ESSA went into full implementation last school-year. This year, districts are preparing for state monitoring visits regarding ESSA Compliance.

New ESSA RoadMap Now Available

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 30, 2018

The School Support and Improvement ESSA RoadMap is now available.

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Parent Communications and Translations: Machine vs. Human Translation – What’s the Difference?

By Dr. David Holbrook | September 6, 2018

Proactive schools and school districts are finding and using all means available to communicate with parents, including English learner (EL) students and parents with limited English proficiency (LEP). In an article from District Administration titled “Tech: A language translator allows districts to reach out to ELLs”, a number of creative and innovative solutions are discussed. This includes the use of machine translation (computer-assisted translation) tools, such as Google Translate.

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Guest Blog: Understanding the Impact of Historical Trauma for the Education of Native American Children

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 15, 2018

As part of our commitment to provide school district administrators with resources and guidance on federal program compliance and administration, we regularly publish blogs featuring guest writers. We are honored to feature a co-written article between TransACT Executive Director of Federal Compliance and State Relationships, Dr. Holbrook, and his former colleague Keja Nokomis Whiteman, 

an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians discussing the importance of incorporating cultural history to support positive learning outcomes for Native Americans. 

I was motivated to initiate the writing of this blog when I saw a news story via Politico about the return of the remains of four Native American children from the graveyard associated with the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, one of the boarding schools that were part of past attempts to forcibly assimilate Native Americans into the dominant American culture. The mortality rate for Native American students at this school was approximately 2%. The school operated from 1879 through 1918 and over that time period housed about 10,000 students.

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Challenges to Identifying Students Newly Experiencing Homelessness at the Beginning of the School Year

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 24, 2018

The beginning of the school year is a very busy time for school district staff, especially those working in the front office of schools. Enrolling new students can be a time consuming process. The multitude of forms to be completed and information to be loaded into student information systems can consume enormous amounts of time. This can take the focus off of other important student related issues. One such issue is students that are newly experiencing homelessness, who became homeless over the summer. These students may be eligible for services, but may not receive those services if they are not identified.

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Opposition to Elimination of USED’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) comes from EL Advocacy Groups and Congress

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 5, 2018

Back in February I wrote about the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos’, proposed reorganization of the U.S. Department of Education (USED) that would eliminate the USED’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). Since then, a group of 18 EL advocacy organizations and members of the U.S. Congress have written letters in opposition to the elimination of OELA.

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National Standards for Family-School Partnerships

By Dr. David Holbrook | March 8, 2018

The February 28th National Council for State Title III Directors (NCSTIIID) 2018 Annual Meeting, held in Albuquerque, NM, included a panel discussion titled “Building Strong Partnerships between Families, Schools, and Communities.” One item that was included in the NCSTIIID meeting program packet and discussed by the panel was the National PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. This is an excellent resource for schools and districts looking for a model to implement ESSA’s Parent and Family Engagement requirements and includes a means to measure the success of that implementation.

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Federal Judge Blocks End to DACA

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 16, 2018

A federal judge in California has blocked the Trump administrations efforts to end DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). Last year, California and other states filed a request to stop DACA from being rescinded. While that case has not yet been resolved, a San Francisco U.S. District Judge, William Alsup, has issued a ruling that halts the DACA program from ending while the legal challenge moves forward.

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Avoiding Government Shutdown May Be Tied To Creating a DACA Law

By Dr. David Holbrook | December 4, 2017

On September 5, 2017, when the Trump administration rescinded DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it sent shock waves throughout the immigrant community and caused uproar among advocates for immigration reform. Rescinding DACA put pressure on Congress to address this immigration issue by creating a legislative solution to replace the now rescinded executive action that created the DACA program.

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Avoiding the "Chilling Effect" While Enrolling Immigrant Students

By Alyssa Thornley | November 30, 2017

There is growing concern surrounding the impact that the Trump administration’s
decision to rescind (cancel) DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
program) will have on immigrants and their educational rights. In particular, the work that a school district does to collect information for school enrollment, or eligibility for Title III services, needs to be carefully conducted so as to not violate civil rights around the "chilling effect" (any practices that could intentionally or unintentionally dissuade immigrant families from enrolling their children as students). 

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USED Rescinds More Guidance Documents

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 9, 2017

I recently wrote a blog about the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) announcement that the offices at USED that handle special education issues had identified for rescission 72 special education regulations and guidance documents. I included information about the immediate outcry from special education advocates and political adversaries of Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, and how that resulted in the list of documents that were rescinded being reposted to the USED website, this time with an explanation for why each document was selected for removal. Following on the heals of the rescission of the special education documents comes the announcement of the rescission of nearly 500 more documents from other USED offices, including the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE).

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