Social Media Tips for Educators: Building Capacity Among Your Staff

Our second social media tip sheet for educators is now online!

Last Monday, we told you the fact that we’ve developed social media tip sheets specifically to help state and local education agencies expand online engagement.

Our first tip sheet discussed how to develop innovative engagement in a specific community This week’s tip sheet talks about how to effectively build capacity within a state or local district.

Full story of social media tip sheets at ed.gov

Higher Expectations to Better Outcomes for Children with Disabilities

President Obama has said that we are stronger when America fields a full team. Unfortunately, too many of the 6.5 million children and youth with disabilities in this country leave high school without the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in a 21st century, global economy. While the vast majority of students in special education do not have significant cognitive impairments that prohibit them from learning rigorous academic content, fewer than 10 percent of eighth graders with disabilities are proficient in reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Too often, students’ educational opportunities are limited by low expectations. We must do better.

That’s why the Department is changing the way it holds states accountable for the education of students with disabilities. For many years, the Department primarily focused on whether states were meeting the procedural requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Generally, we have seen significant improvement in compliance.

Full story of education for children with disabilities at ed.gov

Focusing on the Needs of Rural Students

The National PTA has designated June as the Month of the Rural Child, a time when parents and communities explore ways to become involved and support students in rural schools.

Otha Thornton, President of the National PTA has noted, “Nearly one in four high school students in rural areas won’t graduate. To help address the unique challenges rural schools face and ensure all students graduate and reach their full potential, it is essential that families are engaged and that strong partnerships are built between families, schools and communities.”

Full story of needs of rural students at ed.gov

New Accountability Framework Raises the Bar for State Special Education Programs

To improve the educational outcomes of America’s 6.5 million children and youth with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education today announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states’ special education programs.

Until now, the Department’s primary focus was to determine whether states were meeting procedural requirements such as timelines for evaluations, due process hearings and transitioning children into preschool services. While these compliance indicators remain important to children and families, under the new framework known as Results-Driven Accountability (RDA), the Department will also include educational results and outcomes for students with disabilities in making each state’s annual determination under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Full story of special education ceiling at ed.gov

Recognizing the Importance of Fathers

One out of every three children in America —more than 24 million in total — live in a home without their biological father present, according to a 2012 White House Fatherhood Report. Roughly one out of every three Hispanic children and more than half of African-American children also live in homes without their biological fathers.

The presence and involvement of a child’s parents protect children from a number of vulnerabilities. More engaged fathers — whether living with or apart from their children — can help foster a child’s healthy physical, emotional, and social development. While evidence shows that children benefit most from the involvement of resident fathers, research also has highlighted the positive effect that nonresident fathers can have on their children’s lives.

Full story of fatherhood and child development at ed.gov

College Value and Completion: “Righting the Balance on the Side of Students”

“Who thinks college is affordable?”

Secretary Duncan and new Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell posed that question to a packed room of college students and freshly-minted graduates at a recent town hall on college costs and access.

Almost no one raised a hand.

A college education is still the best investment students can make in their future. It is also a critical investment that we can make as a nation. But right now, this important rung on the ladder to opportunity is slipping out of reach for many low- and middle-income families in America.

Full story of college value and completion at ed.gov

Recognizing the Importance of Summer Learning Day

Today we join hundreds of communities and programs across the country in celebrating National Summer Learning Day, a recognized national advocacy day to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning to our nation’s youth—specifically, in helping close the achievement gap and supporting healthy development.

Summer learning is everywhere; it’s happening in cities and towns all across the country. Today in Fayetteville, NC, the local university is opening its doors to local youth to learn about its College Readiness Summer Institute and how they can participate. In Louisville, KY, Mayor Greg Fischer joined other prominent local figures to kick off Every 1 Learns, a citywide summer learning effort designed to provide access to academic support and meaningful work experience for Louisville youth.

Full story of National Summer Learning Day at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Heightens Oversight of Corinthian Colleges

The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) office has placed Corinthian Colleges Inc. on an increased level of financial oversight after the company failed to address concerns about its practices, including falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students and allegations of altered grades and attendance.

“The Department’s foremost interest is to protect students and make sure they are educated by institutions that operate in accordance with our standards,” said U.S. Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell. “We made the decision to increase oversight of Corinthian Colleges after careful consideration and as part of our obligations to protect hardworking taxpayers and students’ futures.”

Full story of oversight on Corinthian Colleges at ed.gov

Past Presidential Scholars Reflect on the Program’s 50th Anniversary

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by executive order of the President fifty years ago this month. The program recognizes and honors some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors and was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts.

Each year, 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the program, ED has collected reflections from past winners, who explain how the program influenced their life and career.

Full story of Presidential Scholars Program at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Announces Action to Help Colleges Keep Campuses Safe

The Obama Administration today announced new steps to address growing concerns about sexual violence on college campuses by requiring institutions of higher education to comply with new campus safety and security related requirements aimed at curbing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

The proposed rule, which will be formally published in tomorrow’s Federal Register, would implement changes to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 signed by President Obama in March of last year.

Full story of safe college campuses action at ed.gov