On Friday, Oct. 22, the U.S. Department of Education kicked off its 2010-2011 series of stakeholder forums to inform constituents, national education organizations, and parent and community organizations about the Department’s current reform efforts and program activities.
At the forum Secretary Duncan provided opening remarks and took questions from the audience. Panelists provided discussion and Q&A on:
- Race to the Top Assessment Competition. Under RTT, the Department awarded approximately $330 million for two consortia to develop the next generation of assessments aligned with college- and career-ready standards. The two consortia are the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). They include 44 states and the District of Columbia, who were awarded $170 and $160 million respectively. Our presentation will describe plans and progress made by each of the groups.
- Promise Neighborhoods. Twenty-one nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education will receive Promise Neighborhoods planning grants to create plans that provide cradle-to-career services to improve the educational achievement and healthy development of children. The planning grants of up to $500,000 will support the work in a diverse set of communities in major metropolitan areas, small and medium-size cities, rural areas, and one Indian reservation. Each Promise Neighborhood is led by a nonprofit organization, an institution of higher education, or a charter school. Each recipient puts great schools at the center of their work.
- The Launch of the TEACH Campaign. The goal of the TEACH Campaign is to increase the number, quality, and diversity of people seeking to become teachers, particularly in high-need schools (rural and urban). The effort also focuses on recruitment of teachers for subjects in greatest demand—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)—and on teachers of English Learners (EL) and Special Education. The Department further hopes to connect aspiring teachers to information about the pathways to teaching including, preparation, certification, training and mentoring, while celebrating and honoring the profession of teaching.
The dates and agendas for upcoming forums will be announced in advance here.