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Regional Stakeholders Confer on Education Reform Opportunities

"EDUCATION REFORM IN NEW ENGLAND" MATERIALS NOW AVAILABLE: Audio, video, PowerPoints, and breakout session notes may be downloaded.

Portsmouth, NH: With unprecedented federal funds available for education reform, education leaders, advocates, and stakeholders in the six New England states met with Tony Miller, Deputy Secretary of Education, in Bedford, New Hampshire on November 10 to discuss ways to improve outcomes for the region's students. At the invitation of the New England Comprehensive Center and other regional organizations, Miller engaged in a dialogue on the four federal reform priorities: high-quality standards and assessments; effective teachers and education leaders; data systems that inform decision-making; and intensive support for struggling schools.

Representatives of stakeholders—governors and legislators, a state education agency, districts and schools, education associations, and parent and community organizations—were invited to join the discussion. To sharpen the focus on key education priorities, Miller and Jim Butler of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education took part in question-and-answer sessions.

National experts in each of the four priority areas led discussions among participants on ways to build on existing strengths or fill gaps to improve the success of all students.

New England educators have a strong history of collaboration. NECAP, the New England Common Assessment Program, begun in 2005, is an example of cross-border collaboration that has improved efficiency by lowering assessment costs for individual states, while expanding achievement opportunities for students. Students in three NECAP states, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, achieved significant gains at both 4th- and 8th-grade levels on the mathematics portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the "nation's report card." Only Colorado matched the improved performance of the three NECAP states. New England educators are also collaborating to prepare students for college and careers in a global economy through College Ready New England and the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC).

The "Education Reform in New England" forum took place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Southeastern Regional Education Services Center (SERESC) in Bedford, New Hampshire.

Six USED-funded technical assistance and research centers co-sponsored the event: The Center on Instruction, The Region I Equity Assistance Center, The New England Comprehensive Center, The Northeast and Islands Regional Education Laboratory, The Northeast Regional Resource Center, and The Region I Parent Technical Assistance Center.

 

November 11, 2009