NLA Info: Comments Invited on ESEA Reauthorization
ajohnson at nifl.gov
Mon Jun 15 10:30:40 EDT 1998
The following invitation was issued by the Department of Education.
National Institute for Literacy
______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Subject: Comments Invited on ESEA Reauthorization
Author: edinfo at inet.ed.gov at inet
Date: 6/12/98 11:09 AM
YOU ARE INVITED by the Secretary of Education to submit
written comments regarding the reauthorization of programs
under the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA)*, the
Goals 2000: Educate America Act, & Subtitle B of Title VII of
the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (Education for
Homeless Children & Youth).
*Note: ESEA is the cornerstone of federal aid to
elementary & secondary schools. Under the programs
authorized by ESEA, about $12 billion annually is
invested in assisting states, districts, & schools as
they seek to improve teaching & learning to help all
children, especially at-risk children, meet challenging
state standards. The Secretary intends to submit the
Department's reauthorization proposal for ESEA, Goals
2000, & related programs to Congress early in 1999.
(Authorization for most of these programs expires
September 30, 1999.)
This invitation was issued by the Secretary in a June 2, 1998,
Federal Register notice. Excerpts from that notice are below;
however, individuals planning to comment are encouraged to
read the *entire* notice, available at:
The Secretary is interested both in comments regarding changes
that may be needed, as well as comments on aspects of the
programs that are working well & should be maintained.
Comments must be received by the Department on or before July
17, 1998. Comments may also be submitted at regional meetings
to be held July 8-15, 1998. (See dates, times & locations of
regional meetings below.)
Written comments should be addressed to Judith Johnson, Deputy
Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary & Secondary
Education, U. S. Department of Education, 600 Independence
Avenue, SW. (Portals Building, Room 4000), Washington, DC
20202-6132. E-mail responses may be sent to:
Frances_Shadburn at ed.gov.
For more information, please contact Frances Shadburn, U.S.
Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW. (Portals
Building, Room 4000) Washington, DC 20202-6100. Telephone:
(202) 401-0113. Individuals who use a telecommunications
device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information
Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. & 8
p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Individuals with
disabilities may obtain this document in an alternate format
(e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette)
EXCERPTS from Notice of Request for Public Comment,
Reauthorization of Elementary & Secondary Education
Programs, (Federal Register: June 2, 1998, [page 30055])
The questions in this [Federal Register] notice are organized under
three cross-cutting categories. These categories are: (1) Federal
support for State & local school reform including questions
addressing implementing standards in the classroom through
professional development, technology to support teaching &
learning, & targeting resources; (2) strategies for addressing the
needs of children most at risk of failing to meet State standards;
& (3) school environments conducive for learning including
questions addressing Safe & Drug-Free Schools & Communities,
parental involvement, extended learning opportunities before &
after school, & school facilities. In addition to consideration of
the cross-cutting issues, individual programs will also be reviewed
as part of the reauthorization. Comments on issues other than
those raised in this notice are welcome.
Issues for Public Comment
SUPPORT FOR STATE & LOCAL SCHOOL REFORM: GENERAL QUESTIONS
1. Are there changes in Federal statutes that would make Goals
2000, ESEA, & related programs more effective tools for supporting
comprehensive State & school district school reform? For example,
given the progress that States, districts, & schools have made in
implementing standards-based reforms, are changes needed to Goals
2000 to make it better aligned with current implementation efforts?
Are there changes that would enable Goals 2000, ESEA, & related
programs to support more effectively State & school district
efforts to improve the capacity of teachers, schools, & districts
to integrate standards into the classroom? Are there changes that
would make it easier for States, districts, schools, & teachers to
get information on new research, on research-based programs, & on
promising practices for improving the achievement of all students,
especially educationally disadvantaged children?
2. In addition to funding technical assistance through a
variety of ESEA & Goals 2000 authorities, the U.S. Department of
Education also funds regional educational laboratories to assist in
the implementation of education reform. Are there changes to the
Federal statutes that would enable federally supported technical
assistance efforts to support State & district, & school reform
3. Are there changes to the Federal statutes that would
encourage greater public school choice as part of State & local
school reform? For example, the Department of Education encourages
expansion of choice within the public school system with such
alternatives as charter schools, magnet schools, & system-wide
strategies that make every public school a school of choice. Are
changes needed in the law to strengthen these alternatives? Are
changes needed in the Federal law to incorporate the knowledge
gained about school reform from the establishment & operation of
charter & magnet schools?
4. The ESEA currently contains provisions addressing the
participation of private school students & teachers that are
applicable across many ESEA programs. Are there changes to Federal
statutes that would improve the effectiveness of these provisions?
SUPPORT FOR STATE & LOCAL SCHOOL REFORM: IMPLEMENTING STANDARDS IN
5. Are there changes to Federal statutes that would focus &
coordinate professional development resources across Goals 2000 &
ESEA programs to ensure that all teachers & educational personnel
have sufficient knowledge & skills to teach all children, including
children most at risk of failing, to challenging State standards?
6. A recent National Academy of Sciences study states that if
all students are to become successful readers, children must be
able to discover the nature of the alphabetic system, understand
how sounds are represented alphabetically, gain meaning from print,
& practice reading skills to achieve fluency. In order to gain
these skills, exposure to language & literacy must begin in the
pre-school years, primary grades must focus on reading instruction;
teachers must participate in ongoing sustained professional
development; elementary schools must have enriched reading
programs; students who do not have proficiency in English should be
exposed to reading in their native language while acquiring
proficiency in spoken English; & early intervention is critical.
How can the use of research-based knowledge & of research-based
approaches to improving student achievement be encouraged through
teacher preparation & ongoing training?
7. Are there changes to Federal statutes that would strengthen
connections between institutions of higher education & schools for
high-quality professional development to increase the capacity of
teachers & principals to implement standards-based reform?
SUPPORT FOR STATE & LOCAL SCHOOL REFORM: USING TECHNOLOGY TO
SUPPORT TEACHING & LEARNING
8. Are there changes to the Federal statutes that would better
support the use of technology to advance State & local school
reform efforts designed to help all children acquire the knowledge
contained in State content standards? For example, are there
changes that would improve access for students in high-poverty
schools to high-quality academic content through technology? Are
there changes that would increase the ability of teachers to use
technology as an instructional resource? Should the focus be on
development & demonstration of high-quality instructional
applications of technology for all schools, or should it continue
to be development of the infrastructure for students & schools in
SUPPORT FOR STATE & LOCAL SCHOOL REFORM: TARGETING RESOURCES/
9. Are there changes to the Federal statutes that would
improve the distribution of ESEA & related program funds to
communities & schools where they are most needed?
10. Current distribution formulas for some ESEA programs may
result in allocations so small that school districts may have
difficulty mounting effective, comprehensive programs. Are changes
in Federal statutes needed to address this situation?
11. Should the Federal Government play a role in promoting
greater equity in the distribution of school funding across &
within States. If so, what should that role be & are there changes
to Federal statutes that would be necessary to carry out the role?
STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN MOST AT RISK OF
FAILING TO MEET STATE STANDARDS
12. Are there changes to Federal statutes that would make
Goals 2000, ESEA, & related programs more effective tools for use
by States, districts, & schools in closing the achievement gap
between students most at risk of failing to meet challenging State
standards & other students? Are there changes to the Federal
statute that would improve the role of accountability measures in
both raising student achievement & providing more State & local
flexibility? For example, should Title I improvement provisions be
changed or strengthened?
13. Students most at risk of failing to meet State standards
need the highest quality instruction provided by the most
knowledgeable teachers, yet half of the instructional staff in
Title I are paraprofessionals, most of whom have only high school
diplomas. Are there changes to Federal statute that would
strengthen qualifications for Title I & Title VII (Bilingual
Education) staff who instruct students most at-risk of failing to
meet challenging State standards?
14. A growing body of research on the development of the brain
& its implications for learning during certain critical periods of
child development supports the need for early intervention & the
importance of pre-school & parent education. How can Federal
programs encourage greater application of this knowledge?
SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS CONDUCIVE TO LEARNING
15. Are there changes to the Safe & Drug-Free Schools &
Communities Act that would encourage the implementation of more
effective, research-based drug & violence prevention programs?
16. Are there changes to Federal statutes that would
strengthen the ability of Federal education programs to assist
families in their efforts to be active partners in their children's
education? For example, could the current Title I requirement for
school-parent compacts (which describes the shared responsibility
of schools, parents, & students for improved student achievement)
17. In addition to helping local communities finance the
construction & renovation of school facilities, what additional
barriers to the modernization of schools need to be addressed?
Dates, Times, & Locations of Regional Meetings
1. July 8, 1998, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Hotel Inter-Continental Los
Angeles, 251 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, California;
1-213-617-3300 & ask for reservations. Room reservations must be
made by June 17.
2. July 10, 1998, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Radisson Hotel & Suites, 160
East Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1-312-787-2900, & ask for
reservations. Room reservations must be made by June 19.
3. July 13, 1998, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Park Plaza Hotel, 64
Arlington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 1-617-426-2000, & ask for
reservations. Room reservations must be made by June 22.
4. July 15, 1998, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Terrace Garden Hotel, 3405
Lenox Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia, 1-404-261-9250, & ask for
reservations. Room reservations must be made by June 24.
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