Archive for July, 2011

The Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center has released the July 2011 issue of our e-newsletter, Your ACCESS to the Region. As always, the newsletter updates recent progress on state work in Illinois and Wisconsin. This issue of the newsletter highlights the Common Core State Standards, with a feature article on regional and national initiatives working to move the Common Core State Standards into the classroom and an interview with Susie Morrison of the Illinois State Board of Education and Linda Reabe of Illinois State University on Illinois progress toward implementing the standards. REL Midwest contributed an update on recent REL activities, including two new publications. Among other highlights, the newsletter discusses the results of the recent survey of newsletter readers and how the results will be used to inform future issues. Finally, there will also be an accompanying blog post on understanding the Common Core State Standards that will be released early next week.

In May, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services jointly announced the new Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program. The RTT-ELC program will help highly committed states provide low-income families with access to high-quality early learning and development programs from birth to age 5.

Throughout the past several days, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services have taken major steps toward making the proposal to interested states. On Friday, draft guidelines—including requirements, priorities, selection criteria, and definitions—were released. Comments on the draft guidelines are due on July 11. Feedback will be used to develop final requirements, priorities, selection criteria, and definitions, which will be published as a “Notice Inviting Applications” in the Federal Register later this summer. The draft executive summary and program information can be found on the program website. There is space at the bottom of the page to submit your comments.

On July 6, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services sent a joint letter to all of the governors, requesting that they submit their intent to apply for RTT-ELC funds by July 15.