Understanding Preschool - Grade 3 Structures

Uploaded by usedgov on 13.05.2010

Good morning. We're about to begin. I Just want to give you a few housekeeping instructions.
If you need to use the restroom, the women's restroom is outside this door straight back
and the men's is on this side. During this meeting, we would be webinaring this information
so, there are people on the telephone listening in and seeing the presentations. Outside of
that, I’ll turn it over to Jacqueline Jones who will tell you more about the program.
Good morning, everybody. I want to thank all of you for being with us in person and virtually,
I suspect. I want to thank our panel of experts on this topic who've given us their time which
is very precious, I know, and we really appreciate this. It's going to be what we hope will be
a very productive day and we're all just so looking forward to this. I want to thank you
all for taking the time to come and to spend this afternoon with us. So, on behalf of the
two departments, Education, Health and Human Services, we’re really looking forward to
an opportunity to listen to the theory and practice of the idea of P3 organizations and
structures. This is Pre-school Through Third Grade. Looking at this as a concept, as a
reality, as an implementation device, what is it that we really are going to be thinking
through as we look at this notion of not just K3 but pre-school to third grade and why third
grade? If we think about early learning, we know that early childhood spans that spectrum
from birth through age 8 or third grade and we are very committed to that. So, I don’t
want you to think for one moment that because we're looking at P3 today, we are less committed
to a birth through a third grade agenda. This is a particular kind of structure that we
want to understand, we want to understand in theory and in practice. This is the beginning
of a series of listening and learning tours. We'll be looking at such topics as the work
force, standards and assessments, and family engagement and we hope that people will be
able to join us we as we tour the country on these really important topics to early
education. So, I'm not going to take a long time because we have started a little late
and I want to make sure that each of our presenters has the time that we've promised them. This
is an important issue for us as we look at what's happening in the quality of our schools.
We've talked about pre-school for a long time; we've talked about our K-12 system. This is
an opportunity to see how they come together especially as we look at new ways in which
we want to think about quality in the K-3 system and connect it to pre-schools. So we're
very eager to have a group of people who've really just been working very hard on thinking
through these issues. But before we start, I want it have a few words from my partner
in crime, my colleague in the Department of Health and Human Services, Joan Lombardi.
Good morning. Good morning, everyone and everyone listening. On behalf of the Department of
Health and Human Services, we are thrilled to be here. As you know, we've been very dedicated
to a birth through eight agenda and we see this is an integral part of that. We've been
talking with people across the country about what they're doing, promoting an idea of an
early learning community that spans community-based programs and the schools and we think this
is an important step forward. I bring you greetings from Shannon Rudisill, the Director
of Child Care and Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, the Director of Head Start. We are taking
all this information and learning from it and I'm just delighted to be here and to listen
to the panel and to listen to your comments along the way. So, again, thanks for being
here with us and let's get the morning started.
Each of you should have an index card, this is for questions. You can actually have two
index cards if you like and you have extra questions. We're really going to spend the
afternoon, a piece of the afternoon, looking at the questions, posing them to the panel
and seeing if we can get some real dialogue going among the panelists. So, let's begin.
Our first presenter is Ruby Takanishi and she is the President of the Foundation for
Child Development in New York City. Her interest is in how research on children's development
can inform public policy and programs and this has been a life long concern for Ruby.
She has been particularly interested in this notion of P3 and we're so glad that she's
here to join us today. So Ruby, it's yours.
OK. Since it’s locked up, Anya's going to fix it and I'm not going to lose one moment
of time. On behalf of the Foundation for Child Development, I’d like to thank Dr. Jacqueline
Jones and the Department of Education and Health and Human Services for organizing this
event and for focusing on the first early learning event on Pre-K to three structures.
On November 18th, 2009 at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education
for Young Children, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made a historic speech. He argued
that pre-K and early learning programs must be an integral part of education reform. Secretary
Duncan clearly stated that the existing K-12 education system must be transformed in to
a PreK-16 education system to meet the needs of our country and our people. No longer would
early learning and K-12 exist as separate cultures, sectors, silos, or, as one of my
colleagues said, galaxies. The Secretary and the President are calling for a transformation
of the American education system and Pre-K to three approaches or structures are the
first step in this long overdue transformation of American primary education. PreK-3rd approaches,
which I will explain in detail, constitute a critical link at the beginning of a PreK-16
education pipeline for life long learning. They must be sustained by quality middle schools,
quality high schools; quality post secondary education--no more silver bullets, no more
panaceas. And the case in point will be the presentation by Dr. Jerry Weast of the Montgomery
County Public Schools. I'd like to start my presentation with a short video produced by
FCD and the New School Foundation in Seattle, Washington to introduce you to PreK-3rd. The
New School Foundation--sorry--the New School Foundation has been investing--OK, has been
investing in two Seattle Public schools, T.T. Minor and the new school at South Shore. And
I think we're having problems. So, so let me not lose time while we're trying to get
to this video which is really a terrific video. So, I hope if you--if we’re not able to
get it, it’s at www.prektothird.org and I hope we can get to it. But let me continue
so everybody can have their ample amount of time for this. Doctor Jones, in her invitation,
asked me to address the following questions: why and how did the foundation for child development
get into PreK-3rd? What are goals? What has been accomplished? What challenges remain
for PreK-3rd in the future? And what policies are required to support PreK-3rd? So, in the
time I have remaining, I will try to do that. OK, there we go. I'm so glad. Thank you so
Start of video presentation.
I always like to think that if you're a kid born in this country, you should have an equal
chance as the kid born the next second for success in life. And in fact, in this society,
we don’t have that kind of equality of opportunity.
I have been in education for 30 plus years, and 30 years ago, we were talking about the
achievement gap, now we're talking about an achievement gap. I wish I could say it’s
going away and it's not. I am convinced that one strategy that is so impact full--because
there's evidence to support this--of addressing that is early learning.
Four, five, six, seven…
Early on, early childhood dealt with just three and four year olds and then they hoped
they did OK in K-12 and there is incredibly powerful evidence that you need to not leave
that transitions to chance, that you really need to have a P-3 model.
Young children, they're in a very fluid state. If you only invest in PreK, they will learn
some important things, they will acquire some important content. If it is not continued
on kindergarten, first, second, and third grade, they will loose some of those very
important things that we've invested in and I just think it's kind of foolish to invest
heavily on something and then watch it fade away.
The South Shore School is located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle. That ZIP code
that Rainier Beach is in is considered one of the most diverse in the country. Kids from
all kinds of backgrounds, both from within this country and emigrating from other countries
show up in Rainer Beach.
In Seattle we have very a unique school called South Shore that has been in partnership the
last six or seven years to really have an integrated PreK-3rd Grade program.
The New School Foundation, looking at the research nationally about what works in education,
it was readily apparent that we weren’t going to just start in kindergarten, that
we wanted to add a preschool, Pre-Kindergarten experience to whatever school we worked with
and we also knew that we needed quality all the way up.
In our pre-kindergarten classrooms, we use the program called the HighScope Approach.
We ask students what they want to do or what they would like to work toward on their new
skills. You're going to make a mask like yesterday you did? How are you going to make it differently?
Well, because yesterday, I cutted the holes and today, I'm just going to draw the eyes.
Early childhood education and early learning are very important for children in the sense
that this is their opportunity to soak up as much as possible. This is the time when
they're learning an entire language. It’s a time when they're learning how to prioritize
their values.
What is it?
(Mr. Thing,) he's going to help us.
And they're moving out of that stage where they're solely focused on their own needs
and starting to learn that their needs have to be integrated with other people's needs.
Would you like to marry my thing that I'm making?
Yes, (Madeline.)
Just when I finish making her, okay?
The pre-kindergarten program using the HighScope framework supports kids explicitly to learn
how to think about what they're learning, then execute on plans that they make for themselves
and then to come back later and reflect on what they’ve learned, what the challenges
were, and how they overcame those challenges. But we've noticed that some of the cognitive
or academic games that kids were getting from that great, high quality preschool were fading
out in the first few years of elementary school and we've developed a hypothesis that that
fadeout was probably due to low quality early elementary experiences that those kids were
moving into.
Fadeout is this phenomenon that many researchers have found that preschool by itself doesn’t
confer any lifelong advantage. It has a strong effect and if you build on it with later quality
education that’s where the highest opportunity is for sustained effect into adulthood.
Asher (ph) has been at South Shore since he was four. He went into the PreK program that
they had there. The PreK teacher immediately had a report with Asher (ph) and when he went
to kindergarten, he was able to pass on the information that she got to his new teacher.
The way the South Shore School does PreK-3rd is to actually include pre-kindergarten right
in elementary school and those skills get repeated again in kindergarten using the HighScope
framework and then in the next few grades, it gets wrapped into the regular program.
So our school is, first and foremost, providing really strong academics, treating kids as
mathematicians, as writers, as strong readers, so it's really building this strong foundation
of academic learning. In addition to that, it's really taking care of their social and
emotional spirit.
So every two weeks, the wellness rep will sit down with the grade level teams and we
go through each student one by one socially, emotionally, and academically and then the
wellness team uses that data to plan interventions for these children. I remember the other day
out on the playground I saw you and you started to say something, and then you caught my eye
and then you said, "I stopped myself."
No, I'm not going to say it.
So tell me what you were doing when you stopped yourself?
If I do this stuff and I do that--you know, Chris (ph) was pulling my ear, it hurt and
I might start to cry.
Okay, that’s a big deal that you're able to do that. It’s a good skill to have.
When PreK-3rd grade alignment is happening well in a school, what you will see is the
sense of predictability. They know what's going to be happening in their environment.
They know what's expected of them because all of the teachers have the same expectations.
You will see grown-ups actually talking about the alignment, not just talking about their
classroom, their children, their curriculum. It'll be our classrooms, our children; our
For seven years into our partnership with the South Shore School and the results are
exciting. On the academic side, a recent study showed that South Shore kids significantly
outperformed demographically similar kids in reading and math and the advantage grows
the longer you're at this school, especially for math.
Whatever Asher (ph) decides to do down the road, I already know he's going to be a success
because he believes it, and there's no, "I can't do." He's always saying, "I can do that,
mom. I can do that, mom."
This is, I believe, the single best investment in public education. I think it’s the single
best economic investment we can make in our country.
If we have strong PreK-3rd grade programs in our elementary schools all across the city,
in 12 years, we won't have to be having this conversation.
End of video presentation
Okay, so I'd just like to acknowledge the truly terrific work [INDISTINCT] this video
by Mark Bogosian of The Foundation for Child Development and Laura Kohn who is the executive
director of the New School Foundation. And I just wanted to also mention that Bette Hyde,
the individual you saw, is the former superintendent of the Bremerton Washington schools and is
now director of early learning for Governor Gregoire of the State of Washington. So, I
first want to address Dr. Jones' question about how did the Foundation for Child Development
get into PreK-3rd. We are a privately endowed, independent grant making foundation, the oldest
in the country; devoted to the well being of children and families. And we focus on
connecting research to social policy in a number of areas, but certainly in the primary
education of children with the goal of reducing inequalities. We are moved by evidence and
the evidence could not be clearer. The recent 2009 NAEP Report found that in 2007, when
the NAEP was administered, over 80% of African-American, Hispanic-Latino, and American-Indian low income
children were not reading at grade level when tested at the beginning of fourth grade. As
you may know, there are different levels of NAEP quote (ph) efficiency. Here, we're talking
about reading at grade level and above. Only one third of all American children, White
children, Asian children, Black children, Latino children, American-Indian children
are reading at grade level or above when tested at the beginning of the fourth grade in 2007.
I don’t know how you see these facts or whether you're moved by it, but to me, they
are just so profoundly disturbing for a country, for a democracy that values individual achievement
as a pathway to a good life, and education is one of the most critical ways in which
that achievement or educational achievement is attained. I mean, just think about the
human consequences of not being able to read very well. I mean, they are profound. So if
there's only one idea you take away from my presentation, I would like you to get the
point that what happens before fourth grade in families, in our PreK programs, in kindergartens,
and grades one to three profoundly, profoundly matters for individual development and also
for the country. Now, it's also very interesting--look at that takeaway point that the structure
or the framing of our current K-12 system does not--does not give priority or very much
attention to what happens during the first five to six years of education from PreK-3rd.
This is also true in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The best estimates are that
three percent of funds right now are used for pre-k programs, and according to the urban
institute, when you add kindergarten which is also not part of our compulsory education
system, it might go up to eight percent. So these years of great opportunity are being
lost and PreK-3rd approaches aim to change the situation of neglect and to put the focus
on the first link in the educational pipeline. Our goals, and I think many of your goals,
are to narrow the achievement gap and to raise achievement level to a higher level for all
children. And again, I'm sure that Dr. Weast is going to show you how it can be done. There
are many compelling reasons why our education system must change to begin with pre-K and
to work on the first five to six years of education as an aligned effort, but let me
just give a few reasons, not all of the reasons. One is that we have research certainly over
the last 50 years on children's learning and development that shows beyond a doubt that
children are learning way before they come to the kindergarten door. I'm sure you're
familiar with this. This research also shows that inequalities in learning opportunities
begin early and are sustained if there is not some intervention. Evaluations are also
raising questions about sustaining gains from high quality pre-K programs or short term
interventions. There's growing recognition that high quality pre-K must be sustained
by high quality K-12 education. It's a notion that every year of quality education, every
year of having a quality teacher matters and it particularly matters for our most vulnerable
children. And finally, there is increasing awareness that third grade is the first crucial
turning point in children's educational trajectories. And, as some of you may know, the Annie E.
Casey Foundation, in a month or so, will be announcing a national campaign to address
third grade level reading and I'm very, very pleased and encouraged by this. So what is
PreK-3rd? And I don't want to spend a lot of time on this because the handouts and the
materials that we and others have produced go through this. So let me just very quickly
go through some of the components of PreK-3rd. First, public responsibility first full school
day education beginning at age three, voluntary for three and four year olds, required full
day kindergarten for five year olds. And as again, some of you may know, there're very
few states, a minority of states that mandate full day kindergarten right now. So that is
a huge policy effort and as you have seen by reading the newspapers everyday, one way
of reducing school budgets because of our great recession is by reducing kindergarten.
Second is that PreK-3rd includes aligned educational strategies, curriculum instruction and assessments.
It's a well rounded curriculum as you saw in the video. Joint planning and professional
development from pre-K kindergarten, grades one to three is critical and I know as Gil
Connelly (ph) will address principal leadership to support that joint professional development
under curriculum and instruction. Family engagement focused on supporting learning and instruction
and then finally, PreK-3rd teachers having the same qualifications and compensation as
all teachers. To be perfectly frank, I would say if there was one reason among those that
compelled the Foundation for Child Development to get into the PreK-3rd business was the
last bullet about teachers. Okay, okay. So, let me just quickly show you where we think
that PreK-3rd is occurring--and this not a complete map, obviously, because we haven't
done a systematic survey--but it's really to give you a sense that PreK-3rd is not a
marginal movement; it's one that is fairly serious. And what I've done is to divide it
into state initiatives and sort of identified where the sources of funding might be a foundation
or the state itself and potential states and then really a smattering of school districts
because, you know, they're--I don't know, they're probably, you know, 16,000 or 15,000
school districts in the country and obviously, we have not systematically surveyed them so
these are some of the ones that we know. But I think that even for myself when I did this
about a year ago, I was myself surprised by efforts throughout the country. And so they're--you
know, I think particularly the state efforts are quite important obviously. So let me just
end here by talking about the challenges and some of the policy implications of this. I
think what's a really important theme of PreK-3rd is that we don't see these approaches or structures
as a panacea or silver bullet. We think it's only part of the answer, it's an important
but neglected part of the answer but it's part of the answer. And so first of all, one
challenge is, of course, increasing funding for these approaches in the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act, IDEA and Head Start. I think Head Start reauthorization has been
quite supportive of this. IDEA, which I believe we'll be authorizing next few years but everyone
knows special early education and K-12 early education are pretty segmented. Second, we
need to move from the whole notion of transition to a fully integrated learning continuum from
pre-K to at least third grade. There should be PreK-3rd standards that are included in
and aligned with the Common Core K-12 standards. There should be assessments from PreK-3rd
that are aligned with Common Core standards. There needs to be investment in the workforce
and what I've done here is to divide it into the existing workforce and the future workforce.
The joint development that is going on around the country and certainly in Montgomery County
as well as other places, I think is critically important for achieving PreK-3rd. In fact,
I would say without it, you won't have it. Professional development for our teachers
and administrators are also absolutely key here because leadership is important to support
joint professional development. In terms of the future workforce, they are starting to
be and some of the states actually have--Pennsylvania, New York--PreK-3rd certification programs.
The idea of articulated and differentiated staffing so that you have a lead teacher that
has a PreK-3rd preparation but a teaching assistant with an AA degree, with clear opportunities
to have career mobility and to the lead teaching force is very important. Laying out those
professional mobility pathways are very important for individuals, but I would say also for
children and the quality of their education. We need to rethink family engagement in PreK-3rd
with a laser focus on the PreK-3rd learning and instruction. When I look across the country
at those programs that have successfully engaged parents and have outcomes to show for it,
parents are well informed about what their children are learning. They're well informed
about their children's progress over time and they are therefore, well informed participants
in their children's learning. Finally, I don't know why there's this thing--with a piece
of my thing (ph)--but shared accountability for third grade outcomes. The notion that
whatever children's performances are by third or fourth grade is the combined influence
of the pre-K programs they have gone to the K-12, K-3 grades that they have attended and
their family engagements. So there are some key resources that are in the handouts and
I hope that you will take a look at them. In conclusion, I would like to say that what
is important about thinking about the future of PreK-3rd approaches is that it's not a
panacea, it's not a vaccine; it's not a silver bullet. In every one of the places where I
see it working, there're commonalities that are very, very much, I would say, shared with
the Effective Schools Movement. There's leadership in terms of superintendent and principals.
There is a intense--people use the word intensive--ambitious focus on instruction and high expectations;
college is always the expectation. Joint professional development among teachers, particularly from
pre-K into at least the third grade on an on going and intensive way around curriculum
and instruction and learning about how their instruction can be improved based on how children
are learning, the ambitious goal of all children ready for college and careers shared by educators
and families. So PreK-3rd, in my mind, embodies all we know about effective schools with two
additions. It integrates pre-K and early learning programs and it focuses very clearly on alignment
and sequential curriculum. It's not rocket science, it is, I think, plain hard work requiring
focus, discipline, persistence and raising the bar for all. It's about having high expectations
for everyone, not only the children but the educators and families. We can and we know
that we can do better for children. So now you will be hearing from a school district
that has accomplished everything I've talked about, who's been walking my talk for the
past decade and has results to show for it. Thank you.
Thank you, Ruby. We also want to thank you for your leadership. It's been the Foundation
for Child Development that's really been so supportive of this work and sponsored a good
deal of it across the country. We are so pleased to have our neighbor here with us today, Dr.
Jerry D. Weast who's the superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools, the
largest and most diverse school system in Maryland and the 16th largest district in
the nation so this is a no small potato that he's dealing with. He was appointed to the
position in 1999 and reappointed again in 2003 and 2007. Dr. Weast is directing an ambitious
and comprehensive reform effort that's designed to raise academic standards and narrow the
achievement gap for more than 140,000 students. So we are very pleased to have you and as
soon as we get his slides up, we're going to have him come up and do this. Are you ready?
Thank you, Dr. Jones. Good morning. All right. What do the President of the United States,
Barack Obama, leading one of the world's most premier countries; Bill Gates, one of the
richest people in the United States of America and world; and Arne Duncan, my friend and
colleague, former superintendent and now U.S. Secretary of Education, have in common? What
are they talking about? Getting kids ready and through college, right? Bill Gates says
he wants 80% of the kids, by 2025, college. Barack Obama, the President of the United
States, says he, in order to lead the free world and the world, we're going to have to
change our college graduation rate because he needs it to work for us. And Arne Duncan
has been instructed to get it done. How many of you went to college? Every hand here. For
the Webinar people? Take just a minute now, turn to your neighbor and I'm going to ask
you to talk about three questions for a little bit while they straighten these slides out.
First question, what were the requirements to get into college when you went? Second
question, how much did your college education cost? Third question, could you get back in
today? Talk just a minute. There it is, there it is. Back up, back up. There it is, there
it is, got it. All right. I graduated in the late '60's. So, let me see if I can first
quiz the audience, who had the cheapest college education? How much? $50 a semester, wow.
Anybody beat that?
How many of you had college educations that cost less than $5,000? Yeah, yeah, yeah total.
Hell, yeah, some of them, see? Depends on what year you graduated, right? Those who
had the more reasonable cost college educations had no requirements other than a high school
graduation. And you all know now that high school graduation does not imply you're college
ready. That's correct, right? And you all know now that college educations have really
big requirements to get into them and they cost a whole lot of money. Who's paying for
college education out there now? There, look at them. How much? Yeah, you spend over a
100,000. Not even close to $100,000, $150,000 $200,000, $250,000. So it costs a lot more,
it's harder to get into, so let's call that our size 11 foot. What hasn't changed? How
many days do kids go to high school, elementary? Seven hundred and twenty days in high school,
hasn't changed since the oldest amongst us who went to high school. A 180-day year is
less than 10% if they went everyday, every child, went everyday, it will be less 10%
of their life. Wow. So you got a size five school system, right? And you got a size 11
foot. So how are you going to make that fit? That's I want to talk to you about. I want
to talk to you about not what I've done but what our teachers have done, what our unions
have done, what our board of education, what our county council, what our community of
a million people have organized to get that size 11 into a size five. We didn't change
time, the size of the bottle is the same; we are definitely changing the wine. And what
we are doing is exactly what President Obama, Bill Gates, and Arne Duncan want and that
is getting more children college ready and getting more kids through college. We ordered
the data from the college clearing house--and I'll show that later in the slides--cost us
$400 per high school, per class, per year, and we are able to track what college they
went to, what courses they took and did they get a bachelor's degree within six years.
Now obviously, all of you raised your hands, and maybe many on the webinar, that you went
through college. So there is a pathway, and no matter what your age, there always has
been a pathway. So let's take a look at some of the things that we have to deal with. First
of all, I want one more question and I want you to turn to each other and answer this.
How diverse was your college? All right, I'll tip you off. Regardless of what you say--unless
you went to an independent or historically African-American university, which some do
or some different places in the country--college is about the same today; it's mostly white
and Asian. And I'll bet, if you remember correctly, it was mostly white and Asia then and the
college graduation rates haven’t changed much in the last 40 years. We've got a very
diverse school system. The Hispanic graduation rate is somewhere around 11% in the country
for the graduate income college, not so much. Good? No; not very representative of the Hispanic
population. The African-American graduation rate from college is not as high as it needs
to be for the country. So as you have a challenging issue with college graduation and a changing
demographic component of your school system; and your community wants to get everybody
college-ready or at least 80% of the children college-ready; and they’ve given us a date
of 2014 and you’ve got the size 11 education that you're going to put in that size five
foot shoe; what you're going to do? You start looking at poverty because poverty has been
the leading indicator of what has denied opportunity. Well, we had a 44% increase in poverty in
the last 10 years. So if you go back, more diversity in 10 years, more poverty in 10
years, 100% increase in kids that don’t speak English in 10 years. So now we got a
size 11, size 5 and we got these factors weighing upon us so what do we do? Oh, we also didn’t
have everybody living together. Now that wouldn’t occur in any other community, would it? Think
about your community. The red area is about where 80% of our poverty is, it's also where
80% of our African-American Latinos live. The green area is about 80% white nation.
It's about 10 to 15 % in poverty. The green area has low mobility compared to the red
area. Eleven years ago, the red area had larger schools and were treated the same as the green
area. If that was your lawn and you wanted to green the whole thing, would you do something
different in the red area? We did too, and I won't go into that, but that’s the differentiated
formula. Needless to say, here's what we did. And here's the five stages that's high risk
(ph) of what our board, our community did. First of all, we knew that we wanted to change
the effect on performance and you see that arrow going up. We stopped reacting to everything.
In most communities, that reactive thing is very wide. Every foundation, everybody's new
program, every guru, every change comes through town, I call them butterflies and bunnies
and we chase them all. Let me tell you, this early childhood isn’t a butterfly and bunny.
Second of all, most communities establish vision statements and all of those kind of
things and strategic plans or a mall-wide, ends-deep we could never accomplish and the
board can't get the teachers to operationalize it because it's too much. It makes it a size
12 rather than 11 and makes the school a size four, trying to do everything. So you have
to establish meaningful expectations, I call it a North Star. Then something that we're
all guilty of not doing that we really work and that is to work together with your unions--and
we have 22,000 employees and a vast community that is very activist and we got them all
working together and they all come up to the conclusion; they wanted to do college-ready.
So that became our North Star, one thing, college-ready. What did you have to know to
get into your college? Literacy. Right? And numeracy, call it Math and English, whatever
you want to call them. What does the SAT measure, the ACT measure? What scores are colleges
looking at? Those two scores. Now, there's more to an education; you have to have critical
thinking, you have to problem solving, you have to have all of those kind of things,
arts, music, and all of that. But those are your two primary factors. Then you have to
have a system and a structure. And what's wrong with our schools is culture. We don’t
have a sorting culture. We don’t put race on the table. We don’t put socio-economics
on the table, differentiation. Many of those kind of things that were our blind spots
, we had to build them with culture and then when you did that, you get your people to
innovate to do a North Star. Our North Star again, prior to No Child Left Behind, it was
anything we wanted to do. When we got No Child Left Behind, it was very clear but wasn’t
very compelling. Nobody got very excited about those tests and they weren’t vertically
articulated. Eighty percent college-ready is both clear and compelling. The kids want
to do it. Go on to any 5th grade classroom and ask them if they want to go to college
and they will all raise their hands. Secretary Duncan did that in one of our elementary schools.
And your typical mission and vision statement is very compelling but not very clear; hard
to operationalize. So when you take a look at it, the college trajectory is those keys
going up on the left hand side of the slide; your right hand. And then your state standards,
or your graduation requirements, attendance, and exit exam; that huge gap that exists between
that stairway that gets ready for college and your state standards is the gap that we're
trying to close. This is what you would call a value check. Now, if you are going to change
things, you're going to have to start earlier and you're going to have to be more deliberate
in what you do, and you're going to have to go all the way down the value chain. So while
Ruby will tell you this is a K-3, this is a pre-K-20. It's the only way you're going
to do it, a value chain that goes all the way up. A lot of the recidivism that turns
kids back into not knowing is that they're not hooking onto a value chain that is consistent
and comprehensive and has a framework to it all the way up through college. And we systematized--we
generally break down and don’t have systems. We have schools and locations, but we have
to think systemically if you're going to do this, especially if you're going to get large
volumes. You know, on this stair step, I'm going to talk about keys one, two and three
a little bit more than I am five, six, and seven, but I’ll show you some evidence on
five, six, and seven. A lot of Algebra, everybody knows the gateway, Algebra 2 is the new gateway,
your Common Core Standards. This is aligned of the Common Core Standards. We have the
National Governors' Achieve. We looked at it with the College Board, not last year,
11 years ago. And we looked at overseas because as we were getting lined up, we didn’t want
to overcome ourselves with our brilliance so we brought in a lot of people to look to
see if this alignment was right. These keys all are correlating to each other, otherwise,
teachers can predict all the way up how the kid will do. So if you're here at key one
and you're a teacher in the key one area that means that your child is on the route to key
seven. It's also something you can break down in five languages and train all your parents
on because they want to be able to watch over your shoulder and let you see. It's also something
that can go through three or four state changes in the testing regimen and still survive because
it is lined up to college. And most state tests are not lined up to college and most
state tests are much weaker than what they need to be to be lined up to go to college.
And in fact, in our state, which is one of the best states in the country on, you know,
from a lot of the evidence, we can only use the advanced, not the proficient or the basic
from the state tests; that even comes close to being in the alignment. Now, let's look
at the early part of the value chain. The kids in the red area that are impacted by
poverty, mobility have to have more time, right? They have to have more time. They are
smart; they need more time and more opportunity. So you have to start a pre-K program that
feeds your pre-K summer school for kindergarten to preview. And our pre-K summer school that
ELO, it's the Extended Learning Opportunity is taught by qualified, high-quality teachers
who are going to see these kids in the fall. Then they come in to kindergarten and at kindergarten,
it's full day so their pre-school is full day, Head Start is full day. It's all differentiated
based on means testing and then the ASP is after-school programs, not a whole bunch of
butterflies and bunnies, but all congruent with the framework; that is laced into diagnostic
assessments. When we first started this, all of this diagnostic assessment scared everybody
until we said, "You know, if you got a kid with a broken arm, don’t you take him down
to get x-rayed? And do you x-ray the whole family? Or you just x-ray the kid with the
broken arm? And if it's a really bad break, do they have to go back and get re-x-rayed
several times?" So the assessments have got to be proportional to what the issues are
and they've got to tell the doctor something. The doctor is the teacher. They got to tell
the parents something. Remember, they put those up there and show you that you got to
follow that. They've got to tell the patient something, the child and they can follow all
of these diagnostics. There's a difference between testing and measurement and you have
to teach everybody that. And the measurements have got to be easy, they got to be quick,
and they got to be something that tells you something and they got to be meaningful and
you got to have a tremendous data system to make them work. So, then you go into more
of that, more into that, by the time you get to grade three, guess what? You got about
an extra year for those children who have been denied opportunity. You did not change
the quality of the standard of the outcome; what you did is change the conditions about
how somebody gets there. And it's a very comprehensive package that means you're going to have to
all these things, not some of them; all of them well. I'm going to start over to the
Extended Learning Opportunities. That better be done well, not just a whole bunch of points
or lights. You better have a standards-based curriculum that is aligned all the way up
to college. You better have a lot of professional development because this is scary stuff. We
had the opportunity to participate in some kinds of interviews and look at what colleges
teach preschool teachers. Oh my goodness, it's all over the place. No really way of
training, no common set of--I mean, you talk about huge variability and so we had to really
jump in and do a lot of professional development. You can't call teachers bad; they're not bad,
they just haven’t had the support and you got to embed the support and you got to have
it clear. Most of the people who take the Gallup Poll kinds of surveys will tell you
that one of the biggest problems in doing a job is what is your job? What's the clarity
of your job? What's the clarity of your framework? You've got to have diagnostic assessments
and they don’t exist so we had to make a lot of them. We are bigger than about six
states so we had to do the same kind of things that states do. We had to pilot them and do
all that and we were able to work with some major type of companies to put these assessments
together. The assessments, we found, out had to be easy, so we had to put them on handhelds
for little kids because people are moving around and it had to be cheap handhelds that
were electronic, would flip out that answers to the central office, to the principal, to
the parent, to the kid. Kids had to learn to do diagnostic notebooks themselves. A lot
of things going to the diagnostics because just like when you're working out, you know
more if you know your pulse, you know your heart rate, you know how many calories you're
burning; all those kind of things giving you performance measures that you work against
and you know, ultimately, if you are comparing to what you need to be. If you need to have
a pulse rate at this rate for this long to burn this many calories, guess what? You're
more inclined to do it. But we do a lot of fuzzy stuff with teachers and kids. Clarity
is important. Instructional management systems, so you don’t get the wide variability from
teacher to teacher. And teacher quality is very important. Parental involvement, you've
got to really reach out to parents and involve them. And one of the biggest problems we found
with parental involvement, we weren’t telling them anything. A, B, C, doesn’t tell them
anything. "Your kid did good." What did that tell you? You've got to be specific, they've
got to understand the assessments, they've got to understand this is a pathway, they've
got to understand that if a child stays on this pathway they will be, you know, more
inclined to go to college and more inclined to stay in college, and more inclined to graduate
from college, and you have to have evidence to show them that. Then you have to bury time
in class size. In the green area, our class sizes are 20, 24, 25 in kindergarten; in our
red area, it's about 15, and first grade is the same, it's about 70 and second grade is
the same. You can't just differentiate a little. And no, we didn’t have any space for anybody,
but we bought trailers; we found places for kids to be. They need a program. Lord, as
a school system, we needed a program. Remember that changing diversity? We couldn’t have
that change show up on our bottom line. It was going to get us because you couldn’t
get the graduation rate we needed. Smaller class sizes and back around and you put all
of that together and do it well and train your teachers and get them onboard, you're
going to get some success. Let's take a look at some of those successes. First of all,
we had to have a diagnostic and we used Reading Recovery and we grabbed on to their Running
Record Diagnostic, [INDISTINCT] great thing, very expensive program but we just used the
Running Record and we had to teach all the teachers how to do it. When we first looked
at the trajectory 10 years ago, we thought there were three level text--level three reading
was good. About four or five years ago, when we did a correlate all the way through four
years of college graduation, we found text level six. Try to explain to teachers that
you're going to increase productivity 100%; you're going to go from three to six. This
is the new numbers on six: we want 80% of our kids now reading on level six. And we
break it down by race all the way through and we put race right on the table and we
don’t want--we want a differentiated approach. You can see right now, we're starting to break
through. This is text level six. At text level three, we're way over 90% of our kids reading.
So another thing, keep moving the bar up because it is harder to get into college every year;
don’t be static. Same thing, here's what we found. This is grade two, so we didn’t
overcome ourselves with our own brilliance, I mean we've got the same thing in first grade
which is level 16. Grade two--we used a national test, also to augment. And we used the TerraNova
because the second edition tells our teachers something, it's a really good diagnostic,
breaks it all the way down. Here's what we found about all the national tests: they're
weak too. They're weak too. You know, the based on 50%, what we found in our actual
data of 68,000 kids went off in those four years; you had to be at the 70th percentile
on this particular test. So these are 70th percentile numbers and 50th percentile numbers.
So you can see, what we are exposing our children in America to isn’t rigorous enough, it
isn’t clear enough, it isn’t coherent enough, and we haven’t supported the teacher
to enable that to occur if we want 80% to be college ready. As we moved up, advanced
Math, and I use this one because we had to create a new math sequence in our whole system.
We thought we were really bright before, we weren’t. What we found when we started our
new Math sequence in 2000, we found only a 196 kids out of 10,000 could actually do the
Math sequence. Oh, it was horrible, it was--and we had teachers who didn’t know how to teach
the Math sequence. See, Algebra starts in kindergarten. We all know these things and
you that went to college, you've got supplemental Math. You knew your Math and you knew your
English, and you were taught in classrooms where you had the high rigor. And so, what
we wanted to do is get this going to all of our children and now we have--it's very advanced
and it really works. And is it pressure? Yeah, but is getting into college pressure? Yeah.
And that's when people don’t realize, if you don’t put it in on the front end in
a disciplined, coherent way, you'll never get it at the back end. If you wait for the
last 720 days, it won't work. Algebra 1--see, we're really making some progress there. We
keep progress over time. I like that it's not variable--I mean, you see, those nice
little stair steps and what they mean to me as a superintendent, kind of a teacher on
special assignment, is that we're not--we're following the same pathway and we're learning
more each year, and we're building on it as we go up each year. And we found now that
a lot of people will put people at Algebra, you know, all of our kids in Algebra, but
then giving some of them D's, so we got to see your bet. So, you got to not only look
at the course and the content, but you got to look at what level of proficiency; same
thing with Algebra 2. Now here's one that we really found and 11 years ago, we had to
bank on something because there were no national standards, no Common Core Standards, none
of the things that we're talking about today. In fact, what we're talking about today doesn’t
exist yet. We looked at AP Calculus and AP Advanced English. Flew their little planes
in onto our table and bought a bunch of research [INDISTINCT] and dissected it just like you
would take apart a airplane from another country and looked at how it all worked and why did
it fly fast and what did you need to do and brought all of those pieces down all the way
through pre-K, all the way up to 12th grade. And what we found is there was a high correlation
amongst the child on any of the Advanced Placement, they'd just took Advanced Placement to get
the idea of rigor in their head. So it wasn’t narrowing, it was looking at the idea of rigor
and discipline in study. And there was a high correlation between those kids who we had
as college graduates and what they took in high school and they all seemed to have taken
one Advanced Placement. How many of you took Advanced Placement? Oh my. See? So we just
wanted that for everybody. Now, we compare ourselves to U.S. and Maryland. Maryland's
number one in Advanced Placement in America and we're 64.4% of our graduating class taking
Advanced Placement class, one or more classes. Now outcomes, U.S., 15.9; Maryland, 24.8,
that's getting three. About 25 kids out of every 100 get a three. We almost have 50%,
almost 50 out of every 100 get a three on their Advanced Placement. And guess what?
Our African-American males take the test at a higher percentage than the U.S. all genders
and races, and get a three at a higher percentage of all genders or races in United States of
America. So there are Latino males, so there are Latino--I mean females or African-American
females all racial groups, beat the percentage of taking the test and scoring the test. Same
way with the SAT, U.S., 36% these are '09 or '10 projected. And I personally do a little
projecting on things, looks like we're about 67% taking it and we're going to set an all
time MCPS record of 1651. Highest since we've been keeping score since 1971. And why does
that make a difference? Well, remember I told you we keep track of kids who get college
degrees? This is the '01, '02, '03, '04 class coming all together, who have got college,
been out of school long enough to get college degrees and if they took no AP exam--these
are our kids, 68,000 of them--didn’t do so well. Got out about the national average;
the national average is about 30%. If they took an exam, but didn't get a three but got
a one or two, almost 60% of those kids got out. 76% got out with a bachelor's degree
if they got a three year bet and look how that laid out with all of the racial groups.
See, it isn't race, it isn’t socio-economic, it isn’t mobility; those are factors and
conditions that may deny opportunity, but they have to be offset by factors and conditions
in the schools, in the schools systems. And if you do that and give children access to
a rigorous curriculum, a good teacher in every classroom over time starting preschool, you
can actually make that size 11 fit in size five. And you can do it and still have fun
because as you train your teachers to do these things, they learn how to differentiate, so
you have to invest a lot in your teachers. And the kids who score AP three or better,
this is all of our students now. You can see that they're really doing well and if you
stick with it--and again, I have had the blessing of being there 11 years and we've stuck with
it--look what our African-Americans are doing. They're like breaking through like nobody's
business. This is the percent scoring three or higher, 48% of our African-Americans now
are scoring three or higher. We had 10% of Maryland's African-American population and
40% of the population scored a three on the AP test. One system, you can do it. But if
you don’t do it with preschool, kindergarten, first and second and third grade and see that
as an investment for the future, it won't be done. You won't have enough time, you won't
have enough energy and you'll never be able to climb that hill. But if you do it and stair
step it up, you can get there. You can get there with large volume and if you get there,
even people writing The Wall Street Journal will come in and recognize it. They spend
a week, this is the same newspaper on the same day that put out an editorial about vouchers
and we're on the front page with these charts and you can see the red and the blue are your
African-American, Latino kids. What you do makes a difference. This is a book that was
written by Stacey Childress and Denis Doyle, and Dave Thomas. And Stacey and David were
at the Harvard Business School, not the Harvard Education School. And they wrote about how,
if you really build a coherent framework, use a differentiated structure, start early,
and be consistent and clear, and really work with your employees--not use them as enemies--and
use assessments and change the language, you can make a huge difference. I just want you
all to understand we're the problem, not the kids. It's the structure and the culture and
what Ruby is saying has to be done. That is if you want to support the President of the
United States, one of the richest people in the world, and certainly one of the greatest
secretaries of education that we've had. Thank you.
Thank you, Dr. Weast. We're going to take a 10 minute break so that at 11:25 according
to my watch, 11:25 exactly we're going to start again, okay? So, 10 minutes and we'll
start at 11:25.