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Archive for September, 2009


Every day, more than160,000 children nationwide stay home from school to avoid bullying. Up to one-third of the nation’s students are bullied during the academic year, and more than 60 percent witness bullying daily. The results of bullying can be devastating—or even tragic.

“Our mission is to engage, educate, and empower teens to care about bullying,” said Paula Goldberg, PACER’s executive director. “We encourage people nationwide to work together during National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children.”

In addition to visiting PACERTeensAgainstBullying.org for teens and PACERKidsAgainstBullying.org for elementary school children, people can help prevent bullying in several ways. Free activities to help reduce bullying in schools, recreational programs, and community groups, and materials such as contests, classroom toolkits, and more are available at PACER.org. Oregon PTI is partnering with PACER on this important issue.  We are offering trainings around the state on the issue of bullying, as well as providing information to increase public awareness.

“It’s time to take action,” Goldberg said. “Teachers, parents, students, and adults throughout each community must work together to create a climate that doesn’t accept bullying. When bullying is addressed, communities will see more students with higher self-esteem, better school attendance, less physical and mental stress, and better school performance.”

The week is sponsored by PACER’s National Center for Bullying Prevention, which is for all children, including those with disabilities. It promotes national bullying awareness and teaches effective ways to respond to bullying. National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week is cosponsored by the American Federation for Teachers, National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, National Education Association, and School Social Work Association of America.

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Wednesday afternoon (Sept 9) at 5pm EDT is the deadline for submitting questions and comments to the Secretary of Education for his Sept 15 National Town Meeting on Education Reform.

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SEPT 15 NATIONAL TOWN MEETING TO SUGGEST EDUCATION REFORMS, SHARE CONCERNS WITH SECRETARY OF EDUCATION.

EMAIL QUESTIONS/COMMENTS BY WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 by 5pm EDT

WHAT IS THE EVENT? On September 15, 2009 at 8pm EDT, Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan will host an interactive national town meeting with parents across the nation by telephone, email, and with a studio audience. Parents can suggest reforms, share their ideas for improving education, and other concerns and comments. Here’s an excellent opportunity for parents of children with disabilities and

advocates to share their views and concerns with the Department of Education about closing the disability achievement gap and providing a truly meaningful education that enables every child to succeed; share experiences about meaningful participation in their child’s education; and share share information about excellent programs that exist and should be duplicated.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE? IS THERE A DEADLINE?
Email your thoughts and ideas to EducationTV@ed.gov by 5:00 pm EDT on WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 2009. You can also call into the town meeting on September 15 by dialing 1-888-493-9382. Phone lines will open at 8pm EDT on September 15.

ISSUES THAT WILL BE DISCUSSED MATTER TO PARENTS AND ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: Topics that will be discussed include those below. Many relate to concerns that parents of children have, including the adequacy of the education children with disabilities receive and how to improve it; meaningful parental participation in IEP meetings as equals in educational planning; Least Restrictive Environment; and restraint/seclusion. The listed topics include:

* What do we need to do, and what do we need to do differently to ensure our students are successful?
* What does a quality school look like and how can more schools become consistently high achieving?
* How can parents become more involved with and engaged in their child’s education?
* What steps are schools at all levels of education taking to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment?
* What is working and what needs to change in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act? (This includes No Child Left Behind.)
* What are some effective practices for recruiting, retaining, supporting and compensating highly effective teachers?

WHY PARTICIPATE/EMAIL A QUESTION? DOES MY QUESTION REALLY MATTER? It is true that only a subset of questions may be selected for the program. But let’s say that a few hundred parents send in comments about the disability achievement gap, or share their concerns about how children deserve a truly meaningful education. Even if questions do not make the program, they are being received and surely being tallied and categorized. One way that other disability achievement gaps get attention is by shining a light on them. There are 7.1 million children with disabilities and its important to focus on improving the quality of education that they receive. Why not submit a question or comment? Its free! No stamp even needed! If you have ever written an email post with your thoughts on education, why not share some of those thoughts?

HOW CAN I VIEW THE PROGRAM OR GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IT?
http://registerevent.ed.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewer.wheretowatch&intEventID=233
for information about the program, called “America Goes Back to School: A National Town Hall Meeting with Arne Duncan – Tuesday, September 15, 2009.” If that link doesn’t work for you, try this one:
http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/index.html
and click on the National Town Meeting with Arne Duncan. The program is a special edition of Education News Parents Can Use. It is one stop on Secretary Duncan’s national “Listening and Learning” tour to gather input on the state of education.

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