Department Employee Elected Vice-President of National Title I Association

January 30, 2002

A West Virginia Department of Education employee has been elected to serve as vice-president of the National Association of State Title I Directors. Suzette Cook, who serves as the state's Title I Director, was elected by members of the Association that is comprised of Title I directors from across the country. The Association studies, strengthens and promotes the leadership role of the states' coordinators, directors and managers of the Title I Program. The Title I program provides federal money to school systems across the country to improve education for children at risk of school failure who live in low-income communities. It reaches over six million children annually, primarily in the early elementary grades. Typically it supports supplemental instruction in reading and math. Among Cooke's duties as the organization's vice-president will be working with the International Reading Association's at its annual conference, scheduled for April 2003, in Orlando, Fla. The International Reading Association promotes high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, and encouraging the lifetime reading habit. She also will be involved with the rule-making process of the new federal education reform act, No Child Left Behind, that was recently enacted by Congress. The act redefines the federal role in K-12 education and will help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers. It is based on four basic principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work. Next year, Cooke will serve as president-elect of the Association and then will step up to serve as its president in 2004, when she will chair its annual conference.

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