world language and English language learning, and provides links to research articles related to learning disabilities, blindness, and deafness.


Improving Teacher Retention with Supportive Workplace Conditions  (June 2007)
This issue of the newsletter of The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement reviews research on the importance of supportive working conditions for teachers, including the following factors: time, principal leadership, empowerment and professional influence, professional development, and curricular resources. It also offers strategies for improving each factor.


Literacy Instruction in the Content Areas: Getting to the Core of Middle and High School Improvement  (June 2007)
Policymakers across the country have begun to implement programs and services designed to help struggling adolescent readers catch up in essential literacy skills, particularly reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. However, as this report from the Alliance for Excellent Education argues, if students are to be truly prepared for the sophisticated intellectual demands of college, work, and citizenship, then these reforms will not be enough. Even as their schools help them to catch up in the basics, students also must be taught the advanced literacy skills that will enable them to succeed in the academic content areas.


Numbers and Types of Public Elementary and Secondary Education Agencies from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2005-06  (June 2007)
This report from the National Center for Education Statistics presents national and state-level data about the number of regular school districts and other local education agencies, school district size, grades served, and the number of school districts in city, suburban, town, and rural locales.


Public Policy Aspects of Developmental Disabilities  (June 2007)
Journal Issue
This special issue of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews includes articles on the following topics: federal family and disability policy, issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, and implications of No Child Left Behind for students with developmental disabilities.


The Politics of Knowledge: Why Research Does (or Does Not) Influence Education Policy  (May 2007)
This Web page contains links to eleven papers from the May 21, 2007 American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research conference. The papers were commissioned to examine how and why high-quality research influences policy, how research is used (or misused) in core policy areas, and how education research is consumed by key audiences.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Standards-Based Instruction: Is It Possible for Students with Disabilities?
Web-based Event
July 18, 2007
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
In this interactive event from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative, participants will learn how special educators can support and implement standards-focused instruction based on appropriately written standards-based IEPs. Participants will hear about the California Department of Education’s revised Standards-Based IEP Web Module, which provides educators and parents with information and practical applications for standards-aligned IEP goals that support grade-level-standard skills attainment for students with disabilities. Participants will also learn how teachers can make standards-aligned instruction that is linked to standards-based IEP goals common practice. Participation is free, but registration is required.

2007 National Dropout Prevention Conference
September 14, 2007 - September 16, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
Teachers of grades 6-12, administrators, counselors, curriculum specialists, state education leaders, college/university educators, business/industry leaders, guidance staff, job center staff, Tech Prep leaders, school board members, advisors, and career development facilitators and instructors are encouraged to attend this conference presented by the Arizona Department of Education. Effective strategies and best practices to combat the dropout problem will be presented. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Strong American Schools: ED in ‘08
Strong American Schools is a nonpartisan public awareness and action campaign which seeks 1) to ensure that the nation engages in a rigorous debate and 2) to make education a top priority in the 2008 presidential election. It seeks a serious nationwide debate on education reform in which every presidential candidate addresses three priorities that hold great promise for improving education: agreeing on American education standards, providing effective teachers in every classroom, and giving students more time and support for learning. The campaign does not support or oppose any particular candidate for public office or any political party.


The Whole Child: Healthy, Safe, Engaged, Supported, Challenged: An Initiative of ASCD
ASCD has launched this public engagement and advocacy campaign—called The Whole Child—to encourage schools and communities to work together to ensure that each student has access to a challenging curriculum in a healthy and supportive climate. ASCD proposes a broader definition of achievement and accountability that promotes the development of children who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. You can grade your school on these goals, share your story, spread the word, and more at the Web site of The Whole Child.



Health & Disability Digest
The Health & Disability Digest is a quarterly e-newsletter highlighting the latest news from the Cooperative Agreement between the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). It includes updates on Research Topics of Interest (RTOI) projects and fellowships, information and resources on public health and disabilities services, and events for individuals with disabilities, family members, professionals, and other stakeholders.


The Child Indicator Newsletter
The Child Indicator, a quarterly e-newsletter from Child Trends, communicates major developments and new resources within each sector of the child and youth indicators field to interested users, researchers, and data developers. By promoting the efficient sharing of knowledge, ideas, and resources, The Child Indicator seeks to advance understanding within the child and youth indicators community and to make all its members more effective in their work. Subscribe at the very top of the Web page.

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Funding Forecast

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Grants
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation offers mini-grants of $500 to public schools and public libraries for events/programs that encourage literacy and creativity in children. All public schools and libraries in the U.S. and its protectorates are eligible to apply. Application Deadline: September 15, 2007.


Grants for Projects that Benefit Women and Girls from the Open Meadows Foundation
The Open Meadows Foundation makes grants to projects that are led by and benefit women and girls. It offers grants of up to $2,000 to projects that: are designed and implemented by women and girls; reflect the diversity of the community served by the project in both leadership and organization; promote building community power; promote racial, social, economic, and environmental justice; and have limited financial access or have encountered obstacles in their search for funding. Grantees must not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, or ability. Proposal submission deadline: August 15, 2007.


Grants for the Education of At-Risk Youth from the Janus Foundation
The Janus Foundation awards grants for innovative programs that support at-risk youth through education. Grants are made to innovative and visionary organizations and programs that have a lasting impact, ultimately leading their constituents to self-sufficiency. Applicant organizations should provide unique services and have strong partnerships with other nonprofits in order to provide comprehensive services to their constituents. The Foundation is interested in establishing partnerships with nonprofits that provide leadership in the community and that make a difference in providing solutions to community needs. Nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. are eligible to apply. Application deadline: August 31, 2007.

Scholarships and Awards


Make It Your Own Awards from The Case Foundation
Improving our communities takes ongoing commitment and persistent action. That’s why The Case Foundation is funding people who join together to create innovative ideas and solutions that can lay the groundwork for long-term social change through its Make It Your Own Awards—grants of up to $35,000. Passionate individuals—or individuals working with small, local organizations or groups—who reside in one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico are eligible to submit an idea for one of these same locations (no international projects). Applicants must be 14 years of age or older. Application deadline: August 8, 2007.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
You are welcome to copy and paste portions of this E-News issue into your own e-mail newsletter; however, please credit the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition E-News and link to as follows: “Excerpted from NCSET E-News, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”

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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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E-News Disclaimer
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.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.

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