Sen. Murkowski's Education Newsletter for the week of May 3, 2010

The latest Education News you can use in one place.

New Source for Research on Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has launched a Topic Area: Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities.  The new Topic Area debuts with a first report, available at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/ece_cd/dialogic_reading/index.asp that looks at the research on dialogic reading, an interactive reading practice which uses picture books designed to enhance language and literacy skills.  Based on two studies that met WWC evidence standards, "the WWC considers the extent of evidence for dialogic reading to be small for communication and language competencies for children with disabilities. No studies that meet WWC evidence standards with or without reservations examined the effectiveness of dialogic reading for children with disabilities in the domains of cognitive development, literacy, math competencies, social-emotional development and behavior, functional abilities, or physical well-being."

ESEA Reauthorization News

This past week, the Senate HELP Committee held two hearings in preparation for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  See https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Education to watch Senator Murkowski question Superintendent Hinojosa of the Dallas Independent School District about the complexities of assessing English language learners at Thursday's hearing on Special Populations.

On Tuesday, May 5th, Senator Murkowski will serve as Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee for the hearing entitled, ESEA: Improving America's Secondary Schools.  More information is (and will continue to be) posted at http://help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=f3ef1b1c-5056-9502-5dcb-7eb0969b6c37.  

If you have thoughts that you would like to share with the Senator about this or any other ESEA topic, you can contact the Senator directly at https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=EMailLisa.

Ed Review Highlights

You can read the entire issue at http://www2.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edreview/index.html.  


The Administration has withdrawn a 2005 interpretation of Title IX policy...that allowed schools to use a survey to prove a lack of athletic interest.  The "Dear Colleague" letter clarifies that OCR requires schools to use multiple indicators to assess athletic interests and abilities and does not consider survey results, alone, to be sufficient evidence to justify an imbalance in women's sports.  http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/04/04202010a.html


Today, the Department officially launched the Promise Neighborhoods program...$10 million in grants available this fiscal year will support non-profit organizations with one-year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students within distressed neighborhoods.  The Department intends to make up to 20 planning grants, ranging between $400,000 and $500,000, with applications due June 25.  http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/.  Register for webinars at:  https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=207396&sessionid=1&key=15FEF9CB3F97B7B6064F1D1160373A4A&sourcepage=register.)

Technical assistance slides for Race to the Top State Competition: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/ta-workshop-201004.pdf and the Race to the Top Assessment Program http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/assessment-workshop.pdf).

Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund resources online http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) technical assistance webinars http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/rms-web-conferences.html.  ARRA webinar schedule, with links to archived ARRA webinars, is posted at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/web-conferences.html.


The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders recently announced the Administration's efforts to improve the lives of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities underserved by federal resources.  The Initiative will collaborate with agency officials and community leaders in roundtable discussions on education opportunities, employment issues, and health disparities.  Experts with hands-on experience will advise federal agencies on critical issues and share innovative models of proven practices.  http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/list/asian-americans-initiative/.  AAPI key facts and figures are at http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/list/asian-americans-initiative/keyfacts.html, and a summary of critical issues facing AAPIs is at http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/list/asian-americans-initiative/criticalissues.html.)


Listening and Learning About Early Learning meetings http://www.ed.gov/blog/topic/early-learning/.