August 2009 E-News
The latest news and information from around the country.
The U.S. Department of Labor has launched Disability.gov, a redesigned federal Web site that connects more than 50 million Americans with disabilities to thousands of trusted resources on disability-related issues, programs, and services. Formerly known as DisabilityInfo.gov, the site has been redesigned and updated with new social media tools, such as a blog and a Twitter feed, to encourage feedback and interaction among visitors. Disability.gov is not just for Americans with disabilities, but also for parents of children with disabilities, employers, workforce and human resource professionals, veterans, educators, caregivers, and many others.
University of Kansas Online Transition Short Courses
The University of Kansas will offer five online transition short courses designed to provide novice and veteran education professionals the tools and collaboration necessary to improve transition planning and services for students with disabilities. Each course includes four week-long sessions with research-based articles, Web sites, videos, and discussions and is open to anyone interested in transition planning and services. They are specifically designed for secondary-level special education personnel, but the content is applicable to parents, educators, adult service personnel and consultants. The courses can be taken for graduate or undergraduate credit, continuing education units, or noncredit.
Calls to Participate
Leadership for Equity and Excellence Forum
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The Leadership for Equity and Excellence Forum will be February 16-17, 2010, in Phoenix, AZ. Educators, policy makers, students, parents, advocacy groups, and community members will gather to share current research and best practices about building and strengthening systems of educational equity. Areas of focus include civil and educational rights, disproportionality in special education, school-family partnerships, organizing schools for inclusive education, and more. The deadline for submitting proposals is September 25.
The Resource Zone
Other National Resources
2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 20th annual “KIDS COUNT Data Book” provides a national and state-by-state look at the status of children in the United States. This year's companion essay outlines a series of action steps to improve the nation's use of data in creating policies that improve outcomes for children and families. A description, with links to a summary and the full PDF report, are at the Web site.
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics Report on America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, which is made up of 22 Federal agencies, has released “America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009.”. Since 1997, the Forum has published this annual report, which provides detailed information on the welfare of children and families, alternating between a comprehensive report, as is the case this year, and a condensed version highlighting selected indicators. This year's comprehensive report tracks three demographic background measures and 40 key indicators and features children with special health care needs. Available in pdf (5.98 MB, 216 pp).
Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2009 Edition
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences has released “Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2009 Edition.” This NCES handbook has been designed as the national standard for state and local education agencies to use in tracking and reporting financial data and for school districts to use in preparing their comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs). The report is available in pdf (737 KB, 209 pp).
Making High School Students into “College Material”
Many students graduate from high school unprepared for the rigors of postsecondary education. College readiness programs seek to fill the gap. This issue of MDRC (Manpower Research Demonstration Corporation) focus describes some common features of these programs and outlines open research questions.
NAEP Report on Achievement Gaps
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences has released a report analyzing Black-White achievement gaps at both the national and state levels, using NAEP scores as a common yardstick and examining data from all main NAEP mathematics and reading assessments through 2007, and from long-term trend NAEP results through 2004. A description, with links to an executive summary, highlights, and the full PDF report are at the Web site.
National Center for Special Education Research Report on Facts from NLTS-2: Secondary School Experiences and Academic Performance of Students with Mental Retardation
The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) within the Institute of Education Sciences has released “Facts from NLTS-2: Secondary School Experiences and Academic Performance of Students with Mental Retardation.” The report uses data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) to provide a national picture of the secondary school experiences and academic achievements of students with mental retardation who received special education services. The NLTS2, initiated in 2001 and funded by NCSER, has a nationally representative sample of more than 11,000 students with disabilities. Available in pdf (615 KB, 33 pp).
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices on Implementing Graduation Counts
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According to a report from the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, most states are on track to publicly report their high school graduation rates using a common formula by 2011. “Implementing Graduation Counts: State Progress to Date, 2009.” documents states’ progress updating their data systems to report their graduation rate using the common NGA formula.
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CityTownInfo.com’s College and Career Search Center
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CityTownInfo.com’s College and Career Search Center is a guide to major career and education resources.
Federal Grant Opportunities
FY 2008-2009 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
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy Accepting Applications for National Grant Program
A total of approximately $650,000 will be awarded to nonprofits working to improve instructional literacy programs that serve adult primary care givers and their children and have been in existence for at least two years. The program must include one or more of the following components: literacy for adults, parent education, pre-literacy or literacy instruction for children pre-K to grade three, and/or intergenerational literacy activities (parent and child together time). A total of approximately $650,000 will be awarded; no grant request should exceed $65,000. The 2010 National Grant Program application and guidelines are available at the foundation's Web site. Deadline for applications: September 14, 2009.
Home Depot Accepting Applications for Building Healthy Communities Grant Program
Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to nonprofits, public schools, and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. working to improve their communities by using volunteers to build and refurbish affordable housing or transitional housing, increasing energy efficiency or sustainability, landscaping, planting of native trees, community facility improvements, and the development and/or improvement of green spaces. Grants are made in the form of the Home Depot gift cards for the purchase or tools or materials. Only registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, tax-exempt public schools, and tax-exempt public agencies in the U.S. are eligible to apply. The two remaining grant cycles for 2009 run July 15-September 15, 2009, and October 15-December 15, 2009. All applicants are required to pass an eligibility quiz before being considered for a grant. Program information and eligibility quiz are included on the Home Depot Web site. Deadlines: September 15, 2009, and December 15, 2009.
Kids In Need Foundation Invites Innovative Learning Projects for Teacher Grants Program
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Grants of up to $500 will be awarded to K-12 certified teachers working to create unique learning opportunities for their students at public, private, and parochial schools. Applications are judged by innovativeness and merit, clarity of objectives, replication feasibility, suitability of evaluation methods, and cost effectiveness. The foundation seeks to fund exceptional ideas, such as projects in which curriculum is presented in a unique setting or in which unconventional methods are used to reveal the content. A project may qualify if it makes creative use of common teaching aids, approaches the curriculum from an imaginative angle, or ties non-traditional concepts together for the purpose of illustrating commonalities. Grants will range from $100 to $500 each and are to be used to finance creative classroom projects. The program is designed to be the sole funding agent for the proposed project. Typically, two hundred to three hundred grants are awarded each year. Applications are online at the Kids In Need Web site July 15-September 30, 2009. Deadline: September 30, 2009.
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