Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Spellings Report: More D.C. Hobnobbing

Globe-trotting Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings hosted a recent conference on increasing academic achievement among America's Hispanic students:
Education in the Hispanic community took center stage at a two-day conference hosted by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Some 200 Hispanic leaders from across the country convened in our nation's capital to discuss the common goal of raising Hispanic student achievement. The two-day event, called "Pathways to Hispanic Family Learning," focused on the importance of family and community involvement in the education of our students and finding effective ways to provide valuable information about education to Hispanic Americans in English and Spanish.

Secretary Spellings also announced that the Department is developing a new toolkit to help inform Hispanic families about their rights and benefits under No Child Left Behind with valuable information on topics from supplemental educational services, including free tutoring, to parental involvement and school choice.

Other featured speakers at the event included U.S. Treasurer Anna Cabral; Ruben Barrales, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs; Daniel Garza from the White House Office of Public Liaison; and Adam Chavarria, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
Apparently, no classroom teachers were invited to the conference, though it is known that there was at least one principal and one young student present. Certainly, no classroom teachers were featured speakers...

We do like the idea of distributing a toolkit in order to inform Hispanic families of their rights under The No Child Left Behind Act. Including parents in the process is an integral component of any meaningful reform.
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