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10.1: Roles

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    Learning Targets:
    Be able to differentiate educational roles of each level of the government

    Identify legislation and programs offered by the federal government…

    Be able to define the major roles the state play in the school system…

    Be able to understand the goals of the local government…

    Contributions of Federal State and Local Agencies

    By: Melissa Belliares

    “Emergency Response System” with collaboration for state and local agencies.

    The federal government sets up departments, advisory committees and programs (such as the We the People Program) to ensure the state and local agencies follow the basic human rights for all citizens by implementing civil rights amendments and programs that endorse good citizenship. The departments also serve to allocate funds and ensure a good development of students and curriculum. Originally, the federal government’s main use was land grants for states to develop colleges and universities. As world competition soared after and during the world wars of the 20th century, the U.S. government started to help with education assistance ( Wiki’s GI Bill website) for returning veterans; and then later, the National Defense department in 1958 set up allocations to help potential students better in all core areas like math and science (click here to find out more about the National Science Foundation). “In the State of the Union Address on January 31, 2006, United States President George W. Bush announced the American Competitiveness Initiative. Bush proposed the initiative to address shortfalls in federal government support of educational development and progress at all academic levels in the STEM fields” (STEM 2008).
    The federal government also sets up a great resource tool for teachers. The Federal Resource for Educational Excellence (FREE) allows teachers to utilize the internet for classroom resources for all subjects and levels from the National Science Foundation and other federally funded programs like the Endowment for Humanities, National Park Service, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, National Institutes of Health, and even the Labor Department among others.

    Although the federal government has no constitutional role in education because of the 10th amendment, and no mention in the document pertaining to the federal role, in 2003, the Secretary of Education released the revision of the “constitutionally protected prayer” in public schools (originally from the Elementary and Secondary Act) and mandated by the No Child Left behind Act of 2001 (ASCD, 2003) (Findlaw 2008). The voucher system gives parents an option for their child’s education through the faith-based initiatives issued by the white house in 2002 to “create a level playing field for faith and community based organizations to compete for USAID programs” (USAID). The executive branch has implemented National Charter Week for a week in May starting this year, 2008.

    Giving options and opportunities to parents and students is the underlying theme in the federal’s role in the educational system. They have the power to make changes and institute ideas that help students benefit more from the national educational system. The federal government’s role in education also plays a socio-economic role on a national level because most of these changes dealt with funding and civil rights and a lot of controversy build awareness for some these issues.
    Historic Roles of the Federal Government PDF chronologically ordered

    Click here for the U.S. Department of Education

    Allocations come mostly from the state.
    This article will refer to Virginia’s agencies.

    Each state’s department of education holds the certification role for teachers on a state level and the VEA (a non state-funded organization) also help teachers earn national certification. According to “Home Instruction in Virginia,” guidelines set by the Department of Education of Virginia, home-school teachers must meet licensure requirement in addition to a high school diploma. Virginia’s department of education has a great job resource site for state-certified teachers at Teach Virginia Education Career Center. Here, teachers can find job opportunities in state or out of state.

    The following are offices that work under the Department of Education of Virginia for the improvement of all Virginia’s schools.

    Division of Student Assessment & School Improvement: reporting of results for the commonwealth’s statewide assessment programs, develop the tests that make up the commonwealth’s statewide assessment system (like the SOL’s), promotes student learning and achievement by assisting schools and school divisions in the implementation of effective instructional strategies and best practices and include school-level and division-level academic reviews, school improvement planning, and innovative programs such as the Partnership for Achieving Successful Schools (PASS).
    Division of Finance: makes payments to school divisions, including entitlement payments and state and federal reimbursement requests; collaborates with the Department of Planning and Budget and the General Assembly for budgets and provides assistance to public education funding to school divisions; oversees federal grant allocations; implements Department of Agriculture programs for lunch and breakfast with training and technical assistance to all schools
    Division of Instruction: works with each level to ensure instructional programs adhere to requirements; oversees gifted and physical (among elective others) education; oversees the SOL’s; implement early childhood education (i.e. Head Start)
    Division of Policy & Communication: oversees public communication between the citizens and the Board of Education; releases news and relays a summary news articles for members; help with members speeches
    Division of Special Education & Student Services: over sees the deaf and blind state schools; provides education, strategy and options for special education for parents and teachers; revises state special education requirements
    Division of Teacher Education & Licensure: implements state and federal regulations for licensure for preK-12 levels
    Division of Technology & Career Education: contains designated adult literacy office; promotes educational technology; calculates and reports state and federal accountability results

    Click here for more Virginia state agencies

    Defining and unifying communities.
    This article will refer to the Virginia Beach School System

    Nobody can bring the school community together more than the collaboration of parents and teachers when it comes to general and special education. According to the guidelines set by the state, the superintendent collects curriculum information from home-school parents as well. Constitutionally, all students should have the same opportunities that can be implemented not only by the federal and state governments, but through local means as well. Together, the parents and the teachers with consideration of the students, can best represent the school’s wants and needs. The local agencies have to have their submitted “programs” in order to get funding from either the state or the federal governments (under the ESEA of 1965, all programs must comply with all other programs under the act). There seems to be an overwhelming outcry for alternatives to public education by people who believe the local agencies are not doing enough for their schools; may it be for more home schools or school vouchers. But, the popular trend of privatizing various school programs has some parents wondering if this is a real alternative or just product placement. (Manning, 1999) The PTA (parent and teacher association) is locally and state funded with cooperation on the national level. It is the PTA that brings communities and schools together to ensure proper development of the student and school is being implemented. A good example of this is the Standards of Learning Test nationally mandated, state funded, locally implemented.

    Click here for Virginia Beach School system website

    Multiple Choice

    1. Which educational reforms are in chronological order ?

        A. GI Bill, Section 504, Higher Education Act, NCLB
        B. Higher Education Act, National Defense Act, NCLB
        C. NCLB, National Defense Act, Section 504
        D. National Defense Act, Higher Education Act, IDEA

    2. How does the National Park Service contribute to the educational system?

        A. A teachers' classroom information tool; part of FREE
        B. A program that help teachers plant a tree in every school yard
        C. A program that builds a playground on every school yard
        D. Names parks after the most appreciated teachers

    3. Mary’s’ mom believes that parents should be involved as much as possible, which state funded organization implemented locally would her mom belong to?

        A. ESEA
        B. PTA
        C. NCLB
        D. VEA

    4. Rapheal Carter said “The misconceptions about grammar posted on the ‘Net are at least as bad as the misconceptions about evolution, presumably because American public schools do an equally bad job of teaching both.” Which of the following statements would he agree with most?

        A. The federal government should mandate evolution be taught public school
        B. School's curriculum should emphasize on grammar in English and fair instruction on evolution in History and Science
        C. Our teachers need better state funded training with the internet
        D. Our local communities should donate more computers

    1.D 2.A 3.B 4.B


    ASCD: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2003). ESEA/NCLB analysis. Retrieved September 5, 2008 from

    FindLaw: U.S. Constitution (2008). The tenth amendment. Retrieved September 15, 2008 from

    FREE: Federal Resources for Educational Excellence. (2008). Retrieved September 6, 2008 from

    Home Instruction In Virginia: Information for Parents 2008-2009. (2008). p5. Retrieved 15, 2008 from

    Manning, Steve. (1999). Students for sale. The Nation. Retrieved September 10, 2008 from

    Teach Virginia: Education Career Center (2008). Retrieved September 12, 2008 from

    STEM fields. (2008). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from

    U.S. Department of Education. (2008). The Federal Role In Education. Retrieved September 5, 2008 from

    USAID: FBCI- About the FBCI (2008). Retrieved September 12, 2008 from

    Virginia Department of Education: Division of teacher education and teacher licensure. (2008). Retrieved September 14, 2008 from

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