Two Opportunities to join the U.S. Department Education Tribal Consultation; FY16 priorities for grants under the Native American and Alaska Native Children in Schools Program (NAM)

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Time:2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST
Duration: 2hours

To join the webinar, please follow the corresponding steps:

1.To access audio dial the following number:
888-324-9648
2.When prompted for the participant pass code enter:
2753089
3.You are encouraged to join the online meeting as well by using this link here.
4.When prompted for a meeting number enter:
745 749390
5.Then enter the following password:
011216

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
Duration: 2 hours

To join the webinar, please follow the corresponding steps:

1. To access audio dial this toll free number:
888-324-9648
2. When prompted for the participant pass code enter:
2753089
3. You are encouraged to join the meeting online as well by using this link here.
4. When prompted for a meeting number enter:
745 142 941.
5. Then enter the following password:
011316

 For more information, click here.

FLASHER, N.D. – Mary Louise Defender Wilson has received many honors and awards in her 85 years.

But the Dakotah and Hidatsa traditionalist and storyteller said she was surprised to learn she had received a $50,000 United States Artists fellowship, one of the most prestigious arts fellowships in the country.

“Honors and recognition have been a part of my life, and those are the blessings for my efforts,” she said. “It was my thinking that there would not be any more, and I was grateful for the past honors. It was a wonderful surprise to receive the phone call from Meg Leary of the USA office that I was named a fellow. I never thought that I would be honored in my 85th year, and I cried tears of joy.”

Defender Wilson is the first North Dakotan to receive the fellowship and the first person in the nation to receive it in storytelling, said Troyd Geist, folklorist with the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

“Mary Louise is a North Dakota treasure and with her most recent recognition is solidified as a national treasure,” he said.

As a young child growing up on the Standing Rock reservation, she would walk with her grandfather See the Bear to herd sheep, and he would tell her stories about places, plants and animals in the Wicheyena dialect of the Dakotah Sioux language.

“The stories I tell, I first heard them in the language of the people,” she said. “It has been my thinking that I have to do something to honor him and the others who told me the stories.”

Defender Wilson, of Flasher, N.D., plans to use the fellowship money to preserve native dialects by visiting Dakotah and Lakotah Sioux communities where Wicheyena, Isanti and Teton are spoken to record buffalo stories in those languages.

To read the entire article, click here.

An excerpt:

Hear that collective whoop from the Capitol? That’s the sound of education advocates and lawmakers cheering at the finish line as the first rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in more than a dozen years sails through Congress and on to the White House. 

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved the rewrite of the withering No Child Left Behind Act—the current version of the ESEA—by a huge bipartisan margin, 85 to 12, mirroring the vote of 359 to 64 in the U.S. House of Representatives just days earlier. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill tomorrow.

But even as educators and policymakers toast the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the next set of battles—over how the measure will be regulated in Washington and implemented in states—may just be getting started. 

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Bobby Scott, D-Va., would roll back the federal footprint in K-12 education for the first time in nearly a quarter century, putting states in the driver’s seat when it comes to accountability, teacher evaluation, school turnarounds, and more.

At the same time, it seeks to maintain what Murray and Scott call important “guardrails” to fix flailing schools and help close the achievement gap between traditionally overlooked groups of students—those in poverty, racial minorities, students in special education, and English-language learners—and their peers. (Everything you ever wanted to know about the bill here.) 

Additional articles are here and here.

The Senate on Wednesday passed an overhaul of the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, sending the measure to President Obama’s desk.

Senators approved the conference report worked out by House and Senate negotiators in a 85-12 vote — eight years after the original law expired. The House passed the legislation in an overwhelming vote last week.  The White House said that Obama will sign the legislation Thursday morning.

All 12 votes against the bill came from Republicans, who argued the legislation didn’t go far enough. The “no” votes included Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), a presidential candidate.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another presidential candidate, missed the vote but made his opposition clear in a statement.

“In many ways, the conference report was worse than the original Senate bill — removing the few good provisions from the House bill that would have allowed some Title I portability for low-income students as well as a parental opt-out from onerous federal accountability standards,” he said in a statement ahead of the vote. “The American people expect the Republican majority to do better.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), also missed the vote, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) voted “yes.” Both are running for president.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is challenging party front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, missed the vote.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested that passing the legislation after years of failing to agree to a deal is the latest example of how the upper chamber is “working” under a Republican majority.

“Finding a serious replacement for No Child Left Behind eluded Washington for years. Today it will become another bipartisan achievement for our country,” he said. “The new Congress and the new Senate have had a habit this year of turning third rails into bipartisan achievements.”

To read the entire article, click here.

An excerpt:

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday approved a sweeping revision of the contentious No Child Left Behind law, sending to President Obama’s desk a proposal that ends an era of federal control in education policy after 14 years.

The legislation, which passed the Senate by a vote of 85 to 12, would restore authority for school performance and accountability to local districts and states after a lengthy period of aggressive federal involvement. While it keeps the existing annual testing requirements in reading and math and requires that states act to improve the lowest performing schools, it allows more local control to set goals, determine school ratings and decide remedial measures.

“I believe it inaugurates a new era of innovation and student achievement by putting the responsibility for children back in the hands of those closest to them: parents and classroom teachers, and others,” Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who heads the Education Committee, said Tuesday.

Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, the product of a conference committee of the House and Senate that passed easily in the House last week with bipartisan backing.

No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush’s signature education initiative, had passed with strong bipartisan support in 2001. It introduced high-stakes standardized testing to gauge students in reading and math from the third to eighth grades, with the ultimate goal of making every student proficient in those subjects by 2014.

But as time went on, more schools faced sanctions, including closings, as they failed to meet what turned out to be an unworkable expectation. Republicans and Democrats alike backed away from the law as it became apparent that its penalties for struggling schools were overly punitive.

To read the entire article, click here.

You are invited to participate in a Webinar event sponsored and presented by the U. S. Department of Education, and coordinated by The Millennium Group’s (TMG’s) Technical Assistance Team.

This Webinar will be the first in a series of presentations designed to strengthen your capacity to achieve your project outcomes.

Webinar Topic: Understanding FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Date:   Wednesday December 9, 2015

Time: 2:00 PM EST

Please register for the webinar using this link: Registration