ED to Celebrate Constitution Day

In remembrance of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, and in recognition of the Americans who strive to uphold the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, including Federal employees, the Congress enacted a law on December 8, 2004, that requires educational institutions receiving Federal funding to hold an educational program for their students pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year, except when it falls on a weekend.  Congress also designated September 17 as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. Additionally, Federal agencies are required to provide information about the Constitution to their employees to commemorate that day.

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3 Types of FAFSA® Deadlines You Should Pay Attention To


Ah, deadlines. The sworn enemy of students across the nation. When you’re busy with classes, extracurricular activities, and a social life in whatever time you’ve got left, it’s easy to lose track and let due dates start whooshing by. All of a sudden, your 10-page term paper is due in an hour, and you’re only on page 5 (with the help of 26-point type and triple line spacing). We get it.

Nevertheless, we’re here to point out a few critical deadlines that you really shouldn’t miss: those to do with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. By submitting your FAFSA form late, you might be forfeiting big money that can help you pay for college.

Here are those three deadlines:

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7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the 2018–19 FAFSA® Form


If you need financial aid to help you pay for college, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The 2018–19 FAFSA form was made available as of Oct. 1, 2017. You should fill it out as soon as possible on the official government site, fafsa.gov.

It’ll be easier to complete the FAFSA form if you gather what you need ahead of time. Below is what you’ll need to fill it out.

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Keeping the Promise in California: The California Affinity Group

When I wanted to know what an affinity group is, I turned to my affinity for the dictionary. Webster’s definition is “people having a common goal or acting together for a specific purpose.” By this definition, the California Affinity Group (CAG) is perfectly named. CAG’s members work in Promise Neighborhoods, Promise Zones, a Performance Partnership Pilot area, city governments, school districts, community organizations, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and U.S. Department of Education (ED) with the common goal of improving opportunities for people living in some of California’s most distressed communities.

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ED Provides Information Site, Activates Emergency Response Contact Center in Response to Hurricane Harvey

In response to the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Department of Education has activated an emergency response contact center and created an information page on the ED website.

ED’s Hurricane Harvey Information webpage contains relevant information from the U.S. Department of Education as well as links to other Federal resources to assist those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The website will be updated as new information is received so users are urged to continue checking the site for the latest.

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8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your College Experience

Everyone’s college experience is unique—and probably not quite what they were expecting, but here are some tried and true tips on how to get through it.

1. Get involved.

This point may be the most overhyped, but it’s still valid. Go to your school’s activities fair if they have one; otherwise, keep your eyes open for opportunities to join different clubs or teams. Joining a club or team can often provide a much-needed relief from your everyday classes or responsibilities, and it’s a great way to meet new people or to try something new! Many schools even have niche groups such as unicycle clubs, quidditch teams (of Harry Potter fame), and virtual reality clubs. If you don’t find a club that aligns with your interests, you can always start your own!

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Celebrating a Sixth Cohort of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools; Launching the 2017 Green Strides Tour

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) began in 2011-2012 by defining “green school” according to three Pillars.  In 2012-2013, ED added a District Sustainability Award and began an annual tour spotlighting the practices of honorees and launched a Green Strides resources portal for all to employ.  The 2013-2014 cycle added an honor for state officials and 2015 brought a postsecondary category and saw the revamping of the Green Strides portal.

Need an occasion for celebration? On Wednesday, July 19th, we recognized 45 schools, nine districts, nine postsecondary institutions, and one state education agency official at a Washington, D.C. ceremony for their efforts to cultivate sustainable, healthy facilities, wellness practices, and authentic place-based learning.

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How Do Schools Calculate Your Financial Aid?

One of the questions we receive most often is: “Why didn’t I get more money for school? It’s especially frustrating when you have no idea how a school decided on your aid offer.  Hopefully, this information will shed some light on how schools calculate your financial aid.

It all starts when you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Once we (Federal Student Aid) process your application (it takes about three days if you submitted it online), we make your information available to all of the schools you listed on it. Each school then uses your FAFSA information to determine how much aid you are eligible to receive at that school. Each school has its own schedule for awarding financial aid. You must check with each school to find out when you can expect to receive an aid offer.

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Celebrating Student Artistry From Fairfax County Public Schools: “The World Through My Eyes”

On July 18, the Department hosted Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to celebrate the opening of “The World Through My Eyes,” a collection of student achievement in the visual arts. Ninety FCPS students grades one through 12 at 28 schools contributed to the exhibit; the diversity of their chosen mediums—from photography to painting, illustration, printmaking, mixed media, and film—exemplifies the myriad perspectives and concerns of today’s youths.

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Preparing and Developing Culturally Responsive School Leaders


Standard 3 of the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) reads, “Effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.” How do we take this important aspiration and realize it through our practices and actions?

In June, our school’s administrative team hosted a two-day Climate Summit for our entire staff. The aim was to collaborate around our school’s newly defined core values; clarify our common practices around creating a safe and positive school climate; articulate our social-emotional learning plans for the upcoming year; and standardize our discipline practices to ensure consistency, fairness, and, most importantly, increase opportunities for our students to be in class, rather than excluded.

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Eight Lessons Learned From Piloting the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach

Mrs. Lowerre’s class” by diane horvath is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

 
For the last 18 months, the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Department, has been working with Mathematica Policy Research and SRI International to build the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach (the RCE Coach). The RCE Coach is a free, open-source, web-based platform to help schools and districts generate evidence about whether their educational technology apps and tools are working to achieve better results for students. The platform was released in Beta in October 2016 and updated in January 2017. The RCE Coach currently includes two types of evaluation designs:

  • matched comparison, which creates two similar groups of users and non-users of an ed tech application already in use at a school site and;
  • randomized pilot, which randomly assigns participants to groups of users and non-users of an ed tech application that has not yet been implemented.

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