Issues in School Reform

Work-in-Progress map of US school reform efforts.

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Issues in School Reform par Mind Map: Issues in School Reform

1. Standards

1.1. Voluntary National Standards

1.1.1. History Standards - 2004 Shot down by Lynn Cheney L. Chaney, "The End of History" Gary B. Nash, "Lynn Cheney's Attach on the History Standards, 10 Years Later" Written by National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA As of 2004, over 100,000 copies published and in circulation.

1.2. Common Core

1.2.1. Iintended to define the knowledge and skills in English language arts (ELA) and math that high school graduates will need for success in college and 21st century jobs.

1.2.2. Endorsed By Businesses Governors Teachers' Unions Fordham Institute "clearly superior" to 39 states' math standards and to 37 states in ELA. Three states had "superior" ELA standards to the core.

1.2.3. Critics

1.2.4. Strengths ELA standards define specific benchmarks for reading and writing in Social Studies, Science and technical subjects. Internationally Benchmarked

1.2.5. Weaknesses

1.2.6. Misconceptions literary works will be de-emphasized or not taught at all-- 70% applied reading, 30% literature. Suggested authors include Shakespeare, Twain, Longfellow, Ovid, Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, Yeats, Neruda and many that have been banned for controversial subject matter. Schools are prohibited from teaching cursive writing. -- It is required by the standards, but it can be taught at any school.

2. Business Modeled

2.1. Positives

2.2. Negatives

2.2.1. Lack of public forum to question decisions. "Monday Night Massacre"

2.2.2. Increased accountability --> Gaming the system for results.

2.3. Overview

2.3.1. Led by non-educators Bersin - San Diego former lawyer Klein - NYC former lawyer Small Schools Policies Black - NYC Rhee - DC "Teachers are Everyting"

2.3.2. Business Consulting Groups Jack Welsh McKinsey and Company

2.3.3. Replicate and Reproduce Curricular models from district to district Leadership Academy at Teachers' College "Best Practices" Seminars

2.3.4. Top-Down decision making Often based solely on test-scores

2.3.5. Major Focus on Accountability In NYC, School autonomous (so long as good scores.) In ELA and Math only NYC deleted programs earmarking dollars toward Arts Education

3. Centralization v. De-Centralization

4. Accountability

4.1. Testing

4.1.1. State v. NAEP State High Stakes Every Student Tested NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) <5% of students tested from a representative sample of the states, including 14 urban districts. Not taught toward NAEP norms state scores by offering a common measuring post. Stark Contrast!

4.1.2. Increased Accountability --> Gaming the system for results. Lower Passing Criteria 2006: 19% at lvl 1 in 2006. 2009: 2% at lvl 1. Teach to the test Narrows curriculum Herald results which don't always last Make tests easier Increase # students who get 'accomodations' Campbell's Law: "The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to sidtort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor." Donald T. Campbell, 1975 Cardiologists won't operate on risky patients to preserve their scores Airlines manipulated time tables to have more flights arrive on time

4.1.3. DR"Testing is not the problem. ..The problem was the misuse of testing for high-stakes purposes, the belief that tests could identify with certainty which students should be held back, which teachers and principals should be fired or rewarded, or which schools should be closed."150

4.1.4. About the Nature of Tests Must be Reliable and valid MArgin of error Same test takers will score differently on the same test on different days due to outside variances.

4.1.5. DR"One problem with test-based accountability, as currently defined and used, is that it removes all responsibility from students and their families for the students' academic performance."162

4.2. School Letter Ratings Systems

4.2.1. NYC Based on Progress made as compared to previous year(s). Low-Performing but improved = A or B High Performing but droped (however slightly) =C,D,F

4.2.2. NY State via NCLB (SURR) School Under Registration Review = consistently poor performance Many A and B schools as rated by NYC (SINI)School In Need of Improvement = failed to meet AYP

4.3. Graduation Rates

4.3.1. Malleability Who gets counted? All Grads 4 year grads GED Post-Summer Grads Credit Recovery

4.4. Value-Added Assessment

4.4.1. Developed by William Sanders, UTenn statistician Throuh purely statistical inquiry, he determined that "the most important factor affecting student learning is the teacher. In addition, the results show wide variation in effectiveness among teachers. The immediate and clear implication of this finding is that seemingly more can be done to improve education by improving the effectiveness of teachers than by any other single factor."

4.4.2. Measures students test scores against prediction based on previous test scores and attributes difference to teacher effectiveness.

4.4.3. Positives Counters arguments that against raw test scores being used to judge teachers.

4.4.4. Negatives Do not take into account fluctuating variables such as student mood. Does not take into account the overall validity and reliability of the tests

4.4.5. Gates Foundation: "Measures of Effective Teaching" "a teacher’s past track record of value-added is among the strongest predictors of their students’ achievement gains in other classes and academic years" Economist Jesse Rothstein finds conclusions to be weak or in some cases faulty. “In particular, the correlations between value-added scores on state and alternative assessments are so small that they cast serious doubt on the entire value-added enterprise,” Rothstein wrote.


5.1. 4 Principles

5.1.1. Every Child Tested in Gr. 3-8 States to develop tests, standards, and proficiency markers Must test to receive federal funding.

5.1.2. Decisions about how to reform schools made by the states

5.1.3. low-performing schools will get help to improve Second year on SINI list, schools must offer students transfer option. Third year, must allocate funds to provide free tutoring. After a fourth year, school was designated SURR, and would need to take reconstructive measures. Convert to a Charter School Relinquish control to private management Turn School over to the state Replace Principal and Staff "any other major restructuring of the school's governance."

5.1.4. students in persistently dangerous schools will have the option to transfer

5.2. Received bi-partisan support

5.2.1. DR "Under ordinary circumstances, Republicans would have opposed the bill's broad expansion of federal power over local schools, and Democrats would have opposed its heavy emphases on testing. But after Sept 11, Congress wanted to show unity." p.94

5.3. Goal: All states will have 100% proficiency in Math and Reading by 2013-2014.

5.3.1. Must make AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) each year to avoid coming under review. Schools would bank on NCLB being discontinued, setting AYP goals at modest levels for the first few years and then at impossible levels in years closer to 2014.

5.4. All states must participate in the NAEP test.

5.4.1. Is it fair to compare tests since State tests "Count" and the NAEP tests do not?

5.5. Served Adult Interests

5.5.1. DR"Huge revenues for testing and tutoring services"101 Kaplan grew from annual revenue of $71M to $2B btwn 1991 and 2007

5.6. Ultimately Scores remained stagnant, as did the achievement gaps.

6. Players

6.1. Lynne Cheney

6.1.1. Wife of Dick Cheney, VP under W.

6.1.2. chairman of National Endowment for the Humanities, 1986 - 1993

6.2. Anthony Alvarado

6.2.1. NYC District 2 Superintendent 1987 -

6.2.2. New node

6.2.3. New node

6.2.4. New node

7. Education Reports

7.1. A Nation at Risk (ANAR), 1983

7.1.1. prepared by the National Commission on Excellence in Education

7.1.2. Did not endorse the abolition of the US Dept. of Education

7.1.3. Recommendations "Five New Basics" in HS 4 yrs. English 3 yrs. math 3 yrs. Science 3 yrs. Social Studies .5 Yrs. Computer Science Essential Goals for each subject (Standards??) Teachers' pay should be professionally competitive, market sensitive, and performance based." More Time for Learning - 180 up to 220 days.

7.1.4. Problems "rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people." DR p. 24 SAT scores down. Erosion of content taught in schools. Expectations for HW, graduation requirements, etc. had fallen.

7.2. "What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future", 1996

7.2.1. prepared by the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future Included chairmen of both teachers unions, Gov of NC, Linda Darling-Hammond.

7.2.2. Recommendations higher standards for teacher education programs high-quality professional development more effective recruitment practices commitment to professionalism schools that support good teaching additional compensation for teachers who won national board certification, received licenses to teach in another subject, or demonstrated greater pedagogical skills or knowledge Rejected merit pay based on test scores

7.2.3. Proclaimed that "attempts to link student test scores to rewards for teachers and schools have led to counterproductive incentives for keeping out or pushing out low-achieving students, retaining them in a grade so their scores look higher, or assigning them to special education where their scores don't count, rather than teaching them more effectively.

8. Market Based Reforms

8.1. Choice

8.1.1. Charters Public School under private management required to be non-secretarian Any group or organization could apply for a charter for three to five years from the state or a state-authorized chartering agency, agree to meet certain minimum requirements and academic targets, and recieve public funding for its students. 1988 - Ray Budde - "Education by Charter: Restructuring School Districts" Groups of Teachers should form charters Charters should work on the cuting edge of research and knowledge 1988 - Albert Shanker - Speech to National Press Club Any group of 6 teachers can apply for a charter and start a school. 1993 - Shanker withdrew his support of charter schools as they existed at the time. Politics of Generally, Liberals adopted them to put a stop to vouchers Conservatives adopted them to deregulate public education system Top 5 Market Shares of Charters by School District NOLA: 57% DC: 36% Detroit: 32% Kansas City, MO: 29% Dayton, OH: 27% (NYC: 2% but 8th on total #) Most Successful Models KIPP

8.1.2. Vouchers Established First in Milwaukee, WI in 1990. Also took off in Cleveland, OH Constitutionally Questionable b/c offered students the option of going to Catholic schools on gov't dime. Studies Consistently found no significant gains in reading or math for struggling students.

8.1.3. Open Enrollment Minnesota first to adopt in 1980

8.1.4. History Milton Friedman - "The Role of Government in Education" (1955) Ultimate objective of society should be to maximize the freedom of the individual or the family. Gov't should procide a voucher to parents to subsidize the cost of the children's schooling (public, private, catholic), so long as the school met "specified minimum standards." Believed that "a wide variety of schools will spring up to meet the demand" for more specialized vocational schools. Realized only later that Southern States were adopting his measures to allow for continued segregation in schools. Economist Opposed by Unions Supported by Foundations Heritage Foundation Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Cato Institute John M. Olin Foundation John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe - "Politics, Markets and America's Schools" (1990) Public education is owned by vested interest groups (teachers unions, school boards, book publishers, testing services, etc.), and thus incapable of being reformed. Propsed System

8.1.5. Current Policies Obama administration advised states that they will not be eligible for nearly $5Billion in discretionary funds unless they eliminated any legal limits on the expansion of charter schools.

8.2. Assess Schools

8.2.1. Close Low-Performing Schools

8.3. Bonuses

8.3.1. Based on the performance of entire schools NYC 2007 NYC: Schoolwide bonuses to teachers in about 200 schools if scores went up. Atlanta Scbools meeting 70% of their goals get school-wide bonus.

8.3.2. Based on where teachers work (hard-to-staff area?)

8.3.3. Biggest question is do they encourage teaching to the test?

8.3.4. Types of Bonuses Merit Pay Sets teacher against teacher for increased earning potential. Tied to test scores Signing Bonuses Susan Scalafani and Mark Tucker report that signing bonuses will entice better applicants to teaching, but they will not stay if the work is not satisfying. Housing Stipends Loan reimbursement

8.4. Small Schools

8.4.1. Deborah Meier

8.4.2. Inability to provide adequate special needs services for both top performing and lowest performing students.

8.4.3. Displaced students DR gives the example of 1 3000 student school being divided into 5 500 student schools. 500 students displaced.

9. Exemplar Cities

9.1. NYC

9.1.1. Mayor Control End to Social promotion

9.2. San Diego

9.3. New node

10. Indicators of Success/Failure

10.1. Performance in College

11. Teachers

11.1. Recruitment

11.2. Retention

11.2.1. 40-50% of teachers leave within 5 years.

11.3. Evaluation

11.4. Unions

11.4.1. Protection of basic rights Teachers have the potential to be very public figures.

11.4.2. Salary Negotiation

11.4.3. Working Conditions Negotiation

11.4.4. Tenure

11.4.5. "In the way of having "great teachers"