Tag Archives: department education

Spellings Joins Apollo Group Board Of Directors

Apollo Group, Inc. announced that former United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will join the company’s board of directors.

“As a leading national expert on education, public policy and the impact both have on the U.S. economy, Margaret is uniquely qualified to help advance Apollo Group’s mission and purpose,” said John Sperling, founder and executive chairman of Apollo Group. “Margaret has worked tirelessly throughout her career to improve accessibility and accountability in our nation’s colleges and universities, and we are fortunate to have her join the Apollo board.”

Currently, Spellings serves as president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a public policy consultancy firm. In addition, Spellings is a strategic advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and serves as president of its U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation, overseeing the Chamber’s nonprofit educational organizations and initiatives.

Spellings served as U.S. secretary of education from 2005 to 2009, managing all aspects of the Department of Education and its operations, including a budget of nearly $70 billion and a staff of more than 10,000 employees and contractors. As a member of the White House Cabinet, Spellings led the implementation of the historic No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a groundbreaking national initiative designed to provide enhanced accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students.

Prior to serving as secretary of education, Spellings served as White House domestic policy advisor, with responsibility for managing the president’s domestic policy agenda. In this role, Spellings oversaw the development of a number of key policy achievements, including NCLB, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and numerous other initiatives on health and human services, transportation, labor, justice and housing.

Previously in her career, Spellings served as senior advisor to the governor of Texas, associate executive director, Texas Association of School Boards, executive director of the governor’s committee on public education and director of special projects at Austin Community College.

Spellings earned a bachelor’s degree and an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Houston, and was named Distinguished Alumna by the same institution in 2006.

For more information on Apollo Group, visit Apollo Group’s website at apollogrp.edu.

Science Scores Improve

Arizona Students’ Science Scores Improve Faster Than The Nation’s

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) announced that Arizona’s 2011 eighth grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Science scores improved three points from its 2009 science scores. NAEP is considered the gold standard in reliable and valid assessments. While the nation’s science scores as a whole improved, Arizona’s science scores improved at a faster rate.

Much of Arizona’s academic gain stems from the state narrowing the science test score gap between White students and Black and Hispanic students and between students not-eligible for free/reduced lunches and those students who are eligible. The test score gap between White students and Hispanic students closed by five points. This is significant considering nearly an equal number of White and Hispanic students were tested, and given Arizona’s large population of Hispanic English language learners.

“I am encouraged by our eighth-graders’ test score gains on NAEP Science from 2009 to 2011, and particularly applaud the concerted efforts of our state’s educators to narrow the performance gap between students from a more fortunate background and those disadvantaged students most at risk,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.

Superintendent Huppenthal continued, “While we should be encouraged today, too many of our students are still being left behind by their state, national and international peers. It is our imperative as a state and as an education community to close the gap altogether, and not rest satisfied until every student receives an education that prepares him or her to succeed in college and career.”

Arizona has taken bold, important steps toward greater and faster student test score gains in science and other core subject areas.

Arizona leads the way in developing the Next Generation Science Standards along with 25 other states. These new standards are being set to internationally competitive levels in science. Arizona’s adoption of substantially more enriching and rigorous new standards— Arizona’s College- and Career-Ready Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics—will also play a large role in increasing students’ learning in science coursework.

Increased English and math proficiency prepares students to read at a higher difficulty level, make concrete evidence-based arguments, and apply sound mathematical practices.  All of these skills are foundational for teaching science concepts and scientific reasoning and critical thinking at higher levels.

Arizona winning a competitive $25 million U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top (RTTT) grant also plays a key role in supporting the state’s efforts to improve student learning, particularly in science and math. The RTTT grant includes the implementation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the curriculum to support the teaching of Arizona’s College- and Career-Ready Standards, along with the teaching of the Science Standards and Educational Technology Standards. Many districts and charters across the state are implementing STEM programs, and even STEM schools in some cases, to ensure their students are globally competitive.

For more information on the Arizona Department of Education and Arizona’s science scores, visit Arizona Department of Education’s website at azed.gov.