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March 2010 E-News


Announcements

The latest news and information from around the country.


New Projects

 

President Obama Announces Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge

http://www.whitehouse.gov/commencement
On February 18, President Obama announced a new Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge, open to all public high schools around the country. The winning high school will have President Obama deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2010. Schools are encouraged to show how they are “making great strides” on personal responsibility, academic excellence, and college readiness. The application consists of four essay questions that focus on demonstrating how the high school is helping prepare students to meet the president’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Only one application per school. Application deadline: March 15, 2010.


Legislative Announcements

 

16 Finalists Announced in Phase 1 of Race to the Top Competition

http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/03/03042010.html
The Department of Education announced that 15 states and the District of Columbia are finalists for Phase 1 of the Race to the Top competition, the Department's $4.35 billion effort to dramatically re-shape America's educational system to better engage and prepare students for success in a competitive 21st century economy and workplace. Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee were selected.


Calls to Participate

 

RFPs Due for “Embracing Difference... It’s Time,” TASH’s 35th Annual Conference

http://www.tash.org/2010tash/about.htm
TASH is accepting RFPs for its 35th Annual Conference: “Embracing Difference...It’s Time,” in Denver, CO, December 8-11, 2010. All RFP applications are due by April 1, 2010. This year’s conference will highlight the elements of the first TASH National Agenda: Inclusive Education, Community Living, Employment, Human Rights, and People of Color. The conference will focus on innovative practices to promote inclusion and reduce the disparities experienced by individuals with significant disabilities in schools, community living, and employment, and will also address human rights concerns and issues often faced by people of color.

 

The “Mission Accessible” National Disability Media and History Project

https://sites.google.com/a/pinedafoundation.org/ios/dart-diaries-50-states
The “Mission Accessible” National Disability Media and History Project is looking for volunteers to transcribe historical state documents and oral history videos. Transcriptions will be included in a new database and video editor scheduled for launch July 26, 2010, the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Volunteers can work from their own computers. This could be a meaningful volunteer project for students with disabilities in work-based learning and other secondary transition programs. Participation would allow students to develop and use their reading, keyboarding, and other job skills and could serve as a springboard to discussions of disability rights and the disability rights movement. “It’s Our Story” also needs technology volunteers to lead in creating a beta site that will make its archives available in a public, accessible, and searchable format.

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The Resource Zone


Other National Resources

 

Closing the Expectations Gap 2010  (February 2010)
Report

http://www.achieve.org/ClosingtheExpectationsGap2010
Achieve’s fifth annual “Closing the Expectations Gap” report shows that in the five years since the National Governors Association (NGA) and Achieve co-sponsored the National Education Summit on high schools, the goal of aligning high school graduation requirements with the demands of college and the workplace has gone from a radical concept to the new norm throughout the country. The 50-state survey measures the same five areas of reform each year.

 

Disability Awareness  (February 2010)
Web Resources

http://nichcy.org/families-community/awareness
NICHCY receives many calls and emails each year from people looking for materials on disability awareness, needing the materials for many different reasons, from classroom instructional units, to Girl Scout information fairs, to school reports. This resource page, which can be found on NICHCY’s web site provides just a sample of selected materials available from different organizations.

 

Empowering Effective Teachers: Readiness for Reform  (February 2010)
Report

http://tinyurl.com/yfenma8
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released a series of briefs focused on identifying readiness and implementing reform and how the education community has focused too little on the recruitment, evaluation, development, placement, and retention of highly effective teachers. The foundation has asked nine school districts and one coalition of charter management organizations to propose strategies for significantly improving teacher effectiveness and for measuring it. The first report, “Readiness for Reform,” identifies four key areas for success and discusses assessing a school’s strengths and weaknesses.

 

Empowering Effective Teachers: Strategies for Implementing Reforms  (February 2010)
Report

http://tinyurl.com/yjsrc6x
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released a series of briefs focused on how the education community has focused too little on the recruitment, evaluation, development, placement, and retention of highly effective teachers. As a step toward changing this, the foundation has asked nine school districts and one coalition of charter management organizations to propose strategies for significantly improving teacher effectiveness and for measuring it. The second report, “Strategies for Implementing Reforms,” is on ways for making the reforms.

 

High-Risk Indicators in Middle School for Dropping Out  (June 2009) PDF document
Policy Brief

http://www.nmsa.org/portals/0/pdf/research/Research_from_the_Field/Policy_Brief_Balfanz.pdf
In “High-Risk Indicators in Middle School for Dropping Out,” a new study from Johns Hopkins University, researchers pinpoint the time in middle school when students can be seen to have “fallen off the path to high school graduation.” The study found middle-grade experiences “have tremendous impact on the extent to which [students] will close achievement gaps, graduate from high school, and be prepared for college.” The fifth through eighth grades must therefore be reconceptualized, considered “the launching pad for a secondary and post-secondary education system that enables all students to obtain the schooling and/or career training they will need to fully experience the opportunities of 21st century America.” Available in pdf (16 pages, 410 KB).

 

New York City as a Case Model for Reform  (January 2010) PDF document
Issue Brief

http://www.all4ed.org/files/NYCOverviewJan2010.pdf
As the nation has embraced the need to graduate every student ready for college and careers, high school reform and strategies to address low performance and close achievement gaps are at the top of the education agenda. Federal policymakers looking ahead to opportunities to support this work, such as the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, are looking at districts that have been engaged in major reform, to understand the implications for supporting and encouraging these reforms. “New York City as a Case Model for Reform,” the first in a series of briefs, describes the theory of action underlying the efforts of the New York City Department of Education and some of the specific strategies it has employed to improve high schools. Available in pdf (16 pages, 780 KB).

 

Primary Sources: America's Teachers on America's Schools  (January 2010) PDF document
Report

http://www.scholastic.com/primarysources/pdfs/100646_ScholasticGates.pdf
According to a new survey underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Scholastic, Inc., American teachers are more interested in school reform and student achievement than their paychecks, reports the Associated Press. The national poll, the largest of teachers ever completed, includes the opinions of teachers in every grade, in every state, and across every demographic, to keep teachers’ voices in the debate over education reform. Available in pdf (110 pages, 798 KB).

 

Principal Preparedness to Support Students with Disabilities and Other Diverse Learners: A Policy Forum Proceedings Document  (February 2010)
Report

http://tinyurl.com/ygq3br9
This policy forum proceedings document provides background on the increasing demands principals face as they strive to provide learning environments that support all students; and discusses both the balance between being a manager and an instructional leader, and the important role of principals for students with disabilities. Findings from the policy forum identify challenges and discuss recommendations to address these challenges. Available in pdf (305 KB, 25 pp).

 

The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School  (October 2009)
Report

http://tinyurl.com/yzsvg7e
“The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School,” a Center for Labor Market Studies report, outlines the employment, earnings, incarceration, teen and young adult parenting experiences and family incomes of the nation’s young adult high school drop-outs and their better educated peers in 2006–2008 The report finds lifelong labor market, earnings, and marriage problems for all young people who drop out of high school, which appears especially prevalent with young black men. Available in pdf (16 pages, 52.9 KB).

 

The Economic Benefits of Reducing the Dropout Rate in the Nation’s Largest Metropolitan Areas: A Boom to Regional Businesses  (January 2010)
Video

http://www.all4ed.org/events/011210EconomicBenefits
“The Economic Benefits from Halving the Dropout Rate: A Boom to Businesses in the Nation's Largest Metropolitan Areas” was released on January 12 and highlights the economic benefits that the local economies of the nation’s 45 largest metro areas could expect if the number of high school dropouts were cut in half. The study, conducted by the Alliance and funded by State Farm®, includes estimates on important local economic factors such as individual earnings, home and auto sales, job and economic growth, spending and investment, tax revenue, and human capital.

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What's Happening



Other National Events

 

Raising Their Voices: Enlisting Students, Teachers, and Parents to Help End the High School Dropout Epidemic
Web-based Event
March 10, 2010
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
http://tinyurl.com/ycrvqtv
“Raising Their Voices” will focus on research conducted by Civic Enterprises and Hart Research on behalf of the AT&T Foundation, and has brought together parents, teachers, and students to discuss their different, and often conflicting, views of the causes and cures of dropping out. Featured in the report is a toolkit that provides communities with a guide to conduct dialogues in their own schools.

Don't Leave School Without It-What's In Your Wallet?
Web-based Event
March 15, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
http://www.nextsteps.peatc.org/peatc.cgim?template=webinars#year3
The National Youth Leadership Network is working to ensure that young people with disabilities enter adulthood fully prepared to navigate life. Stacey Milbern, Community Outreach Director, Ryan Pinion Director of Partnerships and Action, and intern Jessica Smith of the National Youth Leadership Network present youth perspectives on the important areas students with disabilities should be considering as they leave adolescence and enter adulthood.

Making Memory: Cognitive Support Technology for People with Intellectual and Memory Disabilities
Web-based Event
March 31, 2010
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
http://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3770
The Assistive Technology (AT) Industry Association sponsors webinars on aspects of AT. Cognitive Support Technology (CST) is a new area of technology use which supports people who have difficulty remembering complicated tasks or sequences. CST is used by students and adults with developmental disabilities, autism, cognitive and learning disabilities, as well as people who have sustained a head injury. Overall, people with cognitive disabilities who use CST require fewer prompts, make fewer errors, complete more tasks successfully and complete more complex tasks. The session will explore ways that CST can support people with cognitive disabilities and examine some examples of dedicated cognitive support technology.

Virginia’s NEXT STEPS Transition Program Webinars: Guardianship – Rights, Risks, and Responsibilities
Web-based Event
April 5, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
http://www.nextsteps.peatc.org/peatc.cgim?template=webinars#year3
Local school divisions must inform parents of the rights of youth with disabilities a full year before the student with a disability reaches the age of majority. State directives about guardianship, conservatorship, powers of attorney and other information are made available to families. However, families should understand the full responsibilities and risks associated with assuming guardianship of their children. Sue Swenson, a parent and advocate, outlines the questions parents should be asking prior to taking these steps.

Accept Yourself: Sometimes You Just Don't Feel Like You Fit In...Learning to Problem Solve
Web-based Event
April 6, 2010
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Eastern)
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/216924907
Each month, the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) Leadership Webinar Series offers chats on topics that are important to youth, led by young adults, who share their experiences and insights. Each call will include time for listeners to share their stories and ask questions. The call is offered twice, with a morning session as well as the afternoon session referenced here.

Accept Yourself: Sometimes You Just Don't Feel Like You Fit In...Learning to Problem Solve
Web-based Event
April 6, 2010
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   (Eastern)
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/218278306
Each month, the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) Leadership Webinar Series offers chats on topics that are important to youth, led by young adults, who share their experiences and insights. Each call will include time for listeners to share their stories and ask questions. The call is offered twice, with an afternoon session as well as the morning session referenced here.

A Paradigm for Diagnosing at Implementation Breakdowns
Web-based Event
April 7, 2010
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
http://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3770
The Assistive Technology (AT) Industry Association sponsors webinars on aspects of AT. Implementing AT services, once they are provided, may be a challenge. If educators and assistive technology specialists look only at the symptoms of a failure (e.g., AT may be present in the classroom but not used), they may not be addressing the underlying reasons for it (e.g., The use of AT may interfere with daily classroom routines). The webinar will introduce a paradigm for a systematic approach to pinpointing underlying reasons for difficulties with daily, functional use of AT and identifying appropriate intervention strategies.

Parents as Essential Partners in Transition
Web-based Event
April 19, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
http://www.nextsteps.peatc.org/peatc.cgim?template=webinars#year3
Parents are looking for options for their young adult children with high support needs as they transition from high school to life. As partners with adult service providers, parents can be the catalyst to ensure successful employment outcomes, but parents need help from service providers. Ann Turnbull from The Beach Center in Kansas University understands the struggles parents of young adults with high support needs face in staring down convention and identifying alternative employment paths. Prevailing myths about the role parents play in supporting adult children’s work opportunities are explored.

“Employment First: Not Just a Slogan,” 21st Annual APSE International
Conference
June 8, 2010 - June 10, 2010
Atlanta, GA
http://www.apse.org/training/lead.cfm
The 21st Annual National APSE Conference will focus on employment of people with disabilities in the community, and share knowledge, expertise, and ideas on the latest and best innovations to make employment for all a reality. Deadline for registration: May 7, 2010. ^ Top of Page ^


Get Wired!

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Funding Forecast


Funding Resources

 

Funding Toolkit is Updated with New Grants, Tips, and Deadlines

www.connectforkids.org/fundingkit10
Individuals can make a difference, whether it is an individual with an idea to help the community, or someone already at work on behalf of kids and families – and funding helps. Connect for Kids has compiled some resources to help individuals find funds.


Federal Grant Opportunities

 

FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages

http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

 

FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages

http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


Additional Funding and Award Opportunities

 

Entertainment Software Association: Grants for Youth Programs

http://www.theesa.com/foundation/application.asp
The ESA Foundation supports geographically diverse projects and programs that benefit American youth of all races and denominations to make a difference in the quality of their life, health, and welfare. The foundation seeks to harness the collective power of the interactive entertainment industry to create positive social impact in our communities. Deadline: April 15, 2010.

 

Got breakfast? Foundation Announces Silent Hero Grants for Summer Food Programs

http://tinyurl.com/yfyqfsl
The Got Breakfast?® Foundation has announced the expansion of its Silent Hero Grant Program to award participants in Summer Nutrition Programs. Grants from $2,000-$10,000 will be awarded to public schools, non-profit private schools, local governments, National Youth Sports Programs or 501c(3) non-profit organizations participating in the federal Summer Nutrition Program. The grant monies can be used for such needs as serving equipment, staffing, and nutrition. Deadline: April 1, 2010.

 

Lemelson-MIT Program: InvenTeams

http://web.mit.edu/inventeams/about.html
The InvenTeam initiative, created by the Lemelson-MIT Program, offers an opportunity for high school students to cultivate their creativity and experience invention. InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam chooses its own problem to solve. Initial application deadline: April 23, 2010.

 

Libri Foundation: Books for Children

http://www.librifoundation.org/apps.html
The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization which donates new, quality, hardcover children's books to small, rural public libraries in the United States through its BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program. Only libraries within the 50 states are eligible to apply. Libraries are qualified on an individual basis. In general, county libraries should serve a population under 16,000 and town libraries should serve a population under 10,000 (usually under 5,000). Libraries should be in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, and an active children's department. Please note: Rural is usually considered to be at least 30 miles from a city with a population over 40,000. Deadline for application for upcoming grant period: April 15, 2010.

 

NCSS: Grant for Geographic Literacy

http://www.socialstudies.org/awards/geographiclit/
The National Council for the Social Studies Grant for Geographic Literacy is awarded to promote geography education in schools and to enhance the geographic literacy of students at the classroom, district, or statewide level in order to encourage the integration of geography into the social studies curriculum/classroom. The maximum award is $2,500. Recipients may be individuals or groups in school districts, public institutions, or universities. Deadline: March 21, 2010.

 

Nominations Invited for 2010 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education

http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/prize/nomination_call.shtml
Nominators are encouraged to nominate outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of education for the 2010 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. The application process consists of a one-time entry submission that will be reviewed and judged by the McGraw Prize Board of Judges. Three winners will be selected. Deadline: March 19, 2010.

 

Nominations Invited for World of Children Annual Awards Program

http://www.worldofchildren.org/index.php/awards
The World of Children Awards program recognizes those who make a difference in the lives of children here in the USA and across the globe, regardless of political, religious or geographical boundaries, recognizing that our children are the world's most important asset. The World of Children honors these leaders, and grants them funds of up to $50,000 in order to support the proven, high-impact programs they have created. Deadline: May 1, 2010.

 

SolidWorks: STEM Educators Grant

http://www.solidworks.com/pages/products/edu/RoboticsEducatorsGrant.html
The SolidWorks STEM Educators Grant awards SolidWorks Student Edition CAD software to individual U.S. educators in an initiative aimed at improving students’ math skills and their interest in technology-related careers. The grant includes training and lesson plans to help teachers and faculty from middle school through college integrate the four separate disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math for more effective education. The maximum award is SolidWorks Student Edition CAD software, plus training and lesson plans. Deadline: April 1, 2010.

 

William T. Grant Foundation Offers Grants for Investigator Initiated Research on Youth Settings

http://www.wtgrantfoundation.org/
The William T. Grant Foundation supports work to improve the settings of youth between the ages of 8 and 25 in the United States. The foundation supports high-quality research designed to enhance the understanding of how youth settings work, how they affect youth development, and how they can be improved, as well as when, how, and under what conditions research evidence is used in policy and practice that affect youth and how its use can be improved. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be employed at a nonprofit institution or college or university either in the United States or abroad. Deadline for letters of inquiry for grants in this area of support: April 6, 2010.

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End of Issue


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