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This Week's Facts:

  1. EPA Hosting Contest for Environmental Activists

  2. IDOE Introduces New Tool to Track Students Progress

  3. Last Minute Census Jobs Still Available

  4. Fed Takes Step to Open Government, Encourage Dialogue

Census Bureau Begins Delivering Questionnaires

According to a Monday press release from the U.S. Census Bureau, census questionnaires are currently being hand delivered to U.S. residents in rural areas of the country. The rest of the U.S. should receive their census forms in the mail in mid-March. The questionnaire will have 10 questions and should only take a short time to complete. It needs to be filled out and sent back via mail. Response is required by federal law. Beginning March 22, curious U.S. residents can view a map showing how far their community has come in filling out & submitting its census forms by visiting the 2010 Census website. Don’t forget to check out Indiana’s Census 2010 website for up to date local news about this year’s census.

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal
Documents Librarian
&
Kim Brown-Harden
State
Documents Coordinator

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2010 US Census

EPA Hosting Contest for Environmental Activists

EPA: Faces of GrassrootsIn honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency is now accepting entries for their Faces of the Grassroots video contest.  Entrants are encouraged to be creative – videos can describe the importance of environmental activism, highlight a local project or even be a music video!  The important thing is that each video highlight the importance of environmental justice.  The EPA defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.”

There are two categories: a 30-60 second public service announcement and a 3-5 minute informational video.  Monetary prizes will be awarded to the top three videos in each.  The winners will also be featured on the EPA website and may be used as public service announcements.  To submit a video, entrants should upload their video to YouTube by 11:59 PM April 8, 2010 and submit an entry form.  Complete rules can be found on the EPA website.

This is a great opportunity for anyone with some technological know-how and a passion for the environment.  People of all ages are encouraged to apply.

IDOE Introduces New Tool to Track Students Progress

Indiana Department of EducationAs Indiana students prepare for ISTEP testing and new testing formats, the Indiana Department of Education has a new tool to help track student progress based on where each student began.  Indiana’s Growth Model  uses ISTEP+ scores to help parents, teachers, and the state understand how schools and corporations  are progressing yearly.  The tool also assesses how much growth students of each school have achieved.  The Growth Model has a user-friendly display; with a move of the cursor, you can track school growth and achievement.  For more information about the Growth Model, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page of fact sheet.  With the necessary measurement tools and resources, parents, teachers, and students can work together to have successful testing outcomes and experiences. 

Last Minute Census Jobs Still Available

US Census JobsShort-term jobs are still available for the 2010 Census. Visit the Census Bureau’s 2010 Census Jobs website for more information about available positions or call 1-866-861-2010. You can also call your Local Census Office to find out what hiring is still taking place. Identify the office closest to you using the Local Census Office Map. Keep in mind that there are two local census offices in the Indianapolis area – one designated Indianapolis and one designated Marion County. You can call either one for employment information for those areas.

Fed Take Steps to Open Government, Encourage Dialogue

WhiteHouse.govThe Open Government Initiative has been in the news a lot recently.  The Open Government Directive, issued in December of 2009, instructed federal agencies to take specific actions to provide for the three principles of open government: transparency, participation and collaboration.  Each agency is to create an open government plan.  To fulfill these plans, the agencies must publish government information online, improve the quality of government information, create and institutionalize a culture of open government and create an enabling policy framework for open government.

As part of the initiative, federal agencies are providing online dialogs, where citizens have the opportunity to share ideas and vote on the ideas of others.  For example, do you think that the National Science Foundation should be doing more to promote science education?  Visit their dialog and tell them!  A complete list of agencies using dialog tools can be found here.  Citizens have until March 19, 2010 to make comments.

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