How Are You Increasing Opportunities in Rural Schools?

President Obama’s FY2013 budget request includes a discretionary funding increase of $1.7 billion for education, maintains critical formula funding that many rural schools depend on, and proposes new grant opportunities to support innovation. Many rural schools are forming partnerships to increase their capacity to compete for federal dollars, overcome their unique challenges, and increase student achievement.

On Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. ET, join John White, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach, and Sterling Speirn, president & CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for a Twitter chat about partnerships, innovation, and education reform in high-need rural schools. The Kellogg Foundation has supported rural applicants in the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund grant competition, and supports programs that propel vulnerable children to achieve success in many rural communities.

This is your chance to ask us questions and to describe unique rural partnerships and innovative solutions that are helping to overcome the challenges of distance and isolation in your rural communities. Send tweets at any time before or during the Twitter chat using the hashtag #ruraled. White will respond live @RuralED and Speirn will tweet @WK_Kellogg_Fdn.

Following the event, you can find a summary of the Q&A session at www.ed.gov/blog.

Budget Questions? Join Asst. Secretary Carmel Martin for #AskED Twitter Q&A

THIS TWITTER Q&A HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Yesterday, the Obama Administration released its 2013 budget request, which included new investments in education. The budget seeks to make college more affordable, align job training and education with the demands of the workforce, and elevate the teaching profession. Click here to find out what this means for you.

On Friday at 1 p.m. ET, join ED’s Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Carmel Martin for a Twitter Q&A on the 2013 budget.

Ask your questions at any time before or during the Twitter Q&A using the hashtag #AskED. Asst. Secretary Martin will answer your questions live through the @usedgov Twitter account. Following the event, you can find a summary of the Q&A session at ed.gov/blog.

#HispanicED Twitter Town Hall with Arne Duncan

Duncan answers questions at the Hispanic Twitter Town Hall

Secretary Duncan answers questions at the Hispanic Twitter Town Hall. Official Department of Education photo by Joshua Hoover.

An engaged audience with a broad range of questions joined Secretary Arne Duncan on Twitter and via video yesterday to discuss education issues facing the Latino community. Duncan was joined by José Rico, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and guests from Latinos in Social Media (LATISM). In all, Arne and José answered more than 20 questions. Here is a sample of some of the topics discussed:

College Affordability

https://twitter.com/#!/Vicky522/status/166925003693109248

Parental Involvement

Early Learning

To see all of the tweets from the event, check out @HispanicED on Twitter, and to see the archived video of the event, click here.

Join Arne for a Twitter Town Hall on Hispanic Education

To follow up on the President’s State of the Union Address—in which critical topics like college affordability, dropout rates, teachers, and job training were addressed—Secretary Duncan will engage with the Hispanic community through a Twitter town hall at 3:00 p.m. ET on February 8.  The conversation on Twitter will be conducted in both English and Spanish and will be moderated by José Rico, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Twitter users can ask questions in advance and during the town hall by using the hashtag #HispanicED.  The town hall will be streamed live on Arne’s Facebook Page and ED’s Ustream page.

David Terry is Deputy Director of ED’s Information Resource Center

#AskFAFSA Office Hours with ED’s Martha Kanter

With many schools’ FAFSA deadlines quickly approaching, FAFSA season is heating up. Last night, Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter took to Twitter to answer some pressing questions students & parents had about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Using the hashtag #AskFAFSA, Martha answered more than 20 questions over the course of the hour. She addressed:

Who Gets Aid

Tax Questions

Read More

Join ED and Teachers for a #TeachTalk Discussion on Twitter

“Teachers make thousands of decisions a day, and they don’t do it about an abstract idea, they do it about the life of a child. You can’t imagine anything harder.”

-Brad Jupp, Senior Program Adviser on Teacher Initiatives, Office of the Secretary

On Friday, January 27, the US Department of Education will welcome over 200 teachers for a screening of the documentary, American Teacher. Narrated by Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award winner Vanessa Roth, the film chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in different urban and rural areas of the country. It follows the teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers and provides a rich and compelling portrait of the teaching profession in America today.

Following the screening, participants will engage in a discussion regarding how we can reshape the culture of American education to better attract, retain, and support highly effective teachers. Because all of the tickets for this event were completely given away less than 48 hours from the start of registration, the Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellows have created a “virtual” outreach opportunity for teachers from across the country.

Following the screening of the film, while participants in ED’s Barnard auditorium are engaged in a live discussion, you will have the opportunity to engage with your colleagues, ED policy experts, and Washington Fellows in a Twitter discussion. We will be joined by ED’s own, John White (@RuralED), the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach. Participation in this virtual event is not dependent upon your having viewed the film. ED is looking for your input on education reform and ways to improve public perception of teachers so they are respected and held in high regard. How do we attract, retain and support the best teachers? To be a part of the discussion, log onto Twitter and use the hashtag #TeachTalk, starting at 7:45pm EST.

Greg Mullenholz is a Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow on loan from his school in Rockville, Md. 

Talking Title IX on Twitter

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the civil rights law that ensures educational institutions that receive federal funding do not discriminate on the basis of sex. Secretary Duncan has said that Title IX is “one of the great civil rights success stories in education.” To kick off the anniversary year, Secretary Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali joined Lisa Maatz of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for a Title IX tweetup.

Maatz and the AAUW took questions from Twitter users, and Secretary Duncan and Ali responded via Twitter. Here are just a few of the questions and answers addressed during the tweetup:

To see more of the conversation, follow Arne and the Office for Civil Rights on Twitter, and click here to see the #T9Talk discussion.

How Can Parents and Teachers Partner to Improve Student Achievement?

Secretary Duncan often repeats the call that parents need to be in full partnership with teachers in learning and understanding, making the education of their child a shared responsibility that includes teachers, parents and students.

For teachers– whose schedules are often quite full—finding ways to engage and partner with parents can seem overwhelming. Secretary Duncan recently took to Twitter to hear directly from teachers on the most effective ways to build partnerships with families and communities. Arne received an overwhelming response from teachers across the country, and most who responded felt communication early in the year and positive communication throughout the year were beneficial ways to partner with parents, families, and communities.

Below are just a few of the responses from teachers who suggested ways in which the school may effectively build partnerships with parents, families, and communities.

Incorporating these suggestions may add just a few more minutes to a teacher’s day, but will bring about benefits to the student-teacher-parent relationship that will last a lifetime.

Follow Arne on Twitter here, or sign up to receive a daily email with a summary of ED and Arne’s tweets.

Carrie Jasper

Carrie Jasper works in the Office of Communications and Outreach

Town Hall: 140 Characters at a Time

Twitter Town Hall

Secretary Duncan and John Merrow during the #AskArne Twitter Town Hall (Official Department of Education Photo by Paul Wood)

“I love my job,” Secretary Duncan said at the close of yesterday’s second #AskArne Twitter Town Hall, moderated by education journalist John Merrow.

Merrow covered a wide-range of education topics including teacher pay, early learning, and how to get more young people excited about teaching. Here are several of the topics Arne addressed:

Respecting Teachers:

Merrow pointed to a couple of Twitter questions about respecting teachers, and asked Arne if he believes that teachers have been subject to “teacher bashing.” Duncan agreed:

@usedgov: Arne: “No question” teacher bashing is happening. We need to elevate, not demean, the profession. #askarne

“Whether it’s teachers or the teaching profession,” Duncan explained, “we’re trying to do everything we can to elevate it, to strengthen it. To make sure we celebrate excellence, and to make sure that collective bargaining rights are maintained.

Charter Schools:

@tbfurman: Has the charter school movement begun to “police itself” – as you asked them to do last July? #AskArne

Arne replied:

@usedgov: Arne on charters: I see bad charters being phased out & closed down. There’s more work to be done. #AskArne

@usedgov: Arne: Need a high bar for charter schools. The chance to educate children is a sacred obligation. #AskArne

Later the topic of charters reemerged and Duncan explained:

@usedgov: Duncan: Where charter schools are high-performing, we want to support them. Where they aren’t, they’re part of the problem. #AskArne

Choice:

@SteveGrose: Mich lawmakers are on a path to increase school choice without requiring improved quality. Is choice a reform model? #askarne

Arne explained:

@usedgov: Arne: For choice to work, it has to be choices between quality. #AskArne

@usedgov: Arne: It’s really important to empower parents. If parents are not empowered, I’d have a problem with that. #AskArne

Testing:

@usedgov: Re: testing, we need to be evaluating students’ knowledge, but drilling on fill-in-bubble tests isn’t best way to do that #AskArne

Student Loan Debt:

@EDSuccess: #AskArne what policies are @usedgov considering to address student loan debt at public and non-profit schools?

Duncan replied:

@usedgov: Very proud of Obama admin’s progress on student aid, esp direct lending to cut out middlemen banks and put $40B into Pell Grants #AskArne

@usedgov: Find out more about lowering your student loan payments at http://studentaid.ed.gov

Early Education:

Stacy Casson: #AskArne When will this country make a serious investment in early childhood education for all children. Proven ROI as seen in Head Start.

Duncan noted the Obama Administration’s commitment to early learning programs through programs such as the recently announced Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge:

@usedgov: Re: early learning, it’s the best investment we can make. And @USEDgov is investing $500M into states for access to quality. #AskArne

To see all the tweets from the event, follow @usedgov on Twitter, and you can watch the archived video here. To keep up to date with ED on Twitter follow @ArneDuncan, @usedgov@ED_Outreach@EDPressSec or click here to see all of ED’s social media accounts.

ED’s Carmel Martin to Answer ESEA Flexibility Questions via Twitter Chat

Carmel Martin, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development will host a Twitter chat on Wednesday, October 5, from 4-5 PM EDT to answer questions about the Obama Administration’s recent announcement that states can get relief from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The event will also be broadcast live on ED’s ustream channel.

The new flexibility supports local and state education reform across the country in exchange for serious state-led efforts to close achievement gaps, promote rigorous accountability, and ensure that all students are on track to graduate college- and career-ready. Click here for more information on ESEA Flexibility.

Beginning today, Twitter users can submit questions to Carmel using the hashtag #EDFlex.

Secretary Duncan to Hold #AskArne Twitter Town Hall

The Department of Education announced today that Secretary Arne Duncan will participate in the first-ever #AskArne Twitter Town Hall on August 24, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Veteran education journalist John Merrow will moderate the town hall that will also be broadcast live on ED’s ustream channel.

Beginning today, Twitter users can submit questions to the Secretary using the hashtag #AskArne.

The Department of Education uses several Twitter accounts to share information and converse with the education community and the American people. For general news and information about ED, follow @usedgov. To keep up-to-date with Secretary Duncan, follow @ArneDuncan. Justin Hamilton, ED’s Press Secretary, can can be found at @EDPressSec, and Massie Ritsch, Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs and Outreach, shares information and converses with stakeholders, teachers and parents at @ED_Outreach.

Click here for a complete list of ED’s Twitter accounts.