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JESSUP, MD 20794-1398

Permit NO. G-17

May 1, 2003 • Vol. 2, No. 8 FIRST CLASS

“When it comes to
the education of our
children . . . failure is
not an option.”

Questions Parents
About Schools
re about how they can he
arents wanting to know mo

to those
ir children exc el in sch ool can find the answers
the estions
s in a new publication Qu
frequently asked question
Parents Ask About Schools rents or
ear ch -ba sed tips tha t cov er a range of topics for pa
, this booklet provides res
In 16 reader-friendly pages including:
vers with eleme ntary an d middle school children,
for school;
• preparing your child rgarten teacher;
ect from your child’s kinde
• knowing what to exp
• monitoring school wo
ls and teachers effectively;
• working with schoo and
th reading and homework;
• helping your child wi g free.
ild’s school is safe and dru
• ensuring that your ch ools, wh ich has been compiled in
one single
ts Ask Ab ou t Sch
Questions Paren available online at
the En glish an d Spanish translations, is rtment
text with bo th
Qu est ion s. Fo r a paper copy, please call the Depa at 1-877-4ED-PUBS with ide
ntification number
’s pu blicat ion s cen ter
of Education r please.
last. One order per custome
EKH0124P, while supplies

ACHIEVER • May 1, 2003 • Vol. 2, No. 8

Paige Unveils Summer Reading Pilot Program

Program participants will receive a certificate signed by

.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige on March 20
joined Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, Atlanta Public Secretary Paige and Superintendent Hall.
Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall, students, educa- Target stores, Scholastic, Inc., the Boys and Girls Clubs
tors and other community partners to kick off the No Child of Metro Atlanta and the Atlanta Metro Chamber of
Left Behind Summer Reading Achievers program for students Commerce are among a host of partners in the Atlanta region
in Atlanta Public Schools. supporting the reading campaign.
The new program encourages school children in grades For more program details, call 1-800-USA-LEARN or
K–8 to read actively during the summer months and avoid visit
the loss of reading skills that often occurs during summer
vacation. If successful, the program will expand next year to

Filling the Information

schools nationwide.
“Reading is the one skill upon which all others depend
and making sure that every child in our schools learns to read Gap Among Latino Pa
is a mission of the president’s and mine,” Secretary Paige said. r
The Atlanta Public School system was chosen as the pilot By Sara Martinez Tucke
site because the schools have posted gains over the past sever- Fund’s outreach team
s the Hispanic Scholarship
al years. These improvements include a significant increase in
the percentage of fourth-graders meeting or
exceeding the standard in reading as
measured by the Criterion-
A travels across the country pro
on navigating the college pro
Latino students to go to col
viding workshops
cess to inspire
lege, we are witnessing a
in the Latino community.
remarkable transformation
Referenced Competency Test. morning or weekday
Whether it’s on a weekend
To participate in the pro- ts are attending our bilingual
evening, parents and studen
gram, students will be expect- , eager to receive informa-
workshops in large numbers
ed to read 10 age-appropri- daunting process of getting
tion about the sometimes
ate books (about one a week) Our town hall meetings
into and paying for college.
during the summer. Students ay workshops empower
and Steps for Success Saturd
will be required to describe ectation that their chil-
Latino families to set an exp
briefly the books they have read ate from college. At the
dren will attend and gradu
by completing a simple form. (HSF), we do not want
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
ldren will go to col-
our parents to ask if their chi
lege, but when.
olarship Fund
In 1996, the Hispanic Sch
ubling the rate of
adopted the mission of do
e degrees to
Latinos earning their colleg
continued on page 2

“[W]e are witnessing a remarkable

transformation in the Latino com-
munity,” said Tucker, pictured far
left, about the impact of the
Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s efforts
on increasing Hispanic participa-
Photography by Cary Herz tion in higher education.
continued from page
1 18 percent by 2010. And, as the No the failure to integrate Latino families
Child Left Behind Act holds our schools into the educational process, as well as a
accountable for delivering quality educa- lack of familiarity with the U.S. educa-
U.S. Department of Education tion for all of America’s children, our tion system among immigrant families.
Partnership for Excellence in Latino Coupled with the booming Latino pop-
The Achiever is published by the Office of Higher Education proposal, which was ulation and consistently low education
Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs,
U.S. Department of Education (ED). funded by the U.S. Department of attainment rates in the Latino commu-
Education, seeks to increase parental nity, we know that creating a pipeline of
Secretary of Education involvement in forming their child’s college-ready Latino students will
Rod Paige educational destiny. require a broader approach.
Research has shown that parental For almost 30 years, the Hispanic
Assistant Secretary
Laurie M. Rich
involvement plays a key role in chil- Scholarship Fund has been guided by
dren’s academic achievement and that a student-centric, solutions-oriented
Senior Director an effective method for engaging Latino model, providing financial resources
John McGrath parents is to provide them with the directly to our students to make their
information and tools necessary for dreams to participate in higher educa-
Executive Editor
them to play an active role in their chil- tion a reality. Now, we are complement-
Susan Aspey
dren’s education. Although an array of ing this strategy by expanding our
Editor educational materials exists, many are model and playing a role in filling the
Nicole Ashby not user friendly, culturally appropriate, information gap among Latino parents.
or distributed and used effectively. To achieve our mission, the
Contributing Writer
Sara Martinez Tucker
Through the feedback we’ve gath- Hispanic Scholarship Fund and its sister
ered from the more than 5,000 parents organization, the Hispanic Scholarship
Designer and students HSF has served in the last Fund Institute, will work collaboratively
Jason Salas Design year through its workshops, we are find- to assess how and what is being commu-
ing a significant difference in the level nicated, develop materials and points of
Questions and comments of knowledge about higher education delivery that are culturally relevant, and
Editor among students and their parents. As effectively deliver information to Latino
The Achiever
U.S. Department of Education
expected, Latino students are more parents in a way that will empower them
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. familiar with the topics discussed than to ensure their children’s success—in
Room 5E217 their parents. In addition, we are reas- order to create a national infrastructure
Washington, DC 20202 sured of the increasing need to provide that is sustainable over time.
Fax: 202-205-0676
meaningful information in a way that Sara Martinez Tucker is president of
respects the values of the Latino family the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the nation’s
Subscriptions and address and its high regard for education, while leading organization supporting higher
changes acknowledging the language, cultural education for Hispanics. During its 27-year
ED Pubs and generational differences that may history, HSF has awarded nearly 54,000
P.O. Box 1398 impact how parents receive, understand scholarships worth more than $89 million.
Jessup, MD 20794 and process information.
1-877-4ED-PUBS (433-7827)
These dynamics have led to an Tucker speaks with award recipients of the
information gap between Latino par-
New Mexico Celebration of Achievement:
Information on ED programs, ents’ education aspirations for their (left to right) Maribel Valenzuela, Andres
resources and events children and their children’s aca- Padilla and Bridget Lujan.
Information Resource Center demic achievement, due in signifi-
U.S. Department of Education cant part to
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202
1-800-USA-LEARN (872-5327)

The Achiever contains news and information

about public and private organizations for
the reader’s information. Inclusion does not
constitute an endorsement by the U.S.
Department of Education of any products or
services offered or views expressed.

ke time, creativity

On th

ke th at it w ill ta
“Make no mista
n tio n b y g o ve rn ment and uni-
and constant atte
ls to p u rsu e effe ctive race-neutral
versity offic ia
er, as A m er ic an s, we owe it to May 20
policies. How ev 8:00–9:00 p.m. E.T.
d to o u r ch ild ren to meet those Education News Parents Can Use
our heritage an r
monthly broadcast will focus on

es h ea d o n , ra th er than looking fo special education. Visit

challeng e
at d iv id e u s b y race and betray th or call 1-800-USA-LEARN.
shortcuts th
io n’s fu n d am en tal principles.”
03, release
ks on the March 28, 20
Secretary Paige,
in his re m ar ary Education:
ternat ives in Postsecond

tral Al

of the report Ra
e Approa ches to Diversity.

Up: No Child There are now 2,695 charter
- schools in 36 states and the

Left Behind District of Columbia, a huge

expansion from the first one
Charter School Guidance that opened just a decade ago.

n March 25, the U.S. Department of Source: Center for Education Reform,
Education issued guidance on the National Charter School Directory, 2003.

impact of the new Title I require-

ments on charter schools. The 12-page document
provides general information on how the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) impacts charter schools, including details on
accountability requirements; public school choice; supplemental educational services; and teacher and paraprofessional
qualifications. The department also will issue soon new guidance on the Public Charter Schools Grant Program, which is
provided for under Title V of the law promoting informed parental choice and innovative programs.
Some of the questions the guidance answers are—
• How does the new law define a highly qualified charter school teacher?
• Are charter schools required to make adequate yearly progress like other public schools?
• Must parents be notified if a charter school is identified as in need of improvement?
While charter schools are held to the same rigorous standards as other public schools, NCLB also respects the freedom
and autonomy that the schools enjoy under state law.
Charter schools operate with a contract—or charter—from a public agency, according to individual state charter laws.
They are created by groups of parents, teachers, school administrators and others who want to provide educational alternatives.
They are free of cost to parents and open to all students, but exempted from most statutory and regulatory requirements in
exchange for performance-based accountability. They must meet standards set forth in their charters for students and the
school as a whole, or else the chartering agency can close the school.
Research suggests that charter schools can boost performance particularly among disadvantaged children.
To access the guidance, visit