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Update -- ED Initiatives (April 3, 1998)

  ED Initiatives...
     A biweekly look at progress on the Secretary's priorities
                                                 April 3, 1998

  >  Helping All Children Master the Foundations of Mathematics
       by the End of 8th Grade
  >  Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA)
  >  "Making After-School Count" Teleconference
  >  Community Colleges & Technology Teleconference
  >  Improving America's Schools Conferences
  >  Senate Passes Budget Resolution Without President's
       New Education Investments
  >  Congressional Testimony
  >  Revised Dates for EDCAPS/GAPS Conversion
  >  New Online

     ------------------------------------------- Last month
     President Clinton convened a roundtable of experts to
     discuss the status of U.S. mathematics & science education
     in light of the 12th grade results from the Third
     International Mathematics & Science Study (TIMSS).  His
     remarks & information on the Presidential TIMSS Roundtable,
     a new overview of the Department's Math Initiative, & a
     self-assessment guide for using federal resources to improve
     mathematics teaching & learning can be found at: 

     The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse unveiled this week
     "TIMSS@ENC," a one-stop website for information on TIMSS. 
     The site offers the "Attaining Excellence Kit" (everything
     in the kit except the video), papers by international
     education experts (including Richard Elmore of Harvard
     University & Jan de Lange of Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht,
     the Netherlands), papers presented at a National Research
     Council symposium on TIMSS (February 1998), & links to
     additional resources.  The TIMSS@ENC site is at:

     ---------------------- On April 1, the Senate Committee on
     Labor & Human Resources reported out its bill for
     reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA).  Unlike its
     counterpart, reported out by the House Committee on
     Education & the Workforce last month, the Senate bill does
     not include the President's High Hopes for College
     Initiative; however, Senators agreed to continue discussions
     on the initiative as the bill moves to the floor.  

     For more information on High Hopes for College, please see:

     The House Commmittee, in its version of the bill, voted to
     withdraw federal support from the National Board for
     Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).  Secretary Riley
     said it was "a tragic mistake," noting that "State leaders
     of both parties support the National Board."  He pointed out
     that his predecessor, Lamar Alexander, who served as
     Secretary of Education under President Bush, recently called
     the NBPTS process "the best evaluation available now for
     teachers."  The NBPTS is developing assessments that measure
     the skills & knowledge of teachers in more than 30
     certificate areas.  The Senate committee's companion bill
     did not include this provision.  The bills are expected to
     be considered by the full House & Senate later this month. 

     For more information on the reauthorization of the HEA,
     please see:  http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/PPI/Reauthor/ 
     For the Secretary's press release regarding the NBPTS, see:
     http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/03-1998/teach.html  For
     information on the NBPTS, see:  http://www.nbpts.org

     ----------------------------------------- Join Vice
     President Gore for "Making After-School Count," a live
     national teleconference featuring model after-school
     programs & local efforts that work.  The teleconference will
     be broadcast live from New Orleans (LA) on Thursday, April
     16, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Eastern time.  Panelists will
     discuss ways to build community partnerships to support
     quality before- & after-school programs, identify private &
     public funding sources, increase access for families in
     middle-and low-income neighborhoods, & keep school buildings
     open longer to provide quality extended learning programs. 
     For satellite coordinates, registration & other information,
     please call 1-800-USA-LEARN or visit:

     ---------------------------------------------- On April 7,
     1998, the Department is sponsoring a national teleconference
     & local town meeting from noon to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time,
     "Policy & Promise: Community Colleges & Technology."  This
     special half-day event will examine local, state & national
     policies & initiatives that could enhance the role of
     community colleges as resources for improving community
     access to technology, providing technology competence &
     expertise, & strengthening local & regional economic
     development.  For registration & other information, see:

     --------------------------------------- Mark your calendars
     for the 5th annual Department-hosted "Regional Conferences
     on Improving America's Schools (IAS)," scheduled for 3
     locations during fall 1998:

          The *Western* Region Conference will be held in
          Portland, OR, October 19-21 for AK, CA, HI, ID, OR, WA,
          American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia,
          Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam,
          Republic of the Marshall Islands, & Republic of Palau.

          The *Central* Region Conference will be in Denver, CO,
          November 18-20 for AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO,
          MT, NE, NM, ND, NV, OK, SD, TX, UT, WI, & WY.

          The *Eastern* Region Conference will be in Nashville,
          TN, December 15-17 for AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, KY,
          LA, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, Puerto
          Rico, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA, VI, & WV.

     For information & a brochure (after May 1), please call
     1-800-203-5494.  To register, please call 1-800-522-0772,
     ext. 2248.  For resources from the 1997 IAS Conferences,
     please see:  http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/iasconferences/1997

     --------------------------------------- Secretary Riley
     criticized the budget resolution passed by the Senate
     yesterday as an unfair proposal that fails to reflect the
     needed investments in education our children deserve. 
     Compared to the President's fiscal year 1999 budget
     proposal, the Senate budget plan would deny millions of
     federal dollars for basic education programs, including $1.1
     billion to reduce class size & nearly $22 billion in
     interest-free bonding authority to modernize school

     "With our balanced budget & prosperous economy, we can well
     afford to -- and must -- invest in our future, & that means
     our children's education," the Secretary said.  He noted
     that the Senate budget plan "would deny crucial investments
     in improving the basics in reading & math, smaller classes,
     quality teachers, safe & modern schools, & resources to pay
     for college -- all of which are needed to provide America's
     children with the best possible opportunities for learning."

     For the Secretary's statement, please see: 

     For information on initiatives in the President's 1999
     budget, please see:

     ----------------------- During March, Secretary Riley
     testified before both the Senate & House Subcommittees on
     Labor-HHS-ED Appropriations regarding the President's 1999
     budget request for the U.S. Department of Education.  Topics
     of his testimony included class size, school construction,
     helping children master the basics, raising achievement in
     poor urban & rural schools, educational technology & helping
     students prepare & pay for college.  For the text of his
     statements, please see:

     In addition, officials of the Education Department (ED) & of
     special institutions funded in the ED Appropriations Act
     appeared before the House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-ED
     Appropriations to testify on the 1999 budget request

          Elementary & Secondary Education, Bilingual & Immigrant
          Education, Howard University, Special Institutions for
          Persons with Disabilities, Vocational & Adult Education
          & School-to-Work Opportunities programs, Special
          Education & Rehabilitation Services & Disability
          Research, Education Research, Statistics & Improvement,
          the Office of Inspector General, Postsecondary
          Education Programs, & the Office for Civil Rights.  

     The full text of these statements can be found at: 

     ---------------------------------------- If you do business
     with & receive funds from the Department, please note that
     the planned conversion of the Education Central Automated
     Processing System (EDCAPS) Grant Administration & Payment
     System (GAPS) has announced revised dates for conversion. 
     In a March 26 letter to chief financial officers & grantee
     project directors, the new conversion dates are now May 11 &
     May 13.  The letter, from the Department's chief financial &
     chief information officer, Don Rappaport, states that "In
     order to convert recipient data, both the new & old systems
     will be unavailable from April 24th to May 11th & 13th. 
     Recipients will not be able to receive funds during this
     period, & should plan draw downs accordingly."  To learn
     more about the new process, please see the GAPS training
     website, including the "Department of Education Payee's
     Guide": http://gapsweb.ed.gov/training  For additional
     information, including the March 26 notification letter,
     see:  http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCFO/int3.html   


     "Information for Financial Aid Professionals" (IFAP), a new
     electronic library for financial aid professionals, offers
     publications, regulations & guidance for administering Title
     IV Federal Student Financial Aid Programs.  It includes a
     searchable database of Dear Colleague letters, official
     electronic announcements & other reference materials.

     "Fitting the Pieces" is based on 12 studies of education
     reform conducted by the Department's Office of Educational
     Research & Improvement (OERI) between 1990 & 1995.

     "Directory of ERIC Resource Collections" lists 1,000+
     organizations that provide individuals with access to the
     ERIC database & related resources.  It's designed to help
     users quickly locate organizations that offer ERIC resources
     & related services within a geographically short distance.

     "Pursuing Excellence: A Study of U.S. 12th Grade Mathematics
     & Science Achievement in International Context" was featured
     in the February 27 "Scout Report," a weekly collection of
     "useful Internet sites for discerning Internauts."

     ED Initiatives is made possible by many contributors,
     including Pauline Abernathy, Julie Anderson, Cindy Balmuth,
     Dan Bernal, Larry Bobbitt, Bill Burrow, Norris Dickard,
     Julie Green, Marty Jacobs, Peter Kickbush, John Luczak, Sara
     Napierala, Kristina Saunders, David Stevenson, Keith Stubbs,
     David Thomas, Steven Weaver & others.  Please send any
     comments to Kirk Winters in the Office of the Under
     Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
     (kirk_winters@ed.gov).  http://www.ed.gov/MailingLists