More Data From The Register

Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment and Recommendations for Finalizing the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Achievement Levels Descriptions:
The National Assessment Governing Board is soliciting public comment for guidance in finalizing the Achievement Levels Descriptions (ALDs) for the NAEP 2014 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) at Grade 8. More information on the Governing Board’s work is at http://www.nagb.gov/.

Comments may be provided via email at telaldreview@ed.gov no later than May 30, 2014. Comments may also be mailed, to be received no later than May 30, 2014, at the following address: NAEP TEL Achievement Levels Descriptions, National Assessment Governing Board, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002.

Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; The Study of Teacher Preparation Experiences and Early Teacher Effectiveness-Phase II
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is conducting a study examining the relationship between teacher preparation experiences and early teacher effectiveness (The Study of Teacher Preparation Experiences and Early Teacher Effectiveness, formerly known as The Study of Promising Features of Teacher Preparation Programs).
This second ICR, Phase II, requests clearance for data collection activities (obtaining teacher contact information from districts, collecting data from teachers on preparation experiences via an online teacher survey, and obtaining student data from districts).

National Board for Education Sciences; Meeting
The Board advises the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) on, among other things, the establishments of activities to be supported by the Institute, on the funding for applications for grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research after the completion of peer review, and reviews and evaluates the work of the Institute.
Board members will hear remarks by IES-funded researchers with expertise in screening and progress monitoring, intervention, data-based decision making and professional development.

Our children are not lab rats to be studied and tested in order to determine how best to control their behavior as adults.

Providing an excellent education to every child in America requires that we focus on the gifts and talents of every child not the data collected or test scores.

Federal education dollars should be spent educating our children not studying them.

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On The Road To Success, Begin At The Beginning

From the Federal Register.
Applications for New Awards; First in the World Program-Development Grants
The FY 2014 budget for FITW is $75,000,000, with up to $20,000,000 set aside for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).

Absolute Priority I—Increasing Access and Completion for Underrepresented, Underprepared, or Low-Income Students
Absolute Priority II—Increasing Community College Transfer Rates to Four-Year Colleges for Underrepresented, Underprepared, or Low-Income Students
Absolute Priority III—Increasing Enrollment and Completion of Underrepresented, Underprepared, or Low-Income Students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degree and Certificate Programs
Absolute Priority IV—Reducing Time to Completion, Especially for Underrepresented, Underprepared, or Low-Income Students
Absolute Priority V—Improving College Affordability, Especially for Underrepresented, Underprepared, or Low-Income Students.”

This is another Federal Register post providing even more evidence that there are plenty of educational dollars available to properly fund an excellent education for every child in the United States.

On Wednesday, the Western Regional Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships hosted a conference titled, “Keeping Kids In School and Out of Court” at St. John Fisher College which brought members of the educational community and members of the Judicial community together with parents and community members to discuss ways to end the “school to prison” pipeline.

An investment of $75 million dollars to lower class sizes in urban communities and provide ALL children with an Arts based, experiential, education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of ALL children would make the Federal grant program offered above unnecessary.

Investing in the education of children at the post-secondary level is tantamount to pouring water into the ocean cup by cup in order to increase its volume; it is a waste of our federal tax dollars.

When we properly educate children at the elementary level, there will not be a crisis at the middle school, secondary, or post-secondary level. All students will have the ability and opportunity to apply for and receive academic scholarships to continue their education.

Properly educate children at the beginning of their educational journey and their choice of direction will be successful, regardless of their destination.

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From The Federal Register

Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017) Field Test 2015 Recruitment
Abstract: The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017) is the first study sponsored by the (NCES), within the (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, to follow a nationally-representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades (grades 6-8). The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the academic experiences and development of students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes.
Comment period ends in 30 days (06/12/2014)

Applications for New Awards; State Charter School; Facilities Incentive Grants Program
Purpose of Program: The State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program provides grants to eligible States to help them establish or enhance, and then administer, per-pupil facilities aid programs for charter schools. States eligible for these grants are those with per-pupil facilities aid programs that assist charter schools with their school facility costs.

Comment Request; Case Studies of the Implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments
The purpose of the Kindergarten Entry Assessments implementation case studies is to document the processes, accomplishments, challenges, and solutions of four states implementing KEAs, and to share what state, district, and school personnel have learned with federal and state policymakers, and practitioners in the field. These findings will support the technical assistance efforts of the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) regarding the implementation of KEAs across the nation. This information collection consists of interview and observation protocols for case studies of the implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments in 24 schools within 12 districts within 4 states.
Comment period ends in 60 days (07/14/2014)

Collecting data on our children and providing grants to States to establish more charter schools is not how Federal education dollars should be spent.

The research has been done and we know how children of all ages learn best; in a child centered system with small class sizes, passionate teachers, and a hands-on experiential, arts based curriculum that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of every child.

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Character Not Color

Another issue discussed at the 13WHAM Town Hall meeting was racism.

Board President Van White agreed that one thing the Rochester City School District needs more of are teachers of color that understand the behaviors of children of color.

This is the same as saying only Black lawyers can properly defend people of color because they understand why they might have committed the crime for which they were charged.

This district and every other district in America needs and deserves dedicated professional educators that love, understand, and know how to engage children in and get them excited about learning.

Excellent educators come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and all colors.

Our children deserve to be exposed to the creativity and passion of dedicated teachers so they can discover and develop their own creative passions.

President White said that he believes that everyone loves their children. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.

For some children the only positive experience they have with adults who care about them is in school. That is a reality of the “culture of poverty”.

For too many children the only place they feel safe is in school; the only time they get to eat is in school.

Every school should be filled with loving, caring, respectful, positive adult role models that show our children that although life can be challenging getting an excellent education helps in making successful choices.

Teacher assessment shouldn’t depend on test scores but on how well the educator interacts with parents, students, and other members of the school community.

Once teachers feel like they are a part of the community they will be less likely to spend thousands of extra dollars and driving hours to get as far away from the city as possible. Their children will attend the school in which they teach and every child will receive an excellent education.

Changing the system of education so that it concentrates on providing every child with an excellent education means providing every child with an excellent educator who inspires within their students a lifelong love of learning.

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Poverty And “Cultural” Poverty

At the 13WHAM Town Hall Event, Dr. Adam Urbanski, RTA President, made a distinguishing point between being financially poor and there being a culture of poverty.

What is a “culture” of poverty?

As defined by Wikipedia, “The culture of poverty is a social theory that expands on the cycle of poverty. . . It offers one way to explain why poverty exists despite anti-poverty programs. Critics of the early culture of poverty arguments insist that explanations of poverty must analyze how structural factors interact with and condition individual characteristics. As put by Small, Harding, and Lamont (2010), “since human action is both constrained and enabled by the meaning people give to their actions, these dynamics should become central to our understanding of the production and reproduction of poverty and social inequality”.

In effect, poverty exists because the “standardized norm” or “middle class” exists. To accept the concept “middle class”, upper class and lower class must also be acceptable, making poverty in America acceptable.

When our system of education, the structural factor by which societal norms are taught, ignores the gifts and talents of its most precious resource, children, and denies its educators the opportunity to engage and inspire the passions of their students by engaging their passion to inspire, the “standardized norm” conditions the characteristics of children and classifies all those who learn outside that standardized norm as unable to learn or disabled.

Our current system of education perpetuates the “culture of poverty” by maintaining a “standardized norm.”

To end both poverty and the culture of poverty it is necessary to change our current system of education to one that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of ALL children toward becoming positive, productive, life long learners.

Placing schools back in neighborhoods, creating and becoming part of the extended family of every child guarantees every child the opportunity to connect with positive adult role models who can lead them out of poverty and its culture on the path of educational success.

Freedom and justice for ALL begins with an excellent education for ALL.

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Simple Solutions

There is a great deal of discussion about the influence of poverty on education.

What the district can do.

Hire students, paraprofessionals, and teaching assistants, the unpaid and lowest paid in the district, to conduct after-school and summer programs under the guidance of one lead teacher. Most para-professionals who work with diverse populations of students can assist student workers while teachers work to prepare individual lesson plans for students to be taught by student tutors.

Students can also be employed by the district to act as interpreters given the various languages and dialects spoken by Rochester’s extensive immigrant population.

Summer camp instead of summer school can provide inner city students with rustic experiences that will broaden their understanding of life while employing students as camp counselors and project coordinators.

The district can acquire the property necessary to re-establish neighborhood schools understanding that parents who live in poverty generally do not have the transportation necessary to be involved in their child’s school across the city.

What the city can do.

Hire students as lifeguards, Teens On Patrol, Recreation Center Leaders, and offer internships as junior government employees.

Art students can be commissioned to design Main Street storefront artwork with a community vote on their favorite piece. Music students can perform at the various downtown parks and public markets to entertain workers on their lunch hour. Music students can also be encouraged to form school bands with the city and the district collaborating on a “Battle of the Bands” event.

A suggestion for East High, The East High Family Center: A place where the whole family is empowered to become life long learners, from conception to the grave.

Family education centers can teach parents how to love and engage their children. Grandparents, can learn how to engage their grand and great-grand children in developmentally appropriate educational activities at home while school children are taught how to self-discipline and hone their gifts and talents into the tools they need to succeed educationally.

The solution to poverty is an excellent education.

Change the system, change the outcome.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

From The Federal Register

According to the Federal Register, the government is still invested in collecting data on its students and families.

Education Department – Notices

Agency Information Collection Activities;
Comment Request; U.S. Department of Education Supplemental Information for the SF-424 Form.
Comment period ends in 61 days (07/07/2014)

Agency Information Collection Activities;
Comment Request; 2015 National Household Education Survey (NHES 2015) Full Scale Data Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.
Comment period ends in 61 days (07/07/2014)

Agency Information Collection Activities;
Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval;
Comment Request; Charter School Authorizer Annual Update
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.
Comment period ends in 30 days (06/06/2014)

Also, LEA’s can apply for federal grants to address student discipline and learning conditions and to improve results for students with disabilities.

Education Department – Applications for New Awards:

School Climate Transformation Grant Program-Local Educational Agency Grants
The School Climate Transformation Grant Program—State Educational Agency Grants provides competitive grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) to develop, enhance, or expand statewide systems of support for, and technical assistance to, local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools implementing an evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral framework for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions for all students.
Applications Available: May 7, 2014.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 23, 2014.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 20, 2014.

Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities-National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning
The purposes of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program [1] are to improve results for children with disabilities by: (1) Promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) supporting educational media activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities; (3) providing support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) providing accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner.
Applications Available: May 9, 2014.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 23, 2014.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 22, 2014.

There is no shortage of data or funding.

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