August 2006 E-News
The latest news and information from around the country.
Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 2006: A Proclamation by the President
The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Since then, it has “helped fulfill the promise of America for millions of individuals living with disabilities,” reads this statement from the White House. “The anniversary of this landmark legislation is an important opportunity to celebrate our progress over the last 16 years and the many contributions individuals with disabilities make to our country.”
IDEA Part B Regulations Published
On August 14, 2006, the official and final Part B regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were published in the Federal Register. They are available in PDF (307 pages, 1.4 MB). In addition, the “model forms” for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), procedural safeguards notices, and prior written consent notices are now available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/idea2004.html#tools.
No Child Left Behind Act: Education Actions Needed to Improve Local Implementation and State Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires districts with schools that have not met state performance goals for three consecutive years to offer their low-income students supplemental educational services (SES), such as tutoring, if these schools receive Title I funds. This report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), released August 4, 2006, examines how SES participation changed from 2003-2004 to 2004-2005, how SES providers are working with districts to deliver SES, how states are monitoring and evaluating SES, and how the U.S. Department of Education monitors and supports state implementation of SES. Available in PDF (71 pages, 1.6 MB).
No Child Left Behind Act: States Face Challenges Measuring Academic Growth That Education’s Initiatives May Help Address
Some states have expressed interest in using growth models that measure changes in test scores over time to determine if schools are meeting proficiency targets, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). For this report, released July 17, 2006, the U.S. Government Accountability Office assessed the extent to which states have used growth models, the extent to which growth models can measure progress in achieving key NCLB goals, and the challenges states may face in using growth models to meet adequate yearly progress requirements and how the Department of Education is assisting them. Available in PDF (54 pages, 1.8 MB).
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Announces its Long-Term Goals
On July 17, 2006, John H. Hager, the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education, announced OSERS’ new long-term goals. The five goals address academic excellence for children and youth with disabilities, meaningful and competitive employment for people with disabilities, successful transition, and the use and reuse of assistive technology, among other topics.
U.S. Secretary of Education Announces the New Regulations for IDEA—Part B
On August 3, 2006, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the new regulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Department of Education has prepared a package to help guide the public through these changes; it includes the actual text of the regulations, an analysis of the public’s comments, a summary of the major changes since publication of the proposed regulations, and several appendices, including one offering additional guidance for implementing the regulations. Once the final regulations are published in the Federal Register, the Department will also publish and disseminate (on its Web site) a set of model forms for individualized education programs (IEPs), notices of procedural safeguards, and prior written notices as required under IDEA. To give Americans as much time as possible to review the regulations before they take effect, the Department has posted an unofficial copy on its Web site. The official copy of these regulations will be published in the Federal Register in about two weeks, and the final regulations will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Calls to Participate
Apply to The George Washington University’s Transition Special Education Certificate Distance Education Program
In response to needs expressed by educators and rehabilitation personnel, The George Washington University will offer a new Transition Special Education Certificate program through distance education beginning this fall. The program will provide secondary special educators and rehabilitation personnel with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to assist youth as they transition to postsecondary opportunities. “SPED 236.DE: Introduction to Career, Vocational, and Transition Services” will be the first course offered. Recommended application deadline: September 1, 2006. Questions? Contact Corinne Weidenthal, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-994-1220.
Children, Youth, and Adult Artists: Enter the NCCRESt National Art Contest
The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) is sponsoring a national art contest in conjunction with its 2007 National Forum on Disproportionality in Education, to be held February 7-9, 2007 in Washington, DC. The contest seeks art that captures what schools that value and include the backgrounds, experiences, and heritage of ALL students would look like. The contest is open to K-12 students and adults. The grand prize winner will receive $300 cash and a trip for two to the 2007 National Forum, where he/she will be honored at a reception and his/her artwork will be displayed. Entry deadline: October 31, 2006.
Honor Your Teachers During the Week of the Classroom Teacher and World Teachers’ Day
In recognition of the educators who inspire, educate, and encourage their students to reach for excellence both in and beyond the classroom, the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) sponsors the annual Week of the Classroom Teacher, to be observed October 1-7, 2006, and World Teachers’ Day, October 5, 2006. ACEI’s Web site includes a detailed planning guide and sample documents such as press releases, letters to the editor of the local newspaper, and a parent flyer in order to assist communities with their observations of these events.
Native American High School/College Graduates: Submit Graduation Photos to the National Indian Education Association
The National Indian Education Association congratulates and honors all of this spring’s graduates, and seeks digital photos of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian graduates for their next newsletter. They especially desire photos of individuals and groups who wore traditional garments, feathers and plumes, or other culturally significant items during their graduation ceremonies. Send digital photos in JPEG format to email@example.com, and please include the name(s) of the graduate(s) in your e-mail.
NCCRESt Accepting Applications for Technical Assistance
The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) is accepting applications for specific and individualized technical assistance on an open-ended basis. The requested technical assistance can be short- or long-term, and can include activities that build state capacity to eliminate disproportionality and develop culturally responsive educational systems, including document review, strategic planning, improvement plan development, data analysis and review, professional development and training, curriculum review, and evaluation and research activities.
Organizations that Recruit and Retain Immigrant Youth: Share Ideas
The National Collaboration for Youth is collecting information about preparing staff to recruit and retain immigrant youth. If you have ideas to share from your organization, please e-mail your organization name, contact information, and details about your program to Pam Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit a Session Proposal for the Second Annual NCCRESt National Forum, “Leadership for Equity and Excellence: Transforming Education”
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The National Center for Culturally Responsive Education Systems (NCCRESt) is currently accepting session proposals examining how educational systems can assure equity in educational outcomes for all students for its second annual National Forum to be held February 7-9, 2007 in Washington, DC. The Forum will focus on school improvement for ALL children, family and community partnerships, policy to promote equity and eliminate racism, leadership for change, and transforming teaching and learning. Proposal submission deadline: September 22, 2006. Proposals must be submitted via NCCRESt’s electronic form, http://www.nccrest.org/events/call4PROPOSALS.doc.
The Resource Zone
The Role of Parents in Dropout Prevention: Strategies that Promote Graduation and School Achievement
NCSET Parent Brief
Students who drop out of school face a difficult future. For students with disabilities, the risks are intensified. Their dropout rate is about 40 percent--more than twice that of their peers without disabilities. However, families can play an important role in making sure their student with or without disabilities graduates. Staying involved in your teen's life during middle school and high school is critical. This Brief provides information and practical tips to help parents do this.
Other National Resources
After School Evaluation Symposium
The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), with support from the C. S. Mott Foundation, convened the After School Evaluation Symposium in Washington, DC in September 2005, to inspire new ideas and foster stronger links between research, practice, and policy. Resources from the Symposium are available on HFRP’s Web site, including a summary describing the current state and future directions for the after school field, themes from the plenary sessions and group discussions, and audio files of panelists’ presentations.
America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2006
Every year, the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics publishes “America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being,” a report that includes detailed information on the welfare of children and families. The Forum alternates publishing this comprehensive report with a condensed version that highlights selected indicators, as is the case with the 2006 brief. The first section of the brief addresses population and family characteristics, describing the context in which children live. The following sections focus on indicators of child well-being in four key areas: economic security, health, behavior and social environment, and education.
An Overview of Alternative Education
This review, prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, focuses on community- and district-based programs that work to re-engage out-of-school youth in learning in order to better prepare them for high-growth occupations and careers. It reviews efforts to define “alternative education”; describes several promising programs, models, and initiatives; notes how many out-of-school youth are involved in alternative education and how many need these options; reviews the current policy environment for alternative education; and describes funding streams available to support alternative education. Available in PDF (44 pages, 489 KB).
At Your Service: Welcoming Customers with Disabilities
The Southeast Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center has revised its online course, “At Your Service: Welcoming Customers with Disabilities.” It is a free, accessible, self-paced Web course for people interested in best practices for working with customers with disabilities, but anyone interested in learning how to interact more effectively with people with disabilities will benefit from it.
Best Practice Studies and Institutes: Findings from 20 States
After studying nearly 200 schools in 20 states, the National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA) has released a study which helps to explain why some schools can help students reach higher standards while other, similarly situated schools cannot. NCEA used three years of performance data to identify average- and high-performing elementary, middle, and high schools in 20 states. Based on an examination of methods used in each school and interviews with district leaders, principals, and teachers, the report lists several practices that were common to many high-performing schools.
Colleges with Programs for Learning Disabled Students
Almost all colleges and universities provide services and/or accommodations for students with learning disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The colleges and universities listed on this Web page from the American Educational Guidance Center go a step further—they offer programs, some quite comprehensive, designed specifically to support students with learning disabilities.
Federal, State, and Local Roles Supporting Alternative Education
This paper, prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, examines the roles that various levels of government play—through legislation, policy, and other initiatives—to support quality alternative education programs that reconnect youth to education and the workplace. It raises issues for policymakers at all levels to consider in facilitating the development of expanded alternative education pathways, which reduce the number of students dropping out of school and provide easily identifiable reentry points for those who do leave school before obtaining a diploma. Available in PDF (59 pages, 390 KB).
Finding a Job that is Right for You: A Practical Approach to Looking for a Job as a Person with a Disability
The Job Accommodation Network developed this employment guide for job seekers with disabilities. It is organized into four steps: 1) What kind of job is right for you? 2) Who can help you find the right job? 3) Are you prepared for a job interview? 4) You got the job. Now what? It also includes information, tools, and resources on issues encountered when job-seeking, including disability disclosure and requesting accommodations.
Improving Assessment and Accountability for English Language Learners in the No Child Left Behind Act
As over 10% of the U.S. student body, English language learners (ELLs) can significantly affect national school improvement efforts. This report from the National Council of La Raza provides an overview of the assessment and accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) affecting ELLs, describes the challenges of NCLB implementation in various states and districts, and provides recommendations for improving the law’s effectiveness for ELLs.
Living the Dream in the Promised Land: Features of Highly Successful Schools that Serve Students of Color
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Exemplars are tools created by the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems that summarize highly successful school models that may have significant implications for the prevention of disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education. This exemplar discusses the fact that millions of American children fail to succeed in school, particularly children of color and low socioeconomic status, and describes the High Performance All Students Success Schools Model, which fosters academic success in high-poverty elementary schools.
Other National Events
IQ Testing: Not Just About the Numbers
August 16, 2006 - August 23, 2006
2:00 AM - 3:30 PM (Eastern)
IQ testing is frequently used to determine a child’s eligibility for special education and programming. During this 2-part Advocate Academy Webinar, participants will learn about different types of IQ tests, including the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (Third and Fourth Editions); styles of learning; and test interpretation. IQ testing as it relates to changes in the identification of specific learning disabilities contained in IDEA 2004 will also be discussed. Participation requires access to a phone and a computer with internet access (preferably high speed). Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.
Overview of Self-Employment: A Customized Job
September 8, 2006
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (Eastern)
This Web conference from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Adult will give an overview of self-employment and related activities that create a viable business, furthering economic development in an area and meeting a job seeker’s employment needs. Some businesses may be more easily developed via a partnership or alliance with other businesses, while others may require consideration of who the “potential business owner” is and the resources to support business opportunities. Participation is free, but registration is required; to register, e-mail your name and phone number to email@example.com with the subject line “Customized Employment.”
Self-Employment in Customized Employment Sites
September 14, 2006
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (Eastern)
This Web conference from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Adult will focus on how two projects implemented self-employment in their communities with a variety “owners” and businesses. Presenters will share strategies and issues that emerged during the process of planning new businesses and assisting their owners. They will also discuss the role of discovery and employment planning in developing the potential business concept, and the role of families or community supports for self-employment. Participation is free, but registration is required; to register, e-mail your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Customized Employment.”
Persistently Safe Schools 2006: The National Conference of the Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence
September 19, 2006 - September 21, 2006
The National Conference of the Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence at the George Washington University (HFI) convenes violence prevention practitioners dedicated to creating and providing safer environments for youth. The conference reflects HFI’s mission: to research, develop, and make publicly available strategies for reducing violence and promoting civility in schools and communities. Conference topics will include alternative education, bullying, gangs, gender-related violence and issues, mental health and violence, model interventions, risk and protective factors, and school security. School- and community-based teachers, administrators, counselors, psychologists, and resource officers; social workers; mental health experts; researchers; and policymakers are encouraged to attend.
U.S. Business Leadership Network National Conference: Inclusion—The Time is Now
October 4, 2006 - October 6, 2006
The U.S. Business Leadership Network (BLN)’s 9th annual national conference is being hosted by the Minnesota Business Leadership Network. Attendees will include representatives from BLN chapters across the country, as well as leaders and professionals from corporations, service providers, and the workforce development community. The conference will highlight the exceptional work of BLNs, corporations, and organizations in the area of inclusion, and address real issues that businesses are facing.
Alliance for Excellent Education’s 3rd Annual High School Policy Conference: Taking the Next Step—Defining a Shared Federal Agenda for High School Reform
October 12, 2006 - October 13, 2006
To move to national high school reform from debate to action, it is important to build consensus on the policies that will support effective reform. Participants in the Alliance for Excellent Education’s conference will discuss what a shared agenda for national high school reform might encompass and consider what policy levers are best suited to turn the agenda into reality.
The Arc’s 55th National Convention: Ride the Wave
October 12, 2006 - October 14, 2006
San Diego, CA
This year’s Arc of the U.S. convention will allow volunteers, professionals, self-advocates, and families to select a specific content track most suited to their needs and interests. Tracks will include Family, Leadership, and Advocacy.
Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood: Rethinking the Safety Net for Vulnerable Young Adults
October 18, 2006 - October 19, 2006
This conference of the Chapin Hall Center for Children will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to offer a comprehensive picture of early adulthood for youth without family support or for those whose physical, mental, or behavioral problems create special barriers to independence. It will draw on the framework and ideas contained in the recent book, “On Your Own without a Net” (Osgood, Foster, Flanagan, & Ruth, Eds.). Supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
24th Annual Closing The Gap Conference: Assistive Technology Resources for Children and Adults with Special Needs
October 19, 2006 - October 21, 2006
People with disabilities, special educators, rehabilitation professionals, administrators, service/care providers, personnel managers, government officials, and hardware/software developers are encouraged to attend this conference, which will focus on technology as it pertains to all disabilities and age groups in education, rehabilitation, vocation, and independent living. Presented by Closing The Gap.
Coleman Institute Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology
October 24, 2006
This conference will include presentations by scientists, disability leaders, government officials, and business executives; an overview of cognitive technologies research; and addresses by distinguished speakers including Temple Grandin and Michael Wehmeyer. Sponsored by the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, University of Colorado.
“It’s My Life” Conference
October 29, 2006 - October 31, 2006
Casey Family Programs’ national conference embodies the seven domains of Casey’s “It’s My Life” framework and showcases innovative programs and practices. This year’s conference will focus on education, employment, and mental health--all very important to youth transitioning out of care. Youth, alumni of care, and child welfare professionals are encouraged to attend.
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Accessible Book Collection: Providing Digital Text to Persons with Disabilities
This Web site is a collection of digital copies and e-books of age-appropriate reading materials for students reading below their grade level (these are often called high interest/low reading level materials). Students are eligible to use the e-books if they have a documented disability that prevents them from reading standard print effectively, such as blindness, a visual impairment, learning disabilities, or dyslexia.
Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement
This Web site of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library contains a rich collection of primary sources exploring the social and political history of the disability rights movement from the 1960s to the present, including oral histories with audio and video clips and archival papers.
iEARN: International Education and Resource Network
iEARN, the International Education and Resource Network, is the world’s largest non-profit global network encouraging teachers and youth to use the Internet and other new technologies to collaborate on projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world. It collects and distributes classroom cultural-exchange projects, and also sponsors international-exchange programs, student photo contests, and conferences on topics such as interactive learning, social bridge building, and technology integration.
National Inventory of Academic Pathways
This Web site from Academic Pathways to Access and Student Success identifies and disseminates information about new and emerging academic pathways that extend from high school to college and enhance transition to postsecondary education for underserved students, particularly underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students. The primary output of the project is a national inventory of academic pathways. You can search the inventory by state or pathway: advanced placement, bridge programs, career academies, college level exam program, distance/virtual learning, dual enrollment/credit, early/middle college high school, GED in college settings, high schools that work, international baccalaureate, and tech prep.
E-Newsletters from the Council of Chief State School Officers
The Council of Chief State School Officers publishes e-mail newsletters on topics of interest to the education community, including arts education; innovative solutions and services in education; language, culture, and equity; systems change; reading and writing improvement; school preparedness to meet the needs of all students; assessment and student standards; secondary school redesign; school improvement; and teacher quality and improvement.
LD News: News You Can Use
LD News is a free monthly e-publication of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. It examines issues related to learning disabilities for parents, caregivers, educators, advocates, and individuals with learning disabilities.
OVAE Review is a monthly update from the Office of the Assistant Secretary at the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education. The most recent issue includes sections on Community Colleges; Adult Education and Literacy; and Secondary, Career, and Technical Education.
The Progress Monitor
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The Progress Monitor is the National Center on Student Progress Monitoring’s free monthly e-newsletter. It includes information from the Center and about student progress monitoring.
Additional Funding and Award Opportunities
Best Buy Te@ch Program: Rewarding Schools that use Interactive Technology
The Best Buy te@ch program rewards schools for successful interactive programs they have created using available technology. Winning programs help kids use technology to learn standards-based curriculum, instead of teaching students to use technology or educators using technology that children aren’t able to use. Up to 1,200 $2,500 Best Buy gift cards will be awarded, and up to 36 schools will receive additional awards valued at $15,000 based on their programs’ creativity. All accredited K-12 public, private, parochial, and nonprofit charter schools located within 50 miles of a Best Buy store may apply. Application deadline: September 30, 2006.
CVS/Pharmacy Community Grants
The CVS/pharmacy Community Grants program accepts proposals for public school programs targeting children with disabilities (under age 18) that address: health and rehabilitation services, a greater level of inclusion in student activities and extracurricular programs, or opportunities or facilities that give greater access to physical movement and play. Deadline: October 31, 2006.
Grants from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s grantmaking program seeks to develop and expand family literacy efforts nationwide, and to support the development of literacy programs that build families of readers. Approximately $650,000 is awarded each year; no grant exceeds $65,000. Family Literacy programs funded by the Foundation must include all of the following components: Reading instruction for parents/primary caregivers (pre-GED/GED/ESL, etc.); literacy or pre-literacy instruction for children; and intergenerational activities in which parents/primary caregivers and children come together to learn and to read. Application deadline: September 8, 2006.
NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants
The NEA Foundation provides grants of up to $5,000 to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject(s). The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving to deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter, and should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Proposed work resulting in low-income and minority student success with honors, AP, or other challenging curricula are encouraged. Practicing U.S. public school teachers and support professionals, and faculty and staff at public higher education institutions may apply. Application deadline: October 15, 2006.
Office Depot/SHOPA 2006 Kids in Need Teacher Grants
Office Depot and the SHOPA Kids In Need Foundation provide grants of up to $500 to K-12 teachers to fund projects that make creative use of common teaching aids, approach curriculum from an imaginative angle, or tie nontraditional concepts together for the purpose of illustrating commonalities. Application deadline: September 30, 2006.
Pay It Forward Mini-Grants
The Pay It Forward Foundation awards mini-grants of up to $500 for one-time-only service-oriented projects identified by youth as activities they would like to perform to benefit their school, neighborhood, or community. Projects must have a “pay it forward” focus—that is, they must be based on the concept of one person doing a favor for others, who in turn do favors for others, with the results growing exponentially. Schools, churches, and community youth groups (with an adult sponsor) are eligible to apply. Application deadline: October 15, 2006.
YouthRising Grants to Engage Troubled Youth in Volunteer Service
The Youth Service America and U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention YouthRising program will award grants of up to $2000 to organizations who engage high risk and/or gang-involved youth in volunteer service. A significant portion of the supported service project must take place on National & Global Youth Service Day, April 20-22, 2007. Projects should be co-led by youth and adult allies such as parents, counselors, coaches, teachers, and youth leaders. Organizations with documented success in prevention/intervention work with high risk and/or gang-involved youth are eligible to apply. Application deadline: October 12, 2006.
Scholarships and Awards
ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award
Candidates for the ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award are education professionals, 40 years of age or younger, who demonstrate exemplary commitment and exceptional contribution to the profession. Their creative and innovative accomplishments within the classroom, school, district, state, or region have significant impact on student performance and achievement over time and provide an ongoing model of excellence in encouraging all learners to succeed. The Award winner will receive $10,000, and will be profiled in Educational Leadership magazine and honored at next year's ASCD Annual Conference. Nomination deadline: October 15, 2006.
Do Something BRICK Awards
Each year, the Do Something BRICK Award honors six outstanding leaders age 18 and under and three outstanding leaders age 19-25 who use their talents to take action that measurably strengthens their local communities in the areas of community building, health, or the environment. Each of the "18 and under" winners receives a $5,000 scholarship and a $5,000 community grant to be directed by the winner to the not-for-profit organization of his/her choice. Winners in the "19-25" category each receive a $10,000 community grant. Application deadline: October 25, 2006.
Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology
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The Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology gives high school students national recognition for individual or team research projects in science, mathematics, engineering, technology, or combinations of these disciplines. Winners receive college scholarships: up to $1,000 for regional finalists; up to $100,000 for national winners. Deadline for registration and receipt of Research Report Materials: October 2, 2006.
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