From The Federal Register

Reopening; Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-Early Childhood Personnel Center

AGENCY:
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

SUMMARY:
On April 19, 2017, we published in the Federal Register (82 FR 18447) a notice inviting applications (NIA) for the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Early Childhood Personnel Center competition. The NIA established a deadline date of June 5, 2017, for the transmittal of applications. This notice reopens the competition until September 11, 2017.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
No applications received in response to the NIA were funded because the applicants did not adequately address the selection criteria for the competition.

[Which states: Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $2,000,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 1.]

Therefore, we are reopening the competition to allow applicants to submit or resubmit applications that meet the requirements in the NIA, in order to ensure that State Part C and Part B, section 619 programs receive the technical assistance necessary to implement high-quality Comprehensive Systems of Personnel Development.

[However]

We have eliminated the formatting and page-limit requirements specified in the NIA. Further, the specification in the NIA that the Secretary will not consider budgets above the maximum award amount is no longer applicable. However, we will only fund a successful application up to $2,000,000 for any single budget period of 12 months.

With only one grant being given, applicants should be able to adjust their proposals to meet the requirements outlined.

If budgets of more than $2 million dollars are being considered, will the applicants seek other federal grants to support their extended budget?

With eligible applicants being charter schools and nonprofit agencies is this a way for our government to use valuable tax dollars to promote the declination of public schooling?

Accountability for educational funding is imperative!

Spending $2 million dollars on one program assists a small number of children. Wouldn’t that money be better served by aiding public school programs that already exist to actually improve the services and results for all children?

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Will Rochester “Say Yes” For Its Students

This article, Buffalo shows turnaround of urban schools is possible, but it takes a lot more than just money
Black and Latino students have seen the most dramatic improvements, significantly narrowing the graduation gap with their white peers
by Amadou Diallo states:

“BUFFALO, N.Y. — When 18-year-old Karolina Espinosa looks back to her freshman year at Buffalo’s Hutchinson Central Technical High School, graduation seemed like a long shot. “At the time,” she said, “both of my parents were incarcerated. I had trouble with reading, and I had problems with attendance.” But in May, sitting in the office of her school’s family SUPPORT specialist, Joell Stubbe, Karolina talked excitedly about going to Buffalo State, where she’s been accepted into the class of 2021.

Karolina credits the turnaround to her relationship with Stubbe. “She’s like my older sister,” Karolina said. “I don’t really talk about my problems … or deal with my emotions with people. I don’t even talk to my [real] sister about them or cry in front of her. And I do that with [Stubbe]. Without her I wouldn’t even be in school, honestly. I would have been a dropout.”

As an in-school family support specialist, Stubbe serves as a liaison between students, families and a number of health, legal and academic support services provided by local community organizations. Stubbe has a counterpart in every public school in the city, yet neither she nor her colleagues are employees of the Buffalo Public School system. Their positions were created by and are funded through Say Yes to Education Buffalo, a local chapter of a New York City-based nonprofit.

In Buffalo, a Rust Belt city still grappling with high poverty and an under-educated population, the results of the Say Yes program have exceeded expectations. Since its launch in 2012, the city’s high school graduation rate has climbed 15 points, to 64 percent, according to New York State education department figures, the highest rate the city has achieved in more than a decade.”

All children need someone they can trust and rely on.

This program provides students with the guidance they need.

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Less Is Not Always More

This article appeared in the Rochester Business Journal: City Skills brings STEM experiences to city youth by Gino Fanelli

“Amid a small crowd of city school youth at the Rochester MUSEUM and Science Center, Mayor Lovely Warren stands close to Douglass student Smiley Samuel, the pair carefully manipulating construction paper into a makeshift windmill. Eventually settling on the right blade positions, the pair place their creation in front of a set of billowing fans. It remains still, the Mayor plucking it back up and moving back to the drawing board.

Samuel and her fellow classmates are part of a pilot program dubbed “Technology and Careers in Rochester Powered by AT&T,” a program aimed at inspiring youth into careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Financed heavily by AT&T, the program is a collaboration between the museum, the Rochester City School District, the Finger Lakes STEM Hub and the Seneca Waterways Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Included in the project is the City Living course; a five-week program immersing 12 students who are one science, math or elective credit shy of graduation into STEM-based field trips and hands-on experience.

“What we can do here is build curiosity and interest in STEM fields,” said Director of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub Joe Marinelli. “This gives students a chance to gain hands-on experience in construction, manufacturing and energy power in Rochester.””

This is a heavily financed collaboration between Strong Museum, RCSD, Finger lakes STEM hub and the Boy Scouts of America.

Is it a good program, absolutely.

However, this type of learning used to take place in schools at the elementary level of education serving entire classrooms of students.

Xerox engineers worked with students at the Fourth grade level serving hundreds of students until becoming a summer camp and Saturday school program for just a few.

Hands-on, experiential learning should begin in kindergarten along with art and music and continue throughout the educational experience. Waiting until middle and high school to shore-up the educational success of a few does little to benefit all children.

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Promises Promises

SUNY deans speak out against teacher hiring plan
By Bethany Bump

“The deans of education programs at 18 State University of New York schools are condemning a proposal they say would lead to unqualified teachers in New York classrooms.

The proposal comes from the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, the largest authorizer of charter schools in New York, and would allow certain high-performing charter schools to operate outside of the state’s stringent teacher certification requirements and instead certify their own teachers on the promise they produce strong academic results.

But critics say the move would weaken teacher standards in New York at the same time that SUNY and other education leaders are trying to elevate the profession. A chief concern is the requirement that charter school teachers have just 30 hours of classroom experience.

“The regulation change allows anyone with a bachelor’s degree to earn state teacher certification without broad and rich intellectual stimulation from education faculty, without taking appropriate coursework or completing an adequate number of field experience hours, without demonstrating adequate content knowledge, without student teaching, and without demonstrating the ability to teach effectively according to any standardized measure,” the deans wrote in a letter released Saturday.

. . . “It is entirely inappropriate to lower the standards for teachers because charter schools are finding it difficult to hire certified teachers, and is entirely unfair to the students in their charge,” the deans wrote. “Creating a cadre of underqualified teachers is misguided, shortsighted and harmful to the state’s children as well as to the profession of teaching.””

The Atlantic reports, “Charter schools are concentrated in urban and less affluent areas—and it’s not just because of practical reasons, such as available infrastructure and philanthropic funding. According to the Bellwether report, 56 percent of charter-school students live in cities, versus just 29 percent of all U.S. children.

. . . Relatedly, nearly two-thirds of the charter-school population is nonwhite, compared to about half of its regular public-school counterpart.”

We must change our current system of education so that all children will receive an excellent public education and not just the promise of one.

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