July Workshops in Washington DC: Teaming Researchers and Teachers
This summer, a national summit will team up prominent education researchers and effective teachers with the goal of translating research on improving student achievement into practice in the classroom. The U.S. Department of Education’s Research-to-Practice Summit will be held in Washington, D.C., on July 20, Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced. According to Paige, “The summit will showcase teachers and researchers who have undertaken significant research that has been shown to improve student learning in the classroom. There is a great deal of knowledge about what works in education. The challenge is to make that information accessible to teachers in clear and useful ways so that they, in turn, can foster student learning and improve student achievement.” The schedule for the summer workshops is: Pittsburgh, Pa., July 6--8; Orlando, Fla., July 12--14; Anaheim, Calif., July 21--23; St. Louis, Mo., July 28--30; Boston, Mass., August 2-4.
Paige recently released a guide highlighting five school districts’ activities called Creating Strong Supplemental Educational Services Program. If a school with economically disadvantaged students does not meet its academic achievement targets for two consecutive years, that school is defined as “in need of improvement.” At this point, parents must have the option of moving their child to another public school in the same district that has met its achievement targets. After a second year of being in need of improvement, tutoring services must be offered and provided. The guide shares practical advice and concrete examples that have been successful in creating and expanding supplemental educational services and making them work for students and parents. It also has information on how to avoid some of the pitfalls that school districts may face in addressing the needs of all students, a requirement under NCLB. The guide is the second of six booklets on promising and innovative education practices to be released this year.
“The U.S. Department of Education has a responsibility to identify and spotlight promising practices, trends and innovations wherever we find them, so they can take root all across the country,” Secretary Paige said. “We will also continue to work with school districts and community leaders to get information about after-school programs posted wherever people congregate—community centers, libraries, even shopping malls,” he added. “An opportunity is like the proverbial tree falling in the forest—if no one hears about it, it’s nothing but a missed opportunity.”
In the 2002--03 school year, at least 160,000 students took advantage of either supplemental educational services or the school transfer provisions as allowed under No Child Left Behind, the secretary announced. “Given that this was the first year of the law, I am proud to report that 160,000 children who needed help got it,” said Paige. “We know that these numbers will increase and hope that districts across America will look at the promising practices in these publications to help get the word out to parents.”
The Secretary launched the publication in Toledo, one of five districts profiled in the guide that were selected because their implementation experiences yield some common themes and lessons that might be helpful to other districts. The other districts highlighted in the publication are Forsyth County Schools, Ga.; San Diego City Schools, Calif.; Rochester City School District, N.Y.; and Los Angeles Unified School District, Calif.#