South Carolina Race to the Top Presentation

Uploaded by usedgov on 07.04.2010

P R O C E E D I N G S DR. REX: Well, good morning, everyone. My
name is Jim Rex. I’m the chief in South Carolina. And let me briefly introduce the
rest of the panel. I’ll go down at the far right here is Dr. Betsy Carpentier who is
our Deputy Superintendent for Innovation and Support. Next to her is Dr. Janice Poda who
is our Deputy Superintendent for Administration at the State Department of Education. Next
to her is Dr. Valerie Harrison who is our Deputy Superintendent for Standards and Learning.
And next to me is Dr. Gerrita Postlewait who is among other things, the Chair-elect of
the South State Board of Education. I’m going to read some of my brief remarks
here because of time being so valuable. So please bear with me. This team that you see
before you is the team that actually led the effort of many people in our state and organized
that effort to write the proposal you have seen. And needless to say, we’re very pleased
to be here this morning. We’re proud of our proposal and I think your initial review
has validated that pride. So for that, we thank you. I think we all understand the difficulty
of your task and it’s our intention to try to use this 30 minutes efficiently so there
will be perhaps even some additional time for dialogue.
In a moment, Betsy Carpentier will share some slides that we hope will help frame our proposal
and summarize its many features, but first just a couple of points that I want to make.
Part of our challenge, frankly, in writing our proposal on South Carolina was to make
sure that we integrated the many efforts that are already underway in our state in the four
assurance areas. And to make it clear, and hopefully we have, that we have already begun,
we believe, to run the Race to the Top and that we intend to continue our efforts just
as we did, frankly, in the late 1990s when we passed accountability legislation and put
in rigorous academic standards three years before No Child Left Behind. And even after
No Child Left Behind came into effect and created some unintended consequences that
actually incentivized some states in this country to shoot low and sort of gain the
system, South Carolina did not. We stuck with our original rigor and as you know, I hope,
we have been consistently rated at or near the top in the nation in student and educator
expectations. In South Carolina, I believe we have demonstrated
that we have created a culture of collaboration that is unusual if not unique. A couple of
quick examples – on a monthly basis – and this has been going on for a number of
years now – I meet with every district superintendent, all 86 of them on a monthly basis. With the
leadership team of the state department we meet at least twice a year. With all of the
deans of all of the preparation programs in the state both public and private we have
this program called the Palmetto Priority School Collaboration which is talked about
in our proposal. That’s a unique collaboration, we believe, that includes not just superintendents,
not just the principles of the struggling schools, it includes the chair of the local
school board along with the state superintendent and others. So that collaboration has taught
us a lot. And we found out in the first year that our 16 lowest performing schools, that
eight of them actually met adequate yearly progress in our state and some even met AYP.
So we’re learning. And we’ve been at it for a while. I also want to point out that
this culture permeates the state agency itself. We’ve restructured the State Department
of Education. We did that two and a half years ago. We’ve created an Office of Choice,
an Office of Innovation. We have cross-divisional teaming and collaboration. When we talk in
the proposal about a new deputy and a new division, this will be integrated fully into
the agency. That’s the way we do everything and you have some deputies here that can verify
that. In our proposal, we talk about the smart center
approach and we think that it is compelling. The comprehensive longitudinal information
and data systems that we already have and that we can improve upon with your help, the
interventions that we described with struggling schools, what we call turnaround schools in
South Carolina, these are not abstractions in our state. These are things that for the
most part we’ve already engaged in and learned from. We are talking in this proposal, of
course, about further development of what you could call a NESCID system directed at
all teachers as well as the whole, the whole teacher, and all students as well as the whole
student. This system, we believe, will provide actionable information to policymakers, schools,
teachers, parents and students. Now in my career and some of the other people
in front of you, we’ve done some of what you’re doing now, but never in the circumstances
that you find yourselves in, nothing that’s ever approached, frankly, the significance
of your efforts. And I want you to know that we all fully understand that this is an amazing
moment in time in America and a moment when all of us must recognize that we need to put
forth the best we have to offer. I suspect that one of your challenges is trying to ascertain
the state capacity of these proposals, what can states really do. And I don’t know about
you, I’m probably older than anyone else on your – anyone on your panel, but as I’ve
gotten older, I’ve learned to place less emphasis on what people say or write and more
on what they do. I’ve learned that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
And I’ve also learned that often simply doing the right thing is not enough. It’s
the pace, it’s the urgency with which you do that. And I’ve learned long ago that
you can do the right thing, but you can do it so slowly that you end up getting the same
results as doing the wrong thing. And I hope you’ll agree with us after this time together
that South Carolina has not just walked the walk, that we have run the run of educational
reform and with your help, we think we can pick up the pace in such a way as to help
transform learning not just in our state, but hopefully in our nation.
Now I’m going to ask Betsy Carpentier to – who by the way, quarterbacked this whole
process. She says she was the conductor. I say she was the quarterback. But nonetheless,
Betsy’s going to review some of the major features.
DR. CARPENTIER: Thank you. I’m going to quickly go through these slides and I hope
that by the end of it you’ll realize that we do have the experience and capacity to
implement innovative plans that will have a broad and deep impact and that we can do
it quickly building on momentum that we already have going in our state. As the Department
of Education which is the lead agency in South Carolina, our motto is “together we can,”
and we’ve modified that for this Race to the Top application to say “together we
are.” Because we are already doing a lot of the reforms and have them underway in our
state. Our application overall plan is called South
Carolina Inspired because we are proposing innovative ideas which will generate generation
learners. We’re transitioning to enhance standards and assessments, to develop personalized
instruction for every student, building on the input from all of our stakeholder, creating
choice within our schools and for our stakeholders resulting in redefined schools and turned
around schools that are highly effective with highly effective teachers and leaders all
based on data to use and making decisions about learning and other decisions about public
education. So Dr. Rex said the best predictor of the future is what South Carolina’s already
done. And although we have a lot of examples of things we’ve already done in our application,
we picked one to talk to you about today – the 2010 Quality Counts Report. As you
know, it has several pieces and in the teaching profession, and in the Teaching Profession
piece Carolina was rated number one in the nation. We go the only “A” in the country
at 95.8 percent. The next rating was at an 88. As far as standards and assessments our
direct mention that we have very high standards. We also got an “A” for that in the Quality
Counts Report, rated seventh in the country. And overall, our state was rated 11th. So
we’re very proud of that and I think you can see from that that it’s not just us
telling you that we have the experience and can do it, but independent folks have rated
us as high in the country for doing these things.
One of the things that you’re interested in is our ability to manage and our capacity
to do that. We have districts who have signed on, over 95 percent of our districts, over
98 percent of our students and students in poverty and almost 98 percent of our schools
are signed up for this application. We plan to do it through our regional launch centers,
and you’ve seen that acronym I’m sure in our application. And this diagram depicts
the management of the application as you can see, there’s state departments over the
application, but we have the State Board of Education, a new Regional Advisory Board,
a new division and our cross-divisional teams all working through the smart centers which
will be enhanced which will be enhanced by additional staff.
Now I know that we’re supposed to only have things that are in our application and one
of the things we tried to do is give you some citations of where all these things are. So
these slides aren’t pretty, but they give you where all the information is on the advisory
team on the new project division and how they’re going to actually manage the application.
This one is where the information on the additional staff for the smart centers is. And this one
has the information on the cross-divisional teams and the other divisions within the agencies
that are also intimately part of our Race to the Top plan. In addition to the department,
there are other state partners. And this slide gives you citations to where the references
to those other state partners are. Part B of our application relates to enhanced
standards and assessments. This slide gives you basically a summary of the entire Part
B where we’re focusing on our existing SCubed curriculums, standard system support system
that’s already out there to create next generation learners. This is the existing
website that’s already out there that teachers can go to and we’ll be building on that
to allow the teachers to have curriculum resources, pacing guides, scope and sequence and all
the things they need to make a difference in the classroom.
South Carolina passed the Education Economic Development Act. Part of that is a career
and college focus. This is a screen shot of our individual graduation plan that’s part
of that. Also as part of the EEDA we have the nation’s first national course alignment
project where we’re taking high school teachers and entry-level college teachers and pairing
up the courses. We have 17 paired courses that we’re already piloting. And we would
be using Race to the Top funds to amend those materials for the new standard. Also as part
of the EEDA, every student has to declare a major when they get into high school and
begin a career cluster. And this is a progression of one of those career clusters for a green
engineering program. You can see it goes all the way back to kindergarten, elementary school
and through two- or four-year college and careers. It lists some of the activities and
courses that you would take. The green engineer, you want to – particularly interesting for
us and we have application requests for some green engineering labs in our program because
we’re focusing on our high need schools in a high poverty area with high unemployment,
hoping to build jobs in our state along our Interstate 95 corridor.
So to sum up section B, we know that we have to focus on what goes on in the classroom
with our teachers and have personalized instruction for next-generation learners if we’re really
going to make a difference with our students. Section C talks about data systems. We know
that they support all of our efforts and this diagram is a depiction of that. We have the
educators, the standards and turning around struggling schools all supported by the data
system which is the middle circle. All of those intersect at different places, but the
data is underneath all of that. One of the things that I find particularly
interesting is our integrated data base. This is our priority five that you’ll find in
our application and a black and white version of this diagram is on page 218. But by having
information on our social services, healthcare, behavioral service and law enforcement, we
have information that policymakers and researchers can use to look at the whole child in the
whole psycho-social context for next generation learners. Education will be a part of that.
We’ve already developed pieces of our longitudinal data system and would expand that and have
extra governance under this grant or the SLBS grant if we get one of those. The piece I
want to focus on here is the yellow box on the right hand side, our curriculum management
system. That system is going to pull information from our SLBS and our student information
system but also from the SCubed curriculum, from learning plans, from instructional materials
and feedback from the program effectiveness which is in the bottom portion of that. And
that green arrow that comes down here is all going to come out into an intruded interface
for educators. This is a screen shot of what that might look like. On the right hand side
you see our program for at-risk indicators. So this student has an “n” for not at-risk
at this point under our new at-risk system that’s already underway. On the left hand
side you see the various programs they can connect to. There’s four tabs for each of
the four tested areas – BLA, math, science and social studies. At the top it indicates
what the student successfully completed and what they haven’t. The academic growth box
tells you where the student started and where we expect the student to get to by the end
of that year. The academic resources box is what we’re calling the Netflix model. You
look at what the student has not successfully completed and we look at other students who
are like that and look at the program that that student used in order to successfully
complete what they needed to get done. And so it recommends other programs the student
might have and it also recommends teaches who have already done that so that we can
build professional learning communities among the teachers. And the last box down there
is similar students. The teacher has a suggestion for grouping of similar students that have
the same needs. So that’s just the student portion of that,
but we like to call it the faster model because you can also build that into a fast model,
a summary of the classes for the teacher, a summary of the teachers for the school,
a summary of the schools for the district and a summary of all the districts for the
state. So we’ll have intuitive interfaces for all of that.
Section D is our equitable distribution of effective teachers and leaders. We’re planning
in our grant to build on our existing experience with the alternative certification program
that we call Pace to add one more principal and also to add sort of a Pace on steroids,
Palmetto Teacher Certification Program for enhanced recruitment in our high needs areas
because we know we need to grow our own in those areas. It’s very hard to recruit teachers
into those areas. So part of our application does that. In addition, not on here but mentioned
in our application is our new adjunct certification where we bring in career changers who have
experience. Bill Gates couldn’t teach in our state because he doesn’t have a college
degree. But people with a college degree and experience would be able to get an adjunct
certification in our schools. We plan to shift our focus not away from high
quality teachers, but into effective educators. This slide depicts how we’re going to shift
to having a substantial factor in our evaluation be the effectiveness of our teachers. We’ve
already got statewide systems. We call it ADEP for teachers and PADEPP for principals.
So uniform systems and so we’re going to have 100 percent of our teachers and principals
on this when it’s implemented even though you didn’t get 100 percent of our district
signed up. So this depicts how all of that’s got to work. We’ve already got experience
with our 43 TAP schools and our 9-plus schools where we blended the value-added system with
our ADEP teacher evaluation system. So we have that experience and what we plan to do
is to get input from our stakeholders which we feel is very important and is the second
“I” in inspired – and build that system with their support and commitment. Part of
that effectiveness rating will get tied back to our college [inaudible] plus the university
is currently piloting with us what we call Project Heat. And I can’t remember [inaudible],
but it’s the tying back to the colleges of education and the effectiveness ratings
of our students. And as we work through that pilot we’ll be expanding that other colleges
of education, and if you look at our letters of support in Appendix A you’ll see we had
24 out of 31 of our IGs in colleges of ed wound up to be with us on this application.
Section E is related to turning around struggling schools and we decided not to use Race to
the Top for the 5 percent persistently lowest achieving schools. We’re using our school
improvement grant, but integrating our fund sources that way. But we did address two additional
tiers of schools that are struggling – the Palmetto Priority Schools that are not
part of the 5 percent PLAS and what we’re calling the Improvement Cluster Schools which
you’ll find in Section B of our application. We know that working together in a network
and cluster works because as Dr. Rex mentioned our Palmetto Priority Schools are already
doing it and 50 percent of those schools met expected progress under our state system within
one year. So we’re going to build on that model with two additional tiers of schools
under Section E. You know that we asked for $299 million. The
ten projects are listed on the screen on the left hand side and if you want a six-page
summary of those projects which you might after 1251 pages, if you look at page G2 and
Appendix G, our budget summary narrative. It’s got six pages that describes those
projects. Although we although we have 149.9 million above the line in our budget, nearly
$57 million of that is going to be used by the state and our management of this program
and fully $242.8 million is used by the school districts to implement. We’ve got themes
on how we’re going to implement this grant. And I’m going to just run through those.
And again, this has got some relatively ugly slides but have citations in the way they
do it. The first one is the management team which we already covered, so I’m just reminding
you that we did that. The second is to start with the end in mind. We need to be sustainable.
We need to be able to scale up. So we’re looking to build infrastructure with this
money. We’re looking to build on our statewide systems. We’re looking to build local capacity
because we don’t have the capacity at the state level to do it statewide. We’re going
to do it with regional delivery. We’re going to record all of the training and [inaudible]
we have and have it out on the web. We’re going to repurpose resources. For example,
we have a current system that we call the Site for Teacher Salary. We’ll be repurposing
that money under the effectiveness rating. And then we’re going to build on the momentum
that we already have. So this slide gives you some citations to some of the things on
building infrastructure. This slide gives you citations to some of the things on the
state level systems that we already have in place and plan to use. This slide gives you
information on the building of capacity. And the blue items on this slide – we do plan
to have an annual conference to share what’s going on with all of that and we do plan to
use some of our money for implementation rubrics and I’ve got the sites there for you. But
you have one small piece for an external evaluator in the turnaround section and for some protocol
for the most part we’re relying on the IDS evaluation team.
Our third theme in implementation is that the participating LEAs are going to pilot
and implement under this grant. So they’re getting the $242.8 million. We will be developing
our exhibit twos to have all their activities, timelines, budgets, key performance measures.
Those will be monitored by the staff in the new division. And one of the things that we
did with the stabilization fund is we asked every district to tell us what they’re already
doing under the four key reforms. So we’ve got those reports and there’s an example
of one of those in Appendix A. And we’ve planned to group districts to work together
on the different projects as part of their [inaudible]. So that’s a major portion of
how we plan to get this implemented. Another theme, number four is that we plan
to leverage our existing systems and resources that we’re talking about collaborating with
other states on portions of it. And again, I’ve got citations there for you. We want
to use all of our funding sources. We want to leverage our stakeholder expertise authority
out there. As I already mentioned, use the IES evaluations. So these are some citations
to some of the foundations we plan to build on such as our virtual school program and
our TAP schools. These are some citations to some of the uniform state systems that
we have out there such as our – we have a uniform student information system, we have
the uniform ADEP evaluation system, we have the uniform PADEPP evaluations system. And
we’re planning to add a uniform educator ID not just for teachers but for all educators,
for example, school psychologists and counselors and others in the school, and to have a program
ID which will allow us to track what’s the impact of 21st century community learning
centers, what’s the impact of Reading First, what’s the impact of this professional development
that this teacher’s got? Each teacher will have a record just like a student information
system record in our uniform E-portfolio system. So we’ll be able to look at return on investment
of professional development. A fifth theme is that we plan to, again, involve
stakeholders to get their commitment and to make sure that it’s sustainable and the
blue items on here are the new ones under the grant, but we’ve lots of stakeholder
input and you saw the list of folks who came to our stakeholder meetings in planning for
this grant. And then sixth theme is to identify, scale
up and share best practices. So again, we’re using data through it all. We are building
implementation rubrics so that we can monitor and adjust as we go along, and also have that
for national models when we get done. We’re building protocols. We’re taking our lessons
learned and turning that into expert systems so that we can scale up and have it be sustainable,
then use our data to figure out what is the best and to scale up from that, share it with
annual conferences and web reporting and then work with IES on the evaluations component
of that. So this is a summary of those 16, again, for
the $299.8 million. And that’s South Carolina [inaudible]. I’ll turn it over to Dr. Rex
and Gerrita. DR. REX: Yeah. I just want to introduce again
to you, Dr. Gerrita Postlewait. As I said, she’s our Chair-elect of our state board.
She also is former Superintendent of the Year in the state of South Carolina, and she’s
the Chief K-12 Officer for the Stepski Foundation so you can imagine how thrilled we are to
have her in a leadership role on our state board. So, Gerrita, would you like to make
some comments? DR. POSTLEWAIT: Thanks, Dr. Rex. And Betsy,
thank you. That was really quite an impressive drive by or fly by. [laughter] A decade’s
worth of work. So I’d like to just make three points in
closing for our team. The first is that from the perspective of a practitioner who spent
10 years as a district superintendent in South Carolina with the opportunity to see things
from the state level and get a peek at the national landscape perspective, one of the
things that I – and I am deeply impressed with this plan, is its comprehensiveness,
its full intent to go toward systemic restructure and understanding that the system that we’ve
inherited will not meet the mission that we currently hold for today’s children and
that we must fundamentally commit to figuring out how to redesign and recombine its pieces.
So systemic reform from three levels – it’s a nested system viewing the entity
from the state, district, school, classroom perspective, but centered on the student.
And if you notice that the kinds of technological applications we envision, it will allow us
at the state board level to think about the right policy parameters to catalyze the kind
of activities that are making a difference for kids and to incentivize them in real time
so that our policies aren’t based on a best guess of what a trickle down impact of a good
policy would be, but on strong evidence of what’s working for children and in an intentional
way, then, we can try to create conditions that would allow those best practices that
create a dramatic improvement in learning to scale. It allows us to think beyond the
basic measures that we’ve used in the past to much more robust qualitative and quantitative
measures of student success. Secondly, it’s connected to all the work that we’ve done
in the past, and it relies for its success upon the input of the users who are actually
operationalizing the system. It relies on the immediate feedback that we get from those
who are fairly rapidly implementing some innovative practices and using the results that they’re
seeing with students to help us more rapidly prototype ideas that may in fact prove to
be tremendously effective with the many students who have historically been disenfranchised
from the opportunity that America’s education offers.
And finally, I’d like to reassure this group that the state board is totally committed
to this plan. There is a continuity of commitment. I this year’s goals, the state board began
adopting some of the components that are contained in the Race to the Top proposal, and it’s
our intent each year to continue building out our own state board goals in a way that
supports and promotes this work. I think it would be fair to describe the state board’s
feelings about this plan as a board that is genuinely, deeply determined to commit all
of our resources, both our political resources and our ability to use the bully pulpit, our
ability to influence the thoughts and actions of others in our state to bring coherence
and support for this plan. So that’s the least we feel we can do for a team of practitioners
who represent the kind of spirit and determination that you’ll find pretty much throughout
South Carolina’s public schools. Thank you very much.
DR. REX: And I would like the record to show we saved two minutes for you. [laughter]
MS. Corinne Sauri: Okay. So thank you for your presentations. [inaudible] I’m going
to reset the clock now for the question and answer session.
DR. CARPENTIER: I don’t know if this is appropriate, but one of the questions we had
is if you know how many questions you have so we can sort of set time for ourselves in
responding to you? MS. Corinne Sauri: The reviewers are actually
responsible for tracking their own time. DR. CARPENTIER: All right. So feel fine to
go. [laughter] Reviewer 1: All right. Thank you. Thank you
very much for your presentation. We certainly appreciate the great overview of a very comprehensive
proposal. So we have some questions for you. We tried to group our questions very much
as you did your presentation – more or less in the order of the criteria within the [inaudible]
so it would be a little more coherent questioning session. So we are going to start basically
with the first part which has to do with your general state reform agenda and a couple of
the questions under that category [inaudible]. And we’ll start with Reviewer 2.
REVIEWER 2: I have a question about statewide capacity. And if you all could provide some
more detail about the levels of stakeholder support and the commitments of various stakeholder
groups to the Race to the Top. And specifically, how the teachers’ organizations support
Race to the Top to help ensure the success of the program.
DR. CARPENTIER: Well, I think if you look at our letters of support, you will see letters
of support from the Palmetto State Teachers’ Association, the South Carolina Educators’
Association as well as our team of the Teachers of Excellence which are the winners of our
Teachers of the Year and our Milken Award Winners. So we have broad teacher support
within South Carolina for implementation of this plan.
In addition, as far as the other stakeholders, we’ve got within Appendix A the list of
people that came to our Stakeholders Meeting and who fully participated, spent a whole
day on one of the times working with us on the plan, provided input and feedback and
we amended what we were doing based on that input from them.
I think our LEAs who are part of our stakeholders are very committed to actually doing what’s
in our memorandum of understanding. Our Exhibit 3 is pretty detailed. I don’t know if you’ve
looked at it, but we had 14 sections with 51 items – those districts have agreed to
implement. So they’re going to take their Exhibit 2 and be more detailed about how they’ll
spend their money, but they’re getting out of the $150 million, half of it. But they
already committed to that and we have people, you know, raring to go with that. Some of
the other stakeholders [inaudible]. DR. PODA: I was just going to add the first
call I got of congratulations for us being a finalist was from the President of the SCEA.
And the statement she made was, “What can I do to help?” And I think that’s the
kind of spirit we have. DR. REX: The only thing I would add to that
is this – most of this commitment is not just in time commitment, you know, for the
Race to the Top. If you look at the groups we’ve been working with, this has been going
on for some time. So it didn’t happen because there was a pot of gold waiting at the –
in Washington, D.C. DR. CARPENTIER: You will also notice support
from the New Carolina Group which is a group of businessmen. We’ve got support from the
State Chamber of Commerce. We’ve got support from the Columbia Urban League. I mean, we’ve
got broad stakeholder support of people who came to the meetings, reviewed our plan and
wrote letters of support in Appendix 8. REVIEWER 3: Let me follow up and probe a little
bit deeper. We noticed in your proposal that in the memorandum of understanding that you
listed “na” for teachers. And just for the record, clarify why you put “na” at
that point. DR. POSTLEWAIT: The application asked for
teachers’ unions. We don’t have teachers’ unions in South Carolina. We’re a right
to work state and so we – although we don’t have unions and didn’t have a union organization
to get signed off in every district, we do have teacher associations, so that’s –
the two associations are what we had sign off on behalf of the [simultaneous conversation].
REVIEWER 3: Did you have any teacher association representation sign on at the district level?
DR. POSTLEWAIT: I don’t know that we have district levels associations in our state.
DR. REX: We don’t. DR. PODA: Some do but it’s about 15 percent
of the teachers in the state belong to an education association.
REVIEWER 3: Say that again. DR. PODA: Fifteen percent of the teachers
-- REVIEWER 3: -- belong to an education association.
Interesting. Very helpful. Another question. We noticed in some of you LEAs on the memorandum
of understanding that some of them reserved the right to opt out. Explain that to us.
DR. CARPENTIER: Some of them are concerned about their capacity to implement. We’ve
had severe budget cuts in our state and some of the things we’re asking them to do are
expensive, so some of them wanted to reserve the opportunity to opt out. But as we reviewed
it, they’re in it now, and so we counted them as being participating LEAs in our application.
That would probably work its way out in our Exhibit 2s when we’ll have their budgets
and we’ll have their implementation plans. And we realized that if they opt out within
that 90 days that it could impact our award. But right now we’re counting them as all
signed up and ready to go. And I think the momentum that’s building. When Janice found
out that we were a finalist, they were actually at one of our superintendents’ roundtable
meetings and they stood up and applauded. I mean, these superintendents are really behind
us. REVIEWER 3: Okay. One last question. Talk
to us just for a minute about the level of support at the policymaker level. Because
ultimately we know for this thing to work, you’ve got to have governor, lieutenant
governor, legislature, all of that kind of level of support. Talk to us about that.
DR. REX: Let me start out. You know our state like many states, [Reviewer 3], is going through
a transition. We’re going to have a new governor which frankly we’re not displeased
about. We’re going to have a new chief if I’m not running again. It’s an elected
office in South Carolina. One of the many reasons that Dr. Postelwait is a part of this
effort today is to give you assurances that the State Board of Education has that continuity
of leadership and commitment. Now, I think when I talked earlier about this culture,
I mean, it’s here in our state. It’s been in place for well over a decade. So really,
no matter who the next governor is, no matter who the next chief is, I mean, there’s a
commitment as far as the state of South Carolina is concerned at the district level, at the
state level to implement this with fidelity. You know, we could have some unexpected bonuses
depending on how this election comes out in 2010, but I feel very confident that the state
is committed at every level especially among policy makers.
REVIEWER 3: What about, just real quickly, what about the legislature. Tell us about
where they are on this. DR. REX: Well, our legislature supports it.
Our legislature, depending on the outcome of any given election, you know, swings one
way or the other some in terms of its support for public ed and in terms of how much money
and how many resources it’s going to allocate. I don’t think we’re any different than
any other state in that regard. But all of the polling shows, all of the elections show
that whether you mean it or not, you’ve got to run as a pro-public education legislator.
Now some of them say it but don’t do it. I suspect you might have that problem in your
states too, but, you know, I feel confident that the ebb and flow of elections are not
going to affect in any way the commitment we have as a state.
DR. CARPENTIER: And we do have letters of support in Appendix A from the chairs of the
education committees and the House and the Senate in South Carolina. We do have that
support and almost half of our state budget every year goes to public education.
REVIEWER 3: Good. Thank you. REVIEWER 1: Thank you. Okay. In the interest
of time, we’ll move to kind of a combination of questions. We’re going to combine questions
about standards assessment and data systems. And we’re going to go ahead and go back
with [REVIEWER 3] to start that. REVIEWER 3: I promise, I will not be doing
this much longer. Based on the information provided in your application, please explain
South Carolina’s performance and trend lines on MATE, state assessments, and your analysis
of future performance projections. And include in that the data you provided for us the last
year, the most recent year, exactly what year was that?
DR. CARPENTIER: I’ll start with the goals that were in Section A. What we did was we
included the most recent years past test data for those goals. We switched tests between
07/08 and 08/09, so the last set of data is under the new test. But we took trend lines
on the ESBA test to set the goals in Section 8 from that. We don’t have a new test for
high school so we used just the regular data for that and we used our trends of graduation
rate data to set a really ambitious but we think achievable goal of increasing graduation
rates by 1600 students per year for one-time graduation. Now I think the performance measures
in Section B were done on a little bit different data. Valerie, you want to talk about that?
DR. HARRISON: The performance goals in Section B were based on PAT assessments and that is
he test that we had previous to PAT. In these tests, we started to work on this proposal,
we had PAT data there, the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test. And so we were shifting to
another test and so we used that information to determine the performance measures. We
figured that that would give us more years of data to use and to make those projections
in that particular section. DR. CARPENTIER: The MATE data? Were you asking
about that one too? There’s two appendices, A1, A1i that talk about how we went through
the MATE data. I think it was for 2004/2008 and both sets for 4th grade and 8th grade
[inaudible] math. And we looked at the projections there and talked to the MATE service center
to try to figure out what would be ambitious yet achievable. And the achievable part was
part of what we wanted to make sure we’d had experience with goals that were just too
hard to make. Our state accountability system before PASS required a tenth increase for
school every year so that average became 3.3 on a 5 point scale as the bottom instead of
3.0. So you had to be above average to be average in our state. And we knew that having
a goal like that that was increasing every year --
REVIEWER 3: Wait, say that again. You had to be above average to be average in your
state? DR. CARPENTIER: To be rated average in our
state, you had to be above average. You had to be at 3.3. And it increased every year
by another tenth. So we know the impact on schools of having a goal that’s not achievable
and we wanted to make very sure that what we have here was ambitious but was still very
achievable so that we don’t discourage our school district.
REVIEWER 4: Just to follow up on the data a bit, I think you’ll get to your presentation
to work on this, all 1251 pages. You laid out recent trends on student achievement and
graduation rates in South Carolina and you noted, for instance, a pattern of often an
initial bump on a new assessment and then years of stabilizing. That seems to be reflected
like they did on state level but [inaudible] data. What do you understand from that in
terms of policies and practices behind that pattern and how have those lessons informed
what you’ve put together here? DR. HARRISON: Well, basically we’ve learned
that we need to really focus on what happens in the classroom. We’ve had the academic
standards in place in South Carolina for many years and we discovered that many districts
really just had the standards and they were teaching students from the standards. They
did not have the capacity to develop curriculum documents that were aligned to the standards.
And that’s the peak of what you see is part of our S-cubed system, our Standard Support
System. We have for our state, developed curriculum materials that are aligned to our state standards.
That is something that we will carry on as we have shifted to PAT and as we moved our
enhanced standards, the common course standards, we will make sure that we have those resources
available for statewide use by schools. In our curriculum piece we have alignment
to suggested resources or recommended resources, we have suggested instructional strategies,
we have assessment strategies. And we’re working on an assessment item bank that would
be aligned to the standards. We realized that our teachers needed more tools as we shift
so that we will be able to maintain that bump and even surpass student achievement as we
move along. An additional part of our S-cubed system that
we mention in the document is our professional development, making sure that our professional
development is ongoing professional development, not one-shot professional development. And
we really initiated this past year a regional delivery of services. And in that regional
delivery of services, we have been able to tailor our professional development services
that deal with – that we focused on this year specifically, the curriculum alignment
pieces that we had developed, were able to tailor those services to meet the needs of
the district. So therefore, districts that had curriculum documents, we know that we
had at least 32 districts that had their own documents. And so the other 50-plus districts,
we worked on, making sure that they had teachers coming to the sessions that we worked over
a series of sessions, not just on shot to say here is the document. But that they returned
in an ongoing way so that they would be able to work with schools and districts.
DR. CARPENTIER: Another piece of this that Valerie – in addition to what she’s talked
about on the S-cubed is a model scope and sequence as well because we found some teachers
spending too much time on some standards and not even getting to other ones. So this will
help the novice teacher. It will help teachers that don’t have other resources and we’ll
build on that with the common [inaudible]. REVIEWER 1: Thank you. I think we’ve got
a good answer to that. Any other follow-up? REVIEWER 4: The only follow-up would be so
my sense is that what I was hearing is a lesson learned in terms of having set high expectations,
the need to embed further into classroom practice. What from your plan would you site as evidence
that would increase the confidence of that plan?
DR. PODA: Well, I will take a stab at it. The math and science scores we have seen more
improvement than in our reading scores. And we looked specifically at what our math and
science coaches were doing in the schools, in the classrooms, and we have taken some
of their strategies and are working with our literacy team now to implement some of the
same things. And it’s more one-on-one instruction, coaching in classrooms. And we have seen evidence
that that has worked pretty significantly in some cases. We rank number one in the country
in improvement in science, for example. So we do have that in place.
DR. CARPENTIER: And what Janice is talking about, we had several different instructional
coaching models. We had a written first coach model, a literacy model. We have some math
and science. We’ve combined all that. It’s now into an instructional coaching model where
they’re all using cognitive coaching to approach is based on what --
REVIEWER 3: Is that the I-coaching initiative? DR. CARPENTIER: That’s the I-coach initiative
where we combined all of our coaches with a uniform, cognitive coaching model to take
from the lessons from the math and science coaches.
DR. POSTLEWAIT: And very quickly I will say from a policy perspective, is in fact in the
reauthorization of ESEA. We can move away from the grade designation on the summit of
tests and get more to a DeGross model. The comprehensive data systems that are represented
here will allow us to see fairly quickly which practices in the state are resulting in far
greater than average [inaudible] for the students who need to accelerate their learning. Now
we have this – we use this language, but we don’t actually have the systems in place
that would all us to track growth on progressions of learning and then use what the data are
telling us about the pockets of success that exist so that we can use the smart networks
to both vertically within a district and horizontally across – and hopefully across states –
scale what we know is working for a specific student when you’re able to measure the
growth of individual students. DR. HARRISON: I’m going to just follow up
on something, just add something that kind of gives us an indication of what the students
are doing and the support we’ve had statewide. For forms of assessment, we’ve had allocations
to purchase forms of assessments that are aligned to our state standards. We have three
forms of assessment pages that are identified for [inaudible] to use and purchase and they
have been doing that. We have extensive use of NWEA’s map program in over 80 districts
in our state. And those schools have been using the map data to judge individual student
growth and progress where they had the goals, of course, set for student growth. And also
many of them were meeting their goals. So I just wanted to add that because that also
gives us a true picture of the progress that students are making in classrooms.
REVIEWER 1: Yes it is. It’s a good transition. REVIEWER 5: Yeah, because I think one of the
things that you’ve done well and I appreciated your fractal that is a metaphor that speaks
to me and probably is a very apt metaphor for the comprehensiveness of your sort of
feedback system. And so I appreciate the complexities you’re dealing with. One of the aspects
of the complexities of your feedback system that includes both curriculum and student
performance and then your slice, you longitudinal information system is how that then coordinates
also with our ADEP and PADEPP, the systems that will feedback also into your accountability
system for teachers and principals. And again, I want to say I appreciate that you really
have communicated that comprehensiveness and almost organic approach to that feedback system.
But I’m still a little unclear about how the curriculum system and the student system
and the long-term system and then the teacher feedback and principal feedback systems kind
of go together. DR. CARPENTIER: Right now they’re separate.
The ADEP system – we have an ADEP data system. We have a PADEPP data system, but they’re
separate and they’re not talking to each other, so part of what we have in our SLBS
grant and in this application is money to pull all that together. So we’ve got that
data and it goes into our longitudinal data warehouse, but they’re separate systems
right now. We’re using the teacher certification number for our highly qualified teacher Title
2 report, so we can pull from the student information system and pull from that and
create reports out of that. But what we’re planning to do is tie that all together as
part of one system so we get the effectiveness ratings tied back to teachers, tied back to
colleges of ed and other prep programs, tied back to programs that the student and the
teacher are engaged in. REVIEWER 5: : How do you envision pulling
that back together? DR. PODA: Well, we already do it through the
Teacher Advancement Program, the TAP schools. We have 43 of those and so we’ve already
got a model that we’re using to tie them together. We actually look at the teacher
effectiveness in terms of the classroom observations and they receive a score of 1 to 5 based on
their overall compilation of those observations that they have for a year, and then we look
at the student growth data. And that’s also rated on a 1 to 5 scale in terms of whether
– a 3 being a year’s growth. Anything above that is more than a year’s growth.
And so those teachers are then awarded an incentive bonus if they score at least a 3
or higher. And it increases depending on how much growth they make. So we have that model
already that we’re able to take the student achievement data and couple it with the teacher
data and then we can – we also have a system already set up and we’re already doing
– providing that feedback to the colleges of education so that they know what their
graduates are performing – how they’re performing in the classroom which we think
is really a key. It’s not so much the qualifications they have but what they actually do once they
get in the classroom. REVIEWER 5: And one more. Can you remind me
on the teacher effectiveness scores, what data you’re using on that?
DR. HARRISON: We’re using MAT data for the growth piece of that. And then we’re also
using the [inaudible], the PAT and PAT assessment statewide data.
REVIEWER 5: Just from observation did you say?
DR. PODA: It’s an observation and a dossier and we will be adding – we’ll be adding
also the PB -- DR. CARPENTIER: Project Based Learning Assessment.
DR. PODA: Right, right. DR. CARPENTIER: Authentic assessment and a
portfolio for students. DR. PODA: And it’s similar – it’s work
sampling is what it really is right now in terms of the teacher taking samples of the
student’s work and analyzing that and using it. We looked at – starting back at about
2004 – we started the shift to effectiveness. And we thought we needed to put a bridge in
there from going from only looking at qualifications to the effectiveness, so right now it’s
more of we measure the teacher’s ability to analyze data and use the data and now the
next shift will be to actually holding them accountable for the results of their SKIV.
So it was a shift because we found that our teachers didn’t have the depth of knowledge
that they needed to move immediately to those performance [simultaneous conversation].
DR. REX: Could I add one thing – and this team would be really disappointed if I didn’t
find a way to get this in. One of the things I think we’ve learned a lot about through
the TAP schools but also through the lattice program which is teaming and looping is that
we think that part of the answer lies in helping teachers function more in teams, not just
planning teams but actually, you know, instructional teams. And we’ve seen that in the TAP experience
in terms of them seeing themselves as a group working together, being rewarded together
hopefully. We’ve done really some fascinating work with teaming and looping and we’re
seeing some amazing results in the second year especially. We have teams of teachers
take responsibility for groups of kids and stay with them for more than one academic
year. So we’re learning as we go, but when we talked about integrating this system, we
have a lot of hands-on experience that we think even though it’s mostly intuitive
right now is going to help us move ahead pretty quickly.
DR. CARPENTIER: In terms of how we’re going to integrate those, that’s goal C-2 in our
application and the timeline starts on page 89 and it’s got the steps for integrating
those two data bases and there’s some additional detail in our budget.
REVIEWER 1: Thank you. And I apologize for seeming to cut people off, but [simultaneous
conversation]. But these are segueing very nicely. I don’t know if we anticipated what
you were going to say or if you anticipated what we were going to ask, but it’s working
out rather well. So [Reviewer 4] have one more follow-up question that’s going to
lead us also into the discussion of teachers and leaders in more depth.
REVIEWER 4: Thank you. I just wanted to follow up on that question of the teacher effectiveness
because you expanded beyond obviously standardized test scores and you have now some observational
components [inaudible] and a work sampling. Are there other factors you’re envisioning,
(a) and (b) of that set, where do you think you gain most information that’s useful
to you operationally. DR. HARRISON: Of that set, probably we gain
most from the formative assessment information, the information that we get from student’s
progress, ongoing progress during the school year and their growth peaks because a student
may not start on grade level. But if a teacher is able to move that student and we’re able
to have that growth peak as a component of that, that gives substantial information about
improving classroom practice and then by improving the student learning and achievement.
DR. CARPENTIER: And just to remind you, our ESPA, some of the assessments have to test
on grade level. So if we’ve got a student who’s below grade level, but the sum of
the tests isn’t going to give you the right information. It also doesn’t give you the
right information about students who are advanced beyond the grade level because of the No Child
Left Behind limitations. DR. PODA: I think one of the most fascinating
things I’ve seen happen is that we have the teacher observation data and the student
achievement data and give that 1 to 5 rating system and the TAP score and sometimes we
see the teacher get a 5 in observations and a 1 in student achievement – not often,
but sometimes we do. And so we have now started analyzing why has a teacher been rated so
high but their students aren’t achieving. Sometimes we often see just the opposite.
The students are achieving, but the teacher is being rated low on their observation. So
we’re beginning to analyze and go back into those classrooms and really look to see what’s
happening and whether or not we’re getting a true picture of the classroom. So I think
it’s both and it’s the combination of the two that’s really informing our work.
REVIEWER 4: Thank you. REVIEWER 1: And [Reviewer 2] is just –
while we’re on this topic, we just thought we’d group the questions even if they’re
in a different order on our piece of paper. So go ahead, [Reviewer 2].
REVIEWER 2: We’re very interested in your project-based learning assessments, so if
you could talk a little bit more about the developments, the scoring, recording the standardization
of that that would be very interesting. DR. PODA : What we’re trying to accomplish
is that since we don’t have assessments for all teachers that are standardized like
the ones that are required for ESEA, we wanted to include all teachers because that’s one
of the things we heard loud and clear from teachers is that they didn’t want to leave
out the art teachers or the PE teachers. So we will be looking at developing assessments
that we can use for those groups of teachers in particular and to be able to assess the
work that they’re doing so that they can be part of this growth method. Sometimes they
also participate with other clusters, so in other words if they’re the art teacher,
they may work with several groups of other teachers like the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade and
integrate the art work into the rest of the curriculum, and that’s the way that they
can also have authentic assessments of their work is to see how the students do in terms
of integrating it. So I think that those are some of the ways that we plan to do it. We
have a history going back to the 80s where we had a teacher incentive program that we
started looking at ways that we could measure and give bonuses to teachers based on their
performance and so we do have a history of working in that area.
REVIEWER 1: Any follow up with that [REVIEWER 3]?
REVIEWER 3: I would say how to do you plan to use the data from that? If you could be
a little bit more specific. DR. PODA: Okay. So primarily it will be used
in place of the standardized test for those teachers that don’t have them. So that will
be their student achievement component of the effectiveness measure because we don’t
have a standardized PE test, so we’ll be using those instead. So that’s how it will
be used. REVIEWER 2: Another quick question. As far
as the development of these, are these developed by individual teachers, groups of teachers,
is it a standardized thing across the state? DR. PODA: It will be developed with teacher
input as well as expert input and so we’ll have a combination of both to help guide the
teachers because I think that that’s where teachers will be looking for some guidance
and some help and for us to make sure that it’s reliable and valid, we’ll also need
some expert help with that. REVIEWER 1: Okay. And I think I’m going
to ask that [Reviewer ] and [Reviewer ] ask the questions that you have while we’re
still on this topic about student growth modeling, value-added, the whole value-added kind of
approach to teacher evaluation, any other finishing-up questions about that.
REVIEWER 5: As you were talking about the assessment models and the value-added models,
a couple questions on the value added. You’ve chosen and you described sort of applying
the UVA model. I guess I would like to hear a little bit more about how you will be using
the value added model and then also will you be applying it to alternatively certified
teachers from, you know, programs that are doing the alternative certifications and just
describe a little bit more on the value added if you don’t mind.
DR. PODA: We will be using it for all teachers whether they’ve gone through an alternative
– and we do now the same thing with our TAP schools. We are looking at the alternatively
prepared teachers the same way we do – as a matter of fact we’ve even done some
studies on that and we found that after three years in the classroom we really can’t tell
the difference between those who went through traditional programs and those who came through
the alternative programs. The other part of your question – I’m sorry, if you’ll
repeat it. Just give me a hint. REVIEWER 5: You’re applying the UVA model
and, you know, it’s interesting, there are sort of three models, I guess, to over-generalize
out there, of value-added. So if you can talk a little bit more about why that model and
how specifically it’s being implemented. DR. PODA: Well, I think we probably are using
the Tennessee model – more of that than the UVA model, but we are working with the
SAS institute to be able to generate our evaluated scores and they use a data base of teachers
and looking at data longitudinally of what an expected growth would be for a student
with the history of the students in our schools. So I think that that also gives some reassurance
to teachers that they’re not being measured on whether they have all gifted children or
all the lowest children, but they’re actually measured on the growth that students make.
We have some schools that have historically been low-performing and now all of a sudden
they’re realizing that they are actually out-performing. And that’s been a tremendous
morale boost for those teachers. They really see that they’re making progress and so
that’s the way we’re using it. REVIEWER 5: Can you point to me or maybe you
can’t, but was that described in your project as far as being able to do the expected growth
model from -- DR. : I don’t remember how much detail we
put in there, but Betsy? DR. CARPENTIER: That section starts at 100.
I just want to add that in addition to the TAP model, we’ve also been using the National
Dropout Prevention Center’s model out of Clemson for our nine-plus schools project
where we’re looking at growth and effectiveness of programs there too. So we’re working
on two different models right now and as we get input from our stakeholders, we’re not
quite sure what model we’ll end up with, but we’ve got experience with those two.
DR. HARRISON: I want to add one other thing, too. Some districts in our state have teacher
pay-for-performance models and they’re using virtual comparison groups, the NWEA model
for that where they have the matched student of similar demographics for the schools. And
so that is being used in districts around our state as well. Just wanted to mention
that. REVIEWER 5: What model was that?
DR. HARRISON: It’s virtual comparison group model. And basically it’s a model – really
you get a report on the different schools in the district and not student for student
comparison, it’s always a virtual comparison group. And what they do is indicate how certain
schools with certain demographics are performing on the map of assessment. And they are –
in fact, Charleston County School District uses that to give their teachers awards for
student growth and pay-for-performance. So that’s sort of a hybrid version, but that’s
being used. And the good reason because so many districts in our state are using NWEA
maps as a formative assessment. And also that is a factor that’s included with the TAP
model as well. So I did want to mention that to you.
DR. CARPENTIER: If you will look on pages 105 and 106, I think that’s where you will
find how we are using the value-added scores and the authentic assessments as well as the
value-added. REVIEWER 5: Thank you.
REVIEWER 4: Just a quick follow-up if I could on the value-added. Since you’ve already
had some experience with it, experimenting with it in Tampa and a few other places, as
you know they rely on – one of the underlying factors is the ability to compare year to
year and that there is the presumption at least of some underlying scale that allows
you to compare the 10th graders and 6th graders and 7th graders on something as well as account
for factors beyond the teacher such as the tendency to have non-random assignment of
students to various classrooms within the schools and so forth. Given your experience,
how do you understand those factors in your own thinking about value-added? How do you
manage those kinds of issues or thinking about them?
DR. PODA: One of the reasons why we developed a new test because we didn’t have vertical
alignment within the PAC test and so one of the criteria when we revamped the testing
system and went to the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test or the PASS test from the
– that to PASS then we put in a vertical scale so that we could look from 4th grade
to 5th grade, and 5th grade to 6th grade and see what that kind of growth was and it didn’t
depend on what kids were in the classroom. You would be able to measure them longitudinally
based on their performance and not just on all what all 5th graders do, and then what
they do in the 6th grade. So we were looking at individual students grades.
REVIEWER 1: Okay. Well we have been sort of working our way through the whole data and
assessment and evaluation business, but let’s go back for a few minutes to the teachers
themselves, principals and we’ll ask a couple questions about that. So I’ll start with
[Reviewer 2]. REVIEWER 2: Okay. If you could expand a little
bit on first your philosophy for alternative certification programs and then your process
for approving those programs. I’ll list all of the questions now because we’re basically
going [inaudible] group connected. How are the programs monitored and what things do
you have in place for holding all the – alt cert programs accountable?
DR. PODA: We have had a history of alternative certification since 1984. As a matter of fact,
Dr. Rex started the first alternative certification program in the state at Winthrop University.
DR. REX: I was 18 at the time. DR. PODA: [laughter] So our philosophy is
that we have shortage areas in the state historically and they have been special education and math
and science and the other subjects vary from year to year, but they’re pretty consistent,
and that we wanted a way to bring in other people to the profession through alternative
routes and especially those that already had the content knowledge. We have limited our
alt certification program to only middle school and high school. We don’t use alt cert for
elementary or early childhood or for special education with the exception of behavior disorders.
And we look for majors that are close or equivalent to the subjects that they’ll be teaching.
So that’s been our philosophy. We also required subject matter content test from the very
beginning of the program and that was the way that we could ensure that they had the
content and then our training program focuses on the pedagogy, and on strategies for classroom
management and all the different things about almost survival for beginning teachers. And
that has worked well for us. Now, how do we approve the programs? We run the only program
in the state through the State Department of Education. We used to have it based at
colleges and we decided we needed more uniformity, so that no matter where in the state you were
enrolled in the program that you would be getting the same content. So we developed
a curriculum for that based on what we got feedback about what first-year teachers needed
to know and it was based on the in-test standards primarily. And then we also have a continuous
assessment program built into the alternative certification program so at any point in time,
we can ask a person to leave the program. So there are benchmarks. When they reach that,
then they may exit from the program. They also have to be employed by a district before
they can enter the program. So we don’t just put thousands of people through the program
that aren’t employed. So we use our resources for that. And so we monitor the program by
looking at the results. And what I mean by that is how well they do on the Praxis exams,
both the PLT and the content area. And we have found they do extremely well in the PLT
because we have really tailored our training program to those standards. And then –
and the content, too – but also the ADEP performance in the classroom. And they cannot
progress to a professional certification until they have performed in the classroom to our
satisfaction. So that’s part of our tiered certification system.
REVIEWER 1: Thank you. And let’s move on to [Reviewer 3].
REVIEWER 3: A couple of real quick follow-ups to that last point. So you do this out of
the department. Do they have to be certified through a university?
DR. PODA: No. They are certified through the Department of Education.
REVIEWER 3: And it’s only for middle and high school.
DR. PODA: That’s correct. REVIEWER 3: Do you have any thoughts about
expanding it to elementary? DR. PODA: We have thought about it. Our concern
is reading and the teaching of reading and that we think that there has to be a good
bit of training in that area. But we are considering other ways of expanding the program.
REVIEWER 3: Last quick question. How many people a year are in this program?
DR. PODA : Over a three year period we have about 1100 to 1200 at any one time.
REVIEWER 3: That’s very good. DR. PODA : It’s the largest producer of
teachers – single producer of teachers in the state.
REVIEWER 3: Did you describe that in your proposal?
DR. PODA: Yes, we did. REVIEWER 3: Great. Good. My question, real
question. In your discussion of great teachers and leaders, your answers seemed to focus
primarily on teacher effectiveness and less on leader effectiveness. Please explain in
greater clarity, South Carolina’s plan for effective leadership from preparation to recruitment
and retention. DR. PODA: Okay. Well, I think the reason that
you’d see that is because we have more experience with teacher effectiveness than we do principal
effectiveness. We’ve just gotten into that with a Teacher Incentive Fund Grant that we
received a couple years ago where we’re beginning now to measure and give bonuses
to the principals the TAP schools for the student performance. So our plan is to (1)
implement a tiered certification system for principals so that they will also have a
– for the lack of a better word, a probationary period or a period where before we give them
a professional certification as a principal that they’ll have a temporary in that area.
And then once they have shown that they can be a good leader, an effective leader and
that the student performance in the school where they are working is also improving,
then they will be given a professional certificate. So it will be based on performance as a principal
on an evaluation system. That’s the PADEPP, and then the student performance. And it’s
an aggregate of all the performance measures they have in that school – and graduation
rates for the high school. REVIEWER 3: What about retention?
DR. PODA: Retention of teachers? Of principals? REVIEWER 3: Of principals in many isolated
settings and that kind of thing. DR. PODA : Right. That’s a challenge for
us. We see in our lowest-performing schools that the retention of teachers and principals
is a challenge. DR. CARPENTIER: And superintendents.
DR. PODA: And superintendents. Yes. And so we are – you know, one of the things we
are trying to do is provide some stability or create stability in those schools and to
try to retain our most effective teachers and principals in those schools where we need
them the most. And one way we’ll do that is with bonuses and also we’re looking at
other changes to the compensation system that we’ll reward people for working in those
areas and that’s part of the plan that we have for revamping our compensation system.
DR. CARPENTIER: We’re also looking at expanding our teacher housing and educator housing project
because a lot of the challenge is is once we get people who are willing to go to some
of these remote areas, there’s not adequate housing that you would want to live in.
REVIEWER 3: Would that apply to principals? DR. CARPENTIER: For educators, yes.
REVIEWER 4: I just want to follow up on that because one of the task force, I think, you
mentioned that – the 2008 task force mentioned also the concern the – I believe the term
was “incessant crying” about working conditions for teachers and the role that that plays
within that. Like piggyback with that, the Riley Institute Report talked about the relation
of school and community and the relation – and sort of mapping that back to what
comes up here as well in terms of the sense of isolation in some of these schools and
communities. How do you understand that? How does that fit in to what you’re trying to
– how you’re addressing that here in this plan?
DR. PODA: We do an annual survey of all the teachers, students and parents as part of
our accountability system and we have added about four years ago a section on working
conditions for teachers. So we now have about four years worth of data. As a matter of fact
we cancelled a meeting yesterday where we were supposed to get feedback on the latest
information on the working conditions and rescheduled that for next week. And we are
looking at it because one of the things we’re finding is that in our lowest-performing schools
overall, and this is a generalization, but the teachers don’t feel safe. And so if
they don’t feel safe, they probably aren’t going to be as effective. And so we’re looking
at all those components about working conditions. And part of the way we’re trying to address
it is as Dr. Rex said the “whole teacher” – is to look at those other criteria of
feeling safe, being in a clean environment, having the resources that they need, having
adequate housing. I used to be in charge of our Center for Teacher Recruitment in South
Carolina, and I used to say the hardest place to recruit teachers for is the ones that are
more than 50 miles from a Walmart. And you see that they don’t have those quality of
life factors. And so we’re trying to address some of them as we can through housing and
other activities for teachers, and the social networking, is the way
that we’re trying to get teachers connected so that they can be able to have conversations
with other teachers and not feel so isolated. So that’s one way we’re trying to [inaudible].
DR. REX: Let me add one thing, too. It kind of goes back to the leadership question. And
that is these locally elected school boards. This is something that’s left out of the
discussion all too often, I think, when we talk about improving and reforming education.
In our state and I’m sure this is true in other states depending on the outcome of the
most recent election, we always have some local school boards that are really a part
of the problem, not a part of the solution. And I mentioned to you earlier, the Palmetto
Priority Schools that, you know, one of the unique features, I think, of that effort is
that we’ve insisted that the chair of that school board participate in these regularly
scheduled meetings with superintendent, state superintendent and others. And we’re also
looking at the need for some legislation that would mandate a certain amount of training
that would take place during the first term that someone is elected to a local school
board and they could not run again. That would be an incumbency requirement until they satisfactorily
complete that training. So we certainly haven’t figured it out but we think it’s a significant
component that is being overlooked by many of us as we think about transforming education.
REVIEWER 1: Thank you. We’ve only got probably two more questions and we’ve got 14 minutes.
So that’s the good news. I’m going to ask one and then we’re going to wrap up
with a question, kind of a more general question. Okay, you have basically outlined a regional
delivery system that’s going to support a lot of your RTT efforts – the smart centers.
And it’s a very impressive array of activities and requirements and responsibilities placed
on those smart centers. So could you talk to us a little bit about how the centers will
be staffed, supported and sustained to be able to deliver all of the work that they’re
being asked to do? DR. HARRISON: Well, currently, we are operating
smart centers. We have right now before the expansion that you see in the proposal, we
have smart centers that work with science, math and literacy. We started the smart centers
really as regional education units that worked with math and science. And they’re supervised
right now by coordinators at each of the sites who have eight of those. And that framework
is already set up. So this expansion is being built on that. We’ve seen lots of success
with the math and science hubs we used to call them, then regional centers and now we’re
calling them smart centers. And we’ve seen success with the schools and students that
they’ve worked with, improvement in algebra scores and of course our steady improvement
in our math and science scores nationally. And so we’re excited about the accomplishments
there and so that framework has been very helpful because it has enabled us to target
our services to the different regions of the state and better meet the needs of the students
and teachers in those areas. Now the expanded version of the – that was the basis for
it and the success that we’re having and Betsy will – I’ll let her explain the
expansion that that’s the basis for. DR. CARPENTIER: The foundation.
DR. HARRISON: The foundation. DR. CARPENTIER: So what we’re planning to
have is directors or project leaders within these centers who will coordinate the services
that are required by the district in those regions and then the turnaround managers will
be working out of there and working with the turnaround schools projects, the data coaches
who will be working on the seven A’s presentation and how to use data, will be working out of
the centers for the districts and reporting back to the chief information officer. Thei-coaches
which are already in the districts and the ones that we have for coaching teachers and
principals on how to do evaluations will be working there and reporting back to the Division
of Educator Quality and Leadership. REVIEWER 1: Where are you going to find these
people? DR. CARPENTIER: Actually that’s not a problem
in our state right now because of the high unemployment.
REVIEWER 1: So among the educator workforce? DR. CARPENTIER: Yeah. I think if you look
at our stabilization application, you’ll see we’ve lost about 1400 teachers over
the last years, so we’ve got a pool, probably for the first time in a long time, of qualified
folks for that. So ultimately that’s going to report up through the new division with
the new deputy. But it’s also going to be part of our cross-divisional team efforts
which we’ve had a lot of success with. DR. PODA: And may I also just say that those
employees will also work together to analyze the data and then share that with the struggling
schools so that’s another role that they’ll play in helping them write their school improvement
report. REVIEWER 4: One of the things I just want
to understand, too, the relation to the smart centers to something you mentioned elsewhere
in here about ambitions for tying in non-school factors that underlie student performance.
How do you understand the relationship with the smart centers or is there some other entity
that’s the linkage for school and non-school agencies?
DR. CARPENTIER: Well, we’ve got that integrated state database already. And so any policymaker
or researcher now can ask for research that would tie, for example, PAT scores to whether
or not the children’s parents were in an emergency room over the weekend before the
test happened. I mean, that’s the kind of detail you can get down to with the identified
data for that. REVIEWER 4: How does that look operationally?
DR. REX: That is going to be a new level of discourse in our state – this data system
and what comes out of it. I think Dr. Postlewait in terms of the State Board is going to have
to help drive that discussion in terms of the relationships that we think we will find
that exist there. Frankly, we haven’t had that level of sophistication. We haven’t
had that level of discussion. There will probably be lots of policy makers and policy maker
groups that will have to drive that discussion and I think the State Board will be one of
them. DR. CARPENTIER: But one of the interfaces
we plan to build that’s in our application in Section C is the research or policy maker
interface for accessing all of the data. REVIEWER 2: All right. I have I think probably
what will be the final question, and it’s a provocative question. The question is why
should South Carolina be selected for funding? And some of the points you might want to cover
in addition to others are impact on educational form, benefits for students, benefits for
the state and sustainability after the grant is over.
REVIEWER 1: Do you want her to read the list again? [laughter]
DR. REX: Well, I can tell you are all very proud of that provocative question. [laughter]
Reading your non-verbal. That is a great question, and I’ll just start out. It’s not too
different, I think, my response from what I said in the introductory remarks. We know
in a way what’s happening here is the nation is going to place some bets, some high stake
bets on some states that can lead the way and hopefully come up with some new answers
that are replicable, that can be brought up to scale. I think South Carolina is a good
bet. I used to be high school football coach and an English teacher many years ago, so
excuse this metaphor, but I think of us as a walk-on. As you know, we’re not heavily
sponsored or recruited and I hope you see that we wrote this proposal. Nobody else did.
This is our proposal. We own it. We believe in it. And we can do it. And I think we’ve
demonstrated we can do it. So if you’re looking for some horses to place a bet on
from the national perspective as well as obviously it would benefit our state, but from the national
perspective, I hope you’ll really take a hard look at us. I really think we can deliver.
DR. CARPENTIER: I started out with together we are. We’re building momentum on the systems
that are already in place. We started our accountability system in our state in 1998?
Yeah. So we’ve got over 10 years experience of doing this. South Carolina is already on
this reform path and we can just build on that momentum with this money and get it faster,
better done deeper and broader with all of the LEAs that we have signed up and the uniform
systems that we have. And then I’ve got some information slides on sustainability
and scale-up because we’re planning to use this money not to hire a whole bunch of staff,
but to hire people to implement and to build the systems and the infrastructure that will
be there after we’re done with the four years of the grant to build the local capacity
so that that can become an engine that builds momentum and keeps going, build the regional
delivery systems so that can be another engine that keeps it going and to build the modules
of professional development that we’ll have recorded and available once the grant is over.
And we’re also looking with some stakeholders on how to repurpose our current funding for
example and our salary schedule and other funding that we’ve got in K-12 education.
We mention, I think, somewhere in here, our funding taskforces that are already looking
at ways to re-fund – not refund but to change the funding for public education. So this
is something – the state’s already been down this path and we’ve got the momentum
going and we’re planning to use this money to build systems and infrastructure that will
help us once the grant’s over. DR. PODA: I’m going to address the point
you made about students because I think that really is what has motivated us to do this.
Our students want to learn and they want to be read for the future and they want to have
the skills that are going to make them competitive and a way to be a productive citizen in whatever
South Carolina becomes in the future. And I think that that’s what we want out of
this is we want to be able to transform our education system so that every child is getting
the kind of education that they need for the 21st century, and for that next, you know,
challenge that they’ll face when it comes down the road. I had a 7th grader tell me
one time that what he had gotten out of a program that I had sponsored was that it had
given him hope for the future and a pathway to get there. And I think that’s what we
want for all kids is to give them hope that there’s a great future ahead and then provide
them the tools and the pathway on how to get there.
DR. CARPENTIER: And this IGP that I flash back up here is part of our whole personal
pathway focus under the Education Economic Development Act that’s already underway
in South Carolina where they select a major starting in high school. But in 8th grade,
they start with IGP, so we’re tracking students to make sure that they’re going to be on
time for graduation and have their 24 credits, have their major – but are not just focused
on getting their diploma, they’re focused on higher ed and their career.
REVIEWER 4: If I’m a teacher or a principal somewhere else in the country and I’m thinking
of changing where I am, why should I come to South Carolina?
DR. PODA: Because when you become the South Carolina Teacher of the Year you get a BMW
to drive and a $25,000 bonus. [laughter] REVIEWER 4: I’ll leave you my card. [laughter]
DR. REX: Well, I think one of the reasons is if you’re a superstar, if you’re willing
to go to a challenged school and if you’re willing to help kids beat expectations, especially
in these challenged schools, we have a compensation and reward program that will acknowledge that
and respond to it. You know, I think one of the difficult things we have as a profession
right now if you go to a college or university and talk to a 19-year-old about teaching,
they say, well, you know, I have to put in how many years? 20 years to work my way up
through a salary schedule? In South Carolina what we’re saying in this proposal is if
you come to our state, if you can demonstrate that you’re outstanding in what you do in
a challenged environment, you can make six figures in your first ten years. That’s
why you ought to come to South Carolina. REVIEWER 1: Valerie.
DR. HARRISON: Yeah. I just want to add to that something that is near and dear to my
heart and you’ll be able to tell that. But South Carolina is a place as you see in this
proposal where we have strategically outlined a comprehensive system of support for teachers,
for students, for people in our community who really, really want to see the preparation
of our students as 21st century leaders. In South Carolina we are embracing enhanced standard
systems. We are working to make sure the tools are in place for teachers and that opportunities
are there and that we have the classrooms for students so that they’ll be able to
maximize the knowledge and skills necessary for 21st century learning.
So South Carolina, I think one more thing I need to say, too. We’ll have a system
of assessment that will enable students to demonstrate their abilities by looking of
course at the formative assessment piece, the summative assessment piece and then the
authentic assessment piece is for students as well. So it’s a place where as you can
see in this proposal, we have comprehensive – a comprehensive system where we use data
to inform instruction and prepare our students for future [inaudible].
REVIEWER 1: Can we have the last word from Gerrita because we have 1:19 left.
DR. POSTELWAIT: I think South Carolina is a microcosm of the country in many ways. We
have many poor, rural districts, very isolated, historically underserved and under-participatory
in the opportunities and blessings of this country. We have urban centers and we have
two of the largest tourist centers in the country in Greenville and Charleston. There
is some of everything. It’s a politically difficult state in which to work. You’ve
referred to that. In fact, it’s not a secret, but I think it’s politically difficult everywhere
that I’ve worked when the challenge of the new confronts the traditions of the old. Michael
Toffler began one of his books with this line, “A new day is dawning and blind men everywhere
are rushing to push it back.” In South Carolina, we’ve had to confront the brutal reality
of this new day at least a decade or more ago and so in confronting the brutal reality
we are united in our determination to re-craft a system that will serve our children and
serve our citizenry. And I think in that regard, we are a fractal for the country.
REVIEWER 2: Thank you. REVIEWER 3: That’s very good.
REVIEWER 1: Thank you very much. DR. REX: Thank you.
DR. CARPENTIER: Thank you for serving. I know you had a lot of reading to do. [laughter]
REVIEWER 1: And you helped us with that. DR. REX: Did you have any idea what you were
getting into when you [inaudible]. [laughter] I’ll be you didn’t.
[End of proceedings as recorded.]