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Topic: Dept. of Educ. ESEA Proposal--Your feedback requested
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Carol Fry Bohlin

Posts: 89
Registered: 12/3/04
Dept. of Educ. ESEA Proposal--Your feedback requested
Posted: May 20, 1999 3:26 PM
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Request from Jodi Peterson (NSTA Legislative Update): "We are trying to
provide examples of solid assessment requirements and evaluation criteria
from successful Eisenhower sponsored programs that have led to increased
student achievement."

****NSTA Legislative Update****
May 20, 1999

<snip>

A continued set-aside for professional development in the areas of math and
science is included in this act. The first $300 million under the new
"Teaching to High Standards" grant (up from the $250 million now under
Eisenhower) will be earmarked for professional development in science and
math education.

The Administration believes that the poor performance of U.S. students on
the TIMSS test and the evidence "that high student achievement depends
greatly on high-quality teaching make it imperative to continue this
special emphasis."

(PLEASE NOTE: While this language is very encouraging, the Ed Flex law
which allows states to waive the federal priority to science and math
education is still in effect)

<snip>


1. Department of Education Releases ESEA Proposal
2. We Need Your Feedback

Department of Education Releases ESEA Proposal

The Department of Education has released the Administration's proposal for
reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main law
governing federal K-12 programs. The Educational Excellence for All
Children Act of 1999 was unveiled yesterday.

There are four key principles to the new legislation: high academic
standards, top-quality teachers in smaller classes, safe schools, and
strengthened accountability. The proposal is divided into 11 new titles:

Title I: Helping Disadvantaged Children Meet High Standards
Title II: High Standards in the Classroom
Title III: Technology
Title IV: Safe and Drug Free Schools
Title V: Promoting Equity, Excellence, and Public School Choice
Title VI: Class Size Reduction
Title VII: Bilingual Education
Title VIII: Impact Aid
Title IX: Indian Education
Title X: Programs of National Significance
Title XI: Education Accountability Act and General Provisions

A new standards-based reform grant program called "Teaching to High
Standards" is now under Title II of the new legislation. As expected, this
program will take the place of Title III of Goals 2000, Title VI, and the
Eisenhower Professional Development program.

The new initiative is designed to support state and local efforts to align
curricula and assessments with state and local content standards; provide
teachers with high quality, sustained, intensive, content-based
professional development in core academic content areas; support new
teachers during the first three years; and improve teacher quality.

The Department says although the Eisenhower programs offered by
institutions of higher education and nonprofits were found to be highly
effective, "relatively few of America's teachers currently participate in
activities of sufficient quality and duration to improve their classroom
practice . . . only 7 percent had participated in standards-based
professional development for 32 hours or more."

"Teaching to High Standards" grant funds would "go toward efforts to
strengthen instruction in core academic content areas rather than toward
general strategies for improving classroom practice; promote the use of
professional activities that are sustained over time, rather than those
that are condensed into a single workshop; and that incorporate active
collaboration among teachers, rather than offer passive lectures and
disconnected practice in isolated classrooms."

****A continued set-aside for professional development in the areas of math
and science is included in this act.*** The first $300 million under the
new "Teaching to High Standards" grant (up from the $250 million now under
Eisenhower) will be earmarked for professional development in science and
math education.

The Administration believes that the poor performance of U.S. students on
the TIMSS test and the evidence "that high student achievement depends
greatly on high-quality teaching make it imperative to continue this
special emphasis."

(PLEASE NOTE: While this language is very encouraging, the Ed Flex law
which allows states to waive the federal priority to science and math
education is still in effect)

"Teaching to High Standards" funds would be allocated by formula to the
states. Ten percent would by used to support state reforms. An annual
national total of $60 million would go to state agencies of higher
education, which would award competitive grants to colleges, universities,
and nonprofits to carry out professional development activities in
partnership with school districts.

Remaining funds would go directly to school districts. Half of these funds
would be allocated on a formula basis to high-poverty schools; the other
half would be distributed through a state-administered grant competition.
Districts could apply for both formula and competitive funds through a
single application.

"Teaching to High Standards" also proposes to expand support to current
high-quality Eisenhower activities; specifically, successful professional
development partnerships administered by institutions of higher education
and nonprofit organizations. Projects that support new teachers in the
first three years will be given priority.

"Teaching to High Standards" would also support the Eisenhower National
Clearinghouse for Math and Science Education, and the National Board for
Professional Teaching Standards. It would also authorize new national
teacher initiatives, such as the creation of a nationwide job bank for
teaching positions; support for efforts to increase the portability of
teacher credentials, pensions, and credited years of experience among
states and school districts; and new programs to recruit and retain more
classroom teachers.

Other key features of the Educational Excellence for All Children Act of
1999 would

*Strengthen the teaching of reading and reduce class size, by continuing
the Reading Excellence Act and the Class Size Reduction Act. * Improve
foreign language instruction * Support programs that "enhance options for
students and parents," such as the Magnet Schools Program, the Charter
Schools Program, and a new broad-based public school choice program called
OPTIONS * Require certification for new Title I teachers. *Strengthen the
State teacher certification process. States accepting federal funds would
be required to ensure that 95 percent of their teachers are either fully
certified, working toward full certification, or certified in another state
and working toward meeting state-specific requirements.

The President also called for a number of new accountability measures, such
as report cards to parents and the public; an end to social promotion and
retention; and a program to identify then intervene in the effort to turn
around low-performing schools.

For more information on the Educational Excellence for All Children Act of
1999, see the Department's website at http://www.ed.gov.

We Need Your Feedback

NSTA has been asked to help write language for an upcoming House bill on
teacher quality and professional development. The committee wants to
include amendments to the legislation that would require that federal funds
be spent on "high quality" professional development programs for science
and math educators. In addition, they want to develop evaluation criteria
that links teacher participation in professional development with improved
student performance. Hill staff have asked NSTA for specific
recommendations to accomplish these goals.

As such, we are trying to provide examples of solid assessment requirements
and evaluation criteria from successful Eisenhower sponsored programs that
have led to increased student achievement.

Please email jpeterson@nsta.org ASAP if you can help us with this
information. We need to provide this information before Memorial Day.
Thanks for any help you can provide.


Jodi Peterson Editor, NSTA Reports! Director, Legislative Affairs

============
Carol Fry Bohlin
California State University, Fresno
carolb@csufresno.edu







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