By Whitney Tilson

The full version of this presentation and other resources are posted at: www.arightdenied.org To be added to my school reform email list, simply email me at: WTilson@tilsonfunds.com
5/22/12

A documentary of Whitney Tilson presenting these slides can be ordered at: www.2mminutes.com/films/a-right-denied.asp

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The more you learn, the more you earn.
Over the course of a lifetime, a college grad will earn more than $1 million more than a high school grad.

$120,000 $100,000 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 $0 HS Dropout HS Graduate Some College Assoc. Degree BA MA Ph.D. Prof.

Source: U.S. Census Current Population Reports, Series P-60, from Digest of Education Statistics, 2005.

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Wage trends are ominous for men without a college degree.
A high school diploma used to be sufficient to have a fair shot at the American dream, but no longer. A college degree is required.

Inflationadjusted income

Source: Inherited Opportunity for Higher Education, Association for Institutional Research, 5/16/06.

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New job trends are ominous for those without a college degree.
Employment Change by Education (1998 – 2008)

4-Year Degree or More

+10,221,000 Jobs

Some College

+4,563,000 Jobs

High School Only

+121,000 Jobs

High School Dropout -2 0

-600,000 Jobs 2 4 Million Jobs 6 10 12

8

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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By 2018, 62% of all jobs will require post-secondary credentials vs. only 28% in 1972 .
Require at least some college training

Require high school diploma or less

Source: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018, Center on Education and the Workforce, 6/10.

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Education is also highly correlated with employment and workforce participation.
High school dropouts today have 3x the unemployment rate of college graduates.
52% of high school dropouts are not in the labor force and an additional 19% are looking for work.
100%
Employed (29%) Employed (56%)

80%

60%

Looking for Work (19%)

40%

20%

Not in Labor Force (52%)

Looking for Work (20%) Not in Labor Force (24%) HS Completed, High school completers, not Notenrolled in college Enrolled in College

0%
HSDropouts Dropouts

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2010 unemployment data; Current Population Survey (left); Digest of Education Statistics, 2009 (2008 data) (right).

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Male high school dropouts were 47 times more likely than a college graduate to be incarcerated.
Black males had the highest incarceration rate.

Source: NY Times, 10/9/09.

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A lack of education is literally deadly.
Mortality Rate by Education for Adults 25-64 years:
More Than High School

206.3/100,000

Only High School

477.6/100,000

Less Than High School

650.4/100,000

30% of people in poverty report that their health is poor or fair, almost five times the rate reported by the wealthiest 20% of the population.
Source: Social Policy as Health Policy, Steven H. Woolf, Journal of the American Medical Association, 3/17/09.

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Overall K-12 education spending has grown rapidly over time.
Per-pupil spending, adjusted for inflation, has more than quadrupled over the past 50 years to $12,463 in 2006-07. We spend more per pupil than any country other than Switzerland.
$13,000 $12,000 $11,000 $10,000

$9,000
$8,000 $7,000 $6,000

$5,000
$4,000 $3,000 1956 1959 1962 1965 1968 1971 1974 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007

Note: Total expenditure per pupil in average daily attendance in constant 2007-08 dollars (total expenditure is the sum of current expenditures allocable to pupil costs, capital outlay, and interest on school debt). Source: Digest of Education Statistics, 2009.

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The rise in spending has been driven mainly by a tripling in the number of public school teachers over the past 50 years, which has led to a 43% reduction in the student-teacher ratio.

Note: In addition to 3.25 million public school teachers, there are 456,000 private school teachers in K-12. Source: Digest of Education Statistics, 2009.

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Average class size in the U.S. is slightly below the OECD average.

Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 396, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf.

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Despite a doubling of spending since the mid-1970s, average educational attainment has stagnated.
Percentage of persons 25-29 years old, by highest level of educational attainment.

Source: Digest of Education Statistics, 2008, pg. 13.

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SAT scores haven't budged since the early 1970's.

Source: Wikipedia.

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NAEP scores have stagnated as well.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1971–2008 Long-Term Trend Reading Assessments.

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Why hasn't additional money resulted in improved results?
1. Teacher quality has been falling rapidly over the past few decades 2. Our school systems have become more dysfunctional, bureaucratic and unaccountable 3. As a nation, we have been so rich for so long that we have become lazy and complacent. Our youth are spending more time watching TV, listening to iPods, playing video games (up 25% in recent years), going to sporting events, etc. rather than studying hard. These two pictures capture what's happening in China vs. the U.S.: 37% of American college students have, in the previous two weeks, engaged in binge drinking, defined as drinking five or more drinks in a row
-- University of Michigan study, 2009
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Americans watch more than twice as much TV as any other country.
Hours of TV/Day

Source: OECD Communications Outlook 2009; http://browse.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/pdfs/browseit/9309031E.PDF#page=202.

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Overall, students at all grade levels are spending far more time watching TV than doing homework.

Source: No Excuses.

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Over the past decade, American youth are spending much more time watching TV, listening to music, using a computer and playing video games – a total of 7½ hours every day in front of a screen. The only thing they're spending less time doing is reading!
Average time spent with each medium in a typical day among 8-18-year-olds
TV Music
2:31

Video Print Computer games (reading) Movies
1:29 1:13 :38 :25

2009 2004 1999

4:29

10:45

3:51

1:44

1:02

:49

:43 :25

8:33

3:47

1:48

:27 :26 :43 :18

7:29

• Half of American teenagers (ages 12 through 17) send 50 or more text messages a day, and one third send more than 100 a day. • In 1960, students at four-year colleges in the U.S. studied 24 hours per week. Today, the average is 14 hours per week, 42% less.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, as reported in the NY Times, 1/20/10 (www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/education/20wired.html); Pew Research Center. -21-

The percentage of U.S. students who read for enjoyment is 25th out of 29 OECD countries
Only 3 of 29 countries showed an increase from 2000 - 2009

Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of the percentage of students who read for enjoyment in 2009. Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 107, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf. -22-

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Our 15-year-olds trail most other OECD countries in reading, math and science.
Reading
300 Shanghai Korea Finland Hong Kong Singapore Canada New Zealand Japan Australia Netherlands Belgium Norway Estonia Switzerland Poland United States Iceland Liechtenstein Germany Sweden Ireland France Taiwan Denmark United Kingdom Hungary Portugal Macao Italy Latvia Slovenia Greece Czech Republic Luxembourg Austria Mexico 350 400 450 500 550 600 Shanghai Singapore Hong Kong Korea Taiwan Finland Liechtenstein Switzerland Japan Canada Netherlands Macao New Zealand Belgium Australia Germany Estonia Iceland Denmark Slovenia Norway France Austria Poland Sweden Czech Republic United Kingdom Hungary Luxembourg Ireland United States Portugal Latvia Italy Greece Mexico 300 350

Math
400 450 500 550 600 650 300 350

Science
400 450 500 550 600

#16

#31
Avg: 496

Avg: 493

Shanghai Finland Hong Kong Singapore Japan Korea New Zealand Canada Estonia Australia Netherlands Germany Liechtenstein Taiwan Switzerland United Kingdom Slovenia Macao Ireland Poland Belgium Hungary United States Czech Republic Norway Denmark France Iceland Sweden Austria Latvia Portugal Italy Luxembourg Greece Mexico

#23

Avg: 501

• The U.S. ranks 27th out of 29 wealthy countries in the proportion of college students with degrees in science or engineering • The U.S. 48th out of 133 developed and developing nations in quality of math and science instruction • In American graduate schools, nearly half of students studying the sciences are foreigners

Source: PISA 2009.

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The U.S. ranks 29th in the world in the percentage of students at the advanced level in math.
Even our #1 state, Massachusetts, is ranked 15th

Source: NAEP and OECD data, in Teaching Math to the Talented, Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson and Ludger Woessmann, Education Next, Winter 2010

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We get very little bang for our education buck.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics; US Census Bureau; OECD; GovernmentSpending.com; McKinsey analysis; Appeared in The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools, McKinsey & Co., 4/09.

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Our relative performance is weak and declines dramatically the longer our students are in school.
Math Performance

Source: NCES 1999-081R, Highlights From TIMSS. Slide courtesy of Education Trust.

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U.S. students go to school fewer hours per day and fewer days per year than students in Asia.

Source: Business Week, James P. Lenfestey.

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Our high school graduation rate lags nearly all other OECD countries.

Source: OECD, Education at a Glance, 2007; 2005 data; Appeared in The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools, McKinsey & Co., 4/09.

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The U.S. is among the leaders in college participation but ranks 16th – in the bottom half – in college completion.
We only earn ½ a degree per college student, whereas in Portugal, for example, it's 1:1.

Source: National Report Card on Higher Education, http://measuringup.highereducation.org.

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Our college completion rate has stagnated, allowing our economic competitors to pass us.
Of 36 OECD countries, the U.S. has dropped from 3rd in the world to 16th and is one of only three countries to show no gain in the past 30 years*

* Israel and Germany are special cases. The data for the former is skewed by nearly 1 million Russian Jews, most of whom have college degrees, who immigrated to Israel. Excluding these immigrants, Israel would have shown gains. As for Germany, most students, rather than earning college degrees, enter career training schools where they learn specialized skills that help make Germany a manufacturing and export powerhouse. Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of the percentage of 25-34 year-olds who have attained tertiary education (i.e., earned at least a two-year college degree). Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 30, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf.

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The story is similar for high school graduates.
Of 35 OECD countries, the U.S. has dropped from 1st in the world to 12th and is the only country to show no gain in the past 30 years

Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of the percentage of 25-34 year-olds who have completed “upper secondary” education (i.e., high school, presumably including GED in the U.S.). Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 32, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf. -32-

The U.S. still maintains an absolute advantage in the number of adults with college degrees

Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of the percentage of 25-34 year-olds who have completed “upper secondary” education (i.e., high school, presumably including GED in the U.S.). Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 32, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf. -33-

American students score highly in only one area relative to their international peers: self-confidence.

Source: OECD.

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The black-white achievement gap is one year in kindergarten, which can be explained entirely by demographic factors, and begins widening immediately.

Note: In the figures above, the Raw Gap represents the actual difference in test scores between black students and white students. The Adjusted Gap represents the remaining inter-ethnic test-score gap after adjusting the data for the influence of students' background characteristics. Adjusted results control for socioeconomic status, number of books in the home, gender, age, birth weight, WIC participation, and mother's age at birth of first child. All adjusted gaps are statistically significant at the .05 level. Where the results indicate that the gap is negative, black children with similar characteristics actually score higher than their white counterparts. Source: Authors' calculations based on data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Cohort (1998), U.S. Department of Education, appeared in Falling Behind, Fryer & Levitt, Education Next, Fall 2004.

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By 4th grade, the majority of Black and Latino students struggle to read a simple children's book. This has devastating consequences for their future.

16% 42% 32%

/Advanced

36%

52%

51% 22%

• Up until the end of third grade, most children are learning to read. Beginning in 4th grade, they are reading to learn. • Up to half of the printed fourth-grade curriculum is incomprehensible to students who read below that grade level. • High school graduation, can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing someone's reading skill at the end of third grade. A person who is not at least a modestly skilled reader by that time is unlikely to graduate from high school.

Source: 2009 data, National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP Data Explorer, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde; Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters (Annie E. Casey Foundation).

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The achievement gap widens every year.

Source: US DOE, NCES, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Summary Data Tables, data for public schools; Appeared in The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools, McKinsey & Co., 4/09.

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Black and Latino 12th graders read and do math at the same level as white 8th graders.

Source: NAEP 2005 data. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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The U.S. overall is 15th in the world on the PISA reading test for 15-year olds. U.S. Asian girls are #1 while Black boys are last, trailing Mexico.
600

U.S. Asian girls #1 in the world
550

U.S. girls #8 in the world U.S. boys #23 in the world
500

U.S. Hispanic boys #34 in the world U.S. Black boys #36 in the world

450

400

350

300

Source: 2009 PISA results.

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It’s not just the U.S. – women are earning college degrees at a higher rate than men in every OECD country except Japan and Turkey

Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of women’s graduation rates from tertiary-type A education in 2009. Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 60, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf. -41-

Over the past 20 years, the achievement gaps in reading have remained persistently wide.

Source: NAEP 2008 Trends in Academic Progress.

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In the past 18 years, the achievement gaps in math have remained persistently wide as well.

Source: NAEP 2008 Trends in Academic Progress.

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There are large racial gaps in high school graduation rates.

As bad as these numbers are, they're far worse in many cities. The black male dropout rate is 80% in Indianapolis and Detroit, 69% in Baltimore and Buffalo, and 66% in Atlanta and Cleveland. In addition, graduating from high school does not mean that a student is college ready. In New York state, for example, the reported graduation rate is 77%, but only 41% are college ready.
Note: College ready in NYS is defined as a score 80 or better on the math Regents exam and 75 or better on the English Regents exam. Source: The Graduation Project, 2006. -44-

Some cities do a better (or less bad) job than others: Even after adjusting for parental education, the achievement gap varies widely among cities.

Source: USDOE, NCES, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data, 2007.

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In summary, Black and Latino children start school one year behind and fall further behind every year.
But KIPP and other high-performing (mostly charter) schools reverse this trend.
12

9

KIPP students
6

3

0 K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

White students
-3

Black & Latino students

Note: The entire gap achievement gap in kindergarten can be explained by the following background characteristics: socioeconomic status, number of books in the home, gender, age, birth weight, WIC participation, and mother's age at birth of first child. The widening of the gap cannot be explained by a change in background characteristics. Sources: Previous slides, KIPP data, Whitney Tilson estimates. -46-

Few black and Latino students make it to college and even fewer graduate.
Black Latino

Sources: U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, State-level Enrollment and Degree Attainment Data. U.S. Census Bureau, 2003 Current Population Survey, Educational Attainment in the United States, June 2004. Slide courtesy of Education Trust.

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The national college completion rate is only 56%
44% of bachelor's degree seeking students fail to earn a four-year degree within six years, nearly double the high school dropout rate, and there are vast differences among ethnicities
70% 65.5% 60% 59.4%

National average: 56.1%
46.8% 40.5%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0% Asian White Hispanic Black

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010.

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Only 42% of 25- to 34-year-olds have earned at least a two-year college degree – and there are vast differences among ethnicities
80% 70.7% 70%

60% 49.0%

50%

National average: 41.6%
40% 30.3% 30% 19.8%

20%

10%

0%
Asian White Black Hispanic

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010.

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In New York State, of those in 9th grade in 2002, only 13% of black and Hispanic males and 7% of English Language Learners were in their second year of college six years later.
100%
90% 84% 80%

Other (excl. other 3 categories)

70%

67%
60%

All students

67%

54% 50% 43% 40%

40%

Students with disabilities Black and Hispanic males English Language Learners

48%

37% 30% 26% 20%

27% 21% 16% 13% 10% 7%

10%

0% All 9th graders in '02
Source: NYS data.

4-year HS graduation rate

Post-secondary enrollment

% in year 2 of college

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Very few children from low-income households are graduating from any four-year colleges.

Notes: 2003 data. Household income limits: Top quartile: $95,040+; 2nd quartile: $62,628-$95,040; 3rd quartile: $35,901-$62,628; Bottom quartile: <$35,901. Source: www.postsecondary.org/archives/Reports/Spreadsheets/DegreeBy24.htm.

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Very few children from low-income households are graduating from any four-year colleges… and there has been little improvement over the past 40 years.

Top Income Quartile

Second Income Quartile

Third Income Quartile

Bottom Income Quartile

Source: Inherited Opportunity for Higher Education, Association for Institutional Research, 5/16/06.

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Children from low-income households are falling by the wayside at every step of the educational ladder.
100%
92% 81% 80% 71% 77% Top income quartile Bottom income quartile

60%

41% 40%

20% 9% 0% All students Graduate High School Start college Earn 4-Yr Degree

Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, J.P. Morgan Summit on U.S. Education, 2010.

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74% of students at elite colleges are from top quartile households and only 9% are from bottom half households.

Notes: Elite colleges are the 146 most selective, as determined by Barron's: Profiles of American Colleges, 24th ed. Source: Socioeconomic Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Selective College Admissions, Carnevale & Rose, Century Foundation.

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The dearth of low-income students in college is in part due to the rising cost.

Source: National Report Card on Higher Education, http://measuringup.highereducation.org.

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The cost of higher education in the U.S. is far higher than in any other country, more than double the OECD average.

Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of expenditure per student by educational institutions in primary education. Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 209, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf. -56-

In spite of rapidly rising costs, however, nearly all collegeready high school students are going to college.
The problem is that our K-12 schools are preparing far too few students – especially black and Hispanic ones – for college.

Source: Education Myths, year 2000.

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Even the better students – the ones who go to college – are alarmingly unprepared.
• Close to half of the students who enter college need remedial courses: - At Cal State, the system admits only students with at least a B average in high school, yet 37% of the incoming class last year needed remedial math, and 45% needed remedial English • According to scores on the 2006 ACT college entrance exam, only 21% of students applying to four-year institutions are ready for college-level work in all four areas tested: reading, writing, math and biology • Lack of preparedness leads to nearly half of all students beginning higher education by attending a community college, which has negative consequences: - One study showed that 73% of students entering community college hoped to earn four-year degrees, but only 22% had done so after six years (and only 35% had earned a college degree of any sort) - 41% of students at public two-year colleges drop out after their first year and only 28% have earned a two-year degree after three years - A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that three-quarters of community college graduates were not literate enough to handle everyday tasks like comparing viewpoints in newspaper editorials or calculating the cost of food items per ounce
Source: At 2-Year Colleges, Students Eager but Unready, New York Times, 9/1/06; National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009.

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The failure of so many of our schools costs our society enormously.
• If U.S. students had met the educational achievement levels of higher-performing nations between 1983-1998, America's GDP in 2008 could have been $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion higher. • We are paying higher and higher taxes to pay for the increasing cost of our public schools, yet they are failing to deliver improved performance • To compensate for underprepared workers, U.S. industry spends about $25 billion on dropouts yearly on remediation, and illiteracy costs American businesses more than $60 billion each year in lost productivity and health and safety issues • High school dropouts: - Are more likely to be unemployed, earn lower wages, and have higher rates of public assistance - Cost our society $260,000 each in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity - Are more likely to be single parents and have children at a young age • 52% of males who fail to finish high school father a child out of wedlock - Are more likely to become criminals and end up in jail…or dead • 75% of America's state prison inmates and 59% of federal inmates are high school dropouts • 63% of prison inmates are functionally illiterate • 52% of African-American men who fail to finish high school end up in prison by their early 30s
Sources: Harlow, C.W. (2003). Education and correctional populations, bureau of justice statistics special report. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice; ProLiteracy; Western, B., Schiraldi, V., & Zienberg, J. (2004). Education and incarceration. Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute, p. 1; Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters (Annie E. Casey Foundation).

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Why are low-income, minority students performing so poorly?
• There are many reasons why low-income, minority children are performing so poorly academically – and many of these reasons are beyond the control of schools
- There is no doubt that children from troubled communities and families, in which few people have completed high school, much less college, are a challenge to educate - Of course parents matter – a lot! So much so, in fact, that today, sadly, demography is destiny for most children - If I could fix either all of the parents or all of the schools in America, I'd choose the former in a heartbeat. But I'm not sure it's possible to fix the parents – and I know it's possible to fix the schools

• When asked to explain the achievement gap, surveys show that most Americans cite lazy, unmotivated students and parents who don't care about education • But there are many (mostly charter) schools that are generating extraordinary academic success with the most disadvantaged children, usually selecting students by lottery, spending less money per pupil, and often sharing the same building as chronically failing schools. We now know that very high-quality schools can meaningfully change the life trajectories of the great majority of even the most disadvantaged students, proving that demography is not destiny! • Thus, we must reject a "blame the victim" mentality: children are not failing our schools; rather, our schools are failing far too many children • However, given that many low-income, minority children enter school with two strikes against them, they need the best schools and teachers to change their life trajectories – but instead our educational system gives them the worst. They overwhelmingly get the lowest quality teachers and schools
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In summary, the color of your skin and your zip code are almost entirely determinative of the quality of the public education this nation provides.

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This is deeply, profoundly wrong and is contrary to everything this nation stands for.

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The Importance of Teacher Quality

Parents are most important, but among school-based factors, numerous studies have shown that the most important determinant of student achievement is teacher quality.

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The importance of teachers.
School-Based Factors Affecting Student Achievement

Human capital accounts for nearly 60% of a school's impact on student achievement

Chart courtesy of New Leaders for New Schools. Source: Marzano, R.J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development..

"Teacher effects are much stronger than class-size effects. You'd have to cut the average class almost in half to get the same boost that you'd get if you switched from an average teacher to a teacher in the 85th percentile."
– Malcolm Gladwell, Most Likely to Succeed (www.gladwell.com/2008/2008_12_15_a_teacher.html)

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A new study underscores the importance of teacher quality.
• Three Ivy League professors studied 2.5 million children (mostly likely NYC) over 20 years, from fourth grade through adulthood. • There were huge differences among teachers, who were ranked based solely on student test scores, using a value-added methodology, which proved to be quite reliable “even after observing teachers’ impacts on test scores for one year.” • “Students assigned to higher value-added teachers…are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, live in better neighborhoods, and save more for retirement. They are also less likely to have children as teenagers.” • “Teachers’ impacts on students are substantial. Replacing a teacher whose true VA is in the bottom 5% with a teacher of average quality would generate lifetime earnings gains worth more than $250,000 for the average classroom.” • “If you leave a low value-added teacher in your school for 10 years, rather than replacing him with an average teacher, you are hypothetically talking about $2.5 million in lost income.”

• “As a rough guideline, parents should be willing to pay about 25% of their child’s income at age 28 to switch their child from a below-average (25th percentile) to an above-average (75th percentile) teacher.”
• “Overall, our study shows that great teachers create great value – perhaps several times their annual salaries – and that test score impacts are helpful in identifying such teachers.”
Source: The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthoood, Chetty, Friedman, Rockoff, National Bureau of Economic Research, 12/11.

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A study in Dallas compared two groups of students, both of which started 3rd grade at about the same level of math achievement.

Source: Heather Jordan, Robert Mendro, and Dash Weerasinghe, The Effects of Teachers on Longitudinal Student Achievement, 1997. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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Three years later, one group vastly outperformed the other. The only difference: Group 1 had three effective teachers, while Group 2 had three ineffective teachers (results were similar in reading).

Source: Heather Jordan, Robert Mendro, and Dash Weerasinghe, The Effects of Teachers on Longitudinal Student Achievement, 1997. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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Effective teachers turned low-performing Dallas 4th graders into high-performing 7th graders.

Source: Heather Jordan, Robert Mendro, and Dash Weerasinghe, The Effects of Teachers on Longitudinal Student Achievement, 1997. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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There is enormous variation in teacher effectiveness.
Teacher impacts on math performance in third year by ranking after first two years:

Source: Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job, Hamilton Project, April 2006.

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One study in Boston concluded that "one-third of the teachers had no measurable effect on the reading and math skills of their students."

One frustrated principal said, "About one-third of my teachers should not be teaching"

Notes: 10th grade students at non-selective Boston public schools; average student scores prior to 10th grade were comparable (670-687 range); excluded bilingual and special education students. Source: Boston Public Schools, Bain & Company, 3/31/98. -70-

If we could replace the bottom 6-10% of teachers with merely average teachers, U.S. students would rise to the level of top-performing countries.

Source: Eric Hanushek, cited by Malcolm Gladwell, Most Likely to Succeed (www.gladwell.com/2008/2008_12_15_a_teacher.html).

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We Face Two Big Problems When It Comes to Teacher Quality:

1.

Overall teacher quality has been declining for decades
Teacher talent is unfairly distributed

2.

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Problem #1: Teacher quality has been declining for decades. By any measure, most new teachers are now drawn from the bottom third of college graduates.
• Among high-school students who took the SAT in 1994-1995, those who intended to study education in college scored lower on both the verbal and math sections than students expressing an interest in any other field • In 1998 the mean SAT score for students who intended to major in education was 479 math and 485 verbal – 32 and 20 points lower than all college-bound seniors • Once in college, education majors were more likely to be in the bottom quartile and less likely to be in the top quartile than any other major • When Massachusetts made it harder to become a teacher, requiring newcomers to pass a basic literacy test before entering the classroom, more than a third of the new teachers failed the test in the first year • A 2010 study of teacher-prep programs in 16 countries found a striking correlation between how well students did on international exams and how their future teachers performed on a math test. In the U.S., researchers tested nearly 3,300 teachers-to-be in 39 states. The results? Our future middle-school math teachers knew about as much math as their peers in Thailand and Oman— and nowhere near what future teachers in Taiwan and Singapore knew

Source: Thomas D. Snyder, et al., Digest of Education Statistics 1997, U.S. Department of Education, p. 135; Tyce Palmaffy, "Measuring the Teacher Quality Problem," in Better Teachers, Better Schools, edited by Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn, Jr., Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, pp. 21-22; Robin R. Henke, et al., Out of the Lecture Hall and into the Classroom: 1992-1993 College Graduates and Elementary/Secondary School Teaching, U.S. Department of Education, p. 58; Your Child Left Behind, Amanda Ripley, The Atlantic, 12/10. -73-

Top-performing high school students are far less likely to enter teaching.

Source: Teaching at Risk-Progress and Potholes, The Teaching Commission, March 2006.

-74-

College seniors who plan to go into education have very low test scores.

Source: General Test Percentage Distribution of Scores Within Intended Broad Graduate Major Field Based on Seniors and Nonenrolled College Graduates, Educational Testing Service, www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/5_01738_table_4.pdf.

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Why has teacher quality been declining?
• More career opportunities for women and minorities
- 40 years ago, 52% of college-educated working women were teachers; today, only 15% are

• Ineffective recruiting and training practices • Abysmal schools of education
- Three-quarters of the country's 1,206 university-level schools of education don't have the capacity to produce excellent teachers - More than half of teachers are educated in programs with the lowest admission standards (often accepting 100% of applicants) and with "the least accomplished professors." - More than 60% of alumni say "schools of education do not prepare their graduates to cope with classroom reality" (and principals agree)

• Lack of accountability in the system • Increasing difficulty of removing ineffective teachers • Outstanding performance is not rewarded
- Differential pay has all but disappeared

• Teacher pay is determined almost entirely by two factors, seniority and certifications, which have little to do with student achievement
Source: Educating School Teachers, Arthur Levine, 9/06. -76-

What can be done to improve teacher quality?
Broadly speaking, there are four ways to improve teacher quality: 1. Attract more talented people into the profession 2. Upgrade the skills and teaching ability of current teachers 3. Better retain effective teachers

4. Remove ineffective teachers
The best schools and districts do all of these things; unfortunately, most don't

-77-

A comparison of how teachers and doctors are trained in the U.S.
Imagine that we trained doctors the same way we train teachers: that our least accomplished college grads went to medical schools, which were noncompetitive schools of quackery that taught students little. Upon graduating, new doctors had to pass nothing more than an eighth-grade level test (or none at all) and were immediately thrown into emergency rooms, treating the neediest patients. Of course, the mortality rates would be off the charts for these patients, almost all of whom are poor and minority. (Incidentally, it's easy to imagine what defenders of this outrageous and immoral system would say: "It's not the doctors' fault. Look at how many of our patients are obese, have bad diets, drink and smoke too much, etc. What can we be expected to do when you ask us to treat such patients???" (This is, of course, exactly what the unions say.)) In an ideal world, the teachers in this country would go through a rigorous development program, as doctors do, that would look something like this: 1. Ed schools would be highly competitive (the nations with the highest achieving students like Finland and Singapore only take teachers from the top 10 percent of college graduates); 2. Ed schools would be rigorous and provide students with real preparation; 3. Graduates would have to pass a tough exam demonstrating that they'd mastered the content; 4. New teachers would enter a carefully controlled and monitored environment, with seasoned mentors by their side to make sure they learned (and did no harm); 5. Effective teachers would be rewarded and given more responsibility; and 6. Ineffective ones would be given additional support and, if that didn't work, counseled out. In our dysfunctional, Alice-in-Wonderland education world, not one of these six things happens with any regularity. If we had a system to select, train and evaluate teachers that was as good as the one for doctors, the resulting quality would be as good and the public would surely support paying teachers as well as doctors.
-78-

Specific steps to improve teacher quality:
• Tap talent pipelines like Teach for America and KIPP that have a proven ability to recruit and retain highly effective teachers
-

In 2010, 11% of all Ivy League seniors applied to Teach for America
At Harvard 18% of all seniors, including 40% of African-American seniors, applied A 2010 study of California's 15 largest school districts revealed that "if seniority-based layoffs are applied for teachers with up to two years' experience, highest-poverty schools would lose some 30% more teachers than wealthier schools, and highest-minority schools would lose 60% more teachers than would schools with the fewest minority students"

If layoffs are necessary, do them based on merit, not seniority
-

• •

Hire/train better principals and give them more control over their staff Ensure that the placements of voluntary transfers and excessed teachers are based on the mutual consent of the teacher and receiving school
End the "dance of the lemons" (aka, "pass the trash" and "the turkey trot")

Introduce differential pay (e.g., pay more to the most effective teachers, teachers willing to teach in the schools with the greatest concentration of the most disadvantaged students, and hard-to-find teachers, such as those in math, science and special ed) Improve the recruiting process: make it more selective, hire teachers earlier in the year Provide better training and mentoring for new teachers Improve overall teacher training; substantially reform ed schools Developed value-added systems to better measure teacher effectiveness and identify the most effective and ineffective teachers
Studies show that teacher effectiveness can be identified relatively quickly Today, virtually all teachers who stay on the job get tenure, regardless of effectiveness

• • • •

Don't grant tenure to ineffective teachers
-

Streamline the process of removing ineffective teachers, while maintaining appropriate protections against arbitrary firings
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Source: Unintended Consequences, The New Teacher Project, 11/05; The Center for Reinventing Public Education, www.crpe.org/cs/crpe/view/csr_pubs/340.

Problem #2: By any measure, low-income, minority students are not getting their fair share of high-quality teachers.
On average, they are much more likely to be taught by teachers who: • Didn't major or minor in the field they are teaching • Are inexperienced • Did poorly on SATs and other standardized tests • Got poor grades in high school and college • Attended noncompetitive colleges

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Low-performing 4th graders in Dallas were far more likely to be assigned to ineffective teachers.
In fact, when the researchers found a low-income black child with three consecutive effective teachers, they had to manually check the data because it was more likely to be a data error!

Source: The Real Value of Teachers, Education Trust, Winter 2004.

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High-poverty schools have far more teachers who did poorly on SATs and attended non-competitive colleges.

Source: The Real Value of Teachers, Education Trust, Winter 2004.

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Poor and minority high school students nationwide are more often taught by teachers who did not major or minor in the field they are teaching.

All Schools

High-poverty Schools (50% or more)

Low-poverty Schools (15% or fewer)

High-minority Schools (50% or more)

Low-minority Schools (15% or fewer)

Source: Teaching Inequality, Education Trust, June 2006.

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High-minority schools in Illinois have by far the lowest-quality teachers.

Source: The Real Value of Teachers, Education Trust, Winter 2004.

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Why is teacher talent distributed so unfairly?
I don't believe that there's someone in every school system in America that says, "Let's take the most disadvantaged kids, who most need the best teachers and schools, and instead stick them with the worst." Instead, it's the "banality of evil." It's just the way the system works: • Experienced teachers use seniority to get placed at "good" schools • Rookie teachers are disproportionately assigned to schools with teacher shortages (i.e., those serving low-income, minority students) • The best principals (who tend to attract the best teachers) tend to end up at more affluent schools • Affluent parents demand high-quality principals and teachers – and know how to raise a ruckus if they don't get them
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-86-

Overview of our K-12 public school system today.
• 49.3 million public school students in 98,706 schools in 13,809 independent school districts • Total spending in K-12 public schools of $602 billion dollars annually, exceeding all areas of government spending except healthcare

• A high degree of state and local autonomy
 No scale/R&D  No common metric of success  Fiscal inequity

$602 bn.

• A "delivery system" that has changed little for generations

• Entrenched bureaucratic system of top-down governance
• Overall, there are a small percentage of excellent schools, usually serving the most privileged students, a wide swath of mediocrity, and a catastrophically failing system among the bottom 25% of schools, which victimize mostly low-income, minority children
Source: Digest of Education Statistics, 2010 (2008-09 data); chart: The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools, McKinsey & Co., 4/09. -87-

Too many school systems today are dominated by the "Three Pillars of Mediocrity."

1. 2. 3.

Lifetime tenure (i.e., cannot remove ineffective performers) Lockstep pay System driven by seniority (not merit) "These three pillars need to be replaced with a culture that differentiates based on merit and organizational need."
– Joel Klein, Chancellor, NYC public schools

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There are two general approaches to fixing our schools: improve the current system and create alternatives to it.

-89-

Improve the current system 4 steps for fixing any broken system (1):
1. Adopt the right strategy and tactics
• Set high expectations and standards, benchmarked against international standards
• • • • For political reasons, most states have engaged in a race to the bottom No state set its own reading proficiency standard for fourth-graders at a level that met or exceeded NAEP's "proficient" standard 34 states set their proficiency standard so low that it falls below the NAEP's "basic" reading level From 2005-07, 15 states lowered their proficiency standards in fourth- and eighth-grade reading or math, while only 8 states increased rigor of standards in one or both subjects and grades

• • • • • •

Create more choice among public schools and empower parents via a “Parent Trigger” Focus on recruiting high-potential teachers Develop effective training and mentoring programs for all teachers, especially new ones, to ensure that they reach their potential Develop robust evaluations systems, including value-added data, to better measure teacher effectiveness and identify the most effective and ineffective teachers Distribute teacher talent more equitably Introduce differential pay based on three factors: subject areas (e.g., pay math and science teachers more), "hardship pay" (for those willing to teach in the toughest schools); and merit (pay top performers more) Renegotiate onerous provisions in union contracts (e.g., make it easier to remove ineffective teachers, make it harder to get tenure, eliminate seniority "bumping" rights and layoffs driven entirely by seniority) Use proven curricula Extend the school day and year Eliminate social promotion
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• • •

Improve the current system 4 steps for fixing any broken system (2-4):
2. Hire and train great leaders and then empower them
• Give principals the power to manage their schools by giving them more control over their budgets and staff; in particular, they need the ability to hire great teachers and have a reasonable process for removing ineffective ones

3. Measure results
• Better measure student achievement and teacher and principal effectiveness by improving the collection and use of data and establishing rigorous, comprehensive evaluation systems that include, but are not limited to, test scores • We must eliminate "happy schools" – schools in which the students are happy, the parents are happy, the teachers are happy and the principal is happy – the only problem is that the children can't read!

4. Hold people accountable
• Identify and reward the best people in various ways, including differential pay • Put ineffective principals and teachers on probation, give them training and support and, if they do not improve, remove them • Grade all schools, make the results public, and take strong actions to address chronically underperforming schools, including the possibility of requiring all adults to reapply for their jobs and/or shutting the school down and turning the building over to proven operators

• Execution and implementation are critical • The system is so large and so broken that it will take decades to truly fix it – it's like turning a supertanker - But the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step…

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Why isn't spending more money on my list of necessary reforms?
Facts: • Overall spending, even adjusted for inflation, has risen steadily…and large city schools are spending the most per pupil • More spending is not correlated with better outcomes among cities:
40% 35%

Charlotte

Percent of 4th grade students proficient or advanced in reading

30%

In not even one of the 11 cities are more than 35% of 4th graders reading proficiently
Chicago Boston NYC

Austin
25%

20%

San Diego Houston LA Cleveland Atlanta DC

15%

10%

5%

0% $7,000

$8,000

$9,000

$10,000

$11,000

$12,000

$13,000

$14,000

$15,000

$16,000

$17,000

Per Pupil Spending

Sources: NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/dataset.aspx); U.S. Census Bureau Public Education Finances 2007, pp. 95-110 (www2.census.gov/govs/school/07f33pub.pdf).

• In the absence of genuine reform, simply increasing spending has proven to be a waste of money (e.g., Kansas City); in fact, it can do harm by further entrenching the status quo (e.g., New Jersey) • However, more money is a critical element to grease the wheels of reform • The key is to marry reform with additional resources (e.g., NYC, Washington DC, Austin)

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There is a limit, however, to how much improvement can be made, even by the greatest reformers, within the constraints of the existing system
- We can move from an F to a C, but not to an A

To move to an A, a new “relinquisher” model is needed, which is being pioneered in New Orleans
- Replace a school system with a system of schools - “Let government set standards and hold schools accountable. Let educators operate schools and measure teacher performance however they choose. And, most importantly, let parents choose schools for their children.”
– Neerav Kingsland, CEO, New Schools for New Orleans

-93-

Creating alternatives: the New Orleans case study.
• • • Hurricane Katrina wiped out the existing school system, one of the worst in America, which was replaced with a system of choice, primarily via charter schools, which educate nearly 80% of all students now (soon 100%) Many of the top school reform organizations in the country made large investments in New Orleans: KIPP, Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools, etc. The percentage of poor and African American students hasn’t changed:

-94-

The percentage of students performing on grade level has risen sharply.

-95-

The gap between New Orleans and the state has narrowed dramatically.

-96-

New Orleans charter schools significantly outperform national averages.

-97-

The number of failing schools has been cut in half in five years – and there will be almost none by 2016.

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2/3 of parents in New Orleans say schools are better after Katrina, including 79% of charter parents.

Source: "Spotlight on Choice" project by the Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University, 2011.

-99-

Alternatives to the current system.
• Even where it’s not possible to implement a “relinquisher” (most places), it’s important to create choices outside of the traditional public system via charter schools and tuition vouchers/tax credits - The goal is both to create better options for many students and also to spur the regular public schools to improve, thereby benefiting even the students "left behind"

-100-

Overview of charter schools:
• Charter schools are tuition-free, non-selective public schools that operate with greater autonomy – and accountability – than regular public schools • There are 4,936 charter schools in 39 states and the District of Columbia, serving nearly 1.5 million students (roughly 3% market share) • Charter schools serve a higher percentage of low-income, minority, and urban students, and a lower percentage of special ed students and English Language Learners • As with regular public schools, the quality of charter schools varies widely • Any school, whether charter or not, that is consistently failing to properly educate children should be shut down • In states with strong charter laws, charter schools are showing greater student gains than nearby regular public schools • Of the few hundred best schools in America that are truly changing life trajectories of low-income, minority children, a wildly disproportionate number are charter schools such as KIPP, Achievement First, and Uncommon Schools
-101-

Charter schools have achieved high market share and number of students in certain cities.

-102-

How do KIPP and a handful of other (mostly charter) schools succeed with the same students who are failing in regular public schools?
1. They identify and train top-notch school leaders who are empowered and held accountable for building outstanding schools 2. The school leaders focus on recruiting, training, motivating and retaining top teachers 3. Extended school day and school year
• KIPP students get 60% more class time than they would in regular public schools

4. Character and culture
• Work hard, be nice, there are no shortcuts, we're climbing the mountain to college, etc. • One study showed that grit and determination were twice as powerful as IQ in predicting life success

-103-

KIPP schools share a core set of operating principles known as the Five Pillars, and every teacher, parent/guardian and student signs a Commitment to Excellence.
The Five Pillars
1. High Expectations. KIPP schools have clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that make no excuses based on the students' backgrounds. Students, parents, teachers, and staff create and reinforce a culture of achievement and support through a range of formal and informal rewards and consequences for academic performance and behavior. Choice & Commitment. Students, their parents, and the faculty of each KIPP school choose to participate in the program. No one is assigned or forced to attend these schools. Everyone must make and uphold a commitment to the school and to each other to put in the time and effort required to achieve success. More Time. KIPP schools know that there are no shortcuts when it comes to success in academics and life. With an extended school day, week, and year, students have more time in the classroom to acquire the academic knowledge and skills that will prepare them for competitive high schools and colleges, as well as more opportunities to engage in diverse extracurricular experiences. Power to Lead. The principals of KIPP schools are effective academic and organizational leaders who understand that great schools require great School Leaders. They have control over their school budget and personnel. They are free to swiftly move dollars or make staffing changes, allowing them maximum effectiveness in helping students learn. Focus on Results. KIPP schools relentlessly focus on high student performance on standardized tests and other objective measures. Just as there are no shortcuts, there are no excuses. Students are expected to achieve a level of academic performance that will enable them to succeed at the nation's best high schools and colleges.

The Commitment to Excellence
Teacher's Commitment • We will always teach in the best way we know how and we will do whatever it takes for our students to learn. • We will always make ourselves available to students and parents, and address any concerns they might have. • We will always protect the safety, interests, and rights of all individuals in the classroom. Parents'/Guardians' Commitment

2.

• We will make sure our child arrives at KIPP every day by 7:25 a.m. (Monday-Friday) or boards a KIPP bus at the scheduled time.
• We will always help our child in the best way we know how and we will do whatever it takes for him/her to learn. This also means that we will check our child's homework every night, let him/her call the teacher if there is a problem with the homework, and try to read with him/her every night. • We will always make ourselves available to our children and the school, and address any concerns they might have. This also means that if our child is going to miss school, we will notify the teacher as soon as possible, and we will carefully read any and all papers that the school sends home to us. Student's Commitment • I will always work, think, and behave in the best way I know how, and I will do whatever it takes for me and my fellow students to learn. This also means that I will complete all my homework every night, I will call my teachers if I have a problem with the homework or a problem with coming to school, and I will raise my hand and ask questions in class if I do not understand something. • I will always behave so as to protect the safety, interests, and rights of all individuals in the classroom. This also means that I will always listen to all my KIPP teammates and give everyone my respect. • I am responsible for my own behavior, and I will follow the teachers' directions.
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3.

4.

5.

Source: www.kipp.org/about-kipp/five-pillars.

Given that fewer than 1% of low-income, minority students nationwide attend high-performing schools like KIPP, why are such schools so important?
• KIPP and a handful of other similar schools are both laboratories of innovation – developing, testing and implementing new educational practices that can then be adopted more widely – and are also "black swans." • Just as the existence of even one black swan proves that all swans aren't white, even a small number of high-performing schools proves that, without spending any additional money, schools have the capability to change the life trajectories of children and send nearly all low-income, minority students to college. They prove that demography is not destiny! • KIPP schools have been a major catalyst in transforming the debate about the achievement gap, from one focused on excuses ("we just need to spend more money") and blaming the victims ("it's impossible to educate those kids") to one that centers on how to make every school as successful as KIPP schools.
-105-

Voucher and tax credit programs are in effect in only a few areas.
• School choice, in the form of tuition vouchers and tax credit scholarships, redirects the flow of education funding, channeling it directly to individual families rather than to school districts, which allows families to select the public or private schools of their choice and have all or part of the tuition paid • Most voucher programs are carefully targeted at disadvantaged students (disabled, low income, and/or attend chronically failing schools) • Voucher programs have a long and successful history in this country: G.I. Bill, Pell Grants, Town Tuitioning in Maine and Vermont • Vouchers are enormously popular with students and parents • Studies are mixed, but many show that vouchers benefit students who take advantage of them and that public schools respond to the competition, so even the students "left behind" benefit from them • Food stamps are vouchers that don't require the recipients to shop at only certain supermarkets; ditto for HUD's Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers
-106-

We need to adopt both strategies.

Charter schools provide critical lifelines for needy children, and are also laboratories of innovation and models for change
While the “relinquisher” model isn’t politically feasible in most districts, there’s no reason why every school in America couldn’t be charterized, in the sense that the adults in the building have to set five-year goals, are given the power, autonomy and resources to achieve those goals, and then are held accountable for results
• If they fail to deliver them, then they can lose the right to occupy the building and teach the children and other adults can be brought in

Once they reach a critical mass, choice programs/schools do indeed create pressure for change – New Orleans, DC and Harlem, for example For the foreseeable future, however, the vast majority of children will continue to be educated at their local public school First and foremost, parents don't want choice – they want a good neighborhood school!
-107-

• •

What might a successful system look like? We don't have to look very far. The United States has two educational systems: One is failing miserably, while the other is the envy of the world.

-108-

Characteristics of our K-12 public school system:
• Only people with means can afford to opt out of the public schools • Public schools have dominant market share • Students and their parents typically have little or no choice of school; they are assigned to one school based on where they live • Money doesn't follow students; if they don't attend their local public school, they get nothing – If students or their parents are dissatisfied with a school, they have few options • Failing schools typically face few consequences

Characteristics of our post-secondary system:
• Public, private and religious schools all compete fiercely for students • No one type of school has dominant market share • Students and their parents choose among a vast array of options when determining which school is best, depending on each student's interests and needs • Money in the form of scholarships and student loans – both public and private – largely follows students – If students or their parents are dissatisfied with a school, they can easily switch schools • Failing schools face severe consequences • It takes many years for teachers to earn tenure, and the process is generally rigorous and competitive • Tremendous innovation and specialization among schools

• Teachers, even the most ineffective teachers, almost always get tenure within a few years
• Very little innovation and specialization among schools

-109-

Florida: a statewide case study of success.
Under Gov. Jeb Bush, who was elected in 1998 and served for right years, Florida adopted a broad, ambitious reform agenda that included: • Giving all schools grades • Money to schools and directly to principals and teachers to reward success • Allowing parents to opt out of chronically failing schools • Ending social promotion after 3rd grade • Raising high school graduation requirements • Setting up alternative routes to teacher certification • Reforming teacher evaluations and tenure • Tying evaluations to teacher pay • Eliminating layoffs via LIFO • Requiring mutual content (i.e., principals must approve any teacher transfers into their school) • The full gamut of choice: various tax credit scholarships, charter schools, vouchers for pre-kindergarten, and virtual education
-110-

Florida has shown dramatic improvements.
• • • • • Both NAEP and state FCAT scores skyrocketed Graduation rates jumped and remediation rates fell AP exams taken and passed soared The number of schools rated A or B went up 4x while the number rated D or F fell 73% Best of all, the largest gains were among low-income, black, and Hispanic students.

-111-

Examples of Florida’s dramatic gains:

-112-

Other relevant examples
• U.S. military - 3 million active and reserve military personnel - A broken, demoralized institution after Vietnam - How did we fix it?

• Wal-Mart - Over 2 million employees worldwide, including 1.4 million in the U.S. - How does Wal-Mart manage its workforce?
• The NYC police department • The number of murders declined by 79% from 1990-2009 • How was it turned around? • Doctors • How do we select, train, evaluate and reward doctors?

-113-

-114-

Our school system is run by the government, …Which means it's ultimately controlled by politicians, …Which means that changing the political dynamic is the key to improving the system. The primary struggle over the past two decades has been to create hundreds of "no excuses" schools, almost all of them public charter schools, that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that even the most disadvantaged children can be educated to a high level, with the same parents and students (chosen by lottery), spending the same amount of money per student and, in some cases, even sharing the same buildings as failing regular public schools. We now know what works and what needs to be done. The primary battle over the coming decades will be to overcome the political and institutional barriers that stand in the way of reform.

-115-

Why hasn't more been done to improve the system? Answer #1: Jobs, Money, Power and Politics.
• Over the past 15 years, it has been proven beyond all doubt that even the most disadvantaged children can achieve at high levels • The broad outline of what needs to be done has become clear (high standards, a focus on teacher and principal quality, greater accountability, more school-level autonomy, less onerous labor contracts, greater parental choice, etc.), so why has change been so slow? • Simple: the system, while failing millions of children, isn’t broken. Rather, it operates just the way it was designed to: to serve the interests of the adults in the system. On that measure, the system is working well:
- Over time, there have been five clear trends: more jobs, higher pay, better benefits, fewer hours worked, and greater job security
- It's not just teachers who are benefiting; it's principals, administrators, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, etc. • The school system is the largest employer in most cities, so it's a huge source of jobs, money, patronage and political power
-116-

Why hasn't more been done to improve the system? Answer #2: An unfair fight.
• The adults are well organized and extremely politically powerful, especially in large cities (where, not coincidentally, the schools are the worst) • These powerful entrenched interests benefit from the status quo – and fight fiercely to preserve it • In contrast, the victims of the failing system – primarily low-income, minority children and their parents – are the most marginalized, powerless people in our society • It's therefore not surprising that the system is highly resistant to change • There is little doubt that if wealthy, white families had to send their children to failing schools, there would be a hue and cry and schools would be improved quickly

-117-

Why hasn't more been done to improve the system? Answer #3: Kids don't vote and don't have a union.
The teachers' unions are the single most powerful interest group in the country, and are particularly influential in the Democratic Party
• 4.6 million members, accounting for 2% of all U.S. adults • Public employees are the only growing force in the labor movement • "NEA/AFT revenues at all levels probably exceed $1.3 billion a year, not including their PAC funds, foundations, and a host of special funds under their control." – Dr. Myron Lieberman • Not just money, but grassroots organization to get out the vote, etc.
Turnkey campaign operation Filings, yard signs, mailings, telephone calls, volunteers, fundraising Crucial foot soldiers in elections

• Teacher union representatives account for approximately 10% of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention, more than any state except California • Often very influential in electing school board members
In such cases, they are, in effect, negotiating with themselves

• As one Southern governor said: "There's only one thing you have to know about politics in my state. Every teacher has every summer before every election off."

-118-

The union agenda.
The teachers' unions are the most powerful and organized opponents of genuine reform, and have a very consistent agenda:
• • • • • • Increase spending and reduce class size (e.g., more money to more teachers) Maintain a seniority-driven system, especially in the case of layoffs Oppose differential pay for teachers, other than for certifications and seniority Weaken charter schools and reduce their number Vehemently oppose any type of voucher/tax-credit program Fight for rapid tenure and greater job security (e.g., make it difficult to remove any teachers, even the most ineffective ones) • Oppose systems to measure teacher effectiveness • Defeat politicians and school superintendents who are serious about reform • Water down or, ideally, kill NCLB

It's important to understand the difference between teachers – who in many cases are doing heroic work – and their unions
• For example, when asked whether seniority should be the sole factor considered when determining who should be laid off (a union priority), 74% of teachers say no, including 64% of tenured teachers and 55% of teachers with 20+ years seniority • Teachers are forming alternative organizations like Educators4Excellence to represent their views and challenge their unions

Over the years, the teachers' unions' behavior has become less and less like a professional association such as the American Bar Association or American Medical Association, and more and more like the longshoreman's union
-119-

Thoughts on the unions.
• Many school reformers are outraged that the teacher unions are often not fighting on behalf of schoolchildren • This is an unreasonable expectation. Just like any other union, they exist to fight for the interests of their members • Like most unions, among their major goals are more jobs, higher pay, better benefits, shorter work hours and greater job protection • They have been extraordinarily effective at achieving these aims • They have been very clever to embrace the children, such that any attack on them or their interests appears to be an attack on children and children's interests • In fact, the interests of teachers are often completely contradictory to the interests of children
For example, it is obviously in the best interests of children if ineffective teachers can be removed quickly, yet the unions fight – generally very successfully – to make it extremely difficult to remove even the most ineffective teacher Among the unions favorite prescriptions to fix our schools is to reduce class size, which obviously benefits unions because it requires hiring many more teachers, yet the evidence shows that this is very costly yet does little to help students – and may even harm disadvantaged students

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• School reformers must make it clear that they, not the unions, are the ones who are putting the interests of children first
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But it's not just the unions.
• Even in states where the unions are weak, the same problems exist and the system is highly resistant to change • The unions aren't the primary cause, but rather mostly the result of the terrible system
- Organizations tend to get the union they deserve

• Reform is often viewed as a threat to good jobs for local residents – there are huge racial dynamics at work • The real problem isn't the unions, but "The Blob": the whole system of millions of jobs, the politicians who feed off it, the bureaucratic inertia that's built up over decades, etc. • Even if we overcame the political obstacles, implementing reform and improving such a big, broken system is enormously difficult and will take a long time
- It's important to have realistic expectations – but also not to get discouraged - The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step – and we're many steps into the journey and making real progress
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• Mission: To move the Democratic Party to champion genuine school reform • Rationale: Only Democrats can move the Democratic Party, so DFER is founded, run and funded by Democrats • We must change the debate from Republicans vs. Democrats to those who defend the educational status quo vs. those who demand more for our children • DFER seeks to influence the Democratic Party at all levels, with an emphasis today at the national level, plus 14 state affiliates (California, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin) • DFER began supporting Barack Obama when he was a relative unknown, before he was elected to the Senate and even before his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention • Once elected, President Obama picked a reform-minded Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and they have moved aggressively to challenge the status quo • DFER played a critical role in conceiving of, getting the funding for, and implementing Race to the Top
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Overview of Race to the Top:
• A historic opportunity for reform: President Obama has a chance to reinvent the relationship that exists between the federal government and the states
• $4.3 billion in new, one-time federal funding (part of the stimulus package) • Awarded competitively to states that embrace reforms favored by Obama administration • States all over the country moved rapidly to make reforms and pass legislation to improve their chances of winning RTTT funds • 46 states and DC applied in one or both rounds of RTTT • Two states, Delaware and Tennessee, won in the first round and received $700 million. On August 24th, 10 more winners of $3.4 billion were announced: DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island
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Race to the Top funds dwarf philanthropic money available for reform.
Arne Duncan has twice as much discretionary money as his eight predecessors over the past 29 years combined!

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Race to the Top is focused on comprehensive reform.

General/STEM (30 points/6%)

Support High-Performing Charters (40 points/8%)

Great Teachers & Leaders (138 points/28%)

Data Systems to Support Instruction (47 points/9%)

• Fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system (24 points) • Accessing and using state data (5 points) • Using data to improve instruction (18 points)
Turning Around LowestAchieving Schools (50 points/10%)

• Providing high-quality pathways for aspiring teachers and principals (21 points) • Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance (58 points) • Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals (25 points) • Improving effectiveness of teacher and principal preparation programs (14 points) • Providing effective support to teachers and principals (20 points)

• Intervening in the lowest-achieving schools and LEAs (10 points) • Turning around the lowest-achieving schools (40 points)

Standards & Assessments (70 points/14%)

State Success Factors (125 points/25%)

• Developing and adopting common standards (40 points) • Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments (10 points) • Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments (20 points)

• Articulating state's education reform agenda and LEAs' participation in it (65 points) • Building strong statewide capacity to implement, scale up, and sustain proposed plans (30 points) • Demonstrating significant progress in raising achievement and closing gaps (30 points)

Source: U.S. Department of Education, www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf.

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• Be informed - You have to know what's going on at the local, state and national level - Join my email list and I'll do the work for you – just email me at WTilson@tilsonfunds.com • Support grassroots programs, but also become politically active on this issue - Showing up at political events and writing checks to politicians isn't sexy (and only political junkies like me think it's fun), but it is by far the most leveraged way to bring about large-scale change that benefits large numbers of children • Let your voice be heard – at events and in the press • Increase the percentage of your philanthropy that goes toward advocacy School Choice Rally in Tallahassee, FL, March 2010 • Build in the costs of advocacy (particularly parent advocacy) into school budgets - The education reform movement overall has done a terrible job of organizing our greatest political asset: our parents (there are a few notable exceptions: Eva Moskowitz with Harlem Parents United; Steve Barr and Green Dot in Los Angeles; John Kirtley in Florida) • Meet regularly with politicians and decision-makers, attend political fundraisers and ask tough questions, and contribute to politicians who are helpful – and hold those who aren't accountable • Host a showing of Waiting for "Superman" • Bring people to visit local high-performing schools such as certain charter schools - People don't really understand charter schools and what is possible with even the most disadvantaged kids until they see it with their own eyes • Join DFER (www.dfer.org), sign our statement of principles & become part of the team!

What you can do: Do's

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What you can do: Don'ts
• Don't assume that running a great school matters when it comes to advocacy - Case study: KIPP Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore • Don't assume that politicians understand the issues, or even the politics behind them - Tennessee legislators didn't know President Obama is a supporter of charter schools • Don't think that effective advocacy is cheap • Don't allow reform opponents to define the debate It's time to play offense!

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What you can do right now
1. Get educated by downloading my slide presentation and signing up for my email list at www.arightdenied.org or email me at WTilson@tilsonfunds.com. 2. Sign up for email updates at www.dfer.org, www.edreformnow.org, www.studentsfirst.org, www.standforchildren.org and www.edtrust.org. 3. Go visit a high-performing school and get involved as a mentor, tutor, board member, etc. 4. Be an advocate: sent out emails, use Facebook and Twitter, etc., and bring your friends to visit a high-performing school. You can talk to people until you're blue in the face (and they're sick of hearing from you), but seeing is believing.

5. Host a showing of Waiting for "Superman", which is available on DVD and Netflix.
6. Get politically involved: show up at political events and ask tough questions of the politicians (who tend to be ignorant and/or gutless weasels on this issue) and, if you're able, write checks to support reform-friendly politicians.

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Don't Get Discouraged! …But do have realistic expectations
• It's nice to fantasize about an 18-day, Egypt-style revolution that throws out the old order, that's not going to happen. The system is much too big, too entrenched, and too decentralized to fix quickly.

• It's taken us 40 years to go from having the best system of public education in the world to having one that is, at best, middle of the pack among developed countries, and it will, sadly, likely take as long to get back to the top.
• It will be a journey of 1,000 miles. We are many miles into the journey and are making progress, albeit in a three-steps-forwardtwo-steps-backward manner. • Don't be discouraged! There has been more progress in the past two years than in the previous 20, so it's an incredibly exciting time to be a school reformer!

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The full version of this presentation and other resources are posted at: www.arightdenied.org To be added to my school reform email list, simply email me at: WTilson@tilsonfunds.com

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Appendix 1: Table of Contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Progress is possible The government‘s obligation Steps to fixing the system The importance of effective school leaders More on teacher quality and distribution The impact of lockstep pay for teachers Other steps to improve teacher quality The importance of high standards End social promotion The hidden teacher spending gap Seven big myths • Myth #1: Low-income, minority students don‘t want to and/or can‘t learn • Myth #2: Students are overworked • Myth #3: Students are worse off today • Myth #4: We‘re not spending enough • Myth #5: Reducing class sizes is an effective way to boost student achievement • Myth #6: Teachers are underpaid • Myth #7: NCLB is costly and unnecessary The importance of political and community advocacy The Democrats‘ Dilemma – And Obama‘s Solution What we are fighting against: a story from the trenches Recommended reading Page 2 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 11 Page 18 Page 25 Page 29 Page 30 Page 32

Page 37 Page 41 Page 42 Page 44 Page 49 Page 52 Page 55 Page 62 Page 68 Page 70 Page 74
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12. 13. 14. 15.

Progress is possible: In 2003 in math, both Black and Hispanic 4th graders in Boston did not stack up well compared to NYC, the averages for large cities, and all public school students

Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2003–2009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments, http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

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Over the past six years, Black and Hispanic 4th graders in Boston and NYC have made great strides in math

Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2003–2009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments, http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

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White 4th graders have made progress as well, so the stubborn two-year black-white achievement gap remains

Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2003–2009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments, http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

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The white-Hispanic two-year achievement gap remains as well

Avg. Score by Hispanic Students
Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2003–2009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments, http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

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The Government’s Obligation
• • Federal, state and local governments have a moral and practical responsibility to provide every family with a good local public school – or must provide an alternative The current status quo, in which parents – mostly low-income, minority ones who can‘t opt out of the system – are forced to send their children – millions of them – to schools that everyone knows are dangerous and chronically failing is simply unacceptable Given the widespread failure at the state and local level, a greater role for the federal government is called for to, for example, set standards and demand accountability. Such a role is consistent with the federal role in other important breakthroughs such as Brown vs. Board of Education and the Great Society

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Steps to Fixing the System – Big Picture

Most Big-City School Systems Are Caught in “Doom Loops”
In Good to Great, Jim Collins contrasts the culture of discipline inside truly great organizations with those of struggling competitors. The highly successful companies found a "hedgehog concept" - what they could be the best in the world at - and they slowly, methodically built their business around this concept, gaining momentum each year. The image Collins uses to describe this momentum buildup is of the great companies pushing a huge flywheel; the first three, five, 15, 100 turns take exceptional effort, but once the flywheel is turning, the momentum makes it easier for each turn to go faster with less effort. The pattern within these companies creates sustained excellence: steps forward consistent with hedgehog concept, accumulation of visible results, personnel energized by results, flywheel builds momentum, steps forward consistent with the hedgehog concept. In contrast, the companies with chronically poor results were caught in devastating "doom loops" that were characterized by a familiar yet highly destructive pattern: disappointing results, reaction without understanding, new direction/program/ leader/event/fad, no accumulated momentum, disappointing results. Collins writes: ―Instea of a quiet, deliberate process of figuring out what needed to be done and d then simply doing it, the (poorly performing) companies launched new programs often with great fanfare and hoopla aimed at 'motivating the troops' - only to see the programs fail to produce sustained results. They sought the single defining action, the grand program, the one killer innovation, the miracle moment that would allow them to skip the arduous buildup stage and jump right to the breakthrough.‖

There is no magic bullet, no 100% solution. We need 100 1% solutions.
Source: www.achievementfirst.org/about.lessons.html

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The Importance of Effective School Leaders
• Great principals establish the right “culture” at a school and attract and retain great teachers

Principals Are Increasingly Being Held Accountable for Their Schools’ Success or Failure
Yet in Most Urban Districts, They Have Limited Ability to Hire and Fire Staff

“Nine out of 10 times, the person that is coming is not succeeding in his or her school . . . [E]veryone wants to keep their good teachers.” – Urban Principal
Source: Unintended Consequences, The New Teacher Project, 11/05

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We Need to Hire and Train Better School Leaders, Give Them Greater Autonomy and Then Hold Them Accountable for Results
Case Study: New York City Empowerment Schools
• Principals sign performance agreements that lay out principals‘ new powers, resources, and responsibilities in exchange for:
– – –

– –

There are annual assessments and each school receives a progress report and overall letter grade (A through F)

For each school, $100,000 in newly unrestricted funds and about $150,000 in in funds previously managed centrally on behalf of the school Fewer administrative requirements and reduced reporting and paperwork A significant voice in selecting and evaluating a dedicated support team charged with serving each school. Each dedicated support team will be a partner for principals, assuring that schools‘ needs are satisfactorily met

Increased authority over instructional practices, professional development, organization, school schedule, and summer programming Substantially greater discretion and fewer restrictions over school budget Additional money, in place of mandatory DOE programs and services, with which to decide what services to purchase – either from outside vendors or the DOE itself

Empowerment School principals will form into ―netwrks‖ of no more than 20 schools o
– – – – Networks will choose ―net work support leaders‖ who will work with small teams to help principals learn from each other and solve problems An Integrated Service Center will support the network support teams

Schools that receive a grade of ―Dor ―F(or a grade of ―Cin three consecutive years) are ‖ ‖ ‖ subject to consequences, including the use of intervention teams and leadership changes

48 schools participated in a two-year pilot program

331 schools (including the original 48 plus 10 charter schools) – approximately 1 in 5 schools in the city – recently volunteered to become Empowerment Schools

80% met their target goals They outperformed citywide averages as well as their own past performance prior to entering the pilot program
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More on Teacher Quality and Distribution

College Readiness Increases With Teacher Quality*

100%

15% 31% 39% 50%

* The Teacher Quality Index is Based on Five Factors:
1. % of Teachers with Emergency/Provisional Certification 2. % of Teachers from More/Most Selective Colleges 3. % of Teachers With at Least 4 Yrs of Experience 4. % of Teachers Failing Basic Skills Test on 1st Attempt 5. Teachers‘ Average ACT Composite and English Scores

75% Percent of Students 50%

30% 30%

29% 26%

25%

55% 39% 32% 24%
Highest TQI

0%

Lowest TQI

Lower Middle TQI

Upper Middle TQI

Not / Least College Ready

Somewhat / Minimally College Ready

More / Most College Ready
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Source: Teaching Inequality, Education Trust, June 2006; Presley, J. and Gong, Y. (2005). The Demographics and Academics of College Readiness in Illinois. Illinois Education Research Council.

College Math Readiness Is Affected More by Teacher Quality Than by the Level of Courses Taken
100

75
% of Students Most/More Ready

50

A student who takes Algebra II with even a 3rd quartile teacher is better prepared for college than a student who takes Calculus with a bottom 10% teacher
25

76 67 52 42 57 48

81

25
6 11

18 20

21 6

16

0

Algebra II Lowest 11-25% TQI

Lowest Quartile

Trigonometry or other advanced math LowerMiddle TQI Quartile

Calculus Highest TQI Quartile
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Lowest 10% TQI

UpperMiddle TQI Quartile

Source: Teaching Inequality, Education Trust, June 2006; Presley, J. and Gong, Y. (2005). The Demographics and Academics of College Readiness in Illinois. Illinois Education Research Council.

Poor High School Students Are More Often Taught by Less-Qualified Teachers
Percentage of Teachers Who Majored or Minored in the Field They Are Teaching
40% 28% 20% 14% 19% 31% 16% 18%

50%

0% Math Science English Social Studies

less than 20% Free Lunch

greater than 49% Free Lunch

Source: National Commission on Teaching and America‘s Future, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future (p.16) 1996. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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Poor High School Students Are More Often Taught by Inexperienced Teachers
*

High- and low-poverty schools

High- and low-minority schools

25%

Percentage of Inexperienced Teachers

20%

21%

11%

10%

0% High-poverty schools High-minority schools Low-poverty schools Low-minority schools

*Teachers with 3 or fewer years of experience. High and low refer to top and bottom quartiles. Source: National Center for Education Statistics, ―M onitoring Quality: An Indicators Report,‖ December 2000. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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High-Poverty Schools in Illinois and New York Have Far More Teachers Who Did Poorly on State Certification Exams

In Illinois, children in high-poverty schools were five times more likely to be taught by teachers who failed the state teacher licensure exam at least once, and 23 times more likely to be taught by teachers who failed it at least five times In New York, of those teaching minority students, 21% of teachers failed one of the state‘s certification exams vs. 7% of those who teach white students
– One Chicago teacher failed on 24 of 25 tries – including all 12 of the tests in the subject area in which she taught – yet is still teaching

Source: Chicago Sun Times, 2001 (Illinois data).

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High-Poverty Schools In New York State Have Far More Teachers Who Attended Non-Competitive Colleges
• • The 10% of public schools in New York State with the highestincome students have almost no teachers who attended ―lea stcompetitive‖ colleges In the 10% of public schools with the lowest-income students, more than 30% of teachers attended ―lea st-competitive‖ colleges Minority students in New York are more than twice as likely as white students to be taught by teachers from the least-competitive colleges

Source: The Real Value of Teachers, Education Trust, Winter 2004.

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Lockstep Pay for Teachers Is Having Devastating Consequences for Teacher Quality

To Compete With the Private Sector, Schools Need to Pay Math and Science Teachers More – But Aren’t

Source: Teacher Pay Reforms, Center for American Progress, 12/06.

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Teachers With High Test Scores Used to be Paid More – But No Longer Are

Is It Any Wonder, Therefore, That Numerous Studies Have Shown That Fewer and Fewer Top Students Are Becoming Teachers?

Sources: Teaching at Risk-Progress and Potholes, The Teaching Commission, 3/06; Teacher Pay Reforms, Center for American Progress, 12/06.

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Female Teachers from Highly Selective Colleges Used to be Paid More – But No Longer

Source: Wage Distortion, Hoxby and Leigh, Education Next, Spring 2005.

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It’s Not Surprising, Therefore, That Far Fewer Women Who Attend Highly Selective Colleges Are Going Into Teaching

Source: Wage Distortion, Hoxby and Leigh, Education Next, Spring 2005.

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Under Most Teacher Contracts, It Is Virtually Impossible to Pay Any Teacher More for Exceptional Duties or Performance

For example, to pay a teacher in New York City more for exceptional duties, the following steps are required: 1. An audit is conducted 2. The Division of Human Resources reviews the audit 3. The United Federation of Teachers is consulted 4. The chancellor approves the salary; and 5. Any disagreement is arbitrated

Source: Breakdown, Eva Moskowitz, Education Next, Summer 2006.

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Teacher Pay Should Be Tied to Many Factors That Are Not Currently Used
• The best teachers – defined primarily as those who deliver high student achievement – should be paid more • Teachers willing to teach in the schools with the greatest concentration of the most disadvantaged students should be paid more • Hard-to-find teachers, such as those in math and science, should be paid more

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Set Up “Value-Added” Systems So Effective (and Ineffective) Teachers Can Be Identified
Such Teachers Can Be Identified Relatively Quickly

Source: Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job, Hamilton Project, April 2006.

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Streamline Removal of Ineffective Teachers

In Many Cities, It Is Virtually Impossible to Remove Even the Most Ineffective Teacher

• Out of 95,500 tenured teachers in Illinois, an average of only two (0.002%) are fired each year for poor performance

• In another study of five cities‘ school systems, of 74,600 teachers, fewer than four (0.005%) per year were fired for poor performance • In another study (The Widget Effect, http://widgeteffect.org) of 12 districts in four states:

– In the past 18 years, 94% of school districts have never attempted to fire a tenured teacher

– 81% of administrators and 58% of teachers said there was a tenured teacher in their school who was performing poorly, and 43% of teachers said there was a tenured teacher who should be dismissed for poor performance, yet… – Fewer than 1% of teachers were rated unsatisfactory – At least half of the districts had not dismissed a single non-probationary teacher for poor performance in the previous five years – 41% of administrators reported that they had never denied tenure to a teacher or ―no n-renewed‖ a probationary teacher
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Sources: www.thehiddencostsoftenure.com; Unintended Consequences, The New Teacher Project, 11/05; The Widget Effect, The New Teacher Project, 6/09.

Reform Schools of Education
• • Three-quarters of the country's 1,206 university-level schools of education don't have the capacity to produce excellent teachers More than half of teachers are educated in programs with the lowest admission standards (often accepting 100% of applicants) and with "the least accomplished professors" When school principals were asked to rate the skills and preparedness of new teachers, only 40% thought education schools were doing even a moderately good job Teacher U in New York City, a collaboration among KIPP, Achievement First and Uncommon Schools is an exciting model As with ed schools today, a century ago many medical schools were schools of quackery
– – But they were reformed because people were dying in the care of poorly trained doctors People die (or end up in jail, on welfare, or lead ruined lives) when poorly trained teachers fail to educate, so there needs to be a similar hue and cry to reform or shut down the many ed schools of quackery
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• •

Source: Educating School Teachers, The Education Schools Project, Arthur Levine, 9/06; www.edschools.org/teacher_report.htm.

Other Key Steps
• Until national standards are adopted, states need to set high standards • End social promotion • Address the hidden teacher spending gap

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The Importance of High Standards
• One of the biggest flaws of No Child Left Behind is that it lets states set their own bar for proficiency/passing • To their everlasting shame, the vast majority of states engaged in a race to the bottom so politicians and educators could tell the public that the vast majority of students were doing well – when they weren‘t • One of the few exceptions was Massachusetts, which set high, internationally benchmarked standards, developed rigorous tests (MCAS) and publicizes each school‘s results. • As a result, Massachusetts‘ students are doing exceptionally well – if it were a country, it would be among the top 5 in the world • At about the same time, neighboring Connecticut, which had similar demographics and performance, adopted loosey-goosey watereddown standards and has now fallen far behind Massachusetts
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Ending Social Promotion Is A Powerful Accountability Mechanism
• • • • No longer can schools get rid of the most difficult-to-educate children by promoting them and, eventually, passing them along to other schools (or until they drop out) Instead, the messages to the system are clear: It helps combat the reprehensible yet widespread practice of assigning least effective teachers to the most difficult students ―In immortal words of Roberto Duran, we are saying, ‗ mas!‘ the No We will educate students and then promote them, not the reverse‖
-- Joel Klein, Chancellor, NYC Department of Education

1. 2.

―You must educate every child‖; and ―If fail to educate any child, then you have to try again‖ you

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Florida Students Benefited When the State Ended Social Promotion
Students Potentially Affected By the Retention Policy Did Better… …As Did Students Retained

Source: Getting Ahead by Staying Behind, Greene and Winters, Education Next, Spring 2006.

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The Hidden Teacher Spending Gap
• Funding gaps between school districts—inter-district funding discrepancies—have been the subject of much debate and numerous lawsuits. Less attention, however, has been paid to the funding gaps separating schools within the same school district • Virtually all districts nationwide, when budgeting for each school in the district, apply the average teacher cost for the district to all teachers at a school, even if some schools – typically those serving primarily lowincome, minority students – have a higher percentage of low-paid teachers (e.g. those with less experience and fewer credentials)
– ―In virtua every school district, schools are given teacher allocations, not lly budget allocations. That is, a school is told it can hire 40 teachers, not that it has $2 million dollars for teacher salaries.‖

• The hidden effect of this budgeting is that significantly less is actually spent on schools with a high concentration of low-income, minority students than is reported
Source: California‘s Hidden Teacher Spending Gap: How State and District Budgeting Practices Shortchange Poor and Minority Students and Their Schools, Education Trust, 3/05.

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Impact of the Hidden Teacher Spending Gap

Low-Income and Minority Students Were Shortchanged in New York, Though Recent Reforms Have Addressed This
• Schools in New York State‘s high-poverty districts receive $2,040 less per pupil than schools in its low poverty districts
– $51,000 less for a classroom of 25 – $816,000 less for a school of 400

• The state‘s high-minority districts receive $1,797 less per pupil than schools in its low-minority districts
– $44,925 less for a classroom of 25 – $718,800 less for a school of 400

Source: Education Trust calculations based on U.S. Department of Education school district revenue data for the 2001-2002 year.

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Impact of the Hidden Teacher Spending Gap

Case Study: Low-Income and Minority Students are Shortchanged in California

Of the 50 largest school districts in California, 42 of them (84%) spend less on teachers in schools that are in the top quartile of low-income and minority students (compared to schools in the bottom quartile)
– –

At schools in the top quartile of poverty, the average salary gap is $2,576/teacher/year or $87,584/year for a typical school with 34 teachers At high minority schools, the gap is even larger: $3,014/teacher/year or $102,476/year for a typical school

The gaps are even larger in the 10 largest school districts in California, which account for 22% of all public school students in the state
– – At high-poverty schools, the average salary gap $3,388/teacher/year At high minority schools, the gap is the largest: $4,119/teacher/year

Conclusion: ―Fr a student in high schools serving mostly Latino and African-American o students, the estimated average teacher salary is $4,119 less per teacher than in a high school serving the fewest minority students. Assuming this student has six teachers a day, he is taught by teachers paid $24,714 less per year than his counterparts. Over the course of a four-year high school career, $98,856 less is spent on his teachers as compared to the teachers teaching in schools serving the fewest concentrations of Latino and AfricanAmerican students. If this student attended the schools serving the highest numbers of Latino and African-American students from the time of kindergarten through high school, California will have spent a total of $172,626 less on all of his teachers (K-12) than on the K-12 teachers in schools with the fewest Latino and African-American students.‖
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Source: California‘s Hidden Teacher Spending Gap: How State and District Budgeting Practices Shortchange Poor and Minority Students and Their Schools, Education Trust, 3/05.

One Solution to the Hidden Teacher Spending Gap Is Weighted Student Funding
• A proposal in which:
– Funding from all levels follows every student to whatever public school he or she attends – The amount varies according to the student‘s needs – Funding arrives at schools as real dollars that can be spent flexibly, with accountability gauged by results rather than inputs, programs, or activities

• Proposed by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, it is winning bipartisan support for educational leaders such as former Secretary of Education Rod Paige, former San Francisco superintendent Arlene Ackerman and Center for American Progress President John Podesta • Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein in New York City and Governor Spitzer in New York State have proposed ―Fair Student Funding‖ • For more information, see www.edexcellence.net/fundthechild

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Seven Big Myths
To move forward, we must first understand the reasons – and associated ―s olutions‖ – that do not explain the underperformance of low-income minority children: 1. They don‘t want to and/or can‘t learn 2. Students are overworked 3. Students are worse off today than in the past 4. We‘re not spending enough 5. We need to reduce class size 6. Teachers are underpaid 7. No Child Left Behind is costly and unnecessary

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Myth #1: Low-Income Minority Students Don’t Want To and/or Can’t Learn
Fact: Many schools are proving that this is nonsense • Especially the ―n excuses‖ charter schools like KIPP o

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Not Surprisingly, As Student Income Levels Decline, So Do Test Scores
Poverty vs. Achievement in Kentucky Elementary Schools
100 90

Elementary Math Percentile Score

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percent FRPL Percent of Students Who Qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch

Source: Education Trust analysis of data from National School-Level State Assessment Score Database (www.schooldata.org).

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Yet There Is Enormous Variability Among Schools

Poverty vs. Achievement in Kentucky Elementary Schools
100 90
Elementary Math Percentile Score

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Some schools are delivering high student performance in spite of low income levels

Percent of Students Who Qualify for Percent FRPL Free or Reduced-Price Lunch

Source: Education Trust analysis of data from National School-Level State Assessment Score Database (www.schooldata.org).

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The Same is True in Indiana

Poverty vs. Achievement in Indiana Elementary Schools
100

3rd Grade Math Percent Proficient and Above

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percent Economically Disadvantaged

Source: Analysis of Indiana Achievement Data by the Education Trust, 2006.

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Myth #2: Students Are Overworked
Facts: • Filled with vivid anecdotes, recent books such as The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids and The Case Against Homework: How Homework is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It, have led to the widespread misperception that American children are being overworked • However, the facts show that, with the exception of a small number of schools and parents, not enough is being demanded of students • 71% of U.S. students told the Public Agenda Foundation in 2006 that they do the bare minimum to get by and only two in 10 students say they have too much homework • A 1995 study showed that American students spend on average just 1.7 hours a night on homework, compared with 2.7 hours for students in other nations

• • • •

Another study by Brookings (2003) found that typical American students spent an hour a day on homework – a pattern unchanged in the past quarter-century Only 5% of American schoolchildren have more than two hours of homework per night Almost half of high school students acknowledge that they should do homework, but don't – The Homework Myth, Martin Davis, NY Post, 8/27/06 ―U LA's Higher Education Research Institute regularly asks about 400,000 college freshmen how C much homework they did in high school. About two-thirds say only an hour a night or less. Remember, these are the homework habits of students who went on to college.‖ – Too Few Overachievers, Jay Mathews, Washington Post, 8/21/06 ―Te University of Michigan Institute for Social Research collects time diaries from American h teenagers. These documents make clear our youth are not taking long walks in the woods or reading Proust. Instead, 15- to 17-year-olds on average between 2002 and 2003 devoted about 3 1/2 hours a day to television and other "passive leisure" or playing on the computer. (Their average time spent in non-school reading was exactly seven minutes a day. Studying took 42 minutes a day.)‖ –Mathews

Not coincidentally, however, U.S. 12th graders who took advanced math and science reported having homework more often than their international peers

-41-

Myth #3: Students Are Worse Off Today Than in the Past (And Therefore Schools Aren’t to Blame for their Failure)
Fact: • Students are better off today

-42-

According to a Study That Measured 16 Factors, Students Today Are the Most “Teachable” Ever
Yet Their Performance Has Scarcely Budged

Source: The Teachability Index: Can Disadvantaged Students Learn?, Greene, Forster, 9/04; www.manhattan-institute.org/html/ewp_06.htm#01.com.

-43-

Myth #4: We’re Not Spending Enough

The Widespread Failure of Schools in Large Cities is Not Due to Less Spending

Cities with some of the very worst schools such as Newark, Camden, Washington DC and Hartford spend among the most per pupil of any U.S. cities

Sources: Chart 1: Savage Exaggerations, Marcus Winters, Education Next, Spring 2006 Chart 2: Top 25 school districts of over 10,000 students in per-pupil spending, 2002-03 school year, US Census Bureau, March 2005.

-44-

There is No Correlation Between Higher Spending and Better Outcomes Among Cities
2007 urban district spending per student vs. proficiency rates
40

Percent of 8th grade students proficient or above in math

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 2,000 4,000

Austin

Charlotte

New York City Los Angeles

San Diego Houston
Chicago

Boston

Atlanta
DC

Cleveland

Total current spending per student

6,000

8,000

10,000

12,000

14,000

Source: USDOE, NCES, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2007 data; U.S. Census Bureau 2007 Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data; ACCRA Cost of Living 2000 composite index.

-45-

If Spending More Money Leads to Better Student Outcomes, Then Why Do Private School Children Do Just As Well, Despite Private Schools Only Spending Roughly Half What Public Schools Do?
• ―Te report from the h Education Department…concluded, after compensating for socioeconomic differences and other factors, that public-school students score slightly better on tests in fourth grade, while privateschool students score slightly better in eighth grade.‖ • ―[Yt,] According to federal e surveys, the typical private school‘s tuition is only about half what a public school spends per pupil…General Motors would not celebrate the news that its $40,000 Cadillac performed almost as well as a $20,000 Honda.‖
Source: www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/20060715report.pdf; Spinning a Bad Report Card, John Tierney, New York Times, 7/18/06; chart: Education Myths.

-46-

Spending More Money – Even A Lot More Money – Does Not Lead to Improved Student Achievement Unless It is Accompanied by Major Reforms Kansas City Case Study
• "Sometimes we even crank up the intensity with which we write these checks, but because the system is built in a way that puts other needs ahead of children, our students don't benefit. In Kansas City, Missouri, where tumultuous conditions wore out 20 school superintendents in 30 years, a court ordered that an extra $2 billion be spent over a dozen years [$167 million/year] (between the mid-1980s and late 1990s) as a supplement to the district's $125 million per year operating budget to improve education for minority students. School officials used the unprecedented cash infusion to boost teacher salaries and build 15 new schools [both among Kozol's big recommendations]. They included such pricey luxuries like an Olympic-size swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo and a model United Nations chamber with simultaneous translation capability. Unfortunately, after a dozen years very little had really changed and the district still failed to meet any of the state's performance standards. Structure matters in education, particularly when school systems are configured in ways that assure that the needs of adults are addressed first and foremost.― Cheating Our Kids – • ―F ifteen years and $2 billion later, the schools were no more racially integrated than in 1985, and despite a student-teacher ratio of thirteen to one (among the lowest in the nation), test scores were just as dismal. A local attorney who had served as a court-appointed monitor for the program summed it all up: ‗ The only things we have to show for $2 billion in new educational spending in Kansas City are beautiful buildings, highly paid, grossly inadequate teachers and a huge administrative staff that I estimate has cost us $43 million.‘…Even Professor Gary Orfield of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, one of the country‘s staunchest proponents of court-ordered desegregation remedies, admits that ‗ Kansas City is a very, very sad story. They really can‘t show much of anything, though they spent $2 billion.‘‖ – No Excuses
-47-

More Money – Accompanied by Major Reforms – Made a Difference for Two Schools in Austin
―As part of a settlement in a desegregation case in the late 1980s, 16 high-minority, high-poverty elementary schools in Austin, Texas were given a very substantial increase of $300,000 a year for five years on top of their regular budgets. Did it promote greater student learning? Five years later, it turned out, no improvement at all was visible in 14 of the sixteen schools. These 14 schools had spent the extra money reducing class size, but the teachers were simply doing what they had always done and their students were learning no more. The other two, though, did make impressive gains, because they had innovative and dynamic principals who devoted great effort to involving parents, to reshaping the curriculum, and to training the teachers to handle their classes differently. The extra money helped make these changes possible. But more money was no magic bullet – which the record of 14 made clear.‖

Source: No Excuses.

-48-

Myth #5: Reducing Class Sizes Is an Effective Way to Boost Student Achievement
Facts: • Teacher quality is far more important than class size…and reduced class size initiatives often lead to lower teacher quality

• Reducing class sizes is extremely expensive, yet there is little evidence that it results in gains in student achievement • Teachers support it because it because smaller classes are easier to manage and they can spend more time with individual students
– This is no doubt correct, all other things being equal… – But all other things are not equal; large-scale initiatives to reduce class sizes lead to rapid hiring of many new teachers, thereby diluting average teacher quality

– Would you rather have your child in a class of 25 students led by an excellent teacher or a class of 18 students with an ineffective teacher?

• Because it requires hiring many more teachers, this ―r eform‖ is strongly favored by the teachers‘ unions
Sources: Education Myths, No Excuses.

-49-

Two Studies: One Instructive and the Other Not
• Proponents of smaller class size cite the STAR program in Tennessee in the 1980s, in which students in smaller classes did better, but the findings are unreliable
– – Unclear whether students were randomly assigned to small classes Unclear if results could be replicated on a large scale

• In 1996, California appropriated $4 billion ($1 billion/year) to reduce elementary school class sizes by 1/3 to a max of 20 students in grades K-3
– –

From 1996-96 to 1999-2000, average class size fell from 29 to 19 46% more teachers were hired in only three years (62,226 to 91,112); previously, only 4,000 K-3 teachers were hired each year

Sources: Education Myths, No Excuses.

-50-

California’s Class Size Reduction Failed Due to Far More Uncertified and Inexperienced Teachers
―Te small-class mandate in California h forced the hiring of many teachers who were apparently ill-qualified, especially in schools where the need for strong instruction is greatest. The sudden jump in the demand for teachers allowed those with better credentials – whether new or experienced – to move to schools in safer, more pleasant neighborhoods. Reading scores rose only slightly and math scores actually declined in the most heavily black schools in the state… The lack of academic progress should have been expected. The smaller the average class, the more teachers a school needs, and the harder it may be to maintain teacher quality… In their desperate search for additional staff, California‘s high-minority, lowincome schools evidently had no choice but to hire the weakest teachers in the pool. The disappointing results would seem the logical consequence.‖ – No Excuses

―I‘d rather have one good teacher than two crummy teachers, any day‖ – Irwin Kurz, principal of a very successful New York public school with low-income students and large classes

Sources: Relationships Between Class Reduction, New Teachers and Student Achievement, PPI, 6/02; No Excuses.

-51-

Myth #6: Teachers Are Underpaid
Facts: • Some teachers are indeed underpaid, but overall teachers are quite well paid • The problem is how teachers are paid • Certain teachers should be paid more, but only those who deliver high student achievement, are willing to teach in the schools with the greatest concentration of the most disadvantaged students, and teach subjects in which there is a teacher shortage such as math and science
– And have excellent benefits

-52-

Overall, Teachers are Not Underpaid

They Earn 61% Per Hour Than Private School Teachers and Significantly More Than Other White-Collar Workers, Even Specialty/Technical Ones

Clergy Social worker PRIVATE SCHOOL TEACHER Legal asst. All white collar Editor/reporter Nurse Librarian Physical therapist Architect All prof. specialty & technical Psychologist Mechanical engineer PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER Physicist Nuclear engineer Dentist Lawyer Doctor $$10

Hourly Wages

$20

$30

$40

$50

$60

Source: How Much Are Public School Teachers Paid?, Greene & Winders, January 2007, www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_50.htm.

-53-

Teachers Also Receive Excellent Benefits And Have Extraordinary Job Security

Source: Is There a ―Q ualified Teacher‖ Shortage?, Michael Podgursky, Education Next, Spring 2006.

-54-

Myth #7: No Child Left Behind is Costly and Unnecessary

Facts: • NCLB requires much-needed performance measurement • Creates much-needed accountability, which is leading to… • Much-needed improved performance • And the cost is small relative to other reform measures

-55-

What Is No Child Left Behind?
• The central aim of NCLB is to make every public-school student proficient in reading and math by the year 2014. It has three core principles: 1. ―A core principle of NCLB is that every student must reach the desired level of performance: no group of students—minority, disabled, poor, limited English proficient, mobile—should be left behind. 2. Another core principle of NCLB is that every child is capable of attaining proficiency, defined in an appropriate way. Thus, while progress is important, NCLB deliberately emphasizes reaching proficiency, not making gains each year, regardless of past performance. NCLB provides no special recognition to students or schools that exceed the minimum. This is not a good thing or a bad thing, but it clearly demonstrates that the focus of NCLB is on bringing low-achieving students to a sound level of academic achievement. 3. A third principle of NCLB is that it works through the states, long the workhorses of the country‘s education system. States and localities provide more than 90 percent of funding for schools, so it makes sense for them to exercise control. Furthermore, with fewer schools to watch, states are in a much better position than the federal government to monitor multiple targets. Thus, even though NCLB monitors only proficiency, it encourages states, in their own accountability systems, to reward schools that make gains along the entire spectrum of achievement.‖ – Inadequate Yearly Progress, Hoxby, Education Next, Summer 2005 • ―Pas with strong bipartisan support in 2001 [Ted Kennedy was one of the sponsors], the law sed requires states to develop accountability goals and use a standardized test to measure whether students are reaching those goals. NCLB provides sanctions for schools that fail to make adequate gains for several years in a row. These include the diversion of a portion of schools‘ federal subsidies to tutoring for failing students, and allowing students to transfer to other public schools. States are also held accountable for their overall performance through the diversion of portions of their federal funding.‖ – Education Myths
-56-

No Child Left Behind Is Proving To Be a Highly Effective Piece of Civil Rights Legislation
• NCLB forces schools (and states) to break out test results by race • This exposes the dirty secret of far too many schools: that children who are perceived to be slow learners – disproportionately lowincome, minority children – are assigned the least effective teachers and essentially given up on • "I think it represents the greatest piece of civil rights legislation since the passage of the [1965] Voting Rights Act.― Steven Adamowski, – new Superintendent of Hartford public schools

-57-

The 2005 National Teacher of the Year Has Changed His View of No Child Left Behind
From an article in the Washington Post about Jason Kamras, 2005 National Teacher of the Year:

In Virginia, a middle school principal pulled him aside. He told Kamras that before No Child Left Behind, he used to assign "a warm body" to teach his low-performing classes. Now, the principal said, he puts his best teachers with his lowestperforming students so they can meet testing standards. It changed Kamras's opinion of the legislation. "Like many teachers, I had thought NCLB was an attack on public education," Kamras said. "Now I have a much more positive view, because it's forcing everyone to pay attention to the achievement of children who'd been ignored.― The anecdote became a part of his talks. If the story made a difference in Kamras's philosophy, he said, maybe it could inspire other teachers to embrace some parts of the act. Making a difference in education policy began to pique his interest. Kamras is now considering taking a more political role to continue bringing issues of inequality to public attention.

Source: Washington Post, 7/13/06.

-58-

Testing Leads to Accountability Which Leads to Improved Results
States With Statewide Testing Systems Showed More Improvement in the 1990s

Source: Do We Need to Repair the Monument?, John Chubb, Education Next, Spring 2005.

-59-

Opponents of NCLB Label It an “Unfunded Federal Mandate” and Decry Its Cost

But In Fact the Cost of Accountability Testing is Low Relative to Other Reform Measures

Source: Education Myths.

-60-

Opponents of NCLB Mischaracterize NCLB
No Child Left Behind: The Football Version 1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all will win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. 2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL. 3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don't like football. 4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th and 11th games. 5. This will create a New Age of sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left behind.

The Box on the Left Was Circulating the Internet; My Rebuttal Is on the Right

No Child Left Behind: Revised Version 1. All teams must play hard and do their best. If a team is poorly managed and disorganized, it will be put on probation until it improves, and the coaches will be held accountable. The children and their parents will not be blamed for the failure of the coaches. 2. All kids will be expected to play. Obviously, some kids will play with more skill than others, but all kids will be expected to work hard and perform at a proficient level. Some kids may need to work extra hours to achieve proficiency. The coaches will be expected to put in those extra hours with the kids to ensure their success. 3. Coaches will not focus their resources solely on the handful of players who demonstrate unusual proficiency at an early age. Coaches will be held accountable for the success of EVERY player. 4. Games will be played year round, and statistics will be collected, analyzed and widely disseminated frequently. 5. This will create a New Age of sports where every kid learns the necessary tools to succeed. Just because some children get ahead, it's not acceptable that many children get left behind.
-61-

The Importance of
Political and Community Advocacy

Photo: Liz Marie

-62-

The School System is the Largest Employer in Many Cities

Baltimore Detroit Washington DC

Largest Private Employer 8,000
(Baltimore Gas & Electric)

School System 11,414 18,822 14,235

13,659
(Chrysler)

(Georgetown)

5,756

1995 data
-63-

Government Jobs Have Been the Primary Route to the Middle Class for African Americans
• Statistics in a 1976 study for the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education by Harvard University economist Richard Freeman reveal the importance of government employment:

Freeman also reports that 72% of Black women college graduates work for some branch of government.

– Overall, about 51% of all male Black college graduates are employed by governments – either federal, state, or local – compared to about 25% of college-educated white males. – Although the largest number are teachers, there are high proportions of Blacks employed by governments in other fields as well - about 28% of Black lawyers, compared to 14% of lawyers overall; 47.5% of personnel and labor relations professions, compared to 25% overall; and 24% of all Black men who are managers, which is about double the overall proportion.

-64-

Government is a Particularly Important Employer for African Americans…

Source: Testimony of Douglas J. Besharov, American Enterprise Institute to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, July 15, 2005.

-65-

…Especially for College Graduates

Source: Testimony of Douglas J. Besharov, American Enterprise Institute to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, July 15, 2005.

-66-

Perceptual, Ideological and Communal Bonds Are Major Impediments to School Reform
―The politics of jobs can be – and often is – an impediment to systemic school reform, but the power of education professionals rests on more than the votes and campaign contributions they can muster from within their own ranks. African-American educators in black-led cities share perceptual, ideological, and communal bonds with elected officials, parents, and other important community actors, including the black churches that play a pivotal role in shaping the political life in many inner-city areas. These bonds help to account for the fact that community mobilization around school issues often takes the shape of protecting jobs and their incumbents instead of demanding higher levels of performance and structural change.‖

Source: The Color of School Reform

-67-

The Democrats’ Dilemma – And Obama’s Solution
Fact 1: America‘s public schools are failing urban children of color on a mass scale Fact 2: Urban minorities are a critical base of support for the Democratic party Fact 3: Urban leaders could drive the political agenda, but with a few notable exceptions remain passengers on someone else‘s policy bus Fact 4: The party‘s two core constituencies – urban minorities and education status quo – are on a collision course Fact 5: Until Obama was elected, the Democratic party was paying a high and increasing price for being on the wrong side of this issue Fact 6: As a candidate and now as President, Obama has embraced a reform agenda, both because it‘s the right thing to do, but also it‘s smart politically

- Shows he‘s a centrist and demonstrates political courage by being willing to buck his party‘s strongest interest group - He is poised to be to education reform what Clinton was to welfare reform
-68-

Equation for the Average Democratic Politician
Support Genuine School Reform • Lose unions‘ financial backing and organizational support • More likely that party or union will run someone against you in the primary • Accused of hurting your party and being a closet Republican • Perhaps cost your constituents jobs BUT • Do what‘s best for children and stay true to your principles Toe the Party Line • Gain financial backing and organizational support • More likely to run unopposed in the primary • Be ―p of the team‖ art • Protect good jobs (and perhaps patronage) BUT • Don‘t do what‘s best for children

Case studies: Cory Booker (first election), Eva Moskowitz This equation is changing somewhat, however, thanks to President Obama’s leadership and the political cover it provides

-69-

What We Are Fighting Against: A Story from the Trenches
I taught in the South Bronx with TFA back in the late nineties. I want to emphasize here that I no longer teach in the Bronx, so I have little idea how things have changed and have seen the current Administration take a number of important steps that may be making a great impact. I'm not close enough to the ground to know, but my guess is that there are still plenty of schools in the Bronx and in every other low-income community in the country that reflect some of the miserable stuff I saw in my school. You should really start collecting a book of stories like these. Among all the people I know who've done TFA, these stories are just a few among many sad ones. As I filled out the survey, I was first reminded of the art teacher in our school. She was truly a caricature of bad teaching. Like something out of the movies. She spent almost every minute of every day screaming at the top of her lungs in the faces of 5-8 year olds who had done horrible things like coloring outside the lines. The ART teacher! Screaming so loud you could hear her 2-3 floors away in a decades old, solid brick building. When she heard I was looking for an apt, she sent me to an apt broker friend of hers. I told the friend I wanted to live in Washington Heights. "Your mother would be very upset with me if I let you go live with THOSE PEOPLE. We fought with bricks and bats and bottles to keep them out of our neighborhoods. Do you see what they have done to this place?" This same attitude could be heard in the art teacher's screams, the administration's ambivalence towards the kids we were supposed to be educating and the sometimes overt racism of the people in charge. The assistant principal (who could not, as far as I could tell, do 4th grade math, but offered me stop-in math professional development for a few minutes every few months with gems like "these numbers you see here to the left of the zero are negative numbers. Like when it is very cold outside.") once told me "I call them God's stupidest people" referring to a Puerto Rican woman who was blocking our way as we drove to another school. She also once told me I needed to put together a bulletin board in the hallway about Veteran's Day. I told her we were in the middle of assembling an Encyclopedia on great Dominican, Puerto Rican and Black leaders (all of my students were Dominican, Black or Puerto Rican). "Mr. ____, we had Cin-co de May-o, and Black History Month, and all that other stuff. It is time for the AMERICAN Americans."

-70-

What We Are Fighting Against: A Story from the Trenches (2)
Not everyone in the school was a racist. There were many hard working teachers of all ethnicities who did not reflect this attitude at all. But the fact that the leadership of the school and a number of the most senior teachers was either utterly disdainful of the students they taught, or has completely given up on the educability of the kids, had a terrible effect on overall staff motivation. And many of the wellmeaning teachers were extremely poorly prepared to make a dent in the needs of the students even if they had been well led. The Principal told more than one teacher there that "as long as they are quiet and in their seats, I don't care what else you do." This was on the day this person was HIRED. This was their first and probably last instruction. He never gave me a single instruction. Ever. And I was a new teacher with nothing but TFA's Summer Institute under my belt. The Principal proceeded to get a law degree while sitting in his office ignoring the school. When we went to the Assistant Superintendent to report that the school was systematically cheating on the 3rd grade test (i.e., the third grade team met with the principal and APs, planned the cheating carefully, locked their doors and covered their windows and gave answers) she told the principal to watch his back. A few months later, inspectors came from the state. After observing our mostly horrible classes for a full day, they told us how wonderful we were doing and that they had just come down to see what they could replicate in other schools to produce scores like ours. And the list goes on and on. Like when I asked the principal to bring in one of the district's special education specialists to assess two of my lowest readers, both of whom had fewer than 25 sight-words (words they could recognize on paper) in the 3rd grade, he did. She proceeded to hand one of the students a list of words that the child couldn't read and tell her to write them over again. Then she went to gossip with the Principal. After explaining to him in gory detail, IN FRONT OF THE STUDENT, that she had just been "dealing with a case where a father had jumped off a roof nearby and committed double-suicide with his 8 year old daughter in his arms", she collected the sheet with no words on it, patted the child on the head and left. No IEP was filed nor was I allowed to pursue further action through official channels (I lobbied the mother extensively on my own). I never asked for her to come back to assess the other student.

-71-

What We Are Fighting Against: A Story from the Trenches (3)
Our Union Rep was said to have tried to push another teacher down a flight of stairs. The same Union Rep, while I was tutoring a child, cursed out a fellow teacher in the room next door at the top of her lungs so the child I was tutoring could hear every word. When I went to address her about it, the other teacher had to restrain the Rep as she threatened to physically attack me. And when the cheating allegations were finally take up by city investigators, the same Union Rep was sent to a cushy desk job in the district offices. I hear that most of the people I'm referencing here are long gone now, and some of them actually got pushed out of the system, but how rare can this story really be given the pitiful results we see from so many of our nation's poorest schools and how far the system goes to protect horrible teachers and administrators like the ones I worked with? At the same time as all of this was happening, by the way, the few good teachers in the building often became beaten down and disillusioned. One of the best in my building was consistently punished for trying to make her corner of the school a better place for learning. They put her in a basement corner with no ventilation, no windows and nothing but a 6-foot-high cubicle-style partition separating her from the other 5 classrooms in the basement. After fighting the good fight she went to teach in the suburbs. When I got a financial firm to donate 20 computers, the principal said he didn't have the resources to get them setup for use and refused to allow them into the school. When I had my students stage a writing campaign to get the vacant lot behind the building turned into a playground, the principal wanted me silenced. The saddest thing about the whole damn mess was that our K-3 kids still REALLY WANTED TO LEARN. Every day they came eager for knowledge. And every day this cabal of cynicism, racism and laziness did everything within their powers to drain it out of them. It was unreal. Don't get me wrong. There were some good teachers there. And some well meaning, but poor teachers. But in many classrooms, the main lesson learned was that school became something to dread, many adults thought you were capable of very little, and some adults couldn't be bothered to lift a finger.
-72-

What We Are Fighting Against: A Story from the Trenches (4)
I hope if any of the good, hard-working teachers who fought so hard to rid the school of this mess read this, they'll know I'm not lumping them in with the rest. But the problem was, when I addressed the worst practices in the school at a staff meeting, the bad teachers laughed and the good teachers took it the hardest and thought I was criticizing them. Let's make these stories known.

-73-

Recommended Reading
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Whitney Tilson‘s school reform resource page: www.tilsonfunds.com/Personal/SchoolReform Cheating Our Kids: How Politics and Greed Ruin Education, Joe Williams Work Hard, Be Nice, Jay Mathews Escalante, Jay Mathews Crazy Like a Fox, Ben Chavis and Carey Blakely Education Myths: What Special Interest Groups Want You to Believe About Our Schools--And Why It Isn't So, Jay Greene No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom Relentless Pursuit: A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America, Donna Foote Stupid in America, 20/20 television report, posted at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx4pN-aiofw The Education Gadfly (email thegadfly@edexcellence.net to receive it) Education Intelligence Agency, www.eiaonline.com (email mike@eiaonline.com to receive weekly emails) Sign up for the Charter Schools News Daily by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools at www.publiccharters.org Andy Rotherham‘s blog at www.eduwonk.com Education Trust‘s web site, www.edtrust.org

-74-

Appendix 2 (last updated summer 2007) Table of Contents
1. More on Achievement Gap #1: American students are falling further and further behind their international peers 2. More on Achievement Gap #2: There is an enormous gap between in achievement between our low-income, minority students and better-off students 3. Creating alternatives: Charter schools 4. Creating alternatives: Vouchers • There is substantial evidence that public schools do respond when alternatives are offered 5. More on teacher quality, distribution and pay 6. Adopt a rigorous high school curriculum 7. Barriers to change

Page 2

Page 8 Page 18 Page 33

Page 43 Page 46 Page 53 Page 62

-1-

Achievement Gap #1
• Despite a doubling of spending over the past 30+ years, our students‘ achievement has barely budged and we are falling further and further behind other countries

-2-

Average Scale Score
300 350 400 450 500 550

Fi nlan d Neth e rla nds J apan Kore a

Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA 2003 Results, data available at http://www.oecd.org/. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

And Only Slightly Better in Literacy (15th)

Cana d a Bel giu m Switz e rla nd New Z e ala n d Aus tra l ia Cze ch Re pub lic Ic ela n d Denm ark Fra nc e Swed en Aus tria Germ any Ire lan d OECD Avera ge Slo va c k Re pub lic Norwa y Lu xem bo urg Pol an d Hung a ry Spa in Unit ed St ates Port ug al Greec Ita ly Tu rke y
-3-

U.S. 15-Year-Olds Ranked 24th out of 29 OECD Countries in Mathematics

e

M exi c o

Even Our Highest-Performing (Top 5%) Students Are Performing Poorly…
The U.S. Ranks 23rd out of 29 OECD Countries
700 650 600

Average Scale Score

550 500 450 400 350 300

Switz erla n d Neth erla n ds New Ze al a nd Fi nla nd Aust ral ia Cana da Cze c h Re pub li c Denm ark Sw e de n Germ any OEC D AV ERA GE Aust ria Icela nd Fra n ce Slo v ak R ep ub l ic Norw ay Hung ary Lu xe mbo urg Ire la nd Pol a nd Unit e d St a tes Spa i n

Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA 2003 Results, data available at http://www.oecd.org. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

Tu rk ey Port u gal Gree ce Mexi co

Bel g iu m

Japa n Kore a

Ita ly

-4-

Average Scale Score
300 350 400 450 500 550 600

Bel g iu m Neth erla n ds Fi nla nd Cze c h Re pub li c Cana da Japa n Kore a

Switz Aust ral ia Germ any New Ze ala nd ark Swed en Aust ria Hung ary O EC D AV ERA GE Slo va k Re p ubl i c Lu xe mbo urg Ire lan d Icela nd Pol a nd Norw ay Unit e d St a tes Spa i n Port u gal Ita ly Gree ce Tu rk ey Mexi co Denm Fra n ce erla n d

U.S. Ranks 23rd out of 29 OECD Countries

…As Are Our Students from Wealthy Families

Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA 2003 Results, data available at http://www.oecd.org/. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.
-5-

Our Relative Performance is Weak – and Declines Dramatically the Longer Our Students Are in School
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12 Nations scoring higher than the U.S. Nations scoring the same as the U.S. Nations scoring below the U.S.
Source: NCES 1999-081R, Highlights From TIMSS. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.
-6-

Science Performance

The United States is Still Among the Top Nations in the Proportion of Older Adults Holding a College Degree
But It Drops to 7th in the Educational Attainment of Young Adults

Source: National Report Card on Higher Education, http://measuringup.highereducation.org/

-7-

Achievement Gap #2
• The achievement of low-income, minority students is dramatically worse than their better-off peers
– This achievement gap widens the longer students are in school

-8-

The Gaps in Math Are Smaller Than Reading, But the Performance of Black and Latino 4th Graders Is Still Alarmingly Bad
100% 80% 60% 47 49 13 19 47 55
Prof/Adv Basic Below Basic

40% 42 20% 0%
Black Latino

35

40

32 10
White

10
Asian
-9-

Source: 2005 data, National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP Data Explorer, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde/

In Reading, All Races Do Better from 4th Grade to 8th Grade; from 8th Grade to 12th Grade, Latinos Do Better, Blacks Are Flat and Whites and Asians Do Worse
100% 80% 28 60% 40% 60 20% 0%
la c B kla 4 B ck th la ck 8t La -1 h ti 2 La no th ti -4t La n h ti o-8 n o t W -1 h hi 2t W te- h h 4 W it e t h hi -8 te t A -1 h si 2 an th A si -4 A an th si an 8t -1 h 2t h

13 14 16 15 16 21 42 38 29 42 39

41 41 42 37 36 34

35 45 46 56 43 39 25

43 37

33

41

38

Prof/Adv Basic Below Basic

16 21

30

21 27

Source: 2002 data, National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP Data Explorer, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde/

B

-10-

In Math, All Students Except Asians Do Worse the Longer They Are in School
100% 80% 60% 53 40% 20% 0%
la c B kla 4 B ck th la ck 8t La -1 h ti 2 La no th ti -4t La n h ti o-8 n o t W -1 h hi 2t W te- h h 4 W it e t h hi -8 te t A -1 h si 2 an th A si -4 A an th si an 8t -1 h 2t h

5

5

3

8

8

4 33 34 20 33 41 34

31 26 29

37 33 39

46 42 63 69 68 54 59 57

40

34 44

Prof/Adv Basic Below Basic

21 24 26 27 25 23

Source: 2000 data, 4th grade data for Asians not available in 2002; National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP Data Explorer, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde/

B

-11-

100% 80% 60% 40% 20%

In Writing, All Students Do Worse the Longer They Are in School
14 13 8 17 17 13 50 63 61 60 57 26 34 38 27 41 41

51 51 57 52 52 48 21 24 50
Prof/Adv Basic Below Basic

41 23 26 23 27

36 10 10 7 12

0%

Source: 2005 data, National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP Data Explorer, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde/

la c B kla 4 B ck th la ck 8t L a -1 h ti 2 La no th ti -4t La n h ti o-8 n o t W -1 h hi 2t W te- h h 4 W it e t h hi -8 te t A -1 h si 2 an th A si -4 A an th si an 8t -1 h 2t h

B

-12-

African American and Latino 12th Graders Do Math at the Same Level As White 8th Graders
% of Students
Percent of Students

100%

0% 200 250 300 350 Average Scale Score
White 13 Year-Olds African American 17 Year-Olds Latino 17-Year Olds

Source: NAEP 2005 data . Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

-13-

The 47% Graduation Rate for Blacks is the Lowest in the Nation
90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Latino Black Asian White
Note: The percentage of students statewide who entered the ninth grade in 1997 earned a standard diploma within 4 years. Source: The Education Trust * EdwatchOnline 2004 * State Summary Report
-14-

The High School Graduation Rate for Latino and Black Students in New York State is Very Low
75% 77%

42%

47%

Rather Than Educating Our Youth Properly, We‘re Spending Enormous Amounts to Lock Them Up As Adults
1977-1999 Increase in State & Local Expenditures
1600% 1400% 1200% 1000% 800% 600% 400% 200% 0% Education All State Functions Corrections Judicial & Legal System
-15-

Source: Justice Expenditure and Employment in the U.S., Sidra Gifford, Bureau of Justice Statistics

Rather Than Educating Our Youth Properly, We‘re Spending Enormous Amounts to Lock Them Up As Adults (2)
California, 1985-2000
400% 350% 300% 250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50% -16% Higher education spending Prison spending 184% 400% 350% 300% 250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% -50% Higher education spending Prison spending 24% 346%

Texas , 1985-2000

Source: Cellblocks or Classrooms?The Funding of Higher Education and Corrections and It's Impact on African American Men, Justice Policy Institute, 8/02; http://www.justicepolicy.org/reports/report-b-cellblocks.html

-16-

$500.0
$ in Millions

$400.0 $300.0 $200.0 $100.0 $-

91

92

93

94

95

96

97

98

99

00

01

02

* Not including detention, juvenile, and adult services (CSSD) or Ct Juvenile Training School (DCF), totaling $117 million for 2006 and $120 million for 2007

$600.0 $500.0
$ in Millions

Corrections

Higher Education

$400.0 $300.0 $200.0 $100.0 $-

91

92

93

94

95

06

$700.0

96

97

04 (p ro 07 p 05 ( p o se ro po d) se d)

03

Connecticut Budget, Connecticut Will Be Spent More for Under the Proposed Spending More for Corrections Than Higher Corrections Than Higher Education Education in 2007 for the First Time* for the First Time in 2007
General Fund Expenditures

98

99

00

01

02

03

* Not including detention, juvenile, and adult services (CSSD) or Ct Juvenile Training School (DCF), totaling $117 million for 2006 and $120 million for 2007

Source: Connecticut Alliance for Great Schools

Corrections

Higher Education

(p 07 r op 05 ( p os r o ed po ) se d)

06

04

-17-

Creating Alternatives Case Study: Charter Schools

-18-

Charter Schools Are Tuition-Free, Non-Selective Public Schools That Operate With Greater Autonomy – And More Accountability – Than Regular Public Schools
―A public charter school is a publicly funded school that, in accordance with an enabling state statute, has been granted a charter exempting it from selected state or local rules and regulations. A charter school may be newly created, or it may previously have been a public or private school; it is typically governed by a group or organization (e.g., a group of educators, a corporation, or a university) under a contract or charter with the state. In return for funding and autonomy, the charter school must meet accountability standards. A school's charter is reviewed (typically every 3 to 5 years) and can be revoked if guidelines on curriculum and management are not followed or the standards are not met.‖
Source: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/glossary.asp#c
-19-

There Are 4,600 Charter Schools as of 2009 in 40 States and DC
Charter School Market Share is Highest in These 4 Cities & 12 States
60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Charter Schools Are Spreading Rapidly Across the Nation

.O rle an D s ay to n

et ro it AZ

A PA

FL

C

O

M I O H

M N

C

TX

W

D

C

Source: The Center for Education Reform, 2006-07 school year

N

D

C

N

N

Y

I

-20-

Charter Schools Typically Serve the Most Disadvantaged, ―At Ri Children sk‖

Contrary to popular perception, charter schools do not ―crea the best students. m‖ Charter school students performed worse, relative to their fellow students, when they were in regular schools prior to attending charter schools. -- 4.5 NPR points worse in reading and 6.7 points worse in math
Source: Gray Lady Wheezing, Howell and West, Education Next, Winter 2005; Caroline M. Hoxby, Harvard University
-21-

Despite Taking the Most Difficult Students, Most Studies Show That Charter School Students Are Making Greater Gains Than Comparable Students in Nearby Public Schools
Analysis of 26 Studies That Compared Student Progress Over Time But what about the studies that appear to show that charter schools are underperforming?
• Charter school students do indeed have lower test scores than regular public schools (according to 12 of 18 ―snaps studies), but that‘s because they serve higher hot‖ concentrations of disadvantaged, ―at risk‖ students. The gold standard is to measure student progress over time • The snapshot studies failed to adequately adjust for critical factors such as household income and parents‘ education and marital status • The 2003 data used for these studies included only 5% of all charter schools • University of Washington researcher Mary Beth Celio‘s dismissed the widely publicized 2004 study as ―one the of most unsophisticated, low-level analyses I‘ve ever seen.‖ • The editorial board at the Chicago Tribune deemed the findings ―about new as a lava lamp, as revelatory as as an old sock, and as significant as a belch.‖
-22-

16

14

62%

12

Number of Studies

10

8

23%
6

15%
4

2

0 Charter schools lagged Equal Charter schools better

Source: Bryan C. Hassel, Public Impact

Some Charter Schools Are Achieving Nothing Short of Educational Miracles With the Most Disadvantaged Children
• Especially the ―no excuses‖ charter schools like KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program), Achievement First (Amistad) and Uncommon Schools (North Star)

-23-

The KIPP Charter Schools – More Than 50 Nationwide – Are Showing What LowIncome Minority Students Can Achieve
The red bars are the test scores when students first enter KIPP schools; the blue bars are the scores the following Spring or Fall
*

*

Source: An Academic Impact Analysis of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), Educational Policy Institute, August 2005

-24-

Another Case Study of Gap-Closing Performance: Amistad Academy

• • • • • •

97% Black and Latino students
Selected by lottery from the City of New Haven 84% free or reduced price lunch 246 students in grades 5-8 10% Special Education 100% participation on Connecticut Mastery Test On average, incoming fifth graders are two years below grade level in reading and math, according to baseline tests.

-25-

Amistad Is Achieving Extraordinary Success
And Is Spending Less: $10,700/Student vs. More Than $12,000 New Haven Average
Math
90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Reading (% at Mastery)
90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Writing

New Haven

Connect icut

Amist ad

New Haven

Connect icut

Amist ad

New Haven

Connect icut

Amist ad

6th Grade

8th Grade

6th Grade

8th Grade

6th Grade

8th Grade

Source: www.achievementfirst.org
-26-

Amistad‘s ―12 Lessons About School Reform‖
1. "These Kids" CAN Learn. Amistad Academy's students, who are 98 percent African-American or Latino and 84-percent free/reduced lunch, outperformed the Connecticut state average in every subject tested. Since Amistad's students were selected by a blind lottery run by the New Haven Public Schools and the school has a higher percentage of poor and minority students than the district as a whole, the argument that poor, minority students cannot achieve seems clearly false. Our measure of success will never be to do just a little bit better or to compare ourselves only to other schools serving poor, minority students. We are not interested in reducing the achievement gap; we want to close it. Every Achievement First school will be expected to raise student achievement to at least the state average within three years, and each AF school will be expected to have 90 percent of all students who have been at the school for five or more years at or above the proficiency level in all tested subjects. These will always be our most important metrics. All Achievement First schools will also be unapologetically college preparatory.

2.

Leadership Matters – Mightily. Great leadership at the school site is the most vital variable for institutional success [so] Achievement First will aggressively recruit the finest educational professionals to lead its schools. As Achievement First grows, we will consciously and systematically groom our best teachers to assume leadership roles, providing them with the finest training in the nation.
Teachers Are More Important Than Curricula... In the past 50 years, policymakers and superintendents have tried (in vain) to fix American education by changing curricula and programs. The result has been wave after wave of educational fads and a lack of attention on who is in front of the classroom. Unfortunately, all of this often misguided energy around program has obfuscated a dirty little secret in American education: the teachers in front of the student aren't always good enough. The number one predictor of student achievement is teacher quality. The message is clear: Get great teachers in front of students, and they will have great results. What does this mean for Achievement First? Achievement First will aggressively recruit some of the finest teachers in America. We have already developed a rigorous recruiting process…, a comprehensive plan for casting a wide net to increase the candidate pool, and a two-year professional development program to rapidly accelerate the skills of rookie and early-career educators.

3.

Source: www.achievementfirst.org/about.lessons.html

-27-

Amistad‘s ―12 Lessons About School Reform‖ (2)
4. ...But Some Curricula Are Better Than Others. There is a remarkable similarity among the curricular of the schools that have closed the achievement gap are in terms of curriculum. All are intensely standards-based, taking away the endless debate about what is taught, an ceaseless discussion that cripples most schools. We have done extensive research to find the best curricula, visiting high-performing schools, talking to experts and curriculum reps, and reading the research literature. Through the process, we have picked or developed curricula that have a proven track record of producing dramatic student achievement. We do not believe in taking chances with children's futures; instead, we have picked the best curricula, and we will invest extensively in the professional development of our teachers so that they know these curricula well. A great curriculum combined with the knowledge and skill of a master teacher is a winning combination.

5.

"Mere Mortals" not "Superhumans". We also recognize that almost all of the high-performing charter schools, including Amistad Academy, have relied on one or more "heroic leaders" who combine an incredible 75-plus-hour-a-week work ethic and a charismatic leadership style. Achievement First does not believe that a "heroic leader" is necessary in every school. In fact, we think that "heroic leaders" are not usually the best leaders for long-term, systematic change. We do believe that a strong, passionate, talented leader is necessary at each school unit, but we also believe that, in the past, "heroic leaders" at great urban schools had to be heroic to succeed because their schools did not have the necessary supports. Achievement First's model focuses on finding and training great instructional leaders; surrounding them with dedicated, talented teachers; giving these leaders and teachers a strong, proven school-based model to implement; and providing strong "back office" support so that the teachers and leaders can focus on student achievement. This "back office" support takes two forms: school unit and central office.
An Unwavering Focus on Student Achievement. Before No Child Left Behind, the discussion about equity in schools most often focused on inputs: per pupil funding, class size, student to teacher ratios and others. The urban schools that have closed the achievement gap have all spent the same or less than their host districts and almost always have larger class sizes and less experienced teachers than the other schools in the city where they are located. However, by focusing exclusively on one output, student achievement, these schools have test scores that often double or triple the average scores of other students in the district. Our name, Achievement First, was consciously selected to constantly reinforce our unwavering focus on producing dramatic, lifechanging student achievement, chiefly as measured by statewide, criterion-referenced tests. Furthermore, the entire focus of Achievement First teachers and leaders will be on outputs. Each school will create a "Yearly School Report Card" that highlights key output metrics, which will be mailed to all parents and posted on the Achievement First website.
-28-

6.

Source: www.achievementfirst.org/about.lessons.html

Amistad‘s ―12 Lessons About School Reform‖ (3)
7. Interim Assessments and the Strategic Use of Data. Achievement First realizes that schools that thrive are those that live their data. Achievement First has developed scope and sequences that clearly outline what standards are to be taught when. Teachers at Achievement First schools are empowered by data; knowing clearly their students strengths and weaknesses, Achievement First teachers pick the best strategies to ensure that every student masters the material. One Hundred 1% Solutions. School reform efforts in the past have focused on finding the "magic bullet" that will fix the schools. Whether the holy grail was reduced class size, a specific curriculum or increased teacher pay, schools have gone from fad to fad, each time believing that the latest solution was the magic answer. What the highperforming urban schools realize is that it takes all of the following (and more) to close the achievement gap: solid leadership, talented teachers, structured curriculum, effective policies, targeted professional development, no-nonsense school culture, parent engagement, and smooth systems. Brett Peiser, the achievement-oriented principal of South Boston Harbor Academy, says, "There is no 100 percent solution to creating a great school. At South Boston, we have 100 one percent solutions.― Serve ALL Urban Kids. Building on the strong legacy of Amistad Academy, Achievement First schools will locate all of its schools in high poverty areas with a history of low student performance and will commit to serving the same student population as the host district. Our schools also commit themselves to firm policies against expulsion except in the most extreme cases. Publicizing for student admission will be equal across the entire school catchment area (the entire city for New Haven schools and large swaths of a borough for New York City schools). Achievement First schools will also have 100 percent of students take the state tests each year, and unlike other public schools, we will publicize attrition rates clearly so as not to inflate achievement scores or graduation rates.
-29-

8.

9.

Source: www.achievementfirst.org/about.lessons.html

Amistad‘s ―12 Lessons About School Reform‖ (4)
10. Sweat the Small Stuff. Walk into one of the few great urban schools in America and there is a palpable, immediately noticeable difference from the chaos, disrespect, and disorder that mar the typical urban school. We reject the dominant paradigm - pick your battles and don't worry about the "small stuff", such as rolling eyes, untucked shirts, or leaning back in chairs. Our schools set extraordinarily high expectations for student behavior, and they are relentless in ensuring that students live up to these expectations. Achievement First recognizes that dramatic academic achievement can only occur in schools with a no-nonsense, structured, positive, achievement-oriented, college-focused environment. Because their teachers are persistent, insistent, and consistent, students' behavior rises to the high expectations.

11. Fidelity to a Clear, Successful Model is Important. When Alan Bersin became superintendent in San Diego, he found a district with over 50 reading and math programs and a professional development system characterized by "drive by" sessions in which a guru or external expert would impart his or her educational views without any connection to the curriculum in use or assessment standards. Such fragmentation makes it impossible to drive systemic reform, and Bersin quickly moved toward having common curricula and providing teacher coaches well-versed in the curricula and standards. Achievement First will not be a loose network of schools, each interpreting a broad set of standards in its own way. Curricula, systems, and school culture approaches will be very similar across the schools. Each teacher new to Achievement First will go through a two-year sequence of professional development activities designed to have them fully understand the mission, vision, and values of Achievement First and become master teachers of the Achievement First curriculum.

Source: www.achievementfirst.org/about.lessons.html

12. Flywheel v. Doom Loop. In Good to Great, Jim Collins contrasts the culture of discipline inside truly great organizations with those of struggling competitors. The highly successful companies found a "hedgehog concept" - what they could be the best in the world at - and they slowly, methodically built their business around this concept, gaining momentum each year. The pattern within these companies creates sustained excellence: steps forward consistent with hedgehog concept, accumulation of visible results, personnel energized by results, flywheel builds momentum, steps forward consistent with the hedgehog concept. In contrast, the companies with chronically poor results were caught in devastating "doom loops" that were characterized by a familiar yet highly destructive pattern: disappointing results, reaction without understanding, new direction/program/leader/event/fad, no accumulated momentum, disappointing results. Achievement First will avoid this "doom loop" by sticking to our "hedgehog concept" - our clear school model. Instead of lurching toward new programs, we will continually tweak and improve (not replace) our systems and develop in our people the ability to consistently use our model to produce great results. Instead of looking to "savior leaders" from the outside to run our schools, we will rely on leaders steeped in how to effectively implement our school model.

-30-

A Third Case Study of Gap-Closing Performance: Roxbury Prep
• Serves 195 Black and Latino 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Boston‘s Roxbury neighborhood • Like most successful school, there is a strong focus on culture. • Core values:
1. Scholarship: We think critically and aspire to and achieve academic excellence. 2. Integrity: We are honest and ethical in our words and our actions. 3. Dignity: We have self-respect and honor our heritages. 4. Responsibility: We are accountable for our decisions and our actions. 5. Perseverance: We are resourceful, work hard, and always strive to do our best. 6. Community: We use our talents to make positive contributions to our communities. 7. Leadership: We act on the principle that if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. 8. Peace: We resolve conflicts with compassion and help others to do the same. 9. Social Justice: We endeavor to make our society more just. 10.Investment: We are reflective, act with foresight, and invest in our futures.
-31-

• •

Roxbury Prep students outperform White students in Massachusetts, thereby reversing the achievement gap It is the highest performing urban middle school in the state It has the highest test scores of any predominantly Black school in the state Only 10% of these students were at grade level in math in 4th grade, before attending Roxbury Prep

Roxbury Prep Has Been Extraordinarily Successful

-32-

Creating Alternatives Case Study: Vouchers

-33-

There Are Many Misperceptions Around Vouchers That Lead Many to Conclude That They Are a Bad Idea
Facts: • Voucher programs have a long and successful history in this country • Nearly every study of vouchers shows that they benefit students who take advantage of them • Studies show that public schools respond to the competition and thus even the students ―le ft behind‖ benefit from them • Vouchers are enormously popular with students and parents
-34-

Overview of Vouchers
• School vouchers redirect the flow of education funding, channeling it directly to individual families rather than to school districts. This allows families to select the public or private schools of their choice and have all or part of the tuition paid Vouchers can be funded and administered by the government, by private organizations, or by some combination of both Most voucher programs are carefully targeted at disadvantaged students
– Disabled, low income and/or attend chronically failing schools

• •

-35-

Voucher-Like Programs Have a Long and Successful History
Federal-Level Examples: Pell Grants and G.I. Bill
• Pell Grants
– Federally funded grants (not loans) help about 5.3 million full- and parttime college and vocational school students – Currently up to $4,050/year (average: $2,230), based on need and other factors
• Most Pell awards go to students with family incomes below $20,000

• The G.I. Bill

– Signed into law it 1944, it allowed returning veterans to use publicly funded vouchers to pay for education and training at the institution of their choice, religious or secular, public or private – Colleges expanded hugely; had awarded degrees to 160,000 graduates in 1940, but were teaching 2,328,000 students in 1947 as 2 million returning G.I.s chose to pursue higher education – Opened higher education to all – including those who previously had been discriminated against. Quotas restricting admission of Jews and Catholics disappeared as schools were swamped with veterans. Previously all-white colleges admitted African-Americans. In fact, one-third of veterans at college between 1946 and 1950 were black and many went on to become leaders in the civil rights movement
-36-

Sources: Big Hike Approved for GI Bill Vouchers, School Reform News, www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=9743

State-Level Examples: Maine and Vermont ―Town Tuitioning‖ • Maine and Vermont Town Tuitioning
– ―Uder a system that is well over a century old, many small towns in n Maine and Vermont do not maintain their own high schools, and some do not even maintain elementary schools. These towns instead ―tuit ion‖ their students to schools in other locations. That is, they raise education funding through local taxes and use it to pay for students to attend either public or private schools nearby. In some cases the town designates a school to which all its students go, often because it is the only school nearby. However, in most cases parents may send their children to any qualifying school, public or private (not including religious schools). All students living in towns that do not maintain schools in their grade level are eligible.‖ More than 6,000 students in Maine (55% of those eligible) and nearly 4,500 (43%) in Vermont use these vouchers to attend private schools, some even out of state.

Voucher-Like Programs Have a Long and Successful History (2)

Sources: Using School Choice, Forster, October 2005, www.friedmanfoundation.org/usingchoice.pdf

-37-

School Voucher Programs Are in Effect in Only a Few Areas

-38-

Special Education Students Who Received Vouchers Are Far More Satisfied With the Private Schools They Transferred To, As Are Their Parents

Source: Education Myths

-39-

Vouchers Have Been Very Successful in the Few Places They‘ve Been Tried
Contrary to Opponents‘ Claims, the Data on Vouchers is Not Inconclusive In addition to extremely high rates of parental satisfaction and evidence that affected public schools are spurred to improve, the students who receive vouchers do better in every case:

Source: Education Myths

-40-

But What About the Recent Study That (Supposedly) Showed That Public School Students Do Just As Well As Those At Private Schools?
It Was Treated As a Public-School Triumph That ―Csts Doubt on the a Value of Voucher Programs,‖ As The Wall Street Journal Described It
• ―If anything, the report from the Education Department did just the opposite. It concluded, after compensating for socioeconomic differences and other factors, that public-school students score slightly better on tests in fourth grade, while private-school students score slightly better in eighth grade. Given a choice, would you rather be ahead in the fourth inning or later in the game?‖ • ―Ac cording to federal surveys, the typical private school‘s tuition is only about half what a public school spends per pupil…General Motors would not celebrate the news that its $40,000 Cadillac performed almost as well as a $20,000 Honda.‖ • ―Te most scientific way to compare schools is with the kind of randomized experiment that h has been conducted in New York, Dayton and Washington. In these cities, students from lowincome families were given a chance to apply for school vouchers. After the vouchers were awarded by lottery, researchers tracked the voucher students in private schools and compared them with a control group: the losers of the lottery who remained in public school. After three years, the white and Hispanic voucher students were doing as well as their counterparts in public school, and the African-American voucher students were testing a full grade level higher than the blacks in the control group. The parents of all the voucher students — white, Hispanic and African-American — reported that there was much less fighting, cheating, vandalism and absenteeism in their schools than did the public-school parents. Even though the private schools spent less money per pupil than the public schools, the parents were much more satisfied with them. Happier parents, better students, lower costs — those are the clear advantages of private schools and voucher programs.‖
Source: Spinning a Bad Report Card, John Tierney, New York Times, 7/18/06; www.ksg.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/dnw00x.pdf -41-

• • •


The oldest voucher program in the nation, launched in 1990 More than 15,000 students, equal to 15% of the city‘s students, attend 125 schools, 70% of them religious Families/students have an abundance of choice, the main elements of which are: 1) there is open enrollment within the public school system, meaning students can apply to schools in any district with open seats; 2) for low-income families there's the voucher program; and 3) charter schools. Due to political wrangling, there hasn‘t been a study since 1995 of how the voucher students are doing, but high school graduation rates are much higher (64% vs. 36%) and parental satisfaction is extremely high Highly successful for both the voucher students and the students in Milwaukee public schools
– Two studies showed that as the program expanded, there was a marked improvement in test scores at the public schools most affected by the program (those with low-income students eligible for the vouchers) – In 13 of 15 categories, public school student scores on state standardized test increased between 1997 and 2005 – The dropout rate declined from 16.2% to 10.2% – The program saves money: Public schools spend more than $10,000/student; private schools get less than $6,400/voucher student – Far from draining money from the public schools, per pupil spending, inflation adjustment, has risen 27% from $8,888 in 1990 to $11,317 in 2005

Case Study: Milwaukee‘s Highly Successful Voucher Program

Sources: Milwaukee‘s Public Schools in an Era of Choice, School Choice Wisconsin, 10/05; Graduation Rates for Choice and Public School Students in Milwaukee, Greene, 9/04

-42-

Whether From Other Districts, Charter Schools and/or Vouchers
• Harvard University economist Caroline Hoxby found that competition sparked improvement in neighboring public schools in Arizona, Michigan, and Milwaukee and concluded: "If every school in the nation were to face a high level of competition both from other districts and from private schools, Arizona's Regular PublicAmerica‘s schools, in terms of the productivity of Schools, Before & After (a at a given level of spending, would be 28 students‘ level of learning little) Competition from Charter Schools percent higher than it is now."
43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32
Sources: Caroline M. Hoxby

There Is Substantial Evidence That Public Schools Do Respond When Alternatives Are Offered

Data from Arizona

NPR Points

Before Charter Competition After a Little Charter Competition (6% of Enrollment)

Reading

Math
-43-

There Is Substantial Evidence That Public Schools Do Respond When Alternatives Are Offered (2)
• A study in North Carolina, which created charter schools in 1996, compared public schools that faced competition from charter schools and those that didn‘t. It concluded:

• The Washington (DC) Teachers‘ Union recently reversed long-standing positions and agreed to allow teachers to earn bonuses tied to student performance and to opt out of some union work rules

– ―Tese comparisons provide consistent evidence that charter-school competition h raises the performance composite of traditional public schools by about 1 percent. This represents more than one-half of the average achievement gain of 1.7 percent made by public schools statewide between 1998–99 and 1999–2000 and is, from a policy perspective, nontrivial.‖

– According to an article in the Washington Post: Union President George Parker said the changes are needed so that the District's traditional public schools can compete more successfully with the public charter schools, which have lured away thousands of students. "The landscape has changed. Our parents are voting with their feet," Parker said. "As kids continue leaving the system, we will lose teachers. Our very survival depends on having kids in D.C. schools so we'll have teachers to represent." Fifty-one charter schools are operating in the city. In five years, charter school enrollment has grown by 7,000 students, to 17,500. During the same period, enrollment in the D.C. school system has dropped by about 10,000 students, to 58,000.
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Sources: Friendly Competition, Holmes, DeSimone and Rupp, Education Next, Winter 2006; Washington Post, 6/6/06

There Is Substantial Evidence That Public Schools Do Respond When Alternatives Are Offered (3)
• In Milwaukee, two studies showed that as the voucher program expanded, there was a marked improvement in test scores at the public schools most affected by the program (those with low-income students eligible for the vouchers) • In Florida‘s A+ program, which offers vouchers to all students at chronically failing schools, students at schools faced with the threat – or reality – of losing students to vouchers improved the most

Note: The results were similar using Stanford-9 test results Source: Competition Passes the Test, Greene, Winters, Education Next, Summer 2004

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The Importance of Effective Teachers
• Numerous studies have shown that the most important determinant of student achievement, by far, is teacher quality • There is enormous variability among teachers

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One Study in Dallas Compared Two Groups of Students, Both of Which Started 3rd Grade at About the Same Level of Reading Achievement…
100

Average 80 Percentile Rank 60
40 20 0

Average Percentile Rank

59

60

Group 1

Group 2 Beginning of 3rd Grade

Source: Heather Jordan, Robert Mendro, and Dash Weerasinghe, The Effects of Teachers on Longitudinal Student Achievement, 1997. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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Three Years Later, One Group Vastly Outperformed the Other. The Only Difference: Group 1 Had Three Effective Teachers, while Group 2 Had Three Ineffective Teachers
Average Percentile Rank
100 76 59 60 42

Average 80 Percentile Rank 60
40 20 0

Group 1 Assigned to Three EFFECTIVE Teachers

Group 2 Assigned to Three INEFFECTIVE Teachers End of 5th Grade

Beginning of 3rd Grade

Source: Heather Jordan, Robert Mendro, and Dash Weerasinghe, The Effects of Teachers on Longitudinal Student Achievement, 1997. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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Now That We‘ve Established That Teacher Quality Matters A Lot, Let‘s Examine How Teacher Talent Is Distributed
• By any measure, low-income, minority students are not getting their fair share of high-quality teachers
– Teachers in schools nationwide that primarily serve such students have consistently told me that 20-30% of teachers in these schools are highly ineffective – This is reinforced by the Bain study cited earlier
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High-Poverty Schools in Illinois Have By Far the Lowest-Quality Teachers*
Nearly 60% of teachers in the highest-poverty schools are in the bottom 10% of the Teacher Quality Index* * The Teacher Quality Index is Based on Five Factors: 1. % of Teachers with Emergency/Provisional Certification 2. % of Teachers from More/Most Selective Colleges 3. % of Teachers With at Least 4 Yrs of Experience 4. % of Teachers Failing Basic Skills Test on 1st Attempt 5. Teachers‘ Average ACT Composite and English Scores
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Source: Teaching Inequality, Ed Trust, 6/06

In Contrast With Public Schools, Charter Schools Have Highly Variable Pay
10 9 8

Percentage Increase in Pay

Regular Public Schools Charter Schools

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

%Increase in Pay for Higher Aptitude (10 Percentile Pts)

%Increase in Pay for College Science (10 Courses)

%Increase in Pay for Extra Instructional Hrs (10 per week)

Source: Caroline M. Hoxby, Harvard University

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Denver Teachers Voted Overwhelmingly to Adopt a New System
The Traditional Pay System The New Pay System

It Is Possible to Change Teacher Compensation

Source: The Uniform Salary Schedule, Brad Jupp, Education Next, Winter 2005

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The High School Curriculum Needs to Be Strengthened
Courses for a Typical U.S. High School Student • English • Spanish • Chemistry • Open Period

Freshman Year, Fall
• English • Health Ed/Academic Foundations • Conceptual Physics • Volleyball

Sophomore Year, Fall

Freshman Year, Spring
• Algebra • Auto Shop • Auto Shop • Volleyball

Sophomore Year, Spring
• Geometry • World History • Volleyball • Open Period
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Source: Education Trust Analysis of High School Transcripts; 2005

The High School Curriculum Needs to Be Strengthened (2)
Courses for a Typical U.S. High School Student

Junior Year, Fall
• Mythology • Algebra • Auto Shop • Career Choices

Senior Year
• To embarrassing to even show…

Other Sample Courses
• Pre-Spanish • Future Studies • Exploring • Principles of PE • Teen Living • Life Management • Food Fundamentals • Winter Activities
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Junior Year, Spring
• Algebra 2 • American History • Arts Tech • English

Source: Education Trust Analysis of High School Transcripts; 2005

There Are Big Differences in Rigor Between Courses With the Same Name
Example #1: Grade 10 Writing Assignment
Rigorous

A frequent theme in literature is the conflict between the individual and society. From literature you have read, select a character who struggled with society. In a welldeveloped essay, identify the character and explain why this character‘s conflict with society is important.

Write a composition of at least four paragraphs on Martin Luther King‘s most important contribution to this society. Illustrate your work with a neat cover page. Neatness counts.

Non-Rigorous

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Example #2: 9th Grade Paper on The Odyssey
Rigorous

Comparison/Contrast Paper Between Homer's Epic Poem, The Odyssey and the Movie "0 Brother Where Art Thou" By nature, humans compare and contrast all elements of their world. Why? Because in the juxtaposition of two different things, one can learn more about each individual thing as well as something about the universal nature of the things being compared.

For this 2-3 page paper you will want to ask yourself the following questions: what larger ideas do you see working in The Odyssey and "0 Brother Where Art Thou"? Do both works treat these issues in the same way? What do the similarities and differences between the works reveal about the underlying nature of the larger idea?
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Example #2: 9th Grade Paper on The Odyssey
Non-Rigorous

Divide class into 3 groups: Group 1 designs a brochure titled "Odyssey Cruises". The students listen to the story and write down all the places Odysseus visited in his adventures, and list the cost to travel from place to place. Group 2 draws pictures of each adventure. Group 3 takes the names of the characters in the story and gods and goddesses in the story and designs a crossword puzzle.
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High School Curriculum Intensity is a Strong Predictor of Bachelor‘s Degree Completion
Percent of Students Completing a Bachelor's Degree

100 80 60 40 20 0
Most Intense Curriculum Least Intense Curriculum

82

9

Curriculum quintiles are composites of English, math, science, foreign language, social studies, computer science, Advanced Placement, the highest level of math, remedial math and remedial English classes taken during high school. Source: Clifford Adelman, U.S. Department of Education, The Toolbox Revisited, 2006. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.
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A Rigorous High School Curriculum* Greatly Increases Bachelor‘s Degree Completion for All Students 100
Percent Earning a BA
86 80 60 40 20 0 All College Entrants College Entrants with a Strong High School Curriculum 55 51 71 66 69 African American Latino White

*Rigorous Curriculum is defined as the top 40 percent of high school curriculum and the highest high school mathematics above Algebra 2.
Note: These numbers reflect outcomes for high school graduates who enter four-year institutions with no delay. Source: Clifford Adelman, U.S. Department of Education, The Toolbox Revisited, 2006. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.
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A Rigorous High School Curriculum* Greatly Increases Bachelor‘s Degree Completion for All Students 100 89
Percent Earning a BA
80 60 40 20 0 All College Entrants College Entrants with a Strong High School Curriculum 40 81 59 Low SES High SES

Note: These numbers reflect outcomes for high school graduates who enter four-year institutions with no delay. Source: Clifford Adelman, U.S. Department of Education, The Toolbox Revisited, 2006. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

*Rigorous Curriculum is defined as the top 40 percent of high school curriculum and the highest high school mathematics above Algebra 2.
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Students in Poor Schools Receive ‗A‘s or Work That Would Earn ‗Cs‘ f in Affluent Schools
100 87

Seventh Grade Math
56 35 34 41 22 21 11

Percentile - CTBS4
0

A

B

Grades

C

D

Low-poverty schools

High-poverty schools

Source: Prospects (ABT Associates, 1993), in “Prospects: Final Report on Student Outcomes”, PES, DOE, 1997. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

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Barriers to Change
―Iis difficult to get a man to understand something when t his salary depends upon his not understanding it.‖ – Upton Sinclair

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The Teacher Union Contract Can Be an Enormous Barrier to Needed Reform
Case Study: New York City
The teacher union contract is more than 200 pages long; with the various side agreements and state laws that supplement the terms of the contract, it grows to 600. These pages determine nearly every aspect of what a teacher does, and does not do, in a New York City school, and what can and can‘t be done to them. For example, a high-school teacher in New York City cannot be asked to teach for more than 3.75 hours per day. Nor can a teacher be asked to…help special-education students on and off the bus, help college applicants prepare their transcripts, score city-wide tests, or write truant slips. One New York City teacher cannot be paid more, or less, than any other teacher at the same level of seniority, regardless of the particular teacher‘s talents and effort or the difficulty of recruiting a teacher for a hard-to-find position such as math or science…The right to fire a teacher is limited by teachers‘ ―reten rights‖ and a complex and lengthy set of due tion process procedures. Assistant principals have similar rights. In short, although principals are supposed to be the CEOs of their schools, they have little control over their management teams. Hiring, firing, promoting, setting compensation, determining work hours and assignments, setting requirements and expectations: these powers, taken for granted in most organizations, are, for all practical purposes, outside the purview of a principal.
Source: Breakdown, Eva Moskowitz, Education Next, Summer 2006

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Steps for Giving a Tenured Teacher a Poor Performance Rating in New York City
Under the contract, a principal can give an unsatisfactory (― rating to U‖) a teacher at the end of any school year, with or without providing interim feedback or support. Typically, however, a principal may first informally speak to a teacher who has performance problems and suggest ways to improve, perhaps through counseling memos ―oother r non-disciplinary means‖ (p. 128 and Memorandum of Agreement). The principal‘s authority to do so is limited, however. A principal may also seek a formal conference with the teacher or attempt formal peer intervention (p. 132). This process is repeated as often as the principal deems necessary and can spare the time to do it. If these steps fail, the teacher eventually receives a ―Urating. ‖ After a teacher receives a first ―Urating, the teacher cannot transfer to ‖ another school and must be offered professional development to improve performance. If problems persist, the cycle of documenting problems continues and, if no improvement occurs by the end of a second year in the classroom, another ―Urating is given. ‖
Source: Breakdown, Eva Moskowitz, Education Next, Summer 2006
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The Principal Union Contract Can Also Be an Enormous Barrier
Case Study: New York City
School principals, whose union contract is a slim document (150 pages) by New York City union standards, also work by rules that reward uniformity before excellence. Principals are paid in lockstep, regardless of their performance, abilities, or even the size of the school they oversee. Their agreement also spells out in mind-numbing detail the circumstances under which a superintendent can relieve a principal of his or her responsibilities. Tenured principals have to do something truly egregious to be fired. The process for removing a principal begins with sending letters of complaint to the personnel file, any and all of which can be appealed by the principal. The process, if successful, can take as long as 150 days, which is most of a school year. By the same token, even small procedural details in the contract can have profound effects on the operation of a school. Principals and assistant principals, for instance, are not required to notify superintendents in advance of their retirement, a circumstance that can create significant disruptions. You can ―retirein the middle of the year and head off to Bermuda, as my son‘s principal ‖ did, without any penalty or deduction from the pension. Remarkably, while the school system purports to hold children to a standard of excellence, principals can be removed only if they engage in ―pe rsistent educational failure.‖ Intermittent failure or persistent mediocrity is perfectly acceptable.
Source: Breakdown, Eva Moskowitz, Education Next, Summer 2006
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How Has the Party Managed to Sustain This Dissonance This Long?
• Minority leadership has failed to own, much less force the issues • Union message has dominated the debate:
• Party managed ―s traddle‖ brilliantly
– More money, less class size – Three reasons: Power, History, Lack of Knowledge/Apathy

– Sometimes support charter schools, the ―safest‖ alternative among reform initiatives – Largely avoided taking the issue seriously (other than early support of NCLB) – Kerry‘s ― evolving‖ position a perfect example – No outrage; serious reform simply not a priority
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But a Day of Reckoning is Near
• A handful of established Democratic politicians are moving on this issue • More importantly, a new wave of Black and Latino leaders is poised to seize control of the nation‘s education agenda
– Well funded – Of unimpeachable credentials/credibility – With the right leadership and funding – Examples:
• Barack Obama • Cory Booker (Newark mayor) • Adrian Fenty (DC mayor)

• And are on the verge of doing so ….

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