[House Hearing, 111 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] SUPPORTING AMERICA'S EDUCATORS: THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY TEACHERS AND LEADERS ======================================================================= HEARING before the COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR U.S. House of Representatives ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ HEARING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 4, 2010 __________ Serial No. 111-60 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Education and Labor Available on the Internet: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/house/education/index.html U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 56-130 WASHINGTON : 2010 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, http://bookstore.gpo.gov. For more information, contact the GPO Customer Contact Center, U.S. Government Printing Office. Phone 202�09512�091800, or 866�09512�091800 (toll-free). E-mail, [email protected] COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR GEORGE MILLER, California, Chairman Dale E. Kildee, Michigan, Vice John Kline, Minnesota, Chairman Senior Republican Member Donald M. Payne, New Jersey Thomas E. Petri, Wisconsin Robert E. Andrews, New Jersey Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon, Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott, Virginia California Lynn C. Woolsey, California Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Ruben Hinojosa, Texas Michael N. Castle, Delaware Carolyn McCarthy, New York Mark E. Souder, Indiana John F. Tierney, Massachusetts Vernon J. Ehlers, Michigan Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Judy Biggert, Illinois David Wu, Oregon Todd Russell Platts, Pennsylvania Rush D. Holt, New Jersey Joe Wilson, South Carolina Susan A. Davis, California Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona Tom Price, Georgia Timothy H. Bishop, New York Rob Bishop, Utah Joe Sestak, Pennsylvania Brett Guthrie, Kentucky David Loebsack, Iowa Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Tom McClintock, California Jason Altmire, Pennsylvania Duncan Hunter, California Phil Hare, Illinois David P. Roe, Tennessee Yvette D. Clarke, New York Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania Joe Courtney, Connecticut Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire Marcia L. Fudge, Ohio Jared Polis, Colorado Paul Tonko, New York Pedro R. Pierluisi, Puerto Rico Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Northern Mariana Islands Dina Titus, Nevada Judy Chu, California Mark Zuckerman, Staff Director Barrett Karr, Minority Staff Director C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Hearing held on May 4, 2010...................................... 1 Statement of Members: Castle, Hon. Michael N., a Representative in Congress from the State of Delaware...................................... 5 Chu, Hon. Judy, a Representative in Congress from the State of California: Letters from the Indiana State Teachers Association...... 88 Questions submitted for the record....................... 94 Guthrie, Hon. Brett, a Representative in Congress from the State of Kentucky, prepared statement of................... 93 Kildee, Hon. Dale E., a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan.......................................... 6 Prepared statement of.................................... 7 McMorris Rodgers, Hon. Cathy, a Representative in Congress from the State of Washington, questions submitted for the record..................................................... 95 Miller, Hon. George, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor...................................................... 1 Prepared statement of.................................... 4 Statement of Witnesses: Ball, Deborah, dean, School of Education, University of Michigan................................................... 15 Prepared statement of.................................... 17 Responses to questions submitted......................... 95 Bennett, Tony, superintendent, Indiana Office of Public Instruction................................................ 65 Prepared statement of.................................... 67 Response to question submitted........................... 96 Burns, Jeanne M., associate commissioner for teacher and leadership initiatives, Louisiana Board of Regents......... 59 Prepared statement of.................................... 60 Response to question submitted........................... 98 Kaplan, Jonathan A., president, Walden University............ 72 Prepared statement of.................................... 73 Parker-McElroy, Marie, cluster-based instructional coach, Fairfax County Public Schools.............................. 43 Prepared statement of.................................... 44 Response to question submitted........................... 101 Salazar, Pamela S., associate professor of practice, department of educational leadership, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.................................................. 20 Prepared statement of.................................... 22 Response to question submitted........................... 102 Steinhauser, Christopher J., superintendent of schools, Long Beach Unified School District (CA)......................... 50 Prepared statement of.................................... 51 Responses to questions submitted......................... 104 Thompson, Monique Burns, president, Teach Plus............... 46 Prepared statement of.................................... 47 Responses to questions submitted......................... 100 Weingarten, Randi, president, American Federation of Teachers 9 Prepared statement of.................................... 11 Additional submissions: Editorial from the New York Times, May 3, 2010: ``The New Haven Model''.................................. 10 Responses to questions submitted..................... 105 Winters, Marcus A., senior fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research............................................ 24 Prepared statement of.................................... 26 Response to question submitted........................... 106 SUPPORTING AMERICA'S EDUCATORS: THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY TEACHERS AND LEADERS ---------- Thursday, May 4, 2010 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor Washington, DC ---------- The committee met, pursuant to call, at 2:00 p.m., in room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. George Miller [chairman of the committee] presiding. Present: Representatives Miller, Kildee, Woolsey, McCarthy, Tierney, Kucinich, Wu, Holt, Davis, Loebsack, Hirono, Clarke, Courtney, Polis, Chu, Petri, Castle, Biggert, Roe, and Thompson. Staff Present: Andra Belknap, Press Assistant; Calla Brown, Staff Assistant, Education; Jody Calemine, General Counsel; Jamie Fasteau, Senior Education Policy Advisor; Denise Forte, Director of Education Policy; David Hartzler, Systems Administrator; Liz Hollis, Special Assistant to Staff Director/ Deputy Staff Director; Sadie Marshall, Chief Clerk; Bryce McKibben, Staff Assistant, Education; Charmaine Mercer, Senior Education Policy Advisor; Alex Nock, Deputy Staff Director; Lillian Pace, Policy Advisor, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education; Kristina Peterson, Legislative Fellow, Education; Alexandria Ruiz, Administrative Assistant to Director of Education Policy; Melissa Salmanowitz, Press Secretary; Mark Zuckerman, Staff Director; Stephanie Arras, Minority Legislative Assistant; James Bergeron, Minority Deputy Director of Education and Human Services Policy; Kirk Boyle, Minority General Counsel; Casey Buboltz, Minority Coalitions and Member Services Coordinator; Amy Raaf Jones, Minority Higher Education Counsel & Senior Advisor; Brian Newell, Minority Press Secretary; Susan Ross, Minority Director of Education and Human Services Policy; Mandy Schaumburg, Minority Education Policy Counsel; and Linda Stevens, Minority Chief Clerk/Assistant to the General Counsel. Chairman Miller. A quorum being present, the Committee on Education and Labor will come to order. Today is National Teachers Day, and this is a day and a week when we honor amazing teachers and all teachers in this country and all those who hopefully aspire to be teachers. At today's hearing, we will explore the urgent issue of how we can best support teachers and leaders in schools and, by doing so, support students in our economic recovery. Of all the factors involved in giving children a good education, none is more important than their teachers. School leaders are a close second. Yet despite its unique role of helping shape our future generations, we still don't treat teachers as professionals. We all know the stories of incredible teachers who are having success in closing the achievement gap, keeping kids in schools, and helping students excel, but 14 percent of the teachers stop teaching after their first year. More than a third leave after 3 years, and almost 50 percent leave within 5 years. It is clear that we have to do a much better job of recruiting, retaining, rewarding, and supporting excellent teachers and leaders. We have to do a much better job of making the classroom reflect a modern workplace, and we have to do a much better job at ensuring that teacher talent is distributed equally in a district so that students who need the best teachers have access to them. In almost every school district across the country, the schools and students most in need of funding often get the fewest resources. Children in the highest poverty, high minority schools are assigned to teachers without strong backgrounds in their subject matter at twice the rate as children in wealthier schools. This leads us with an embarrassing and persistent achievement gap in this country and poses a real threat to our economic recovery and to our global competitiveness. Too often in this country, poor and minority students are on a trajectory toward failure without access to great schools or great teachers. On average, African American and Hispanic students reach fourth grade 3 years behind their white peers. Only slightly more than half the Hispanic and African American students graduate high school on time compared to over three- quarters of the white students. High school drop-outs can have an enormous economic impact on our local communities and on our Nation as a whole. In fact, one high school drop out will cost the Nation more than a quarter million dollars in lost wages, taxes and productivity over the course of his or her lifetime. All together, drop-outs in classes in the class of 2008 will cost this country nearly $319 billion in wages over their lifetime. But research shows that given the right resources, we can change the fortune for many of these students. In Los Angeles, for example, a study shows us that if the district were to replace the least effective teachers with the most effective teachers for 4 years, it would completely close the achievement gap. That is stunning. And we will examine whether or not it is true. These studies, you gotta love them. Excellent teachers are the key to success in our schools. But we won't be able to resolve the many challenges facing our schools unless we change the way we treat teachers, talk about teachers, and think about teachers. To help attract and retain bright teaching talent, we need to make the teaching workplace more like what other young workers expect, to be treated like professionals, with respect, recognition, resources to do their job and to be able to collaborate with their peers. Other countries have recognized this. In Finland, as we heard here recently in this city, teachers are recruited from the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Teaching is the most sought-out profession for the highest-achieving college students, more so than law and medicine. But none of this happens on its own. It has to be part of a comprehensive and seismic shift in our discussions about the future of our education system in this country, and we need our teachers to help us shape that discussion. We already made great progress with some of these reforms in the Recovery Act in the Race to the Top, and districts are now being challenged to make progress in turning around the lowest-performing schools, implementing data systems linked to better assessments and fairly and equally distributing teacher talent. These reforms will only be successful if they are done with teachers, not done to teachers. At every step of the way, teachers must have a seat at the table. We need to reward teachers whose students are making significant gains in the classrooms. We need to provide teachers with the means and the time to help share their skills with less experienced teachers. And we need to encourage team effort in the schools. We also need to be smarter about where principals are placed in the district. Research shows that a leader's skills should be set to match the needs of a school, especially if it relates to turning around schools. If we are serious about closing the achievement gap and ending the high school drop-out crisis, about regaining our global competitiveness in the world, then we will have to take a serious look at supporting teachers. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about what we can do to create modern teaching workplaces that will help every teacher and every student succeed. And I thank all of them for being here today. But I just want to add a note that if you review the testimony, in the beginning of almost every set of testimonies today, you have all told us that the teacher is the most important person in this scheme of education that we have in this country. And those very same people now are looking at a series of layoffs due to a financial situation and economic condition that was not of their making. The financial scandals of Wall Street have stripped local communities of the tax revenues that they historically rely on to finance schools; local taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, as do the States. But because of the down turn in the economy, sales taxes are down, properties are being reassessed, revenues are being lost, at the State level and at the local school district level. So I think we also have to be very cognizant of that. I have introduced legislation. Senator Harkin has introduced legislation to try and stem to the extent that we can those layoffs. It is estimated that somewhere between 250,000 to 300,000 teachers, really school personnel, not just teachers, but others who are so important to the support and the running of our local schools, are facing layoffs at the beginning of the budget year this June. And so I just think that that should be a backdrop because our response and our support for teachers isn't just about being in the classroom. It is about also the environment in which they are called upon to work and the situations that they are cast into, not only for themselves but many of their students, obviously their families are suffering these same kind of upsets because of the economic downturn. So I just think it is important. I would hope that the Congress would respond by providing assistance to districts to forestall these layoffs this year, and I would also hope for next year, but we shall see. With that, I would like to recognize Congressman Castle, the senior Republican at today's hearing, and the subcommittee chair--ranking member to the Chair. [The statement of Mr. Miller follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. George Miller, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor Good afternoon. Today is National Teacher Day--a day when we should all be honoring the amazing teachers in this country. But nationwide, almost a quarter million educators are set to lose their jobs in the upcoming school year. In my district, close to one thousand education jobs are set to be eliminated. We won't be able to educate our way to a better economy, as Secretary Duncan says, if our students are losing a year of learning in the wake of these layoffs. I've introduced the Local Jobs for America Act to help save education jobs. The bill would invest $23 billion to support education jobs, like teachers, janitors, cafeteria workers, guidance counselors and principals. I hope my colleagues on both sides of this committee room will support this bill because the most important support we can give a teacher, is to help them keep their jobs. Today we'll explore the urgent issue of how we can best support teachers and leaders in schools and, by doing so, support students and our economic recovery. Of all the factors involved in giving children a good education, none is more important than their teacher. School leaders are a close second. Yet, despite their unique role in helping shape our future generations, we still don't treat teachers as true professionals. We all know stories of incredible teachers who are having success in closing the achievement gap, keeping kids in school and helping students excel. But 14 percent of teachers stop teaching after their first year. More than a third leave teaching after three years. Almost 50 percent leave within five years. It is clear we have to do a much better job at recruiting, retaining and rewarding excellent teachers and leaders. We have to do a much better job of making the classroom reflect a modern workplace. And we have to do a much better job at ensuring that teacher talent is distributed equally in a district, so that the students who need the best teachers have access to them. In almost every school district across the country, the schools and students most in need of funding often get the fewest resources. Children in the highest poverty and high minority schools are assigned to teachers without strong backgrounds in their subject matter at twice the rate as children in wealthier schools. This leaves us with an embarrassing and persistent achievement gap in this country--and poses a real threat to our economic recovery and our global competitiveness. Too often in this country, poor and minority students are on a trajectory toward failure without access to great schools or great teachers. On average, African American and Hispanic students reach fourth grade three years behind their white peers. Only slightly more than half of Hispanic and African American students graduate high school on time compared with over three quarters of white students. High school dropouts can have an enormous economic impact on our nation as a whole. In fact, one high school dropout will cost the nation more than a quarter of a million dollars in lost wages, taxes and productivity over the course of his or her lifetime. Altogether, dropouts from the class of 2008 will cost this country nearly $319 billion wages over their lifetimes. But research shows that given the right resources, we can change this fortune for these students. In Los Angeles, for example, one study shows that if the district were to replace the least effective teachers with the most effective teachers for four years, it would completely close the achievement gap. That's stunning. Excellent teachers are the key to success in our schools. But we won't be able to solve the many challenges facing our schools unless we change the way we treat teachers, talk about teachers and think about teachers. To help attract and retain bright teaching talent, we'll need to make the teaching workplace look more like what other young workers expect: To be treated like professionals, with the respect, recognition, and resources needed to do their jobs. Other countries have already recognized this. In Finland for example, teachers are recruited from the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Teaching is the most sought out profession for the highest achieving college students--more so than law or medicine. But none of this can happen on its own. It has to be part of a comprehensive and seismic shift in our discussions about the future of our education system in this country. And we need our teachers to help shape this discussion. We've already made great progress with some of these reforms in the Recovery Act and Race to the Top. States and districts are now being challenged to make progress in turning around the lowest-performing schools, implementing data systems linked with better assessments and fairly and equally distributing teacher talent. These reforms will only be successful if they are done with teachers--not to teachers. At every step of the way, teachers must have a seat at the table. We need to reward teachers whose students are making significant gains in the classroom. We need to provide teachers with the means and the time to help share their skills with less experienced teachers. And we need to encourage a team effort in schools. We also need to be smarter about where principals are placed in a district. Research shows that a leader's skill set should match the needs of a school, especially as it relates to turning around schools. If we're serious about closing the achievement gap, about ending the high school dropout crisis, about regaining our global competitiveness in the world, then we have to be serious about supporting teachers. I look forward to hearing from witnesses today about how we can create a modern teaching workplace that will help every teacher and every student succeed. Thank you for being here today. ______ Mr. Castle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was shocked at your--a couple of comments that you had concerning the studies that we get up here. I always thought they were all perfect, and we were supposed to just assume that when we got them. But you are right; they are not. I would like to also welcome the witnesses in both panels here today and offer my thanks for your participation at this hearing today. We are here today, as the chairman set forth, to look at the importance of quality teachers and explore ways to support the best educators for our kids. No one denies the success of our education system depends largely upon the quality of classroom instruction. Students deserve the most effective teachers because their future achievement may well depend upon the caliber of men or women standing before them in the classroom. Academic research has confirmed that students with excellent teachers excel, while those assigned to teachers who are less effective sadly lag behind. As Federal policy makers, we have a responsibility to help ensure teachers are equipped and trained to perform well in the classroom. This is a responsibility we share with State and local leaders, who stand at the forefront of education policy. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about how we can support the efforts already underway that work and reform those that do not. For years, Republicans in Congress have championed programs, such as the Teacher Incentive Fund, to improve teacher effectiveness in the classroom and reward effective teachers. Republicans also believe in letting teachers teach, which means trusting the wisdom of the educators on the front lines and not the wisdom of bureaucrats in Washington. The administration has included a number of proposals in their blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that touch upon teacher performance, and I am sure those proposals will be a part of our discussion today as well. We need to look into these issues more closely so we can move forward with reauthorization in a way that is responsible and that serves the best interest of students. In closing, let me say, there is no one-size-fits-all Federal solution to ensuring an effective teacher is in every classroom. But there are ways that Congress can learn from our partners at the State and local level, encourage innovation around the country, and remove harmful barriers at the Federal level that stand in the way of student achievement. We must ensure that our efforts in Washington, DC, do not undermine the ability for teachers and principals to make decisions that best suit their students' unique needs. Mr. Chairman, thank you again for holding this hearing. And thank you to the witnesses for being with us this afternoon. Chairman Miller. Thank you. I would like now to introduce our witnesses--excuse me. Mr. Kildee has a statement. Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I really thank you for calling this hearing today. Today's hearing comes at a critical time in our work to reauthorize the elementary and secondary education. I still hold hope that we can finish this, this year. I know that there is much work to be done, and those that are testifying today will play a very major role. We really need to talk to our teachers, and I do that regularly, those individuals that work on the front lines of our education system and care about the success of the students. I am pleased to see a number of those professionals here today participating in the hearing. I have met with countless teachers since I left teaching myself 45 years ago. I got my master's degree at the University of Michigan, and I appreciate all the work that is done at the University of Michigan. Many of these teachers are frustrated by the conflict between the mounting Federal requirements and shrinking budgets. We certainly are seeing that this year. I see programs being level funded, even though more students are participating, which means less per student. You can't really justify level funding when there is an increase even in the customers who come in. We have to give our teachers the tools. We have to give them the education. That is why we have people like yourself in this panel here who are involved in the education of teachers. There are two things you have to look at in educating a teacher: First of all, that they know the various methods of communicating to those students and also that they know well the subject matter. I know when I got my master's degree at the University of Michigan from the Rackham School, I was teaching Latin. So I learned some things about teaching, great things about teaching, but I also, under Dr. Sweet, who was chairman of the Classical Language Department, dug deeper into Latin, so I would know my subject matter. And I think those two things, I think, Dr. Ball, you will have something to say about that. So I appreciate that, Mr. Chairman. [The statement of Mr. Kildee follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Dale E. Kildee, a Representative in Congress From the State of Michigan Thank you Mr. Chairman for calling this important hearing. Today's hearing comes at a critical time in our work to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A large part of the debate so far has centered on the role of our teachers and leaders. As a former teacher, I could not agree more. However, we cannot expect our teachers and leaders to reform our schools alone. They will need resources, quality professional development, the support of community partners, and above all--our respect. As we talk about turning around low-performing schools, developing teacher and leader evaluation systems, and closing the achievement gap, we should listen to the ideas of our education professionals. These individuals work on the front lines of our education system and care about the success of the students they serve. I am pleased to see a number of these professionals participating in the hearing today. I have met with countless teachers and leaders since the last reauthorization of ESEA and the messages are often the same. They are frustrated by the conflict between mounting federal requirements and shrinking budgets. Many feel they lack proper pre- service training and on-the-job professional development to make a real difference in the classroom. And nearly all report unsatisfactory working conditions; whether it's crumbling facilities, outdated technology, a dangerous school climate, or all of the above. Instead of a system that appears to work against them, these teachers and leaders need help developing a system that works for them, and the students they serve. Through collaboration, I believe we can establish an education system based on continuous improvement. A system that empowers these professionals to turn their schools around together and a system that ensures educators are ready when they enter the classroom and receive real-time feedback and targeted professional development to grow in the field. This may take some time and significant resources, but I think we all agree--the stakes are too high to fall short of this goal. As today's discussion will show, the time has come for change. We must embrace this together and strive for solutions that improve the teaching and learning environment for all. I want to join my colleagues in thanking the witnesses for their time today. I am sure your insights will inspire a productive discussion. With that, I now yield back my remaining time. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Thank you very much Mr. Kildee. I would like now to introduce our witnesses, and again, welcome and thank you for your time and your expertise. Our first witness will be President Randi Weingarten, who is the president of the 1.4 million member American Federation of Teachers, a long-time voice for America's teachers. She also served as AFT's vice president and was for 12 years the president of the United Federation of Teachers. She will talk to us about how to support teachers, professional learning environments, and working conditions. And our next witness will be Dr. Deborah Ball, who I believe Mr. Kildee is going to introduce. Mr. Kildee. Yes. Thank you. Deborah Ball is Dean, Mr. Chairman, of the School of Education and the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan, where President Obama was just Saturday, as another President had been I think 50 years before. She has received national attention for helping overhaul the University's teaching education program. The new initiative aims to improve teacher effectiveness by giving teacher candidates more training in the field. Dr. Ball is also the founder of the U. Of M. Mathematics Teaching and Learning to Teach Project, which focuses on mathematics instruction and interventions designed to improve its quality and effectiveness. Dr. Ball has authored or coauthored over 150 publications and has lectured or made numerous major presentations around the world. Her research has been recognized with several awards and honors, and she has served on several national and international commissions and panels focused on policy initiatives and the improvement of education, including the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. And I welcome her today. Chairman Miller. Welcome. Our next witness will be Dr. Pamela Salazar, who is associate professor in the Educational Leadership Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She specializes in research on principalship and instructional leadership, professional development and school improvement. She also has authored the book, ``High Impact Leadership for High Impact Schools,'' which has been adopted by many school districts throughout the country for principal leadership training programs. Today she will talk to us about her research, including which leaders work well in what schools and leadership teams. Mr. Marcus Winters is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and conducts research and writes extensively on education policy, including topics such as school choice, high school graduation rates, accountability, and special education. He has performed several studies on high stakes testing, performance pay for teachers, and the effects of vouchers on the public schools system, and his research has been published in many educational journals. Welcome to all of you. Those of you who have been here before know that when you begin your testimony, a green light will go on; about 4 minutes into your testimony an orange light will go on; and 5 minutes, a red light will go on, and we suggest that you wrap up your testimony. We have two panels today. I am going to try to get through both panels inside of 3 hours. I don't know how many members will be coming and going. We have some other briefings later this afternoon that I am worried about on the oil spill and some other activities going on. And what I will do is, we will go for a period of time, and if others come, we will try to go through the first panel, have everybody have a question. But if we aren't able to do that, then we will pick up with a question with the people who haven't had a question on the first panel with the second panel. I think you will see that this focus of these two panels on teaching is really about how we support teachers in the broadest sense but coming from a number of different angles. And so, obviously, we will make witnesses available for written questions or follow up that members want to do, but I just want to make sure we can fit both panels in prior to other interruptions that we may have later this afternoon. With that, President Weingarten, welcome, thank you for your time, and we look forward to your testimony. STATEMENT OF RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Ms. Weingarten. Thank you, Chairman Miller. Thank you, Congressman Castle. Thank you other committee members for the invitation to testify on the reauthorization of the ESEA, particularly as it relates to teachers. And I know that Chairman Miller has already said this, but I need to commend him and the House for the leadership and commitment to passing the Local Jobs for Main Street Act, because the bill will counter the staggering cuts we are seeing to education budgets across the Nation. We can't move forward with reform when we are in this kind of dire economic downturn as it is affecting schools and teachers and kids. And what we are seeing is as many as 300,000 educators nationwide will probably be laid off because of this economic downturn. So, towards this end, in Teacher Appreciation Week, today, and Teacher Appreciation Day, we have launched the campaign of ``Pink Hearts, Not Pink Slips'' to draw attention to these layoffs and the devastating impact they will have on our students and schools. And we have many, many buttons for anyone in this room, particularly Members of Congress, who may want to wear them. So, look, let me get back to the matter at hand. Every child should have access to a great public education. But students will not do well in school if they are not taught by well prepared and engaged teachers. At the same time, neither students nor their teachers can succeed unless, one, teachers are supported by competent administrators who understand not simply the value but the necessity of collaboration; two, the environment in which they are asked to learn and teach is safe, appropriately staffed and well equipped; and three, there is shared responsibility, not simply top-down accountability. It is often said that great teachers are not born; they are made. However, our Nation's approach to teacher quality suggests that we actually believe the converse is true, that great teachers are fully born, ready, willing, and able, and forward prepared for that role. The truth of the matter is that good teaching is an art built upon a firm foundation. We have to begin, and I know that there are several others on this panel who will talk to this issue, but we have to begin by making sure that teachers get good preparation in the schools they attend. High quality induction programs for new teachers should be required for all districts and should be developed collaboratively by teachers and administrators. Once teachers are in the classroom, they should receive ongoing, embedded, relevant professional development that is part and parcel of a valid evaluation system. As you see, the AFT has been now trying to merge both development and evaluation together in a continuous development and evaluation system, so that we don't simply provide snapshots, but that systems can be used to inform teaching and learning. Now, ultimately, these factors, meaning ensuring that we support good teaching, are obviously not divorced from what students need to succeed. But I would also press upon looking at the out-of-school factors because we know that they are relevant as well in terms of how a child performs. Now, you know we have focused on ways to improve teacher development and evaluation programs. We know we have to focus on out-of-school environment issues. We know that there are ways to help ensure that teachers come to hard-to-staff schools. We know how to do a lot of this. So let me, before my time is up, let me just focus on two little things, or two things that we have just done. Take the contract and the evaluation system that the teachers and school system just bargained in New Haven. What it demonstrates through collaboration and collective bargaining, that you can use those to secure tools to create systemic and transformative change. And we have asked for the editorial about the New Haven contract that just showed up in yesterday's New York Times to be part of the record. [The information follows:] [From the New York Times, May 3, 2010] The New Haven Model To improve the quality of schools, districts need a rigorous system for evaluating the quality of teaching--rewarding teachers who do their jobs best and retraining or removing those who fail their students. The city of New Haven and the American Federation of Teachers deserve high praise for the new teacher training and evaluation system they unveiled earlier this week. The proposal, which deserves swift approval from the board, shows what can go right when school districts and unions work together. In most schools today, teacher evaluations are not worthy of the name. An administrator typically observes the teacher at work once or twice during the year. Nearly every teacher passes--even at the most dismal schools. Struggling teachers rarely get the help they need to improve. Once they are tenured, it is nearly impossible to dislodge them. The New Haven system would completely rebuild the evaluation process. Instructional managers, mainly principals and assistant principals, will be assigned to teachers to help them lay out academic goals and development plans. These managers will then meet with the teachers throughout the year to give detailed feedback. At the end of the year, teachers will receive a rating, on a 1-to-5 scale, based on how much students learn, how well teachers do their jobs and how well they collaborate with colleagues. Teachers rated a 5, or exemplary, will be eligible for promotion to leadership positions, in which they share their skills with colleagues. Teachers who are rated at the 2 level, which means they are ``developing,'' must improve within a reasonable but limited span of time if they wish to keep their jobs. Teachers who are rated at the 1 level will receive intensive guidance and coaching. If they do not improve they can be dismissed as soon as the end of the school year. New Haven will need to reallocate resources for this system to work. It will need to start by shifting some of the burden for school operations from principals to lower-level administrators, so that principals can invest more time in novice or struggling teachers. Many high-performing charter schools have already adopted similar systems, with measurable success. If New Haven moves ahead, it could quickly find itself at the forefront of the national effort to improve the caliber of instruction in the public schools. ______ Ms. Weingarten. In terms of professional development, we think that if we have grant programs for teacher centers that provide comprehensive professional development, information on research and curricula, assistance for new and veteran teachers, and an opportunity for teachers to direct their own professional growth, that will help hugely. Lastly, I want to focus on evaluation systems. The ESEA reauthorization should establish a pilot program for LEAs that allow for the collaborative development and implementation of transparent and fair teacher development and evaluation systems. The goal of such a pilot is to develop more dynamic evaluation systems and learn from them. Instead of relying on inadequate measures, like a single student test score, we have to take the time to develop these systems. And ultimately, again, I go back to what we just did in New Haven. This is the best model that I have seen. We have used collective bargaining in a way to transform an entire district through the transformation of their development and evaluation system. And I know if you create the opportunity for us to create those pilots to do that, we will transform teaching and learning in this Nation. Thank you very much. [The statement of Ms. Weingarten follows:] Prepared Statement of Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers Chairman Miller, Ranking Member Kline and committee members, I am Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Thank you for inviting me to testify on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), particularly as it relates to teachers. Before I begin, I would like to thank Chairman Miller for his leadership and commitment to passing the Local Jobs for Main Street Act, a bill that will help local communities preserve jobs for educators, avoid increasing class sizes and shortening school days, and maintain core academic programs that help the students who need them most. The school budget cut situation is devastating, the worst it has been in anyone's memory. Current projections show that by the end of this school year as many as 300,000 educators nationwide will be laid off because of the dire financial situation facing states and localities. We are doing all that we can to reverse this, and I know many of you are, too. Toward that end, and as part of Teacher Appreciation Week, the AFT is launching a campaign--``Pink Hearts, Not Pink Slips''--to draw attention to these layoffs and the devastating impact they will have on our students and on our schools and communities. ``Pink Hearts, Not Pink Slips'' is our way to raise awareness among parents, the public and the media about what school districts and colleges are facing now and will continue to face in the next school year. We are encouraging as many people as possible to wear a pink heart on May 4 to help spread our message. I have brought a bag of buttons--enough for everyone on the committee. I can tell you firsthand that these cuts are serious. I recently visited California, where the cuts will be nothing short of catastrophic for the state's public school students. I visited El Dorado Elementary School in San Francisco, where 13 of 20 teachers received layoff notices in March. The teachers there were most concerned about what will happen to the school and its students who are low-income, if it loses so many teachers. I was also proud to join more than 10,000 teachers, school employees, parent and community groups on the last leg of their 48-day, 365-mile ``March for California's Future.'' Like the teachers at El Dorado, the marchers weren't thinking about themselves, they were marching for children's futures. Finally, during a visit to New Mexico in early April, I participated in a town hall meeting in Albuquerque. Our leaders and members there echoed many of the fears and concerns expressed in California about budget cuts and their impact on teachers and students. There's another point I'd like to make. Every child should have access to a great public education. And all public schools--whether they are charter schools (where 3 percent of our public school children are educated) or non-charter public schools (where 97 percent of these children are educated)--should have high standards and real accountability. But it seems to me that the weight of our efforts, our resources and our support should be on the schools that educate 97 percent of our kids. Students will not do well in school if they are not taught by well- prepared and engaged teachers. At the same time, neither students nor their teachers can succeed unless (1.) the teachers are supported by competent administrators who understand not simply the value but also the necessity of collaboration; (2.) the environment in which they are asked to learn and teach is safe, appropriately staffed and equipped; and (3.) there is shared responsibility--not top-down accountability. The AFT firmly believes in and is committed to the proposition that high standards and expectations must be set for students and teachers. We know, however, that it makes no sense to simply set standards. We have to provide students and teachers with the tools they need to help meet those standards. That is why the last movement to create high standards and expectations didn't work as well as any of our leaders and members would have wanted. And as the agreements in the District of Columbia and New Haven, Conn., suggest, collective bargaining can be an important vehicle to securing these tools. It is often said that great teachers are not born, they are made. Despite the frequency with which this is said, our nation's approach to teacher quality suggests that we believe the converse is true--that great teachers are born fully prepared for the role. The truth of the matter is that good teaching is an art built upon a firm foundation. We must begin by making sure teachers receive good preparation in the schools that they attend. This is something the AFT addressed more than 12 years ago in our report, ``Building a Profession.'' Graduation from teacher education or alternative certification programs should not be considered the end of teachers' training. New teachers need time to develop the skills and experience necessary for independent practice in their initial teaching assignments, including the skills necessary to work effectively with paraprofessionals and other support staff. To do this, high-quality induction programs for new teachers should be required for all districts and should be developed collaboratively by teachers and administrators. These induction programs should provide for a reduced workload, to allow time for professional development activities--activities such as observing master teachers, talking with colleagues about teaching and learning, and responding to the guidance offered by mentors who review the novice teachers' practice and recommend strategies to improve their classroom performance. Such programs should include a high-quality selection process to identify and train mentor teachers; adequate training and compensation for these mentors; and time for them to genuinely teach, support and evaluate beginning teachers. And once teachers are in the classroom, they should receive ongoing, embedded professional development that is part and parcel of a valid evaluation system. We have proposed the overhaul of existing systems so they don't simply provide snapshots but can be used to inform teaching and learning. These requirements are not divorced from what students need to succeed: They are an integral part--along with out-of-classroom factors--in determining how well our students perform. This reauthorization of ESEA presents an opportunity to improve teacher development and evaluation programs; to appropriately address school-environment issues that limit efforts to attract teachers to hard-to-staff schools and impede teaching and learning; and to help narrow the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. ESEA should also help ensure that teachers have the tools, time and trust they need to succeed, including offering teachers and students an environment that sets everyone up for success. Professional learning environments should include small classes, solid curriculum, healthy and adequate facilities (incorporating the most current technology), and opportunities for parental involvement. These are components that school systems should be held accountable for providing teachers and students so they can succeed. Indeed, as the New Haven contract and the evaluation systems that the teachers and school system just bargained demonstrate, that combination of collaboration and collective bargaining can create systemic and transformative change. It is also critically important that teachers have the time to share, grow and work together so they can resolve student issues, share lesson plans, analyze student work, discuss and replicate what works, and avoid replicating what isn't working. We need to create a school environment that allows students to be supported by a team of teachers and administrators, not just the one teacher standing in front of the classroom. One AFT priority (others are included in our formal recommendations), is to establish through ESEA a discretionary grant program for teacher centers that provide comprehensive professional development, information on research and curricula, and assistance for new and veteran teachers. Teacher centers also would provide an opportunity for teachers to direct their own professional growth, as well as to collaborate with their colleagues, community groups, foundations and universities on school improvement efforts. Programs would be funded through local education agencies (LEAs) and developed in collaboration with teachers unions. In New York City, teacher centers were a crucial part of the Chancellor's District, a program that resulted in significant gains in student achievement. The reauthorization also should refocus the law on improving the quality of instruction by incorporating research-based professional development as well as curricular supports for teachers and paraprofessionals. In addition, a separate class-size reduction program with a concentrated formula for sending funds to high-poverty schools should be restored. This is important to students and their parents--as well as to teachers. Teachers will tell you this is critical to help them differentiate instruction for students and, in general, to help them know their students and their needs. Much has been written about how to staff schools that struggle. Attracting and retaining qualified teachers for low-performing schools cannot be accomplished simply by forcing teachers to transfer or offering to pay them more. Report after report--including those that survey teachers, such as the recent Gates study--makes this point abundantly clear. Instead, ESEA should provide federal funding to help districts make the schools attractive places in which students can learn and teachers can teach. How can this be accomplished? First, physical plant and other working conditions need to be addressed, including creating a safe environment for employees and students. Second, meaningful professional development with ongoing instructional supports must be in place. Finally, ESEA should guarantee that teachers have a voice and an established role in developing and implementing policies that affect their students, profession and schools. In addition to supporting efforts to attract and retain qualified teachers, the AFT believes we need to take a serious look at how to improve teacher evaluation systems. There is general and widespread agreement that these systems do not work as currently constructed. The AFT has spent a great deal of time on this, working with a task force of our members and local and state leaders. We were helped in this effort by an advisory group of top teacher-evaluation experts. The AFT task force concluded, as outlined in a speech I gave earlier this year, that the common ground on teacher quality is to create systems that continuously develop and accurately evaluate teachers on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, poorly constructed evaluation systems miss a prime opportunity to systematically improve teacher practice and advance student learning. In addition, the current systems, despite their deficiencies, too often form the basis for many consequential decisions, such as whether a teacher is deemed to be performing satisfactorily, receives tenure, or is dismissed for what is determined to be poor performance. To begin to develop adequate teacher development and evaluation systems, the ESEA reauthorization should establish a pilot program for LEAs that allows for the collaborative development and implementation of transparent and fair teacher development and evaluation systems. These models should aim to continuously advance and inform teaching as a means to improve student learning. The focus of such systems should be on developing and supporting great teachers, not simply on evaluating them. Investing in teachers and providing them with requisite supports must go hand in hand with the development and implementation of evaluation systems. These systems should be negotiated with the collective bargaining representatives or exclusive recognized representatives of teachers, and should include multiple measures of teaching practice as well as multiple measures of student learning. The key--as was the case in New Haven--is to bargain the systems, and if no bargaining exists, to ensure that teachers' voices are heard. To do otherwise means that once again these systems will devolve to pro forma checklists or ``gotchas''--essentially the status quo. And these systems should drive support for teachers throughout their careers by including induction, mentoring, ongoing professional development and career opportunities. The goal of such a pilot is to develop more dynamic evaluation systems and learn from them. Instead of relying on inadequate measures like a single student test score, the goal must be to develop systems to help promising teachers improve, enable good teachers to become great, and identify those teachers who shouldn't be in the classroom at all. To adequately do this, we must take the time, with teachers, to develop a system of professional growth and evaluation that reflects the sophistication and importance of their work. Any valid evaluation pilot will consider both outputs (test data, student work) and inputs (school environment, resources, professional development). And it must deconstruct what is working and should be replicated, as well as what isn't working and should be abandoned. Let me give you a firsthand example of why developing such pilots is so important. Recently, the New Haven Federation of Teachers and the New Haven school district were able to negotiate a breakthrough contract that sets out a new teacher evaluation system. The contract establishes a labor-management committee to determine what constitutes ``student progress'' and how much weight it should be given in evaluations. The contract also establishes high-quality intervention through a peer assistance and review program staffed by full-time, union-selected educators, and reaffirms tenure and the principle of fair dismissal for educators. To provide the flexibility that supports innovation, the contract also establishes a process for compensated changes to school working conditions, such as extended school hours, if 75 percent of building staff approve the change. And it authorizes conversion of up to three underperforming schools into union-represented charter schools, with a guarantee of no layoffs and full transfer rights for staff who wish to work in other buildings. ESEA should also provide a clearinghouse so that best practices gleaned and implemented in the pilot projects can be disseminated broadly, with the goal of widespread replication throughout America's public schools. We know that a natural outgrowth of teacher evaluation systems will be differentiated compensation systems. We know from the firsthand experience of our affiliates that differentiated compensation systems developed and implemented with the full support and collaboration of teachers can succeed. We have seen too many top-down plans fail because they lacked teacher buy-in and collaboration. If the goal of differentiated compensation systems is simply to compensate teachers differently, systems can be easily developed that sort teachers into ``effective'' and ``ineffective'' categories and compensate them accordingly. But if the goal is to improve teaching and learning, compensation systems must be one component of comprehensive teacher development and evaluation that supports and nurtures educators' growth as well as evaluates their performance and affects their compensation. As president of a labor union, it is my job to represent our members, and I succeed in that job only when I help them do their jobs well. They make it easy because of their extraordinary commitment to providing their students with the best education possible. Last summer, we asked our members the following question: When your union deals with issues affecting both teaching quality and teachers' rights, which of these should be the higher priority--working for professional teaching standards and good teaching, or defending the job rights of teachers who face disciplinary action? By a ratio of 4-to-1 (69 percent to 16 percent), AFT members chose working for professional standards and good teaching as the higher priority. No one should ever doubt that teachers want to do what's best for their students, and they want to be treated as professionals. No teacher--myself included--wants to work alongside ineffective teachers. Schools are communities where we build on each other's work. When a teacher is foundering, there are not only repercussions for the students, but also for the teachers down the hall. When it comes to those teachers who shouldn't be in the classroom, it is other teachers who are the first to speak up. They--and the AFT--want a fair, transparent and expedient process to evaluate teachers so that those who need help receive it, and those who don't improve after being provided with help can be counseled out of the profession. Simply talking about ``bad teachers'' may give comfort to some, or be a rhetorical response to the terrible budget situation we now all face, but it does nothing to build a teacher development and evaluation system that will support and strengthen good teaching and great teachers. And that is why we will continue to speak out against those who believe that simply subjectively removing teachers is the answer, while they ignore the tough but important work required to develop a more comprehensive teacher development and evaluation system. Imagine a system in which teachers have time to work together to tackle issues around student learning, share lesson plans, analyze student work, discuss successes and failures, and learn through high- quality professional development. Imagine a system in which students can't fall through the cracks--because they're backed by a team of teachers, not just the one at the front of the room. I just saw that at a school in Albuquerque, N.M.--Ernie Pyle Middle School--which is turning around through collaboration among not just teachers but all stakeholders. In addition to tools and time, we must also foster a climate of trust. Teachers must be treated as partners in reform, with a real voice. Trust isn't something that you can write into a contract or lobby into law. Trust is the natural outgrowth of collaboration and communication, and it's the common denominator among schools, districts and cities that have achieved success. Teaching isn't magic. It's hard, rewarding work that requires skill, patience, experience, love of children and support from others. It can't be done well without all of the things I've talked about here, nor can it be done well if students don't have their needs met outside the classroom. It can't be done unless we invest in broad, deep and engaging curricula that are aligned with the well-respected common core standards and the yet-to-be-developed assessments. And it cannot be done unless we provide wraparound services, where needed, to help ensure that all students can perform on a level playing field that allows them to compete with and overcome the negative impact of poverty. We must have a system of 360degree accountability--real demonstrable responsibility, reciprocity and collaboration--for all those with an interest in the enterprise of education. We can't wish our way to high-quality teaching and an education system that gives all children, no matter their ZIP code, a great education. We have to legislate, implement and support our way to those goals. This reauthorization is an opportunity to do just that. Thank you again for this opportunity to present the views of the AFT and our more than 1.4 million members on this important matter. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Dr. Ball. STATEMENT OF DEBORAH LOEWENBERG BALL, PH.D., DEAN, SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Ms. Ball. Good afternoon, Chairman Miller, Congressman Castle, committee members, thank you very much for inviting me to testify today. My goal this afternoon is to explain to you what it would take to get effective teaching, teaching at scale in all our Nation's classrooms. And although my argument applies to the teaching portion in general, I am going to focus my remarks this afternoon on beginning teachers. I hope you will remember just two things from my testimony. First, we let people into classrooms in this country without knowing that they can perform, and the students who most need good teaching are the least likely to get those teachers. This is unethical. Second, we actually do know how to change this, so I am going to concentrate on explaining to you what the elements are of what it would take to change this. Let me make the problem as clear to you as possible. We want to improve the learning of U.S. students, but we don't have a system to supply skilled teachers to every classroom. Right now, teachers are considered qualified simply by participating in an approved program or completing an academic major. This means that being qualified does not depend on demonstrating that you can teach. Imagine if we allowed pilots to earn licenses without assessing whether they could fly or granted medical licenses to people who had merely excelled in biology. What we currently do to supply teachers to classrooms is dangerous for our Nation's students. It is not an overstatement to tell you that this is a problem of crisis proportions. We must stop wasting energy debating whether teachers recruited one way or another are more effective. My argument is not an argument for or against either so-called traditional or alternative pathways into teaching. What matters most is that graduates of any pathway be capable of effective practice. Many people have ideas about how to improve teaching. Some think we should make it easier for people to enter the classroom. Some propose that we fire bad teachers, pay good ones more, or create incentives to recruit better teachers. And although all of these may sound sensible to you, none of them is sufficient to solve the core problem that ensuring that every teacher in every classroom can do the work we are asking of him or her. There are two reasons why training--training--is crucial. One has to do with the nature of the work of teaching itself, and the other has to do with what I am going to call the scale problem. First, despite how commonsense, commonplace it may seem, teaching is far from simple work. I did it myself for over 17 years, and so I speak from experience as well as from the research I have done. Doing it well requires, as Congressman Kildee said, detailed knowledge of the domain for which you are responsible for teaching the students and a lot of skill in making it learnable. In my written testimony, I provided you with a simple example of a math problem to give you some experience of the difference between doing a math problem and knowing it well enough so that you could teach fourth grade. Teaching also requires good judgment and a tremendous capacity to relate to a wide range of young people. It involves a few other really important things, too, such as the ability to manage a classroom, to interpret data on student performance, to use appropriate instructional tasks, to conduct a productive discussion with a group of 30 sometimes unwilling young people, and to communicate with their parents. By the way, it may be important for you to realize that raising standards for K-12 education, which many States are doing, will make teaching still more demanding. Teaching complex academic skills and knowledge, not to mention preparing students for working collaboratively in an increasingly networked world, is considerably more difficult than teaching basic skills. So my first point is that teaching is complex work and requires more than being smart and caring about kids. Here is my second point. Building teaching quality is a problem of massive scale. The teaching force numbers over 3.6 million. No other occupation in the United States even comes close to that size. This means that we have to help large numbers of regular Americans develop the ability to teach effectively. Even if super smart and highly educated people could teach effectively without training--and a few do, but most don't--there simply aren't enough such people to fill every classroom in this country. And in this next 5 years, we are going to need many, many new teachers due to a massive wave of retirement. Some estimates go as high as 1.7 million new teachers in the next 7 years. But there is hope. We do actually know what to do to fix this. We must establish specific standards for teaching practice and build a professionally valid licensure system. Assessments would focus on teachers' content knowledge of the kind I described a moment ago, their actual skill with working with the instructional practices most important for students' learning, and their persistence in working to make sure that every one of their students learns. These assessments would be substantially different from the ones we currently have in this country which do not, for the most part, focus on the ability to teach. To prepare teachers for these standards, we would need to design a system of high-quality rigorous training that is centered on practice. This system would have three key components: A curriculum focused on the highest leverage instructional practices, and the specialized knowledge of the academic domain that teachers are responsible to teach; second, close practice and feedback in clinical settings so that teachers can be deliberately taught and explicitly coached with the skills to reach a wide range of learners; and third, highly credible and predictive professional assessments of knowledge and skill, so that no one enters a classroom without demonstrated capacity for effective performance as a beginning teacher. In conclusion, students must have teachers who are prepared to help them learn, not beginners who are struggling with their responsibilities. Allowing teachers to learn on our young people is unethical. Teaching is intricate work that can be learned to high levels of skill with appropriate training. We have not done that yet in this country through any approach. It is time to mobilize the expertise, knowledge and will to build a system that can supply skilled teachers to our Nation's classrooms. Thank you. [The statement of Ms. Ball follows:] Prepared Statement of Deborah Ball, Dean, School of Education, University of Michigan My name is Deborah Ball. I am a former public school elementary school teacher and currently professor and dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I conduct research on mathematics teaching and learning. Every summer I also teach mathematics to fifth grade students who are struggling in school. My goal is to provide you with an overview of the problem that is often called ``teacher quality'' and to explain what it would take to get high quality teaching at scale in our nation's classrooms. I hope you will remember two things from my testimony: First, what we are doing in this country is unethical. We let people start teaching who have not yet demonstrated that they can perform. And, further, the students who most need skillful and highly effective teachers are least likely to get them. Second, we know how to change this and must do so deliberately and without delay. I will explain the key elements of what it will take. Let me begin by explaining the problem that we must urgently try to remedy: We do not have a coherent system to supply skilled teachers to every classroom and to every student in this country. This is a problem of crisis proportions when we consider the persistent underachievement of American young people, and of schools that lack the resources and expertise to prepare our youth for this rapidly changing global society. Every profession has this problem. There is a difference between reading about how to put in an intravenous line and the first time one tries to do it on a patient. Or landing an airplane in fog, rain, or blowing snow using only the instrument panel. These skills take both head knowledge and hand knowledge, and they take time to develop. In no other profession in this country do we presume that people who are trying something for the first time, or second, or third, can be given full responsibility for the task or left alone to figure it out. Many people have ideas about improving ``teacher quality.'' Some proposals focus on how to identify and fire incompetent teachers. Others seek to increase the pay of teachers who are effective in producing student learning. Still others create incentives to attract more bright people to the teaching profession. And some focus on restricting the programs through which teachers may be prepared for practice. Not one of these is sufficient to solve the core problem: that of ensuring that every teacher, in every classroom, can do the work we are asking of him or her. What we need is quality teaching. This is a problem of training, both initial and continuing, and not merely one of sanctions, rewards, or other incentives. There are two reasons why: First, despite how commonplace it may seem, teaching is far from simple work. Doing it well requires detailed knowledge of the domain being taught and a great deal of skill in making it learnable. It also requires good judgment and a tremendous capacity to relate to a wide range of young people, understand culture, context, and community, and manage a classroom. It requires interpreting and using data to improve the effectiveness of instruction. And as we seek to increase the academic standards and demands that we want our young people to meet, the challenges of good teaching will only escalate. Teaching complex academic skills and knowledge, not to mention skills of collaboration, interaction, and Second, building teaching quality is a problem of massive scale. The teaching force numbers over 3.6 million--a staggering size. No other occupation even comes close. This means that it is crucial that we create high quality teacher education and professional development that will help large numbers of regular people develop the ability to teach effectively, whoever their students are. Simply recruiting bright people to the profession or providing incentives to effective teachers cannot come even close to solving the problem. One problem is that although one needs to know the domain really well, accomplished experts and very smart people are not automatically good at making their expertise explicit to others. And they can have a really hard time figuring out how someone else is thinking. The following simple example illustrates my point. Compute the basic multiplication problem 49 times 25. The answer? 1225. Can you figure out why a fourth grader might think the answer was 1485? Try to figure out what steps would produce this result: 49 x 25 ------ 405 108 ------ 1,485 (If you cannot figure it out, I provide an explanation at the end.\i\ Don't worry: Interestingly, most mathematicians are stumped by this, too.) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \i\ 9 x 5 = 45. If someone ``carries'' the 4 and places it above the 4 in 49, and adds the 4's together (4 + 4 = 8) and then multiplies 8 x 5, the result is 40; hence, 405 on the first row. Similarly, if someone multiplies 5 x 2 = 10, writes the 1 above the 4 in 49, and then adds 1 + 4 = 5, and multiplies 5 x 2 = 10, the result is 108. In this multiplication, the ``carried numbers'' must be added after multiplying, not before. Can you explain why, beyond saying that you were taught to do it that way? Teachers not only need to be able to figure out, swiftly, what processes might lead to difficulties, but they must also be able to explain or remedy in ways that students can understand. Being able to do this is more than simply knowing how to multiply. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- This example helps to show the kind of insight about the subject that teachers must have in order to help others learn the subject. Even if very smart and highly educated people could teach effectively without training, there are just not enough such people to fill every classroom in this country. And skilled teaching requires much more than being ``good at math'' or being a good writer. To achieve high levels of learning for all our nation's students, good professional training and assessment of teaching are essential. We need to build a system so that all beginning teachers can perform competently from their first day in the classroom, no matter how they enter teaching. Right now, teachers are considered ``qualified'' simply by virtue of graduating from an accredited program or completing a major in the subject that they teach. This sidesteps the real issue, for it relies on poor proxies for teaching effectiveness instead of demonstrated capacity to do the actual work that will help students learn. This is perilous for our students. The initial training of teachers must be connected to a comprehensive curriculum of professional training and licensure that spans pre-service education through at least the first five years of teaching practice, with corresponding assessments providing information about teachers' increasing competence as they become more experienced. This approach is a significant departure from current practice in which teachers start teaching with little training in the complex work of teaching and are expected to learn this work from experience. Experience is an unreliable method of learning in any domain, from athletics to skilled trades to teaching. Although knowledge and skill can improve with experience, mislearning often develops and is Three key elements must comprise the redesign of teacher training: 1. Focus teachers' preparation on the work of teaching to high levels of skill and detailed and specialized knowledge of the academic content they teach; 2. Provide a range of settings for close practice and feedback so that teachers can be deliberately taught and explicitly coached with the skills to reach a wide range of learners; and 3. Develop highly credible and predictive assessments of professional knowledge and skill so that no one enters a classroom without fundamental capacity for effective performance as a beginning teacher. At the heart of this system must be a set of core skills of teaching that are crucial to student learning. No beginning teacher should be allowed to teach young people if he or she cannot perform these flexibly and skillfully. These include skills of communicating content clearly to students, holding students to high standards while explicitly showing students how to do complex work, establishing and maintaining a productive classroom climate, interpreting and using evidence of student performance, and connecting effectively with students' families. In addition, teachers must demonstrate the detailed knowledge of subject matter needed to help students learn it. This is not how we prepare teachers in this country today. What is needed is an explicit curriculum to develop teachers' skills with these tasks and a system of performance assessments to determine whether teacher candidates can perform each one competently. This curriculum must also include carefully designed and sequenced opportunities to practice these skills in a variety of settings. Teacher candidates must demonstrate proficient performance with each set of skills before they are granted an initial teaching license. We must build a professionally valid licensure system that requires all teacher candidates to demonstrate the required level of capacity to teach young children responsibly. The assessments would focus on measuring teachers' content knowledge used for teaching, their actual skill with the instructional practices most important for student learning, and their persistence in working to make sure that every one of their students learns. These assessments would be different from the ones we currently have in this country which do not, for the most part, focus on the ability to teach. These assessments will rigorously measure teachers' ability to mobilize knowledge in teaching and to do actual tasks of teaching. Examples include diagnosing students' learning difficulties, designing a test, conducting a discussion, giving pupils feedback on their work, choosing and using strategic instructional examples, and interpreting data on student progress and using it to calibrate instruction. My argument is not an argument for or against either ``traditional'' or ``alternative'' pathways into teaching. We should encourage multiple pathways into teaching and multiple providers of training in order to recruit the diverse teaching force that our country needs. What is most important is that graduates of any pathway must be capable of effective practice. Students must have teachers who are prepared to help them learn, not beginners who are struggling with or naive about their responsibilities. Allowing teachers to learn on our young people is unethical. Teaching is intricate work that can be learned to high levels of skill with appropriate training. What we need in this country is a professional continuum that would provide teachers with high- quality training in increasingly advanced practice, and that would tie We need to consider along with what I have described here significant changes in the educational infrastructure in this country--in the organization of schools, teachers' work, and their compensation. For example, schools should be set up to provide integral support for early career teachers so that they can more effectively and rapidly increase their professional skill, just as hospitals support beginning nurses. Teachers with different levels of license should have different assignments in schools and should be compensated differentially. Schools would need to be staffed to include teachers of all levels of licensure to ensure that all schools have the full complement of professional expertise. To make use of that expertise in improving students' learning, teachers' professional work days would have to include--as they do in other countries--time and space for interaction with other teachers of these different levels of expertise, with a focus on examining student performance, student difficulties, curriculum issues, and on developing focused instructional strategies. All of this, too, is what we see in other professions. Finally, we need in this country an appropriately-resourced and expertly directed system of design, development, and research that will produce the evidence base and resources to make it possible to accomplish high levels of success in K-12 education. Doing this would require a coordinated plan to build the knowledge and tools to achieve these specific goals. To be effective, this comprehensive system of design, development, and research must be oriented toward understanding and solving our core problems of education and must be fundamentally rooted in and connected to practice and policy. One important footnote to all of this is that this work I am describing would be helped immeasurably if we had a common ambitious curriculum for K-12 schools--consisting of goals, standards, and metrics for their attainment--that would provide a consistent and coherent infrastructure for teaching and learning. This curriculum would need to be accompanied by assessments that were well coordinated with this common curriculum and that could be used at scale with high degrees of reliability and validity. These assessments would use new technologies and the best expertise drawn from across disciplines to build a new suite of assessments to track the kinds of outcomes we must be seeking to achieve with all of our students. The most important point overall is that we must stop wasting energy debating whether teachers recruited one way or another are more effective. Instead, we must turn now to training people to do the real work of teaching and to building a system that can reliably supply good teaching to every pupil in our nation's classrooms, every year. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you very much. Dr. Salazar. STATEMENT OF PAMELA S. SALAZAR, ED.D., ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA Ms. Salazar. Thank you. Good afternoon, Chairman Miller and members of the committee. It is an honor to be invited to testify before you today on a topic of utmost importance, educational leadership. As stated earlier, I am a professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas where I coordinate a principal preparation program with Clark County School District, which is the fifth largest district in the country. I am a retired high school principal and a former physics, math, and computer science teacher. Educational leadership is a topic on which I have great passion and commitment. And I applaud the committee for including this important issue as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Research documents what educators inherently know: A strong principal is second only to a highly effective teacher in producing student learning and achievement. The renewed emphasis on school-level outcomes and student achievement places the school leader at the center of all school reform efforts. Today's principals and assistant principals are expected to be visionary leaders, instructional experts, building managers, assessment specialists, disciplinarians, community builders and more. They are also the ones ultimately held responsible for student achievement. Therefore, it is imperative that we do a better job of preparing principals and other school leaders as well as supporting them to be able to meet the needs of teachers and students. To create a consistently reliable process to develop, recognize, and retain effective principals, the National Board For Professional Teaching Standards has launched the development of a voluntary national certification for successful experienced principals, assistant principals and teacher leaders, known as National Board Certification For Educational Leaders. Assisting in this effort are the National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Middle Schools Association, the American Association of School Administrators, and representatives from higher education, district and State administration and professional associations. I had the honor of serving as the co-chair of the committee that developed the National Board of Standards For Accomplished Principals. These standards represent a professional consensus on the very unique practices that distinguish accomplished principals. They are cast in terms of the collaborative actions that accomplished principals take to advance learning to the very highest level for each and every child. These principals recruit, promote, and retain accomplished teachers. They improve the school culture and performance. They advocate for the profession and the needs of their school. And they purposefully engage families in the broader community in the school's vision and mission. I am now working on the development of the assessment that will form the foundation and the rich amalgam of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will characterize national board certified principals. Having a set of standards that define best practices allows the development of professional education that is targeted for the continuum of practice. As school leaders engage and reflect on their level of practice, and for those who hold the responsibility of preparing leaders, the standards continuum now offers the profession a much clearer view of the requirements of successful practice and leadership. As school districts seek to select and develop principals, assistant principals and teacher leaders that can lead the much-needed transformation of our schools, the existence of a continuum of standards to assist and identify accomplished practice is hugely beneficial. National board certification for principals will define and validate the requirements that identify an accomplished, effective, and results-oriented principal. As in medicine, law and other fields, it will support excellence, motivation, and prestige within the profession. Indeed, principals that meet these standards will have made a commitment to excellence in their schools and throughout their school districts. However, if principals and assistants principals are to meet the growing, ever-changing expectations of this very demanding position, they require continued professional development personalized to meet their individual needs. This is true for all school leaders, regardless of their initial preparation or their length of service. The educational challenge of the 21st century is to achieve high levels of learning for each and every student. As increased accountability becomes the norm, leadership becomes more challenging and demanding. In today's complex world, in schools beset with new kinds of issues and problems, the ability of the principal to improve the effectiveness of the school is the critical element in determining the kind of impact that the school will have on its students. There are no shortcuts to school success. But a serious examination of the leadership practices that can drive the quality and effectiveness of our schools is the most significant way that we can offer our neediest students that you referred to. These students deserve the better support to help them reach the high standards of excellence. Effective educational success depends on quality school leadership. This means that it is imperative that we attract, develop and retain the very best and brightest educational leaders to the profession to prepare students for the expectation of an ever-changing diverse population and global economy. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. [The statement of Ms. Salazar follows:] Prepared Statement of Pamela S. Salazar, Associate Professor of Practice, Department of Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Chairman Miller, Ranking Member Kline, members of the Committee. It is an honor to be invited to testify before you today on a topic of utmost importance: educational leadership. I am Pamela S. Salazar, an associate professor of practice in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am the coordinator of the Collaborative Principal Preparation Program, which is a joint venture between the Clark County School District and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, designed to prepare future administrators for positions within the Clark County Schools. I am a retired high school principal and a former physics, math, and computer science teacher. Additionally, I recently authored a book titled High-Impact Leadership for High-Impact Schools which has been adopted by numerous school districts across the country for both new principal induction programs and practicing principal leadership academies. I applaud the Committee for including this critical issue as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Research documents what educators inherently know--a strong principal is second only to a highly effective teacher in impacting student learning and achievement. The renewed emphasis on school-level outcomes and student achievement places the school leader at the center of all school reform efforts. Today's principals and assistant principals are expected to be visionary leaders, instructional experts, building managers, assessment specialists, disciplinarians, community builders, and more; they are also the ones ultimately held responsible for student achievement. Research also shows that it is imperative that we do a better job of preparing principals and other school leaders to be able to meet the needs of teachers and students. Effective principals must possess strong coping skills, high cognitive functioning, emotional intelligence and a thorough understanding of the complex nature of the job. They understand that their expectations and actions set the tone for the school culture. The most effective principals set a vision and create a school culture that positively influences student outcomes. These attributes are most important in those dedicated educational leaders taking on the challenge of turning around the lowest-performing schools where they potentially have the greatest impact. To create a consistently reliable process to develop, recognize and retain effective principals, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has launched the development of a voluntary national certification for successful, experienced principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders known as National Board Certification for Educational Leaders. Assisting in this effort are the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Middle School Association, American Association of School Administrators and representatives from higher education, district and state administration and professional associations. I had the honor of serving as co-chair of the committee that developed the National Board Standards for Accomplished Principals. These standards represent a professional consensus on the unique practices that distinguish accomplished principals. They are cast in terms of the collaborative actions that accomplished principals take to advance learning to the highest level for every child: to recruit, promote and retain accomplished teachers; to improve school culture and performance; to advocate for the profession and the needs of their school; and to purposefully engage families and the broader community in the school's vision and mission. We are now working on the development of the assessment. This assessment will form the foundation for the rich amalgam of knowledge, skills and dispositions that will characterize National Board Certified Principals. Having standards that define best practices allows for the development of professional education targeted for the continuum of practice. As school leaders engage and reflect on their level of practice and for those who hold the responsibility for preparing leaders, the standards continuum offers the profession a much clearer view of the requirements of successful practice. As school districts seek to select and develop principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders that can lead the transformation of schools, the existence of a continuum of standards to assist and identify accomplished practice is hugely beneficial in the selection, training, and development of aspiring and practicing principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders. National Board Certification for Principals will define and validate the requirements that identify an accomplished, effective and results-oriented principal. As in medicine, law and other fields, it will support excellence, motivation and prestige within the profession. The National Board's analysis shows that principals support the prospect of advanced certification that recognizes the importance of instructional leadership, organizational change and community involvement--as well as the principal's essential role in school management. An NBPTS survey found that 83 percent of school leader respondents and 69 percent of district leaders respondents expressed interest in advanced principal certification. Both groups were most interested in a certification that would better prepare principals to lead systemic instructional improvement. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards envisions the highly effective and accomplished principal as one who has had a positive impact on student learning and achievement by creating a professional learning community that focuses on student needs, teacher retention and professional development as well as the incorporation of community and business groups in ensuring the success of every student. Though the diversity of environments and students throughout our nation make it naive to suggest that these principals will be lock-step to follow a single play book of ``do's'' and ``don'ts'', it is certain that they will all display the same characteristics critical to outstanding school leadership. Principals possessing these characteristics: Lead with a sense of urgency to achieve the highest results for all students and staff in their schools and build organizational capacity by developing leadership in others. Inspire their school to evolve into a learning community where teachers, community leaders and local businesses share a steadfast commitment to high achievement in student learning and strong instructional practice. Ensure that strategic management systems and processes are designed and implemented so that the primary focus of their school is teaching and learning. Most importantly, these principals will be ethical leaders, whose continuous advocacy for equitable learning conditions and opportunities is matched only by a humility which guides them to continually reflect on their practice. In this manner, these principals will not only continue to grow personally and professionally, but also they will serve as an example to other principals striving to improve their own practice and schools. Indeed, principals that meet these standards will have made a commitment to excellence in their schools and throughout their school districts. They will help refine and develop new systems by which we measure, evaluate and reward principals. If principals and assistant principals are to meet the growing, ever-changing expectations of this demanding position, they require continual professional development personalized to meet their individual needs. This is true for all school leaders, regardless of their initial preparation or their length of service. Today's educational environment of standards-based education and high accountability demands that principals are knowledgeable and skilled in instructional leadership, organizational development, community relations, and change management. Ongoing, job-embedded professional development is the key to developing this capacity in all school leaders. Although there is growing consensus on the attributes of highly effective principals, there is currently no reliable way to measure the performance of school leaders--or to recognize and reward them for their accomplishments. School districts should examine quantitative and qualitative data pertaining to both academic and nonacademic indicators in their evaluation of principals. The following measurements, in addition to student indicators, are recommended for assessing principal performance: self assessments; supervisor site visits; school documentation of classroom observations and faculty meeting agendas; climate surveys; teacher, other school staff, parent, and student evaluations; teacher retention and transfer rates; teacher and student attendance rates, and opportunities for student engagement through co- curricular and extracurricular activities and rates of participation. In measuring a principal's performance based on student indicators, States should use multiple assessments that are aligned with common standards, include performance-based measures, and measure individual student growth from year to year, including State assessments; portfolios, performance tasks, and other examples of a student's accomplishments; traditional quizzes and tests; interviews, questionnaires, and conferences; end-of-course exams; comprehensive personal academic or graduation plans; assessments aligned with high school and college entrance requirements; and senior projects. But while effective principals are key to a school's success, they are not the whole story and cannot be solely held accountable for a school's performance. Schools are a sum of many parts, each being integral to the whole. Changing one or two of the parts, even one as crucial as the principal will not guarantee the desired result. The lowest performing schools need whole school improvement, not piecemeal applications. The Administration's approach in its School Improvement Grants and in ``A Blueprint for Reform'', requires the removal of a principal in perennially low-performing schools as part of the improvement process. This will not automatically result in dramatic, sustainable reform. Turning around low-performing schools and significantly improving student achievement requires, among other factors, a principal that has received appropriate training and mentoring to understand what principal and school leader should know and be able to do to effectively lead a school. Even more, it requires that the principal have access to appropriate data, a well-training workforce, and the authority and autonomy to place resources where they are needed most. Yes, it is important to be able to remove principals who cannot effective lead, but we should not adopt policies that assume the incompetency of every principal in our lowest-performing schools. Successful students and teachers need the support of effective principals and school leadership. The most accomplished principals create a school-based learning community that involves teachers, students, parents and the community. Additionally, the demands and complexity of 21st century education requires more than ever from these leaders. It is essential that we attract, develop and retain the best and brightest educational leaders to the profession to prepare students for the expectations of a global economy. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Dr. Winters. STATEMENT OF MARCUS A. WINTERS, SENIOR FELLOW, THE MANHATTAN INSTITUTE Mr. Winters. Chairman Miller, Congressman Castle, members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today on the important issue of teacher quality. The findings of modern research strongly confirm what parents, teachers, and school administrators have always known: The quality of a child's teacher is the most important factor within a school's control that determines the student's learning in a given year. The best estimates indicate that the difference for a student being taught by a good or a bad teacher amounts to about a grade level's worth of learning at the end of the school year. Unfortunately, the current system fails to distinguish between our best and worst teachers. Nearly all teachers are rated satisfactory or higher according to their official evaluations. When the current system does distinguish between teachers, it is according to two attributes that researchers consistently find have little to no relationship to a teacher's performance in the classroom, the attainment of advanced degrees and years of experience. Researchers consistently find no discernable relationship between whether or not a teacher has a master's degree and the learning her students acquire during a given year. According to the research, the benefits from classroom experience seem to plateau after about the third to fifth years. Of course, some teachers do get better over time. But some teachers don't improve, while others burn out and actually get worse over time. In addition, whether an individual teacher is better at her job today than she was yesterday is insufficient for determining whether she is more effective than the teacher down the hall. Empirical studies consistently find that experience and other easily observed characteristics explain very little the difference in teacher effectiveness. That credentials and experience tell us so little about teacher effectiveness is disappointing because most school districts rely on those attributes alone to determine a teacher's salary. Teachers have responded to the incentive of their pay scale by pursuing unproductive advanced degrees. The percentage of public school teachers with a master's degree or higher has increased from about 24 percent in 1961 to about 52 percent today. It is common for school systems to determine layoffs based entirely on seniority within the system. Those ``first in, last out'' layoff rules are now coming into play as States across the country are finding it necessary to reduce their teaching staffs during this time of fiscal strife. The results of basing layoffs on factors unrelated to classroom effectiveness will be that many wonderful young teachers will be let go, and several poorly performing but more experienced teachers will remain in the classroom. Further, in most school systems, upwards of 95 percent or more teachers who remain in the classroom the 3 years or so required to become eligible for the job protections of tenure receive it. It is true that tenure only requires that a teacher cannot be fired without a due process proceeding. However, in practice, that due process is so burdensome and expensive that most administrators don't bother with it. For instance, just 10 of New York City's 55,000 tenured teachers were fired for any reason in 2007. Even if we were to believe that schools are capable of identifying and removing all of their ineffective teachers so early in their careers, the practice of tenure still essentially assumes that anyone not shown to be incompetent in their third year will be effective in the classroom in their 30th. Given the complexity of a teacher's job, it is not so surprising that the basic attributes like experience and credentials explain so little of their effectiveness. Qualitative attributes, such as the teacher's patience, classroom management skills and knack for presenting complex information clearly explain most of her influence on students' learning. Unfortunately, those attributes do not lend themselves to simple salary schedules or layoff policies. If we take the lessons of modern research seriously, we have to conclude that today's system has its priorities backwards. A better system would measure a teacher's actual performance in the classroom and then reward the most effective teachers or remove the least effective ones accordingly. The first step toward creating a better system is to improve teacher evaluations. School districts should replace the current evaluation system with one based in part on a teacher's measurable influence on students' standardized test scores. Data analysis is far from perfect, and it should certainly not be used in isolation in making employment decisions. But modern statistical techniques can raise red flags and thus help administrators to distinguish between teachers whose students excel and teachers whose students languish or fail. Once a school system has identified the best and worst teachers, it should act upon that information. States and districts should continue to experiment with different ways to tie some portion of a teacher's compensation to her performance in the classroom. Further, States should streamline the process for administrators to remove ineffective teachers once they have been identified. Unfortunately, local union affiliates continue to fight hard against some of this meaningful change. Consider New York's recent experience. When it appeared that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was prepared to use test scores as part of evaluating teachers for tenure, the city's teachers' union went to Albany and pushed through legislation making it illegal for any school system in the State to do so. Further with an estimated 15,000 teacher layoffs on the horizon in New York, it is the State's and city's teachers' unions that have stood strongest against proposed legislation that would grant discretion to principals so that they can determine which teachers should remain in the classroom. Some argue that it would be more productive for us to instead focus efforts on reducing class sizes for teachers. The argument for reducing class size depends on a single study from 79 public schools in Tennessee during the 1980s. It was a very good study. The study followed the high-quality random assignment design and found some evidence that student learning was greater in smaller class size environments. However, when taken to scale, the results of class size reduction programs have been disappointing. For instance, a study by the Rand Corporation found that California's class size reduction program has had no influence on student proficiency. It is essential to America's future to ensure that each of the Nation's public school classrooms is staffed with an effective teacher. The current system is incapable of achieving that goal. It is time for school systems to rethink the way that they evaluate, compensate and hold accountable public school teachers who are educating the Nation's youth. I look forward to your questions. [The statement of Mr. Winters follows:] Prepared Statement of Marcus A. Winters, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Chairman Miller, senior Republican Castle, members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today on the important issue of teacher quality. This is an issue that I have studied and written about extensively as a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. However, I emphasize that the opinions that I express here today are my own. The last decade and a half of empirical research has dramatically increased our understanding of teacher quality and the factors related to it. The findings of modern research strongly confirm what parents, teachers, and school administrators have always known: The quality of a child's teacher is the most important factor within a school's control that determines a student's learning in a given year. The best estimates indicate that the difference for a student being taught by a good or bad teacher amounts to about an additional grade level's worth of learning at the end of the school year. Unfortunately, despite the substantial variation in teacher quality, the current system fails to distinguish between our best and worst teachers. Nearly all teachers are rated satisfactory or higher according to their official evaluations. When the current system does distinguish between teachers it is according to two attributes that research consistently finds have little to no relationship to a teacher's performance in the classroom: the attainment of advanced degrees and years of experience. Researchers consistently find no discernible relationship between whether or not a teacher has earned a Master's degree and the learning her students acquire in a given year. Further, the positive experience with alternative certification programs such as Teach for America that recruit motivated, bright individuals without education backgrounds to teach in low-performing public schools shows that great teachers need not have ever attended a single course in an education college. The research evaluating the relationship between classroom experience and effectiveness is only slightly more encouraging. According to the research, the benefits from classroom experience plateau in about the third to fifth year. Of course, some teachers do get better over time. But some teachers don't improve, while others burn out and actually get worse over time. In addition, whether an individual teacher is better at her job today than she was yesterday is insufficient for determining whether she is more effective than the teacher down the hall. Empirical studies consistently find that experience and other easily observed characteristics explain very little of the difference in teacher effectiveness. That credentials and experience tell us so little about a teacher's effectiveness is disappointing because most school districts rely on those attributes alone to determine a teacher's salary. Teachers have responded to the incentives of their pay scale by pursuing unproductive advanced degrees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of public school teachers with a Master's degree or higher has increased from about 24 percent in 1961 to about 52 percent today. Under the current system, whether or not a teacher is allowed to remain in the classroom is nearly entirely a function of how many years she has been employed there already. It is common for school systems to determine layoffs based entirely on seniority within the system. Those ``first-in, last-out'' layoff rules are now coming into play as states across the country are finding it necessary to reduce their teaching staffs during this time of fiscal strife. The result of basing layoffs on factors unrelated to classroom effectiveness will be that many wonderful young teachers will be let go and several poorly performing but more experienced teachers will remain in the classroom. Further, in most school systems upwards of 95 percent or more of the teachers who remain in the classroom the three years or so required to become eligible for the job protections of tenure receive it. It's true that tenure only requires that a teacher cannot be fired from her position unless the school system first goes through a due process proceeding. However, in practice that due process is so burdensome and expensive that most administrators don't even bother with it. For instance, just 10 of New York City's 55,000 tenured teachers were fired for any reason in 2007. A common argument made by tenure's defenders is that school systems have effectively weeded out many of the low performers by the third year. However, even if we were to believe that schools were capable of identifying and removing ineffective teachers so early in their careers, the practice of tenure still essentially assumes that anyone not shown to be incompetent by her third year will be effective in the classroom in her thirtieth. Given the complexity of a teacher's job, it's not so surprising that basic attributes like experience and credentials explain so little of their effectiveness. Most of the qualities that differentiate a great teacher from a not-so-great teacher can't be collected in an administrative data set. Qualitative attributes, such as a teacher's patience, classroom management skills, and knack for presenting complex information clearly explain most of her influence on her students' learning. Unfortunately, those are attributes that do not lend themselves to simple salary schedules and layoff policies. If we take the lessons of modern research seriously we have to conclude that today's system has its priorities backwards. A better system would measure a teacher's actual performance in the classroom and then reward the most effective teachers and remove the least effective ones accordingly. The first step towards creating a better system is to improve teacher evaluations. Not all teachers in today's public schools are succeeding in the classroom, and that the current evaluation tools tell us otherwise makes them essentially useless. School districts should replace the current evaluation system with one based in part on a teacher's measurable influence on her students' standardized test scores. Data analysis is far from perfect, and it should certainly not be used in isolation to make employment decisions. But modern statistical techniques can raise red flags and thus help administrators distinguish between teachers whose students excel and teachers whose students languish or fail. Once a school system has identified the best and worst teachers, it should act upon that information. States and districts should continue to experiment with different ways to tie some portion of a teacher's compensation to her performance in the classroom. Further, states should streamline the process for administrators to remove ineffective teachers after they have been identified. The political hurdles to adopting such a reasonable system are daunting. Though we have heard some encouraging words from the American Federation of Teachers at the national level, local union affiliates continue to fight hard against meaningful change. Consider New York's recent experience. When it appeared that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was prepared to use test scores as part of evaluating teachers for tenure, the city's teachers union went to Albany and pushed through legislation making it illegal for any school system in the state to do so. Further, with an estimated 15,000 teacher layoffs on the horizon in New York due to stressed budgets, it is the state and city teachers unions that have stood strongest against proposed legislation that would replace the state's law requiring layoffs to occur according to seniority with legislation granting discretion to principals so that they can determine which teachers should remain in the classroom. The unions and other defenders of the current system also frequently argue that it would be more productive to focus efforts on reducing class size rather than removing ineffective teachers. The argument for reducing class size depends on a single study from 79 public schools in Tennessee during the late 1980's. The study followed a high quality random assignment design and found some evidence that student learning was greater in smaller class size environments. However, when taken to scale, the results of class size reduction programs have been disappointing. For instance, a study by the Rand Corporation found that California's class size reduction program has had no influence on student proficiency. It is essential to America's future to ensure that each of the nation's public school classrooms is staffed with an effective teacher. The current system's failure to accurately measure teacher quality, its emphasis on rewarding teachers for attributes unrelated to their effectiveness, and its powerful protections for even the worst teachers makes it incapable of achieving that goal. It is time for school systems to rethink the way that they evaluate, compensate, and hold accountable the public school teachers who are educating the nation's youth. I look forward to answering your questions as this important discussion moves forward. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Thank you to all of you for your testimony. Let me see. How do I proceed here? I think this panel's testimony is compelling to the idea that we should give serious consideration, after my 36 years on this committee, of maybe breaking with the past and starting to think how people arrive at the decision to become a teacher and then how, whether or not that individual enters the field and what happens to them then, and whether we are going to, after all of the rhetoric, we are going to, in fact, decide there is something to this, that that is a profession. And if you look across the board at other professions, it seems that the training never really stops. I am a lawyer. You have the continuing education of the bar. You have to take units. I don't know if it is any good or not. I am inactive, but I don't know. But it seems everybody throws up something in terms of training. If you are a firefighter, the training never stops. If you are a police officer, the training never stops, and if you are a doctor. But it also seems a lot of people enter those fields being trained for what they are going to do when they enter the field, and yet in teaching, a lot of people can still walk through the side door, given the circumstance of a district, where they happen to be, who knows whom, and all of a sudden, there you are, because you have the credential, and in some cases, that is enough. But we have sort of enabled this to go on and on and on. To what extent the Federal Government can change that is what this debate is about. And Dr. Ball, you talked about the redesign of teacher training, but the three steps you lay out don't look a lot like what I think or have been led to believe most teacher training programs look like. They come later. You get your credential. You have gotten your major degree. You get a credential, and then people talk about training you. When I look at the three things you outline, it would seem to me that some of that has to occur beforehand. I mean, I don't know what schools of education do. I don't see any evidence that they do much. But I need to know, how do we back this up so that people come with greater skill sets? We try to develop those skill sets. This is a very complex job. Ms. Salazar. Yes, it is. Chairman Miller. And I think that is the point of your testimony. If you don't mind, please respond. Ms. Ball. Thank you for the opportunity to take that up. Indeed my argument was that it is crucial to ensure that we establish standards for entry to the profession, and I was quite clear about saying I think that can be provided, potentially through a multitude of pathways, that schools of education should and can provide that sort of training, but so could that be done through other pathways. What is crucial is to establish the bar that someone needs to meet in order to be allowed to practice independently on students. We do that with, as you said, many other professions and, in fact, many trades in this country don't allow people to perform what we consider to be skilled trades without actually having a license. You don't have someone come to your house to repair a disposal who doesn't actually know how to work on drains. I think that what we haven't done here is to establish a key set of things that we don't think any young person should have a teacher who can't do those things. I think it would require articulating a continuum where the training you describe for ongoing learning, that some of those things would be things people would learn as they became more expert. My colleague here referred to the fact that teachers don't improve with experience. I think it is quite easy to point to the fact that much of the training provided to teachers as they advance through the profession doesn't enable increasing skills. In fact, if it were inherently true that nobody improved after 3 years of teaching, then we would see that around the world. And we don't actually see that around the world. In countries where the professional education system is much more substantial and helps people to become more and more accomplished professional teachers, you don't see that leveling off at the third or fourth year. It is entirely due to the fact that, in this country, the kind of professional training that is available to teachers is often weak, and I think the drive to pursue these so-called useless master's degrees is a quest by teachers to seek additional professional training. The master's degree on its own isn't valuable or not. It has to do with what is inside that degree or any other form of professional training. So, in sum, I think that we need both to ensure that beginning teachers know their content well enough to be responsible to teach it to young people, but we need also to articulate a set of basic skills of teaching, including managing the classroom, conducting a discussion, assessing student learning, using data, communicating with the home. And we should not allow people to be practicing on young people. Chairman Miller. But you are still describing currently, and I am not asking you to defend the system, but you are still describing a system that currently is hit or miss. Ms. Ball. Right now, people become licensed without having to demonstrate they can do any of those things. As I said, people become licensed currently by completing an approved program or in other routes by having a degree in the subject. Neither of those is what I am describing. I am describing an assessment system where we would hold any program accountable for demonstrating that its candidates for whom it was recommending for licensure could actually do those things before they enter; that is, do them with students, conduct a discussion, call up a parent and have a sensible conversation about a student difficulty, diagnose a common error that a student makes in learning reading. We allow people to begin teaching who have not demonstrated they can do those things. And the system that was changed would require any program to prepare people to pass that set of assessments. That is not the system we currently have. Chairman Miller. Thank you. Mr. Castle. Mr. Castle. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Dr. Winters, in your testimony, you indicate that research shows that certain factors, such as smaller class size and I think you mentioned tenure in there as a feature, have little impact on student achievement. Can you tell us what skills are necessary in order to produce good teachers? Mr. Winters. The short answer is, no. The problem is-- right, reducing class size has been found in small experiments to have positive effects. As far as what are the overall attributes for good teaching, I am not sure. I don't know that--I am not sure that we know that as profession. Maybe some of my colleagues would disagree about that. My view of the research is that we know that there is enormous variation in the quality of teachers, but very little of what we try to explain that variation, even studies that use things like the courses that students have taken in college, SAT scores seem to correlate with this some but not as much we would hope. A lot of those attributes don't explain very much of that variation. So I actually think that a lot of teaching is innate and not something that we are seeing that we are producing, which leads me to believe that a better system would allow people to become teachers, identify who is good at it, and do the best we can, no matter why they are good at it, what they are doing to be good at it, and do the best we can to keep those people in the classroom. Mr. Castle. Leading into this question, which is, do you have any thoughts about the difference between alternative certification programs and traditional routes of certification in terms of either quality of teachers or methodologies which are used? Mr. Winters. I think the research on those things is still pretty young, but so far, the experience with alternative certification programs has been generally positive. Now you do see wide variation among teachers who come through alternative routes as well, but again, we see enormous variation in the quality of teachers who come through the more traditional routes, which again I think goes to the point where some people are just wonderful at teaching. And what we should be doing is trying to get smart people into the classroom and provide them with the training. I don't think it is correct to say teachers need no training. So I don't want to say that. But I do think what we should be trying to do is, through alternative certification routes and others, is to put smart people in front of the classroom and evaluate them afterwards and try to get the bad ones out and keep the good ones in. Mr. Castle. Dr. Salazar, almost all principals I know come from teacher ranks. I guess that is generally true throughout the country. Is there any experimentation or has anyone looked into alternative methodologies of bringing people into principal ranks who don't necessarily come up through the teacher ranks? And if so, is there any judgment as to whether that is successful or not in any way? Ms. Salazar. I have to tell you that, in terms of research around that topic, I am not aware of any. I am sure that someone has done research taking a look at alternative route to the principal. And certainly there are different certifications required across the States in terms of who can be a principle and who can't. That is not the case in Nevada. Everyone does come from the ranks of the teacher. And so I don't have--I can get information back to you on that, but I don't really have any information on that. Mr. Castle. Thank you. Ms. Weingarten, you said someplace, and unfortunately, it is sort of disconnected from other things you said in my mind, and I agree with you completely on this, that we need to look at out of school factors. And that is true, obviously, in terms of how we are educating kids. But I am not sure exactly how you intended that when you said it, looking at out-of-school factors, in terms of judging teaches or in terms of what we as a society should be doing with respect to educating kids. Ms. Weingarten. What we need to do is, I think, three things, one, and today we are focused on the paths to great teaching and great teachers, and but the second thing is, and none of us actually focused on this as much we should today, there is a need to have a broad, engaged curriculum. Chairman Miller and this committee have been talking about that in the context of common standards and assessments that are aligned with common standards, but an engaged curriculum, rigorous curriculum, that includes art and music and physical education but is deep in terms of social studies and science is very important as a lock-in with great teachers and great teaching. And the third point was that poverty can't be an excuse for student to not have the engine of opportunity. But what we have seen is that if you do, if you find ways to compete with poverty, schools alone and teachers alone will never be able to do this. And I disagree with my friend, Marcus, on the other side of the table, because you can't, teachers alone can't do this. Maybe in isolated circumstances, yes. But what we have seen is that in schools and districts that have wraparound services, community schools where the schools itself are the hub for these outside services, like health care, after-school care, some social services, you see a way of being able to level the playing field for poor kids and narrowing the achievement gap. So what I am saying is, we need to deal with all three, not use out-of-school factors as an excuse, but help kids by dealing with all three. And so what we have actually proposed for an overhaul of teacher development and evaluation is by focusing on shared responsibility, as opposed to just top-down accountability. When teachers, for example, will say, I need to lower class size so I can differentiate instruction among and between children, that is the import of class size. Or I can identify that this child needs some other additional supports; I can do what I can do instructionally, but you have to help me get those other supports for this child. That is what we are talking about when we talk about a holistic development and evaluation plan that includes access to wraparound services. And that, Congressman, is exactly what New Haven has just done, which is why I am so fixated on New Haven. Mr. Castle. Thank you all so much. Chairman Miller. Mr. Kildee. Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Ball, I really appreciate your recommendations to reform the way we prepare our teachers in this country. If we were to move forward with these recommendations, what is the Federal role, and can we learn anything from other professions? You know, a century ago in Ireland or France or Germany, very often in a small village, the most educated and the person turned to the most in that village would be the priest, the lawyer, the physician, and the teacher. These were the professions that really were the founts of knowledge in those villages. Can we learn something from other professions as we prepare teachers for their responsibilities? Ms. Ball. Thank you, Representative Kildee. I think that, on the second question first, from other professions, in fact, other clinical professions and in particular ones which work with young people, so I gave the example of flying a plane, but it may be more appropriate to think of professions where people work with people, where there is an uncertainty of how you work with a young person, how you work with a client if you are a psychologist. And in fact, a colleague at Stanford University, Pam Grossman, and her colleagues have conducted a study of preparation in other professions to learn more about the clinical preparation in other fields. And in fact, they do much better at teaching the clinical skills, at breaking them down, at naming them, at rehearsing them and coaching them and assessing people on them, so I disagree with my colleague that teaching can't be taught. And in fact, I would argue that it is highly dangerous to take a policy strategy that permits people to be tried out in classrooms and fire those later who don't produce results. There are real children in those classrooms who are suffering under the teaching of people who later find out they can't do it. Let me give you a simple example. When a child makes an error in elementary mathematics, as the kind that I produced in my written testimony for you, you don't want somebody teaching in that classroom who is mystified by that error. You want somebody who can rapidly size up what the difficulty is that the student is having and who has three or four key leverage things to do next to help the children learn. It is deeply dangerous to put people into classrooms who can't quickly recognize the errors that kids make and can diagnose them and move on, and that is precisely what other diagnostic human professions have done is put people with knowledge, give them lots of practice, and identify them when patients or clients have those difficulties and having the strategies to deal with them. I can't understand a strategy in which we think it is permissible to put people into classrooms who are smart and hope that after 2 or 3 years, they have done well. And if they haven't, we fire them. Those are real children in those classrooms. And I think it is unconscionable to think that that is a reasonable policy strategy. When you ask about the Federal role, I think there are things the Federal Government can be doing in supporting more integration of common content in this country. It is very difficult to prepare teachers for their work when they teach entirely different content in different parts of the country, and I know that that is a very deeply problematic issue, but it is actually quite important to the improvement of teaching. I do want to close by saying one other thing, which is that the research on alternative routes versus other kinds of teacher education programs shows that they actually are very little different. One study shows a slight advantage to one, and one the other, but overall, the message I would like you to understand is that in no pathway or program are we preparing professionals adequately at the scale we need in this country, in no pathway whatsoever. Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. I was mystified, but I think it was because I was reading that math problem after a long jet trip. So I---- Ms. Ball. Did you solve it? Chairman Miller. Yeah, I solved it, that and cold fusion while I was waiting for my bags. I can't go back to classroom? Mrs. Biggert. You might be mystified, I am a little confused. Chairman Miller used the analogy of lawyers, and he is a lawyer, I am a lawyer, and my first job out of law school was clerking for a judge in the Court of Appeals. I got a really broad education with every kind of issue that came up. And then I was hired by a law firm, which I didn't do. I decided to practice on my own. And, you know, here having been doing this Socratic method and suddenly how do I write a real estate contract, how do I do probate? No clue. And nobody to help me, because I was on my own. So what do you do? You go to the continuing education and take--and go into the classes and talk to people there and get the idea. I don't--to me, maybe I am missing something, but it seems like if you get a good education in education in the schools and then you do student teaching--if you are a student teacher, you are working with another teacher who can be a mentor. And then I was a school board president and we had the mentoring that was very important to our school and every young teacher had a mentor who actually taped them in the classroom so that they could see what they were doing and even the other teachers. So it seemed to me that there was an awful lot of continuing education and we had days of teacher training. I don't always know how good that was, but teachers participated. It seems like to do all these things, really the three things that there probably should be done in school. I know Stanford has a 5-year program that the teacher has to do the 5-year program before they really get out, and I see Ms. Weingarten, you were kind of shaking your head about the student teaching. Ms. Weingarten. I have both taught and practiced law and we--teachers, and Dr. Ball said this already, but there is, in medicine, in law, in several other professions, the deliberateness of the training is much more intense than what you have in teaching. And so what you see in countries like Finland and Japan is a way in which--Finland spends a lot of time, as the chairman said, on the induction, and recruitment, and selection process of teachers, but what they do that is quite different than anything we do in the United States, is the focus on teacher development in school when teachers get there in real-time with professional development, not off the shelf from someone else. And they do this by having teachers work together, it is excruciatingly expensive, because what you are doing is taking teachers together, working together, diagnosing what kids need, building on each other's practice, polishing the stone, thinking about the craft, and, in some ways, like we do in grand rounds in medicine, like one does in a big law firm that I had the honor to work in. And that is how teachers really learn deeply to teach, but it costs a lot of money and that is why a lot of school districts never ever do it. Mrs. Biggert. If you have the LSAT for law, and then it is hard to get into medical school, do we need to raise the standards for getting into education to start out with? Ms. Weingarten. Well, it is both the issue of who comes in to teach, but I am focused on, regardless of who is there, how do we make them, how do we help create the versatility, both in terms of the content knowledge and in terms of the modes of transmission of teaching that Congressman Kildee talked about? And so ultimately, what happens in Finland is you have because of the value of teaching you have some of the ``it has become the most attractive profession to go into.'' In the United States, that is not the case. But the emphasis I am making, Congresswoman is that it is a craft that you learn, that those of us--and this is where I disagree with Mr. Winters, we are not that good. Mrs. Biggert. No, we are not ranked very well either. Ms. Weingarten. And even with my law degree and on Law Review and all of that, I was a blithering idiot the first few days I taught in schools. And ultimately it was the craft of learning with others and understanding content, but also how to do the things that Dr. Ball was talking about. And let me just finish by saying we see good models throughout the country now. Our real, our real obstacle is how to create both the capacity and replicability of that, so that it is not individuals or individual schools, but how do we do that throughout the country. Mrs. Biggert. Thanks. I yield back. Chairman Miller. Mrs. Davis. Mrs. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, thank you to all of you. I would love to sit here and have a long conversation with you because I really appreciate what you are saying. Maybe you are just picking up, Ms. Weingarten, you are talking about the capacity and replicability because one of the frustrations I guess that I have had in thinking about this, and having been a former school board member a number of years ago is that I don't think we have time to work on pilots throughout this country. And what I am seeking is, is there something--and I am not looking for the silver bullet either, I think none of us are, and as we reauthorize ESEA, language regarding evaluation that inspires, and also provides for the kind of tools that local school districts can really pick up and use and that they can have some way of having some way of verifying that what they are doing has some merit. I think the first question we have to ask sometimes is do evaluations matter? I mean, do we actually see that student achievement improves in schools that have, you know, what we might call as close as possible to a kind of state-of-the-art evaluation, I don't know if any of those exists, but maybe they do, and the question is it what role does the evaluation process play in that, so looking at that issue, but then how can we do this, because to me, giving grants to schools, giving them an application process and demonstrating that they are doing--I think it is going to be a little, perhaps like national board certification, which I think is fabulous, and I have been a been big champion of that and I love the idea of that as well in principalship. But we know there are certain individuals who are going to seek that, and we have to reach everybody here, we can't just do that. So what is it that we need, that we can do here in terms of evaluation, because what I keep feeling the pushback, you know, in whole or in part we don't want any link to test scores. Well, local school districts control a lot of that too. That is out of the hands of a lot of teachers, but the way in which teachers prepare students for that, to me, would be more significant than the actual score. So help me out here. I would love to be part of writing something that really makes a difference in this area. Ms. Weingarten. As Chairman Miller and I have had many conversations about this, and maybe we have, at the AFT, broken new ground on this, but in January, we talked about overhauling the teacher development and evaluation system, and having as a component of evaluation, both teacher practice and teacher standards, but also student learning. So some people think about student learning simply as standardized test scores, and I think about it as much broader than that. And your sense of urgency we feel as well. But what we are trying to do here is create some good practice and some good templates so that actual districts and unions could use them. And some of the researchers who helped design the evaluation frameworks that we released that day said to us allow for modeling. Don't come up with your own model, come up with frameworks that then districts and locals will use. In fact, what has happened since January is that we now have, and we are about to submit an i3 grant for 17 districts and local unions that are willing, over the course of the next year, to create this. We already have eight districts in New York and Rhode Island. And I see Congresswoman McCarthy there, she has been very helpful in helping us figure some of this out. We already have some of them on the ground doing this. The goal is to create a tipping point, to use this coming school year, and hopefully with a new reauthorized ESEA to promote a real overhaul of all of this, so that we are looking at what practice works and what doesn't, and then how do we replicate the practice that works and how do we jettison what doesn't work? And ultimately, if a teacher is floundering, how do we help the teacher? And if she doesn't make it, how do we weed her out of the profession? So if we had 25 or 50 pilots or an ability within the ESEA to really promote that within a year or 2, then in 3 years from now, we will have totally revamped teacher evaluation, which I think is the critical measure, development and evaluation, to solving teacher quality. Mrs. Davis. And what about--I think that is fine, but everybody else, how do we do something that in those 3 years, so we are not wasting that time also create the opportunity for others to look at some of the things that you are doing? Ms. Weingarten. What ends up happening is that there is with Race to the Top and with this focus on teacher preparation and evaluation now, people are sharing information, the likes of which they have not beforehand, but ultimately, if we just focus on the single test scores, just like right now, the antiquated 5-minute evaluations, we are not going to do any better in terms of teacher support than we are doing right now. Mrs. Davis. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. Ms. Woolsey. Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mrs. Weingarten, for bringing up the very subject of competing with poverty. Far too many of our Nation's students go to school hungry or without proper medical care. Many of them don't have someone at home to help with homework, or a safe place to go after school. And I believe what you just said, that schools and communities need to be able to offer these services to children and their families so that children are ready to learn when they enter the classroom. So we are talking about teachers and how we ensure that the teachers are the most qualified, et cetera, et cetera. How can we evaluate teachers have wraparound services available in their school districts with those who do not? I mean, what are we going to do? It is going to be the poor districts that need it the most that are going to have the hardest time. I will start with that with you, if you have an answer. Ms. Weingarten. And Congresswoman Davis, I think, in some ways said this, we have to build these planes and fly them at the same time. We don't have a choice as school teachers. We have to help--so regardless of whether a teacher gets the support he or she needs, regardless of whether they have the support of principal, or we can say regardless of all of this, every single day a teacher has to try to do their best to create a connection and engagement with children. So there is a way, and I know the chairman and others have been talking about using growth models in terms of accountability as opposed the current AYP, that may be helpful in terms of this. But what we are also proposing for ESEA is this notion of shared responsibility and 360-degree accountability, so that as part of an accountability system, if a school does not have some of the wraparound services or programs that teachers believe kids need, that that is factored into accountability in some way, form or matter. But we can't wait for every school, as much as I--as much as we yearn for kids to have these programs we are not going to be able to wait for every school to have wraparound program for us to be able to focus on what teachers can be able to do and how we engage with kids. Ms. Woolsey. So would you take wraparound programs, and tell the members and everybody what you consider the basics of a wraparound program? And will they be the same for every district, or will they change depending on? Ms. Weingarten. Congressman Hoyer has, and I know you, Congresswoman Woolsey, have done this as well, you have bills about wraparound programs in community schools. What we have proposed is that there is a bucket of services that schools should be able to either access and coordinate with other not- for-profits. Now the Race to the Top has some of this as part of the promise neighborhoods. We have actually said, let's downsize that to actual schools. And so those services could include health services that could be paid for through the SCHIP program; they could include social services; they could include after-school services; they could include in a high school, services for parents, ELL services, job development services in order to start really bringing parents into the school, having a school open 20 hours a day, 18 hours a day so that the school is really the center of community. So some of these services would--let's say you had 100 extra dollars, a school would then decide which service they could buy with $100. Maybe they couldn't buy all of it, but they could buy what was most necessary. Ms. Woolsey. I have a question for you, Mr. Winters. What is an effective evaluation program? Mr. Winters. An example of one or what would one look like? Ms. Woolsey. What would it look like? Mr. Winters. Well, I am part of the experimental, I think, there are a lot of things we need to try. I don't think the test scores alone, if that is where we are going, I don't think the test scores alone are the way to go. I think test scores are limiting and they are noisy, but they do provide important information that should be used as part of evaluation tools. I also think that principal evaluations and even peer evaluations can play an important role in those things. Part of that will have to be--there needs to be accountability on the principals and the peers to make sure that they have the incentives to make the right decisions about teachers as well. What all the correct weights of that are, I am not sure, and I think that is something we need to consider moving forward. But an evaluation system that we have now where 99 percent, or a little bit less or a little bit more of teachers are rated as satisfactory or exceeding, or excelling is, by far, off base of reality. Ms. Woolsey. I have used up my time. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. Mr. Loebsack. Mr. Loebsack. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank the panel for being here today. I just want to say at the outset, I really appreciate what you have had to say, Ms. Weingarten, about out of school factors, something I have tried to focus on since I have been here the beginning of January 2007. I like the idea of schools as sort of community centers. In some ways too, we have a school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Taylor Elementary School, that served that purpose quite well before the great flood of 2008, and they were inundated by the flood and they are coming back and doing that. Obviously it is important to the community as well. When you get a WIC program, for example, run out of the school and that sort of thing, it is sort of beyond what we think of as normal school activities. I have some concerns about some of what appears to be assumptions today, about sort of where we are already. Maybe part of that is because I am from Iowa, and maybe we take too much pride in what we already do in Iowa, and how well we do it. I am the first to admit there may be some false pride on my part. Chairman Miller. Really? Mr. Loebsack. The chair likes to hear me say that. But I do have a question, Dr. Ball, about your own research because--and I like what Congresswoman Biggert said, there are programs that are in existence, they may be inadequate, but there are student teacher programs, practicums, whatever the case may be. I guess I want to ask you sort of empirically, and maybe you can forward some of your articles to me; I would love to see that, I was an academic before I became a congressman so I am very interested to see the actual evidence for what we are lacking. And if it is the case that this is true across the country or particular parts of the country, does it relate specifically to particular SES, or are we talking about race factors here, ethnicity, what are we talking about exactly when we talk about the inadequacy of teachers and the inadequacy of the teacher training programs? That seems to be the focus today. Ms. Ball. Thank you. So your question has to do with what kind of evidence do we have been the inadequacy of our current system? Mr. Loebsack. That would, in fact, demonstrate the problem, as I see it, that we are talking about today. Ms. Ball. I think it is, in fact, true, that an apprenticeship that we typically in the last 30 or 40 years referred to as student teaching, nobody has argued that that is not a good idea. I am not saying we shouldn't have student teaching. My claim is somewhat more detailed, which is it matters what happens inside of something called student teaching or inside a clinical experience. Most programs, alternatives or higher ed programs provide field or clinical experience, but often they leave to beginning teachers, basically to experience to experiment on kids, to get somewhat undetailed feedback from their mentors. Mentors need to learn how to provide feedback. A physician who is a competent surgeon doesn't automatically know how to provide feedback to a medical students. And, in fact, medical schools do a lot of work to help people to learn to do that. I am describing the need to become much more deliberate, as Ms. Weingarten said, about how we would provide much more deliberate clinical training. Right now what I would say is we have a situation where it is left somewhat to chance. And so the research on student teaching is highly inconclusive because all it really shows is the student teaching matter or not and you can't get much out of that because it depends on what happens in the student teaching. How good the teacher is, how whether the teacher is good at giving skilled feedback, like really careful feedback. Why did that lesson not go well? That requires a real ability to be analytic about a teaching act, and to be able to tell a beginner here is where it went wrong. So the research would show that most of the efforts to try to evaluate these things are too undetailed, and so we get very kind of messy, noisy result. And what I am arguing, in part, by looking at other professions is that we need a system that much more deliberately and systematically that you could count on someone who has initial training having learned particular things. So with all the talk about assessments that we are doing today, it is important to remember that although the assessments for both kids and teachers need to be improved, that without the training to help people achieve when they are given those assessments, children won't do better only by being tested and neither will teachers. So we need both better assessments. My argument for assessments primarily is because I think it will drive, it will, I hope, drive a greater appetite for much better training. If we have really good assessments that teachers and experts about teaching believed it were valid then we would actually build a market for developing good training which we don't currently very. Mr. Loebsack. Is there any concern by any of you all on the panel today that if we move forward in the direction that I think many of us here think we should move, including many on the panel, that we might have the same problem that some would argue we had with No Child Left Behind, and we sort of create a situation where we have a one-size-fits-all model, potential for one-size-fits-all model we come up with some kind of new law or regulations, whatever, when it comes to training--trying to train good teachers that it will not be nimble enough to deal with different parts of the country or parts of a State or whatever the case may be. Chairman Miller. Mr. Loebsack will take his answer off the air. We are going to go to Mr. Courtney. Mr. Courtney is going to be the last questioner of this panel, and then we will take the second panel, they'll present their testimony and we will pick up with Ms. Clarke, who I believe is next. Mr. Courtney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. The panel would like an answer to Mr. Loebsack's question, but I have got to move along here, we are going to lose opportunity. Mr. Courtney. Actually, my question was probably somewhat in the same vein, obviously we have looked at the New Haven contract in Connecticut very closely, read it from cover to cover and applaud the hard work that went into that work, where I think there is serious buy in both sides of the table in terms of a new way of approaching things. Again, I guess my concern is looking at the blueprint, which obviously is a very unfinished document and the devil is in the details when we get a bill here. Are you comfortable with whether or not they mesh or whether or not the challenge of building and flying at the same time may end up sort of crashing the contract, to put it bluntly? Ms. Weingarten. Building a plane and flying it at the same time always has its obvious problems, but I think in terms of education, we don't have a choice, because as Dr. Ball said, we are dealing with children every single day. So what we have by suggesting a change in the blueprint by saying that evaluations are critically important, but let's create some pilots so we can create a critical mass at the beginning of this process that then other districts can buy into, we think will actually, for the first time, change teacher quality fundamentally around the country. I think there are programs. And Congressman Loebsack, I have seen programs in Iowa that are absolutely terrific and we have see programs around the country that are actually terrific. But what we are proposing here is pilots that do both teacher development and evaluation, like what happened in New Haven. So you bootstrap all together, so an evaluation that is not simply a gotcha system or a snapshot system. It is the way in which you deal with the training piece that we have all talked about that has been totally and completely imperfect in schools so far. That is the big difference in terms of a change, a systemic change in schools. The point I am making about New Haven is that they did it through the vehicle of collective bargaining. So collective bargaining became a force for change and became a force for buy in. And they did it through a collaborative model and they met every single deadline that people were skeptical when the New Haven contract was first negotiated that it was just an agreement to a committee. What happened instead is they have actually met every single deadline and the evaluation plan that they came up with is a really good model throughout the country. So what we would propose is to have an opportunity to incentivize pilots in teacher development and evaluation so that we would have good practice around the country that one could look at as opposed to what unfortunately happened with No Child Left Behind, regardless of how laudatory the intent was is that you saw a lot of bad practice. You say basically teaching to the task instead of a real focus on teaching around learning. Mr. Courtney. Do you see that in the blueprint presented by the Secretary? Ms. Weingarten. That is why I am saying we would--one of our recommendations is to change the piece of blueprint that talked about evaluation and to say yes, of course, evaluation-- in our letter to the Secretary last summer about Race to the Top, we said evaluation is the Rosetta Stone, it is the critical need to really change it, overhaul it. And then in January, we came up with a proposal about how to do so. But what is happening around the country is that in the zeal to change evaluation systems, people are going and doing the easy route which is just to look at one test score. So we have gone from one snapshot of a principal coming in for 5 minutes a year to one test score, neither one of them work. We need to have this throughout full deliberate process that really changes fundamental evaluations. Mr. Courtney. Ms. Ball, you look like you want to weigh in. Ms. Ball. I think that is absolutely right that we have to have a system that promotes efforts on helping people learn to be better. We have a scale here of such size that while we can do things in the environment of schooling that certainly will matter, that we have a very large teaching force and I tried to sketch that it will have a need for even more entrants, that if we really want to improve the quality of what kids are going to be getting in the immediate future, we have to immediately change the way we are approaching both initial training and the assessment processes so that we can build a system we want, not merely test whether it works or not. We have to create a system that works effectively for young people. And if all we do is test and throw out the things that are not working, we are not improving it. And there is an urgent need to do that. I do want to say one thing, which is, I think these problems are inherently requiring of multiple forms of expertise, and one thing that concerns me is sometimes I think a distraction, who has the expertise to solve these problems? In fact, I think it requires working across higher ed, researchers, practicing teachers, teacher leaders, people in the unions. There are a lot of people of expertise for these problems, and when we try to locate the creation of solutions in only one of the these domains, I think we shoot ourselves in the foot, because these problem are complicated and we need multiple kinds of expertise to work together. So I encourage you to produce language that permits that kind of collaboration to continue, and perhaps increase over what have seen in the recent years. Chairman Miller. That is a very good place for this panel to end because we are going to call upon all of you to participate in the solving of this problem. Thank you very much for your testimony and for your time. I think it is clear from those who got an opportunity to ask the questions that you have given us a lot to think about here with respect to professionalization of our teacher core. Our next panel will come forward. Chairman Miller. Welcome to the committee, and if I might introduce the panel while they are taking their seats, our first witness will be Marie Parker-McElroy who is an instructional coach at Fairfax County public schools. She has an on-the-ground view of professional development for teachers and administration, she has experience transforming underperforming schools and blue ribbon schools in a period under 5 years. She will talk to us about what makes good professional development and how to use data to drive it. Monique Burns Thompson is the president of Teach Plus in Boston, an organization which works to support the retention of high quality teachers in the second stage of their careers with expanded leadership opportunities for financial incentives for success. She focuses on the development, management and delivery of training curriculum and gives new principals the skills and instructional and managerial leadership, previously worked as the special assistant to the superintendent of Philadelphia public schools, and was also an assistant principal. Chris Steinhauser is superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District, a district which has been honored with the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education. He is an educator with three decades in the Long Beach school system. He has been involved in the seamless education program, a partnership with California State University Long Beach to train teacher candidates on designing course work, and he will share his knowledge about the Long Beach teacher system and professional development. Jeanne Burns is with the Louisiana Board of Regents, an associate commissioner of the teacher education initiative and the Louisiana Board of Regents. She also serves as codirector of Blue Ribbon Commission for Education Excellence and recommends policies to improve teacher quality and holds teachers accountable to results. Dr. Burns previously taught special education and worked in district leadership roles in Florida, and Louisiana. She will talk about teacher professional development for teachers and teacher leaders placement issues and serving rural schools. Dr. Tony Bennett is the Indiana superintendent of public instruction. Dr. Bennett has served as Indiana superintendent of public instruction and served has for 9 years in a classroom a science teacher before beginning his career in administration. John Kaplan is the president of Walden University. As president, he focuses on efforts to attract diverse student population that provides students in engaging learning environment expands global learning opportunities. Prior to joining Walden University, Mr. Kaplan had a career in government public policy and law in Washington, DC. Serving as the White House chief of staff for the national economic council and special assistant as president for economic policy under President Clinton. Ms. McElroy, we will begin with you. Welcome to all of you. I think most of you are here and see how the lighting system works. It will begin with a green light, go to an orange and then ask you to wrap up with the red light comes on. Thank you, we look forward to your testimony and thank you for your time. STATEMENT OF MARIE PARKER-McELROY, INSTRUCTIONAL COACH, FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Ms. Parker-McElroy. Good afternoon, Chairman Miller and members of the committee, I am honored to be invited to bring the teacher and instructional coach perspective to this important conversation today. I am here to share my views and experiences and express my support for Congressman Polis's Great Teachers for Great Schools Act. Which directly addresses implementation of high quality, effective professional development, something that I am very passionate about. Let me start with the metaphor, for every surgeon beside an operating table, there are countless people behind the scenes making sure that the surgeon can save a life. For every teacher in the classroom, we have specialized professionals to support them, help them solve problems, encourage them, and make sure their students are receiving the best instruction possible. I am one of those professionals. Like surgeons, teachers cannot effectively perform in isolation, they require teamwork, continuous professional development and improvement. However most schools are not organized to support valuable team work. School structure and tradition forces many teachers to teach alone in isolation from their colleagues. I work with teachers to bust this trend, to make sure that they understand the data, the research, the best practices and the best ways to work together. Today I want to talk about the impact that professional learning has on teachers that I work with daily, and more importantly, the impact it has on students. At Grant Road Elementary, there is strong professional development in place. Most the professional development occurs among teams of teachers organized by grade level. Teachers are supported in developing understanding and practice of new strategies by engaging in activities explored in team-based meetings. We constantly check to see if what we are doing is making a difference for our students and revise our practice accordingly. We develop a sense of shared responsibility for our students' success. Let me tell you about one team in particular. This year I am working with a team of fifth grade teachers. At the beginning of the year, only 72 percent of our students passed the county assessment. We have studied the standards that 10- year-olds ought to achieve. We determined the knowledge and the skills students will need to meet these standards. We asked each other, what does it look like for each individual child in our classroom? We developed lessons and strategies for teachers to use with their students. This professional learning takes place in real-time, not months before in random lectures or workshops that occur away from our school. After implementing the strategies and lessons developed by the teams of teachers we study how the students responded to our lessons and whether they achieved the required standards. We immediately know if the students are achieving or not and we determine why. Our team uses the live feedback from the students to adapt our instructions. This continuous job-embedded and data-driven process of teams of teachers studying and implementing effective teaching practices aligned to students needs has produced significant academic gains for our students. One week ago, we retested our students and 91 percent of them passed. That is an increase of 19 percentage points gained in less than one full academic year. How did this happen? Teachers were involved in effective, real-time on the job professional learning with our their colleagues who know their students and what their students need to increase their success. Students in our classroom only have 36 weeks to learn the grade level standards. My teachers, and more importantly my students, don't have time to waste. Collaborative professional development allows them to learn from each other and access the tools and strategies they need when they need them to help our students achieve. A teacher and coach once said as a brand new teacher and having a personal connection to a coach who understood curriculum and structure in the culture of the school gave me more support than anything else that was offered. Being able to rely on a coach to come into any classroom and not judge, but support my instruction, increased my ability to support each individual student I taught. In summary, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am confident that students can reach their full academic potential when teams of teachers are actively engaged in professional learning based upon data and the needs of their own students and organized in a structure that offered timely and embedded teams in classroom-based support. I recommend that the Reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, include a Federal definition of professional development consistent with the National Staff Development Council Standards for staff development and Congressman Polis's Great Teachers For Great Schools Act. We as teachers need the support to improve our practice and increase student achievement. I also recommend that federally- funded professional development should be evaluated rigorously for its impact on teacher performance and student learning. Finally, please provide dedicated resources so that districts can build capacity and provide time and support to implement professional development in all schools. Achievement for all students depends on investing in it now. [The statement of Ms. Parker-McElroy follows:] Prepared Statement of Marie Parker-McElroy, Cluster-Based Instructional Coach, Fairfax County Public Schools Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and Members of the Committee. My name is Marie Parker-McElroy, a Cluster-Based Instructional Coach in Fairfax County Public Schools, the twelfth largest school district in the country. I work in two schools, Camelot Elementary and Graham Road Elementary. I am honored to be invited to bring the teacher and instructional coach perspective to this important conversation. I am here today to share my views and experiences, and to express my support for Congressman Polis' Great Teachers for Great Schools Act, which directly addresses the implementation of high- quality, effective professional development--something that I am passionate about. Let me start with a metaphor. For every surgeon beside an operating table, there are countless people behind the scenes, making sure that the surgeon can save a life. For every teacher in the classroom, we have specialized professionals to support them, help them solve problems and improve, encourage them, and make sure that their students are receiving the best instruction possible. I am one of those professionals. Like surgeons, teachers cannot effectively perform in isolation. They require teamwork, continuous professional development and improvement. However, most schools are not organized to support valuable team work. School structure and tradition forces many teachers to teach alone, in isolation from their colleagues. I work with teachers to buck this trend, to make sure that they understand the data, the research, the best practices, and the best ways to work together. Today, I want to talk about the impact that professional learning has on teachers that I work with daily, and more importantly, the impact it has on students. At Graham Road Elementary, there is a strong professional development structure in place. Most of the professional development occurs among teams of teachers organized by grade level. We begin professional development meetings by looking at our data, focusing first on school-wide data. As the instructional coach, my job is to work with each team to analyze the data, discover instructional strengths and weaknesses, establish team learning priorities, and define indicators for success. Throughout this process, we identify books and research that we will read together to deepen our understanding and content knowledge. We also develop a sense of shared responsibility for our student success. On an ongoing basis, we review our progress in implementing the school improvement plan. We constantly check to see if what we are doing is making a difference for our students and revise our practices accordingly. These measures can be as simple as a teacher using pencil and paper to analyze a test or include excel spreadsheets with student data to analyze our impact on students' learning. To recap, teachers are supported in developing their understanding and practice of new strategies by engaging in activities explored during team-based professional learning meetings. These meetings are led by teacher leaders, coaches or principals. The meetings focus on deepening content knowledge, planning formative assessments to check for student understanding, and analyzing common assessments to measure the impact of instruction. Let me tell you about one team in particular. This year I am working with a team of fifth grade teachers. At the beginning of the year, only 72 percent of students passed the county assessment. We meet weekly during regular school hours. We study the standards that 10- year-olds ought to achieve. We determine the knowledge and skills students will need to meet the standards. We ask each other, ``how does this look for academically advanced students, second language learners, students in special education or the economically disadvantaged?'' We develop lessons and strategies for teachers to use with their students. This professional learning takes place in real time; not months before in random lectures or workshops that occur away from our school. After implementing the strategies and lessons developed by the teams of teachers, we study how the students responded to our lessons and whether they achieved the required standards. We immediately know if the students are achieving or not and determine why. Our team uses the live feedback from the students to adapt our instruction. This continuous, job-embedded, and data-driven process of teams of teachers studying and implementing effective teaching practices aligned to student needs has produced significant academic gains for our students. One week ago, we retested our students and 91 percent of them passed. That is an increase of 19 percentage points, gained in less than one full academic year. How did this happen? Teachers were involved in effective, real-time and on-the-job professional learning with their colleagues who know their students and know what their students need to increase their success. Students in our classrooms only have 36 weeks to learn the grade-level standards. My teachers, and more importantly my students, don't have time to waste. Collaborative professional development allows them to learn from each other and access the tools and strategies they need--when they need them--to help our students achieve. A teacher I coached once said: I joined Graham Road Elementary School as a brand new teacher and having a personal connection to a coach, who understood curriculum, instruction, and the culture of the school gave me more support than anything else that was offered. Being able to rely on a coach to come into my classroom and not judge, but support my instruction increased my ability to support each individual student I taught. My coach's constant feedback and modeling increased my own efficacy as a teacher, which in turn improved each student's learning within the class. I am confident to say that without an effective instructional coach many teachers would not be as effective as they are and therefore many students would not be at their full academic potential. In summary, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am confident that students can reach their full academic potential when teams of teachers are actively engaged in professional learning based upon data and the needs of their own students and organized in a structure that offers timely and embedded team and classroom-based support. I recommend that the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act include a federal definition for professional development consistent with the National Staff Development Council's Standards for Staff Development and Congressman Polis' Great Teachers for Great Schools Act. We, as teachers, need the support to improve our practice and increase student achievement. I also recommend that federally funded professional development should be evaluated rigorously for its impact on teacher performance and student learning. Finally, please provide dedicated resources so that districts--especially those most in need of improvement--can build capacity, and provide time and support to implement effective professional development in all schools. This is the most critical lever available to improve the effectiveness of our teacher workforce, as we continue to seek ways to improve recruitment and preparation. Achievement for all students depends on investing in it now. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee for the opportunity to share my point of view as a teacher and instructional coach. ______ STATEMENT OF MONIQUE BURNS THOMPSON, PRESIDENT, TEACH PLUS Ms. Thompson. Chairman Miller and members of the committee, thank you very much for providing me with the opportunity to talk with you this afternoon about the importance of effective teachers and how to attract and retain them in the schools that need them the most. At Teach Plus, we work with experienced effective teachers in years 3 to 10 of their careers. The ideas presented here are informed by those teachers. The research confirms what parents and educators have long known, teachers are the most important factors in determining whether a child has a lifetime of choice or challenge. We know that there are big differences among teachers, as much as one full year's worth of learning between the most and the least effective teachers. Students in Los Angeles who were assigned the most effective teachers gained, on average, 10 percentile points more than students in classrooms with less effective teachers. The researchers conclude if the effects were to accumulate having a top quartile teacher, rather than a bottom quartile teacher for 4 years in a row would be enough to close the Black White test score gap. Even though we know unequivocally how much talented teachers matter, harmful patterns of inequitability, access to the strongest teachers continue to exist, especially for low- income minority students. Recent analysis of the national school and staffing survey data reveals that core academic classes in high poverty secondary schools are almost as twice likely as their low poverty counterparts to be taught by teachers with neither major nor certification in their assigned subjects. Children in high poverty schools Are more than twice as likely to receive an inexperienced teacher as children in low poverty schools. Clearly we must design policies and practices to attract, support and retain our most effective teachers and ensure that they are working in schools with students who need them the most. We feel this work is the civil rights issue of our time if we are to close the achievement gap that has held back generations of our citizens from participating and constructing a stronger future America. Thankfully the teachers with whom we work in Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee believe this as well. One such team of teachers ask our Boston policy fellowship program. As they read the research on teacher distribution they became outraged. These teachers developed a proposal to staff the so- called hard-to-staff schools with experienced, effective teachers. They called it Ready for the Next Challenge. And it begins with the profound statement from the teachers themselves. We believe that given the right support and conditions, there is no shortage of talented, experienced teachers willing to teach in low performing schools. The idea that no one wants to teach in high-need schools risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. It must be replaced with what can we do to attract, retain and develop teachers who want to teach in these schools. They proceeded to layout the conditions that would motivate them to teach in low-performing schools and for the next year we at Teach Plus worked to enact their model in the Boston public school system. The program is called T3, Turnaround Teacher Teams. T3 was adopted by the superintendent of the Boston public schools, Dr. Carol Johnson to recruit select cohorts of effective teachers in three of Boston's lowest achieving schools. The goal of T3 is to ensure that high-need students have significantly improved access to excellent teachers. T3 is a key piece of Dr. Johnson's strategy to turn around chronically underperforming schools. The initiative is made up of six primary components. T3 is selective, teachers must apply and demonstrate a minimum of 3 years of effective teaching in the urban setting. T3 is a team- based strategy, a minimum of 25 percent of the faculty will be T3 teachers. T3 teachers will play central leadership role in performing and transforming that school as these teachers continue to be teachers in the classroom. They will have a pay differential, they will work for highly effective principals who have a track record of turnaround, and they will have time for training and collaboration. In addition to running a national marketing campaign, Teach Plus has created a rigorous T3 selection process that is designed in partnership with the Boston public schools to be fair and comprehensive in assessing teachers readiness to be turnaround leaders. So the logical next question is teachers have envisioned it, we have built it, will they come? After just 2 weeks of marketing, over 130 teachers have begun the application process, including Fulbright Scholar, quite a few teachers from charter schools, a large number of experienced ELL teachers that are desperately needed in these schools. We have given a reason to stay and reconnect with corps mission that brought them into teaching in the first place, social justice. They are showing all of us that they are ready for the next challenge, they are not afraid or hesitant to take on the hefty heavy lifting of school reform and they are eager to serve the city's children with greatest need. We are inspired and motivated by these teachers every day and we hope this distinguished committee will be as well. [The statement of Ms. Thompson follows:] Prepared Statement of Monique Burns Thompson, President, Teach Plus Chairman Miller and Members of the Committee: Thank you very much for providing me with the opportunity to talk with you this afternoon about the importance of effective teachers and how to attract and retain them in the schools that need them the most. At Teach Plus, we work with experienced, effective teachers in years 3-10 of their careers. The ideas presented here are informed by those teachers. Teachers: Our Most Valuable Resource The research confirms what parents and educators have long known: Teachers are the most important factor in determining whether a child has a lifetime of choice or challenge. We know that there are big differences among teachers--as much as one full year's worth of learning between the most and least effective teachers.\i\ Students in Los Angeles who were assigned to the most effective teachers\ii\ gained, on average, ten percentile points more than students in the classrooms of the least effective teachers.\iii\ The researchers conclude: ``If the effects were to accumulate, having a top-quartile teacher rather than a bottom quartile teacher four years in a row would be enough to close the black-white test score gap.'' \iv\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \i\ Chait, Robin (2009). From Qualifications to Results: promoting Teacher Effectiveness Through Federal Policy. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress. Sources: Eric A. Hanushek and Steven G. Rivkin, ``How to Improve the Supply of High Quality Teachers'' (Washington: Brookings Institution, 2003); Rockoff, ``The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement Evidence from Panel Data''; Steven G. Rivkin, Eric A. Hanushek, and John F. Kain, ``Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement,'' Econometrica 73 (2) (2005): 417--458. \ii\ Ibid. \iii\ Most effective teachers are those teachers in the top quartile of performance, while very ineffective teachers are teachers in the bottom quartile of performance, using ``value-added'' to measure performance. Source: Gordon, R., Kane, T.J., and Staiger, D.O. (2006). Identifying Effective teachers Using Performance on the Job. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution. \iv\ Ibid. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inequitable Access Persists: We Must Act with Courage and Conviction Even though we know unequivocally how much teachers matter, harmful patterns of inequitable access to the strongest teachers continue to exist, especially for low-income and minority students:
Recent analysis of the Schools and Staffing Survey Data-- the only national dataset we have on teacher distribution and characteristics--reveals that core academic classes in high-poverty secondary schools are almost twice as likely as core academic classes in low-poverty schools to be taught by teachers with neither a major nor certification in their assigned subject (14 percent compared to 27 percent).\v\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \v\ Richard Ingersoll, 2007. Analysis of the 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey Data for the Education Trust, ``Core Problems: Out-of- Field Teaching Persists in Key Academic Courses and High-Poverty Schools.'' Available: http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/ publications/files/SASSreportCoreProblem.pdf --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Children in high-poverty schools are more than twice as likely to receive an inexperienced teacher as children in low-poverty schools.\vi\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \vi\ Heather Peske and Kati Haycock, 2006. ``Teaching Inequality: How Poor and Minority Students are Shortchanged on Teacher Quality.'' Washington, DC: The Education Trust. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- And when we look at the data on the distribution of teacher effectiveness, we find similar inequity. The Tennessee Department of Education recently analyzed state data on teacher effectiveness to see where the state's most effective teachers are teaching.\vii\ They found: ``Students in Tennessee's high priority schools have less access to the state's most effective teachers in reading/language arts and math than students in other schools across the state.'' \viii\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \vii\ These ``most effective teachers'' are producing at least one and a half year's worth of growth with students. \viii\ ``Distribution of Effective Teachers in Tennessee Schools,'' Tennessee Race to the Top Application Appendix D-3-2, page D-133. Available: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1- applications/appendixes/tennessee.pdf --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recruiting and Retaining Effective Teachers in the Schools that Need Them Most: The Civil Rights Issue of this Generation Clearly, we must design policies and practices to attract, support and retain our most effective teachers, and ensure they are working in schools with the students who need them the most. This work is the civil rights issue of our time if we are to close the achievement gap that has held back generations of our citizens from participating in constructing a stronger future America. Thankfully, the teachers with whom we work in Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee believe this as well. A Pioneering Solution to Inequitable Distribution in Boston, MA: T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams One such team of teachers is in our Boston Policy Fellowship program. As they read the research on teacher distribution, they became outraged. They and so many of their peers were motivated to teach by a commitment to social justice. The systematic breakdown in matching high-need students with high-quality teachers was a problem they believed to be solvable. These teachers developed a proposal to staff so-called ``hard-to-staff'' schools with experienced, effective teachers. They called it, ``Ready for the Next Challenge'' and it begins with a profound statement from the teachers themselves, ``We believe that, given the right supports and conditions, there is no shortage of talented experienced teachers willing to teach in low- performing schools. The idea that no one wants to teach in a high-need school risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. It must be replaced with, What can we do to attract, retain and develop teachers who want to teach in these schools?'' They proceeded to lay out the conditions that would motivate them to teach in a low-performing school, and for the next year, we at Teach Plus worked to enact their model in the Boston Public Schools. The initiative is called T3: Turnaround, Teach, Team Initiative. T3 was adopted by the Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, Dr. Carol Johnson to recruit, select and support cohorts of effective teachers in three of Boston's lowest achieving schools. The goal of T3 is to ensure that high-need students have significantly improved access to excellent teachers. T3 is a key piece of Dr. Johnson's strategy to turn around chronically underperforming schools. The T3 Initiative is made up of six primary components: 1. T3 is selective. Teachers must apply to the T3 Initiative and demonstrate a minimum of three years of effective teaching in an urban setting. 2. T3 is a team-based strategy. A minimum of 25% of the school faculty will be selected through the T3 process, ensuring strong colleagues in the turnaround effort. 3. T3 Teachers will play central leadership roles in transforming the schools. T3 teachers will serve in lead teacher roles, such as grade level chairs, while continuing in the classroom. They will also be part of the school principal's turnaround leadership council. 4. Pay differential. Additional compensations will range from $6,000-8,000 depending on the amount of additional time worked. 5. The principals of these schools are highly effective. Each of these schools has a new principal with a turnaround track record and a commitment to teacher leadership. 6. Time for training and collaboration. T3 teachers will be trained together in the summer to take on the challenges of teacher leadership and school turnaround. They will also have the support of a team and data coach throughout the school year. In addition to running a national marketing campaign, Teach Plus has created a rigorous T3 selection process that is designed in partnership with Boston Public Schools to be a fair and comprehensive way of assessing a teacher's readiness to be a turnaround leader. The T3 selection process includes: A written application; An interview process that involves participation in a case-based challenge; Evidence of effective classroom teaching practice--in the form of an observation of submitted video. So the logical next question is, ``teachers have envisioned it, we have built it, will they come?'' After just two weeks of marketing over 100 teachers have begun the application process including a Fulbright scholar, quite a few teachers from charter schools interested in working the traditional system, and a large number of experienced SPED and ELL teachers these schools desperately need. We are giving them reason to stay and a chance to reconnect to the core mission that brought them into teaching in the first place: social justice. They are showing all of us that they are ready for the next challenge, they are not afraid or hesitant to take on the heavy lifting of school reform and they are eager to serve the city's children with the greatest need. We are inspired and motivated by these teachers every day, and we hope that this distinguished committee will be as well. ______ Chairman Miller. Mr. Steinhauser. STATEMENT OF CHRIS STEINHAUSER, SUPERINTENDENT, LONG BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Mr. Steinhauser. Good afternoon, Chairman Miller, Congressman Castle, and distinguished members of the committee. I deeply appreciate this historic opportunity to provide testimony on the most important civil rights issue of our time, for I firmly believe every child has the right to a good education. In Long Beach, data-driven accountability has become a way of life, use of data is infused into our nationally recognized professional development and our C1 certification partnership with California's State University, and Long Beach City College where most of our teachers come from. Such professional development is required of all new teachers and administrators in our district. New teachers and administrators are not simply left to sink or swim in Long Beach, it is supported by new teacher and administrative coaches and ongoing training in how to use data to continually improve instruction throughout the school year. I also would like to add that all of our teachers and parents have total access to data 24/7. All of our parents can see immediately how their students have done on their test. My wife is a teacher at our school system, she can give a test that day, go home that night, and regroup her kids based on disaggregation, how the kids have done based on the scanning of those tests. I would like to also talk about a few of our best practices in Long Beach. Through our partnership with California State University of Long Beach we have totally redesigned all of our teacher ed and our administrator programs. We have gone into a program where we have multiple pathways into our teacher ed administrator programs. We take our best and brightest teachers and administrators and we coteach the up and coming new teachers and administrators with our higher ed partners. Some of those classes are taught at the University; and some of those classes are taught in our campuses. We have provided apprenticeships for teachers and for our administrators and so they hone their craft. Our leadership development program prepares the next generation of leaders in our district. We have a whole host of tiered activities for our teachers so that if they choose not to leave the classroom, they can stay in the classroom and hone their craft and help other teachers. Ninety percent of our administrators in Long Beach Unified were teachers of Long Beach Unified. And we retain about 90 percent of our teachers in our school system after 5 years of instruction. We lose very few teachers in our school district. We also use the same strategy for our school improvement strategy. We take our most successful teachers and our most successful principals and we reassign them to our most troubled school. We also use response to intervention for students in the same way that we do for our schools. In that sense, schools that are having greater struggles have fewer flexible options. Schools who are doing really, really well have greater flexible options in our school system. We believe strongly that we need to think outside the box as school systems and so we have entered into a partnership with Fresno Unified which is the fourth largest school district in California. So the third and fourth largest school systems now have a formalized partnership recognized by our State Board of Education, and we are focusing on 3 areas: ELL instruction for English language learners, math instruction for all students and leadership development. I want to share one program where we had one teacher who modeled a map program that was taught in Singapore in one of our classrooms. We received unbelievable results. We then moved that program to other schools in our district. Our student test scores went up 24 percent in a 3-year period. That program is now replicated in Fresno, Garden Grove, Oakland and Compton Unified with the same results. Now our teachers in Fresno and Long Beach are codeveloping and coteaching classes and new programs to serve our students. We have regular visitations from Fresno teachers and Long Beach teachers in both school systems, we meet 3 times a school year. I want to close by saying that we would recommend providing districts like ours maximum flexibility regarding expenditures of local Federal funds, this can be done while still assuring accountability to make sure that we focus on all student needs. We endorse the ESEA blueprint unveiled by the President and we welcome the President's emphasis on competitive grants. We believe strongly that competition drives reforms by rewarding success. We have made great progress in Long Beach, but we can and must accelerate our efforts, and we can only do that with your help and with Federal policy. I look forward to working with you to achieve this aim, and I want to thank you again for this opportunity to speak to you. [The statement of Mr. Steinhauser follows:] Prepared Statement of Christopher J. Steinhauser, Superintendent of Schools, Long Beach Unified School District (CA) Hello, Chairman Miller, Ranking Member Kline, and distinguished members of the committee. I deeply appreciate this historic opportunity to provide testimony on the most important civil rights issue of our time, for I firmly believe that every child has a right to a good education. As superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, I'm here today on behalf of 87,000 students in California's third largest school district--a school system that despite the tough obstacles of poverty, language barriers and our ongoing, multi-billion dollar cuts in state funding for education--continues to defy the odds and achieve steady, significant gains in student achievement. I've provided several attachments to this written testimony showing that other experts nationwide have recognized the effectiveness of Long Beach schools, and that our approach merits replication elsewhere. A common theme in those attachments is that in Long Beach, data-driven accountability has become a way of life. Use of data is infused into our nationally recognized professional development and our Seamless Education Partnership with our local postsecondary institutions that produce most of our new teachers. Such professional development is required of all new teachers and administrators in our district. New teachers are not simply left to sink or swim in Long Beach. They're supported by new-teacher coaches, and with ongoing training on how to use data to continually improve instruction throughout the school year. In Long Beach, students speak 38 languages, and 70 percent of our children receive federally subsidized meals, yet students from all walks of life--from the inner city to the suburbs--are making academic gains because of our persistent focus on data-driven instruction and training. Allow me to share a few of our best practices in Long Beach: We offer school choice to our parents, allowing them to select a school within our system, or if they so choose, to attend a school outside our district. Forty percent of our students are attending schools of choice. We were the first public school system in the United States to implement uniforms in kindergarten through eighth grade, and we now have two high schools in uniforms. We were the first to require any third grader reading below grade level to attend mandatory summer school, and the first to end social promotion, or the practice of passing students from one grade to the next whether they met grade level standards or not. Our Academic and Career Success For All Initiative aims to increase the college and career readiness of all students. It includes our College Promise program, which provides scholarships, a tuition- free first semester at our local city college, and guaranteed college admission at our local university for students who complete minimum requirements. Our Leadership Development Program prepares the next generation of school leaders by building a leadership pipeline, through new principal induction, teacher leader certification and other leadership development training. Our school improvement strategies include the pairing of some of our most successful school principals with our schools that need the most support. We use Response to Intervention strategies in a systemic fashion, providing tiered support to students and schools. This way, schools in need of greater support receive it, along with more structured guidance from our central office, while higher achieving schools are allowed greater flexibility at their site. We learn from other school districts, and other districts learn from us, in a systematic fashion. We have entered into a partnership with Fresno Unified School District, so that now we have the third and fourth largest school districts in California committed to sharing knowledge and resources to increase graduation rates and prepare students for college and the working world. We're especially focused on sharing with Fresno our best practices on English Language Learner instruction, leadership development, and math instruction. Long Beach proves that our public schools, and our large, urban school systems, can overcome stubborn challenges. But we need your help. Despite our nationally recognized success in Long Beach, I truly believe that we can do much better if we make some key adjustments. We recommend providing school districts like ours the maximum flexibility possible regarding the expenditure of federal funds. This can be done while assuring accountability, and we have helped to initiate a pending state senate bill, SB 1396, that proposes a pilot program to do just that in California. We endorse the ESEA blueprint unveiled recently by President Obama. The blueprint would reward academic growth and innovation instead of simply sending more money to troubled school districts. We welcome the president's emphasis on competitive grants. Competition drives reform by recognizing and rewarding success. The president's blueprint contains a number of other features that we favor. I have attached additional information on our input regarding the blueprint. We've made great progress in Long Beach, but we can and must accelerate our efforts with the help of sound federal policy. I look forward to working with you to achieve this aim, and I thank you again for the opportunity to provide this testimony. Attachments: A. Obama Plan Aims to Reward Performance (By Christopher J. Steinhauser) B. Reforms Bring International Acclaim C. Stanford U. Touts School Reform Here D. Seamless Education a `National Model' E. Federal Review Praises Accountability F. Downtown School Wins National Award G. Senior U.S. Education Official Visits H. New Harvard Book Touts Long Beach I. America's Educators Look to Long Beach J. State Superintendent Praises LBUSD's Use of Data K. Use of Data Lauded by National Council L. LBUSD `America's Crown Jewel' ______ ATTACHMENT A Obama Plan Aims to Reward Performance We have good news and bad news about the list of schools that the California Department of Education just deemed to be among the poorest performers in the state. The good news is that thanks to the hard work of our teachers and others, no schools in the Long Beach Unified School District appeared on this ``lowest 5 percent'' list. The bad news is that because we have no schools on the list, our schools and students will miss out on tens of millions of dollars in federal education funding that will instead go to the poorest performing schools. Last Saturday, President Barack Obama attempted to remedy such funding flaws as he unveiled his blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind. Building upon his administration's Race to the Top education initiative, President Obama's plan would reward academic growth and innovation instead of simply sending more money to troubled school districts. We applaud the president's plan, which presents an important opportunity to revamp many of NCLB's deficiencies. Instead of unfairly labeling schools as failures, including some of the top-ranked schools in the nation, President Obama's plan would abolish NCLB's draconian Adequate Yearly Progress system, replacing its single snapshot approach with a system that rewards academic gains. Here in our school district, which has attracted national attention for its successful school reforms, we say it's about time. We welcome the president's emphasis on competitive grants. Competition drives reform by recognizing and rewarding success. We saw this theory in action when, even before any Race to the Top money was spent, many states moved forward on a number of reform issues as they competed for federal funds. The president's blueprint contains a number of other features that we favor: Competitive grants will focus on big-picture goals (student success, teacher excellence, etc.) and give recipients the freedom to decide how to meet those goals. Competitive funding will drive reform not only at the state level but also at the school district level. We relish the opportunity to apply directly for federal funds, bypassing Sacramento. Designated funds will support local projects to incubate and expand promising reforms. This approach not only complements our practice of launching pilot projects and then carefully evaluating and refining them before implementing them more broadly. It also inherently encourages collaboration with teachers and community partners, which has been key to our success in Long Beach. Fewer, but larger and more flexible funding streams will be created for areas integral to student success, giving states and districts flexibility to focus on local needs. These new, competitive funding streams will still ensure that federal funds are used wisely. At the same time, school districts will have fewer restrictions on blending funds from different categories, meaning less red tape. We have consistently advocated for such increased flexibility at the state and federal levels. College and career readiness standards will be implemented, as will improved assessments aligned with those standards. This effort will enhance our own Academic and Career Success Initative, which aims to prepare more students for high-paying, high-demand jobs. Critics of the president's plan should consider this. Few people dispute that the current system doesn't work. Secondly, our students in Long Beach face the same and often greater challenges than those in other school districts, yet they regularly miss out on large sums of federal help. Two-thirds of our students live below the poverty line. More than 30 languages are spoken in our schools. Yet somehow we continue to make significant progress. Federal policies should not punish our teachers and students for their successes. We're just as deserving of those federal funds--if not more so--than other school systems. ______ ATTACHMENT B Reforms Bring International Acclaim A new book examining successful and enduring school reform in the U.S. and beyond praises the Long Beach Unified School District's steady gains in student achievement. The book, ``All Systems Go: The Change Imperative for Whole System Reform,'' says that ``Long Beach has had a long run of success from 1992 to the present.'' Author Michael Fullan details LBUSD's development of higher standards for students, and how those standards are attained through effective central office support for schools. Fullan contrasts Long Beach's successful reforms with California's penchant for piecemeal policy making and fiscal uncertainty. While ``Long Beach represents another example of whole-system reform at the district level,'' the book states, ``California continues to be one of the worst examples of piecemeal reform, not to mention the fact that it is currently desperately in debt.'' Among LBUSD's successes cited in the book are the increase in the number of fifth graders reading at grade level here, and a dramatic decrease in high school dropout rates. The author, Fullan, is professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and is special adviser on education to Dalton McGuinty, the premier of Ontario. He is currently working as adviser and consultant on several major education reform initiatives around the world. Find Fullan's book at www.corwin.com. Type ``All Systems Go'' in the search field. ______ ATTACHMENT C Stanford U. Touts School Reform Here For many years, high school was the time when students chose to pursue college or a career. But educators today recognize that high schools must prepare all students for both college and career readiness. A recent report from Stanford University says Long Beach is tackling this challenge effectively and creating lasting reform. Long Beach and some other districts in California are working to improve high schools by connecting strong academics, demanding technical education and real-world experience in a wide range of fields, such as engineering, arts and media, biomedicine and health. This reform model, known as linked learning (or multiple pathways), provides multiyear programs of study that are rigorous, relevant and directly connected to regional and state economic needs. The idea is to prepare students for success in a full array of options after high school. The recent report from Stanford's School Redesign Network focuses on Long Beach's ``distributive leadership'' method of implementing such reform. ``Rather than an `initiative-of-the month' approach, distributive leadership enables districts to build in structures, capacity and culture that foster systemic change owned and sustained by a broad base of leaders,'' states the report, titled ``Distributive Leadership in District Reform: A Model for Taking Linked Learning to Scale.'' The report examines Long Beach's ``effective mechanism for including school staff in reform efforts through Pathway Leadership Teams. These teams are school-based and made up of site administrators, teachers, counselors and others. The teams are critical in leading bold change to structures, policies and instructional practices, such as master schedules, curriculum integration and professional development.'' LBUSD provides leadership training and support for pathway leadership team members, including teachers, so they can take the lead in building a school-based culture of collaboration and accountability, the report states. The school district also builds broad-based community support through an Expanding Pathways Implementation Council--a formal steering committee of school site curriculum leaders, postsecondary partners, Regional Occupation Programs and career technical education leaders, principals, counselors, industry and community leaders, executive district staff and others. The report is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The School Redesign Network was established in 2000 at Stanford University to build, capture and share research-based knowledge to transform secondary schools and school systems. The Stanford group's mission is ``to help support and sustain equitable schools and districts that are intellectually rigorous, high performing and designed to help all students master the knowledge and skills needed for success in college, career and citizenship.''The network is affiliated with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. ______ ATTACHMENT D Seamless Education a `National Model' A recent case study by the Washington, D.C.-based Business Higher Education Forum calls the Long Beach Unified School District's Seamless Education Partnership a national model. The Seamless partnership, started in 1994, connects LBUSD's educators with business leaders, Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach to make certain that students progress smoothly through the education systems and into the workforce. ``The Long Beach Seamless Education Partnership has become a defining feature of the community and a model for the nation,'' states the 16-page report, titled ``Improving Education Through Collaboration: A Case Study of the Long Beach Seamless Education Partnership.'' Among Seamless Education's signature programs is the Long Beach College Promise, which promises all LBUSD students the opportunity to receive a college education and provides a variety of educational benefits and services. The full report by the Business Higher Education Forum is available here. According to their website, BHEF is an organization of Fortune 500 chief executive officers, prominent college and university presidents, and foundation leaders ``working to advance innovative solutions to our nation's education challenges in order to enhance U.S. competitiveness.'' ______ ATTACHMENT E Federal Review Praises Accountability Federal auditors liked what they saw during a recent visit to the Long Beach Unified School District, praising the district's fiscal practices, instruction, public accessibility, accountability and parental involvement. Reviewers from the U.S. Department of Education visited McKinley Elementary School, Hamilton Middle School and LBUSD's central offices, thoroughly examining everything from record-keeping practices to parental involvement and the level of central office support for principals and their schools. Reviewer Julia Keleher, now in her third year on the job, described LBUSD as the best school district she had ever seen. She and other reviewers were impressed with the training, or staff development, that the district provides to principals and teachers, said Carol Pratt, an administrative assistant with LBUSD who helped coordinate the reviewers' visit. The visitors also were impressed with parental involvement in various school committees, school site councils and training sessions. ``The reviewers were blown away by our parent involvement,'' Pratt said. ``They just couldn't get over how excited the parents were about all the opportunities they have to learn, and how our parents raved about our superintendent being accessible and easy to talk to.'' ______ ATTACHMENT F Downtown School Wins National Award International Elementary School in downtown Long Beach is one of 13 schools to earn the prestigious National Excellence in Urban Education Award. School officials will accept the honor from the National Center for Urban School Transformation during a May 5 to 7 conference in Long Beach. ``If every school in America served diverse populations of students as well as these 13 schools, achievement gaps would be eliminated,'' said Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of NCUST. To be eligible, schools must have high numbers of low-income students and may not have selective admissions policies. Test results must be better than the state average on required assessments, and show few or no achievement gaps among various demographic groups of students. All schools must have high attendance rates, low suspension and expulsion rates, and exceed the federal government's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for at least the past two years. Each winning school receives a $1,000 check, a large banner for the school, and a profile at www.ncust.org. At the winning schools, researchers found impressive evidence of students learning challenging academic content and skills in reading, writing, science, mathematics and social studies that exceed grade level expectations. The reviewers saw students benefiting from ``excellent academic support structures'' that helped ensure their success in learning the challenging content. Reviewers also saw teachers using engaging instructional methods that helped students perceive learning as interesting, relevant to their lives, and fun, according to a statement from NCUST. Students, parents, teachers and staff reported that they felt respected and valued by one another and by the school administrators. ``Another outstanding feature of winning schools is the commitment of their teachers and administrators to continue to set and pursue even more challenging academic goals, even though these schools already have achieved results that far exceeded state or federal expectations,'' NCUST noted. NCUST is a part of the QUALCOMM Institute for Innovation and Educational Success at San Diego State University. For more information on the National Excellence in Urban Education Awards or the NCUST Symposium, visit www.ncust.org. ______ ATTACHMENT G Senior U.S. Education Official Visits Describing her tour of International Elementary School as ``amazing'' and ``magical,'' a senior U.S. Department of Education official reaffirmed that LBUSD's successes merit replication elsewhere. Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the Education Department, visited classrooms before observing a professional development session at the school district's Teacher Resource Center. ``We want to learn what Long Beach is doing,'' the assistant secretary said. ``There's an alignment and purpose in Long Beach, from the central office to the schools, to support what goes on in the classroom. That's very clear here. ``We're also interested in the innovative work going on between Long Beach and other school districts as a potential model.'' Long Beach is working with other urban school systems such as the Fresno Unified School District to improve instruction and gain additional flexibility regarding the expenditure of state funding. Appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate last July, Melendez serves as the principal adviser to the U.S. secretary of education on all matters related to pre-kindergarten, elementary and secondary education. Melendez is former superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District. ______ ATTACHMENT H New Harvard Book Touts Long Beach The first book to detail examples of successful large-scale reform in the nation's most improved urban districts is now available from the Harvard Graduate School of Education's publishing group, and it features the Long Beach Unified School District. Bringing School Reform to Scale: Five Award-Winning School Districts, from Harvard Education Press, describes specific district- wide reform strategies that author and researcher Heather Zavadsky shows led Broad Prize-winning school districts to outpace their peers in raising student achievement--not just in individual schools--but in numerous schools districtwide. The annual $2 million Broad Prize honors the five large urban school districts that demonstrate the strongest student achievement and improvement while narrowing achievement gaps between income and ethnic groups. Of particular use to educators seeking federal funds under Race to the Top, the new book describes sustained efforts undertaken by Broad Prize-winning school districts in Long Beach, Boston, Garden Grove, Norfolk (Va.) and Aldine (Houston) to improve instruction. For superintendents, chief academic officers, education school professors, school board members and elected officials or advocacy organizations looking to produce large-scale, dramatic student achievement gains, this book shows what systemic districtwide improvement looks like ``on the ground, warts and all, and the outcomes that are possible,'' according to a statement from The Broad Foundation. Among the book's important lessons for policy makers: 1) the single most important contributor to the success of these districts was their effort to put in place a clear, direct and rigorous curriculum aligned with high standards and supported at various layers throughout the system, 2) data-driven teaching and testing empowered teachers and led to student gains, and 3) stable school district governance, in the form of mayoral control or a unified school board, was critical to success. ``This book offers an unusually detailed look inside some of our best run school districts. Heather Zavadsky offers honest assessments, highlighting not only the inspiring successes, but also the many daunting challenges that remain. Very enlightening!'' said Ronald F. Ferguson, faculty co-chair and director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard. The book's author, Zavadsky, is director of policy and communications for the Institute for Public School Initiatives for the University of Texas system. She led research teams through site visits and analysis of Broad Prize districts from 2002 to 2006. To order the book, visit www.hepg.org. ______ ATTACHMENT I America's Educators Look to Long Beach An alliance of top U.S. education associations reports that the Long Beach Unified School District ``has long been recognized as a model urban school system.'' The Learning First Alliance explains LBUSD's success. ``The district hasn't achieved this success by flitting from reform to reform or looking for silver bullets. Rather, it has spent most of the past two decades building on the same educational strategies, and focusing on data, community buy-in and staff development.'' These observations are part of a new article at www.publicschoolinsights.org under the section, ``Education Visionaries.'' The article, ``The Long Beach Way,'' includes an extensive interview with LBUSD Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Steinhauser, who describes Long Beach's 18-year effort to reform local schools. Steinhauser provides perspective on early initiatives such as school uniforms, the Third Grade Reading Initiative, and the Seamless Education partnership with Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach. The superintendent also describes LBUSD's evolution as a data- driven organization that cultivates parental and community buy-in to improve student achievement, especially through better use of communications technology. The Learning First Alliance, which sponsors www.publicschoolinsights.org, is a permanent partnership of 17 leading education associations with more than 10 million members. Alliance members include the National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, National PTA, National School Boards Association, and the American Association of School Administrators. ______ ATTACHMENT J State Superintendent Praises LBUSD's Use of Data California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell recently praised the Long Beach Unified School District's use of student performance data to improve instruction. O'Connell delivered his 7th annual State of Education Address to educators, policymakers, students and parents. ``Let me give you one great example of using data to improve instruction,'' O'Connell said. ``About 16 years ago, the Long Beach Unified School District began a teacher-driven project aimed at collecting assessment data in order to better understand ways to keep students in school. In order to do this effectively, the district created a data collection system, and as teachers began to find this data more and more useful, the system evolved into a local longitudinal data system. ``In one instance, the data highlighted exceptional results in student performance in math at one particular school. It turns out that one math instructor, named Si Swun designed his own standards-aligned math curriculum, called MAP2D (Math Achievement Program), which was making headway with students. Based on these results, the school expanded this same curriculum to other classes. ``Eventually, based on the data coming from this school, the district expanded this curriculum even further, to other schools, and began to assist Mr. Swun in the production of materials for the curriculum. As the district began a pilot program for the curriculum in more of its schools, it designated Mr. Swun to coach others on teaching the curriculum. ``The pilot schools performed exceptionally well. In fact, these schools experienced a one-year, 24-point gain in their API scores due to fifth grade math proficiency. Long Beach had such great results that they expanded the math program districtwide. ``Then other districts heard about it and it spread to Fresno, Compton, Garden Grove, Lennox and Oakland. Today, thousands of students are in the MAP2D program, making real gains in proficiency. All because of one teacher innovating in his classroom a data system able to identify his success, and thanks to a culture of continuous improvement.'' (Learn more about LBUSD's Math Achievement Program by clicking on MAP2D in the A-Z index at www.lbschools.net.) ``This is exactly the kind of professional learning community that uses data to support instruction that we hope to stimulate and foster through the Race to the Top (federal funding program), and I would like to salute teacher Si Swun who is here today for his innovative and collaborative spirit.'' O'Connell joins a growing number of state and national leaders who are noticing LBUSD's effective use of student performance data. President Barack Obama, in his first major policy speech on education, said last year that LBUSD's data-driven instruction is something other districts across the nation should emulate. ______ ATTACHMENT K Use of Data Lauded by National Council A national journal on educator training describes ``a deep commitment to professional learning and widespread use of data'' in the Long Beach Unified School District. The article, ``Let Data Do the Talking,'' appears in the fall edition of the Journal of Staff Development. The piece includes an extensive interview with LBUSD Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Steinhauser. The journal, produced by the National Staff Development Council, is known as the authority on professional learning. NSDC writer Tracy Crow notes that Long Beach schools are widely praised for their success. In a Q & A, Steinhauser discusses the importance of remaining committed to research and professional development even during tough budget years. Visit www.nsdc.org for more information. ______ ATTACHMENT L LBUSD `America's Crown Jewel' For a record-tying fifth time, the Long Beach Unified School District was honored among America's top urban school districts today during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. LBUSD was recognized as one of the top five finalists for the national Broad Prize for Urban Education. As a finalist, LBUSD receives $250,000 in college scholarships for local students. The Aldine Independent School District outside Houston won the top prize of $1 million in scholarships. Long Beach won the award in 2003 and is a five-time finalist. The latest $250,000 award brings the total amount of Broad Scholarships in Long Beach to nearly $1.4 million. Only Boston Public Schools share this five-year track record of excellence. The Broad Prize honors urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in achievement for all students. ``Long Beach continues to be America's crown jewel of urban school districts, outperforming other urban districts year after year with its steady gains,'' said Eli Broad, founder of the prize. ``We look forward to sharing Long Beach's ongoing best practices with school districts across the nation so millions more students benefit from the smart efforts that have arisen there.'' Long Beach earned the finalist honor after national education experts sifted through thousands of pieces of data on student performance. Among the reasons Long Beach was selected is that its African-American, Latino and low-income students achieved higher average proficiency rates than their counterparts statewide in reading and math, and because the district continued to narrow achievement gaps that remain prevalent in many other school districts nationwide. Long Beach saw greater participation of minority students taking Advanced Placement exams and the SATs. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the finalists at the U.S. Capitol, where LBUSD Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Steinhauser participated in the ceremony. ``Being a five-time Broad Prize finalist confirms that the Long Beach community still believes in public education,'' Steinhauser said in a written release. ``To be in the running again for this award is a testament to our heroic teachers, tireless support staff, administrators, parents, our 9,000 volunteers, our more than 1,100 business and community partners, our school board, our colleagues in higher education, civic leaders, service clubs and philanthropic foundations such as The Broad Foundation, insightful news media, local clergy, Realtors, retirees, and many others who share our commitment to kids and schools,'' Steinhauser said. ``To all of them, we say thank you.'' See the superintendent's Press-Telegram commentary here. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the audience, saying ``this is a great day for public schools and for celebrating your success.'' In the audience were several members of Congress along with more than 300 of the nation's leading educators and policy makers. Among them were members of LBUSD's school board. ``It's a proud day for the Long Beach Unified School District,'' LBUSD Board of Education President Mary Stanton said in a written statement. ``For Americans, education has always been the primary means for obtaining equal opportunity. The Broad Prize recognizes our efforts to give all children an equal chance to succeed, no matter what obstacles they may face.'' The other finalists were school districts in Broward County, Fla.; Gwinnett County, Ga.; and Socorro, Texas. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Dr. Burns, welcome. STATEMENT OF JEANNE BURNS, ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER, TEACHER EDUCATION INITIATIVES, LOUISIANA BOARD OF REGENTS Ms. Burns. Thank you. Good afternoon, Chairman Miller, Congressman Castle and members of the committee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to tell Louisiana's story. I am testifying today on behalf of the Louisiana Board of Regents. However, I will be addressing a successful collaborative partnership that has existed in the State of Louisiana during the last 10 years to improve the effectiveness of new teachers and new leaders within our State. This initiative has been supported by three governors; Governor Bobby Jindal, Mike Foster, Governor Kathleen Blanco. Two commissioners of higher education, Dr. Sally Clausen, Dr. Joseph Savoie; two State superintendents, Paul Pastorek, the late Cecil Picard, our Board of Regents, our board of elementary and secondary education, our Louisiana Department of Ed, our University presidents, their chief academics officers, our deans, our faculty, our district and our private providers. I share all of that because we have been successful in the reforms within our State. This has been a statewide systemic reform initiative that has brought about massive changes across the State. You cannot have the kind of change that has occurred within our State without having the kind of partners that we have had to support our efforts. Our State is also fortunate to possess very strong partnership among the college of education deans at the public universities and private universities within our State, including our historically black colleges and universities. They have freely exchanged best practices across their campuses and worked collaboratively to help all institutions produce effective new teachers and leaders. Their leadership and hard work has been a critical component in our success. We have also been fortunate to have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Ed, a Title II teacher quality enhancement State grant that was extremely beneficial in supporting our reform efforts. In addition, we received support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Wallace Foundation. As a result of these and other collaborative partnerships, Louisiana is now leading the Nation in its ability to link growth of student learning to universities and private providers who prepare our new teachers. Through the use of a value added teacher preparation assessment model, developed by Dr. George Noell from Louisiana State University, it is now possible for our State to predict the growth of achievement of individual grades 4 through 9 students, examine the actual achievement of individual students from the end of 1 year to the end of the next year, link the growth of achievement to the new teachers who prepared the children and link the achievement of the children and the new teachers to the teacher preparation program that prepared the teachers. We now know that we have some teacher preparation programs within our state, our redesigned programs where our new teachers have children who are showing growth and learning that is comparable or greater in specific content areas than that of experienced teachers within our State. We also know which programs are in need of improvement. We also know the content areas in which they need to improve and we know the grade stands. As a result of 60 recommendations that came from our State's Blue Ribbon Commission when they addressed teacher quality in 1999 and 2000 and 40 more recommendations in 2000, 2001 when they looked at educational leadership we have made significant changes within our State. We now have more rigorous expectations for teachers to become certified in our State. We have new undergraduate and alternate certification pathways for teachers to be prepared. The redesign of teacher preparation programs has occurred in every single public and private University in our State. We have a teacher preparation accountability system that is using multiple measures in addition to in the future or value added measure to look at the effectiveness of our new teachers and we now have a research agenda where our universities private providers districts are working together to try to determine why is it that we have more effective teachers completing some of our teacher preparation programs. The overall passage rate for teachers in our State increased from 89 percent in 1999 to 1,000 to 99.9 percent in 2008, 2009. We are very proud about the accomplishments that we have had within our State. We now know where we have effective new teachers coming out of our teacher preparation programs dollars and we feel we are an example of a State where State agencies can work together, universities, providers and districts can all work together for a common cause and that is for the improved achievements of students within our State. Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify today. [The statement of Ms. Burns follows:] Prepared Statement of Jeanne M. Burns, Associate Commissioner for Teacher and Leadership Initiatives, Louisiana Board of Regents Good afternoon, Chairman Miller, Ranking Member Kline, and members of the Committee. My name is Jeanne Burns, and I am the Associate Commissioner for Teacher and Leadership Initiatives for the Louisiana Board of Regents. I am also an Associate Professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and on loan to the State of Louisiana to support our teacher and leader initiatives. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you at this hearing to tell Louisiana's story and address Supporting America's Educators: The Importance in Quality Teachers and Leaders. I am testifying today on behalf of the Louisiana Board of Regents; however, I will be addressing a successful collaborative partnership that has existed in the State of Louisiana during the last ten years to improve the effectiveness of teachers and educational leaders. This initiative has been supported by three governors (Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor Kathleen Blanco, and Governor Mike Foster), two Commissioners of Higher Education (Dr. Sally Clausen and Dr. E. Joseph Savoie), two State Superintendents (Paul Pastorek and Cecil Picard), Louisiana Board of Regents, Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Louisiana Department of Education, university presidents/ chief academic officers/college of education deans/faculty, private providers, and school districts. Our state is also fortunate to possess a strong partnership among the college of education deans at all public universities and private universities (including our Historically Black Colleges and Universities). They have freely exchanged best practices across their campuses and worked collaboratively to help all institutions produce effective new teachers and leaders. Their leadership and hard work has been a critical component of our success. As a result of these and other collaborative partnerships, Louisiana is now leading the nation in its ability to link growth of student learning to university and private provider programs that prepare new teachers. Through the use of a Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment, developed by Dr. George Noell at Louisiana State University and A&M College, it is now possible for our state to predict the growth of achievement of individual grades 4-9 students, examine the actual achievement of individual students from the end of one year to the end of the next year, link the growth of achievement of students to new teachers who taught the students, and link the growth in achievement to the teacher preparation programs that prepared the new teachers. Evidence of our success includes the following: The overall passage rates for Louisiana's universities on the state teacher certification examinations have increased from 89% in 1999-2000 to 99.9% in 2008-2009. Our Historically Black Colleges and Universities had passage rates of 33%, 38%, and 65% for their 1999-2000 program completers, and they now have passage rates of 100%. The overall number of teacher candidates who failed to meet all teacher certification requirements at the point of graduation has decreased from 230 in 2000-2001 to only 3 in 2008-2009. At the point that Hurricane Katrina hit our state, the number of new teachers being produced by our universities was at its highest demonstrating that it was possible to increase quality and numbers at the same time. Our numbers dropped after Hurricane Katrina, and our state has been working to increase the numbers through our universities, Teach for America, and private providers like The New Teacher Project and the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators. In 2001-2002, the percentage of teachers certified to teach in Louisiana was 84.39%. The percentage of Louisiana teachers identified as having standard certificates to teach in 2009- 2010 is 95.2%. We are proud of our success, and we could not have done it without the support and commitment of our many partners. Background Louisiana looked very different in 1999-2000 when it made a decision to form a Blue Ribbon Commission for Teacher Quality to develop recommendations to improve the recruitment, preparation, and retention of quality teachers and principals. This Commission is still in operation today as the Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence and is recognized nationally as an example of a best practice. The Commission is co-chaired by a member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Glenny Lee Buquet) and a member of the Board of Regents (Mary Ellen Roy--Current Co-Chair; Frances Henry-- Previous Co-Chair). It is composed of 36 members who represent state, university, district, school, teacher, community, and parent leaders and meets six times a year. It has a specific focus each year and uses the expertise of national and state experts to guide it in the development of new recommendations that are presented each May at a joint meeting of the two boards. In 1999-2000, the Commission identified 60 recommendations to improve teacher quality. In 2000-2001, it identified 40 recommendations to improve educational leadership. As a result of these recommendations, new policies were approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to strengthen teacher and leader certification. More rigorous teacher certification structures were implemented, new content examinations and higher cut- off scores for licensure were adopted, ongoing professional development over five years for relicensure was mandated, and new pathways for alternate and undergraduate teacher preparation were approved. The recommendations of the Commission were also used to attain a $3.4 million Title II Teacher Quality State Grant from the U.S. Department of Education during 2000-2004, a $4.2 million grant from The Wallace Foundation during 2004-08, an $800,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York during 2007-2009, and a $3.4 million grant from The Wallace Foundation during 2008-2010 to support the implementation of the new teacher and leader reforms at the state, university, district, and school levels In response to the new PK-12 policies, the Board of Regents implemented new policies that required all universities to align undergraduate and alternate teacher preparation programs with the new state certification structures for teachers and educational leaders, PK-12 state/national content standards, PK-12 state/national teacher and leader standards, PRAXIS examination expectations, and national accreditation expectations. In addition, they required all universities to address four levels of teacher preparation effectiveness.
The first level of effectiveness pertains to effectiveness in planning, and all universities were required to create redesign teams composed of College of Education, College of Arts/Sciences, College of Business, and school personnel and chaired by a PK-16+ Coordinator to redesign all undergraduate and alternate teacher and educational leadership preparation programs to address the new BESE and BoR policies. All redesigned and new programs were evaluated by national experts to ensure quality across all preparation programs. Universities and private providers had to address all stipulations of the national consultants to attain approval to implement the programs. Universities and private providers that failed to address the expectations were not allowed to admit new candidates to their programs after specific deadline dates. Redesigned and new teacher preparation programs are now being offered by 20 universities, two private providers for teacher preparation, and three private providers for educational leadership preparation. The second level of effectiveness pertains to effectiveness of implementation, and national accreditation was used as a measure of accomplishment. All public and private universities were required to attain national accreditation of their teacher preparation programs. At the present time, 18 of the 20 public and private universities in Louisiana are NCATE accredited. The two remaining universities are new. One is pursuing NCATE accreditation, and the other is pursuing TEAC accreditation. Thus, this expectation is being met by all public and private universities in Louisiana. The third level of effectiveness pertains to effectiveness of impact, and a new Teacher Preparation Accountability System was implemented to determine accomplishment. A Teacher Preparation Performance Score was calculated for each university based upon multiple measures for an Institutional Performance Index and Quantity Index that rewarded universities that produced new teachers in teacher shortage areas and rural districts. Universities were labeled as Exemplary, High Performing, Satisfactory, At-Risk, and Low Performing based upon their scores. Due to Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita impacting schools and universities in Louisiana, the baselines for the Quantity Index had to be recalculated. As a result, the state's Blue Ribbon Commission has revised the Teacher Preparation Accountability System to include the new Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment scores and new baselines. The revised system will be piloted in the upcoming months. Three universities entered into corrective action when the system was first implemented. By 2004-2005, 14 universities were labeled as Exemplary and one university was in corrective action. After Hurricane Katrina, the one institution reconstituted its program and concentrated its efforts upon the preparation of grades PK-3 and grades 1-5 teachers. Thus, all universities in Louisiana have successfully addressed the first three levels of teacher preparation effectiveness and have now moved beyond universities in most other states to address the highest level of effectiveness which is growth of achievement of students taught by the teacher preparation programs that prepared the new teachers. Development of Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment Louisiana first recognized the need to link student achievement to teacher preparation programs in 2000-2001 when the Blue Ribbon Commission recommended a Teacher Preparation Accountability System that included growth of student learning as one of several variables. The state did not have the capacity to collect and analyze achievement data in this fashion at that time. As universities underwent evaluation by the national consultants, it was observed that universities were experiencing problems in creating authentic assessments to link student learning to new teachers who completed the teacher preparation programs. Dr. George Noell and I scheduled a meeting with former Commissioner of Higher Education E. Joseph Savoie and former State Superintendent Cecil Picard to propose a pilot study during 2003-04 to create and implement a value added teacher preparation model that used data from 10 school districts in the state. The 10 school districts were piloting a new data system for the Louisiana Department of Education that linked students to their achievement tests to the teachers who taught the students. The Commissioner and State Superintendent agreed to share data and support the pilot. The Board of Regents provided funding for Dr. Noell to conduct the pilot in 2003-04 and replicate the pilot in 2004-05. In 2005-06 and 2006-07, the Board of Regents provided funding for the study to be expanded to include all school districts, 20 public and private universities, and 2 private providers. In 2007-08 and 2008-09, the Board of Regents obtained a two year grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for the Louisiana State University research team (led by Dr. George Noell and Dr. Kristin Gansle) to conduct additional quantitative research to expand the Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment Model. In addition, funding was provided for a State Research Team to be created to conduct a qualitative research study to determine why some teacher preparation programs prepared new teachers whose students demonstrated greater growth in learning than experienced teachers in specific content areas. The State Research Team was composed of a researcher from each of the 20 public and private universities and 2 private providers who prepared teachers as well as staff from the Board of Regents and Louisiana Department of Education. Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment Model The Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment predicts growth of student achievement based on prior achievement, demographics, and attendance, assesses actual student achievement, and calculates effect estimates that identify the degree to which students taught by new teachers showed achievement similar to students taught by experienced teachers. The teacher preparation effect estimates are based upon multiple new teachers in multiple schools across multiple school districts in the state. The predictors examine student variables, teacher variables, and building variables and differ slightly based upon the five content areas examined which are mathematics, science, social studies, reading, and English/language arts. To be included in the analysis, new teachers must be first or second year teachers who have completed their teacher preparation program leading to initial certification, received a standard teaching certificate, attained teaching positions in their areas of certification, and completed a teacher preparation program within five years. Experienced teachers are all other certified professionals who possess a standard teaching certificate and have taught in their area of certification for two or more years. The model examines the four pathways to teacher licensure that exist in Louisiana: Undergraduate Pathway, Master of Arts in Teaching alternate pathway, Practitioner Teacher Program alternate pathway, and Non-Master's/Certification Only alternate pathway. All three alternate pathways require candidates to meet the same entry/exit requirements and require all candidates to address the same standards. The current analysis uses State achievement data in the areas of mathematics, science, social studies, language arts, and reading for students enrolled in grades 4-9 who attended public schools in Louisiana during the full school years of 2005-06, 2006-07, and/or 2007-08. In addition, data are used for all grades 4-9 teachers in public schools in Louisiana who taught the students. A Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM) was used for the analysis. This is a layered statistical model that is designed to analyze data within natural layers or groups--students within classes within schools. 2008-09 Results We currently have results for eight teacher preparation programs in Louisiana that had a sufficient number of new teachers who completed redesigned or new alternate certification programs and met the criteria to be included in the study. It is anticipated that the remaining teacher preparation programs will meet the criteria for inclusion in the study when the results of the 2009-10 Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment study are released during 2010. We used five bands of performance to focus attention on clusters of performance rather than a continuous ranking of teacher preparation programs. Our results indicate that there is as much variance within teacher preparation programs in individual content areas as there is variance across teacher preparation programs in the state. As an example, universities and private provider programs did not perform equally high or equally low across all content areas. The New Teacher Project prepared new teachers where the growth in achievement was greater than experienced teachers in mathematics and reading, comparable to experienced teachers in science and language arts, and comparable to new teachers in social studies. The University of Louisiana at Monroe prepared new teachers where the growth in achievement was greater than experienced teachers in science, comparable to new teachers in reading, language arts, and social studies, and comparable to new teachers in mathematics. Our results have also provided valuable information that can help universities improve their programs. As an example, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has been NCATE accredited for many years and received a label of Exemplary when our Teacher Preparation Accountability System was implemented. Their university is respected in the state, and they are committed to improving education in the communities surrounding their university. Their current President is the former Commissioner of Higher Education who supported the initial creation of the Value Added Teacher Preparation Assessment Model. When they received their value added results, they found that the growth of achievement of students taught by their new teachers was comparable to other new teachers in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. The growth was less than other new teachers in language arts in both their undergraduate and alternate certification program. When they were provided additional results, it was determined that the problem was in their grades 1-5 grade span and not the other grade spans. The President, college of education dean, and faculty have seriously examined the curriculum and identified changes that are now being implemented to improve language arts in grades 1-5. Without the value added results, the university would not have been aware of the need to strengthen the curriculum in this area. The only other teacher preparation program to have growth that was less than that of other new teachers was the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators in the area of reading for all grade spans. They have also seriously examined their curriculum and made changes to improve the effectiveness of teachers in reading. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has implemented a new policy that requires programs with growth that is less than new teachers or significantly less than new teachers to enter into Programmatic Intervention. Programs will be required to develop a plan to improve their programs and provide timelines for outcomes to be demonstrated. Failure to demonstrate improvement by the identified timelines will result in closure of the programs. Results are currently being reported for only the redesigned and new teacher preparation programs that address the State's more rigorous teacher certification requirements. Results for pre-redesign teacher preparation programs were reported in 2006-2007 and the findings were not as positive as those for the post-redesign programs. Based upon our qualitative research, we have determined that it is not the pathway that explains the variance within and between teacher preparation programs; it is what is occurring within the pathway to prepare new teachers in the specific content areas that makes the difference. We have also determined that our state policies to create more rigorous teacher certification requirements and require all universities to redesign their teacher preparation programs impacted the programs. The more rigorous requirements for admission and completion of alternate programs resulted in most of the new teachers having ACT scores around 20 or 21 and few with lower ACT scores. These teachers are more or less effective based upon the knowledge and skills developed within specific content areas within the programs. There has not been time to fully discuss our educational leadership reforms, but you do need to be aware that we have worked just as hard to improve the effectiveness of our educational leadership preparation programs and we are currently developing an Educational Leadership Preparation Accountability System. If we do not have effective principals in our schools, we will not be able to retain the effective new teachers that we are now preparing. I appreciate the opportunity to appear today to discuss the work we have done in Louisiana to improve the effectiveness of new teachers and leaders. I would be happy to answer your questions. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Dr. Bennett. STATEMENT OF TONY BENNETT, SUPERINTENDENT, INDIANA OFFICE OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION Mr. Bennett. Thank you. Chairman Miller, Members of the Committee it is an honor to be here today. With the belief that great teachers and leaders are critical to students' success, Indiana's goals and vision for education placed a strong focus on reforms aiming to improve instruction and school leadership. We have taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to developing and implementing these reforms. Our fast forward reform plan, the plan Indiana Department of Education, submitted as its round 1 Federal Race to the Top application reflects our commitment to realizing significant gains in this area. As we sit here in 2010, never before have there been such coordinated efforts by Federal, State local education stakeholders to put the focus of our system of schools where it belongs on our students. Our greatest challenge is to unite aggressively against all forces working to oppose reform that benefits children. In Indiana, in States across the Nation, the most striking and most powerful impediment to improving instructional quality and school leadership has been those organizations charged principally to protect the teaching profession, the teacher unions. It is no secret that across the Nation, teacher and school leader evaluations have been largely ineffective. According to a study by the new teacher project, less than 1 percent of teachers evaluated as poor or ineffective. A survey by the same group found teachers found little value in these evaluations. They do not receive informative feedback or constructive criticism and feel evaluations subjective and inconsistent. Our efforts have been guided by core principals about the role and importance of evaluations. To begin, we believe any meaningful evaluation tool must substantially consider student achievement growth in its determinations. To that end, Indiana calls for teacher and principal evaluations that base 51 percent of each educators rating on student growth data. Every other aspect of the evaluation must be tied to student learning. Most important, these retooled evaluations must be factored into the decision making. They should be used to inform professional development, compensation considerations, promotion, retention and reductions in force. Our best educators should lead professional development experiences to share the best practices. They should be eligible for additional compensation. They should be the first considered for promotions and special opportunity and in times of economic distress like today they should be the highest priority for retention when considering reductions in force. On the other hand, ineffective teachers or those needing improvement should receive targeted professional development and support, they do not improve enough to meet the instructional needs of children they should be removed from the classroom. In Indiana, our State level union leaders seem to tout the need for professionalism and high standards, but they are not willing to back the reforms necessary to boost instructional quality for Hoosier students. Although they expressed agreement and cooperation with our intentions to create evaluation tools tied to student growth, and even helped to develop the initial the framework for those evaluations tools, when it came down to publicly supporting union leaders, they failed to make even a lukewarm endorsement of our efforts. We have strengthened our regulations regarding teacher preparations and licensure to make sure all secondary teachers have content area majors in the subjects they teach. The same rule revision removes burdensome regulations that require teachers to spend thousands of dollars to renew their licenses by allowing them to use professional development credit they already earned towards renewal. New teachers will be required to work closely with building leaders to hone their skills and improve, and all teachers will be able to make their licenses more marketable by adding areas to their licenses by passing content area exams to prove their competence. Equally important, our new licensing regulations take the first step toward creating alternative pathways to the teaching profession by allowing nontraditional programs to be approved in the future. Many programs already exist in Indiana to drive more nontraditional, highly competitive adults into the teaching profession. The transition to Teaching Program, Wilson Teaching Fellows, Indianapolis Teaching Fellows, The New Teacher Project, and Teach for America are examples of alternative pathways that put knowledgeable, well-trained adults in some of our most high-need subject areas and schools. At the heart of the majority of Indiana's reform efforts included in our Fast Forward plan, including educator evaluations, is Indiana's Growth Model. We began the model in 2008, and we are now weeks away from fully implementing this important longitudinal data system. Indiana's Growth Model groups students with grade-level peers across the State who achieve similar scores on our State's examination and track student growth with these groupings. For the first time, we will be able to assess how much growth a student has achieved over the course of a year. The department has already begun the process to make Indiana's school accountability system more transparent and meaningful, as well as plans to incorporate the Growth Model in the future. Public law 221 uses five category labels based on student progress on the ISTEP exam, student improvement over 3 years, and Federal AYP status. These categories--exemplary, commendable, academic progress, academic watch, and probation-- fail to clearly communicate the true condition of our schools and, therefore, hinder reform efforts. Indiana is working to change these labels to A through F letter grades to increase transparency and public awareness. In all, education in Indiana has come a long way in a little more than a year, but we still have a great deal to accomplish. Our Fast Forward plan is our reform map for the future; and the most important piece, in many ways, is requiring meaningful teacher and principal evaluations that directly influence decision making. Our students' performance can only be as high as the effectiveness of the teachers educating them. Chairman Miller. Mr. Bennett, I am going to ask you wrap up if you would please. Mr. Bennett. Okay. Our hope ahead is that public, political, and parental outrage and demand for aggressive education reform will continue to build. As we shed more light on the appalling inequity and tremendous failure of many of our schools to provide our young people even a chance to succeed in this complex global economy, we stand ready to take ownership for the problems and take action to provide a better education for these children. [The statement of Mr. Bennett follows:] Prepared Statement of Tony Bennett, Superintendent, Indiana Office of Public Instruction With the belief that great teachers and leaders are critical to student success, Indiana's goals and vision for education place a strong focus on reforms aiming to improve instruction and school leadership. We have taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to developing and implementing these reforms. Our Fast Forward reform plan--the plan Indiana's Department of Education (IDOE) submitted as its Round I federal Race to the Top application--reflects our commitment to realizing significant gains in this area. Indeed, it can be argued that every component of the reform plan helps support, secure, reward, train, and retain great teachers and school leaders for Hoosier students. IDOE's Action Plan, developed when I took office in January 2009, outlines a clear strategy for improving instructional quality and enhancing school governance and leadership. Our goals in this area require legislative and administrative success, and thus far, we have accomplished a great deal on both fronts. In fact, as we wrote our Fast Forward plan to compete in the federal Race to the Top competition, we did so fully confident that whether we were able to secure funding or not, the reforms within the plan would comprise our reform agenda for the next three years. Today, as we endeavor to improve the quality of instruction and leadership for Indiana's schools without additional federal funding, we look to our past accomplishments to inspire our future efforts for Hoosier students. Moreover, we charge ahead with a commitment to maintaining flexibility and autonomy for our local school districts. For while it is our job, at the state level, to set a high bar for achievement, provide support and enforce accountability, it is the job of our local school districts to reach this bar with strategies best suited to meet the needs of their unique student populations. Likewise, Indiana stands behind the efforts of the U.S. Department of Education to fundamentally change the ineffective status quo in American schools, and we welcome their leadership and support as our state works to implement bold reforms targeted to improve student achievement in Indiana. Never before have there been such coordinated efforts by federal, state, and local education stakeholders to put the full focus of our system of schools where it belongs--on students. Our greatest challenge is to unite aggressively against all forces working to oppose reform that benefits school children. In Indiana and states across the nation, the most striking, most powerful impediment to improving instructional quality and school leadership has been those organizations charged, principally, to protect the integrity of the teaching profession: teachers' unions. While there are examples of local teachers' associations joining Indiana's school leaders to make powerful decisions that improve and protect instructional quality, state-level union leadership is unwilling to support our reforms aimed at developing meaningful, consistent and fair teacher and school leader evaluations. It is no secret that, across the nation, teacher and school leader evaluations are largely ineffective. According to a study by The New Teacher Project, less than 1 percent of teachers are evaluated as poor or ineffective. A survey by the same group found that teachers themselves find little value in evaluations. They do not receive informative feedback or constructive criticism, and they feel evaluations are subjective and inconsistent. Indiana aims to comprehensively overhaul teacher and school leader evaluations by collaborating with teachers, principals and other stakeholders. Our efforts have been guided by core principles about the role and importance of evaluations. To begin, we believe any meaningful evaluation tool must substantially consider student achievement growth in its determinations. To that end, Indiana calls for teacher and principal evaluations that base 51 percent of each educator's rating on student growth data. Every other aspect of evaluation must be tied to student learning, as well. IDOE worked with leaders from the Indiana State Teachers Association and the Indiana Federation of Teachers in a series of meetings to develop a framework for these evaluations. During the course of these work sessions, both organizations expressed agreement, in principle, that tying educator evaluations to student achievement growth was crucial. Next, evaluations must reflect actual educator performance. Indiana proposes four rating categories resulting from these evaluations: Highly Effective, Effective, Needs Improvement, and Ineffective. The ratings must be analyzed annually to ensure the distribution of teachers and principals in each of these categories is accurate, and evaluations must be declared invalid if ratings have been inflated. Most important, these retooled evaluations must be factored into decision-making. They should be used to inform professional development, compensation considerations, promotion, retention, and reductions in force. Our best educators should lead professional development experiences to share best practices. They should be eligible for additional compensation. They should be the first considered for promotions and special opportunities, and in times of severe economic distress--like today--they should be the highest priority for retention when considering reductions in force. On the other hand, ineffective teachers or those needing improvement should receive targeted professional development and support. If they do not improve enough to meet the instructional needs of students, they should be removed from the classroom. In every other profession, workers are evaluated by their ability to get the job done. An educator's top priority is to educate young minds--regardless of their achievement level or ability upon entering the classroom--and they should be rated according to their ability to educate children. Using student growth data assures that teachers are recognized for their ability to give every student what they deserve: at least one year's worth of learning over the course of one school year. Principals should be evaluated not only by student growth but also by the effectiveness of the teachers under their leadership. My father was an electrician, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. His union took responsibility for his training and credentials, made sure he didn't burn any houses down, and policed its member electricians. Teachers' unions should do the same by ensuring the highest-quality licensing standards, professional development and evaluations. Teachers' unions should have high expectations for their members and protect the integrity of the teaching profession. In Indiana, our state-level union leaders seem to tout the need for professionalism and high standards, but they aren't willing to back the reforms necessary to boost instructional quality for Hoosier students. Although they expressed agreement and cooperation with our intentions to create evaluation tools tied to student growth and even helped develop an initial framework for these evaluation tools, when it came down to publicly supporting our reforms with their local union leaders--they failed to make even a lukewarm endorsement of our efforts. We had hoped Race to the Top would provide the catalyst we needed to overcome the significant obstacles to improving instruction and school leadership. Yet, Indiana is well-positioned to implement a great many positive initiatives without additional federal funding or the support of teachers' unions: We have already put many reforms into action, and we continue to build public and stakeholder support with the power to provide the momentum we need to do more in the future. Beginning with our legislative successes, Indiana's recent progress to reform education is commendable. With the passage of legislation in 2009, teachers now receive qualified immunity from lawsuit for reasonable acts of discipline to maintain control of their classrooms, and dangerous loopholes have been closed to make sure teachers accused and/or charged with dangerous offenses have their licenses revoked. Our legislature also eliminated charter school caps, creating more opportunities for students and more choices for their families. We've strengthened our regulations regarding teacher preparation and licensure to make sure all secondary teachers have content-area majors in the subjects they teach. This same rule revision removes burdensome regulations that require teachers to spend thousands of dollars to renew their licenses by allowing them to use the professional development credits they already earn toward their renewal. New teachers will be required to work closely with building leaders to hone in their skills and improve, and all teachers will be able to make their licenses more marketable by adding areas to their licenses by passing content-area exams to prove their competence. Equally important, our new licensing regulations take the first step toward creating alternative paths to the teaching profession by allowing new nontraditional programs to be approved in the future. Many programs already exist in Indiana to drive more nontraditional, highly-competent adults into the teaching profession. The Transition to Teaching program, Wilson Teaching Fellows, Indianapolis Teaching Fellows, The New Teacher Project and Teach for America are examples of alternative pathways that put knowledgeable, well-trained adults in some of our most high need subject areas and schools. We are also in the process of establishing programs to identify and train highly effective school leaders, an effort closely linked to our efforts to close the achievement gap and turnaround our lowest achieving schools. By slashing our own department's budget, IDOE was able to realize over $1 million in savings. With that money, we created the Graduation Rate Incentive program, providing financial rewards to teachers and principals in schools that most increase the number of students graduating from high school in four years. At the heart of the majority of Indiana's reform efforts included in our Fast Forward plan--including educator evaluations--is Indiana's Growth Model. We began developing the model in 2008, and we now are weeks away from fully rolling out this important longitudinal date system. For years, the state relied solely on achievement test data to assess student achievement. This provided us only a snapshot of student performance and encouraged educators to focus their instructional efforts on those students closest to passing the standardized achievement test. Understandably, this myopic view of student performance has been criticized as inequitable and inaccurate, as it fails to adequately assess our lowest achieving, highest achieving, special needs and Limited English Proficiency students. Indiana's Growth Model groups students with their grade-level peers across the state who achieve a similar score on our state's ISTEP+ examination and tracks student growth within these groupings. For the first time, we will be able to assess how much growth a student has achieved over the course of a school year. The implications of this new longitudinal data system are immense. We will be able to identify exceptional educators more fairly and accurately. Consider the student who enters Grade 4 reading at a first grade level. A teacher who can help that student gain two and one half years of learning by the end of the year should be commended for her efforts, not penalized because the student cannot read at a fourth grade level. Likewise, a teacher whose students achieve at extremely high levels but fail to gain one year's worth of learning in one year may be less effective than a teacher with lower achieving students who achieve higher growth. IDOE plans to link this growth data to teachers and principals, school buildings and school districts. Already, the general public can view growth and achievement data for K-8 schools and districts. All schools are placed on a four-square grid, and each school is rated according to growth and achievement. Additionally, the Growth Model can be used to track effective and ineffective teachers back to the institutions that prepared them for licensure. IDOE and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education are exploring the possibility of a public rating for Indiana's teacher preparation programs. The Growth Model will be a powerful tool for parents and the public, who will be able to see how well their schools are educating students in a transparent format. Community and family involvement are critical to our reform efforts, from their active involvement within our schools to their support and high expectations for students' success. Another initiative has been invaluable to our efforts to increase public awareness of the need for radical reform in our worst schools. Public Law 221 was passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 1999 to hold schools accountable for student performance, inform parents and the public, create incentives for ongoing and meaningful improvement, and establish major educational reform. PL 221 mandates state support and intervention for schools that rank in the lowest category for four consecutive years. More than ten years after the law's passage, the State has only now begun to intervene in Indiana's 25 lowest achieving schools. We sent technical teams to assess these schools and develop turnaround plans with school leaders. The schools are not required to sign on to these plans, but if they fail to demonstrate improvement, the state has the authority to intervene by closing schools, replacing or eliminating school leaders and teachers, or assuming state control of the buildings. Make no mistake: we will not hesitate to intervene if necessary. Our efforts to increase instructional quality and leadership are a strong aspect of turning around our lowest achieving schools, as low performing schools--especially those with high-poverty and high- minority student populations--tend to have the greatest number of ineffective teachers and principals. Ensuring a fair distribution of high-quality educators is critical to narrowing the achievement gap in Indiana and across the nation. The department has already begun the process to make Indiana's school accountability system more transparent and meaningful, as well, and plans to incorporate the Growth Model in the future. PL 221 uses five category labels based on student performance on the ISTEP+ exam, student improvement over three years, and federal Adequate Yearly Progress status. These categories (Exemplary, Commendable, Progress, Watch and Probation) fail to clearly communicate the true condition of our schools and, therefore, hinder reform efforts. Indiana is working to change these labels to A-F letter grades to increase transparency and public awareness. Finally, we are supporting Indiana's teachers and school leaders and arming them with the tools they need to improve instruction. Indiana is part of a consortium of states working to adopt the Common Core Standards. These standards will be clearer, more concise, and will provide our students an internationally-benchmarked framework of the skills they will need to succeed in a 21st century, global economy. Indiana's existing academic standards are excellent, but they are cumbersome and difficult for educators to navigate and use. Merging our own standards into the Common Core will provide teachers a more accessible and useful tool. IDOE is also developing curriculum maps to help teachers plan daily instruction to incorporate all grade-level standards over the course of the school year. The Common Core Standards are a great example of how the state can set the bar for high achievement without compromising local schools' ability to custom tailor curricula to unique student populations. The State isn't concerned with how schools meet (or exceed) expectations; our job is simply to make sure students can demonstrate proficiency in the standards. In all, education in Indiana has come a long way in little more than one year, but we still have a great deal to accomplish. Our Fast Forward plan is our reform map for the future, and the most important piece, in many ways, is requiring meaningful teacher and principal evaluations that directly influence decision-making. Our students' performance can only be as high as the effectiveness of the teachers educating them. Our teachers' effectiveness can only be as good as our school leaders demand and the support they provide. Unfortunately, implementing meaningful educator evaluations will continue to be one of the greatest challenges we face in transforming our schools because of the powerful organized forces opposing accountability for the adults charged with educating our students. In Indiana, state law concerning teacher evaluations makes it difficult to tie teacher evaluations to any type of student performance data, including growth, because collective bargaining contracts can be used to override attempts to include student performance data. IDOE could work through the Indiana General Assembly to make meaningful evaluations a real possibility, though the teachers' unions' significant investment in many state legislator campaigns could make negotiations difficult, to say the least. Likewise, our experience negotiating with the teachers' unions to prepare our Race to the Top application has made it abundantly clear these organizations are committed to opposing efforts to improve educator evaluations. I believe fundamentally that we must create high expectations for the adults in our system of schools, just as we have set for our students, and we must hold them accountable to meet those expectations. If we fail to do this, we will have failed to create transformative change that benefits all school children--despite all else we may accomplish toward that end. Our hope moving ahead is that public, political, and parental outrage and demand for aggressive education reform will continue to build. As we shed more light on the appalling inequity and the tremendous failure of many of our schools to provide our young people even a chance at success in this complex, global economy, we stand ready to take ownership for the problems and take action to provide a better education for these children. As federal, state and local education stakeholders and elected officials unite without regard to political affiliation to do what is truly best for America's children, the powers working just as tirelessly to oppose our efforts must relent to a national outcry for change. ______ Indiana Department of Education Guidelines for Measuring Teacher and Principal Effectiveness ``The Obama administration aims to reward states that use student achievement as a ``predominant'' part of teacher evaluations with the extra stimulus funds--and pass over those that don't.'' Joanne S. Weiss, NewSchools Venture Fund and Race to the Top Director. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is committed to improving the quality of instruction and leadership in Indiana's schools. To reach this goal we must focus on teacher and principal quality by accurately assessing individual performance. Recognizing that teacher and principal effectiveness are the most important factors in improving student achievement, teachers and principals must be credibly evaluated on their ability to impact student outcomes and growth. Districts must reexamine their evaluation tools and begin to use them to inform district policies regarding hiring, laying off, professional development, compensation, promotions, and retention. IDOE has established these guidelines to provide a clear bar for developing teacher and principal evaluation instruments. By adopting these guidelines, a district still must follow applicable state laws. In considering teacher and principal evaluation system, districts must:
Adopt a common evaluation tool for teachers and principals. Incorporate student performance/growth on ISTEP+ to count for at least 51% of the total evaluation score. Use a multiple rating scale consisting of 4 categories: highly effective, effective, improvement necessary, and ineffective. Ensure teacher and principal performance data shows meaningful differentiation of effectiveness across the ratings spectrum; the State will expect that the school corporations aggregate evaluations show a credible distribution across the spectrum. Moreover, there must be parity in distribution between tested and non-tested grades/subjects. Provide an annual evaluation for all teachers and principals. Include close examination of key performance metrics (e.g. purposeful planning, classroom culture, effective instructional techniques, and professional leadership). Create a collaborative goal-setting component for teachers and principals to set their own instructional and growth goals specific to student achievement and teacher or principal effectiveness. Specify the support and intervention which will be provided for teachers not rated as ``highly effective'' or ``effective.'' (e.g. improvement plans, professional development and dismissal protocols) and provide clear consequences for unsatisfactory performance. Use teacher and principal evaluation data to guide district, school, and individual professional development plans. Train and support evaluators to effectively implement evaluation. Use teacher and principal evaluations, at a minimum, to inform decisions regarding: (a) Developing teachers and principals, including by providing relevant coaching, induction support, and/or professional development; (b) Compensating, promoting, and retaining teachers and principals, including by providing opportunities for highly effective teachers and principals to obtain additional compensation and be given additional responsibilities; (c) Whether to grant tenure and/or full certification (where applicable) to teachers and principals using rigorous standards and streamlined, transparent, and fair procedures; and (d) Removing ineffective tenured and untenured teachers and principals after they have had ample opportunities to improve, and ensuring that such decisions are made using rigorous standards and streamlined, transparent, and fair procedures. Train and support teachers in peer assistance and/or teacher leader programs. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Mr. Kaplan. STATEMENT OF JONATHAN A. KAPLAN, PRESIDENT, WALDEN UNIVERSITY Mr. Kaplan. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I am very pleased to speak with you about the work we do at Walden University to advance teacher quality and leadership in the classroom. For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and advancing positive social change. Based in Minnesota, Walden is a primarily on-line institution, currently serving more than 40,000 students from all 50 States. Our School of Education is named for Richard W. Riley, the esteemed former U.S. Secretary of Education and former governor of South Carolina. The Richard Riley College of Education and Leadership has more than 28,000 graduates and currently enrolls over 16,000 students. We offer programs ranging from teacher certification through Ph.D. We are proud of the Riley College's diversity. Seventy- eight percent of our students are women, and 31 percent are minorities. The average age of our students is 37. The graduation rate for our masters program in teacher education, our largest program, consistently runs over 80 percent. Our students currently include 45 State Teachers of the Year. I appreciate this committee's focus on the importance of quality teachers and leaders. I believe that schools of education play an essential role in educating teachers to be more effective in their classrooms. I would like to share with you three methods we use to drive better results for our students and our students' students: one, measuring and examining specific outcomes; two, delivering programs that are relevant and practical; and, three, using technology to enable better learning. We measure Walden's success as an institution largely through the success of our graduates. In addition to more traditional means of assessment, we are increasingly focused on demonstrating our students' success through outcomes analysis. For example, on an annual basis, we survey our graduates and their employers to understand the impact of our programs. In our most recent data from 2008, each of the 72 school principals or assistant principals who responded to our survey said they would hire another Riley College graduate as a teacher. More than 90 percent of our masters of education graduates who responded said that earning their degrees enhanced their professional performance. Data like this provides important benchmarks for the School of Education to measure our performance, and I want to emphasize that is our measuring our own performance as a School of Education. Beyond these surveys, we recognize the need to examine the direct impact of our graduates in the classroom. In 2005, Walden commissioned a 3-year longitudinal study in the Tacoma, Washington, school district. The research demonstrated that students of Tacoma teachers who graduated from our masters program in elementary reading and literacy made greater gains in reading fluency--more than 14 percent greater--than students of non-Walden-masters educated teachers. We found this longitudinal study quite instructive and are now exploring how we might conduct similar studies in other substantive and geographic areas. At Walden, we also believe that our programs must have a strong theoretical and content grounding and be highly relevant and practical. Our curriculum is developed by our faculty but done so in collaboration with national experts, on-the-ground teachers, and instructional designers. This allows us to build stronger programs and to prepare teachers, no matter where they teach in the country. We offer practical courses on topics that include classroom management, meeting the needs of diverse learners, and integrating technology in the classroom. Ninety-five percent of our graduates who responded found the Walden teacher education curriculum relevant to their daily work. We also teach teachers how to be reflective about their own skills and how to utilize research-based strategies and data to improve instruction and effectiveness in their classrooms. Our philosophy is that you have to provide the opportunity for teachers to learn and apply 21st century skills so that a teacher's own learning doesn't stop when their degree ends. From our own experience at Walden, we know that interactivity and engagement on line is a particularly effective teaching tool in the field of education. For example, in our programs, we supplement our required on-ground field experience with a technology called Virtual Field Experience. In this interactive instructional video, students see and hear firsthand the master teacher's explanation of what is working and what isn't working in the displayed K-12 classroom setting. It also enables our faculty to highlight the best teaching practices from a diverse group of master teachers. Using this technology, our students have the opportunity to observe best practices and diverse teaching styles from classrooms across the country. As a leading on-line institution, we measure the value of our technology only by the results it delivers. At Walden, we feel privileged and responsible in our role as educators of such a significant number of this Nation's teacher workforce. We feel a real obligation to ensure and demonstrate that our graduates are effective and making an even more positive impact on the children they teach. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify today. [The statement of Mr. Kaplan follows:] Prepared Statement of Jonathan A. Kaplan, President, Walden University Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I am honored to be here before the Committee and with this august set of witnesses. I am very pleased to speak with you today about the work we are doing at Walden University's Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership to advance teacher quality and leadership in the classroom. For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and advancing positive social change. Based in Minnesota, Walden is a primarily online institution, is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and currently serves more than 40,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. It is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network--a global network of more than 50 online and campus-based universities in 21 countries. Our school of education is named for Richard W. Riley, the esteemed former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and former governor of South Carolina. As the Committee knows very well, Secretary Riley has long been a leader and advocate for improving education for every American child. Our Riley College of Education has graduated more than 28,000 educators and currently enrolls over 16,000 students from all 50 states. The Riley College offers programs ranging from teacher certification through Ph.D. We are proud of the diversity of our student body: the average age of a student in our school of education is 37; a Masters programs in teacher education, our graduation rate consistently runs over 80%. Our students currently include 45 state Teachers of the Year. On a personal note, my grandmother, Lee Kaplan, taught in the Rochester, New York public school system for more than 20 years. I learned from her how much pride--and personal accountability--each teacher brings to school every day. As President of Walden University, I share that sense of accountability. Schools of education play an essential role in educating teachers to be more effective in their classrooms. I appreciate this Committee's interest in exploring ways to improve teacher quality and leadership. I would like to share with you three methods we use to drive better results for our students--and our students' students. We focus on (1) measuring and examining specific outcomes, (2) delivering programs that are relevant and practical, and (3) using technology to enable better learning outcomes. 1. Assessing Quality through Outcomes At the institutional level, we measure our own success at Walden largely through the success of our graduates. Like other institutions, we do so in part through reviewing our students' learning outcomes, assessing their actual work products, and confirming that they know how to apply in the classroom what they have learned. At the Riley College, we are also increasingly focused on demonstrating our own students' success through other outcomes analyses. We are aware of the current interest among policymakers in this area. Let me describe two different efforts that are ongoing at Walden. Understand the impact that our graduates have had in their schools and classrooms as well as to understand the impact of our programs on their effectiveness as teachers. In our most recent data from 2008, we surveyed some of those employers and each of the 72 school principals or assistant principals who responded said they would hire another Riley College graduate as a teacher. We also learned from our 2008 surveys that more than 90% of our Masters of Education graduates who responded said that earning their degrees at Walden enhanced their professional performance. This data provides important benchmarks and tools for the school of education to measure our performance. In addition to the surveys we conduct, we believe that it is also important to examine the impact that our Riley College graduates have on their own students' achievements. This is a process that requires significant time, research, support and coordination with school districts. Walden commissioned a third party to complete a longitudinal study in the Tacoma, Washington school district over 2005-08. The research demonstrated that students of Tacoma teachers who graduated from our Masters program in Elementary Reading and Literacy made greater gains in reading fluency--more than 14% greater--than students of non-Walden-masters educated teachers. We learned that, as it relates to our graduates, the improvements were most significant in first grade. The study also told us that the positive impact Walden graduates had on student reading fluency translated into more efficient use of instructional time. I want to note that we began this research uncertain about the outcome--the study may well have informed us that our program was not enabling our graduates to perform at a sufficiently high level. These are significant findings and ones that have implications not only for our teachers but also for administrators and schools of education in general. We have also used the results of this research as a mechanism for continuous improvement to enhance certain aspects of our program. We found this longitudinal study so helpful that we are exploring how we might conduct similar studies in other substantive and geographic areas. 2. Providing Relevant and Practical Programs I just spoke about institutional and other outcomes as a measure of teacher quality. At Walden University, we also believe that providing our students with practical classroom tools and analytical skills is increasingly important to ensure effective teaching. We have a strong belief that our programs need to not only have a strong theoretical and content grounding, but must be highly relevant, practical and engaging. Our curriculum is developed by our faculty, but done so in collaboration with practitioners, national experts and experienced instructional designers. This allows us to prepare teachers no matter where in the U.S. they may teach and, in order to do that effectively, it takes more than one person's perspective. This process also allows us to seek input to design and then teach courses and programs in areas in which this country has a growing need. Gathering all of that expertise, grounding the courses in the latest research strategies, and putting it together in a coherent curriculum based on the best diverse learning environments--not just one particular local school district. To provide the Committee some examples, we offer courses on topics that include classroom management, working with struggling readers, meeting the needs of diverse learners, integrating technology in the classroom, adolescent literacy and technology, and creating an effective learning environment. Teachers learn research-based strategies that they can then apply in their classrooms immediately and to good effect. In fact, 95% of our graduates who responded to our survey found the Walden teacher education curriculum relevant to their daily work. We also encourage self-reflection in our curriculum. In addition to giving teachers the necessary skills and tools--all grounded in theory--we also teach them how to be reflective about their own teaching and how to utilize research to enhance their effectiveness in the classroom. For example, our Masters' program includes an Action Research course where our Riley faculty teach teachers problem-solving methodology so that after graduation, they can continue to learn and improve their practice. In our programs, teachers are asked to use authentic data from their classrooms and are taught how to use that data to make informed decisions that drive better instruction. This is essential in today's environment of increasing accountability and greater reliance on data to measure and improve student achievement. As a school of education, our philosophy is that you have to provide the opportunity for teachers to learn and apply 21st century skills so that a teacher's own learning doesn't stop when their degree ends. 3. Using Technology to Enable Better Learning As the U.S. Department of Education recently learned through a study of its own, online learning is just as effective a method of education, if not more so, than on-ground learning. This is in significant part because of the required frequent interaction between the faculty and their students. From our own experience at Walden, we know that interactivity and engagement online is a particularly effective teaching tool in the field of education. Allow me to share one example. In our education programs, we supplement our required, on-ground field experience with a technology called Virtual Field Experience. In a traditional field experience, prospective teachers observe a classroom setting in a local school. When we brought together our faculty and other experts to develop our teacher licensure program, one of the shortcomings they described was that prospective teachers may observe a terrific teacher in such a setting, or they may not. In addition, depending on the particular school district where the student is located, there may not be an opportunity for these prospective teachers to be exposed to a diverse set of learners. Using the Virtual Field Experience technology, our students have the opportunity to observe best practices and diverse teaching styles from classrooms across the country. Each video segment includes an analysis component that allows our students to hear firsthand the master teacher's engaging explanation of what's working and what isn't working in the classroom. It also enables our faculty to highlight the best teaching practices from a diverse group of master teachers around the country. This is not the most cutting edge technology. Rather, it is an effective means to supplement the teacher Conclusion At Walden, we are proud of the fact that over 40,000 teachers and other educators have chosen our programs over the years with the goal of increasing their knowledge and skills. We feel both privileged and responsible in our role as educators of such a significant number of this nation's teacher workforce. In this capacity, Walden University generally, and the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership in particular, feel a significant obligation to be able to demonstrate that our graduates are effective and, in turn, are making a positive impact on the children whom they teach. I thank you again for the opportunity to testify today. ______ Chairman Miller. Thank you. Under our prior agreement here, Ms. Clarke, we are going to start with you. Ms. Clarke. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman; and I want to thank the panel as well. I am a firm believer in the African proverb that it takes a village to raise and, I might add, educate a child. Many out- of-school variables, such as a lack of adequate nutrition or health care, impoverished conditions in the community, can have an adverse impact on student achievement. Wouldn't it make sense to require all schools to examine these variables of children in developing their turnaround models; and, furthermore, aren't we placing too much of the accountability burden just on teachers? What role should parental and community involvement play in education? And I open that to the panel. Chairman Miller. Well, come on now, somebody. Mr. Steinhauser. Mr. Steinhauser. I will talk from Long Beach's perspective. In Long Beach, I have 72 wrap-around programs that we heard earlier discussed in the panel, and we look at everything. And you are exactly right. It is the entire community. It is the parents. It is the business partners. It is the higher ed. We all have to come together. We have a very strong partnership with our local churches, where our local churches open their doors on Saturdays and after school, and we bring in the tutors to work in those churches, and then they bring in the students. So I agree 100 percent that the accountability is not just on the teachers. It is on every single person. And it is very important that, as we develop our accountability programs, that we bring everybody to the table and that they are part of every process of the table. Because it is important for parents to understand what these assessments mean, how they can get assistance if they need assistance, and not just for teachers or the employers of the school district. Chairman Miller. Anybody else? Ms. Clarke. Okay. I just wanted to raise that as a concern, because I find that oftentimes we are looking to the teacher for all of the solutions and notwithstanding, you know, those who may be willing to go into low-performing schools with their skills, if they are not prepared to address that environment that the child is living in it can also be a challenge. At the end of the day, we are going to come back to the teachers and say, you didn't perform; and no one is going to discuss all the other factors that are impacting on that school environment. So I wanted to raise that as an issue, because it is one that I am faced with in Brooklyn, New York. I have seen, actually, the concept of all the stakeholders work. I have yet to see an exclusion of those stakeholders really take root in terms of accountability in the development of the education of our children. I wanted to also ask whether you think that tying student achievement outcomes to teacher and principal evaluations is a good way to attract high-quality educators to struggling schools. Do you believe that they would want to stick to successful schools or remain in schools where they would not risk uneven student growth because of the possible challenges or hurdles involved in working in and turning around a persistently low-achieving school? What is your experience? Chairman Miller. Ms. McElroy. Ms. Parker-McElroy. I have worked in a low-performing school, and I have been a proud member of being able to turn it around and for it to be successful. And one thing that I just wanted to say is that the teachers, when we are working together, the teachers are coming to that school not--before moral obligations to make a difference to the students' lives. And when we are around struggling and trying to make a difference for the poverty students, such as you suggested a minute ago, we like to show our data to each other because we can see how a strategy has worked for one teacher and how I can learn from you or maybe how I can bring that to another grade to make a difference. So the teachers that I have worked with for the last 5 years want to work in the schools and make a difference for the students. Chairman Miller. Ms. Thompson. Ms. Thompson. At Teach Plus, we have actually had the opportunity to pose that question to a group of about 150 teachers when the Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts was creating the Race to the Top proposal. What we found in that session is that 87 percent of the teachers in the room welcomed student outcomes data as a part of their personal assessments, and they wanted the opportunity to not only show what they can do but to be held accountable and to continue to work with their colleagues using that data and moving forward with their professions. Chairman Miller. Thank you. Ms. Hirono. Excuse me. Mr. Petri. Mr. Petri. I would like to thank all of you for your testimony and the effort that went into preparing it. And I apologize that some of my questions are a little basic, but don't be restricted by that. I was interested, Mr. Kaplan, in your saying your students are 37 years old, on average. Is that a factor? That is quite-- you think of people coming at a much younger age into the teaching profession. And why would--could you explain why that is or how this affects, if it does, the performance of the people when they do enter your system and then finally get into the teaching, presumably as a second or a third career? Mr. Kaplan. Sure. Thank you. The main reason that the average age of our students at Walden is 37 is the fact that our focus predominantly, from a program standpoint, has been in graduate education. As a result, our largest program in the Riley College of Education is our master of science in education where teachers are coming back to get their masters degree as mid-career professionals and teachers; and, because we are on-line, there is an opportunity for them to do it without much difficulty in terms of their own careers. So, from our standpoint, ensuring that we are meeting the needs of working adults and doing so in a way that is very relevant and providing programs that are very practical to them we know is critical. On average, our masters' students at Walden have between 10 and 15 years teaching experience, so we know that the value that we can add is supplementing their education. Their education is continuing, they are lifelong learners, and providing them with very relevant and practical programs and courses at that level is essential. Mr. Petri. It is my impression, and I may be wrong, but that there is a fairly high dropout rate in the first couple of years of people actually entering the classroom; and there are efforts to try to deal with that through--as people segue from education schools to practice teaching and so on and so forth. But, nonetheless, many teachers do get overwhelmed, especially going into inner city schools or challenging environments. And the second part of that is that there has been a criticism that many schools of education focus a lot more on theory and not too much on preparing people to lead in the classroom and to actually work on content and this sort of thing. I wonder if any of you would be--as consumers of teacher-school-trained people, is there room for improvement? Is there something the Federal Government could do, if that is the case, in improving the preparation for people moving into the field of public school teaching and maybe having a two-tier system, if people are dropping out anyway, of apprentice teaching or--I don't know. I am just curious to know if we can tighten up somehow on the profession of teaching and have teachers be better prepared to teach. Mr. Kaplan. Sure. I think your point about schools of education needing to focus on practical and relevant lessons for teachers and professional development that they can apply immediately in the classroom in terms of how to apply research in the classroom and learn from the data that they are looking at--there is a lot of assessments out there. Are teachers gaining the skills and the development they need to be able to assess that data and then apply it immediately to improve individual student performance? Those kinds of practical elements are absolutely critical, we think, in terms of what schools of education can offer. Mr. Bennett. Our experience has been that it is not either/ or. It is not either content or pedagogy. It really is the right mix of having the content area necessary to teach a subject as well as the pedagological skills necessary to present the material. You know, one of our schools of education made the comment that if you really break down the science and art of teaching, you can really look at four main areas that you can build almost all your class work into. One is the issue of classroom management. We all know that a well-managed classroom, a classroom that is disciplined and engaging, is paramount to student learning. Two, the ability to use data to drive instruction and differentiate instruction based on the needs of children. Three is a culturally competent way of presenting curriculum. And, finally, is the ability to engage parents and community. If you take those four overarching themes, you could build a number of the pedagological classes that we currently offer in 3-hour blocks into all four of those overarching themes; and then you add that with an internship, student teaching experience, and we believe that that is a good mix for prospective teachers. Ms. Burns. When our universities underwent the redesign of all of their programs, we required all of the universities to create redesign teams that had district personnel on them, college of arts and science, college of education faculty, and we required them to look at our State content standards and our State teacher standards. And when they redesigned their programs they redesigned them based upon what teachers needed to know and be able to do within the classrooms. And, in addition to that, all of the programs we are required to have more site-based experiences earlier in the career of the teachers. So we did not wait until teachers did student teaching or an internship. They actually started during their sophomore year. And I mentioned to you that we are now looking, using the value-added model to look at the teacher preparation programs and the growth and learning of the children being taught by the new teachers. And what we are finding is that our university programs are not equally proficient across all content areas or equally low across all content areas. We are seeing as much variance within the programs. So, like with teachers of grades one through five, we have programs where those new teachers are performing at a growth level that is greater than new teachers in one subject area, comparable to new teachers, experienced teachers in two subject areas, and comparable to other new teachers in other areas. And so what this is telling us, and we heard it earlier with the previous panel, it is what is going on in the preparation of the teachers and the methodology and the content areas that appears to be making the most difference. Chairman Miller. Mr. Steinhauser, we are on Ms. Hirono's time, so you are going to be brief. Mr. Steinhauser. I think it critical--I want to build upon what Dr. Burns said, that this communication has to be monthly and ongoing; and I will give you an example. When we redesigned our programs, our university let us take the fifth year responsibility. So we actually give the credential in the fifth year. So, again, like Louisiana, individuals going into teaching have an opportunity to come into our schools in their first year of college, so building upon that. So I can't emphasize enough that it has to be ongoing communication between the university and the K-12 system. Chairman Miller. Thank you. Ms. Hirono. Ms. Hirono. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As we focus on evidence-based educational reforms, starting with one of my big emphasis and also for the committee is quality early education so that our kids can be prepared to succeed in life and in school very early on. But we know that the other component of what really enables a child to learn is having a highly effective teacher standing in front of that classroom. However, there is not a lot of science behind what makes a teacher effective. So that is what I think these two panels have been about. Clearly, there are a lot of models out there. Some of the models are collaborative teaching, an environment that fosters that kind of teaching, changing the colleges of education, which I think is a whole other subject because most of our teachers do get trained by colleges, hundreds of thousands of colleges of education across the country, and I don't think they are particularly on the pages we are. So what I get from these two panels is that there are a lot of models out there. And as we are looking at reauthorizing ESEA, I think Ms. Weingarten said that we ought to be incentivizing pilot programs so that the best practices in all of these areas that we are talking about can come to the fore. Do you agree with that, that we ought to be not prescribing particular kinds of approaches but that we really ought to be saying to our schools and our districts and our States, try the various models and see which one works for you? Do you agree with that kind of approach for the Federal Government? Anybody? Ms. Burns. I definitely agree that. If our State had not received the Title II Teacher Quality Enhancement State Grant we would not have been able to have accomplished what we have accomplished, and that gave us funding to try something new, different from what we had been doing previously within our State. So I totally agree with you. But what needs to occur is, where we identify practices that are working, that information needs to be shared with others nationally, so that others can learn the lessons as they move forward and want to implement innovative new ideas themselves. Ms. Hirono. I agree with you. Because that is the point of funding pilot programs, so that we don't all have to be reinventing the wheel all the time. So do the rest of you pretty much agree with that? As we have experienced the Race to the Top grant applications, we know that only two States got any money, and we are now going into the second round of grants. There are hundreds of millions of dollars. And one of the concerns I have is that, for the lowest-performing schools, they are limited to four, basically, approaches in how to turn around these schools. I heard some of you say that you support the President's blueprint on this, so I wanted to hear a little bit more as to whether or not, for the lowest-performing schools, you think that these four criteria, whether the closure, eliminating 50 percent of the teachers, whether those are too prescriptive and that we really ought to be saying to Secretary Duncan, that is too prescriptive; we ought to provide more options for these applicants. Mr. Steinhauser. As the superintendent of a K-12 system, I have had the opportunity to turn around a lot of low-performing schools; and I will say that those are four options, that there is no magic bullet. In some cases, you are going to have to take a little bit of every one of those programs and implement it. So that is one area of the blueprint that I would like to see a little more flexibility. Because when you turn around a low-performing school part of it is the culture of that school. Sometimes you need to bring--we have reconstituted schools before, and it has been very successful. I have reconstituted schools before, and it hasn't been successful. So I think that I would like to see those four options and 40 more options, to be honest with you. Ms. Hirono. Do the rest of you agree? Because we are going to make a change if that is what we are going to do. Mr. Bennett. One of the things I think we need to think about--and I agree with what he said about more options. But one of the things we haven't talked about is the fact that, regardless of which of those four models you use, there will be some implementation lag, that you are not going to implement any of those four models or any other truly structural reform model for a school and get instant success. So I think we also need to be looking at how we define the intermediate metrics in terms of how we begin to judge whether these models do make the progress we need to make to transforming or turning around these schools. So not only do we need more models and more flexibility, but I also think we need to understand how do we set the intermediate metrics once we get into a turnaround situation. Ms. Thompson. What I would add to this, because we are working in turnaround schools in Boston, is how important it is to realize that there are teachers in that building, even in the lowest-performing schools, who are doing really high- quality work in their specific room, and that whatever model we use, we have the opportunity to honor and value those teachers, as well as the new set that are coming in and those who are transitioning out because this was not the right place for them. The T-3 work that we are doing in Boston, we are specifically trying to locate both those teachers who have incredible knowledge and history about why that building wasn't working and can be then a very constructive part of the reform, if that is what they choose to do. Ms. Hirono. I agree. Thank you. Chairman Miller. Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member. I really, really appreciate the opportunity for this hearing. Dr. Bennett, can you describe in more detail Indiana's program to train more effective school leaders? Mr. Bennett. We have two or three different options. First of all, the University of Notre Dame is beginning an MBA--an executive MBA program that will train turnaround leaders. Now the problem with that program is it is small in scope, so we will not receive the scale and the number of turnaround leaders that we need to make a difference in some of our lowest-performing schools. Indiana University is also engaging in a similar program. We also have one of our local private universities, Marion University, who has received private funding from a private foundation to begin a turn-around academy for turn-around leaders. So we believe that we need to address and get out with our higher ed community to engage in some different types of models, like this executive MBA, like a turnaround academy that Marion University is investigating and like IU is investigating. We think those are the key. I also think it comes down some to local control. You know, I think there is the opportunity for great turnaround leaders who may be great educators in a building who may not be historically educated as a principal to engage in these types of activities. Because we all know this isn't for the faint of heart. Turning around low-performing schools is not an easy work and takes a special skill set. So the fact is we may need folks outside of the traditional ilk and of the traditional training programs. Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania. And you state in your testimony that we must create high expectations for adults in our systems and schools just as we set for our students, and we must hold those adults accountable to meet those expectations. Can you give us an idea on how you think we can hold adults more accountable within the education system? Mr. Bennett. Well, again, I think we start with growth. We start with the concept that every child, regardless of their race, regardless of how much money mom and dad make, regardless of their zip code, is entitled to 1 year of educational growth in 1 year of instruction. And we measure that. And I think what we do then is we tie teacher and principal evaluations principally to that. We say 51 percent, and all other aspects of the evaluation should be focused on the essential skills that drive that type of result. You know, I think, as a former assistant superintendent and superintendent, I always remember the fact that when we held adults accountable and we would take teachers to contract cancellation because they ultimately were not performing, we were criticized because we were using subjective evaluations. And if our core mission in education is to drive student growth and, ultimately, student achievement, then it doesn't make sense that we shouldn't have objective measures that reflect those high expectations for not only our teachers but also our principals. Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania. Thank you. Mr. Kaplan, you know, I think, using the feedback from teachers is so important. That is something I have been trying to do as we look at this reauthorization, meeting with faculty members all around my congressional district to get their feedback. I was disappointed actually to find with the core standards that it doesn't seem like--there really wasn't good feedback from the teacher level. Through your testimony you talked about using feedback received from local school districts that received your teachers, and I was wondering if you could provide us some specific examples about that feedback that you received. Mr. Kaplan. Sure. I would say from the outset that again, and it is a theme that has come up previously, there is no silver bullet in terms of a particular metric that we look at to assess how our programs are doing, whether it is feedback from principals and school districts on our teachers or any other; and, further, we are very respectful of our graduates' privacy and ask their permission in order to talk with their supervisors, their principals, assistant principals, school districts, and what have you. The feedback we have gotten about our graduates, though, has been informative to us about what is working and what we can improve programmatically. One point I would make is that we have heard a consistent theme from different districts and principals that our teachers are helping to create a bit of a professional learning community within their schools and that the programs that they were enrolled in at Walden were helpful in that regard. So, from our standpoint, it has been helpful, as we look at our programs, what to improve, what to focus more on. Because this is an ongoing effort. Because teachers continue to learn through their careers, cultivating that ongoing learning environment is essential and something we will continue to focus on. Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. Mr. Tierney. Mr. Tierney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Parker, you talk about coaching in the classroom and working with the other teachers, which is a good idea. But, practically speaking, most of our communities are really strapped for money. So how does that layer in? Do they end up paying you? Does it increase the size of the classrooms, or where does it reflect on that, and what has been the impact that you have seen? Ms. Parker-McElroy. I don't really want to touch that question at all. That is money and that is budget. I do want to say, though---- Mr. Tierney. I do want you to touch that question. You have been there, and you are observing it. So the question is, really, you know, how do they make it? If they are going to hire you as a teaching coach or whatever, then something else has to give. When that other thing gives, how does it affect the students and how to do they make up for it? What has been the result? Ms. Parker-McElroy. Correct. What can give is time. You don't have to have an actual instructional coach in your building, but you do need to have time to collaborate with other team members, other teachers that are struggling with those same questions at the same time, and that collaboration, that staff development where you are looking at what an issue is and talking together and looking it together. But it takes time. It takes time within the school day. So not necessarily a human coach, but time in the day to collaborate together with your peers is essential. Mr. Tierney. Okay. Let me ask Mr. Bennett, when you said your teachers wouldn't publicly endorse what you had done, did they make public statements as to why they wouldn't take that step? Mr. Bennett. First and foremost, they were critical about our process that we used to put the plan together. Their criticism is that we did not disclose the full documents to them prior to submission, and that was from guidance that we had received from our consultants. We explained that up front. The most disturbing piece, Congressman, was after we made the decision that we--after we had reached out and actually said, these are the areas we need your support on, these are the areas where the union needs to come to the table and address, they did not want to have that discussion in a transparent manner. I invited the president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, the President of the Indiana Federation of Teachers, and myself, with no staff and just media present, so we could hash these things out in a transparent manner. They chose not to do that. And then, afterwards, we were told we have public statements from the Indiana State Teachers Association president that he did not support Race to the Top from the beginning. He thought it was bad to pit students against students and students from one State against students from another State. So all the discussions we had about teacher evaluations to me appear to be a little disingenuous after hearing that. Mr. Tierney. Well, it is possible that your consultants advising you not to be transparent with the teachers, that strikes me at a little odd. But, you know, it is what it is on that. But I mean--and then asking them to be transparent in return, I can see where that bargain may not be struck. You know, the comment on capacity is what strikes me when I talked to Ms. Thompson. You mentioned that your moving the really highly qualified teachers in that have 3 years experience in an urban, difficult school. The teachers they displace have to go somewhere. But you have made the determination that they are not as qualified as the ones that are replacing them, so where do they go? And what happens to those students who have the good teachers leave and the other teachers who hadn't fit where they were go? And then after we finish that I want to talk to Mr. Kaplan about some capacity issues. Ms. Thompson. One of the interesting statistics around really-hard-to-staff, high-needs schools and failing schools, they usually fall in the same bucket, is that they have very, very large annual turnover rates for teachers. And so what we have found is, for the most part, bringing in a team of high- quality teachers is not displacing anyone. Because folks were leaving already. Often. These schools are staffed with the most inexperienced teachers. These are folks that do not have a support infrastructure. They are in the hardest possible environment, and they often leave the profession after a year or two. Or if they have the opportunity, they go to another school. But usually they are leaving the profession. Mr. Tierney. Mr. Kaplan, I am curious to know how, logistically, your teaching process works. You are an on-line institution. So do people have to come to the classroom at any point in time? Is it all on-line? How are they evaluated in their performance on that basis? Mr. Kaplan. Sure. Well, there is an on-line classroom, Congressman, where students will virtually sit, if you will, in a section with 18, 19 other students and with a faculty member, in our case, all doctorally prepared, who will then engage with the students. They will have writing assignments back and forth. There is chat and discussion that is required as a part of being a part of the course. One of the things that we note to prospective students who are interested in our programs is that on-line learning isn't for everyone. There is no hiding in the back row of an on-line classroom in the sense that discussion and contribution is required as a part of every section; and, obviously, writing requirements, other assessments are a part of that process as well. One of the things that we have really found is the high level of satisfaction that our students have with engagement. They didn't think they would be as engaged with faculty and other students as they are. And, again, that kinds of points back to our theory about technology which is not using anything to be cutting edge but really ensuring that it is about the learning and it is about the student experience. Mr. Tierney. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. Mr. Roe. Mr. Roe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman for holding this hearing; and I thank the panel members for being here today. I certainly wish we had had more members here, because I think this is a very important hearing that we are having today. I believe, first of all, the education in this country is at such a tipping point. If you look at our competition around the world, we spent all last year talking about health care. And, quite frankly, if we had an educated work force I think a lot of the health care issues would have gone away because people would have had good jobs and would have had access to affordable health care. So I am a product of the public education system, never attended any private university, so I am totally committed to seeing that every youngster in America gets a quality education. And just a couple of questions. I was riding on the airplane back this afternoon and just shared some--ran into some folks who just happened to be educators, and we were talking about the various amounts of money that were spent. For instance, in the Washington, DC, school system, I read in the little throwaway newspaper they give you on the Metro every morning when you ride in that average student in a school here is $18,000 per student. I think, in Chicago, I think I heard--I have a son that lives there--I think it is about $5,000 per student. In Tennessee, where I am, in the city where I live, it is $8,000. The quality of education the kids are getting doesn't seem to be consistent with the amount of money that you spend in any one place. And I know you have to have enough. I do. I get that. But the fact that we spend more money doesn't necessarily mean you get more for your money is what I am saying. Any comments that any of y'all would make like to make about the funding for a student? Because you see it all over the place in this country, and the results are all over the place. Mr. Steinhauser. In California, we have taken an $11 billion hit to school funding. I personally, in my school system, have lost $120 million in 2 years; and, at the same time, I have 87,000 youngsters that come to me and expect me to prepare them for the world of work and for college. And I am proud to say, last year, 74 percent of my graduating seniors are in college today. However, money isn't the whole answer. It is what do you with the money which is the answer. And I would argue, as a superintendent, yes, I need more money, but hold me accountable to those outcomes; and if I don't do it, then I should be fired if I don't come out on those outcomes. And I am a firm believer in people being held to outcomes along with growth process. Mr. Roe. I totally agree, and that leads to another question. How do you deal with a tenured position when you have someone who has just decided to park themselves in a chair? And everybody knows--and it may not be the easiest teacher, it could be the hardest teacher you have--is still a good teacher. And I know that is hard to define. But I agree with you all about objective outcomes. How do you deal with that, when you have someone where the unions may be protecting that person or they are just taking up space? What do you do? Mr. Steinhauser. In my experience as a superintendent, we have released tenured teachers before. We have a program, peer assistance, and review. If a teacher is less than satisfactory, he or she is going to get support from their colleagues; and in 99 percent of cases they improve. I have never met a teacher truly who didn't want to be there. For whatever reason, they may not be the stellar teacher that they were when they first started. Then it is our responsibility as administrators and others to support them to get them the tools that they need. If they can't measure up to those levels, then we have to release them. And it is--in California, it is an expensive process. It costs around $250,000 to do. I will be honest with you. The majority of those individuals will resign before you have to go to the hearing process. Mr. Bennett. Congressman Roe, if I may, to add to that, I believe that if you have a habitually poor-performing teacher you have habitually poor-performing administrators. They are not doing their job as the instructional leaders of the building. So I think, you know, we, so many times, talk about the tenured teacher or the poor-performing teacher that we don't remove. You have to have a principal in the building that knows how to evaluate. You know, I have a group of principals I meet with every 2 or 3 months, and every one of them told me they were never taught how to evaluate in their---- Mr. Roe. So it is two problems then. Mr. Bennett. It really is two problems. Mr. Roe. Before my time runs out, one other quick issue, I ran into a guy who is a chemist and a mathematician at a Starbucks. He had retired from the Eastman Chemical Corporation, had gone back into the classroom. How do you take someone like myself, who cannot teach an 8- grade health class, but I can teach in medical school and in college? How do we transition those folks who might want to go back now and get them in the classroom? There are a lot of bright people out there that would like to do that. I understand you need some basic core curriculum and things like that about how to get a lesson plan and all that together. But just some answers here. I will be brief, if you would. I am sorry for going over my time. Yes, ma'am. Dr. Burns. Ms. Burns. Within our State, we have three new pathways for teachers through alternate certification. These are for teachers, individuals who have--they have bachelors degrees in areas other than education, and they want to enter into education either mid-career or right after they come out of the universities. And with the alternate certification programs, we have one pathway that is a quick, 1-year pathway; we have one where you can get a master of arts in teaching; and then we have another one that is a certification only. All three pathways require the same expectations to get into the programs. You have to demonstrate content knowledge before you can go into a classroom and participate in a program and teach in a classroom. And throughout the programs, all of them, all the teachers are having to meet the same State standards for teachers, the same State standards for content. However, the delivery is different within each one of those three different pathways. In our State, we have two private providers--the New Teacher Project, the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators-- where they have received approval from the State to offer one of those three pathways as a practitioner teacher program; and, in addition, our universities can offer all three pathways. So we have found this to be very successful. In fact, with our alternate certification programs, these are the ones where we now have value-added results; and we are showing, with some of the programs, they are producing new teachers where they are comparable or the growth of learning is greater than that of experienced teachers. So they can be very successful. Mr. Roe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for indulging me. But this friend of mine has got a Ph.D. In mathematics who is teaching 8th and 9th graders math, which is unbelievable. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. Thank you. Thank you. We will have you out of here by 5:00, but we have a couple of people who want to ask additional questions. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes. Ms. Chu. Dr. Bennett, you make some sweeping statements about teachers in your testimony. For instance, you say, quote, the most striking, most powerful impediment to improving instructional quality in school leadership has been those organizations charged principally to protect the integrity of teaching profession, teachers unions, unquote. I was very interested in these sweeping statements, because I am a teacher. I was a teacher for 20 years. I belonged to a union all those 20 years, the American Federation of Teachers, albeit this was at the community college level. So I note that the Race to the Top application built into its application a requirement for genuine collaboration with teachers unions, and that Tennessee and Delaware did engage in collaborative process with many different entities, including teachers, and were successful in their applications. On the other hand, teachers' unions in Indiana were not consulted in any kind of collaborative process in the State application. In fact, they were informed of what the application would contain but never actually allowed to see the full application until after it was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Why did you decide not to involve the union in the process, and how would you expect local unions to sign on to an MOU saying that they would implement Race to the Top when they never actually got to see the application? Mr. Bennett. Well, first, we did collaborate with the unions, especially in the area of great teachers and leaders under that pillar. We had no less than three fairly lengthy and robust discussions with both representatives from the ISTA and the IFT regarding a framework for teacher and principal evaluation. And we actually went to them because we said, we know this is the place that involves the teachers the most, especially at the local level when they go to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that, in many cases, include their evaluation instrument and their evaluation process. So the concept that we didn't include them is not correct. They did not see our application in total, but they did receive an incredibly extensive executive summary. And the reforms we have pursued have been consistent with what the Secretary and the President have talked about for reforming education. So we didn't really believe there was a big secret. But the direct answer to your question, Congresswoman, is, again, we received guidance from our national consultants that said this was a competition and we were competing against potentially 50 other States, and we were told that we had pieces of our proposal that were unique to Indiana and we should keep those unique. So we did put out an extensive executive summary. We went to nine--we made nine State-wide stops where we engaged members of the teachers unions and administrators and school board members; and, again, we did have those robust discussions about the pillar that most affected teachers, which was the great teacher and leader pillar. That said, the Indiana State Teachers Association still came out after the fact and said they didn't even agree with Race to the Top. So I am not sure how much collaboration would have helped when the head of the union didn't agree with the process we were trying to engage in. Ms. Chu. Well, I am raising this because when you make such sweeping statements about a whole profession then I think the record has to be set straight. And, Mr. Chairman, without objection, I would like to insert into the hearing record three letters from the State of Indiana State Teachers Association, because I think it is important to have the hearing record show both sides of the issue in the State of Indiana. Chairman Miller. Without objection. [The information follows:] 13 January 2010. Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Department of Education, Room 229, Statehouse, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2798. Dear Dr. Bennett: As president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, I want to acknowledge the opportunities ISTA has had to participate in discussions with Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction concerning the proposals you might make regarding teacher evaluation in Indiana's Race To The Top application. Should Indiana be selected as a recipient of Race To The Top funding, I appreciate the stated commitment of the Superintendent that ISTA will be an active participant in the development and implementation of state plans for education reform in the area of teacher evaluation and in other areas of education policy which will be included in the application. I find it concerning, though, that the leadership of nearly 50,000 ISTA members teaching the more than one million public schoolchildren in our public schools was not allowed to see the final Race To The Top application before it was submitted to the federal government on January 19. I believe that Indiana's successful application for Race To The Top funds is important for the schoolchildren in many school districts in Indiana. If Indiana is awarded these funds, ISTA is willing to participate more fully and constructively in the policy decision-making process that will continue. ISTA's objective is to provide its best thinking and advice on policy issues so that Indiana's prospects for a bright future are secured by actions that will best serve the schoolchildren and school communities within our state. I assume that once I see the plan there will be aspects of the plan that ISTA cannot fully support; however, I acknowledge the need for cooperation among education stakeholders for Indiana to succeed. Just as Race To The Top leaves the decision on participation up to local school districts, so too in ISTA's discussions with DOE, ISTA has not wavered in its position that both endorsement of and participation in Race To The Top is a matter for local decision. ISTA has made this clear in discussions with DOE and DOE has acknowledged in those discussions that collective bargaining will be required in order to construct the work plans which will be required of local school districts to obtain Race To The Top funds. This understanding is consistent with Indiana's version of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) for participating LEA's (``Partnership Agreement between Indiana Department of Education and Participating LEA''). As was the case in the federal MOU, by signing Indiana's Partnership Agreement, a participating LEA is providing the assurance that it ``(w)ill comply with * * * all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.'' ISTA looks forward to continuing to work with our members and all Indiana public officials to provide Hoosier students an education that equals the best in the nation and the world. Sincerely, Nate Schnellenberger, ISTA President. ______ From: ISTA President Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 1:37 PM To: Pike, Brenda Subject: ISTA Seeks Collaborative Race to the Top Sessions Nathan G. Schnellenberger, President, Dr. Brenda Pike, Ed. D., Executive Director, Wednesday, April 21, 2010. Dear ISTA Member: Dr. Tony Bennett has issued an invitation through an Indiana Department of Education news release to meet with me, as president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, in his office next week to discuss Indiana's Race to the Top (RttT) plan. Dr. Bennett stated in his news release that because he wants this to be a meaningful discussion, I should attend his meeting unaccompanied by ISTA staff. He did, however, issue invitations to members of the news media to attend and has said that the meeting will be videotaped and posted on the IDOE Web site. After having thoroughly reviewed Indiana's application, I have decided not to accept Dr. Bennett's invitation. A single meeting with the media in attendance will not generate meaningful discussion or create the work that needs to be accomplished to produce a viable plan for the second round of RttT funding. Despite our repeated requests from the start of the RttT process, IDOE never shared with ISTA or any other education organization the content of the plan before it was submitted. Yet now, when time is short and pressure is deep, Dr. Bennett expects me to give an unequivocal agreement to his RttT demands. In Delaware and Tennessee, the two states that received round one RttT funding, state education leaders solicited and included meaningful input from their teachers' association leaders through collaborative meetings and work sessions at every step of the process. That type of collaboration did not occur in Indiana. Indiana's RttT application placed 23rd out of 40 states that submitted applications in the first round of funding, so it is clear that if the state's application is going to advance to a viable funding position, it will need intense reworking, not just an unequivocal sign- off from ISTA. In fact, 100 percent support from ISTA could not have added enough additional points to vault the Indiana proposal from its 23rd place to a winning grant. The adversarial tone of Indiana's plan toward teachers stood in stark contrast to the positive, upbeat tones of the Delaware and Tennessee plans. It's also interesting to note that both the Delaware and Tennessee plans preserved seniority, collective bargaining and due process. It's clear by looking at reviewers' comments that the failure of Indiana's plan to be funded had a great deal more to do with a lack of the plan's specificity and quality than with its lack of support from ISTA. As evidenced, states likes Georgia (3), Florida (4), Rhode Island (8) and Louisiana (11), which had absolutely no state association support for their Race to the Top proposals, all finished significantly higher than Indiana (23) in the initial round of competition. An important matter regarding the federal Race to the Top program has been overlooked. Federal RttT funds cannot be used to offset the $297 million cut in public education funding mandated by Gov. Daniels. RttT funds cannot be used to stop teacher layoffs, save instructional programs or maintain reasonable class sizes. Race to the Top funds cannot help solve Indiana's public education funding crisis. ISTA is more than willing to meet with Dr. Bennett and his staff in meaningful work sessions, but we will not participate in a media event arranged for the purpose of strong-arming the ISTA into agreeing to an unequivocal sign-off regarding the Indiana Department of Education's Race to the Top application demands. Sincerely, Nate Schnellenberger. ______ 17 December 2009. Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Department of Education, Room 229, Statehouse, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2798. Dear Dr. Bennett: I wanted to take the opportunity to reiterate ISTA's position on the provisions you intend to include in Indiana's application for Race to the Top funds relative to teacher evaluation. In light of the cuts in public education which Governor Daniels has proposed, it is critically important that you ensure that Indiana's application is designed to assure the success of Indiana's application and that the benefit of the Race to the Top funds will provide for Indiana schoolchildren. As I have stated in our meetings, ISTA can advise our local affiliates to support the portion of the application which deals with teacher evaluation as long as it requires that those evaluation systems be redesigned to meet federal requirements and to meet the needs of each school district with input from teachers and the local association. The document we provided to your staff on December 14 clearly reflects our position in this regard. I urge you to reconsider the position that was advanced in our meeting today under which Indiana would add a requirement that participating school corporations adopt a statewide, one- size-fits-all evaluation instrument. Once again, I urge you to adopt the suggestions we provided in the document we provided on December 14. I believe that the responsible course for you is to construct Indiana's application so that IDOE provides guidelines to supplement the federal requirements rather than adding requirements which do not advance the policy behind RTTT and will, I believe, reduce Indiana's chances of being awarded Race to the Top funds by reducing the evidence you would otherwise have of widespread support for Indiana's application. In the area of teacher evaluation, the essential goal of Race to the Top is to make student growth a significant factor in teacher evaluation as a strategy for increased engagement on student achievement and improvement of instruction. ISTA accepts this goal but believes that we will not achieve it unless Indiana's teachers are brought into this process. For change to be authentic and effective, each participating school corporation and its local association must collaborate in the process of refining or redesigning its evaluation system. It is clear that the intent of the RTTT grant Reform Plan Criteria (D)(2) Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance be that LEAs carry out the guidelines set forth by the grant under (D) (2). ``The extent to which the State, in collaboration with its participating LEAs, has a high-quality plan and ambitious yet achievable annual targets to ensure that participating LEAs (i) establish clear approaches * * * (iv). The U.S. Department of Education further emphasizes this point that LEAs develop the teacher and principal effectiveness plans on page 12 of the Race to the Top Program Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions document stating, ``We believe that the decision about which supplemental measures should be used is best left to educators and leaders in LEAs and/or States who are close to the classroom and who best determine which metrics work in their environments.'' Creating plans to improve teacher and principal effectiveness will require discussion at each LEA about how to improve student achievement, selection of measures (in addition to ISTEP+) which are appropriate for gauging student achievement and determination of how to assess student growth using those measures. If teachers do not engage in this process of reflection and decision-making, Indiana will not have the buy-in from the teachers that is essential to achieving the goal RTTT has set to focus us on student achievement. ISTA is prepared to accept the challenge of Race to the Top, but we believe it will not work through a top-down imposition of a one-size- fits-all evaluation system. I urge you to submit an application that would not jeopardize the chances of success for Indiana in its Race to the Top application. These federal funds are urgently needed to benefit Indiana's schoolchildren, and it will be regrettable if the imposition of a one- size-fits-all evaluation system, which is not required by Race to the Top and which would be counter-productive to the goals of Race to the Top, puts Indiana's application at a disadvantage. Finally, we were extremely disappointed to learn, contrary to what your office had previously announced, that the State Plan and application will not be released until after the application is submitted to the federal government on January 19. Instead you propose to release an executive summary on Friday, December 18, and not make Indiana's application and State Plan available until after the application is filed on January 19. This is a most regrettable development, putting school corporations and teachers' associations in the position of having to make their participation decision without knowing what participation requires. I urge you to reconsider and release the full State Plan and application this Friday. The benefit of providing complete information to school corporations and teachers whose efforts will ultimately determine the success of the Race to the Top far outweighs any other concern. Sincerely, Nate Schnellenberger, President. ______ Ms. Chu. But I do have three letters documenting the desire of the Indiana State Teachers Association to actually read the full application: a letter from December 17 in which they expressed their extreme disappointment in not being able to read the application; a letter from January 13 in which, again, they express their extreme disappointment because you submitted it January 19 without their review; and then also, apparently, you did ask for a meeting, but that was in April, way after the application was submitted. Now, you say that Indiana did not get the funds because of a lack of union support. However, it turns out that there were other factors that may have been important here. For instance, Indiana lost 15 points because it didn't include how the State will emphasize and integrate science, technology, engineering, and math--STEM, in other words--in its education system. And you didn't meet all the required elements for a State-wide longitudinal data system. So are you willing to address these components in the second round application? Mr. Bennett. Well, we are not making a second round application, Congresswoman. We have notified the U.S. Department of Education that Indiana will not make an application. And I want to say that I take responsibility for those areas that you just mentioned. Because, if you look at our application, our round one application, we were consistently criticized for not providing the amount of detail necessary to describe the reforms that we were pursuing. And we did that because I made a decision that we would follow the guidance regarding page limits. And if you look at our--the length of our application compared to the other finalists, and especially the successful--the two successful States, you will see a huge difference in the length of the application. So much of our detail in our proposal that we were criticized for, and rightly so, is my responsibility because I chose to follow the page limits. Chairman Miller. We are going to have to continue that off the air here for a minute because we are going to do a little lightning round here so we can---- Mr. Steinhauser, I would like to ask you a question. So are you in the position of the customer of Long Beach State? Mr. Steinhauser. Yes. Chairman Miller. And you award the credential. Mr. Steinhauser. Yeah. We work with them. They do the pre- teaching; and in the fifth year, once they are hired with us, we award the credential. Chairman Miller. So what you describe to us is that you mutually, or you, as the customer, went and designed the program that you thought would feed you the best applicants for your positions. Mr. Steinhauser. Correct. Fifteen years ago, we got together on a retreat and stopped blaming each other, to start working together. Chairman Miller. And now what is it you are transferring to Fresno or have transferred to Fresno? Mr. Steinhauser. With Fresno, we are transferring our work on our math program, our work on our English language learner, our leadership development, and also a thing that we call the Long Beach College Promise, which is a partnership between Long Beach---- Chairman Miller. Is Fresno transferring that to Fresno State? Mr. Steinhauser. Correct. Our university presidents have met, and then Fresno transfers their best practices with us. Chairman Miller. So, in theory, in Oakland, it would go to College of East Bay or whatever. Mr. Steinhauser. Right. Chairman Miller. So they could work with San Francisco. I mean, they could work with one of the colleges in the Bay area. And so it is a transfer not just of your side of the K through 12 model, it is the transfer of the Long Beach State model. Mr. Steinhauser. Correct. And Long Beach State. Chairman Miller. And you are in what year with this at Fresno? Mr. Steinhauser. We are just starting our second year. Chairman Miller. Starting your second year. Okay. I am done. Mr. Roe and then Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Roe. In Tennessee, we have 50 percent of the young people that enter education as a major in college don't finish that. Of the 50 percent who do, in 5 years, half of them don't teach. How do we get those young people to stay in education? Because we have a huge need, especially in our inner cities. I lived for 10 years--my wife taught in an inner city school in Memphis, Tennessee, while I was in medical school. And how do we get young people to stay? How do we retain them, I guess is the question. And the other thing I have, very quickly, is we use CME, continuing medical education, for our--is that appropriate in teaching, getting teachers to stay up to date with? And I will let any of you answer that question, quickly. Mr. Steinhauser. I think it is working conditions. You have to provide people with the support they need to make sure they are successful. Chairman Miller. Agreement across the board. Ms. Thompson, quickly, 30 seconds. Ms. Thompson. I would agree with that, and I would add that you need to give them the opportunity to see growth in a ladder and the opportunity to be part of the bigger picture. Chairman Miller. Ms. Woolsey. Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Bennett, I am not going to couch this generally or anything. I didn't hear from you how your reform support teachers. Do you have wraparound programs so that if they are in an area that needs extra help that is available to them? If a teacher needs a mentor to bridge where they are at this time from their past education to what is expected of them now, are those mentoring programs available to your teachers? How do you evaluate their needs? Mr. Bennett. Well, we--currently, the issue of mentoring is an issue that really has been adopted mostly by the local school corporations. Many local school corporations have very robust mentoring programs. So much of that is already addressed at the local level through the cooperation of our superintendents and principals. Again, I go back to the fact that, in our situation, we have a number of underperforming schools where we have had teachers--have had actual superintendents cite to us that over 60 percent of their teachers are ineffective, defined as unwilling. And the teachers union was present and did not dispute that number. So, for me, this whole thing starts with high expectations, and it starts with an ability to clearly identify those expectations to teachers, give a teacher an instructional leader. Ms. Woolsey. You don't have time to do all this. What you are telling me is you actually don't have programs to help those teachers bridge. Mr. Bennett. Absolutely. Yes, we do. We have professional development opportunities; and part of our new licensing proposals is to provide teachers the opportunity to use those professional development opportunities to recertify their licenses, as opposed to going to higher ed to have to take credit hours. Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Miller. Ms. Hirono. Mr. Kildee, anything? Well, thank you very much. We obviously needed more time. But thank you so much for your giving us your time and your expertise and all of your experience. Members will have 14 days to submit statements or opening statements, and we may have some questions that we will submit to you in writing. We would appreciate if you would get back to us, and we will be in touch with you as we progress down the road here. Thank you. [The statement of Mr. Guthrie follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Brett Guthrie, a Representative in Congress From the State of Kentucky Thank you Mr. Chairman, and let me join my colleagues in thanking this distinguished panel of witnesses for joining us this afternoon. I'm pleased to have so many expert voices here today to represent a range of perspectives, so I'll keep my remarks brief. We know there is no silver bullet when it comes to education, but high-quality teachers are about as close as we can come to a ``sure thing'' for improving student academic achievement. To put it simply, we need excellent teachers to bring out excellence in our students. If we want to close achievement gaps and raise the bar for all our students, the first place we need to look is at the front of the classroom. Are teachers prepared to succeed? Are they empowered to lead? Are federal policies allowing teachers to teach, or are they micromanaging and limiting creativity? We need to look at state and local policies as well. Are contracts and hiring practices putting our best teachers where they are needed the most? Or are rigid tenure rules favoring longevity over quality? As policymakers, we must ask what we can do at the federal level to support educators and allow parents and local communities to demonstrate leadership and ownership when it comes to their schools, and the teachers who lead them. I look forward to exploring these and other questions with our witnesses today. Thank you, I yield back. ______ [Questions for the record submitted by Ms. Chu follow:] Questions for the Record Submitted by Hon. Judy Chu, a Representative in Congress From the State of California Deborah Ball, Ph.D, Dean, School of Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI If we had invited a teacher from my district, I am confident she would have discussed how we prepare teachers and how we recruit teachers to meet the needs of bilingual learners since over 60 percent of my district does not speak English at home. But, it's not just California anymore, states like North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee have seen a 300% growth in their bilingual learner population. What do Schools of Ed need to prepare our teachers not just for improved overall instruction, but for a diverse classroom? Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC 1. One of the most detrimental effects of No Child Left Behind is the widespread ``teaching to the test.'' The pressure to make AYP has shifted the focus from student learning to test scores--which many experts agree don't adequately measure if a student has learned language arts or math. I'm pleased to see Secretary Duncan offer states a grant opportunity to revise student assessments. However, he's seemed to put the cart in front of the horse with Race to the Top Grants and requiring teacher evaluations to be tied to student test scores before student assessment systems are reformed. How will this poor sequencing of reforms affect student learning and outcomes? 2. What other measures should be used to determine teacher effectiveness besides student test scores? Monique Burns Thompson, President, Teach Plus in Boston, Boston, MA 1. First, let me tell you how wonderful it is to hear a model in education that is informed by teachers. It is commonsense in most situations to include the experts on the ground in developing and creating policies, but in education, it is not always the case. I am very interested in this model because state and local investment in high poverty and high minority districts are $773 less and $1,222 less respectively, per student versus low poverty and low minority districts. My district has 135 Title I Schools out of 165 and is 6.7% white. The percent of all students performing at or above proficient level is less than 50% in nearly every category. When we talk about those students who need it most, we are talking about students in my district. Therefore, I'd like to know what were the most essential elements that brought the teachers together, built the public support and made implementation successful? Chris Steinhauser, Superintendent, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach, CA 1. You are an advocate for Secretary Duncan's emphasis on competitive grants versus formula funding. There are good arguments on both sides, but in practice, I am interested in how an increase in competitive grants for Long Beach Unified, especially with the drastic budget cuts imposed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, will impact your long-term fiscal programming and plans? What will happen if you do not receive state or federal funding to keep successful programs or implement new innovative ones? ______ [Question for the record submitted by Mrs. McMorris Rodgers follows:] Question for the Record Submitted by Hon. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Representative in Congress From the State of Washington Please send this question to all of the witnesses on both panels. There is a national consensus that our current education system is not preparing our children for their future. Recent surveys of K-12 public educators commissioned by the Gates Foundation reveal that teachers believe students leave schools unprepared for success beyond high school. This is unacceptable. Whether students choose to pursue a career or higher education after high school, the fact that teachers recognize that their students are not prepared for their future is problematic. Realistically, our children have one shot at receiving a quality education. Yet, over the last several decades, we've witnessed the evolution of a number of programs intended to improve the effectiveness of teachers in the classroom. In fact, two months ago, the Administration released its education reform blueprint, which proposes to consolidate Title II of the Higher Education Act with Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Despite these programmatic changes, I fear we will still be dealing with the same issue of teacher ineffectiveness, which leads me to believe that we are not getting to the heart of classroom ineffectiveness. Is it unions? Is it too much federal involvement or not enough? Please comment on what you believe are the underlying barriers. ______ [Witnesses' responses to questions submitted follow:] Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Responses to Questions Submitted for the Record 1. Would the strategies you are proposing regarding teacher preparation work in all states and in all types of communities? Is it a good idea to address these through federal policy or do these strategies need to be locally tailored and left up to districts and states? There is a national need to develop and implement a common standard of practice for beginning teaching. This would entail developing a coherent system for preparing teachers for the essential work of teaching and performance assessments that would measure candidates' skill with the entry-level aspects of professional practice. This strategy would work in all states and all types of communities. Producing and hiring skillful beginning teachers is crucial everywhere in the United States; it is not unique to particular areas. To achieve this, we need to identify the instructional practices necessary for effective beginning teaching, and the knowledge and skills needed to carry out those practices. Needed then are to develop best materials, tools, and resources for training teachers, and valid assessments to measure candidates' progress and certify their readiness for practice. Although states and districts could work on these tasks independently, a coordinated effort would be the best way to ensure well-prepared teachers across the country. Federal support for building this system and encouraging states to work on it and/or adopt it is crucial. It will work best if this system for teaching quality is closely tied to a common K-12 curriculum in the United States. Teaching involves teaching specific content. Without a common core curriculum, teacher training is far less efficient and targeted. For example, with common goals about pupils' learning of text comprehension, teachers could be trained to teach that goal with high levels of skill. Similarly, if we agreed on the competencies that middle schoolers need with fractions, we could specifically target teachers' learning, in detail, toward effective teaching of those proficiencies. 2. What do we need to do to prepare teachers not just for improved overall instruction but for diverse classrooms? Teacher training should focus on specific practices of teaching that are most effective at helping students learn specific content. Preparation for teaching in diverse classrooms should focus on the actual tasks and skills of high-quality instruction, and on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that such skilled practice requires. Traditionally, teacher education for diverse classrooms has centered more on changing teachers' beliefs and orientations than on improving their skills with teaching academic content, relating to students, managing the classroom, and building effective connections with the home. Believing that all students can learn, and understanding how inequality is produced and reproduced in our society and schools, is of course vitally important. But beliefs and knowledge of this sort are insufficient for being effective with students of a wide variety of backgrounds. What beginning teachers need most is mastery of an essential set of professional skills and knowledge that they can put to effective use in real classrooms. For example, all teachers should understand how to facilitate a whole-class discussion with students who lack experience in academic discourse. Teachers should know how to present mathematics problems that enable students to connect math to everyday contexts in ways that take advantage of students' out-of-school experience. Teachers must be able to interact effectively with parents and guardians who do not speak English, or who are unfamiliar with the curriculum, and help those parents support their children. Teachers should be able to diagnose the sources of students' difficulties and know how to remedy the problems efficiently. Given the rapidly growing diversity of American school population, all teachers need to be skillful in working with a wide range of young people. This requires effective, focused professional training. Prospective teachers need carefully supervised clinical experience working with diverse students, and they need close coaching to learn to improve their instructional and relational skills. 3. What are the barriers to remedying the ineffectiveness of many classrooms? Is it unions? Is it too much federal involvement or not enough? Many barriers exist to remedying the ineffectiveness of classrooms. One crucial obstacle is the lack of a common K-12 curriculum that would enable a coherent system of instructional materials and comprehensive teacher training to achieve that curriculum. Other industrialized nations with high-achieving school systems take for granted the reality of a common student curriculum and professional education that is closely tied to it. Another barrier is that most U.S. schools are not organized to support high-quality education through the systematic analysis of data and examination of results, strong leadership, and resources for continuous professional improvement tied to effectiveness. Incentives for improvement are weak. Still another barrier is an incoherent ``quick fix'' orientation to educational improvement, marked by a stream of uncoordinated and often unproven interventions, and a significant lack of resources. And challenging social, health, and economic problems further complicate efforts to improve educational outcomes. Despite this daunting list of barriers, skillful teachers can dramatically increase the probability that their students will learn. Such teachers can mediate between the barriers in the environment and students' engagement in academic learning. They make crucial decisions about how to interpret and implement curriculum, they manage interpersonal relationships in the classroom, and they respond to and strategically buffer outside pressures and interferences. What effective teaching can do is crucial. We must overcome our collective failure to appreciate the fact that skillful practice can--and must be--learned, and hence, taught. To achieve this, we need to build a system, at scale, for ensuring that teachers who enter the classroom have the requisite professional skills and know how to use them. The federal government could play a pivotal role in aligning resources and commitment to support the design and implementation of a system of teacher training and continuous improvement of practice. Allocating resources for collective work could mitigate against the strong tendency for every state to work on its own, without sufficient resources or expertise to accomplish this crucial task. Although states and districts could work on these tasks independently, a coordinated effort would be the best way to ensure well-prepared teachers across the country. ______ [Via Electronic Mail], Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, May 18, 2010. Hon. George Miller, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, 2181 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Miller: Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Representative McMorris Rodgers' questions regarding my May 4, 2010 testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor. Each state faces its own set of unique challenges and underlying barriers in dealing with teacher ineffectiveness. As discussions cropped up nationwide around this issue, education stakeholders in Indiana also began having more conversations about teacher quality. As many people from Indiana will tell you, I do not sneak up on anyone. As Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction, I have been consistent, transparent and honest about my hopes and plans for the future of education in Indiana. That includes my stance on what some people consider controversial education reform topics such as measuring student growth and using the results for teacher and school accountability and rigorous annual teacher and principal evaluations that use performance data to inform decisions regarding layoffs, salaries, bonuses, and more. My main concern is that students in Indiana receive the best education possible so they can compete with students from around the world in the 21st century economy. I have never been afraid to challenge adults and make them uncomfortable if that discomfort could lead to positive changes for kids in Indiana. Before I go any further, let me be clear: there is a distinct difference in our state between the elite group of state-level Indiana State Teachers' Association (ISTA) and the Indiana Federation of Teachers (IFT) leaders who care most about protecting their unions' financial solvency and the teachers who are working hard in our school buildings every day to prepare students for successful futures. The state-level leaders of these two organizations have done a horrible disservice to their members by not being transparent about their plans, their efforts or their intent. In light of recent events, I would categorize the actions of this handful of state-level union leaders as obstructionist at best. Their unwillingness to tell the public where they stand on important issues surrounding teacher quality is nothing short of disheartening. I would like to outline a disappointing turn of events involving the leadership of our state-level teachers' unions; I believe it is emblematic of a broken system. Since I took office in 2009, Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) senior staff members and I have conducted more than 30 substantive meetings or conference calls with leaders from ISTA and IFT, including discussions surrounding the development of a system for teacher and principal evaluation which would help identify and support effective teachers. While IDOE was hoping for agreement on an evaluation tool to be adopted by all schools statewide, we engaged in much healthy debate and were willing to compromise. IDOE agreed to a set of guidelines for teacher and principal evaluations. So long as they followed the guidelines, local leaders could develop their own tools or systems for evaluation. Despite IDOE's willingness to compromise and the larger group's consensus on the guidelines, state-level ISTA and IFT leaders would not acknowledge publicly to their local union leaders and members that they had joined IDOE and others in developing these evaluation guidelines (included as an email attachment). While many of these conversations occurred in the context of Indiana's Race to the Top efforts, this new system for evaluation offers the objectivity individual teachers have been requesting for years, and it is key to the state's ability to identify and reward great teachers. We all understand the invaluable role great teachers play in the lives of children, and as Indiana's superintendent, I believe it is morally imperative that we ensure all our students have the best possible teachers in their classrooms each day. Given the absolute unwillingness of the state-level teachers' unions to have an open and honest discussion about these issues in full view of the public, IDOE will instead continue to conduct useful conversations with individuals and groups of teachers throughout the state and work with teachers at the local level to develop policy for the future of our students and our state. I would also like to respond to Mr. Rodgers' question regarding the appropriate level of federal government involvement. In Indiana, we truly appreciate the unique attention and focus the President and Congress can bring to an issue. In the case of education reform, President Obama's Administration's support has certainly offered Indiana the opportunity to embark upon a much-needed reform journey, and I greatly appreciate that opportunity. We want the federal government to set the bar of expectations high and then allow each state to find its own way to jump over the bar. If Indiana and other states are able to meet or exceed expectations, I hope we will be rewarded for our success--perhaps by way of loosening restrictions on the use of some education funds like Title I or investing more in Indiana so we can duplicate our successes. If states are unable to meet expectations set forth by the federal government and achieve results for students, those states should be held accountable as it makes no sense to continue funding failing programs. Again, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to additional questions regarding my recent testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Tony Bennett, Indiana Department of Education. Guidelines for Measuring Teacher and Principal Effectiveness ``The Obama administration aims to reward states that use student achievement as a ``predominant'' part of teacher evaluations with the extra stimulus funds--and pass over those that don't.'' Joanne S. Weiss, NewSchools Venture Fund and Race to the Top Director. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is committed to improving the quality of instruction and leadership in Indiana's schools. To reach this goal we must focus on teacher and principal quality by accurately assessing individual performance. Recognizing that teacher and principal effectiveness are the most important factors in improving student achievement, teachers and principals must be credibly evaluated on their ability to impact student outcomes and growth. Districts must reexamine their evaluation tools and begin to use them to inform district policies regarding hiring, laying off, professional development, compensation, promotions, and retention. IDOE has established these guidelines to provide a clear bar for developing teacher and principal evaluation instruments. By adopting these guidelines, a district still must follow applicable state laws. In considering teacher and principal evaluation system, districts must: Adopt a common evaluation tool for teachers and principals. Incorporate student performance/growth on ISTEP+ to count for at least 51% of the total evaluation score. Use a multiple rating scale consisting of 4 categories: highly effective, effective, improvement necessary, and ineffective. Ensure teacher and principal performance data shows meaningful differentiation of effectiveness across the ratings spectrum; the State will expect that the school corporations aggregate evaluations show a credible distribution across the spectrum. Moreover, there must be parity in distribution between tested and non-tested grades/subjects. Provide an annual evaluation for all teachers and principals. Include close examination of key performance metrics (e.g. purposeful planning, classroom culture, effective instructional techniques, and professional leadership). Create a collaborative goal-setting component for teachers and principals to set their own instructional and growth goals specific to student achievement and teacher or principal effectiveness. Specify the support and intervention which will be provided for teachers not rated as ``highly effective'' or ``effective.'' (e.g. improvement plans, professional development and dismissal protocols) and provide clear consequences for unsatisfactory performance. Use teacher and principal evaluation data to guide district, school, and individual professional development plans. Train and support evaluators to effectively implement evaluation. Use teacher and principal evaluations, at a minimum, to inform decisions regarding: (a) Developing teachers and principals, including by providing relevant coaching, induction support, and/or professional development; (b) Compensating, promoting, and retaining teachers and principals, including by providing opportunities for highly effective teachers and principals to obtain additional compensation and be given additional responsibilities; (c) Whether to grant tenure and/or full certification (where applicable) to teachers and principals using rigorous standards and streamlined, transparent, and fair procedures; and (d) Removing ineffective tenured and untenured teachers and principals after they have had ample opportunities to improve, and ensuring that such decisions are made using rigorous standards and streamlined, transparent, and fair procedures. Train and support teachers in peer assistance and/or teacher leader programs. ______ Board of Regents, P. O. Box 3677, Baton Rouge, LA, May 26, 2010. Hon. George Miller, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, 2181 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Miller: I am writing this letter to respond to the following question that you sent to me after testifying at the Hearing on ``Supporting American's Educators: The Importance of Quality Teachers and Leaders'' on May 4, 2010: ``Despite these programmatic changes, I fear we will still be dealing with the same issue of teacher ineffectiveness, which leads me to believe that we are not getting to the heart of classroom ineffectiveness. Is it unions? Is it too much federal involvement or not enough? Please comment on what you believe are the underlying barriers.'' I believe three underlying barriers have existed to prevent us from providing all students with highly effective teachers. They pertain to access to student growth data, professional learning connected to teacher rewards, and principal leadership. If all three are equally addressed, achievement could improve in our country. Although the home environment of children is a very important part of a child's education, it can no longer be an excuse for why students are not achieving. In Louisiana, we have identified schools that have high achieving students who are educated in schools that have a high percentage of children living in poverty. Thus, we now know that it is possible for children living in poverty to achieve if they have an effective teacher and an effective principal. These schools must deal with the same federal, state, union, and parent issues as other schools in the state, yet their students demonstrate growth in achievement. The first underlying barrier is the lack of appropriate assessment systems in states that provide teacher preparation programs and teachers with access to achievement and other data pertaining to the growth of students taught by individual teachers. This type of information is especially important to programs who prepare teachers. New teachers who complete ineffective teacher preparation programs are at a disadvantage for they start their careers underprepared in specific content areas. These teachers will need extensive professional development to catch up with peers who exit effective teacher preparation programs. Without a system that provides valid and reliable data about the growth of student learning, neither the teacher nor the preparation program will know if their strategies are effective or ineffective. Louisiana is now piloting new assessment systems that provide practicing teachers, schools, and teacher preparation programs with access to data of this type. Continued federal support to encourage states to develop longitudinal data systems and share systems that work will help states overcome this barrier. The second barrier and the most important barrier is the lack of relevant and student focused professional development that results in improved teaching practices, higher student achievement, and rewards for teachers. It is not sufficient to just provide teachers with data about the performance of their students and their own teaching effectiveness. To improve achievement, teachers must be taught new strategies and techniques that extend beyond their existing knowledge. States need to move away from traditional professional development where all teachers receive the same development to the use of exceptional master and mentor teachers who help teachers use new teaching strategies that impact needs identified through analysis of student data. High quality professional development needs to be linked to a fair reward system that is based upon multiple assessments that examine growth in student achievement and teacher performance. This is especially important when attempting to recruit and retain highly effective teachers. A clear understanding must exist for how teachers can attain rewards and growth in student achievement must be integrated into the system. I have enclosed a copy of the Louisiana Comprehensive Teacher Compensation Framework that was recently developed by the State's Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence. The framework identifies 7 key elements, 10 steps to plan implementation, an action plan, and a question and response guide to help districts in Louisiana select or develop a comprehensive teacher compensation model. Providing financial incentives for schools and districts to implement comprehensive teacher compensation models and providing opportunities for states to learn about models that are impacting student achievement are two ways in which the federal government can help schools and districts overcome this barrier. The third barrier is the lack of effective principals in schools. Effective teachers are not going to remain within schools that are not led by effective principals. Louisiana's high poverty/high performing schools all have effective leaders who have created the types of working conditions and environments that support students, parents, and teachers. Principals and their faculty need to be provided the flexibility to hire teachers who possess the values and skills that are important for their community of learners, and they need the flexibility to determine how funds can best be used to address needs at their schools. The continued focus at the federal level on principal effectiveness needs to be continued. Please feel free to contact me if you are in need of additional information. Sincerely, Jeanne M. Burns, Ph.D., Associate Commissioner for Teacher and Leadership Initiatives. ______ [The material referred to may be accessed at the following Internet address:] http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/testimony/ 20100504JeanneBurnsRespondsToQuestionsForTheRecord.pdf ______ Teach Plus, 220 Congress Street, Suite 502, Boston, MA, May 18, 2010. Hon. George Miller, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, 2181 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Miller: Thank you for forwarding the thoughtful questions of the Committee. Response to the inquiry by Representative Chu: The process of moving T3 to implementation had multiple stages and involved teachers in different ways at each stage. Unifying the Teachers. Ready for the Next Challenge, the teacher- developed proposal that evolved into T3, was a product of the first Boston cohort of the Teach Plus Policy Fellows program. The Policy Fellows program is a highly selective program for teachers in years 3- 10 of their careers who are interested in taking an active role in education policy. This group of 16 teachers: Met on a monthly basis for 18 months; Studied the research on teacher quality policy; and Received guest lectures from top policy leaders such as the state Secretary of Education and several Harvard University professors. The goal of the Policy Fellowship is for teachers to advocate for a policy change (or changes) that will improve urban schools and promote the retention of top teachers. This particular group of teachers was galvanized by the research on the inequitable distribution of effective teachers. Most of them entered teaching to work with the most underserved students and felt better equipped to be successful with those students now that they had a few years in the classroom under their belts. They saw the dearth of experienced, effective teachers in low-performing schools as a solvable problem. At the same time as they were reading this research, they were meeting with state education leaders in their monthly sessions. These leaders repeatedly talked about the need to determine intervention strategies for newly identified ``turnaround'' schools. They were interested in the ideas of teachers. This helped the teachers to recognize this as a possible policy opportunity. In sum, it was Teach Plus that provided the forum for the teachers, but it was the research and the emerging focus on turnaround among state and district policy makers that sharpened the teachers' focus. Building Public Support. The teachers launched Ready for the Next Challenge at a public forum in Boston in April 2009. Approximately 150 leaders from the Boston area attended. Kati Haycock of the Education Trust gave a keynote address was followed by a presentation by the teachers. Prior to the event, the teachers met with the Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, the President of the Boston Teachers Union and the state Deputy Commissioner of Education to describe their proposal. There were two key constituencies whose support was critical to the program moving forward: 1. The Boston Public Schools was in a major budget deficit. Also, while a proposal by teachers had a basic appeal, the district did not have the capacity to implement it. Teach Plus staff helped to move the proposal forward to action by meeting regularly with the district and helping to fill in the details needed for implementation. A joint Teach Plus-BPS planning committee (which involved one of the teachers who wrote the proposal) started to flesh out the details of recruitment, selection and support for the program. Teach Plus staff played a pivotal role in fundraising for the program. 2. The Boston Teachers Union might object to a program that conferred elevated status on some teachers and paid them differently. This objection by the union was a very real possibility throughout the process. Two reasons it gained union acceptance were a). it was developed by teachers and b). we proposed it directly to the union leadership before the public event and engaged them on a regular basis thereafter. Several of the Policy Fellows who wrote the proposal had been (or became) active in the union. Thus, it wasn't just an anonymous group of teachers without relationships to the union leadership. We had strong bridges in a few teachers. In addition, we held large public events for groups of about 100 teachers four times during the year. The union leadership knew Teach Plus was working with a large subset of the union. Implementation. Implementation was done in large part by Teach Plus staff. We hired a T3 Director to coordinate and lead the program. She worked with a design firm to develop our marketing materials, scheduled regular meetings with BPS to plan the selection process and the summer training. Going forward, she will be the liaison between Teach Plus and the 3 schools that are a part of the T3 pilot. Response to the inquiry by Representative McMorris Rodgers: Ineffective teachers are a drain on both students and other teachers. My greatest concern, in talking with hundreds of high- performing teachers is that low-performing teachers drive high- performing teachers away from the profession because they do not want to be a part of a mediocre enterprise. We believe the strongest lever to removing ineffective teachers is reform of the tenure process. Unlike the rigorous process by with tenure is granted in higher education, tenure at the elementary and secondary levels is largely a non-event. Most all teachers who make it to about their third year in the classroom earn tenure. This amounts to a $2 million decision per teacher for districts when lifetime earnings and pension are calculated. Yet, districts pass most teachers through without serious consideration. High-performing teachers are looking for something to aspire to in the second stage of their careers; tenure could be a mark of distinction for our best teachers. Instead, it is insulting to high- performing teachers. The lack of process and rigor clarifies to them that they are not part of a real ``profession''. Early in their careers, low-performing teachers do not yet have the job assurances that come with tenure. This is the time to evaluate them carefully, based on transparent, rigorous standards and build a case for the dismissal of teachers who show little competence or improvement in their first few years. Thank you again for your interest. Sincerely, Celine Coggins, Ph.D., CEO, Monique Burns Thompson, President, Teach Plus. ______ Marie Parker-McElroy's Response to Question Submitted for the Record It is true that we have invested substantially in improving education in the last several decades with little dramatic change in student learning. The students we educate in the U.S. and what we expect them to learn changes with societal, political, and economic changes. For example the current plan to establish national standards is one example of a change educators experience. As professionals, teachers are eager to continue to learn, yet for too long what they learn and how they learn has been so removed from what their day-to-day work is. Rather than sending teachers out of school to learn or to send students home so teachers can learn, it is time to redesign schools so learning is an integrated part of every educators' workday. I personally want to be able to work more closely with my peers to explore learn more about how we can adjust instruction to meet the needs of the all learners we serve in our school. We want to learn how to engage English language learners in content for which they may have no background. We want to learn how to adapt what we teach to challenge our most successful students. We want to learn how to ensure all students, regardless of their background or previous academic performance, rigorous content standards. We want to know how to assess student learning so that learning is not temporary, but rather meaningful and related to students' life experiences. Teachers' roles have increased dramatically and expectations of them have changed accordingly. To support them and expand their teaching expertise, school and district leaders can alter the type and amount of professional learning teachers experience. Up to now, many teachers have participated from professional learning that is distant from their day-to-day work, even physically removing them from classrooms to send them to workshops. When they return to school filled with great intention, new ideas, and renewed passion for their work, they have little or no support to implement what they have learned and expectations that the transformation in their practice is instantaneous. Refining and expanding practice requires sufficient time to integrate the new ideas into their classroom practice. It requires feedback and support from coaches, peers, supervisors. It requires opportunities to assess and reflect on their practice to make ongoing improvements so they continue to grow. To ensure all students are successful, I recommend that teacher professional learning occur at school, among teams of colleagues, within their workday, be directly connected to the content they teacher, be facilitated by teacher leaders, school leaders, or others with special preparation to guide this form of professional learning, be evaluated for its impact on teaching effectiveness and student achievement, and occur continuously throughout a teachers' career. Rather than paying teachers extra for learning, a system most common in school districts with a lane approach to salary that has increases inequity among the quality of teaching in classrooms, I want teachers to have a fair salary, a workday that embeds learning into it, and a requirement to for continuous improvement. I am confident that students can reach their full academic potential when teams of teachers are actively engaged in professional learning based upon data and the needs of their own students and organized in a structure that offers timely and embedded team and classroom-based support. I believe that this is getting to the heart of classroom ineffectiveness. Congress can help establish the standards and expectation for this form of professional learning for every educator. I, personally, do not believe the answer is driven by unions. I do believe that students can reach their full academic potential when teams of teachers are actively engaged in professional learning baswed upon data and the needs of their own students in an organzied structure that offers timely and embedded team and classroom-based support. Federally funded professional development should be evaluated for its impact on teacher performance and student learning. If it is not working, we need to go back to the `blackboard'. This, in my opinion, is the heart of improving effectiveness of our teacher workforce and ensure all students are successful. ______ Response From Dr. Pamela Salazar--Ensuring a Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom: Five Considerations Students should be prepared for success beyond high school. Whether students choose to pursue a career or higher education after high school it is certainly our moral imperative that they have a choice. The contribution of teachers to student learning and outcomes is widely recognized. A teacher's effectiveness has more impact on student learning than any other factor under the control of the school. It is well-documented that the difference between the performance of a student assigned to a top-quartile teacher as compared to a bottom- quartile teacher can exceed 10 percentile points on a standardized test (Gordon, Kane, & Staiger, 2006). However, in spite of knowing how critically important the need for effective teachers is, the education community has not sufficiently focused on improving teacher effectiveness through recruitment, evaluation, development, placement, and retention of highly effective teachers. This leads to five considerations: Teacher Tenure Teacher tenure is a concept that should be re-examined in the context of due process procedures that are now in place, but were not when teacher tenure was implemented. It must be made harder for ineffective teachers to be promoted to tenured positions. Teachers can no longer earn tenure for merely surviving the first two or three years in the classroom; instead, probationary teachers should be required to demonstrate that they are effectively boosting student learning. Tenure should be a significant milestone that successful teachers earn--not a nearly automatic benefit. Evaluation Systems Evaluation systems should be designed to improve teacher effectiveness for all teachers and not with a primary purpose of weeding out the weakest performers. Evaluations need to be fair, objective and transparent and be used as a tool to develop more effective teachers. Evaluation of individual teachers should be based on a various measure of teacher performance on the job. These measures might include classroom observations, administrator evaluations, some measure of ``value-added,'' or the average gain in performance for students assigned to each teacher, teacher work samples, student work products, and school growth indicators. Key to the success of this proposal is for states to have data systems to link student performance with the effectiveness of individual teachers over time so that teacher quality can be measured at the state level as compared to the district or school level. Emphasis should be on effective teachers--how to use them not only in classrooms but, in mentoring new and struggling teachers and as leaders in the school to improve ALL teachers. Bonus Pay Current pay practices encourage too few of the strongest teachers to work in schools where they are needed the most. Bonuses should be paid to highly effective teachers who are willing to teach in schools with a high proportion of low-income students. Unfortunately, it is more common to see the lowest achieving teachers clustered in the poorest schools where students are most in need of effective teaching (Education Trust, 2003). Yet, even the best teachers at these poor schools are typically paid no more, and sometimes less than at wealthier schools. Policies need to be put in place that support high- achieving teachers to serve in these schools. We should reward teachers who excel, more effectively help many teachers get on the track to excellence, and remove those who consistently do not improve from the classroom. Teacher evaluation must be transformed from a ``check the box'' approach to a meaningful professional activity that not only provides important feedback for improvement, but also enables more strategic personnel and instructional decisions. National Board Certification for Teachers can be used to attract and retain highly skilled individuals. Many high-status professions, like law and medicine, have advanced certification opportunities that recognize and acknowledge highly effective knowledge and skills. This acknowledgement reinforces teaching as an honored profession. In addition, there is a growing body of research that acknowledges the contribution of this certification to teacher effectiveness (Goldhaber & Anthony (2004). National Board Certification for Teachers can be used as a measure to determine additional compensation. Support for the candidacy of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) is needed throughout all states. Principal Leadership Effective principals play a vital role in raising student achievement. There is wide recognition that school leaders exert a powerful, if indirect, influence on teaching quality and student learning. In a review of literature for the American Educational Research Association, Leithwood and Riehl (2003) conclude that school leadership has significant effects on student learning, second only to the effects of the quality of curriculum and teachers' instruction. Successful students and teachers need the support of effective school leadership. The most accomplished principals create a school-based learning community that involves teachers, students, parents and the community. In addition, the demands and complexity of 21st century education require more from these leaders. As many current principals approach retirement age, it is essential to attract, develop and retain the best and the brightest educational leaders to the profession to prepare students for the expectations of a global economy. An advanced certification for principals is being developed in order to identify, recognize and retain quality leaders. The challenge of establishing a high performing teaching and learning environment rests on the ability of principals skilled in creating a culture of learning that can advance student learning and engage the best teachers and staff. Promote and support the candidacy of National Board Certified Principals (NBCPs) throughout all states. The advanced principal certification process will define and validate the requirements that identify an accomplished and effective principal--supporting motivation among principals and prestige for the profession. The program developers have a record of developing advanced standards and rigorous assessments that are recognized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Similarly, they are recognized for having the capacity to define excellent practice for education leaders and implement a research-based, nationwide certification. Professional Development Professional development can be better targeted to ensure teachers and principals get the support they need to be effective. Effective professional development is the lynchpin for ensuring that there is a highly qualified teacher for every classroom and a highly qualified principal for every school. Effective professional development that improves the learning of all students takes place over time, is job-embedded, organizes adults into learning communities aligned with school and district goals, is led by skillful school and district leaders who guide continuous instructional improvement, and allows for adult learning and peer collaboration. We must provide all teachers with targeted professional development, informed by student performance data, that helps them better meet students' needs. Strong leadership is essential to a successful school, but many principals do not have the training or tools they need to make strategic use of data to effectively evaluate and support teachers, manage their schools, and lead difficult or aggressive change when necessary. To effectively lead an evaluation process tied to professional development support for teachers, principals need to be strong leaders within their schools. Train principals to conduct observations, provide feedback, and take action to develop/reward teachers or partner with an external, objective reviewer. Doing this will help catalyze the process and build capacity in school leadership to become self-sustaining. Recommendation Provide federal grants to help states implement these considerations. For example, only a few states currently have the ability to measure the effect of individual teachers on the performance of their students; this capacity must be built both to facilitate the evaluation of teachers and to supply schools and teachers with better data about what works and what does not. Additionally, there is limited funding for high quality professional development. This is especially true for principal development and for secondary schools. Data on the impact of these practices should be carefully evaluated and if prove sound, then with necessary adjustments, these proposals should be implemented nationally. Education ultimately comes down to the interaction between a teacher and a student. With effective teachers in every classroom, every child will have a better opportunity to learn what he or she needs to know and be able to do to graduate prepared for success after high school. With effective principals in every school, every teacher will have a better opportunity to learn what he or she needs to know and be able to prepare all students for future success. These considerations together could improve the standing of teaching as a profession built upon excellence. REFERENCES Education Trust (2003). Telling the whole truth (or not) about highly qualified teachers. Washington, D.C. Education Trust. Goldhaber, D. & Anthony, E. (2004). Can teacher quality be effectively assessed? Wahington, D.C.: Urban Institute. Gordon, Kane, & Staiger, (2006). Identifying Effective Teachers--Using Performance on the Job. Hamilton Project Discussion Paper. The Brookings Institution. March. Leithwood, K. & Riehl, C. (2003). What We Know About Successful School Leadership. American Educational Research Association. January. ______ [Via Electronic Mail], Office of the Superintendent, 1515 Hughes Way, Long Beach, CA, May 17, 2010. Hon. George Miller, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, 2181 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Miller: I write in response to your May 14 letter requesting answers to questions raised by representatives Judy Chu and McMorris Rodgers in light of your committee's May 4 hearing on ``Supporting America's Educators: The Importance of Quality Teachers and Leaders.'' Representative Chu asks how an increase in competitive grants would impact our long-term fiscal plans. She further inquires as to what happens if LBUSD does not receive such funding. While such grants would greatly accelerate the closing of achievement gaps here, we also have in place protocols to mitigate the impact of funding cuts, having reduced our budget for seven of the last eight years due to California's budget crisis. Out of necessity, we revisit our long-range planning each year to coordinate all resources strategically, based upon student performance data. Our data-driven approach to planning is one of the primary reasons we have raised student achievement while simultaneously cutting our budget. We are confident in our ability to compete for grants, but at the same time, we also have considerable experience redirecting our human and fiscal capital as needed. Representative Rodgers asks whether educators and policymakers are getting to the heart of teacher effectiveness. He requests our thoughts on the underlying barriers, and he inquires as to whether there is too much federal involvement or not enough. In Long Beach, we believe that collaboration and accountability are key to improving teacher quality. We work with our unions, parents, local nonprofits and postsecondary institutions to refine the delivery of instruction. Our school principals, and ultimately their teachers, receive districtwide training in research-proven strategies. Through diligent monitoring of data, we hold these employees accountable for implementing these strategies. These data are in turn reported up to our Board of Education so that we can ascertain and act upon the results of our professional development. As for the federal government's involvement, we believe that academic targets should be set at the federal level, but that local educational agencies such as ours should be allowed to decide how we reach those targets. Such an approach provides local control while still assuring that educators are held accountable for meeting established national standards. The key underlying barrier here is that federal funding currently exists in too many separate silos, in the form of categorical programs and mandates. We need to streamline this approach by providing one silo tied to student outcomes, and then holding local agencies like mine accountable for those outcomes. That is why we also support the withdrawal of federal funding for school districts that habitually fail to show improvement. We understand that such an approach would be a paradigm shift, but it is vital to successful school reform. Thank you for including our school district in this important discussion. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Sincerely, Christopher J. Steinhauser, Superintendent of Schools, Long Beach Unified School District. ______ Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers, May 19, 2010. Hon. George Miller, Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, 2181 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Miller: I appreciated having the opportunity to testify on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) at the Committee's May 4 hearing on ``Supporting America's Educators: The Importance of Quality Teachers and Leaders.'' As you requested, my written responses to questions from Committee members are provided below. While the AFT believes there is a place for student learning in evaluating teachers, standardized assessments should not be the single or predominant factor in teacher evaluation systems. This would lead to even more emphasis on teaching to the test and to narrowing of the curriculum. As you point out, current testing instruments are limited in their ability to capture the full range of learning. Moreover, value-added measures are unstable and provide measures of student learning that vary enormously from year to year. Although test scores may play a role, student achievement should include evidence of growth in knowledge and skills based on multiple measures such as student presentations, writing samples, portfolios, grades, or capstone projects. In addition to student test scores and other measures of student learning described above, determinations of teacher effectiveness should include other evaluation measures based on standards of practice that define good teaching and professional practice--what teachers should know and be able to do. These would include classroom observations, self-evaluations, portfolio reviews, and appraisal of lesson plans Because evaluation should help teachers to inform and improve practice, systems of evaluation should include ways to support teacher growth, including induction, mentoring, ongoing and embedded professional development, and opportunities for professional growth. Finally, teacher evaluation systems should also include the necessary teaching and learning supports. Teachers need resources including the time to collaborate with their colleagues and an environment conductive to teaching and learning. Measures for assessing a school's teaching and learning conditions should be developed and included in a teacher evaluation system. As I said in my testimony, great teachers are made, not born. We must begin by ensuring that teachers receive good preparation in the schools they attend. New teachers need assistance to develop their skills through high-quality induction programs. All teachers need on- going, high quality, embedded professional development. I have proposed that we augment current federal efforts by providing federal support for teacher centers. But in addition to these elements, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act should help ensure that teachers have the tools, time and trust they need to succeed. School systems should be held responsible for providing teachers--and students--with conditions where learning and teaching can take place and teachers and students can succeed. These professional learning environments should include small classes, a well-rounded curriculum, healthy and adequate facilities, current technology, opportunities and time for collaboration, and wrap around services for students to help combat the effects of poverty. These necessary supports are most likely to be achieved in an atmosphere of trust, where there is true collaboration and teachers and their unions have a real voice in reform efforts. Again, thank you for the opportunity to share our views and recommendations with the Committee. Sincerely, Randi Weingarten, President. ______ Marcus A. Winters' Response to Representative McMorris Rodgers' Question The heart of the teacher ineffectiveness issue is the current system's insistence that all teachers are equally effective in the classroom. We know from both empirical research and our own personal experience that there is substantial variation in teacher quality. The nation stands little chance of substantially improving teacher effectiveness unless school systems develop evaluation tools capable of distinguishing between the most and least effective teachers and adopt policies that act upon the results of these evaluations. There are some technical barriers to achieving these goals. While current statistical techniques are strong enough to identify the teachers likeliest to be the most and least effective, researchers must continue to improve upon these techniques to measure a teacher's independent contribution to her student's learning. Further, test scores are insufficient for fully evaluating a teacher's performance and thus should be only part of the evaluation system. School systems should experiment with how much evaluation systems weigh test scores and other forms of evaluations, including classroom observations. But the most important obstacles to improving teacher quality are political. In recent months we have seen some encouraging signs of cooperation on this issue from the American Federation of Teachers and some of its local affiliates. Nonetheless, in many other individual cases teachers' unions have continued to lead the fight against reform. They have opposed teacher evaluations and laws that would make it feasible for public schools to remove their least effective teachers, such as weakening the job protections of tenure and eliminating first- in, last-out layoff rules. ______ [Whereupon, at 4:55 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]