The World of Education in April 2011

The fantastic thing about living in DC is the chance to hear ALL about what is going on in the education world. With the recent announcements and concerns with the budget, education advocates are putting in their two cents and recommending certain actions while the House and Senate toss around the reauthorization of ESEA.

Here are a few announcements from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Community Outreach Team:

1.Voices in Action Continues:

The Voices in Action started with the National Youth Listening Tour. To close the tour, the U.S. Department of Education hosted the National Youth Summit on February 26, 2011; the voices continue with follow-up events and youth summits around the idea of college completion at the local level. Three such events have already taken place. Read about it.

2. Youth Led Promising Practices ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

All around the country, youth are leading efforts to improve their education, change school climate, and demand more rigorous course work. Read about youth led promising practices.

3.Equity and Excellence Commission:

The Equity and Excellence Commission will examine the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap, with a focus on systems of finance, and recommend ways in which federal policies could address such disparities. The commission is comprised of 27 members from a range of backgrounds, including education, law, tax, government, business, and civil rights. Currently the Commission is planning to host a town-hall meeting in San Jose, CA on April 21. Check out their webpage to find out more details and information on how to RSVP for their events.

4. Important News You Can Use

Department of Education Budget News:

Key education programs, including Title I grants to school districts ($14.5 billion) and special education grants to states ($12.3 billion), are approximately level-funded. The maximum Pell Grant award will stay at $5,550.  There is also new funding for innovative programs, with approximately $700 million for a new round of Race to the Top (with a priority on early childhood education), $150 million for another round of Investing in Innovation (i3) grants, and a $20 million increase for the Promise Neighborhoods program.

Read more about ED’s budget.

Other education-related news

1. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute just released a report identifying the top 10 issues that needs to be resolved in order for reauthorization to move forward as smoothly as possible.

2. The Alliance for Excellent Education is hosting a webinar on a recent study discussing findings on the latest high school transcripts and if the nation’s high school graduates are truly being prepared for college and career.