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By Whitney Tilson

The full version of this presentation, a


documentary of me presenting it, and other
resources are posted at: www.ARightDenied.org
To be added to my school reform email list, simply
email me at: WTilson@kasecapital.com
11/14/14

A documentary of Whitney Tilson presenting


these slides can be seen at:
www.ARightDenied.org

-2-

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.

-4-

Wages for men have stagnated for 40 years, and for


women theyve stagnated over the past decade.

Median male earnings in


2010 were the same as
in 1964 nearly a half
century ago

Note: Adjusted for inflation, in 2010 dollars.


Source: U.S. Census via The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution, in NY Times, 10/22/12, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/the-uncomfortable-truth-about-american-wages.

-5-

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

Median inflation-adjusted
earnings for a man with a
high school diploma fell
by 41% from 1970-2010

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

-6-

New job trends are ominous for


those without a college degree.

Source: The College Advantage, Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 8/15/12.

-7-

A closer look at job losses during The Great Recession.

Source: The College Advantage, Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 8/15/12.

-8-

The returns on education (and penalty for lack of


education) have been greater for women in recent years.

Source: The College Advantage, Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 8/15/12.

-9-

Even a bachelors degree isnt enough.

98.3% of job gains among those with


at least a bachelors were realized by
those with advanced degrees

Source: The State of Working America, Economic Policy Institute, 12th edition, advance release, 8/22/12;
cited: www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/17/education-and-the-recession-continued/

-10-

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.

-11-

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%

80%

Employed
(29%)
Employed
(56%)

60%

40%

20%

Looking for
Work (19%)

Not in
Labor
Force
(52%)

Looking for
Work (20%)

HSDropouts
Dropouts

HS Completed,
High school
completers, not
Notenrolled
Enrolled
in College
in college

0%

Not in
Labor
Force
(24%)

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

-12-

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.

-13-

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.

-14-

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, Norway and Luxembourg.
$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.

-16-

We spend more per pupil than any country other than


Switzerland, Norway and Luxembourg.

Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2013, p. 165, www.oecd.org/edu/eag2013%20%28eng%29--FINAL%2020%20June%202013.pdf

-17-

We are also spend more on education as a percentage of our


GDP than all but five other countries.

Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2013, p. 182, www.oecd.org/edu/eag2013%20%28eng%29--FINAL%2020%20June%202013.pdf

-18-

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.

-19-

The long-term trend of more and more teachers may be


reversing: educational services (teaching) was one of the
few professions to gain jobs during The Great Recession
but is also one of the few to lose jobs in the recovery.

Source: The College Advantage, Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 8/15/12.

-20-

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


the OECD average.

Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2011, p. 366, www.oecd.org/edu/eag2013%20%28eng%29--FINAL%2020%20June%202013.pdf

-21-

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.

-22-

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

Source: Wikipedia.

-23-

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, 19712008 Long-Term Trend Reading Assessments.

-24-

A sliver of good news: Hispanics have been making


strong progress in math in the past decade.
(10 points = one full grade level)

Source: Math Scores Add Up for Hispanic Students, Child Trends Hispanic Institute, 11/14.

-25-

Another sliver of good news: dropout rates are falling.

(10 points = one full grade level)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau October 2014 Current Population Survey.

-26-

More good news: The percentage of young people of


both genders and all ethnicities earning college
degrees has risen in recent years.
The biggest gains have been made by women.

Note: Adjusted for inflation, in 2010 dollars.


Sources: Left chart: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d12/tables/dt12_009.asp in NY Times, 6/12/13, www.nytimes.com/2013/06/13/education/a-sharp-rise-in-americans-with-college-degrees.html;
right chart: "Wayward Sons: The Emerging Gender Gap in Labor Markets and Education," David Autor and Melanie Wasserman, in NY Times, 3/20/13,
www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/business/economy/as-men-lose-economic-ground-clues-in-the-family.html.
-27-

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
-28-

The childhood
poverty rate is
higher in the U.S.
than any other
developed
country. And its
particular
pervasive among
Black (39%) and
Hispanic (34%)
children.

Note: Poverty here is defined as relative to the national median, not on an absolute basis, so it makes the US rate appear higher.

-29-

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.

-30-

Overall, students at all grade levels are spending far


more time watching TV than doing homework.

Source: No Excuses.

-31-

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 7 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

2009

TV

Music

4:29

2:31

2004

3:51

1:44

1999

3:47

1:48

1:02

Video
Print
Computer games (reading) Movies
1:29

:49

:27 :26 :43 :18

:43 :25

1:13

:38 :25

10:45

8:33

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.
-32-

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.
-33-

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

Science

Math
450

500

550

#16

Avg: 493

300

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

350

400

450

500

550

600

#31
Avg: 496

300

650

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

350

400

450

500

550

600

#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.

-35-

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

-36-

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.

-37-

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.

-38-

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.

-39-

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.

-40-

More and more Americans attend college

Source: US Dept. of Education; Bureau of Labor Statistics; The Tuition Is Too Damn High, Washington Post, 8/26/13,
www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/26/introducing-the-tuition-is-too-damn-high

-41-

But our overall college success rate barely above


50% is among the worst in the developed world.

Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of the proportion of students who graduate from tertiary education with at least a first degree.
Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2013, p. 64, www.oecd.org/edu/eag2013%20%28eng%29--FINAL%2020%20June%202013.pdf
-42-

The U.S. is among the leaders in college participation but


ranks 16th in the bottom half in college completion.
We only earn 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.

-43-

Our college completion rate has stagnated,


allowing our economic competitors to pass us.
Of 36 OECD countries, the U.S. has dropped from 4th in the world to tied for 12th.

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: This chart is from the 2011 OECD Education at a Glance (p. 30, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf), but in the 2013 OECD Education at a Glance (which didnt
have a chart), the U.S. rose to 43% among 25-34-year-olds, up from 41% among 55-64-year-olds, making the U.S. tied with Sweden and France for 12th among 34 OECD countries
(plus Brazil and Russia) for 25-34-year olds.

-44-

Nearly every other country has made greater gains than


we have over the past 30 years.
The college completion rate among American men has actually declined!

Notes: Countries are ranked in ascending order of the difference in the proportion of 25-34 year-old women and 55-64 year-old women with tertiary education.
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.
Source: OECD Education at a Glance, 2013, p. 33, www.oecd.org/edu/eag2013%20%28eng%29--FINAL%2020%20June%202013.pdf

-45-

The story is similar for high school graduation rate.


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.
-46-

Its 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 womens 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.
-47-

The higher educational attainment of women is


translating into higher earnings.
Young womens earnings outpaced young mens from 1979 to 2010
at every education level.

Source: "Wayward Sons: The Emerging Gender Gap in Labor Markets and Education," David Autor and Melanie Wasserman, in NY Times, 3/20/13,
www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/business/economy/as-men-lose-economic-ground-clues-in-the-family.html.

-48-

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; China data: The Race That Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese and Indian
Investments in the Next Generation Workforce, Center for American Progress and the Center for the Next Generation, 8/12.

-49-

But the U.S. advantage is fading.


By 2030, China will have 200 million college graduates
more than the entire U.S. work force.

Source: UNESCO (degrees, enrollment); China finance ministry, via CEIC Data (spending); appeared in The New York Times, 1/16/13,
www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/business/chinas-ambitious-goal-for-boom-in-college-graduates.html.
-50-

American students score highly in only one area relative


to their international peers: self-confidence.
We dont have a self-esteem problem, just one of knowledge and achievement.

Source: OECD.

-51-

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.

-53-

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%

/Advanced

42%
32%

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).

-54-

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.

-55-

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.

-56-

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

450

U.S. Hispanic boys


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

400

350

300

Source: 2009 PISA results.

-57-

Over the past 20 years, the achievement gaps


in reading have remained persistently wide.

Source: NAEP 2008 Trends in Academic Progress.

-58-

In the past 18 years, the achievement gaps in math


have remained persistently wide as well.

Source: NAEP 2008 Trends in Academic Progress.

-59-

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.
-60-

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.

-61-

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

KIPP students
6

0
K

White students

10

11

12

Black & Latino students

-3
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.
-62-

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.

-63-

Only 56% of students who begin a four-year college


ever earn a degree.
And there are vast differences among ethnicities.
70%
65.5%
59.4%

60%

National average: 56.1%

50%

46.8%
40.5%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%
Asian

White

Hispanic

Black

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

-64-

Only 42% of students who begin a two-year college ever


earn a degree.
And, again, 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.

-65-

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%

67%

All students

60%
54%
50%

40%

43%
40%

Students with
disabilities

48%

37%
30%
26%

Black and
Hispanic males

21%

20%

English
Language
Learners

10%

0%
All 9th graders in '02

27%

4-year HS graduation rate

16%
13%
10%
7%

Post-secondary enrollment

% in year 2 of college

Source: NYS data, 2010.


-66-

A college degree is critical to helping poor kids


escape a life of poverty.

Source: Who Gets to Graduate, Paul Tough, NY Times Magazine, 5/15/14.

-67-

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.

-68-

Very few children from low-income households are


graduating from any four-year college.
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.

-69-

The wealthiest families are spending more and more


on educational enrichment for their children.
This is an important contributor to higher college completion rates.

32%
drop out

69%
drop out

Sources: College graduation rates by family income and test scores: analysis of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 by Matthew M. Chingos, Brookings
Institution; share of students who enter and complete college: analysis of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 and 1997 by Susan Dynarski and Martha Bailey,
University of Michigan, in Whither Opportunity: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Childrens Life Chances, edited by Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane;
enrichment spending: Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane, Whither Opportunity.; chart appeared in: For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall, the NY
Times, 12/22/12, www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html.

-70-

Wealthy children with below-average test scores are


more likely to earn a college degree than poor
children with above-average test scores.

Sources: (left chart) College graduation rates by family income and test scores: analysis of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 by Matthew M. Chingos,
Brookings Institution; share of students who enter and complete college: analysis of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 and 1997 by Susan Dynarski and
Martha Bailey, University of Michigan, in Whither Opportunity: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Childrens Life Chances, edited by Greg J. Duncan and Richard J.
Murnane; enrichment spending: Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane, Whither Opportunity.; chart appeared in: For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard
Fall, NYT, 12/22/12; (right chart) Who Gets to Graduate, Paul Tough, NY Times Magazine, 5/15/14.

-71-

Poor kids are not attending the schools they should.


Their college application patterns are illogical, demonstrating that they are
getting bad advice which leads to a terrible problem of undermatching.

Where students would be


expected to go to college
Safety
schools

Reach
schools

This makes no sense

Source: The Missing One-Offs: The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low Income Students, Hoxby and
Avery, www.brookings.edu/~/media/Projects/BPEA/Spring%202013/2013a_hoxby.pdf, cited in How elite
universities are killing the American dream, Matthew O'Brien, The Atlantic, 6/19/13, http://qz.com/95845/howelite-universities-are-killing-the-american-dream; and How Top Students of Different Incomes Apply for
College, NY Times, 3/16/13, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/17/education/How-Top-Students-ofDifferent-Incomes-Apply-for-College.html.

-72-

There is very low social mobility in the U.S.


Rich kids without a college degree are 2.5 times more likely to end
up rich than poor kids who do graduate from college.

Source: Pew Economic Mobility Project, www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2012/Pursuing_American_Dream.pdf, cited in How elite universities
are killing the American dream, Matthew O'Brien, The Atlantic, 6/19/13, http://qz.com/95845/how-elite-universities-are-killing-the-american-dream

-73-

Children from low-income households are falling by


the wayside at every step of the educational ladder.
100%
92%

Top income quartile


Bottom income quartile
81%
77%

80%
71%

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.

-74-

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.

-75-

The dearth of low-income students in college


is in part due to the rising cost.
Since 1983, tuition and fees at four-year public colleges have risen by 257%, while
typical family incomes have advanced 16%.

Source: US Dept. of Education; Bureau of Labor Statistics; The Tuition Is Too Damn High, Washington Post, 8/26/13,
www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/26/introducing-the-tuition-is-too-damn-high

-76-

The cost of higher education in the U.S. is far higher than in


any other country, nearly 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, 2013, p. 165, www.oecd.org/edu/eag2013%20%28eng%29--FINAL%2020%20June%202013.pdf
-77-

In spite of rapidly rising costs, however, nearly all


college-ready 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.

-78-

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.

-79-

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 jailor 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).

-80-

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
-81-

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.

-82-

This is deeply, profoundly wrong and is contrary


to everything this nation stands for.

-83-

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.
-85-

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

-86-

There are two general


approaches to fixing our schools:
improve the current system and
create alternatives to it.

-87-

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


-88-

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

-89-

Why isn't spending more money on my list


of necessary reforms?
Facts:
Overall spending, even adjusted for inflation, has risen steadilyand large
city schools are spending the most per pupil
More spending is not correlated with better outcomes among cities:
In not even one of the 11 cities
are more than 35% of 4th
graders reading proficiently

40%

35%

Charlotte

Percent of
4th grade
students
proficient or
advanced in
reading

30%

Austin

NYC

Chicago

25%

Boston
20%

15%

San Diego
Atlanta

Houston

DC

LA

10%

Cleveland
5%

0%
$7,000

$8,000

$9,000

$10,000

$11,000

$12,000

$13,000

Per Pupil Spending

$14,000

$15,000

$16,000

$17,000

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)

-90-

Florida: a statewide case study of success.


Under Gov. Jeb Bush, who was elected in 1998 and served for eight
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
-91-

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.

-92-

Examples of Floridas dramatic gains:

-93-

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

-94-

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 hasnt changed:

-95-

The percentage of students performing


on grade level has risen sharply.

-96-

The gap between New Orleans and the


state has narrowed dramatically.
Since 2005, the DPS for New Orleans has grown 36.8 points, more than any other
district, and closed the gap between our schools and the state average by 70%.

State District
Performance
Score

State

New Orleans

Source: Educate Now!


Note: The DPS is the most comprehensive measurement of school and student performance. It includes all students, all tests, and all grade levels, as well as dropout and attendance data.
The DPS for New Orleans includes all RSD and OPSB schools, both charter and direct-run.
-97-

New Orleans charter schools significantly


outperform national averages.

-98-

The number of failing schools has been


cut in half in five years and there will be
almost none by 2016.

-99-

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.

-100-

Alternatives to the current system.


Even where its not possible to implement a
relinquisher (most places), its 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"

-101-

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
-102-

Charter schools have achieved high market


share and number of students in certain cities.

-103-

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:
Source: "Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents" by Angela L. Duckworth and Martin E.P. Seligman,
www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/PsychologicalScienceDec2005.pdf

-104-

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

The Commitment to Excellence

1.

Teacher's Commitment

2.

3.

4.

5.

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.

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

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

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.
-105-

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.
-106-

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
-107-

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 isnt politically feasible in most districts,


theres no reason why every school in America couldnt 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!
-108-

What might a successful system look like?


We don't have to look very far.
The United States has two educational systems:
One is performing poorly, while the other is
the envy of the world.

-109-

Characteristics of our K-12 public


school system:

Characteristics of our post-secondary


system:

Only people with means can afford to opt out of the public
schools

Public, private and religious schools all compete fiercely for


students

Public schools have dominant market share

No one type of school has 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

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 doesn't follow students; if they don't attend their local


public school, they get nothing

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


have few options

If students or their parents are dissatisfied with a school, they


can easily switch schools

Failing schools typically face few consequences

Failing schools face severe consequences

Teachers, even the most ineffective teachers, almost always get


tenure within a few years

It takes many years for teachers to earn tenure, and the process
is generally rigorous and competitive

Very little innovation and specialization among schools

Tremendous innovation and specialization among schools

-110-

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 81% from 1990-2012
How was it turned around?
Doctors
How do we select, train, evaluate and reward doctors?

-111-

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.

-112-

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)

-113-

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 teachersare 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 childs 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.

-114-

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.

-115-

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.

-116-

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.

-117-

There is enormous variation in teacher effectiveness.


Teacher impacts on math performance in year 3 based on their ranking
after their first two years:

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

-118-

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.
-119-

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).

-120-

We Face Two Big Problems When It Comes to


Teacher Quality:

1.

Overall teacher quality has been declining for


decades

2.

Teacher talent is unfairly distributed

-121-

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.
-122-

Top-performing high school students are


far less likely to enter teaching.

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

-123-

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.

-124-

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.

-125-

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

-126-

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.
-127-

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

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


-

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"

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
-

Don't grant tenure to 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

Streamline the process of removing ineffective teachers, while maintaining appropriate protections against
arbitrary firings

Source: Unintended Consequences, The New Teacher Project, 11/05; The Center for Reinventing Public Education, www.crpe.org/cs/crpe/view/csr_pubs/340.

-128-

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

-129-

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.

-130-

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.

-131-

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.

-132-

High-minority schools in Illinois have by


far the lowest-quality teachers.

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

-133-

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
-134-

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.

-136-

Why hasn't more been done to improve the system?


Answer #1: Jobs, Money, Power and Politics.
Over the past two decades, 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, isnt 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
-137-

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

-138-

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."

-139-

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
-140-

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

School reformers must make it clear that they, not the unions, are the
ones who are putting the interests of children first
-141-

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
-142-

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 16 state affiliates (California, Colorado, DC, Florida,
Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode
Island, Tennessee, Texas, 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
-143-

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
DC and 11 states won: Delaware, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia,
Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
and Rhode Island

-144-

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!

-145-

Race to the Top is focused on comprehensive reform.

General/STEM
(30 points/6%)

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

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)

Great Teachers & Leaders


(138 points/28%)

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)

Turning Around LowestAchieving Schools (50


points/10%)

Intervening in the lowest-achieving schools and LEAs (10 points)


Turning around the lowest-achieving schools (40 points)

Standards & Assessments (70


points/14%)

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)

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

State Success Factors (125


points/25%)

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)

-146-

What you can do: Do's

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!

-147-147-

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!

-148-

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@kasecapital.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.

-149-

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
few years than in the previous 20, so it's an incredibly exciting time
to be a school reformer!

-150-

By Whitney Tilson

The full version of this presentation, a


documentary of me presenting it, 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

Appendix 1: Table of Contents


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

12.
13.
14.
15.

Progress is possible
The governments 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 dont want


to and/or cant learn

Myth #2: Students are overworked

Myth #3: Students are worse off today

Myth #4: Were 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 Obamas 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

-1-

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, 20032009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments,
http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

-2-

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, 20032009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments,
http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

-3-

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, 20032009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments,
http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

-4-

The white-Hispanic two-year achievement gap


remains as well

Avg. Score by Hispanic Students


Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 20032009 Trial Urban District Reading Assessments,
http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/district_g4_motion.asp.

-5-

The Governments 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 cant 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

-6-

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:
Instead of a quiet, deliberate process of figuring out what needed to be done and
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

-7-

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

-9-

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:

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

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

Networks will choose network 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

48 schools participated in a two-year pilot program

Schools that receive a grade of D or F (or a grade of C in three consecutive years) are
subject to consequences, including the use of intervention teams and leadership changes

Empowerment School principals will form into networks of no more than 20 schools

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

80% met their target goals


They outperformed citywide averages as well as their own past performance prior to entering
the 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

-10-

More on Teacher Quality and Distribution

College Readiness Increases With Teacher Quality*

100%

* The Teacher Quality


Index is Based on
Five Factors:

15%
31%

75%
Percent of
Students
50%

39%
50%

30%
30%
29%

26%

25%

55%
39%

32%

24%

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

0%
Lowest TQI

Not / Least
College Ready

Lower Middle TQI

Upper Middle TQI

Somewhat / Minimally
College Ready

Highest TQI

More / Most
College Ready

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.

-12-

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

18 20

81
76
67
57
52

48

42

25

21

16

11
6

Algebra II

Lowest Quartile

Lowest
10%
TQI

Lowest
11-25%
TQI

Trigonometry or
other advanced math
LowerMiddle
TQI Quartile

Calculus

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.

Highest
TQI
Quartile

-13-

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

50%

40%
31%

28%
20%

19%

14%

16% 18%

0%
Math

Science

less than 20% Free Lunch

English

Social Studies

greater than 49% Free Lunch

Source: National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future,


What Matters Most: Teaching for Americas Future (p.16) 1996. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

-14-

Poor High School Students Are More Often


Taught by Inexperienced Teachers
*

High- and low-poverty schools

25%

Percentage of
Inexperienced
Teachers

High- and low-minority schools

21%

20%

11%

10%

0%
High-poverty schools

Low-poverty schools

High-minority 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, Monitoring Quality: An Indicators Report, December 2000. Slide courtesy of Ed Trust.

-15-

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
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

In New York, of those teaching minority students, 21% of teachers


failed one of the states certification exams vs. 7% of those who
teach white students

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

-16-

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 leastcompetitive colleges
In the 10% of public schools with the lowest-income students,
more than 30% of teachers attended least-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.

-17-

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 Arent

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

-19-

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.

-20-

Female Teachers from Highly Selective Colleges


Used to be Paid More But No Longer

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

-21-

Its 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.

-22-

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.

-23-

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

-24-

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.

-25-

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

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:
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 non-renewed a probationary teacher
Sources: www.thehiddencostsoftenure.com; Unintended Consequences, The New Teacher Project, 11/05; The Widget Effect, The New Teacher Project, 6/09.

-26-

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

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

-27-

Other Key Steps

Until national standards are adopted, states need to set high


standards
End social promotion
Address the hidden teacher spending gap

-28-

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
werent
One of the few exceptions was Massachusetts, which set high,
internationally benchmarked standards, developed rigorous tests
(MCAS) and publicizes each schools 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
-29-

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:
1.
2.

You must educate every child; and


If you fail to educate any child, then you have to try again

It helps combat the reprehensible yet widespread practice of


assigning least effective teachers to the most difficult students
In the immortal words of Roberto Duran, we are saying, No mas!
We will educate students and then promote them, not the reverse
-- Joel Klein, Chancellor, NYC Department of Education

-30-

Florida Students Benefited When the


State Ended Social Promotion
Students Potentially Affected By
the Retention Policy Did Better

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

As Did Students Retained

-31-

The Hidden Teacher Spending Gap


Funding gaps between school districtsinter-district funding
discrepancieshave 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 virtually every school district, schools are given teacher allocations, not
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: Californias Hidden Teacher Spending Gap: How State and District Budgeting Practices Shortchange
Poor and Minority Students and Their Schools, Education Trust, 3/05.

-32-

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 States 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 states 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.

-33-

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)

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 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

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: For a student in high schools serving mostly Latino and African-American
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.

Source: Californias Hidden Teacher Spending Gap: How State and District Budgeting Practices Shortchange
Poor and Minority Students and Their Schools, Education Trust, 3/05.

-34-

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 students 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

-35-

Seven Big Myths


To move forward, we must first understand the reasons and
associated solutions that do not explain the underperformance of
low-income minority children:
1. They dont want to and/or cant learn
2. Students are overworked
3. Students are worse off today than in the past
4. Were not spending enough
5. We need to reduce class size
6. Teachers are underpaid
7. No Child Left Behind is costly and unnecessary

-36-

Myth #1: Low-Income Minority Students Dont


Want To and/or Cant Learn
Fact: Many schools are proving that this is nonsense
Especially the no excuses charter schools like KIPP

-37-

Not Surprisingly, As Student Income


Levels Decline, So Do Test Scores
Poverty vs. Achievement
in Kentucky Elementary Schools
100

Elementary Math Percentile Score

90
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).

-38-

Yet There Is Enormous Variability Among Schools

Poverty vs. Achievement


in Kentucky Elementary Schools

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

100

Elementary Math Percentile Score

90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

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

100

Source: Education Trust


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

-39-

The Same is True in Indiana

Poverty vs. Achievement


in Indiana Elementary Schools

3rd Grade Math Percent Proficient and Above

100
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.

-40-

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

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

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
UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute regularly asks about 400,000 college freshmen how
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
The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research collects time diaries from American
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

-41-

Myth #3: Students Are Worse Off Today Than in the Past
(And Therefore Schools Arent 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: Were 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

Austin

Charlotte

30

Boston

25

New York City

20
15

Los Angeles

San Diego
Houston
Chicago

Atlanta

10

Cleveland

DC

0
0

2,000

4,000

6,000

8,000

10,000

12,000

14,000

Total current spending per student


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?
The report from the
Education
Departmentconcluded,
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.
[Yet,] According to federal
surveys, the typical private
schools tuition is only about
half what a public school
spends per pupilGeneral
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
Fifteen 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 countrys staunchest proponents of court-ordered desegregation remedies, admits that
Kansas City is a very, very sad story. They really cant 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 sizeand
reduced class size initiatives often lead to lower 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?

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

Because it requires hiring many more teachers, this reform 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-

Californias Class Size Reduction Failed Due to


Far More Uncertified and Inexperienced Teachers

Id 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

The small-class mandate in California


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, Californias 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

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
And have excellent benefits

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

-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

$20

$30

Hourly Wages

$40

$50

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

$60

-53-

Teachers Also Receive Excellent Benefits


And Have Extraordinary Job Security

Source: Is There a Qualified 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 studentsminority, disabled, poor, limited English proficient, mobileshould 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 countrys
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
Passed with strong bipartisan support in 2001 [Ted Kennedy was one of the sponsors], the law
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


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

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.

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.

If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left


behind.

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

Largest Private Employer


8,000

School System
11,414

(Baltimore Gas & Electric)

Detroit

13,659

18,822

(Chrysler)

Washington DC

5,756

14,235

(Georgetown)

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:
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.

Freeman also reports that 72% of Black women college graduates


work for some branch of government.

-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 Obamas Solution


Fact 1: Americas 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 elses policy bus
Fact 4: The partys 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 its the right thing to do, but also its
smart politically
- Shows hes a centrist and demonstrates political courage by being willing
to buck his partys 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 whats 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 part of the team
Protect good jobs (and
perhaps patronage)
BUT
Dont do whats best for
children

Case studies: Cory Booker (first election), Eva Moskowitz


This equation is changing somewhat, however, thanks to President
Obamas 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 Tilsons 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 Rotherhams blog at www.eduwonk.com
Education Trusts 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-

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

e
M exi c
o

Tu rke
y

Greec

Ita ly

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

J apan

Neth e
rla nds

Kore a

Fi nlan
d

Average Scale Score

U.S. 15-Year-Olds Ranked 24th out of 29


OECD Countries in Mathematics
And Only Slightly Better in Literacy (15th)

550

500

450

400

350

300

-3-

Even Our Highest-Performing (Top 5%)


Students Are Performing Poorly
The U.S. Ranks 23rd out of 29 OECD Countries
700
650

Average Scale Score

600
550
500
450
400
350

Tu rk
ey
Port u
gal
Gree
ce
Mexi
co

Ita ly

d
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

Fi nla
n

erla n
ds
Ze al
a nd
New

erla n
d

Neth

Switz

Japa
n
Kore
a

Bel g
iu m

300

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

-4-

erla n
d

ark
Swed
en
Aust
ria
Hung
ary
OEC
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

Aust
ral ia
Germ
any
New
Ze ala
nd

Switz

Japa
n
Kore
a

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

Average Scale Score

As Are Our Students from Wealthy Families


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

600

550

500

450

400

350

300

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%

Science Performance

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-

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%
13

19

80%
60%

47

55
Prof/Adv

47

Basic

49

Below Basic

40%
42
20%

40

32

0%
Black

35

Latino

10

10

White

Asian

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

-9-

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%

13 14 16 15 16
21

80%
28
42 38

60%

29
42

39
35

40%
60
20%

41 41 42 37 36 34

45 46

56

43 37

43 39
25

16 21

33

41

38

Prof/Adv
Basic
Below Basic

30

21 27

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

0%

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

-10-

In Math, All Students Except Asians Do


Worse the Longer They Are in School
100%
80%

31 26 29

37 33 39

33 34

20

33 41 34

60%
53
40%
20%

46 42
63 69 68

40

34 44

Prof/Adv
Basic
Below Basic

54 59 57
21 24 26 27 25 23

la
c
B kla 4
B ck th
la ck 8t
La -1 h
ti 2
La no th
ti -4t
La n
h
t i 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

0%

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/

-11-

In Writing, All Students Do Worse the


Longer They Are in School
100%

14 13 8 17 17 13

80%
60%

50
63 61

60 57

51
57 52

41

20%
23 26

10 10

Basic

52 48

36
21

7 12

Prof/Adv
Below Basic

24

la
c
B kla 4
B ck th
la ck 8t
La -1 h
ti 2
La no th
ti -4t
La n
h
t i 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
s i -4
A an th
si an 8t
-1 h
2t
h

23 27

50

51

40%

0%

26
34 38 27 41 41

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

-12-

Percent of Students

African American and Latino


12th Graders Do Math at the Same Level
As White 8th Graders
100%

% of
Students

0%
200

250

300

350

Average Scale Score


White 13 Year-Olds

African American 17 Year-Olds

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

Latino 17-Year Olds

-13-

The High School Graduation Rate


for Latino and Black Students
in New York State is Very Low
The 47% Graduation Rate for Blacks is the Lowest in the Nation
90%
80%

75%

77%

Asian

White

70%
60%
50%

47%
42%

40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Latino

Black

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-

Rather Than Educating Our Youth


Properly, Were 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

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

-15-

Rather Than Educating Our Youth Properly,


Were Spending Enormous Amounts to
Lock Them Up As Adults (2)
California, 1985-2000

Texas , 1985-2000

400%

400%

350%

350%

300%

300%

250%

250%

346%

184%

200%

200%

150%

150%

100%

100%

50%

50%

0%

0%

-50%

-16%
Higher education
spending

24%

-50%
Prison spending

Higher education
spending

Prison spending

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-

$ in Millions

$500.0

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

$400.0
$300.0
$200.0
$100.0

03

02

01

00

99

98

97

96

95

94

93

92

91

* Not including detention, juvenile, and adult services (CSSD) or Ct


Juvenile Training School (DCF), totaling $117 million for 2006 and $120
million for 2007

Corrections

$600.0

06

$700.0

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

General Fund Expenditures

$-

Higher Education

$ in Millions

$500.0
$400.0
$300.0
$200.0
$100.0

Source: Connecticut Alliance for Great Schools

Corrections

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

04

06

* Not including detention, juvenile, and adult services (CSSD) or Ct


Juvenile Training School (DCF), totaling $117 million for 2006 and $120
million for 2007

03

02

01

00

99

98

97

96

95

94

93

92

91

$-

Higher Education

-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-

Charter Schools Are Spreading


Rapidly Across the Nation
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%

Y
N

TX

C
N

M
N

A
PA

I
W

FL

M
I
O
H

O
C

et
ro
it
AZ

.O
rle
an
D s
ay
to
n

0%

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

-20-

Charter Schools Typically Serve the


Most Disadvantaged, At Risk Children

Contrary to popular perception, charter schools do not cream the best students.
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
16

62%

14

Number of Studies

12

10

23%
6

15%
4

0
Charter schools
lagged

Equal

Charter schools
better

Source: Bryan C. Hassel, Public Impact

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
snapshot studies), but thats because they serve higher
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 Celios
dismissed the widely publicized 2004 study as one of the
most unsophisticated, low-level analyses Ive ever seen.
The editorial board at the Chicago Tribune deemed the
findings about as new as a lava lamp, as revelatory as
an old sock, and as significant as a belch.

-22-

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
Reading (% at Mastery)

Math

Writing

90%

90%

90%

80%

80%

80%

70%

70%

70%

60%

60%

60%

50%

50%

50%

40%

40%

40%

30%

30%

30%

20%

20%

20%

10%

10%

10%

0%

0%
New Haven

Connect icut

6th Grade

8th Grade

Amist ad

0%
New Haven

Connect icut

6th Grade

8th Grade

Amist ad

New Haven

Connect icut

6th Grade

Amist ad

8th Grade

Source: www.achievementfirst.org
-26-

Amistads 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.

3.

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.

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

-27-

Amistads 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.

6.

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.

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

-28-

Amistads 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.

8.

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.

9.

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.

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

-29-

Amistads 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.

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

-30-

A Third Case Study of Gap-Closing


Performance: Roxbury Prep
Serves 195 Black and Latino 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Bostons
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 Has Been


Extraordinarily Successful

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

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

-36-

Voucher-Like Programs Have a


Long and Successful History (2)
State-Level Examples: Maine and Vermont Town Tuitioning
Maine and Vermont Town Tuitioning
Under a system that is well over a century old, many small towns in
Maine and Vermont do not maintain their own high schools, and some
do not even maintain elementary schools. These towns instead tuition
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.

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 Theyve 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 Casts Doubt on the
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?
According to federal surveys, the typical private schools tuition is only about half what a
public school spends per pupilGeneral Motors would not celebrate the news that its
$40,000 Cadillac performed almost as well as a $20,000 Honda.
The most scientific way to compare schools is with the kind of randomized experiment that
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-

Case Study: Milwaukees Highly


Successful Voucher Program

The oldest voucher program in the nation, launched in 1990


More than 15,000 students, equal to 15% of the citys 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 hasnt 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

Sources: Milwaukees 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-

There Is Substantial Evidence That Public Schools


Do Respond When Alternatives Are Offered
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
Regular Public
Schools,
from private schools, Arizona's
the productivity
of Americas
schools, in terms of
Before
& After (a little)
from
Schools
students level
of learning
at aCompetition
given level
ofCharter
spending,
would be 28
percent higher than it is now."
43

Data from Arizona

42
41

NPR Points

40
Before Charter Competition

39
38

After a Little Charter


Competition (6% of
Enrollment)

37
36
35
34
33
32

Sources: Caroline M. Hoxby

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 didnt.
It concluded:
These comparisons provide consistent evidence that charter-school competition
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 199899 and 19992000 and is, from a policy
perspective, nontrivial.

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
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.
Sources: Friendly Competition, Holmes, DeSimone and Rupp, Education Next, Winter 2006; Washington Post, 6/6/06

-44-

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 Floridas 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

-45-

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

-46-

One Study in Dallas Compared Two Groups of


Students, Both of Which Started 3rd Grade at
About the Same Level of Reading Achievement
Average Percentile Rank

100

Average 80
Percentile
Rank 60

59

60

Group 1

Group 2

40
20
0

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.

-47-

Average Percentile Rank

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
100

Average 80
Percentile
Rank 60

76
60

59

42
40
20
0
Group 1 Assigned to Three
EFFECTIVE Teachers

Group 2 Assigned to Three


INEFFECTIVE Teachers

Beginning of 3rd Grade

End of 5th Grade

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

-48-

Now That Weve Established That Teacher


Quality Matters A Lot, Lets 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
-49-

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

Source: Teaching Inequality, Ed Trust, 6/06

-50-

In Contrast With Public Schools, Charter


Schools Have Highly Variable Pay
10

Regular Public Schools


Charter Schools

Percentage Increase in Pay

%Increase in Pay for


Higher Aptitude (10
Percentile Pts)

Source: Caroline M. Hoxby, Harvard University

%Increase in Pay for


College Science (10
Courses)

%Increase in Pay for


Extra Instructional Hrs (10
per week)

-51-

It Is Possible to Change Teacher Compensation


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

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

The New Pay System

-52-

The High School Curriculum


Needs to Be Strengthened
Courses for a Typical U.S. High School Student

Freshman Year, Fall

Sophomore Year, Fall

English

English

Health Ed/Academic Foundations

Spanish

Conceptual Physics

Chemistry

Volleyball

Open Period

Freshman Year, Spring

Sophomore Year, Spring

Algebra

Geometry

Auto Shop

World History

Auto Shop

Volleyball

Volleyball

Open Period

Source: Education Trust Analysis of High School Transcripts; 2005

-53-

The High School Curriculum


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

Junior Year, Fall

Senior Year

Mythology

To embarrassing to even show

Algebra

Other Sample Courses

Auto Shop
Career Choices

Pre-Spanish
Future Studies

Junior Year, Spring

Exploring

Algebra 2

Principles of PE

American History

Teen Living

Arts Tech

Life Management

English

Food Fundamentals
Winter Activities

Source: Education Trust Analysis of High School Transcripts; 2005

-54-

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 characters
conflict with society is
important.

Non-Rigorous

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

-55-

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?
-56-

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.
-57-

High School Curriculum Intensity is a Strong


Predictor of Bachelors Degree Completion
Percent of Students Completing a
Bachelor's Degree

100
82
80
60
40
20

0
Most Intense Curriculum

Least Intense Curriculum

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.

-58-

A Rigorous High School Curriculum*


Greatly Increases Bachelors Degree
Completion for All Students
100
Percent Earning a BA

86

80
60

71
55

66

69
African American
Latino
White

51

40
20
0
All College Entrants

College Entrants with


a Strong High School
Curriculum

*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.

-59-

Percent Earning a BA

A Rigorous High School Curriculum*


Greatly Increases Bachelors Degree
Completion for All Students
100
89
81
80
59

60

Low SES
High SES

40
40
20
0
All College Entrants

College Entrants with a


Strong High School
Curriculum

*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.

-60-

Students in Poor Schools Receive


As for Work That Would Earn Cs
in Affluent Schools
100
87

Percentile - CTBS4

Seventh Grade Math

56
41

34

35

22

21
11

0
A

Grades

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.

-61-

Barriers to Change
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when
his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
Upton Sinclair

-62-

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 cant 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 tohelp 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 teachers talents and effort or the difficulty of recruiting a teacher for a
hard-to-find position such as math or scienceThe right to fire a teacher is
limited by teachers retention rights and a complex and lengthy set of due
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

-63-

Steps for Giving a Tenured Teacher a Poor


Performance Rating in New York City
Under the contract, a principal can give an unsatisfactory (U) rating to
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 or other
non-disciplinary means (p. 128 and Memorandum of Agreement). The
principals 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 U rating.
After a teacher receives a first U rating, 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 U rating is given.
Source: Breakdown, Eva Moskowitz, Education Next, Summer 2006

-64-

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
retire in the middle of the year and head off to Bermuda, as my sons 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 persistent
educational failure. Intermittent failure or persistent mediocrity is perfectly
acceptable.
Source: Breakdown, Eva Moskowitz, Education Next, Summer 2006

-65-

How Has the Party Managed to Sustain


This Dissonance This Long?
Minority leadership has failed to own, much less
force the issues
Three reasons: Power, History, Lack of
Knowledge/Apathy

Union message has dominated the debate:


More money, less class size

Party managed straddle brilliantly


Sometimes support charter schools, the safest
alternative among reform initiatives
Largely avoided taking the issue seriously (other than
early support of NCLB)
Kerrys evolving position a perfect example
No outrage; serious reform simply not a priority
-66-

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
nations education agenda
Well funded
Of unimpeachable credentials/credibility

And are on the verge of doing so .


With the right leadership and funding
Examples:
Barack Obama
Cory Booker (Newark mayor)
Adrian Fenty (DC mayor)

-67-