PEN Weekly NewsBlast for March 12, 2004
50th Anniversary of Brown Vs. Board of Education
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Public Education Network Weekly NewsBlast
                                    "Public Involvement. Public Education. Public Benefit."
                                    RESILIENCY RESEARCH: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
                                    Research studies over the past decade and more substantiate the impact 
                                    policies and practices that recognize and support young peoples innate
                                    drive -- no matter what their challenges -- for self-righting, normal
                                    human development. An understanding of this "developmental wisdom," or
                                    resiliency, must be integrated into adults vision for the youth they 
                                    with and communicated to young people themselves, argues Bonnie Benard 
                                    "Resiliency: What We Have Learned." Benard cites hundreds of studies 
                                    have found that "for just about any population of children that 
                                    has found to be at greater risk than normal for later problems -- 
                                    who experience divorce, have attention deficit disorder, suffer
                                    developmental delays, become delinquent, run away, were placed in 
                                    care, were born to teen mothers, were members of gangs, were sexually
                                    abused, had substance-abusing or mentally ill families, and grew up in
                                    poverty  more of them make it than do not. In most studies, the figure
                                    seems to average 70 to 75 percent." What appears to be crucial for 
                                    young people are caring relationships, high expectations, and
                                    opportunities to participate and contribute, whether in their families,
                                    schools, or communities. In school settings, Benard reports, "Problem
                                    behaviors in youth declined more the longer students were in nurturing
                                    schools and increased more the longer they were in non-nurturing 
                                    Several chapters of this valuable book are available online at:
                                    MORE DEMANDS, FEWER GUIDANCE COUNSELORS
                                    The job of a high school guidance counselor is only getting tougher.
                                    Budget deficits have forced districts in cities such as San Jose, 
                                    Greenville S.C.; Yonkers, N.Y.; and Chicago to cut counseling jobs, 
                                    April Austin. Many more districts have not been able to hire additional
                                    counselors, or have cut counselors' hours. Caseloads in some states are
                                    staggering: California averages one counselor for 971 students, the 
                                    ratio in the country. "When school boards are faced with a decision to 
                                    a counselor or a teacher, they go with the law. The law says that a
                                    teacher has to be in the classroom," says Joe Dear of the California
                                    Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Educators worry that, especially 
                                    poorer districts, fewer counselors will mean fewer advocates for 
                                    Counselors often provide a safety net for kids at risk for behavior
                                    problems, poor grades, or dropping out. And many times they make the
                                    crucial difference for disadvantaged students as they maneuver the maze 
                                    college admissions and scholarship applications. But the school
                                    counselor's role is not well understood, especially when contrasted 
                                    the better-defined jobs of classroom teacher or school psychologist.
                                    AT POOR SCHOOLS, TIME STOPS ON LIBRARY SHELVES
                                    At a poor school, the library is often the last priority, reports 
                                    Winerip. At many schools libraries have been neglected for decades. 
                                    collections are from the 1950's and 1960's. Children come in asking for
                                    Harry Potter, but there is no Harry Potter. Often there is no 
                                    no card catalog, no VCR, and no computer. Fahtemah, who is 12, says if 
                                    look hard you can find some good books in the library. "But it needs,
                                    like, more new and improved books," she says. "Some of the books you 
                                    they fall apart."
                                    A GENUINE EDUCATION PRESIDENT
                                    Some critics of President Bush's policy regarding elementary and 
                                    education have an alternative, writes George F. Will. It is: Let's 
                                    lots of children behind. In his view, liberal resistance to education
                                    reform and NCLB is crumbling quickly and arguments for more federal
                                    funding mask a greater resistance to accountability from educators and
                                    complacent middle-class parents.
                                    PUTTING ADVERTISEMENTS INSIDE SCHOOL BUSES
                                    On the outside, school buses will be just as yellow as they've always
                                    been. But if Brian Ungar has his way, the insides will be filled with a
                                    dozen or more colorful advertisements promoting colleges, touting
                                    toothpaste and warning against using drugs. Advertising in schools is 
                                    new, although the idea of putting ads in buses has gained momentum in 
                                    the last few years, said Jennifer Dounay, a policy analyst with the
                                    Education Commission of the States. Some states leave the decision on
                                    whether to allow bus ads up to individual districts. Others have state
                                    laws allowing it and mandating the ads be age-appropriate, according to 
                                    ECS report. In Massachusetts, a 2002 law cleared the way for school-bus
                                    advertising, while prohibiting liquor, tobacco, drugs and gambling ads.
                                    Other school districts are pursuing the idea. The Boston school board
                                    voted late last year to put advertising on 620 buses, which could raise 
                                    much as $600,000. In western Pennsylvania, the Montour Taxpayers
                                    Organization, a school district watchdog group, doesn't want children
                                    riding to school with ads. Even though parents and school officials 
                                    have a say in what is posted, its possible there would be 
                                    over what is appropriate, said Michelle Bitner, the groups president. 
                                    as parents feel our children are subjected to an enormous amount of
                                    advertising on a daily basis and one place to keep it out of is schools
                                    and school buses," she said.
                                    ENGLISH IN DECLINE AS A FIRST LANGUAGE, STUDY SAYS
                                    It may be time to brush up on your Mandarin, writes Stefan Lovgren.
                                    According to one new study, the percentage of the global population 
                                    grew up speaking English as its first language is declining. In 
                                    an increasing number of people now speak more than one language.  In 
                                    future, English is likely to be one of those languages, but the 
                                    form of Chinese will probably be the next must-learn language, 
                                    in Asia.  "English is becoming a major mechanism for social and 
                                    exclusion and creating new divides," David Graddol said. "In many parts 
                                    the world, English is now regarded as a basic skill, like computer 
                                    which children learn at an early age so they can study through English
                                    WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD A MULTILINGUAL SOCIETY
                                    In todays global society, the ability to speak more than one language 
                                    a valuable asset. Americans fluent in languages other than English 
                                    our economic competitiveness abroad, improve global communication, help 
                                    maintain our political and security interests, and promote tolerance 
                                    intercultural awareness. Research has found a positive link between
                                    proficiency in more than one language and cognitive and academic 
                                    Some studies indicate that individuals who learn a second language are
                                    more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do
                                    not. Standardized test results show that students who have focused on
                                    foreign language studies routinely achieve among the highest scores in 
                                    subjects. Although the opportunities for learning languages may vary
                                    depending on where we live in the United States, there are many ways 
                                    we can encourage the study of languages in our homes, in our schools, 
                                    our work places, and in our communities.
                                    ACCOUNTABILITY CONFLICTS VEX SCHOOLS
                                    Gove Elementary School is one of Florida's "schools on the rise,"
                                    according to the state accountability system, and John Glenn Middle 
                                    of International Studies is one of California's three model schools for
                                    grades 6-8., reports David Hoff. But neither earns a passing mark under
                                    new federal accountability rules. The contradictory experiences of the 
                                    schools on opposite coasts is common, now that states with existing
                                    accountability systems must also issue school report cards under the No
                                    Child Left Behind Act. The mixed messages, state officials say, may
                                    deflect attention from improvement, and make it hard for administrators 
                                    explain why schools receive positive and negative report cards --
                                    sometimes simultaneously. For educators, the conflicting results can be 
                                    major headache, or a lesson in what needs to happen to reach all 
                                    But for the principals at Florida's Gove Elementary and California's 
                                    Glenn Middle School, the bad news on the federal report card gave them
                                    reason to pay attention to the children who haven't reached 
                                    EDISON SCORES A MUCH-NEEDED VICTORY
                                    It may be too early to write the obituary for the experiment of using
                                    private companies to run public schools, writes Steve Friess. After 
                                    of questions about the effectiveness of their teaching methods and the
                                    recent humiliation of watching the value of their stock plummet, Edison
                                    Schools Inc. enjoyed a much-needed public relations boost last week 
                                    when a
                                    surge in test scores for their Las Vegas students showed that private
                                    management of some public schools could be beneficial. Clark County 
                                    District officials said they continue to take a wait-and-see attitude,
                                    with skeptical school board trustee Shirley Barber noting that reading 
                                    language arts scores have yet to improve. Still, even Mrs. Barber's
                                    criticism is softening, and Deputy Superintendent Augustin Orci told 
                                    Las Vegas Sun that the results "aren't anything to jump up and down 
                                    but they aren't anything to throw [Edison] out over, either."
                                    STILL SEPARATE, STILL UNEQUAL
                                    Those who are not familiar with America's urban public schools may not
                                    appreciate the enormity of de facto segregation in our nation's
                                    classrooms, writes Leo Casey. And just as in 1954, that which is 
                                    is unequal. Inner-city public schools are more often located in
                                    overcrowded, rundown facilities, more frequently stuck with inadequate 
                                    out-of-date books, learning technology, and laboratory equipment, and 
                                    often staffed by inexperienced and ill-prepared teachers teaching 
                                    oversized classes. After synthesizing numerous studies and books, Casey
                                    concludes, "The struggle for racial justice in American education went
                                    seriously awry when the battle to desegregate public schools was
                                    abandoned. As important as efforts to gain financial equity in 
                                    are, they can not be the sole front of the struggle for equality. If
                                    progressive reform efforts are to regain the political initiative in
                                    education, progressives must find a way to put the question of how to
                                    replace separate and unequal schooling with quality, integrated 
                                    for all on the America political agenda once again."
                                    EMOTIONS IMPACT STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
                                    In the article "Promoting Academic Achievement through Social and
                                    Emotional Learning," the authors illustrate that there is a strong
                                    relationship between social and emotional learning and academic 
                                    They argue that academics should integrate social and emotional 
                                    core competencies such as: Self Awareness; Social Awareness; Self
                                    Management; Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making. 
                                    are enhancing and advancing the academic mission of the school, and
                                    helping students address barriers that may be limiting their academic
                                    FUNDING EDUCATIONS CHANGING FACE
                                    The parallel trends of growing enrollments and higher standards are
                                    driving up the cost of teaching Virginia's 1.1 million public school
                                    students, educators and policymakers, reports Liz Seymour. The small 
                                    of Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley is best known as the home of
                                    James Madison University. But now its public schools are drawing
                                    attention: They have the highest percentage of Virginia students who
                                    aren't fluent in English. The number of immigrant children rose 829
                                    percent in the last decade, school officials said, because of job
                                    opportunities at the city's poultry farms and in the federal Refugee
                                    Resettlement Program office. The enrollment spike has transformed the
                                    4,000-student school system. In the last five years, the number of
                                    teachers of English as a Second Language has tripled. The need for
                                    small-group instruction has swallowed up classroom space, requiring 26
                                    trailers. Enrollment in summer school and after-school programs is up
                                    sharply to prepare these newcomers to pass the high-stakes Virginia
                                    Standards of Learning exams and to meet the academic progress mandated 
                                    the federal No Child Left Behind law. "This poses dramatic [financial]
                                    challenges for our schools," Superintendent Donald J. Ford Jr. said. 
                                    is becoming more and more difficult for the locality to meet our 
                                    State aid "doesn't come anywhere close to providing the services we 
                                    provide," he said. Every year, school districts say they don't get 
                                    money from the state. And every year, the state says it doesn't have
                                    enough money to spend on education.
                                    ARE WE OVERDETECTING FAILURE IN SCHOOLS?
                                    Test score figures point to problems in screening similar to those in
                                    medical tests, which can fail in two major ways: They can fail to 
                                    detect a
                                    problem that exists, or they can detect a problem when none exists,
                                    producing a "false positive." Overdetection may lead to unnecessary 
                                    or prostate surgery, and the acute anxiety that goes with it.
                                    Overdetection of failure in our schools will lead to largely successful
                                    schools' carrying the stigma of failure, and to a huge dissipation of
                                    state and local resources to deal with problems that don't exist (this 
                                    the true hidden, unfunded cost of the No Child Left Behind law). Never
                                    before in American education has such a relatively small federal outlay 
                                    money leveraged such extensive federal intervention in our schools, 
                                    Thomas Newkirk.
                                    TEEN MAKES DUCT TAPE PROM DRESS & ACCESSORIES
                                    For most people, a conversation about "taping" something usually 
                                    wrapping gifts, piecing together a ripped paper or recording some 
                                    television show. But to 17-year-old Rachael Reichert, taping is an art
                                    form that yields fashionable results, reports Kelli Grant. Reichert
                                    creates duct tape dresses, skirts, bags, wallets, flowers and other 
                                    for local businesses through her company "What Would Duct Tape Do?" She
                                    began taping three years ago, shortly before she became a freshman at
                                    Lansing High School. After a failed attempt to craft a shirt out of 
                                    tape, Reichert succeeded in making a dress. "I thought it was cool that 
                                    could make things out of tape," she said. Although there are hundreds 
                                    books on duct tape projects, Reichert said she hasn't read any of them.
                                    She goes by her own designs and intuition of what will work. Her 
                                    have also become more ambitious. Reichert made her dress for the junior
                                    prom, and crafted a matching tuxedo for her date -- both of which were
                                    entered into the nationwide Stuck on Prom contest for duct tape prom
                                    outfits. She's also made several Halloween costumes, including Alice in
                                    Wonderland and Edward Scissorhands.
                                    The Education Commission of the States (ECS) and Mid-continent Research
                                    for Education and Learning (McREL) have launched a new online tool to 
                                    policymakers, education leaders, reporters and others better understand
                                    and evaluate education research. The interactive, online document is a
                                    first-of-its kind effort. The primer helps policymakers and other
                                    interested individuals answer three questions: (1) What does the 
                                    say? (2) Is the research trustworthy? (3) How can the research be used 
                                    guide policy? It was written by McREL Principal Researcher Patricia 
                                    and funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.
                                    Utilizing a sophisticated value-added model built from 600,000 North
                                    Carolina elementary student test scores during a 3-year period, an
                                    independent research team has found that National Board Certified 
                                    (NBCTs) are far more likely to improve student achievement as measured 
                                    the states highly touted standardized testing system.  The research 
                                    led by labor economist Dan Goldhaber of the University of Washington 
                                    the Urban Institute, has noted that these findings "provide direct
                                    evidence that the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
                                    (NBPTS) is identifying and certifying teachers who will raise student
                                    achievement" and they "could put to rest some of the controversy in
                                    education circles surrounding the national certification."  In 
                                    the study concluded that National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs): (1) 
                                    Are more effective at raising student achievement than teachers who
                                    pursue, but fail to obtain, NBPTS certification; (2) Are more effective 
                                    raising student achievement -- outside of the year in which they apply 
                                    than teachers who do not pursue NBPTS certification; (3) Have a greater
                                    impact with younger students; (4) Have a greater impact with low-income
                                    MUSIC EDUCATION BUILDS INTELLIGENCE
                           focuses on reaching parents and teachers who are 
                                    massive cuts in school music programs, and providing them with the 
                                    and information needed to take action on behalf of their childrens
                                    education and future. The website is an innovative system that 
                                    the advocacy process for community members by allowing them to 
                                    their campaigns in support of local music programs.  This resource is
                                    offered for those who are interested in preserving music education for
                                    children, but who may not have the experience working with Boards of
                                    Education and other decision makers. Specifically, the "Build Your 
                                    resource featured on presents users with tailored
                                    information that addresses the specific challenges faced by music
                                    education in their communities.  Visitors to the site can access
                                    information that will answer questions about the value of music in
                                    building intelligence, address the ways that budget cuts improperly 
                                    music programs and help combat the trend of eliminating music from
                                    schools curriculums.
                                    KIDS ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
                                    They may not yet have voting rights or drivers licenses, but high 
                                    students have blazed the campaign trails alongside adults in this 
                                    Democratic Presidential primaries. Wanting to learn more,
                           (WKCD) recently tracked down several dozen of these
                                    teenaged activists -- most doing their footwork for John Edwards, John
                                    Kerry, or Howard Dean-- and through phone interviews and email 
                                    gathered their stories. These teenagers -- informed, thoughtful, and
                                    outspoken  "do their homework" on the issues and the candidates and 
                                    to their own decisions. They challenge peers and adults in and out of
                                    school. They express outrage at the current administrations policies;
                                    indignation that so many Americans waste the opportunity to vote; 
                                    enthusiasm for progressive causes; and finally, astonishment at their 
                                    influence on the elections.
                                    SEXUAL ABUSE BY EDUCATORS IS SCRUTINIZED
                                    A draft report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education 
                                    that far too little is known about the prevalence of sexual misconduct 
                                    teachers or other school employees, but estimates that millions of
                                    children are being affected by it during their school-age years. 
                                    in response to a requirement in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, 
                                    report by a university-based expert on schoolhouse sexual misconduct
                                    concludes that the issue "is woefully understudied" and that solid
                                    national data on its prevalence are sorely needed. Yet despite the
                                    limitations of the existing research base, reports Caroline Hendrie, 
                                    scope of the problem appears to far exceed the priest abuse scandal in 
                                    Roman Catholic Church, said Charol Shakeshaft, the Hofstra University
                                    scholar who prepared the report. The best data available suggest that
                                    nearly 10 percent of American students are targets of unwanted sexual
                                    attention by public school employees -- ranging from sexual comments to
                                    rape -- at some point during their school-age years, Ms. Shakeshaft 
                                    OVERCOMING THE LACK OF MOTIVATION FOR LEARNING
                                    Teachers say that the most frustrating aspect of dealing with students 
                                    "lack of motivation for learning." In this article from KAPPAN magazine
                                    (March 2004), the authors describe the Paideia Coached Project, an
                                    approach that more and more schools are adopting in an effort to combat
                                    this pervasive problem. "When students know that their project or
                                    performance will be presented to an audience outside the classroom, 
                                    are inspired to produce work of the highest quality."
                                    TEACHING & LEARNING FOR PEACE
                                    The Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation seeks to support any 
                                    and children in communities, both locally and internationally, who are
                                    interested in focusing their attention upon telling and sharing stories 
                                    hope and peace. These stories have happy endings in which everybody 
                                    TLPF also promotes the telling of good news stories. In today's world
                                    newspapers and televisions often share stories that are not good news 
                                    peace-building stories. Therefore to counterbalance the negativity and
                                    hopelessness TLPF encourages telling and sharing peace-building stories
                                    and creating magical healing and transformative spaces such stories can
                                    develop. TLPF seeks to create a universal peace consciousness that will
                                    guide world citizens as we work together to create a peaceful world for
                                    all the children and the generations to follow.
                                    |---------------GRANT AND FUNDING INFORMATION--------------|
                                    "Baseball Tomorrow Fund"
                                    The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a joint initiative between Major League
                                    Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The mission 
                                    the Baseball Tomorrow Fund is to promote and enhance the growth of
                                    baseball in the United States, Canada and throughout the world by 
                                    programs, fields and equipment purchases to encourage and maintain 
                                    participation in the game. Grants from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund are
                                    designed to be sufficiently flexible to enable applicants to address 
                                    unique to their communities. The funds may be used to finance a new
                                    program, expand or improve an existing program, undertake a new
                                    collaborative effort, or obtain facilities or equipment necessary for
                                    youth baseball or softball programs.  Next application deadline: April 
                                    "Teammates for Schools Foundation"
                                    The Teammates for Kids Foundation accepts proposals for grants from
                                    nonprofit organizations that specialize in working with children. 
                                    from the Foundation support the on-going work of operating 
                                    that help needy children in the areas of health, education and 
                                    services. The Foundation's giving cycle is semi-annual and the next
                                    application deadline is April 1, 2004.
                                    "Department of Education Forecast of Funding"
                                    This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which
                                    the Department of Education has invited or expects to invite 
                                    for new awards for FY 2004 and provides actual or estimated deadline 
                                    for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are 
                                    the form of charts -- organized according to the Department's principal
                                    program offices -- and include programs and competitions we have
                                    previously announced, as well as those they plan to announce at a later
                                    date. Note: This document is advisory only and is not an official
                                    application notice of the Department of Education. They expect to 
                                    updates to this document through July 2004.
                                    The Grantionary is a list of grant-related terms and their definitions.
                                    GrantsAlert is a website that helps nonprofits, especially those 
                                    in education, secure the funds they need to continue their important 
                                    "Grant Writing Tips"
                                    SchoolGrants has compiled an excellent set of grant writing tips for 
                                    that need help in developing grant proposals.
                                    FastWEB is the largest online scholarship search available, with 
                                    scholarships representing over one billion in scholarship dollars. It
                                    provides students with accurate, regularly updated information on
                                    scholarships, grants, and fellowships suited to their goals and
                                    qualifications, all at no cost to the student. Students should be 
                                    that FastWEB collects and sells student information (such as name,
                                    address, e-mail address, date of birth, gender, and country of
                                    citizenship) collected through their site.
                                    "Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)"
                                    More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make
                                    hundreds of federally supported teaching and learning resources easier 
                                    find. The result of that work is the FREE website.
                                    "Fundsnet Online Services"
                                    A comprehensive website dedicated to providing nonprofit organizations,
                                    colleges, and Universities with information on financial resources
                                    available on the Internet.
                                    "eSchool News School Funding Center"
                                    Information on up-to-the-minute grant programs, funding sources, and
                                    technology funding.
                                    "Philanthropy News Digest"
                                    Philanthropy News Digest, a weekly news service of the Foundation 
                                    is a compendium, in digest form, of philanthropy-related articles and
                                    features culled from print and electronic media outlets nationwide.
                                    "School Grants"
                                    A collection of resources and tips to help K-12 educators apply for and
                                    obtain special grants for a variety of projects.
                                    QUOTE OF THE WEEK
                                    "I'm looking at the junkiest room I've ever seen. It is a classroom in 
                                    American public school; it is public education in America today. A 
                                    did not make the room junky; generations of litterers -- legislators,
                                    school board members, superintendents, principals, taxpayers, teachers 
                                    presidents did. Given the mess, it is a wonder that our children are 
                                    to do even as well as they do. We must be grateful that there always 
                                    been talented and determined teachers who find their way through the 
                                    of rules and special interests and do what they became teachers to do:
                                    help their students shine. Our neighborhood schools are cluttered and
                                    crumbling. Of course, I'm assuming that anyone applying to be president
                                    probably never went to a poor and neglected public school where books 
                                    missing pages, walls have peeling paint and children have nothing to 
                                    with. Wealthy people comfort themselves that money is not the issue. 
                                    nothing dear to America was ever maintained without it. We need money 
                                    secure great teachers, money to update teaching methods, money for
                                    technology and supplies, and money for time. Time is a precious 
                                    and teachers need it to plan lessons and meet with students, parents 
                                    administrators. When the junk is cleaned out of that junky room, its
                                    structure is sound: Public education is a good foundation on which to
                                    build a better life for each of us. And if we want to prove to these
                                    children who never made the mess in the first place that education is
                                    worth the trouble, our schools have to inspire them so they can do what
                                    they ought to do."
                                    -Bill Cosby (entertainer), adapted from "Letters to the Next President:
                                    What We Can Do About the Real Crisis in Public Education" (Teachers
                                    College Press, 2004).
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