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QA U.S.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION POSTAGE AND FEES PAID


Calendar ED PUBS The U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
May 1–5
National Charter Schools
Week, a celebration sponsored & G L O S S A R Y
P.O. BOX 1398
JESSUP, MD 20794-1398
EDUCATION
Permit NO. G-17 The U.S.
by the National Alliance for
OFFICIAL BUSINESS VOL.5, NO.4 MAY 2006
PRESORTED DEPARTMENT
PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE $300 OF
Public Charter Schools. For students’ education needs, school districts FIRST CLASS EDUCATION
an activity tool kit, visit must conduct evaluations according to
www.publiccharters.org. As a prescribed procedures. Parents should be
kick-off event, the U.S. Depart-
How can I be assured of a told, in advance, about these procedures. VOL.5, NO.4 MAY 2006 www.ed.gov

ment of Education is hosting the quality education for my In addition, parents must give consent for
“National Charter Schools
Program Showcase,” May 1–2
disabled child? any evaluation or placement actions as well
as be allowed to examine the student’s
Spellings Announces First
Round of Recipients of
$30 Million in Grants Awarded to
T Help Struggling Readers
he Individuals with Disabilities Educa- records. Once a child is found to be eligible,
in Washington, D.C., to spot- Striving Readers Funds
tion Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) parents and school personnel jointly draw up
light successful models and
requires that all school districts pro- an individualized education program (IEP)
provide information on Depart-

A
vide a free appropriate public education to that describes the special services the child total of $30 million has been awarded for The grant-funded projects focus on middle
ment resources for expanding students with one or more of the 13 disabili- will receive, including annual learning goals. the 2006–07 school year to support the and high schools that have significant numbers of I N S I D E
the number of high-quality char- ties identified by the law and are thereby in If parents disagree with the school’s deci- implementation of eight projects disadvantaged struggling readers and that are
ter schools. Space is available on need of special education. sions, they may request an impartial hearing funded by the new Striving Readers program working to meet No Child Left Behind’s adequate
a first-come, first-served basis. Special education—specialized instruc- or they may file a complaint with the state 2 Spellings Speaks on
for improving adolescents’ reading yearly progress requirements in reading.
To register, visit www.sei2003.com tion designed to meet a child’s unique education agency. School Choice
skills, U.S. Secretary of Education They include a range of research-
and select “Registration,” or call needs—may be delivered in regular classes or For more information, visit www.ed.gov
Margaret Spellings announced based adolescent literacy projects
(240) 485-1700. separate classrooms, or, in some cases, in and select “Policy,” then “IDEA Reauthorized Around the Country—
recently. Over five years, the serving diverse populations and Ohio and Tennessee
separate schools, in hospitals or at home. Eli- (2004)” for “IDEA 2004 Resources.”
recipients are expected to receive rigorous evaluations conducted
May 7–13
gible children also may need related services
(
(
such as speech therapy, physical therapy and a combined total of more than by independent researchers. 5 Calendar
Teacher Appreciation Week, psychological counseling to benefit from
free appropriate $142 million. President George W. Bush’s
a celebration sponsored by the their special education. These services must public education: special “Reading is the foundation of budget for fiscal year 2007 Q&A—Special Education
National PTA. Established in fully support the involvement of special- education and related services that all learning, a key factor in earn- requests a $70.3 million increase
1984, the week’s observance needs students in the general curriculum must meet state standards provided to ing a high school diploma and a in the Striving Readers program for Education News Parents

provides an opportunity to that is available to their non-disabled peers. ticket to success in the 21st century,” a total of more than $100 million. Can Use
students with disabilities without charge.
honor the dedicated educators To ensure appropriate diagnosis of The Toolbox Revisited said Secretary Spellings. “The Striving Grantees may use the Striving
Readers grants help more students get the skills Readers funds for activities such as: interventions 6 The Toolbox Revisited
who teach America’s children.
For ideas on expressions of they need to succeed in college, the workforce for middle and high school-age students to
gratitude, visit www.pta.org News Show Explores Parent Options and life.” improve basic reading skills, motivation, vocabu-

C
ompleting academically chal- Using high school and college tran-
and select “Leadership

T
he latest tools country in which lenging courses in high school scripts, the study examines a national > continued on page 2
Resources,” or call toll-free U.S. Department of Education
and options parents and their dramatically increases the sample representing 1.1 million students A Night of Learning
(800) 307-4782. 400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
available to children have bene- who attended a four-year college, including
likelihood of earning a bachelor’s
May 18–19 parents under the fited from these
programs as well
degree, according to a newly released students who started out in community
Washington, DC 20202

The Achiever is a monthly publication Activity-Filled Family Meeting Leads to Increases in Parent
Commission on the Future
of Higher Education Meeting,
No Child Left Behind
Act will be the focus as the education
study by the U.S. Department of Educa-
tion. The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to
colleges. The data on which the study is
based covers a period of eight and one-
for parents and community leaders
from the Office of Communications
and Outreach, U.S. Department of
Involvement, Student Performance at Maryland School
of the May edition of options under No Education (ED). Margaret Spellings,
Washington, D.C., part of a Degree Completion From High School half years for degree completion—from In the late 1990s, despite arduous efforts to draw parents out to school

‘‘
Education News Parents Child Left Behind. secretary.
series of public hearings spon- Through College found that the academic high school graduation in spring 1992 meetings, the faculty at Viers Mill Elementary School continued to
Can Use, the U.S. Each month, Comments? Contact Nicole Ashby,
sored by the U.S. Department rigor of a high school curriculum is the until December 2000. Editor, (202) 205-0676 (fax), or receive a low response. “We’d be excited about the content we had
Department of Educa- Education News education@custhelp.com.
of Education. Convened by strongest indicator of postsecondary Nearly 35 tables support the 192-page to deliver,” remembered James Virga, Jr., the former principal of
Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings, the commission will
tion’s monthly television
program.
Parents Can Use
showcases: schools degree completion, regardless of a study, which also cites several postsec-
Address changes and subscriptions?
Contact (877) 4ED-PUBS, or
What we the Silver Spring, Md., school. “We’d publicize it, but then
and school districts student’s major course of study. ondary factors that contribute to degree edpubs@inet.ed.gov. only eight parents would come—and some of them would
hold panel discussions that
focus on access to and the
The show will spot-
light public school choice from across the The Toolbox Revisited surveys completion: entering college directly Information on ED programs, resources
and events? Contact (800) USA-LEARN,
try to do is be PTA [Parent Teacher Association] board members.”
Virga and his staff soon realized that the solu-
and free tutoring programs and country; conversations with school the class of 1992 as it moved from high school; remaining continuous-
affordability and accountability
of higher education. For
the ways in which these programs—and officials, parents and education experts;
and advice and free resources for parents
from high school to higher ly enrolled; and earning more than
20 credits, or seven courses, by the end
or education@custhelp.com.
The Achiever contains news and information
about and from public and private organiza-
give access to tion was in the problem. They sent out a
survey in multiple languages throughout
parental options under the law—empower education and includes
details, visit www.ed.gov
and select “About ED,” then
parents to ensure that their children have and educators.
To learn about viewing options, includ-
comparisons to a previous of the first 12 months of enrollment.
For a free copy of The Toolbox
tions for the reader's information. Inclusion
does not constitute an endorsement by the
U.S. Department of Education of any prod-
the parents. the ethnically diverse community asking
for the reasons why parents were not
“Boards & Commissions,” or
access to a high-quality education, regard- report, Answers in the ucts or services offered or views expressed.
ing webcasts, visit www.ed.gov and click showing up. The responses were clear:
call (800) USA-LEARN.
less of their race, income or zip code. Tool Box, which fol- Revisited, visit www.ed.gov, or call This publication also contains hyperlinks and
on “Parents,” then “News Parents Can URLs created and maintained by outside a lack of time, transportation and child
In addition, the May broadcast will show- lowed the class (877) 4ED-PUBS with identification organizations and is provided for the reader’s
case success stories from across the Use,” or call toll-free (800) USA-LEARN. number EV0143P, while supplies last. > continued on page 3
of 1982. convenience. The Department is not responsi-
ble for the accuracy of this information.

page 5 page 6
> continued from page 1 > continued from page 1

lary, fluency and comprehension using implementation of a rigorous evaluation. Department of Youth Services; San Diego care; a lack of presentations in native lan- Maryland added the fourth grade to its from 42 treat us in this school is great.” Each year Page 3, clockwise: Principal Matthew Devan with second-grader Esmeralda; Clara
Gonzalez with daughter Stephanie; first-grader Nina; and kindergarteners Emmett
research-based programs; professional The awardees include: Chicago Public Unified School District; Springfield, Mass., Public guages that would facilitate participation; benchmark levels the following year, the different she takes a week off from her cleaning job
and Michael. Page 4, left to right: Kindergarteners Hermela, Juverlis, Dagm, Tabraz and
development aligned with scientifically Schools District #299; Danville, Ky., Schools; Schools; and Memphis, Tenn., City Schools. and, simply, a lack of understanding about percentage of Viers Mill’s students mastering countries and to coordinate the school’s book fair. “I’m Corey; and first-grader Joseph. On the cover, Elisia George with daughter Ashelle.
based reading research; valid and reliable Multnomah County [Portland, Ore.] School For information about the Striving Readers the importance of their attendance. Overall, state standards climbed even higher, to speak Spanish, losing money,” she said, “but it’s one week Photos by Maisie Crow.
reading assessments; and the design and District #1; Newark, N.J., Public Schools; Ohio program, visit www.ed.gov. added Virga, parents wanted the meetings 86.4 percent. Vietnamese, Greek, that I’m able to do that for my daughter’s
to be “a valuable, interesting experience.” “Parental involvement is a particularly Farsi, Bulgarian and a number of school.” are taught how to choose age-appropriate neighborhood for potential passengers and
From there, the school developed a pro- important part of education, even more so other languages. More than 30 per- PTA President Elisia George agreed that books but also are given tips for story- also serves dinner—which averages 29

Photo by Paul Wood


Spellings Speaks on School Choice gram called Family Learning Night, which in Title I schools, because a lot of what we cent of the students are designated English the reception of the 95-member faculty has telling if they are not literate in English, large pizzas to feed everyone. “My kids
addressed the challenges listed in the sur- try to do is give access to the parents,” said language learners, and another 23 percent made life easier for Viers Mill parents. engaging activities to employ in the home, drive me crazy because they don’t want to
regardless of race, income or zip code—can options. And vey. Scheduled once a month, it would Kathy MacGillivray, referring to the eco- have received language instruction but no “I think any staff member who programs and questioning strategies modeled after be late for the pizza,” mused George.

L
ast month, Secretary Spellings deliv-
ered remarks at a forum on school read and do math at grade level. And we gave we must work serve as the premiere session for parent- nomic and language barriers that severely longer need direct support. a parent’s telephone number in their cell teachers’ lessons “so they’re hearing the The meeting commences at 7 p.m., as
choice at the Greater Allen A.M.E. ourselves a deadline to do it by 2014 because with commu- focused meetings, including the PTA meet- impact the low-income schools she sup- To buttress a school’s connection to its phone to reach them anytime their child same language at home as well,” said children assemble into grade-level groups
Cathedral of New York. (She is pictured at parents have waited long enough. … nity groups
ing, to make the most of attendance. In two ports with the county’s Title I services. diverse families, advised Family Learning has a problem is somebody who goes Piket, who works primarily as the school’s and are dismissed to the classrooms, while
right with the cathedral’s pastor, Floyd Flake, Over the last four years, we’ve learned a lot and faith-based
power-packed hours, the evening would MacGillivray, an instructional specialist Night coordinator Michelle Piket, “you beyond the call of duty.” literacy specialist. In addition, many of the those younger than the pre-kindergarten
and fourth-grader Shannen Peters of Allen about what works in our schools and what organizations
doesn’t. And we’ve reached a point where to help spread provide its time-strapped parents with who was a classroom teacher for 25 years, have to do a lot more outreach to At each Family Learning Night, the goal parent-sponsored events—including the age are whisked off to the
Christian School in Jamaica, N.Y.) The
we’re starting to face some tough decisions the word. … learning strategies to use at home with their said the school’s Family Learning Night make them feel is to educate parents, as their children’s book fair and Project READ, a weekly on-site day care
following is an excerpt of her remarks.
… It used to be that if a parent asked about how to fix schools that are falling short … In some children, a block of time to discuss school provides “an excellent model” for bridging comfortable.” first teacher, on how they can help activity shared by parents and students center, so
how a school was doing, we couldn’t of standards [for adequate yearly districts, priorities, and an opportunity to connect the gap between school Viers Mill, students reach their academic under the guidance of staff—support the parents can
progress] year after year. We’re public school with staff and other parents. and home. Such an which won a No Child Left potential. Last month, the common goal. Consequently, Viers Mill’s meet alone.
committed to working with states choice is Not long after its kick-off in 2001, atten- approach is needed Behind–Blue Ribbon Schools Award focus was math. For May, it reading efforts have virtually eliminated The next
A
THAN
to help turn around these low- non-existent
dance began averaging 160 parents and in this densely in 2005, has been so successful in will be college preparation: how the achievement gap in the subject: Whites 20 minutes
MO R E performing schools. because no public schools are meeting state
But at the same time, we have standards, and waiting lists for charter schools children—nearly a quarter of the school’s populated, subur- to build on children’s interests and skills to (91.2 percent), Hispanics (85.9 percent), are reserved
a responsibility to give parents are out the door. I’ve heard stories about parents population. “It’s really gotten off the ground ban community of create a pathway to higher education and Asians (85.7 percent) and blacks for the PTA
and students in these schools cramming into rooms like this one to draw and become sort of the tradition of the Washington, D.C.— which courses to select in middle school (84.9 percent) scored proficiently within meeting, followed
lifelines to help them now. numbers to see which students will make it off school,” said Principal Matthew Devan, county officials for an advanced education. 6 percent of each other. by a training session for home-based learn-
That’s why No Child Left the waiting list. You shouldn’t need to win the who replaced Virga this school year. boastfully dub At Viers Mill, whose motto is “Read, Additionally, to help build their home ing strategies, which are simultaneously
e 1 9 9 9 Trends in Behind gives parents options lottery to send your child to a high-performing
th s Empowering parents to become full Read, Read,” the overarching focus has libraries, at every Family Learning Night translated for the Spanish speakers who
de group on nal Mathematic like public school choice and school. …
-g ra a ti o S S ), children are given a new book and a account for half of the parents present.
eighth Intern y (TIM partners in their children’s education, been this gateway skill. Parents not only
v id eo study of s in the n d S c ie nce Stud sized iden- free tutoring. These options We’ve seen the power of choice in Washing-
A m a emph a chance to Meanwhile, the children work on activi-
classroo four other lessons ata and
along with providing other improve-
science an d th e rn s in d are unprecedented in federal ton, D.C., where the first-ever federally funded
tates atte ng win a $25 gift ties that are aligned with the curriculum
United S found that U.S. ety tifying p nnections amo education law. … opportunity scholarship program has given ment initiatives, showed
s ri c o
countrie cused on a va making evidence.
s … [However,] too many low-income families the same choices other immediate dividends. In certificate from for that marking period, before reconvening
fo es d
teachers s such as gam s ideas an nd other finding y
v itie s s io n se a n th b parents never hear about Americans have. Almost 1,700 disadvantaged 2004, Viers Mill became the Barnes and with their parents at 8 p.m. to read the
of acti -group discu The st mo
n d s m a ll
ts , b u t n ot
w e re re leased la ent of Edu- these options because students have received grants of up to $7,500 first Title I school among Noble. Raffle new books passed out earlier. For Virga,
a
e studen Departm for
to engag tly and in a way d the U.S. ational Center they don’t see the letter to attend the private or parochial school of Montgomery County tickets are now director of school improvement
n an N
cation’s Statistics in th
e
consiste loped coherent t. n that comes home in their their choice. …
ve n o in Public Schools to have handed out at initiatives for Montgomery County, this is
that de g science conte s in Educati ching Science
a lle n g in la ss ro o m p o rt Te a
su lt s F ro m child’ s backpack or they … Before No Child Left Behind, we had no
ch arison, c c, re tries: Re y, more than 70 percent of the door of the the best part of Family Learning Night.
In comp e Czech Republi F ive Coun 1999 Video Stud s can’t attend the infor- idea what we were getting. We could just see
, th s S se its third- and fifth-graders multi-purpose “That’s when you get to see the kids follow
Australia the Netherland the TIMS ws on the analy mational meeting at the the system wasn’t working.
p a n a n d d e rs to h ic h d ra le s so ns achieving proficiency in room when up on what they did with the teachers and
Ja h th- g ra w s ro om school. All of us— Now for the first time, we know exactly what practicing this principle that
eig las at-
exposed ssons that were of 439 c d in the particip both reading and families begin the parents also practice some of the skills
le pe from the federal we’re getting from our schools. … We’ve set out
science zed by a core t
videota ies.
tr
Clara Gonzalez said, “We are
a ra cte ri a c h th a g c o u n government to the to do something that’s never been done before. math. Moreover, it “Silver Sprung”—where arriving at they learned,” he said. “It’s just a great
ch ro in ils, visit
onal app tent For deta d.gov and
happy to come for any event
instructi ents to high con - es.e
states to districts to But I know it’s possible with your help. Together, when a cultural and commercial 6:30 p.m. The school arranges thing to see.”
ta that the school may give,
d
held stu and high expec http://nc hat’s New” for schools—must do a we’ll rise to the challenge.
s . revitalization over the past for a bus to circulate in the —BY NICOLE ASHBY
standard student learning h select “W 4, 2006, report. because the way they
s fo r , w h ic A p ril better job of reach- decade has attracted
tion pan the Visit www.ed.gov and click on “Speeches” for the

Viers Mill Elementary School


ple, in Ja ing out to inform
For exam e highest of the complete April 5, 2006, remarks. sundry immigrants. At
ranked th parents about their
Viers Mill, students come

AROUND THE COUNTRY


really answer the question. > Grade Span: Pre-K–5 > Special Education Students: 11%
We had almost no data and no benchmarks OHIO—This summer, the Cleveland toward an individual enterprise. It plans TENNESSEE—Teach For America, the systems, Memphis serves a disproportionate
for success. That’s why when we passed Municipal School District will introduce to add a grade each year and grow to 500 national corp of recent college graduates number of children living in poverty, with > Locale: Suburb > Percentage Proficient: In reading and
a new charter school that promises that students by 2013. Commonly referred to who commit two years to teach in under- approximately 71 percent of the students math, 86.4% (based on third- through
our landmark education reform law, the > Total Students: 656
every one of its sixth-graders will gain as E Prep, the school is an outgrowth of the resourced areas, is extending its reach to qualifying for federally subsidized meals. fifth-graders assessed on the 2005
No Child Left Behind Act, four years ago, > Race/Ethnicity Enrollment: state exams)
our first priority was to help states develop acceptance to a four-year college by the E CITY after-school and summer program Memphis this fall. In partnership with The expansion is part of Teach For America’s
54% Hispanic, 23% black,
strong accountability systems and high time they graduate. The Entrepreneur- for children from low-income families, Memphis City Schools and the Hyde Family plan to expand from its current 3,500 corps > Interesting Fact: The Family Learning
14% white, 9% Asian
ship Preparatory School, which will which was founded by John Zitzner, former Foundations, the organization will place members to 7,500 by 2010. Night program at Viers Mill boosted
standards for all students. We set a historic
operate year-round, will teach 125 president and CEO of Bradley Company, a > Free or Reduced-Price Lunch attendance to monthly school meetings
goal to ensure every child in this country— 50 teachers in high-need public school
Eligible: 69% from just eight parents to an average
students the skills they need to work Cleveland-based software firm. classrooms. Like many large urban school of 160 parents and children.
> English Language Learners: 37%
page 2 page 3 page 4
> continued from page 1 > continued from page 1

lary, fluency and comprehension using implementation of a rigorous evaluation. Department of Youth Services; San Diego care; a lack of presentations in native lan- Maryland added the fourth grade to its from 42 treat us in this school is great.” Each year Page 3, clockwise: Principal Matthew Devan with second-grader Esmeralda; Clara
Gonzalez with daughter Stephanie; first-grader Nina; and kindergarteners Emmett
research-based programs; professional The awardees include: Chicago Public Unified School District; Springfield, Mass., Public guages that would facilitate participation; benchmark levels the following year, the different she takes a week off from her cleaning job
and Michael. Page 4, left to right: Kindergarteners Hermela, Juverlis, Dagm, Tabraz and
development aligned with scientifically Schools District #299; Danville, Ky., Schools; Schools; and Memphis, Tenn., City Schools. and, simply, a lack of understanding about percentage of Viers Mill’s students mastering countries and to coordinate the school’s book fair. “I’m Corey; and first-grader Joseph. On the cover, Elisia George with daughter Ashelle.
based reading research; valid and reliable Multnomah County [Portland, Ore.] School For information about the Striving Readers the importance of their attendance. Overall, state standards climbed even higher, to speak Spanish, losing money,” she said, “but it’s one week Photos by Maisie Crow.
reading assessments; and the design and District #1; Newark, N.J., Public Schools; Ohio program, visit www.ed.gov. added Virga, parents wanted the meetings 86.4 percent. Vietnamese, Greek, that I’m able to do that for my daughter’s
to be “a valuable, interesting experience.” “Parental involvement is a particularly Farsi, Bulgarian and a number of school.” are taught how to choose age-appropriate neighborhood for potential passengers and
From there, the school developed a pro- important part of education, even more so other languages. More than 30 per- PTA President Elisia George agreed that books but also are given tips for story- also serves dinner—which averages 29

Photo by Paul Wood


Spellings Speaks on School Choice gram called Family Learning Night, which in Title I schools, because a lot of what we cent of the students are designated English the reception of the 95-member faculty has telling if they are not literate in English, large pizzas to feed everyone. “My kids
addressed the challenges listed in the sur- try to do is give access to the parents,” said language learners, and another 23 percent made life easier for Viers Mill parents. engaging activities to employ in the home, drive me crazy because they don’t want to
regardless of race, income or zip code—can options. And vey. Scheduled once a month, it would Kathy MacGillivray, referring to the eco- have received language instruction but no “I think any staff member who programs and questioning strategies modeled after be late for the pizza,” mused George.

L
ast month, Secretary Spellings deliv-
ered remarks at a forum on school read and do math at grade level. And we gave we must work serve as the premiere session for parent- nomic and language barriers that severely longer need direct support. a parent’s telephone number in their cell teachers’ lessons “so students are hearing The meeting commences at 7 p.m., as
choice at the Greater Allen A.M.E. ourselves a deadline to do it by 2014 because with commu- focused meetings, including the PTA meet- impact the low-income schools she sup- To buttress a school’s connection to its phone to reach them anytime their child the same language at home as well,” said children assemble into grade-level groups
Cathedral of New York. (She is pictured at parents have waited long enough. … nity groups
ing, to make the most of attendance. In two ports with the county’s Title I services. diverse families, advised Family Learning has a problem is somebody who goes Piket, who works primarily as the school’s and are dismissed to the classrooms, while
right with the cathedral’s pastor, Floyd Flake, Over the last four years, we’ve learned a lot and faith-based
power-packed hours, the evening would MacGillivray, an instructional specialist Night coordinator Michelle Piket, “you beyond the call of duty.” literacy specialist. In addition, many of the those younger than the pre-kindergarten
and fourth-grader Shannen Peters of Allen about what works in our schools and what organizations
doesn’t. And we’ve reached a point where to help spread provide its time-strapped parents with who was a classroom teacher for 25 years, have to do a lot more outreach to At each Family Learning Night, the goal parent-sponsored events—including the age are whisked off to the
Christian School in Jamaica, N.Y.) The
we’re starting to face some tough decisions the word. … learning strategies to use at home with their said the school’s Family Learning Night make them feel is to educate parents, as their children’s book fair and Project READ, a weekly on-site day care
following is an excerpt of her remarks.
… It used to be that if a parent asked about how to fix schools that are falling short … In some children, a block of time to discuss school provides “an excellent model” for bridging comfortable.” first teacher, on how they can help activity shared by parents and students center, so
how a school was doing, we couldn’t of standards [for adequate yearly districts, priorities, and an opportunity to connect the gap between school Viers Mill, students reach their academic under the guidance of staff—support the parents can
progress] year after year. We’re public school with staff and other parents. and home. Such an which won a No Child Left potential. Last month, the common goal. Consequently, Viers Mill’s meet alone.
committed to working with states choice is Not long after its kick-off in 2001, atten- approach is needed Behind–Blue Ribbon Schools Award focus was math. For May, it reading efforts have virtually eliminated The next
A
THAN
to help turn around these low- non-existent
dance began averaging 160 parents and in this densely in 2005, has been so successful in will be college preparation: how the achievement gap in the subject: Whites 20 minutes
MO R E performing schools. because no public schools are meeting state
But at the same time, we have standards, and waiting lists for charter schools children—nearly a quarter of the school’s populated, subur- to build on children’s interests and skills to (91.2 percent), Hispanics (85.9 percent), are reserved
a responsibility to give parents are out the door. I’ve heard stories about parents population. “It’s really gotten off the ground ban community of create a pathway to higher education and Asians (85.7 percent) and blacks for the PTA
and students in these schools cramming into rooms like this one to draw and become sort of the tradition of the Washington, D.C.— which courses to select in middle school (84.9 percent) scored proficiently within meeting, followed
lifelines to help them now. numbers to see which students will make it off school,” said Principal Matthew Devan, county officials for an advanced education. 6 percent of each other. by a training session for home-based learn-
That’s why No Child Left the waiting list. You shouldn’t need to win the who replaced Virga this school year. boastfully dub At Viers Mill, whose motto is “Read, Additionally, to help build their home ing strategies, which are simultaneously
e 1 9 9 9 Trends in Behind gives parents options lottery to send your child to a high-performing
th s Empowering parents to become full Read, Read,” the overarching focus has libraries, at every Family Learning Night translated for the Spanish speakers who
de group on nal Mathematic like public school choice and school. …
-g ra a ti o S S ), children are given a new book and a account for half of the parents present.
eighth Intern y (TIM partners in their children’s education, been this gateway skill. Parents not only
v id eo study of s in the n d S c ie nce Stud sized iden- free tutoring. These options We’ve seen the power of choice in Washing-
A m a emph a chance to Meanwhile, the children work on activi-
classroo four other lessons ata and
along with providing other improve-
science an d th e rn s in d are unprecedented in federal ton, D.C., where the first-ever federally funded
tates atte ng win a $25 gift ties that are aligned with the curriculum
United S found that U.S. ety tifying p nnections amo education law. … opportunity scholarship program has given ment initiatives, showed
s ri c o
countrie cused on a va making evidence.
s … [However,] too many low-income families the same choices other immediate dividends. In certificate from for that marking period, before reconvening
fo es d
teachers s such as gam s ideas an nd other finding y
v itie s s io n se a n th b parents never hear about Americans have. Almost 1,700 disadvantaged 2004, Viers Mill became the Barnes and with their parents at 8 p.m. to read the
of acti -group discu The st mo
n d s m a ll
ts , b u t n ot
w e re re leased la ent of Edu- these options because students have received grants of up to $7,500 first Title I school among Noble. Raffle new books passed out earlier. For Virga,
a
e studen Departm for
to engag tly and in a way d the U.S. ational Center they don’t see the letter to attend the private or parochial school of Montgomery County tickets are now director of school improvement
n an N
cation’s Statistics in th
e
consiste loped coherent t. n that comes home in their their choice. …
ve n o in Public Schools to have handed out at initiatives for Montgomery County, this is
that de g science conte s in Educati ching Science
a lle n g in la ss ro o m p o rt Te a
su lt s F ro m child’ s backpack or they … Before No Child Left Behind, we had no
ch arison, c c, re tries: Re y, more than 70 percent of the door of the the best part of Family Learning Night.
In comp e Czech Republi F ive Coun 1999 Video Stud s can’t attend the infor- idea what we were getting. We could just see
, th s S se its third- and fifth-graders multi-purpose “That’s when you get to see the kids follow
Australia the Netherland the TIMS ws on the analy mational meeting at the the system wasn’t working.
p a n a n d d e rs to h ic h d ra le s so ns achieving proficiency in room when up on what they did with the teachers and
Ja h th- g ra w s ro om school. All of us— Now for the first time, we know exactly what practicing this principle that
eig las at-
exposed ssons that were of 439 c d in the particip both reading and families begin the parents also practice some of the skills
le pe from the federal we’re getting from our schools. … We’ve set out
science zed by a core t
videota ies.
tr
Clara Gonzalez said, “We are
a ra cte ri a c h th a g c o u n government to the to do something that’s never been done before. math. Moreover, it “Silver Sprung”—where arriving at they learned,” he said. “It’s just a great
ch ro in ils, visit
onal app tent For deta d.gov and
happy to come for any event
instructi ents to high con - es.e
states to districts to But I know it’s possible with your help. Together, when a cultural and commercial 6:30 p.m. The school arranges thing to see.”
ta that the school may give,
d
held stu and high expec http://nc hat’s New” for schools—must do a we’ll rise to the challenge.
s . revitalization over the past for a bus to circulate in the —BY NICOLE ASHBY
standard student learning h select “W 4, 2006, report. because the way they
s fo r , w h ic A p ril better job of reach- decade has attracted
tion pan the Visit www.ed.gov and click on “Speeches” for the

Viers Mill Elementary School


ple, in Ja ing out to inform
For exam e highest of the complete April 5, 2006, remarks. sundry immigrants. At
ranked th parents about their
Viers Mill, students come

AROUND THE COUNTRY


really answer the question. > Grade Span: Pre-K–5 > Special Education Students: 11%
We had almost no data and no benchmarks OHIO—This summer, the Cleveland toward an individual enterprise. It plans TENNESSEE—Teach For America, the systems, Memphis serves a disproportionate
for success. That’s why when we passed Municipal School District will introduce to add a grade each year and grow to 500 national corps of recent college graduates number of children living in poverty, with > Locale: Suburb > Percentage Proficient: In reading and
a new charter school that promises that students by 2013. Commonly referred to who commit two years to teach in under- approximately 71 percent of the students math, 86.4% (based on third- through
our landmark education reform law, the > Total Students: 656
every one of its sixth-graders will gain as E Prep, the school is an outgrowth of the resourced areas, is extending its reach to qualifying for federally subsidized meals. fifth-graders assessed on the 2005
No Child Left Behind Act, four years ago, > Race/Ethnicity Enrollment: state exams)
our first priority was to help states develop acceptance to a four-year college by the E CITY after-school and summer program Memphis this fall. In partnership with The expansion is part of Teach For America’s
54% Hispanic, 23% black,
strong accountability systems and high time they graduate. The Entrepreneur- for children from low-income families, Memphis City Schools and the Hyde Family plan to expand from its current 3,500 corps > Interesting Fact: The Family Learning
14% white, 9% Asian
ship Preparatory School, which will which was founded by John Zitzner, former Foundations, the organization will place members to 7,500 by 2010. Night program at Viers Mill boosted
standards for all students. We set a historic
operate year-round, will teach 125 president and CEO of Bradley Company, a > Free or Reduced-Price Lunch attendance to monthly school meetings
goal to ensure every child in this country— 50 teachers in high-need public school
Eligible: 69% from just eight parents to an average
students the skills they need to work Cleveland-based software firm. classrooms. Like many large urban school of 160 parents and children.
> English Language Learners: 37%
page 2 page 3 page 4
> continued from page 1 > continued from page 1

lary, fluency and comprehension using implementation of a rigorous evaluation. Department of Youth Services; San Diego care; a lack of presentations in native lan- Maryland added the fourth grade to its from 42 treat us in this school is great.” Each year Page 3, clockwise: Principal Matthew Devan with second-grader Esmeralda; Clara
Gonzalez with daughter Stephanie; first-grader Nina; and kindergarteners Emmett
research-based programs; professional The awardees include: Chicago Public Unified School District; Springfield, Mass., Public guages that would facilitate participation; benchmark levels the following year, the different she takes a week off from her cleaning job
and Michael. Page 4, left to right: Kindergarteners Hermela, Juverlis, Dagm, Tabraz and
development aligned with scientifically Schools District #299; Danville, Ky., Schools; Schools; and Memphis, Tenn., City Schools. and, simply, a lack of understanding about percentage of Viers Mill’s students mastering countries and to coordinate the school’s book fair. “I’m Corey; and first-grader Joseph. On the cover, Elisia George with daughter Ashelle.
based reading research; valid and reliable Multnomah County [Portland, Ore.] School For information about the Striving Readers the importance of their attendance. Overall, state standards climbed even higher, to speak Spanish, losing money,” she said, “but it’s one week Photos by Maisie Crow.
reading assessments; and the design and District #1; Newark, N.J., Public Schools; Ohio program, visit www.ed.gov. added Virga, parents wanted the meetings 86.4 percent. Vietnamese, Greek, that I’m able to do that for my daughter’s
to be “a valuable, interesting experience.” “Parental involvement is a particularly Farsi, Bulgarian and a number of school.” are taught how to choose age-appropriate neighborhood for potential passengers and
From there, the school developed a pro- important part of education, even more so other languages. More than 30 per- PTA President Elisia George agreed that books but also are given tips for story- also serves dinner—which averages 29

Photo by Paul Wood


Spellings Speaks on School Choice gram called Family Learning Night, which in Title I schools, because a lot of what we cent of the students are designated English the reception of the 95-member faculty has telling if they are not literate in English, large pizzas to feed everyone. “My kids
addressed the challenges listed in the sur- try to do is give access to the parents,” said language learners, and another 23 percent made life easier for Viers Mill parents. engaging activities to employ in the home, drive me crazy because they don’t want to
regardless of race, income or zip code—can options. And vey. Scheduled once a month, it would Kathy MacGillivray, referring to the eco- have received language instruction but no “I think any staff member who programs and questioning strategies modeled after be late for the pizza,” mused George.

L
ast month, Secretary Spellings deliv-
ered remarks at a forum on school read and do math at grade level. And we gave we must work serve as the premiere session for parent- nomic and language barriers that severely longer need direct support. a parent’s telephone number in their cell teachers’ lessons “so students are hearing The meeting commences at 7 p.m., as
choice at the Greater Allen A.M.E. ourselves a deadline to do it by 2014 because with commu- focused meetings, including the PTA meet- impact the low-income schools she sup- To buttress a school’s connection to its phone to reach them anytime their child the same language at home as well,” said children assemble into grade-level groups
Cathedral of New York. (She is pictured at parents have waited long enough. … nity groups
ing, to make the most of attendance. In two ports with the county’s Title I services. diverse families, advised Family Learning has a problem is somebody who goes Piket, who works primarily as the school’s and are dismissed to the classrooms, while
right with the cathedral’s pastor, Floyd Flake, Over the last four years, we’ve learned a lot and faith-based
power-packed hours, the evening would MacGillivray, an instructional specialist Night coordinator Michelle Piket, “you beyond the call of duty.” literacy specialist. In addition, many of the those younger than the pre-kindergarten
and fourth-grader Shannen Peters of Allen about what works in our schools and what organizations
doesn’t. And we’ve reached a point where to help spread provide its time-strapped parents with who was a classroom teacher for 25 years, have to do a lot more outreach to At each Family Learning Night, the goal parent-sponsored events—including the age are whisked off to the
Christian School in Jamaica, N.Y.) The
we’re starting to face some tough decisions the word. … learning strategies to use at home with their said the school’s Family Learning Night make them feel is to educate parents, as their children’s book fair and Project READ, a weekly on-site day care
following is an excerpt of her remarks.
… It used to be that if a parent asked about how to fix schools that are falling short … In some children, a block of time to discuss school provides “an excellent model” for bridging comfortable.” first teacher, on how they can help activity shared by parents and students center, so
how a school was doing, we couldn’t of standards [for adequate yearly districts, priorities, and an opportunity to connect the gap between school Viers Mill, students reach their academic under the guidance of staff—support the parents can
progress] year after year. We’re public school with staff and other parents. and home. Such an which won a No Child Left potential. Last month, the common goal. Consequently, Viers Mill’s meet alone.
committed to working with states choice is Not long after its kick-off in 2001, atten- approach is needed Behind–Blue Ribbon Schools Award focus was math. For May, it reading efforts have virtually eliminated The next
A
THAN
to help turn around these low- non-existent
dance began averaging 160 parents and in this densely in 2005, has been so successful in will be college preparation: how the achievement gap in the subject: Whites 20 minutes
MO R E performing schools. because no public schools are meeting state
But at the same time, we have standards, and waiting lists for charter schools children—nearly a quarter of the school’s populated, subur- to build on children’s interests and skills to (91.2 percent), Hispanics (85.9 percent), are reserved
a responsibility to give parents are out the door. I’ve heard stories about parents population. “It’s really gotten off the ground ban community of create a pathway to higher education and Asians (85.7 percent) and blacks for the PTA
and students in these schools cramming into rooms like this one to draw and become sort of the tradition of the Washington, D.C.— which courses to select in middle school (84.9 percent) scored proficiently within meeting, followed
lifelines to help them now. numbers to see which students will make it off school,” said Principal Matthew Devan, county officials for an advanced education. 6 percent of each other. by a training session for home-based learn-
That’s why No Child Left the waiting list. You shouldn’t need to win the who replaced Virga this school year. boastfully dub At Viers Mill, whose motto is “Read, Additionally, to help build their home ing strategies, which are simultaneously
e 1 9 9 9 Trends in Behind gives parents options lottery to send your child to a high-performing
th s Empowering parents to become full Read, Read,” the overarching focus has libraries, at every Family Learning Night translated for the Spanish speakers who
de group on nal Mathematic like public school choice and school. …
-g ra a ti o S S ), children are given a new book and a account for half of the parents present.
eighth Intern y (TIM partners in their children’s education, been this gateway skill. Parents not only
v id eo study of s in the n d S c ie nce Stud sized iden- free tutoring. These options We’ve seen the power of choice in Washing-
A m a emph a chance to Meanwhile, the children work on activi-
classroo four other lessons ata and
along with providing other improve-
science an d th e rn s in d are unprecedented in federal ton, D.C., where the first-ever federally funded
tates atte ng win a $25 gift ties that are aligned with the curriculum
United S found that U.S. ety tifying p nnections amo education law. … opportunity scholarship program has given ment initiatives, showed
s ri c o
countrie cused on a va making evidence.
s … [However,] too many low-income families the same choices other immediate dividends. In certificate from for that marking period, before reconvening
fo es d
teachers s such as gam s ideas an nd other finding y
v itie s s io n se a n th b parents never hear about Americans have. Almost 1,700 disadvantaged 2004, Viers Mill became the Barnes and with their parents at 8 p.m. to read the
of acti -group discu The st mo
n d s m a ll
ts , b u t n ot
w e re re leased la ent of Edu- these options because students have received grants of up to $7,500 first Title I school among Noble. Raffle new books passed out earlier. For Virga,
a
e studen Departm for
to engag tly and in a way d the U.S. ational Center they don’t see the letter to attend the private or parochial school of Montgomery County tickets are now director of school improvement
n an N
cation’s Statistics in th
e
consiste loped coherent t. n that comes home in their their choice. …
ve n o in Public Schools to have handed out at initiatives for Montgomery County, this is
that de g science conte s in Educati ching Science
a lle n g in la ss ro o m p o rt Te a
su lt s F ro m child’ s backpack or they … Before No Child Left Behind, we had no
ch arison, c c, re tries: Re y, more than 70 percent of the door of the the best part of Family Learning Night.
In comp e Czech Republi F ive Coun 1999 Video Stud s can’t attend the infor- idea what we were getting. We could just see
, th s S se its third- and fifth-graders multi-purpose “That’s when you get to see the kids follow
Australia the Netherland the TIMS ws on the analy mational meeting at the the system wasn’t working.
p a n a n d d e rs to h ic h d ra le s so ns achieving proficiency in room when up on what they did with the teachers and
Ja h th- g ra w s ro om school. All of us— Now for the first time, we know exactly what practicing this principle that
eig las at-
exposed ssons that were of 439 c d in the particip both reading and families begin the parents also practice some of the skills
le pe from the federal we’re getting from our schools. … We’ve set out
science zed by a core t
videota ies.
tr
Clara Gonzalez said, “We are
a ra cte ri a c h th a g c o u n government to the to do something that’s never been done before. math. Moreover, it “Silver Sprung”—where arriving at they learned,” he said. “It’s just a great
ch ro in ils, visit
onal app tent For deta d.gov and
happy to come for any event
instructi ents to high con - es.e
states to districts to But I know it’s possible with your help. Together, when a cultural and commercial 6:30 p.m. The school arranges thing to see.”
ta that the school may give,
d
held stu and high expec http://nc hat’s New” for schools—must do a we’ll rise to the challenge.
s . revitalization over the past for a bus to circulate in the —BY NICOLE ASHBY
standard student learning h select “W 4, 2006, report. because the way they
s fo r , w h ic A p ril better job of reach- decade has attracted
tion pan the Visit www.ed.gov and click on “Speeches” for the

Viers Mill Elementary School


ple, in Ja ing out to inform
For exam e highest of the complete April 5, 2006, remarks. sundry immigrants. At
ranked th parents about their
Viers Mill, students come

AROUND THE COUNTRY


really answer the question. > Grade Span: Pre-K–5 > Special Education Students: 11%
We had almost no data and no benchmarks OHIO—This summer, the Cleveland toward an individual enterprise. It plans TENNESSEE—Teach For America, the systems, Memphis serves a disproportionate
for success. That’s why when we passed Municipal School District will introduce to add a grade each year and grow to 500 national corp of recent college graduates number of children living in poverty, with > Locale: Suburb > Percentage Proficient: In reading and
a new charter school that promises that students by 2013. Commonly referred to who commit two years to teach in under- approximately 71 percent of the students math, 86.4% (based on third- through
our landmark education reform law, the > Total Students: 656
every one of its sixth-graders will gain as E Prep, the school is an outgrowth of the resourced areas, is extending its reach to qualifying for federally subsidized meals. fifth-graders assessed on the 2005
No Child Left Behind Act, four years ago, > Race/Ethnicity Enrollment: state exams)
our first priority was to help states develop acceptance to a four-year college by the E CITY after-school and summer program Memphis this fall. In partnership with The expansion is part of Teach For America’s
54% Hispanic, 23% black,
strong accountability systems and high time they graduate. The Entrepreneur- for children from low-income families, Memphis City Schools and the Hyde Family plan to expand from its current 3,500 corps > Interesting Fact: The Family Learning
14% white, 9% Asian
ship Preparatory School, which will which was founded by John Zitzner, former Foundations, the organization will place members to 7,500 by 2010. Night program at Viers Mill boosted
standards for all students. We set a historic
operate year-round, will teach 125 president and CEO of Bradley Company, a > Free or Reduced-Price Lunch attendance to monthly school meetings
goal to ensure every child in this country— 50 teachers in high-need public school
Eligible: 69% from just eight parents to an average
students the skills they need to work Cleveland-based software firm. classrooms. Like many large urban school of 160 parents and children.
> English Language Learners: 37%
page 2 page 3 page 4
QA U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION POSTAGE AND FEES PAID
Calendar ED PUBS The U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
May 1–5
National Charter Schools
Week, a celebration sponsored & G L O S S A R Y
P.O. BOX 1398
JESSUP, MD 20794-1398
EDUCATION
Permit NO. G-17 The U.S.
by the National Alliance for
OFFICIAL BUSINESS VOL.5, NO.4 MAY 2006
PRESORTED DEPARTMENT
PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE $300 OF
Public Charter Schools. For students’ education needs, school districts FIRST CLASS EDUCATION
an activity tool kit, visit must conduct evaluations according to
www.publiccharters.org. As a prescribed procedures. Parents should be
kick-off event, the U.S. Depart-
How can I be assured of a told, in advance, about these procedures. VOL.5, NO.4 MAY 2006 www.ed.gov

ment of Education is hosting the quality education for my In addition, parents must give consent for
“National Charter Schools
Program Showcase,” May 1–2
disabled child? any evaluation or placement actions as well
as be allowed to examine the student’s
Spellings Announces First
Round of Recipients of
$30 Million in Grants Awarded to
T Help Struggling Readers
he Individuals with Disabilities Educa- records. Once a child is found to be eligible,
in Washington, D.C., to spot- Striving Readers Funds
tion Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) parents and school personnel jointly draw up
light successful models and
requires that all school districts pro- an individualized education program (IEP)
provide information on Depart-

A
vide a free appropriate public education to that describes the special services the child total of $30 million has been awarded for The grant-funded projects focus on middle
ment resources for expanding students with one or more of the 13 disabili- will receive, including annual learning goals. the 2006–07 school year to support the and high schools that have significant numbers of I N S I D E
the number of high-quality char- ties identified by the law and are thereby in If parents disagree with the school’s deci- implementation of eight projects disadvantaged struggling readers and that are
ter schools. Space is available on need of special education. sions, they may request an impartial hearing funded by the new Striving Readers program working to meet No Child Left Behind’s adequate
a first-come, first-served basis. Special education—specialized instruc- or they may file a complaint with the state 2 Spellings Speaks on
for improving adolescents’ reading yearly progress requirements in reading.
To register, visit www.sei2003.com tion designed to meet a child’s unique education agency. School Choice
skills, U.S. Secretary of Education They include a range of research-
and select “Registration,” or call needs—may be delivered in regular classes or For more information, visit www.ed.gov
Margaret Spellings announced based adolescent literacy projects
(240) 485-1700. separate classrooms, or, in some cases, in and select “Policy,” then “IDEA Reauthorized Around the Country—
recently. Over five years, the serving diverse populations and Ohio and Tennessee
separate schools, in hospitals or at home. Eli- (2004)” for “IDEA 2004 Resources.”
recipients are expected to receive rigorous evaluations conducted
May 7–13
gible children also may need related services
(
(
such as speech therapy, physical therapy and a combined total of more than by independent researchers. 5 Calendar
Teacher Appreciation Week, psychological counseling to benefit from
free appropriate $142 million. President George W. Bush’s
a celebration sponsored by the their special education. These services must public education: special “Reading is the foundation of budget for fiscal year 2007 Q&A—Special Education
National PTA. Established in fully support the involvement of special- education and related services that all learning, a key factor in earn- requests a $70.3 million increase
1984, the week’s observance needs students in the general curriculum must meet state standards provided to ing a high school diploma and a in the Striving Readers program for Education News Parents

provides an opportunity to that is available to their non-disabled peers. ticket to success in the 21st century,” a total of more than $100 million. Can Use
students with disabilities without charge.
honor the dedicated educators To ensure appropriate diagnosis of The Toolbox Revisited said Secretary Spellings. “The Striving Grantees may use the Striving
Readers grants help more students get the skills Readers funds for activities such as: interventions 6 The Toolbox Revisited
who teach America’s children.
For ideas on expressions of they need to succeed in college, the workforce for middle and high school-age students to
gratitude, visit www.pta.org News Show Explores Parent Options and life.” improve basic reading skills, motivation, vocabu-

C
ompleting academically chal- Using high school and college tran-
and select “Leadership

T
he latest tools country in which lenging courses in high school scripts, the study examines a national > continued on page 2
Resources,” or call toll-free U.S. Department of Education
and options parents and their dramatically increases the sample representing 1.1 million students A Night of Learning
(800) 307-4782. 400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
available to children have bene- who attended a four-year college, including
likelihood of earning a bachelor’s
May 18–19 parents under the fited from these
programs as well
degree, according to a newly released students who started out in community
Washington, DC 20202

The Achiever is a monthly publication Activity-Filled Family Meeting Leads to Increases in Parent
Commission on the Future
of Higher Education Meeting,
No Child Left Behind
Act will be the focus as the education
study by the U.S. Department of Educa-
tion. The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to
colleges. The data on which the study is
based covers a period of eight and one-
for parents and community leaders
from the Office of Communications
and Outreach, U.S. Department of
Involvement, Student Performance at Maryland School
of the May edition of options under No Education (ED). Margaret Spellings,
Washington, D.C., part of a Degree Completion From High School half years for degree completion—from In the late 1990s, despite arduous efforts to draw parents out to school

‘‘
Education News Parents Child Left Behind. secretary.
series of public hearings spon- Through College found that the academic high school graduation in spring 1992 meetings, the faculty at Viers Mill Elementary School continued to
Can Use, the U.S. Each month, Comments? Contact Nicole Ashby,
sored by the U.S. Department rigor of a high school curriculum is the until December 2000. Editor, (202) 205-0676 (fax), or receive a low response. “We’d be excited about the content we had
Department of Educa- Education News education@custhelp.com.
of Education. Convened by strongest indicator of postsecondary Nearly 35 tables support the 192-page to deliver,” remembered James Virga, Jr., the former principal of
Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings, the commission will
tion’s monthly television
program.
Parents Can Use
showcases: schools degree completion, regardless of a study, which also cites several postsec-
Address changes and subscriptions?
Contact (877) 4ED-PUBS, or
What we the Silver Spring, Md., school. “We’d publicize it, but then
and school districts student’s major course of study. ondary factors that contribute to degree edpubs@inet.ed.gov. only eight parents would come—and some of them would
hold panel discussions that
focus on access to and the
The show will spot-
light public school choice from across the The Toolbox Revisited surveys completion: entering college directly Information on ED programs, resources
and events? Contact (800) USA-LEARN,
try to do is be PTA [Parent Teacher Association] board members.”
Virga and his staff soon realized that the solu-
and free tutoring programs and country; conversations with school the class of 1992 as it moved from high school; remaining continuous-
affordability and accountability
of higher education. For
the ways in which these programs—and officials, parents and education experts;
and advice and free resources for parents
from high school to higher ly enrolled; and earning more than
20 credits, or seven courses, by the end
or education@custhelp.com.
The Achiever contains news and information
about and from public and private organiza-
give access to tion was in the problem. They sent out a
survey in multiple languages throughout
parental options under the law—empower education and includes
details, visit www.ed.gov
and select “About ED,” then
parents to ensure that their children have and educators.
To learn about viewing options, includ-
comparisons to a previous of the first 12 months of enrollment.
For a free copy of The Toolbox
tions for the reader's information. Inclusion
does not constitute an endorsement by the
U.S. Department of Education of any prod-
the parents. the ethnically diverse community asking
for the reasons why parents were not
“Boards & Commissions,” or
access to a high-quality education, regard- report, Answers in the ucts or services offered or views expressed.
ing webcasts, visit www.ed.gov and click showing up. The responses were clear:
call (800) USA-LEARN.
less of their race, income or zip code. Tool Box, which fol- Revisited, visit www.ed.gov, or call This publication also contains hyperlinks and
on “Parents,” then “News Parents Can URLs created and maintained by outside a lack of time, transportation and child
In addition, the May broadcast will show- lowed the class (877) 4ED-PUBS with identification organizations and is provided for the reader’s
case success stories from across the Use,” or call toll-free (800) USA-LEARN. number EV0143P, while supplies last. > continued on page 3
of 1982. convenience. The Department is not responsi-
ble for the accuracy of this information.

page 5 page 6
QA U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION POSTAGE AND FEES PAID
Calendar ED PUBS The U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
May 1–5
National Charter Schools
Week, a celebration sponsored & G L O S S A R Y
P.O. BOX 1398
JESSUP, MD 20794-1398
EDUCATION
Permit NO. G-17 The U.S.
by the National Alliance for
OFFICIAL BUSINESS VOL.5, NO.4 MAY 2006
PRESORTED DEPARTMENT
PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE $300 OF
Public Charter Schools. For students’ education needs, school districts FIRST CLASS EDUCATION
an activity tool kit, visit must conduct evaluations according to
www.publiccharters.org. As a prescribed procedures. Parents should be
kick-off event, the U.S. Depart-
How can I be assured of a told, in advance, about these procedures. VOL.5, NO.4 MAY 2006 www.ed.gov

ment of Education is hosting the quality education for my In addition, parents must give consent for
“National Charter Schools
Program Showcase,” May 1–2
disabled child? any evaluation or placement actions as well
as be allowed to examine the student’s
Spellings Announces First
Round of Recipients of
$30 Million in Grants Awarded to
T Help Struggling Readers
he Individuals with Disabilities Educa- records. Once a child is found to be eligible,
in Washington, D.C., to spot- Striving Readers Funds
tion Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) parents and school personnel jointly draw up
light successful models and
requires that all school districts pro- an individualized education program (IEP)
provide information on Depart-

A
vide a free appropriate public education to that describes the special services the child total of $30 million has been awarded for The grant-funded projects focus on middle
ment resources for expanding students with one or more of the 13 disabili- will receive, including annual learning goals. the 2006–07 school year to support the and high schools that have significant numbers of I N S I D E
the number of high-quality char- ties identified by the law and are thereby in If parents disagree with the school’s deci- implementation of eight projects disadvantaged struggling readers and that are
ter schools. Space is available on need of special education. sions, they may request an impartial hearing funded by the new Striving Readers program working to meet No Child Left Behind’s adequate
a first-come, first-served basis. Special education—specialized instruc- or they may file a complaint with the state 2 Spellings Speaks on
for improving adolescents’ reading yearly progress requirements in reading.
To register, visit www.sei2003.com tion designed to meet a child’s unique education agency. School Choice
skills, U.S. Secretary of Education They include a range of research-
and select “Registration,” or call needs—may be delivered in regular classes or For more information, visit www.ed.gov
Margaret Spellings announced based adolescent literacy projects
(240) 485-1700. separate classrooms, or, in some cases, in and select “Policy,” then “IDEA Reauthorized Around the Country—
recently. Over five years, the serving diverse populations and Ohio and Tennessee
separate schools, in hospitals or at home. Eli- (2004)” for “IDEA 2004 Resources.”
recipients are expected to receive rigorous evaluations conducted
May 7–13
gible children also may need related services
(
(
such as speech therapy, physical therapy and a combined total of more than by independent researchers. 5 Calendar
Teacher Appreciation Week, psychological counseling to benefit from
free appropriate $142 million. President George W. Bush’s
a celebration sponsored by the their special education. These services must public education: special “Reading is the foundation of budget for fiscal year 2007 Q&A—Special Education
National PTA. Established in fully support the involvement of special- education and related services that all learning, a key factor in earn- requests a $70.3 million increase
1984, the week’s observance needs students in the general curriculum must meet state standards provided to ing a high school diploma and a in the Striving Readers program for Education News Parents

provides an opportunity to that is available to their non-disabled peers. ticket to success in the 21st century,” a total of more than $100 million. Can Use
students with disabilities without charge.
honor the dedicated educators To ensure appropriate diagnosis of The Toolbox Revisited said Secretary Spellings. “The Striving Grantees may use the Striving
Readers grants help more students get the skills Readers funds for activities such as: interventions 6 The Toolbox Revisited
who teach America’s children.
For ideas on expressions of they need to succeed in college, the workforce for middle and high school-age students to
gratitude, visit www.pta.org News Show Explores Parent Options and life.” improve basic reading skills, motivation, vocabu-

C
ompleting academically chal- Using high school and college tran-
and select “Leadership

T
he latest tools country in which lenging courses in high school scripts, the study examines a national > continued on page 2
Resources,” or call toll-free U.S. Department of Education
and options parents and their dramatically increases the sample representing 1.1 million students A Night of Learning
(800) 307-4782. 400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
available to children have bene- who attended a four-year college, including
likelihood of earning a bachelor’s
May 18–19 parents under the fited from these
programs as well
degree, according to a newly released students who started out in community
Washington, DC 20202

The Achiever is a monthly publication Activity-Filled Family Meeting Leads to Increases in Parent
Commission on the Future
of Higher Education Meeting,
No Child Left Behind
Act will be the focus as the education
study by the U.S. Department of Educa-
tion. The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to
colleges. The data on which the study is
based covers a period of eight and one-
for parents and community leaders
from the Office of Communications
and Outreach, U.S. Department of
Involvement, Student Performance at Maryland School
of the May edition of options under No Education (ED). Margaret Spellings,
Washington, D.C., part of a Degree Completion From High School half years for degree completion—from In the late 1990s, despite arduous efforts to draw parents out to school

‘‘
Education News Parents Child Left Behind. secretary.
series of public hearings spon- Through College found that the academic high school graduation in spring 1992 meetings, the faculty at Viers Mill Elementary School continued to
Can Use, the U.S. Each month, Comments? Contact Nicole Ashby,
sored by the U.S. Department rigor of a high school curriculum is the until December 2000. Editor, (202) 205-0676 (fax), or receive a low response. “We’d be excited about the content we had
Department of Educa- Education News education@custhelp.com.
of Education. Convened by strongest indicator of postsecondary Nearly 35 tables support the 192-page to deliver,” remembered James Virga, Jr., the former principal of
Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings, the commission will
tion’s monthly television
program.
Parents Can Use
showcases: schools degree completion, regardless of a study, which also cites several postsec-
Address changes and subscriptions?
Contact (877) 4ED-PUBS, or
What we the Silver Spring, Md., school. “We’d publicize it, but then
and school districts student’s major course of study. ondary factors that contribute to degree edpubs@inet.ed.gov. only eight parents would come—and some of them would
hold panel discussions that
focus on access to and the
The show will spot-
light public school choice from across the The Toolbox Revisited surveys completion: entering college directly Information on ED programs, resources
and events? Contact (800) USA-LEARN,
try to do is be PTA [Parent Teacher Association] board members.”
Virga and his staff soon realized that the solu-
and free tutoring programs and country; conversations with school the class of 1992 as it moved from high school; remaining continuous-
affordability and accountability
of higher education. For
the ways in which these programs—and officials, parents and education experts;
and advice and free resources for parents
from high school to higher ly enrolled; and earning more than
20 credits, or seven courses, by the end
or education@custhelp.com.
The Achiever contains news and information
about and from public and private organiza-
give access to tion was in the problem. They sent out a
survey in multiple languages throughout
parental options under the law—empower education and includes
details, visit www.ed.gov
and select “About ED,” then
parents to ensure that their children have and educators.
To learn about viewing options, includ-
comparisons to a previous of the first 12 months of enrollment.
For a free copy of The Toolbox
tions for the reader's information. Inclusion
does not constitute an endorsement by the
U.S. Department of Education of any prod-
the parents. the ethnically diverse community asking
for the reasons why parents were not
“Boards & Commissions,” or
access to a high-quality education, regard- report, Answers in the ucts or services offered or views expressed.
ing webcasts, visit www.ed.gov and click showing up. The responses were clear:
call (800) USA-LEARN.
less of their race, income or zip code. Tool Box, which fol- Revisited, visit www.ed.gov, or call This publication also contains hyperlinks and
on “Parents,” then “News Parents Can URLs created and maintained by outside a lack of time, transportation and child
In addition, the May broadcast will show- lowed the class (877) 4ED-PUBS with identification organizations and is provided for the reader’s
case success stories from across the Use,” or call toll-free (800) USA-LEARN. number EV0143P, while supplies last. > continued on page 3
of 1982. convenience. The Department is not responsi-
ble for the accuracy of this information.

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