Eleven groups studying a variety of Defense Department schools programs and policies will meet again in April to discuss proposals that could have big impacts on the 2011-2012 school year.

More than half of those task forces are expected to finalize recommendations they’ll make to Department of Defense Education Activity Director Shirley Miles at the meetings, according to Charlie Toth, the agency’s principal deputy director.

Task forces looking at student assessment, literacy and mathematics, administrator appraisal, data-driven decisions in instruction, vocational education and virtual learning were formed during the last school year. Toth said he expects recommendations from most of them in the next month or two.

Three other groups were formed during the current school year: 21st Century Skills, early childhood education and middle level education. A fourth group, which will focus on scheduling and staffing, will meet for the first time in April. Toth said he hopes those groups will have recommendations ready by December.

Miles and senior DODEA officials will then study the recommendations, Miles said Thursday. Those that don’t require much in the way of funding could be carried out almost immediately, she said.

But those that require substantial financial commitments will have to wait until at least the following school year, she said, because the organization has already submitted its budget for the school year that starts in September.

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for 40 years.

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