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OESE Welcomes Two New Offices: Safe & Healthy Students and School Turnaround

Two new program offices are now a part of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education: the Office of Safe & Healthy Students (OSHS) and the Office of School Turnaround (OST).

The OSHS, formerly known as the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, administers programs that help ensure safe and healthy learning environments for students, including those that deal with safe and supportive schools; health, mental health, environmental health, and physical education; drug-violence prevention; character and civic education; and homeland security, emergency management, and school programs.

The OST is charged with providing financial assistance and other support, including through the administration of the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program, for state and district efforts to turn around the lowest-performing five percent of schools in each state.

Learn more about these two program offices by visiting their websites, which can be accessed via the links to the right or on OESE's homepage.


National Meeting on Improving Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care

On November 3-4, 2011, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education and the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will host a national meeting, Child Welfare, Education and the Courts: A Collaboration to Strengthen Educational Successes of Children and Youth in Foster Care. 

The purpose of the meeting is to bring together State teams representing education and child welfare agencies, along with the judicial branch to discuss how best to promote educational stability and improve educational outcomes for children in foster care. Participating State teams are charged with creating a plan for cross-system collaboration to be implemented following the conference. 

For more information on the meeting, please visit

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Version 2.0 of ED Data Express Now Live!

The Department is excited to announce the launch of version 2.0 of ED Data Express, an interactive Web site aimed at making accurate and timely K-12 education data available to the public.

The new version provides the public with more dynamic tools interact with the data such as –

  • A mapping feature that allows users to view the data displayed on a map of the United States; 
  • A trend line tool, which displays a data element graphed across multiple school years; 
  • A conditional analysis tool, which allows users to view one data element based on conditions set by another data element. 

In addition, the site has improved documentation and added the ability to share information from the site using social networking tools, such as Facebook or Twitter. To view or explore the upgraded ED Data Express Web site, visit

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Summer 2011 Issue of the School Turnaround Newsletter

The Summer 2011 issue of the School Turnaround Newsletter is now available! The newsletter is a resource for states, districts, and schools who are undergoing school turnaround under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.


Meet the Expert: Dr. Melendez Featured on Colorín Colorado

Colorín Colorado, a free web-based, bilingual service that provides information, activities, and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners, has posted a new video interview with Dr. Melendez for their "Meet the Expert" series.

Through this series of videos, Dr. Melendez talks about her favorite teacher, her experiences growing up as an English learner, and her thoughts on how educators and administrators can better support the growth and success of English learners. In the video below, Dr. Melendez recounts a story about Jesus, a special first grade student.

The rest of the videos and the transcript of the video can be found here.

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A Teacher's Guide to Fixing No Child Left Behind

Previously posted on the blog, this new video discusses problems created by No Child Left Behind and details how the Obama Administration intends to solve them through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The video was written by a teacher at the U.S. Department of Education.

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Guest Post: ETS Event Highlights the Importance of Families, Fatherhood

By Ken Bedell
Senior Advisor, Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Center at the U.S. Department of Education

When ETS is mentioned I think of educational testing. I remember the anxiety of taking the SAT and GRE exams, but last week I saw a different side of ETS. They sponsored a day-long conference on The Family: America’s Smallest School. Speakers and panels discussed recent research on what is happening with American families, successful programs that are effective in supporting families, and family policy strategies.
The keynote address was delivered by Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the Department of Education. She set the tone for the discussion by describing the role that her family played in supporting her own education. Particularly moving was the story of her grandmother, who was a teacher in Mexico. After retiring from teaching she refused to join her daughter and granddaughter in the United States because she was so much a part of the community where she had taught for years. As Dr. Meléndez’ story illustrated, families teach children to value education.

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