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Newsletter 5.1

 

Starting Strong in 2008
January 11, 2008 Vol. V, No. 1

In This Issue

 

Coalition Update: Report to the Field
Plenaries Set for our 2008 National Forum
Come work for the Coalition!
Spotlight on Schools: Chicago Public Schools

In the News
Policy Update
Systemic Change and NCLB

Research, Publications, and Tools
Building Smart Education Systems
UK Schools Work to have Extended School Programs in all Schools by 2010.
New ECS Publication Covers the Benefits of Student Engagement
New Afterschool Alliance/MetLife Brief Covers the importance of Afterschool Programs
New Brief Highlighting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating

Events and Opportunities
YSA and CNCS Semester of Service Projects
School-Business Partnership $10,000 Award Applications now available

 

Coalition Update: Report to the Field

Plenaries Set for our 2008 National Forum

The Coalition is pleased to announce the plenary sessions for our National Forum. Take a look at this overview (agenda). A finalized schedule of other sessions will be completed by the end of January. Are you getting your team together? Are you spreading the word? We look forward to seeing everyone in Portland! To Register click here.

 

Come work for the Coalition!

The Coalition is now seeking applicants for two new positions, Deputy Director and Research Associate.  We are seeking people who bring passion to efforts to improve the well-being of children, families and communities; experience working across the boundaries of schools and other institutions; and the ability to work with diverse constituencies

  • The Deputy Director will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Coalition work. We require strong management skills; and solid written and oral communications skills.
  • The Research Associate will be responsible for a range of research, writing and communications tasks that are essential to ongoing Coalition operations. 

Please send potential candidates our way and share these opportunities with our constituency.  Resumes should be sent to Maame Ameyaw at ameyawm@iel.org

 

Spotlight on Schools: Chicago Public Schools

A much awaited report has been published highlighting the Chicago Community Schools Initiatives’ success in decreasing disciplinary incidents and increasing students’ academic achievements.

Now almost six years old, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Community Schools Initiative is the largest in the nation. In a recently published summary report, it was found that all students participating in the CSI program demonstrated improvements in grades and standardized testing, and that CSI students have consistently improved more readily than students attending schools not in the initiative. Also, CSI students improved their performance in their quality of homework, class participation, and class behavior. For a brief overview click here. The Executive Summary and Full Report also are available.

 

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In the News

Policy Update

As you all know, the NCLB proposal did not move in this past session of Congress. Continued efforts in both the House and Senate are expected in the spring sessions at the Committee level. We will be tracking these activities; however, we do not expect NCLB proposal to move forward until after the 2008 presidential election. There is a sense that people are stepping back from the specific and looking more broadly at the Federal Role in Education, and what broad principles should drive NCLB in the future.

Systemic Change and NCLB

A commentary by David Seeley in Education Week (article) suggests that real problems in education can only be solved through systemic change, something that NCLB does not provide. Most importantly, reforms need to change American school systems into education systems, where every child can and has the resources to succeed. Necessary changes include taking "all children can learn" seriously, de-emphasizing bureaucracy and promoting teamwork and "learning communities, and ensuring accountability among students, parents, and teachers. Seeley states "schools alone can’t achieve a radically higher level of education success. They need the active support of family and community resources and a whole new partnership framework to promote their collaboration."

We would appreciate your comments on what you are hearing and thinking about potential NCLB changes. Email us at ccs@iel.org

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Research, Publications and Tools

:Building Smart Education Systems There is a growing recognition that improving schools and school systems, while essential, is not enough. Numerous studies have documented the disparities in school facilities, teacher quality, and curriculum offerings that favor more-advantaged students.

Less well known, however, are the numerous out-of-school advantages that middle-class and affluent students are more likely than poorer students to have access to. From museum visits to club memberships to internships in professional offices, relatively affluent students routinely take part in activities that enhance their learning and widen the in-school disparities. If we are serious about ensuring that all children learn to high levels -- writes Robert Rothman in Education Week (HOT) -- we need to address both the inequities within schools and those outside of schools. and schools need the active engagement of organizations and agencies outside the school as well. For more information, visit

Ed Week Article 1/09/08 (The Annenberg Institute which focuses on smart education systems is a partner in the Coalition). To learn more about Smart Education Systems click here.



UK Schools Work to have Extended Echool Programs in all Schools by 2010.

As 2010 approaches, UK schools are working hard to meet government promises of extended school programs in all UK public schools. Extended stay schools would guarantee wrap around childcare, afterschool activities, forums for parental support, "Referrals" to health/social wellness therapy and support, and regular community access. They are England’s version of community schools; a leader for community in England will join us in Portland. To read their tips for success in establishing these extended school programs, visit their website . To view the government’s website regarding specific plans and strategies, click here .

 

New ECS Publication Covers the Benefits of Student Engagement

A new publication in the ECS series The Progress of Education Reform 2007 highlights student engagement. Read Educational Engagement: A Successful Strategy for Academic and Civic Achievement and Success to learn about research showing the benefits of actively engaging students in learning in their communities – a key component of community schools. To view the full article, visit click here.

 

New Afterschool Alliance/MetLife Brief Covers the Importance of Afterschool Programs
Education reform efforts are placing a strong emphasis on strengthening schools, but schools are not the only place where students learn and grow. A new MetLife-Afterschool Alliance issue brief, "Afterschool: The Bridge Connecting Schools and Communities," analyzes the role of afterschool in linking a student’s academic day to enrichment activities during afterschool hours. The brief finds that afterschool is vital to reestablishing relationships between schools and communities that ultimately give children greater opportunities for success. To view the brief, click here .

 

New Brief Highlighting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating

The California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness (CAN Fit) Program is pleased to announce the release of "The After School Landscape in California: Opportunities of the After School Education and Safety Program Act."  This policy brief provides an overview of current after school developments in physical activity and nutrition programs for youth.  The brief also highlights how The California Endowment's Healthy Eating, Active Communities Initiative is helping to shape the movement toward intentional physical activity and nutrition in after school, and it provides recommendations for communities interested in these programs. The brief can be viewed at this link.

 

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Events and Opportunities


YSA and CNCS Semester of Service Projects

Youth Service America and the Corporation for National and Community Service are encouraging students, ages 5-25, to develop 14 week "Semester of Service" service-learning project that launch on the Martin Luther King Day of Service (January 21, 2008) and culminate on the weekend of Global Youth Service Day (April 25-27, 2008)

The Semester of Service projects will take place in classrooms as part of the academic curriculum; in schools as part of the extra-curricular activities of student councils, honor societies, student clubs, and sports teams; in congregations of faith; and in youth development groups in neighborhoods across the United States.

For more information and tips, click here.

To participate, email semester@ysa.org

 

School-Business Partnership $10,000 Award Applications now available

The National School and Business Partnerships Awards, created by the Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, recognizes strong school-business partnerships that improve the academic, social, or physical well-being of students.  Partnerships involving public and community schools and/or districts and businesses are eligible to apply.  The Council will make six awards; those selected will receive $10,000 to support partnership efforts.  Applications are due by January 30. To apply go click here .

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Additional Information
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