"The KNOWLEDGE-able Source"
The KNOWLEDGE-able Source Knowledge Alliance’s * Weekly Washington E-Update For Members Only---Not for Distribution Check our web site weekly for additional info http://KnowledgeAll.net/ **************************************************************************** ***************************************** June 25, 2007, Summer Solstice Edition Quick Reminders Next PAG call --- June 25, 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Suggestion for the Policy Action Group (PAG) Contact education staffers in the Senate regarding Alliance recommendations for FY 2008 appropriations http://www.knowledgeall.com/files/FY_08_approps_final_web_version2.doc and thank them for the increases to our priority programs. Let them know what an increase could mean for you, education and students. On the Hill FY 2008 Education Appropriations Moving Right Along – While the House regrouped after the postponement of its full committee mark up until July 9, Senate showed some uncharacteristic speed and moved its approps stuff forward last week. Mostly Good News in the Senate – As we mentioned in last week’s report, the Labor-HHS- Education appropriations bill was marked up in the Senate subcommittee and full committee this past week…and it was mostly good news! In spite of a smaller allocation than the House, Knowledge Alliance’s top priorities all received increases: the Regional Labs at $68 million, a $2.5 million increase; Comprehensive Centers at $60 million, a $3.5 million increase; the Research, Development and Dissemination account at $182 million, a $20 million increase; and Title I School Improvement Grants at $500 million, a $375 million increase. We were disappointed by the $200 million cut in Reading First and the zero funding for Even Start, State Innovation grants and Smaller Learning Communities. We were pleased to learn that report language was included capturing our core concept: linkage of all these programs into an initiative for improving the implementation of NCLB. We were gratified to see our contribution to the Senate effort. Knowledge Alliance chart on appropriations at xxx. Senate abbreviated chart at http://appropriations.senate.gov/ House abbreviated chart at: http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/LHHSChart.pdf House detailed chart at: http://www.knowledgeall.com/Policy.html Knowledge Alliance statement after House subcommittee markup --- http://www.knowledgeall.com/ Overall Appropriations Outlook – The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up its version of the Labor-HHS-Ed funding measure on July 9. Both the House and Senate plan to have their respective measures on the floor in July. Conference is expected in September (though staff will meet sporadically and informally over the August recess)…that’s the way it’s supposed to work, but there are a number of “wild cards” that will affect the schedule, including: the President’s veto threat for any measure that exceeds proposed spending caps, earmarks, the resignation of OMB Director Portman, the incoming head of OMB (well versed in budget and appropriations, but with a reputation for not being as willing to work on a bipartisan basis as his predecessor), the possible inclusion of stem cell legislation onto the measure, the already somewhat delayed appropriations schedule, upcoming negotiations on Iraq war supplemental funding….you get the picture. There is already speculation that many of the FY 2008 appropriations bills will not be ready for the new fiscal year, which starts on October 1 and that an Omnibus funding measure (unclear if, or how many, bills would be involved) may be necessary. Our Strategy --- We will discuss our strategy for the next several weeks on our PAG conference call on June 25. We clearly want to hold on to the numbers from the Senate mark up. Reaching key House appropriators will be a top priority as we move closer to a conference some time in September. The Senate Moves on Higher Education Act Reauthorization --- Early last week we received a draft of the mark up proposal from Senator Kennedy which was subsequently approved in by the Senate HELP Committee. We were pleased that the proposal includes two of our recommendations: the definition for scientifically valid research (which we proposed for ESEA) and the “supplement not supplant provision” that would likely eliminate the restricted indirect cost rate regulation for this statute at the ED. We will provide more detailed info about this on our conference call. Community Schools in ESEA Reauthorization – Another week of not much overt action on the ESEA reauthorization front but we know that staff on developing proposals. Look for so-called “Whole Child” school reform in ESEA. These community -- or "full-service" -- schools combine health, social and career services that bring the community in, while also teaching students through volunteer and community service projects. House Majority Leader Hoyer introduced HR 2323 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:H.R.2323 , the Full Service Community Schools Act last month. A similar measure was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Nelson (NE) and Durbin. House and Senate committee staff have indicated that the measures could be incorporated in whole or part into ESEA reauthorization. Department of Education (ED) “Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After One Year” You may have picked up on all of the chatter among politicos last week prior to the release of this ED report. And, as you might except, the ideologues on both sides of the voucher issue had a field day spinning its meaning in the days following. In essence, the report “… found no significant differences in student achievement between those who were offered scholarships to attend a participating private school and those who were eligible for, but were not offered (as assigned by a lottery) a scholarship. Students in the program did not report being more satisfied or feeling safer than those who were not in the program. However, the program did have a positive impact on parent satisfaction and perceptions of school safety….” What do you think this all means in terms of shaping choice policy? http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20074009/ “Numbers and Types of Public Elementary and Secondary Education Agencies From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2005-06” The National Center for Educational Statistics in its march to release the most reports ever issued this one last week “…presenting national and state-level data about the number of regular school districts and other local education agencies, school district size, grades served, and the number of school districts in city, suburban, town, and rural locales….” http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2007353 Elsewhere “The Cost of Teacher Turnover Study and Cost Calculator” --- Early last week we had lunch with our buddy Tom Carroll, prez of National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) to discuss some common interests in knowledge use policy and he happened to mention rather humbly a just completed an 18-month study of the costs of teacher turnover in five school districts. The next day the report was released to much media attention with “…findings indicating that the cost of turnover does vary from district to district, largely dependant upon the size of the district and the types of induction programs the district implements -- but in all cases, the cost of teacher turnover is substantial…” Very interesting stuff. Check out the calculator and the report at: http://www.nctaf.org/resources/demonstration_projects/turnover/TeacherTurnoverCostStudy.htm “Laboratories of Reform: Virtual High Schools and Innovation in Public Education” --- See this excellent piece from Education Sector about “…the rise of a completely new class of public schools— "virtual" schools using the Internet to create online classrooms—that is bringing about reforms that have long eluded traditional public schools…” http://www.educationsector.org/research/research_show.htm?doc_id=502307 Read Reid’s Reading First Interview – Check out an interesting interview in Ed Daily News with Reid Lyons speaking about Reading First http://www.ednews.org/articles/13053/1/An-Interview-with- G-Reid-Lyon-About-Reading-First/Page1.html Strange Allies – this has got to be a first: the Heritage Foundation and Steven Colbert of Comedy Central agree that NCLB can encourage “a race to the bottom”. See the interesting June 18 Heritage Education Notebook on this subject: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/ednotes77.cfm “Standards, Accountability and Flexibility: Americans Speak on No Child Left Behind Reauthorization” Early last week we attended the briefing for the release of this annual poll commissioned by the Education Testing Service (ETS). We were distressed that the lead pollster did not know about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or that the reauthorization is really about ESEA. Nonetheless ETS claimed that “… latest poll, reveals that parents, teachers and administrators strongly support NCLB reauthorization, despite limited knowledge about the law's provisions. They also favor greater flexibility in assisting students and schools struggling to meet high standards and call for increased funding for poorly performing schools to make adequate yearly progress…” http://www.ets.org/portal/site/ets/menuitem.c988ba0e5dd572bada20bc47c3921509/?vgnextoid=1113a1 9448f33110VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD&vgnextchannel=dd2d253b164f4010VgnVCM10000022 f95190RCRD Campaign for High School Equity – We attended the kick-off meeting of this coalition, comprised of nine prominent civil rights groups and the Alliance for Excellent Education, that have banded together to advocate “… reforming America’s high schools and improving graduation rates for minority students the most urgent priority of NCLB. The coalition is forwarding dozens of specific policy priorities, including providing rigor in core subjects, especially in high-poverty communities; increasing federal funding for high schools; and establishing a new fund to pay for developing improvement strategies at low-performing middle and high schools…” http://www.highschoolequity.org/ “Federalism in the Land of Oz”--- Check out this interesting article by Checker Finn about the struggles of ed reform in Australia …” The US isn't the only land … now struggling to adapt that old decentralized arrangement to the realities of the 21st century, with its globalizing economy, rising mobility, instant communications, and ebbing affection for local idiosyncrasy--and agonizing over what mechanisms might best yield a measure of high-standard uniformity and accountability without shackling schools and educators to a deadening, politically vulnerable, bureaucratic sameness…” He could also go to the other land of Oz (Kanas) to find similar struggles http://www.edexcellence.net/foundation/gadfly/index.cfm#3467 “Preparing STEM Teachers: the Key to Global Competitiveness” We attended a Hill briefing for this American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education report as part of AACTE’s Hill Days focusing on preparing teachers for STEM disciplines. Our friends at AACTE are working hard to counter some hot criticism on the Hill about schools of education http://www.aacte.org/ “Girls and Boys, Interrupted” I (Kohlmoos) started my education career 35 years ago in a migrant education program so this article in Edutopia captured my interest. “…Forty years after federal recognition, the educational lot of migrant students has improved but keeping transient kids connected to learning is still a major challenge…” http://www.edutopia.org/node/4381 "My Child Doesn't Test Well," Check out Lloyd Bond’s article examining a variety of reasons why test performance may not be a valid measure of a person's competence or potential…” What do you think? http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/perspectives/june2007 People and Organizations Sarah Mead, senior policy specialist at Education Sector with whom we worked on many policy forums over the past 5 years, is heading to the New America Foundation in a couple of weeks to lead their early childhood work. Her last day at ES was last Friday. In case you missed it: OMB Director Portman resigned (to-spend-more-time-with-my-family) and will be replaced by former House Budget Chairman Jim Nussle (R-IA) who will take over the development of the FY 2009 budget process. And John Barrasso will replace the late Republican Sen. Craig Thomas in the Senate for Wyoming. Quotes of the Week “Policymakers and the public have increased pressure on low-performing schools and districts across the nation. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act and numerous state initiatives, the number of schools and districts identified as low-performing has grown enormously, often outpacing efforts to address their needs…” Glen Harvey, CEO of WestEd in the latest edition of R&D Alert. http://www.wested.org/online_pubs/rd-07-01.pdf "I really think that the mayor wanted to make certain that he participated in every available party that there was, and this was the only one left." Rep Charles Rangel, on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned- Republican, who left the GOP this week to become an independent. On the Horizon in DC June 27–28 -- ED’s first National Summit on Supplemental Educational Services (SES) and Public School Choice http://www.ed.gov/nclb/choice/help/ses/outreach.html. July 2-6 -- House and Senate July 4 Recess July 9 – House appropriations committee markup of the Labor-HHS-Education bill (tentative) July 9-11 -- Knowledge Alliance Executive Retreat, Santa Cruz, CA July 25-26 -- Knowledge Alliance Hill Days August 2-4 -- ED’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools' 21st National Conference http://www.osdfsnationalconference.org) August 6-Sept 3 -- House and Senate August Recess Sept 19-20 -- Knowledge Alliance Hill Days Sept 20 -- Committee for Education Funding annual meeting and gala October 26 -- House Adjournment Target (Senate TBA) October 29-31 -- ED’s Office of English Language Acquisition sixth annual Celebrate Our Rising Stars Summit http://www.oelasummit.org). Dec 12 -- Knowledge Alliance Policy Action Group Planning Meeting Policy Action Group 2007 Conference calls Conference Calls 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern unless otherwise noted June 25th July 16th and 30th August 13th September 4th and 24th October 16th and 29th November 12th December 3rd Important Links New Congressional directories are now available. Order your very own at: http://capitoladvantage.com/capub/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=40 Past Knowledge-able Source editions: http://www.knowledgeall.com/navigation_bars/alliancemembers/gr/washingtonupdate.html (Password protected---see John Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org) Congress info: http://www.knowledgeall.com/navigation_bars/alliancemembers/gr/Congress.html (Password protected---see John Waters at email@example.com) 2007 Advocacy Tools: http://www.knowledgeall.com/navigation_bars/alliancemembers/gr/advocacy.html (Password protected---see John Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org) ESEA Reauthorization recommendations: http://www.knowledgeall.com/files/NEKIA_ESEA_Recommendations_feb_15_07.pdf FY 2008 Appropriations recommendations: http://www.knowledgeall.com/files/NEKIA_ESEA_Recommendations_feb_15_07.pdf Detailed Justifications for the President’s FY 08 budget request: http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget08/justifications/index.html U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: http://help.senate.gov U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce: http://edworkforce.house.gov U.S. Senate Budget Committee: http://www.budget.senate.gov U.S. House Budget Committee: http://www.house.gov/budget Congressional Budget Office: http://www.cbo.gov Federal legislative information: http://thomas.loc.gov *About our new name … Knowledge Alliance On April 10 our Board of Directors agreed to change the name of our trade association to Knowledge Alliance. As part of the continuing evolution of our work, we believe that our new moniker better reflects the dynamic directions of our collective advocacy work. We are using a “phased’ rollout of the name change over the next several months and we will hold an official celebration at our annual meeting in October. See our article about the name change at: http://www.knowledgeall.com/files/Name_change_Siiw_adaptation_may072.doc