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No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, fixing our broken immigration system is a win-win. Immigration reform is not only good policy, but it is good politics, and the individuals Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and I met today near the U.S. Capitol Building reinforced the need to act. These brave immigration reform supporters have been fasting without food since November 12, to call attention to the human suffering caused by our broken immigration system.
Fast for Families is an organization of faith-based, immigrant rights and labor leaders who came together, calling on Congress to take action toward needed, sensible immigration reform legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship.
Some fasters like veteran immigration reform advocate Eliseo Medina, who after doctor’s orders ended his 22-day fast, have relayed their fast to other immigration reform supporters including members of congress. Others like Rudy Lopez, one of the fasters I met today, has completed 21 days of fasting and vows to continue to protest and fast. “We love this country; we are proud Americans and aspiring Americas,” said Rudy.
“I want live in a country where the words ‘justice’ and ‘opportunity’ actually mean something,” said another faster. As I was sitting there with Eliseo, Rudy and other fasters who have friends and families who would directly benefit from immigration legislation, I couldn’t help but to think about the many students across this country who inspired the drafting of the DREAM Act. They continued to share stories of hundreds of people dying in our deserts each year trying to cross the borders as undocumented immigrants.
And I was reminded about one of the most poignant days I’ve experienced in my tenure as Secretary. In September, I spent a day in Columbus, New Mexico – situated right on our border with Mexico. There, children born in an American hospital to Mexican parents cross the border every day to go to school, sometimes rising before dawn to make sure they arrive to class on time.
The Columbus community has welcomed them for more than 60 years, and despite the journey those American children have to take every day, Columbus Elementary School has near-perfect attendance. Much like the fasters I met today, I saw in both the students and educators in Columbus that same dedication and that profound understanding of the importance of educational opportunity. It is something I will never forget.
If lawmakers in Washington took some time to visit the Fast for Families tent or the Columbus, New Mexico, community, I have no doubt that partisan politics regarding this particular issue would dissolve. We need legislators to work together to reform immigration, so families who just want to have a better life and contribute to America’s economy can do so, together.
The Obama Administration remains committed to working hard to achieve commonsense immigration reform. We have already taken unprecedented efforts to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of our immigration system through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). But we know that DACA doesn’t reach everyone; the only permanent solution is for Congress to pass immigration legislation.
I am very inspired by the commitment and passion of these fasters and the Fast for Families’ goal to continue this hard work until comprehensive immigration reform is indeed a reality. I also remain encouraged by the undocumented students I have met – many of whom have been in this country since they were young children and consider America their home – who just want the opportunity to go to college or serve in the armed forces.
I join the fasters in a call to Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform. I hope that their mission can be fueled by the words of Nelson Mandela, an exemplary leader so present in my mind today: “It always seems impossible, until it’s done.”
Arne Duncan is the U.S. Secretary of Education
Holiday and winter breaks are just weeks away, and while students and teachers will get a well-deserved break from the classroom, it doesn’t mean children need to stop learning. Here are a few tips to keep children’s minds sharp and challenged during their break, and it might just prevent cabin fever:
- Ask your child’s teacher or search online for worksheets or projects that can be done over the holidays. For 20 to 30 minutes a day, review with your child math concepts, spelling words, or sentence structure. You can also work together in starting a cool science project.
- Have your child read to you daily from the newspaper, a magazine, or excerpts from their favorite book, and let your child see you reading.
- Use the winter break to strengthen your child’s vocabulary. This is a perfect time to start a treasure chest of words, by having your child look up new words, then write the word and definition on 3×5 cards. Use the word in a sentence or have them write a story based on the word. This exercise will reinforce reading comprehension and writing skills.
- Give your child an opportunity to appreciate the arts by attending free events like concerts or plays during the holidays, or stop by a local museum.
- Give a book or educational gift that will keep on giving throughout the year.
Don’t forget to thank your child’s teacher with a special present, gift card or note before the holiday break.
Carrie Jasper is director of outreach to parents and families at the U.S. Department of Education
A study documents a gender gap in scholarly publishing that is often described anecdotally.
We’re pleased to have Marshall Hill, Executive Director of the National Council for State Reciprocity Agreements update us on progress with SARA. WCET will host a free webcast featuring Marshall Hill updating us with more details about SARA on January 23 at 2:00 Eastern/1:00 Central/Noon Mountain/11:00 Pacific. Russ Poulin
The compromise proposal, if passed, would all but ensure that cuts in education and other domestic programs won't be as deep as had been feared.
However, the number of nonacademic jobs rose slightly, the American Economic Association reported.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan officially launched the Department of Education’s Principal Ambassador Fellowship yesterday by naming three principals to serve as the inaugural class of Campus Principal Ambassador Fellows. They are: Sharif El-Mekki of Mastery Charter School – Shoemaker campus in Philadelphia, PA; Jill Levine, principal of Normal Park Museum Magnet School in Chattanooga, TN; and Rachel Skerritt at Eastern Senior High School in Washington, DC.
You can learn more about each of them on the Department’s Principal Ambassador Fellowship website in the coming days. In short:
Sharif El-Mekki has served since 2007 in the charter school serving 750 middle and high school students. The Shoemaker campus is a three-time winner of New Leaders’ EPIC award for being amongst the top three schools in the country for accelerating student achievement. El-Mekki serves on Mayor Michael Nutter’s Commission on African American Males and is an America Achieves Fellow.
Jill Levine has served as principal since 2002 of two campuses which serve 850 pre-K to 8th grade students. Normal Park has been named a Magnet School of Excellence every year since 2005 and in 2012, Levine was named National Principal of the Year by Magnet Schools of America. Levine serves on Tennessee’s First to the Top Advisory Committee and Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee.
Rachel Skerritt has been principal of Eastern Senior High School since it was re-launched in 2011 as a turnaround high school. Under her leadership, Eastern has earned authorization as an International Baccalaureate school and last spring scored the second highest proficiency rates amongst comprehensive high schools in the District of Columbia on the DC-CAS exams. Skerritt is also a published novelist and frequent contributor to The Root, an off-shoot of the Washington Post.
In its inaugural year, the Principal Ambassador Fellowship program is meant to recognize the important impact that a principal has on instruction, the school environment, and talent management and to better connect this expertise and knowledge with education policy makers. The 2013 U.S. Department of Education Principal Ambassador Fellows will work with our current Teaching Ambassador Fellows as well as our Resident Principal to help kick start and shape the new program.
A new study that looked at more than one million articles found no meaningful correlation between tweets and citations.
A University of Texas official contrasts his institution's fledgling proposal with the one that has caused controversy at the University of Michigan.
Like a messy bookshelf, the Internet can be a frustrating and overwhelming place to search for information. Developed in response to requests from the counselor and college access communities, the Department of Education launched the Financial Aid Toolkit. Available at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, the website is a “one-stop shop” aimed at guidance counselors and other advisers to help them prepare students for the process of planning and paying for a postsecondary education.
Whether you’ve already visited the Financial Aid Toolkit, or you’re just hearing about it for the first time, here are five helpful tips to get the most from the toolkit:
- Get a head start on helping students prepare for college. As you know, it’s never too soon for students to start identifying academic interests, understanding college costs, and planning for higher education. The toolkit’s Learn About Financial Aid section provides tips and resources for working with students through this planning process and includes videos, infographics, and publications such as the College Preparation Checklist, as well as updates on the FAFSA. You can also brush up on the basics of loan repayment. If you work with current student loan borrowers, this tool can serve as a resource to help you review with them the available options and help guide them toward a repayment plan that best meets their needs.
- Find resources to help make your event a success. Planning a financial aid night or FAFSA completion event? You can get tips and information on setting up an event, as well as resources to help make it a success. Our Conduct Outreach section also has other resources to help you reach students and spread the word about the availability of financial aid. You can find sample presentations and handouts on various financial aid topics, information on reaching specific audiences, such as parents, adult students, military families, and much more.
- Leverage Federal Student Aid’s social media content. Social media can be a great way to reach your students, but it can be challenging to come up with new content. The toolkit’s Social Media section shares content and resources to help meet your needs. We have suggested tweets and Facebook posts for FAFSA completion and loan repayment. We also provide information on how to leverage our content on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as our blog posts.
- Locate training online or in your area. If you’re looking for additional training for yourself, check out the Get Training section for information on training options provided by state and regional organizations. You can also explore the National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM) area to see if there’s a workshop near you, view a training webinar, and access training materials.
- Use the Search Resources section to find resources that meet your needs. Short on time or looking for something specific? Head straight to the Financial Aid Toolkit’s search option. We have consolidated Federal Student Aid’s resources into a searchable online database. You can see all our resources or filter the resources based on audience, topic, time of year, and type of resource.
The Department will continue updating the toolkit to include more information and resources. If you have any suggestions, you can use our Contact Us page to provide feedback. Now that you have access to resources covering the entire student financial aid lifecycle from preparing for college and applying for financial aid to repaying student loans, we strongly encourage you to explore this incredibly handy toolkit. Be sure to share and bookmark FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov today.Dan Griffin is a confidential assistant at the U.S. Department of Education
The Council of Graduate Schools' meeting came at a time of increasing pressure on programs to prove their worth. Talk often turned to life after the Ph.D.
The chief executives of Arizona State, Duke, and Stanford Universities and of Spelman College also win recognition for improving town-gown relations.
These individuals made their mark through the courts, through the power of an idea, through the act of writing an open letter, even in death.
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Michael Cunningham, an entrepreneur and former business dean, is working on ways to help National University better serve its nontraditional students.
The Digital Public Library of America serves as the central link in an expanding network of institutions that want their holdings spread far and wide.