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Blog by New Director for USDE Office of English Language Acquisition

Check out this blog from the newly appointed assistant deputy secretary and director of the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) at the U.S. Department of Education, Libia Gil. OELA supports high-quality instruction for linguistically and culturally diverse students as well as professional development programs for teachers of English learners. OELA programs are supporting progress in classrooms across the country, but "I know we have so much more work to do."
 
"America’s long-term prosperity is linked to whether English learners attain the knowledge and skills they need to earn a

Paterson (NJ) Groups Win Moratorium on Out-of-School Suspension for Minor Infractions

From Dignity in Schools, October 30,2013

In Paterson, NJ on October 16, the Parent Education Organizing Council (PEOC) and Paterson Education Fund won a victory in their Solutions Not Suspensions Campaign to call for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions.The Paterson School Board passed a resolution ending out-of-school suspensions for minor Category I Infractions, like willful disobedience, violations of the dress code or tardiness.

The School Board also committed to complete a process within a year to develop and implement positive approaches to addressing student behaviors rather

More Than Baby Talk

UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute has just published “More Than Baby Talk,” an easily-readable and free online guide to igniting the communication and language skills of infants and toddlers. This guide includes ten research-based recommendations for educators and parents. “More Than Baby Talk” recommends one-on-one and small-group interactions that are tried and tested to support the development of language and communication in infants and toddlers from a variety of backgrounds.

Four Ways to Apply for Health Coverage through the Marketplace

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Posted
 October 29, 2013

It has been three weeks since the start of the new Health Insurance Marketplace, where Americans, regardless of income or health status, can find quality, affordable health coverage.   The launch of the Marketplace website, HealthCare.gov, has been rocky but we are working tirelessly to make the online process better.  And we are taking other steps to meet the consumer demand for affordable health insurance.

Sequester and Special Education Cuts

In a recent article in Stateline, read about how new round of special education cuts are taking hold, prompted by a 5 percent reduction in federal funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), with a state-by-state rundown of the amounts lost.  Marcie Lipsitt, a longtime advocate for children with disabilities and co-chair of the Michigan Alliance for Special Education, states that it means that many schools have eliminated resource rooms where children can go to get help in areas such as math, reading, writing and organizational skills.

Attendance Works Twitter Party

In honor of Attendance Awareness Month, America's Promise Alliance is hosting a Twitter Party to discuss attendance and chronic absence. Learn about strategies to help improve school attendance in your community through this free event, presented by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and State Farm.

Experts from Attendance Works (@AttendanceWorks), the Alliance for Excellent Education (@all4ed), America's Promise Alliance (@AmericasPromise) and others will be available to answer questions. Use the Attendance Campaign hashtag, #SchoolEveryDay, to join the conversation on Sept. 10, 1 p.m. ET.

Campaign for Presidential Youth Council

The movement to increase the voice of young people in federal policy got a significant boost today with the announcement of a congressional bill to create a Presidential Youth Council. Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.) announced that he plans to re-introduce a House resolution (H.J.Res 115) to create the council, which would advise the president on the perspectives of young people, offer suggestions on how to make federally-funded youth policies more effective and make recommendations on long-term national issues. Its members would be ages 16 to 24.

"The perspectives of our youth should be an

NJ Special Education Code Changes Vacated

On June 21, in a special session of the NJ State Board of Education meeting, the NJSBOE voted to vacate the vote they took in April approving proposed changes to New Jersey's Special Education Code.  In addition, they voted to readopt 6A:14 (Special Education Code) with only technical amendments, which reflected changes in the statute, misspellings, etc.
In the months preceding this rare retrenchment, many parents and advocates voiced their experiences and opinions about the changes, the lack of inclusion in the Education Transformation Task Force's work which suggested many of the changes,

NJ Special Education Coalition Shares Action Steps on Code Changes

On April 22, 2013,  more than 1300 participants joined  the N.J. Special Education Stakeholder Coalition on conference call to review its positions on several changes to N.J. Administrative Code in the area of Special Education.  The call was hosted by Marie Blistan, from the New Jersey Education Association; Peg Kinsell, from the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network; and Jennifer Halper, representing Disability Rights New Jersey.

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