Meeting the Challenge: Building & Sustaining Capacity to Improve Conditions for Learning

Join us on August 8-9 in Washington DC for a conference titled Meeting the Challenge: Building & Sustaining Capacity to Improve Conditions for Learning.

The conference, organized by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will explore five prevailing and emerging issues that influence conditions for learning:

  • school discipline
  • gender-based violence
  • behavioral health
  • bullying
  • school safety

The event will provide a unique opportunity for participants to provide feedback to federal, nonprofit, and philanthropic agencies to help shape future work in these areas. To learn more and to register, click here.

Summer Seminar Highlights Personalized Learning

On July 10, the Department of Education hosted a Teacher Summer Seminar titled, “What Teachers Need to Know about Personalized Learning.” The seminar provided perspectives on the meaning, purpose, and future of personalized learning from Department of Education staff; teachers from Maryland and Virginia also shared how they use real-time data to individualize instruction and engage students with varied abilities.

The archived seminar and PowerPoint presentations used in the seminar are all available online at the Summer Seminar webpage.

Announcing the 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund Competition

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the final application period for the $285 million Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) 2012 competition. This round of TIF includes a new focus on supporting district-wide evaluation systems that reward success, offer greater professional opportunities, and drive decision-making on recruitment, development, and retention of effective teachers and principals.

The next round of funding will also invite applications for a separate competition that centers on improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction.

Districts may apply for a share of funds either individually or in partnership with one or more districts. States and non-profits are also invited to apply in conjunction with one or more districts.

For more information on the 2012 application process, read the press release or visit the TIF program website at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/applicant.html.

Duncan Announces Pilot Program to Increase State-Tribal Collaboration

his entry is cross-posted from the ED.gov blog.

Providing the tools and flexibility to bolster successful education reforms at the community level has been the goal of the Obama Administration. From Race to the Top to NCLB flexibility, the Department of Education knows that one-size-fits-all policies don’t meet the needs of every school, student, teacher and parents.

This same approach is taken in a new pilot program announced this week by Secretary Duncan. The new program, “State-Tribal Education Partnership,” or STEP, will award $1.9 million in competitive grants to tribal education agencies to perform some state-level functions for certain federal grant programs.

When announcing the pilot program, Secretary Duncan noted that, “tribal leaders, teachers, and parents, are best-suited to identify and address the needs of their children.”

The STEP pilot program application is available at www.grants.gov (search for CFDA number 84.415) and will be due on July 13, 2012.

Click here for more information, and watch Secretary Duncan announce the pilot program:

May Issue of Superintendent Update Now Available

The latest issue of the Superintendent Update is now online. This issue provides a recap of the recently held Superintendent Call and provides information the publication of proposed criteria for next Race to the Top district-level competition.

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5/23-5/24 Safe & Supportive Schools Webinar Event: “Implementing New Programs—The Impact of Current Practice”

The Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center (SSSTA), supported by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, announces its next Implementation Webinar Series event, “Implementing New Programs—The Impact of Current Practice.” It will be offered twice to accommodate schedules:

  • Session 1: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 4:00 pm − 5:30 pm Eastern Time
  • Session 2: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 11:00 am − 12:30 pm Eastern Time

When schools assess the programs and practices they have in place to improve school climate, new programmatic efforts are sometimes implemented to address a school’s needs and strengths. The selection of new programs can be well intended and positively influenced by data collection, current practice and organizational realities. However, current practices and organizational realities can also impede the implementation process. Dr. Sara Truebridge, education consultant and researcher with an expertise in resilience and educational reform, will explore the “delicate dance” that can be required when new programs are inserted into existing organizational realities. It also will feature related work by Wisconsin’s Safe and Supportive Schools grant program.

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Upcoming Event: Education Stakeholders Forum on School Turnarounds and the School Improvement Grant (SIG) on Thursday, April 26

Please join us for the next Education Stakeholders Forum, which will focus on the progress of the School Improvement Grant as grantees work to turn around low-performing schools across the country.

The forum will feature educators and practitioners including:

  • Ann Chafin, Assistant State Superintendent, Division of Student, Family, and School Support, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Kelvin Adams, Superintendent, St. Louis Public Schools
  • Michael Haggen, Associate Superintendent, Office of Innovation, St. Louis Public Schools
  • Roy Sandoval, Principal, Alchesay High School, Whiteriver Unified District, Arizona

ED’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Michael Yudin and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and School Turnaround Jason Snyder will also share their take on the program’s national impact.

DATE & TIME: Thursday, April 26, 2012, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

LOCATION: ED’s Barnard Auditorium in the LBJ Building, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC, 20202

RSVP: To ensure building access, please RSVP with your name, organization, and title to EDStakeHolder@ed.gov no later than COB Tuesday, April 24th.

In addition, for those who are not in the DC area, this forum will be available on our USTREAM channel for live viewing on the 26th. ED’s USTREAM link is http://www.ustream.tv/channel/education-department.

Announcing the Relaunch of Stop Bullying website

stopbullying.gov  unveiled a revitalized Stop Bullying website – www.stopbullying.gov – on March 30, 2012 to encourage children, parents, educators, and communities to take action to stop and prevent bullying.

The website provides a map with detailed information on state laws and policies, interactive webisodes and videos for young people, practical strategies for schools and communities to ensure safe environments, and suggestions on how parents can talk about this sensitive subject with their children. The site also explores the dangers of cyberbullying and steps youngsters and parents can take to fight it.

“We’ve come a long way in the past year in educating the public about the health and educational impacts that bullying can have on students. But simply being aware of the problem is not enough,” said Secretary Duncan. “Everyone has a role to play, and StopBullying.gov features ways we can all take action against bullying.”

Research shows that bullying is physical and emotional abuse. Students who are bullied are more likely to struggle in school and skip class. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, be depressed, and are at higher risk of suicide.  There is a Get Help page, which is directly linked to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which means young people can get immediate help for themselves or others if needed.

The enhanced site responds to feedback from the March 2011 White House Conference on Bullying Prevention and the September 2011 Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit that awareness alone will not prevent bullying. The site now gives concrete steps that students, parents, educators and community members can take to prevent and stop bullying.

“Bullying is not just an education or health problem, it is a community problem,” said Secretary Sebelius. “We are committed to working together at the federal level to help communities, schools and families address it as a single problem.”

Follow StopBullying.Gov on Twitter or Facebook for more information on how to take action to stop bullying.

Source: U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

New Issue of Superintendent Update Now Available

The latest issue of OESE’s Superintendent Update is now available! The issue includes the latest on ESEA flexibility, information on recent guidance and studies put out by ED, and some resources for rural educators and administrators.

If you are a district superintendent or staff member, please be sure to sign up to receive these updates and invitations to regular conference calls with ED. Please visit https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USED/subscriber/new?topic_id=USED_13 to subscribe.