There is very little that's more frustrating than trying to get good resources from the Federal Department of Education website. Besides the difficult to read font and the constant promoting of NCLB, the site lacks the teacher's touch that would give some indication of why this information is important. Nevertheless, you are paying for it and by golly, you need to use it because there is a lot at this site, and that includes grants, summer opportunities, lesson plans, free booklets, and research.
I also added a section at the end of this column where you can compare how well the United States does related to other countries in terms of spending on education, as well as the performance of each state and its ranking in various areas of pupil performance and allocation of funding.
Department of Education Related Resource Links
Here are some of the more useful links I dragged out of the site as well as others that are related to it.
Free lessons by subject area: A very uneven listing of resources of which some are excellent. Loaded with primary documents of lessons for more high achieving students: http://www.free.ed.gov/
A site that helps districts show how technology could be used and has been used. A tool kit that every district should check: http://etoolkit.org/etoolkit/
Subscribe to education newsletters: There are a variety of them, but most of them read like propaganda for NCLB. Worth a look, but don't expect it to be easy to locate specific data. Perhaps the best one offers teacher updates to your email: http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/index.html
The Department of Education Budget and Comparisons to Other Nations;
The federal government is not a big player when it comes to funding education; it is left to state and local agencies to provide about 91 percent of the funding. Of course, statistics are made for manipulation, so that remaining percentage equates to a $68 billion dollar budget. On the other hand that only represents about 2.3 percent of the federal budget and pales when compared to the defense budget of $711 billion. Most of this goes to Title 1 grants, about $14.3 billion.
Worldwide spending on education: http://www.oclc.org/reports/escan/economic/educationlibraryspending.htm
Alan Haskvitz teaches at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, Calif., and makes staff development presentations nationwide. In addition, he serves as an audio-visual evaluator and design consultant for his county department of education; a tutor to multi-cultural students in English and art; and an Internet consultant.
Haskvitz's career spans more than 20 years. He has taught every grade level and core subject, has been recognized repeatedly for innovative teaching and has received the following honors, among many:
USA Today All Star Teacher
100 Most Influential Educators
Reader's Digest Hero in Education
Learning Magazine's Professional Best
National Middle Level Teacher of the Year
National Exemplary Teacher
Christa McAuliffe National Award
Robert Cherry International Award for Great Teachers
In addition, Haskvitz publishes articles on successful educational practices and speaks at conferences. He has served on seven national committees and boards.
Haskvitz maintains credentials and training in special and gifted education, history, administration, bilingual education, journalism, English, social studies, art, business, computers, museumology and Asian studies. He holds these credentials for Canada, New York and California. His experience also includes staff development, gifted curriculum design, administration, community relations and motivation. His background includes 10 years of university education.
As a teacher, Haskvitz's curriculum increased CAP/CLAS test scores from the 22nd percentile to the 94th percentile, the largest gain in California history. In addition, Haskvitz and his students work continuously to improve their school and community. His students' work is often selected for awards in competitions in several subject areas. For more details about Alan and his students' work, visit his page on the Educational Cyber Playground.