E-Update for March 20, 2015

E-Update for March 20, 2015

E-Update for March 20, 2015


On March 22 through 25, the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators is hosting its annual conference. The conference theme is “Charting the Course: Celebrating 50 Years of ESEA.” Keynote speakers will include Jack Jennings, founder of the Center on Education Policy; Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us: A Memoir, and Dr. Tammy Pawloski, Director of the Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty and Professor of Early Childhood Education. Register here.

On March 23, the College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR (CCRS Center) and American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) will host a webinar on “Strengthening Measures of College and Career Readiness and Success: State Longitudinal Data Systems.” The webinar will discuss the progress of state longitudinal data systems and the governance structures developed to ensure proper use.  A panel of national experts and state leaders will provide an overview of the successes and challenges of building cross-system longitudinal data systems and discuss the critical role that governance plays to ensure appropriate use and alleviate privacy concerns.  Register here.

On March 24, the Urban Teacher Residency United and its Network Residency Partners will host a discussion of how its innovative teacher preparation model is addressing teacher quality and quantity challenges in districts across the nation. The meeting will take place 1-2pm in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

On March 24, the Waterford Nonprofit Research Center will host a staff briefing on Digital Initiatives for Young Children. The briefing will focus on technology and its impact on early childhood education. The briefing will be moderated by Sara Mead, who writes and conducts policy analysis on issues related to early childhood education and K-12 education reform for Bellwether Education Partners. Panelists will include:  Rhian Evans Allvin, Executive Director for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); Benjamin Heuston, Ph.D., President, Waterford Institute; and others. The briefing will take place 1:30-2:30pm in the Rayburn House Office Building.

On March 24, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY) will host a bipartisan congressional briefing on “Ensuring a Strong Start: The Importance of Early Childhood Programs.” Panelists will include representatives from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids; First Five Years Fund; National Association for the Education of Young Children; and the National Head Start Association. The event will take place 3:30-4:30pm in 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Department Headlines

U.S. Department of Education Awards $4.1 Million in Charter School Program National Leadership Grants: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced six new grant awards totaling $4.1 million through the Charter Schools Program (CSP) National Leadership Activities program. These grants aim to strengthen charter schools and charter school authorizers, while also improving capacity to serve students with disabilities and English learners. The six grantees will provide technical assistance and training and share promising practices with charter schools across the country.
March 17, 2015

Achievement Gap Narrows as High School Graduation Rates for Minority Students Improve Faster than Rest of Nation: Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students increased by nearly 4 percentage points from 2011 to 2013, outpacing the growth for all students in the nation, according to new data from USED’s National Center for Education Statistics.
March 16, 2015

Department of Education Celebrates Digital Learning Day: USED’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) hosted a “Digital Learning Day.” The event highlighted OCTAE’s work to ensure that teachers and students have access to high-quality learning opportunities on demand.
March 13, 2015

Video-on-Demand Children’s TV Programming Now Accessible for Thousands of Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities: USED announced the availability of free, video-on-demand children’s television programming for thousands of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing.
March 16, 2015

Congressional Headlines

LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Hosts Higher Education Hearing: The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held an oversight hearing on “Closing the Achievement Gap in Higher Education.” The hearing focused on challenges facing the higher education system and the role the federal government should play in addressing those challenges.
March 18, 2015

House Ways and Means Subcommittee Hosts Evidence Hearing: The House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee hosted a hearing titled, “Expanding Opportunity by Funding What Works: Using Evidence to Help Low-Income Individuals and Families Get Ahead.” The hearing focused on the effectiveness of federal social programs, efforts to rigorously evaluate government programs to determine their impact, and proposals to increase the use of evidence across government so federal spending is directed toward programs that work.
March 17, 2015

House Education Committee Hosts Higher Education Hearing: The House Education and the Workforce Committee hosted a hearing on “Strengthening America’s Higher Education System.” Witnesses and members discussed reforms that will help ensure more students have the opportunity to complete an advanced, quality education without absorbing unmanageable debt.
March 17, 2015

Congress Introduces Higher Education Legislation for Dreamers: Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) introduced legislation to expand access to higher education for low-income students, regardless of their immigration status. The Investing in States to Achieve Tuition Equality (IN-STATE) for Dreamers Act of 2015 would establish the American Dream Grant program with $750 million in funding to supplement need-based financial aid in states that offer in-state tuition and state financial aid to Dreamer students, without discriminating based on their immigration status. American Dream Grants would reward states that set equitable tuition and student aid policies and help reduce the cost of college for all students.
March 19, 2015

Murray, Baldwin, Pocan Introduce Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act: Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), along with Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), reintroduced legislation aimed at reducing dangerous bullying and harassment that affects one in five students at colleges and universities across the country. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2015 requires institutions of higher education to establish policies to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. The bill also establishes a grant program to support campus anti-harassment activities and programs. Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director, said thanked Sens. Murray and Baldwin and Rep. Pocan for “their ongoing commitment to ensuring that all college students have access to safe and welcoming campuses.”
March 18, 2015

Budget Headlines

House Budget Committee Passes Budget Resolution: The House Budget Committee introduced its Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal, “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America.” The Committee passed the budget resolution on March 19.
March 17, 2015

Senate Introduces Budget Resolution: U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced the Senate “Balanced Budget” Resolution for Fiscal Year 2016. The Committee then passed the budget resolution on March 19.
March 18, 2015

New Legislation

H.R.1359 : American Dream Accounts Act
Sponsor: Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] (introduced 3/13/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.R.1360 : America’s FOCUS Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] (introduced 3/13/2015) Cosponsors (4)

H.R.1363 : No Hungry Kids Act
Sponsor: Rep King, Steve [IA-4] (introduced 3/13/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.R.1399 : To reauthorize and improve a grant program to assist institutions of higher education in establishing, maintain, improving, and operating Veteran Student Centers.
Sponsor: Rep Frankel, Lois [FL-22] (introduced 3/17/2015) Cosponsors (2)

H.R.1421 : To prevent harassment at institutions of higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Pocan, Mark [WI-2] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (27)

H.R.1434 : To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for the refinancing of certain Federal student loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (79)

H.R.1435 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to require States to develop policies on positive school climates and school discipline.
Sponsor: Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (7)

H.R.1447 : To amend the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to improve the Act.
Sponsor: Rep Kennedy, Joseph P., III [MA-4] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (3)

S.773 : A bill to prevent harassment at institutions of higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (8)

S.781 : A bill to improve knowledge about the best practices for teaching financial literacy, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Donnelly, Joe [IN] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (1)

S.793 : A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for the refinancing of certain Federal student loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Warren, Elizabeth [MA] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (28)


Institute for Education Sciences Report: Do Developmental Summer Bridge Programs Improve Outcomes for Postsecondary Students?: This report examines the one study of developmental summer bridge programs that the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) identified as falling within the scope of the Interventions for Developmental Students in Postsecondary Education topic area and meeting WWC group design standards. This study met WWC group design standards without reservations. The study included 1,318 undergraduate students across eight colleges in Texas. Developmental summer bridge programs are designed to reduce the need for developmental education in college by providing students with accelerated instruction in areas where additional knowledge and skills are needed to help them succeed in higher education. These programs occur in the summer “bridge” period between high school and college. Summer bridge programs are based on theories and empirical evidence suggesting that the transition to college can be difficult for academically underprepared students.
March 17, 2015

The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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