Louisiana Race to the Top Presentation

Uploaded by usedgov on 07.04.2010

MR. PASTOREK: Thank you all very much. Louisiana is honored to be here. I think back on the
middle '80s when I first got involved in public education, and I think back on the conversation
I had with a principal at the time, who told me that it was very difficult to deal with
the middle schoolers, and I said is it true that about 60 percent of these children can't
read above the third grade level, and she said yes.
I said what are you doing about that, and she said I am focusing on the 40 percent of
the kids who can. Now, I was as practicing lawyer at the time,
but I became very invested in public education. My kids went to private school. But it is
because of that, that we are real humble, because we come from that to where we are
today. Where we are today is a much better place,
but we have a mission yet to finish, and that mission is to become a world class education
system in Louisiana. So, we are here today because we believe we
have the motivation, and we believe we have the right approach, we believe we have a proven
track record. We believe we have a commitment for broad impact across the State, and we
believe we have the capacity to execute it. Now, we have been successful over the years.
We started a very strong accountability program in the early ‘90s. I served on the State
Board of Education in 1996, and a lot of good people put together a very strong accountability
system back then, and we found good progress, and that progress led us to hire academic
achievement overall, and surprisingly, eliminating not eliminating but really narrowing the gap
on achievement between races and between classes in Louisiana.
So, we were very fortunate and as we put in our application, that Ed Trust identified
Louisiana as the only state in the country that was able to close the achievement gap
in fourth grade reading and eighth grade math. Our charter schools have been recognized as
doing better than the traditional schools, counter to some of the national trends. Our
accountability system has moved our kids far, but our system is by no means a world class
educational system. In fact, today, more than 200,000 children
in Louisiana are at the low grade level out of about 650,000 children, about 30 percent
of our kids. We have moved a great deal. We have been able
to make a big difference in a lot of children's lives, but we have a long distance to go.
We are determined to get to world class education. In fact, the Board adopted, our Board of Education,
when I was hired back in March of 2007, and began my job on April 1st, 2007, not quite
three years ago. My board adopted a vision to build world class
education in Louisiana. So, I have to tell you, when you look at facts like this and
you tell people in the State of Louisiana we are going to build world class education,
there is a bit of a disconnect, and it has been hard for three years to push that vision.
But, you know, if you don't create the right vision, you will certainly never achieve it,
so we have been pushing it, and we have a wonderful team of people here today. We have
a wonderful team back in the state. I want to introduce this team to you. I want
to start on the far end, Glenny Buquet. Glenny is a former teacher, classroom teacher, reading
teacher, a passionate advocate for dyslexic kids, and she serves on our State Board of
Education. She has led the effort on teacher quality in Louisiana since 1999 by serving
on the Blue Ribbon Commission for Higher Ed in Capewell and by pushing for ultimately
our value added assessment model of our teacher preparation programs in Louisiana.
To her right is Karen Carter Peterson, now Senator, formerly House member from New Orleans.
Karen authored legislation in the early 2000s, in 2004, that created the early recovery school
district and the early changes, which ultimately led to the real successes that we have in
Louisiana, received an award from the Profiles in Courage award from the Kennedy School.
Paul Vallas, who is a wonderful man, who has come to us amazingly from Chicago and Philly,
and works in New Orleans for the last three years I guess, and Paul has done a phenomenal
job of dealing with our portfolio management style in the Recovery School District, who
brought the knowledge that he developed in Philly around portfolio management and use
of charters, university led schools, traditional schools, and in portfolio management style,
and has really brought it to a fine level of form in New Orleans, and to good effect.
Finally, returning to her home state, Rayne Martin comes back to us after graduating from
high school in North Louisiana, and coming back to New Orleans after the storm and working
for the Recovery School District, and has worked her way up from technology chief and
now the chief of staff to Paul Vallas. Rayne will be the person who will lead our effort
on Race to the Top should we be lucky enough to get this award.
Now, let's talk about the four assurances, and I want to tell you how we see these four
assurances. We believe these are the right assurances, in fact, we have been working
on these assurances, but what we have tried to do in our application is make these four
assurances work in such a way that they all drive for the teacher effectiveness speech,
that they all drive for the leader effectiveness speech, they are all done in concert with,
because we believe the core value of our plan is the teacher and leader effectiveness piece.
Now, on the standards and assessment assurance, we have pushed very hard before Race to the
Top to raise our accountability part. We originally identified academically unacceptable schools.
In 2001, we increased the bar, in 2003, and again in 2006, and in January, just before
this application was filed, yet again. By raising this accountability bar, we create
a pressure to change. We have tried to create some support for change, but we recognize
that Race to the Top allows us the opportunity to create greater support, because we believe
in the Michael Pullen principle that pressure and support are what is necessary to be able
to be successful in this endeavor. In addition, focusing on data systems, we
have worked hard to meet all of the complete elements of the data systems and believe we
are there. We have linked data through many different ways, but the big way that we have
linked data is through our teacher preparationprograms. That has been going on now for three years
as you know, and we have actually started now to move to thin the herd as a consequence
of those. In fact, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette,
which was one of the poor performers in the evaluation process, has closed its program
as we pointed out to any new teachers until they fix their program.
This is a remarkable event in our history. We have had an amazing courage in a culture
of reform around turning around low achieving schools, and this is not new to us. This is
what the recovery school district is about. This is what Karen Peterson is about, who
lived in New Orleans and saw the horror of New Orleans for so many years.
Building this place where we can remove the barriers, remove the challenges, bring in
new people, bring in new energy, new zeal, and enthusiasm, and as Paul has so eloquently
and magnificently done, really moved the needle on the turnaround of schools. This has now
been in place for five years, and we have been able to bring in almost 9 percent of
the schools in the state and to the recovery school district.
Now, the last mile or the finish for us is to work really hard on the teacher leader
effectiveness piece, and that is what I will talk about here now. We believe there are
really three major principles that we need to focus on.
One is measurement and I will say measurement and differentiation are really one principle
in my mind. We need to measure the effectiveness of teachers and differentiate who is doing
well and who is not doing well, and how we will deal with them, and then these other
two boxes that come to how we will deal with them.
For those who we can work with, we are going to work hard for me to improve them, and that
will be many of our teachers. We have to have a strong strategy around working with them,
and I think we have outlined that in a number of different ways.
But for those teachers who are persistently ineffective, we have to find a way to replenish
that with our pipeline. Now, I want to talk about the measurement of teacher/leader effectiveness.
We propose our comprehensive performance management system. Fifty percent of the evaluation is
based on value added. We did get agreement with the American Federation
of Teachers on this. The Louisiana Association of Educators was reluctant to agree to 50
percent, and they would have preferred us to stay with 40 percent. The Association of
Professional Educators in Louisiana, a non union professional association of educators
almost equal the size of the other two each, was fully an endorsement of this plan.
Now, we also have developed this approach where we are going to give flexibility to
develop the other 50 percent. We are going to work closely with the districts to develop
the other 50 percent, and when we lock in on that, it will then be applied statewide.
On the differentiation, we want to be able to have some effect coming from this identification
and measurement of features. One of the effects would deal with the granting of tenure, and,
in fact, this is where we had a real good solid lock with the American Federation of
Teacher Affiliate in Louisiana. They agreed that if we were to do this and
really look hard at who we grant tenure to, it would give greater value and respect to
those who are tenured, and so they really bought into this in a big way, and it was
a powerful milestone with our relationship. Also, in the elimination of quality blind
surplussing and where we have people who are not really performing well, and they get foisted
off on other people. In our commitment here, we are committing not to do that, not to do
that to other people. Part of the reason why we have these other
data systems that principals will have access to is that they will know who is who and where
they are coming from in the circumstances. So, there will be some who do not make it,
and you see in our application that we have identified a percent of teachers out there
who we think are ineffective by the standard that we have developed.
You will recognize that there was a number of those people who we can professional develop
and bring them to a place where they can be effective. We can target our professional
development to those people, but there will be some who will not.
So, we have already demonstrated over the last two years in the Recovery School District
that we can bring over 500 new teachers into our system through a strong recruiting and
working with our partners to new teacher projects, Teach for America, and the Leaders for New
Schools to be able to bring those people in line.
We are actually working with a number of other partners and the universities to do that.
We believe we can ramp that up on additional 500 teachers per year.
We believe we can get 1,000 teachers per year, so to the extent that we have a number of
teachers who are large, that we would have to replace, we believe that we can make the
pipeline work so that we can remove those who are persistently ineffective.
Now, professional development is a critical function of our operations as an education
system. What we try to do in this discussion in our application is separate responsibility
for the professional development. We are going to carry certain responsibilities, and the
local districts are going to carry other responsibilities. We believe that professional development is
best done in the schoolhouse. We believe it is best done by the people who are there and
by their supporters in the district, but we also believe that there are standard and strategies
that should be used, and we can lay those out, and we can work with the districts to
be able to make that happen. Now, you know, when I talk to people about
this world class education system and sometimes they look at me like I have lost my mind,
I have to tell them that we have proof that it is happening, because if there is no proof
that it is happening, it is at a disconnect that you can't prove.
So, in our case, in Louisiana, we have proof that it is happening, and that is the really
exciting part. I was actually challenged one day early on in this job by a local school
board member, and I went there to talk about taking over schools in Baton Rouge.
The school board member challenged me and said you can't prove you can do any better,
and the reason I know you can't prove you do any better is because no one has done better.
There are no such things as high poverty, high minority schools that do well successfully.
Now, the interesting part of the problem was I couldn't name a school. I knew there were,
but I couldn't name them. So, he got me, but I got him, because we ended up putting together
a list of what we call the high poverty, high performing schools three years ago.
There were 20 schools at the time. Today there are 35. Those 35 schools have a greater than
65 percent population of poor, those 35 schools are in the top quartile of schools in the
State of Louisiana. Those schools prove that it can be done.
In our application, we talk about taking those high poverty, high performing principals and
having them work with high poverty, low performing schools, so that we can translate the effects
and the belief system that it can be done by demonstrating here are real people who
can do it. High poverty, high performing schools are
an example; TAP school are an example. We are a strong believer in the Teacher Advancement
Program, and the reason is it combines almost all of the teacher strategies, the human capital
strategies that are set forth in this application, that are required of us.
Although we have a pay-for-performance, we have a value added assessment, we have a pay
for promotion, we have a promotion-for-performance system, and also we have a strong professional
development and professional learning community strategy in the Teacher Advancement Program
schools. Then, I would say in the Recovery School District.
Now, we put these charts in the appendix, I wish they would have been on the first page,
because these are remarkable charts. These are schools that have been in the Recovery
School District for three years or more, and we are looking at the second and third year
of growth in those schools. Now, we see the line here of the average state
growth is about 4 points on what we call our school performance score, but these schools
in two thirds to three quarters of the cases where we are testing in the fourth grade English
language Arts are showing dramatic gains. Now, let's be candid, we are dealing with
schools that are very low to start with, so you would expect to see these, but these gains
are pretty stunning. Now, at the same time, here is eighth grade ELA.
At the same time you will see schools that are not performing very well. Now in this
case we are taking these schools and doing a new turnaround with them or transformation
or closing down or chartering. We actually have a model now where we take
the four lowest achieving schools each year in the Recovery School District, and show
that those schools are not performing well, they are taken out of business, and we have
these transformation school models that we put in, in order to address that.
Now, I think that we have a strategy that has impacted and will impact the entire state.
Many of the bold reforms that we have already adopted already apply across the state, the
Recovery School District applies across the state. For example, when we just move the
bar in the Recovery School District for the schools that will be eligible for takeover,
we just moved it in January from 60 to 75, another 225 schools are at risk of being taken
over by the Recovery School District. So, whether those schools are participating
LEAs or not, those schools are at risk, and being at risk causes them to want to change,
so what we believe is going to happen is when they see success happening in our schools
in the participating LEAs, they are going to rush for the same strategies.
In fact, in most of the cases that we are building models, we are building platforms,
technology platforms, professional development technology platforms, all of that can be scaled
up to the rest of the state. So, we think that it does have broad impact,
and we would also recognize that in much the same as Race to the Top, is built where we
talk about a system that targets those who are really ready for change.
We have taken the same approach. So, for example, we sent out to our districts after most everybody
passed the Race to the Top, we recognized that we weren't sure that everybody really
wanted to make the deep dive. We wanted to be sure they wanted to make the
deep dive, that this just wasn't raising your hand so I can get some money to deal with
my situation. So, after we got a 95 percent intent to participate, we took a pretty unusual
step I think, and we sent a letter, and we told every district here are the top 10 things
you are going to have to be willing to do. These top 10 things are recognizing that you
are going to have to agree the job in better professional development taking time in the
school day, because you are going to have to deal with your teachers to do that. That
is a responsibility you are going to have to assume, so it's not just you are going
to agree to professional development however that looks, it is going to have to be job
embedded, and you are going to have to take time.
We are going to educate teachers who are going to educate children with effective teachers,
and you are going to move teachers if you have to move them.
You are going to have to move them if you have to educate children well. We are going
to have a compensation system that rewards teachers and leaders.
We are going to dismiss persistently ineffective teachers. We mean business, we are serious
about this. Now, I will tell you it was as leap in faith
to want to send a letter off to people saying be careful what you ask for, we want you to
participate, but I really do believe it is consistent with the strategy of Race to the
Top that we want to be with those people that not only have the desire, but have the capacity
and where the conditions are right, because if the conditions aren't right, we are not
going to be successful. So, I want to show you how the fire has started
already in Louisiana and where I think this will all go. Back when Karen worked on the
legislation to allow for the schools to be taken over before the storm in the Recovery
School District, there were four whole school in the recovery school district in 2004.
That changed right after the storm where the entire city of New Orleans, schools, almost
all were placed in the Recovery School District. Then, another real dramatic change occurred
in Louisiana. We talk about this in the application. We decided the Recovery School District is
not just for New Orleans, it is for all low achieving schools, so we began to take schools
in Baton Rouge and Shreveport, and put over 27 or 28 schools I think under MOUs which
are a strong supervisory agreement, which allows us, if they don't follow certain approaches,
to take over those schools. In fact, Glenny Lee voted to take over one
of those schools just this past week, because we are not making progress on MOUs.
Now, with Race to the Top, we picked up another portion of the State, 40 percent of the districts,
47 percent of kids, and we believe that this fire, which is racing across Louisiana, will
have changed the way we do business, is going to ultimately take over the entire state.
We believe it will, because there is so much momentum for this. There are many other people
who are now catching the idea that we can do world class education. We are actually
having conversations in normal people talk where we talk about world class, and that
wasn't the case three years ago. Now, we believe we have the capacity to execute,
we believe we have a very good plan. I have to give credit to Rayne actually drove the
writing of this document, she drove like a taskmaster. There are four other department
and RFP employees, two of each, who actually wrote this document, designed our human capital,
Elizabeth Shaw designed our human capital strategy. She works for Paul in Recovery School
District. Betty Jean Wolf and Jill Slack, my reading
specialist, and one of Paul's employees, actually did the grant writing piece on it, Rayne oversaw
it, and Dr. George Nowell, who is our tremendous asset and did value added, built our value
added system, and is nationally recognized helped us build this, as well.
I think we have the people, we have people out in the field, people all focused on leaning
forward in the foxhole here, trying to go forward and build world class education in
Louisiana. We have the political will, Karen is evidence of that, but there are many other
people who would like to be here today to demonstrate their support politically for
this, and we have the performance, I think, that shows that we are moving in the right
direction and that we are willing to take on the top challenges, fight the political
fights that need to be fought for the benefit of those 200,000 kids and the other 450,000
kids who also need a better education in Louisiana. So, we have, I think, demonstrated in our
application, clearly, that our children can't wait any longer for adults to get their act
together. We are trying to get our act together, and we believe we have done that, and we believe
we have enough people that are motivated to really make a difference and get statewide
impact. We believe we have the right approach by focusing
on teachers. The research is clear and unambiguous that this is the leading piece for being successful.
We believe we have a proven track record. We have reforms already in place, some to
scale, and we believe we can scale up even more, and that is the whole key. We need to
get from where we are now, which is a small amount of support, for a large problem in
our state, and we need to scale up, not we can't go to 100 percent all at one time but
to scale up in step, so that we can get to 100 percent.
We believe if we can get these participating LEAs on board, and support, you’re offering,
we can be successful. We have commitment for these reforms, and we have the people to do
it, and no obstacles to success. Then, I would like to close out by saying
that it is our hope that we can finish strong as adults, because children are counting on
us. It is our hope that if we finish strong in this competition that our children will
be the beneficiaries. You know, sometimes we get a little despondent
in the good old State of Louisiana, in fact, around our football team we have been despondentfor
many years, but you know, the football experience, though, is really not important in the big
scheme of things, it is a tremendous paradigm for what we are doing.
You have got to have a vision for winning the Superbowl, you have got to have it, and,
you know, it is hard, believe me, three years ago it would have been hard for anybody to
have a vision of winning the Superbowl in Louisiana, and three years ago it would have
been hard for anybody to imagine we would be a finalist.
But being finalist isn't adult satisfaction and gratification, we don't want to be a finalist,
we want to finish strong, we want to bring the resources to be able to transition to
the place that we know we need to be. We believe we have been moving in this direction in fits
and starts with probably not all the resources in the capacity we need to have, but we really
believe that if we get this rank, and we get the resources, the kind of support that is
needed desperately in our state, we will save 200,000 kids.
So, we appreciate your time, we appreciate the Department for this opportunity, and are
very hopeful that we will be successful. Thank you.
MS.(Inaudible): Thank you very much. I am sorry to be a little late getting
MS. (Inaudible): We were watching, you have 20 seconds left.
[Simultaneous speaking.] Reviewer #1: Good morning, and thank you,
Mr. Pastorek, for a very thorough overview for us.
We, as a panel, have approximately 10 questions for you. They are major questions. They are
general, but tied to some very specific aspects of questions we had regarding your proposal.
We have 60 minutes, and I am going to stop talking, so we can hear from you, but we will
run through in an ordered way. Thank you for the great start and we look forward to continuing.
Reviewer #2 will launch us into this. Reviewer #2: Thank you very much. I would
ask if someone your team could explain how you are going to achieve the Race to the Top's
high priority around statewide impact, because you noted in your presentation and in your
application the percentage of the student population that is currently shaped by the
number of districts that signed up, and it is only 47 percent.
So, what I would like to hear a little more about is how that is going to get you to a
much higher level. MR. PASTOREK: Well, let me start. Let me say
that we are looking at some very challenged districts that are in our participating LEAs.
Let me give you a couple of examples. We have East Carroll Parish in the Delta in Northeast
Louisiana, Madison Parish, St. Helena Parish, Baker. These districts are in really dire
circumstances, and we believe that there are obviously many others that are like that,
that are not participating in Race to the Top.
We believe that there are obviously many others that are like that, that are not participating
in Race to the Top, and we believe that if we are going to be successful with just, for
example, the Delta parishes, we are going to have to have the capacity to really show
success, and we are going to have to have the conditions for success.
We believe that when we do succeed in those parishes, it will press the other parishes
into success. We have actually created a vehicle in the application where we have a grant award
that we are going to make to non participating LEAs.
In an effort to have them become involved during the course of the grant application
period or the grant period, so we are going to give grants for each of the four years
to those who are not participating, so that they can begin to take some of the successes
that I think we are going to demonstrate and extrapolate them into other districts.
Now, I think it would be frankly disingenuous of us to suggest that we would be able to
go into all or most of the Delta parishes and succeed.
I think the resources that we are being offered, while a lot and while we have asked for more
than what has been bracketed for us, I don't think that the amount of resources would be
adequate, frankly, to be able to go into all of the Delta parishes, at least not at first,
and not until we see the sense of success, because at the end of the day, capacity and
belief on the part of those people has to be present, too.
So, I think that we made a very concerted judgment to target what we thought we could
manage with the resources that we had given the nature of the challenge that we have,
and let's face it, the challenge in Louisiana is far greater than the challenge in many
of the other states that are finalists. Again, I just don't want to be disingenuous,
I think we have got to focus on what we can, but recognizing that when we do, it is going
to ramp up, and then I think the other point I would like to make and I am going to offer
Mr. Vallas an opportunity to respond here the other point I would like to make is that
many of the systems that we are talking about building can easily be translated to other
districts, so let's just take, for example, the human capital information system where
we are going to talk about who is doing well, how they are doing well, whether they are
not, and then reporting that information to principals.
I think once people see that system, it is easily translated even into the Delta parishes,
so a lot of the infrastructure that we are talking about building is easily transferable,
and that is why I believe that while we may start with the amount that we have, and we
have the conditions there, we have an easy capacity to translate and many of these things
we are talking about building do translate. Reviewer #1: So you are clear, we are about
6 minutes in, so we have got to hear from you, but
MR. PASTOREK: And you have got 10 questions. MR. VALLAS: I will be real quick. First of
all, there are a number of reforms that are going to have statewide impact like the adoption
of the common standards, obviously, the raising of the SPS scores, the implementation of the
statewide benchmarking system, obviously, the standardized curriculum model is already
out there, so there are a number of reforms, the push of TAP statewide, that are going
to impact everybody. In fact, some of the reforms that are going
to impact everybody will rival some of the reforms that have been included in many applications,
just for schools participating in Race to the Top, that is number one.
Number two, as Paul pointed out, 28 districts, 50 percent of the kids, they are going what
I would commonly refer to as the full montan, in other words, 100 full participation from
day one. Number three, if you look at the application,
everything that is being done in Louisiana, we are realigning, not only administration,
but we are also realigning and reprogramming local dollars, I think close to $200 million
to invest in Race to the Top. Then, finally, number four, any district that
is not participating in Race to the Top, that continues to struggle, will ultimately find
themselves in the Recovery School District where Race to the Top type reforms are going
to be imposed. So, everybody is being brought along, but
the districts that are participating are participating at 100 percent, basically full capacity from
day one. Reviewer #1: Reviewer # 3, do you want to
follow up on this at all? Reviewer #3: Please. Thanks, Reviewer #1.
You mentioned a couple of times about how you were going to use grants to entice non
participating schools into these reforms, and you were also talking about creating systems
that people would naturally want to sign onto. This is a metaphor for why nobody in Louisiana
smokes, because everybody know that tobacco is bad for you, but I am sure you still have
citizens who buy cigarettes. I am interested in what sort of theory or assumptions you
are making about how you are able to scale up these reforms.
MS. CARTER PETERSON: What we have that is unique from any other applicant that I think
you will see in this process is this Recovery School District , this model that many states
are implementing across the country right now.
What happens is these local school districts in the local superintendent's and even the
teachers see the Recovery School District in some ways as a threat. No one wants to
lose local control. No superintendent want to lose their job, no school board member
wants to look bad to their constituency. Ultimately, it is pride in the system and
it is teachers wanting to do the job of making sure that their children are successful in
their classroom. So, what we have seen is that from the reforms that have taken place
over the last decade is that many of these participating LEEs are participating as a
result of this RSD model. What is where the impetus and the interest
comes from and success. Of course, you don't go to work every day not wanting to be successful,
but we need the tools. So, what this will do, this opportunity with
the Race to the Top will give us the opportunity to build the capacity needed for teacher effectiveness
and leadership that we have not been able to do so it’s in the implementation phase.
We are in a different phase than anyone else in the Race to the Top. We are at a different
place. We have this RSD system in place and many people are trying to get to where we
are, but with your help, we can finish strong. MR. PASTOREK: I would just have one little
piece. A lot of people are anxious about participation because they are not sure where the human
capital is really going to come from. I have gone to many, many districts where we will
say how can we you and I both know these teachers are not doing well. I have been to some horrific
schools, and the answer is this is the best I can find, and they do not have a conception
that it really can change. We are going to prove that we can bring human
capital into these places. We have already done it. One year, this past year we have
already provided teachers in Madison Parish in Tallulah, and now Madison is in as a participating
LEA. They are beginning to believe it can be done.
I do believe that on the pressure side, it will be there, but on the resource side, if
we can really build a pipeline, and that is why the pipeline is to us so extremely important,
if we can build a pipeline, people are going to gravitate to it because they want the schools
to do better, they don't want them to be taken over, but they don't know really how they
are going to get that resource. I think that is what we will provide, and
I think we are going to prove it, and I think it will catch fire really good.
Reviewer #1: Rayne, you had a point? MS. MARTIN: Sure, just from the grant perspective
a second because I think one of the things we have learned, having experience with deep
reform at the Recovery School District, is a lot of these reforms require heavy financial
investment on the front end. So, you will also notice that a lot of the
things that are in the grant actually are things that are easily scalable. Our data
systems are things that once you set up, require regular maintenance and license fees to buy
into. Once you get a pipeline started, and you focus
on retention and have principal contracts, that actually are also focused on retention,
you have built big piles of human capital throughout the state, so a lot of this in
addition to catching fire through the rest of the state, deliberately the budget is set
up to invest in things on the front end that we know actually are needed and would invest
in the entire State once we do scale up. Reviewer #1: We're going to reorder here because
it is just a natural followup. The RSD is at the heart of what you are doing,
you have made that clear to us, we understand that very clearly.
Help us understand what the relationship going forward is going to be between the RSD and
the State Education Agency, because we know we have got great examples across the country.
That is in one place, and when you go to take it broadly, it doesn't hold.
So, we are trying to understand that. Help us understand that. Again, we are about 10,
11 minutes in, so we have to keep an eye on the clock.
MS. BUQUET: May I speak? I would like to speak from the teacher angle, as well as how it
is spreads. I have got on the Board of Education, what I call the hurricane district, we are
all down at the bottom, along the coast. As such, we are right next to the original RSD,
and when you talk about spread and what happens, I want to tell you a story.
When we started out accountability system, my district superintendent almost had me hung
because I told them I was going to vote, and they were for an accountability system, and
they were all against it. I want you to know that today, my district
is 100 percent in this reform effort. You know, success does breed success, and because
they are right there, and they see what is happening in New Orleans, and it is proven
we can do better, it is amazing the cultural change that has happened right there, and
that is why we believe it can spread and will spread.
Now, my district is normally, if you look, their scores are in right about the middle
of the space. They have taken what we are doing and put in place so many different segments,
if you will, of what Race to the Top is doing. For instance, parishes are already putting
in this is why they believe they can do it, is they have put in the system of teacher
incentive pay that isn't just exactly like TAP, but they believe that it works even better,
and why they work it. In one particular district, it is amazing,
money doesn't do everything, but they went from an 80 to low 90s in one year. Did money
do it all? No, it certainly did focus everybody's attention on can we do this.
We have, in that parish, two of the low performing I mean high performing, low
MR. PASTOREK: High performing, high poverty. MS. BUQUET: Thank you.
It is amazing now that the others think, oh, my gosh, they are doing it right here, my
neighbor 10 miles away has done it, and it is being recognized on the state, and we have
taken to show them off. It does create the relief system that is very important for teachers.
Teachers want every bit of the improvement we can get.
MR. VALLAS: Just a quick comment. I will be quick. I can't stress enough the degree to
which statewide reforms and the building of statewide capacity is going to have an impact
on all the schools from the assessment system to the pushing of TAP statewide, et cetera.
Obviously, that is in the application, and I don't need to go into that in detail, but
that is going to have a major impact, that is number one.
Number two. I also can't stress enough the degree to which funding is being reprogrammed,
the same way the Federal Government is pushing to have grants competitively, so you can demonstrate
how you are using money properly. It's the same thing. Dollars being reprogrammed to
push RSD type funds. Third, the RSD itself. All the schools that
are participating in Race to the Top are, in fact, being given RSD authority. In other
words, the same authority, to site select, to no tenure, no seniority, the ability to
restructure your day, the implementation of TAP.
So, all the schools, the 50 percent of the kids that will be in the 28 districts participating,
these districts are being given RSD type authority, RSD freedom of flexibility, and an RSD type
pipeline to impose RSD type of funds. Finally, the schools that are not participating,
if they continue to fail, will be brought under the RSD either directly through RSD
control or the 40 schools that we have today that are in what we refer to as MOUs, where
they agree to embrace RSD reforms in return for us not taking over the day to day management.
So, I think that is the way the RSD is going to have an impact.
Reviewer #4: What we are trying to get at I think is how is the RSD and the State agency,
your State Department of Education, going to interact, and what is the role or your
State Board of Education in all of this, trying to ramp us.
MR. VALLAS: Let me answer the first one, and then it will just be the RSD interactions.
First of all, there is different types of RSD. There is the RSD takeover where we are
going in and we actually physically run the schools, or we work to charter the schools.
Then, the second type of RSD takeover is where we go in and we enter into memorandums of
understanding, school improvement plans, and then we provide the technical support teams
working with those schools to implement those plans, so that is how the RSD impacts districts,
who are either running districts, chartering districts, or we are designing the school
improvement plans and the providing the technical supports for the implementation of those plans.
If you look outside New Orleans, the vast majority of schools that the RSD is in, is
actually through MOU, the memorandums of understanding. MR. PASTOREK: Can I just ask you to clarify
your question a little bit, because I am not sure
Reviewer #4: We are curious about what the role of your State Board of Education is in
this whole thing, and the unions, too. You referred to what happened with the unions.
MR. PASTOREK: The RSD, Paul Vallas runs the RSD. He reports directly to me, and technically,
I am the CEO of the Recovery School District as the state superintendent, so I actually
have two hats, state superintendent, CEO of the Recovery School District . I report to
the board. So, the RSD is an instrument of the board
at the end of the day. Now, I have autonomy to operate the RSD, and there are only a limited
number of decisions that are made by the board. The real decision that is made by the board
is in certain cases, it is optional to take schools, in other cases, it is mandatory to
take schools. In those optional cases, the board has the
decision on taking them. So, what has happened is, for example, in Baton Rouge, two years
ago, I made a recommendation to take over four schools and Pointe Coupee Parish, one
school, and in Shreveport, to do an MOU. The Board approved that recommendation, we took
those schools over, and Paul runs those schools. That will continue on, and the legislation
that is out there allows for the Recovery School District taxpayer continue on and every
five years, the recovery school district, I have to make a recommendation on whether
or not to return schools, and if so, under that conditions.
[Simultaneous speaking.] Reviewer #1: Let's keep moving here, but I
think a question that we have, you have got excellence for RSD, that’s clear, you have
documented, we know that, but then going through the rest of this session, I want to keep an
eye on the clock, we have about 40 minutes left, help us see how when you take RSD statewide,
how that power of RSD is still going to hold, because a number of questions you ask, you
can layer that into the answer. MS. BUQUET: I am a member of the State Board,
and I want to say that the RSD is directly under the State Board. We are the local school
board MR. PASTOREK: You are asking a different question.
Reviewer #1: I am asking, you have got a way RSD operates, and Mr. Vallas is there and
his team, and how you go statewide. How do you have that same power and strength work
statewide? MR. VALLAS: I would like to answer that. There
is three keys to RSD success. As someone who has been in a number of major districts, these
are the three things that there is three reasons that superintendents continually say why they
can't improve your scores. Reason number one is they don't know what
the best practices are, they don't know what the models are, they don't know what the best
curriculum is, benchmark, assessments, TAP, they don't know any of that stuff.
Number two, they have too many obstacles, seniority, tenure, they can't site select
their individuals. Number three, there is no human capital pipeline,
so even if they wanted to get rid of people, they don't want to have to replace what is
there. What the RSD does, and what the Race to the
Top does, schools that the RSD takes over or schools that are in Race to the Top, that
are exempt from RSD takeover is they get those three things.
Number one, they get the best practices that we have articulated in great detail in our
presentation. It is provided to them, lock, stock, and barrel.
Number two, they get complete freedom. There is only one district, only one district in
all the participating districts where the collective bargaining agreement can preempt
the board's commitment to RSD-type reforms. So, there is no obstacle to hiring and firing,
and making personnel decisions based on best qualifications.
Number three, they get the RSD pipeline. If you look at what made the RSD successful,
it wasn't me, it was new schools in New Orleans with their pipeline of new principals and
new teachers, but we are creating similar management organizations, support management
organizations throughout the state to provide supports for districts throughout the state.
So, those are the three things, and that is how the RSD-type model can be impacted.
Reviewer #1: Our next question, then, I am keeping this moving, so we will let you talk.
Reviewer #2: I want to slice it a little bit finer. Much of what is in your application
and what you have talked about today really rests on improvements that the RSD has made,
and the RSD is a subset of the state. Where I am asking a different kind of question,
is what is everybody else in the SEA doing? It sounds like the RSD is doing all the reform
work, so in your application, you said there is going to be a major shift from compliance
monitoring to more support and service. How are you going to get them? Not the RSD,
how is the rest of your capacity going to be built?
MR. PASTOREK: Well, excellent question. Reviewer #2: Thank you.
Reviewer #1: We like it, too. MR. PASTOREK: When I first took this position,
again relying on something Michael Pullen [ph] had explained to me, we needed to develop
capacity in our schools statewide, because accountability without support or capacity
building is not going to win the day. So we built what we refer to as our literacy
and numeracy strategy. I pulled some very high quality people from within the organization,
pulled them out on the side, and I called it our literacy and numeracy initiative.
It is led by a very fine former superintendent, it is a very small team of people, but we
have used some resources that we have gotten from the State to do K 4 real strong capacity
building. It is all about our staff in the Department and our people in our people in
the regional service centers working very closely with principals, superintendents,
really, teachers in the building on capacity building.
Now, we have really it put us heavy on the literacy side. We are getting ready to ramp
it up on the numeracy side. We are going to actually ramp it around STEM as opposed to
limited on numeracy. Then, the third area, so it's going to be
literacy, it is literacy, going to be STEM, and the other area of focus has been what
we call high school redesign. So, around high schools, we also need to build
the capacity of the local school district around graduation rates, dropout prevention,
ninth grade academies, you know, et cetera, et cetera.
But we knew their total strategy to capacity build those principals, and the assistant
principals, and the teachers in the high school setting to transform them from where they
are to where they need to be. That capacity building piece then works in
conjunction with the recovery school district, and we look at recovery school district as
the R&D for the DOE. It is R&D, and then those experiences translated
into the literacy and the soon to be the STEM group as well as the high school redesign
group, so we can share, okay. They are doing it in the classrooms themselves, under our
auspices, where we actually can control classrooms, we can monitor the results and make changes
in the job. Whereas, for people in the DOE are taking
those learnings or their own knowledge and working the capacity. So, on the scaling up
issue, we are not just going to say we are just going to focus on these LEAs here that
are participating, we still will have and it is going to be a strong effort around literacy.
In fact, we just wrote out an adolescent literacy program, which has been very well received,
because that is really our heart and soul problem in our state.
Reviewer #1: We can circle back. Reviewer #5 , I am going to change gears, but keep
an eye on the theme. Reviewer #5: Changing gears. Could someone
or some of you provide some examples of the role of higher education?
MR. PASTOREK: Sure. Ms. Buquet can do that. MS. BUQUET: Yes. I’ve been co-chair of our
Blue Ribbon Commission since 1999. That actually is the brain child [inaudible] and board of
regents and [inaudible]. I co chaired that since its inception and we are really very
proud of the fact that we have had so much success in working with. We came out with
62 recommendations in our very first couple of years, and it took time to institute that.
[Inaudible.] We continue that. We meet with the dean’s Council monthly, and we have
monthly ribbon commission meetings where the board of regents and our state board co chair
this. Every year we take a particular item in which
to focus. We bring in teacher groups from across the state, and it is wonderful. These
teachers want so much for things to improve and for them to know how to do it. They come
in with no pay, no lunch, they come in and do the task force and tell us what they feel
they need in the classroom. We feel that we have really worked hard to
make sure that the colleges of Ed, do the pre-services of work that coincides with an
alliance with our K through 12 accountability system. We went through that. For the K through
12 content standard, the deans well understand that there are new content standards coming
down on the national level, and they are watching it as they have never been watched before,
what happens in K through 12, and we are really very, very happy about the coordination that
is going on. It is data driven, and that is what makes
it work. If we didn't have the data, we would never be able to make these reforms work,
but our data system has put in the accountability system for our colleges of education that
tracks the accountability system we did in K through 12.
Now that we can look back to the colleges of ed., we see the scores of students who
were taught in our classrooms back to the colleges of ed., who taught this teacher.
We now track that, and we have a system that is published by it, and everyone can see what
the colleges of ed. teachers are doing in the system.
So, there is a tremendous amount of work with higher ed.
MR. PASTOREK: I am going to let Rayne mention a couple of the connections that we have with
IRED [ph] going forward and especially in Race to the Top because that is a very powerful
part of our strategy. MS. MARTIN: Absolutely. There is a number
of initiatives that speak specifically to what the coordination is going to be. One
of those in particular is working with us on our common standards. They are actually
going to be helping us as a state look at the crosswalk and make sure that we have appropriate
vertical alignment and again because they want to make sure that as we adopt a common
standard, that they are, in fact, there is an alignment there between the K 12 system
and the higher ed. system, as well. We are also working very hard with them on
the teacher preparation programs. We want to make sure that as we adopt common standards,
and as we identify the appropriate level of professional development, that we start that
even before the teachers are actually in the K 12 system.
So, the teacher preparation programs that are ready to move forward or actually, also,
they are going to include a lot of the data systems we talk about, HCSI. We are going
to start putting them into the teacher preparation program.
The common standards and assessment manage curriculum models, will also be taught in
the teacher preparation programs. We also have gotten them to agree to assist
us in creating urban teaching residencies. We are going to have three of our best universities
that produce teachers actually work with us to create what is a newer model in education,
that we are pretty excited about, which is allow teachers to come in through an alternative
route, but be in the classroom for a full year and be getting coursework at the same
time. So, that is a newer thing that we are actually
really, really excited about, and then the last thing is because we can tell which of
our programs are the best teacher preparation programs, we also are working with the higher
ed. institutions to actually dedicate stipends specifically for teachers who are willing
to go to those specific universities and actually teach in high need subjects and areas. There
is stipends in the way of 7,500 apiece and I think we put about almost 300 of those into
our application. Reviewer #1: Real high around research and
evaluation. Any role there at all? MS. MARTIN: Yes. I mean, that role will continue,
that role has been there from the very beginning in terms of the value added piece, and so
that will continue. One of the things that we are hoping will
happen is because we will have so much robust data throughout the system, is that as we
collect that, we are going to be giving that to the higher institutions, and one of the
things they will be doing different with the Race to the Top is actually helping us evaluate
all of our PD programs both at the State level and at the district level, because we want
to again, just like we did with the teacher prep programs, we want to be able to narrow
it down specifically what professional development programs are working well in our high schools
and elementary schools, as well. Reviewer #1: We are going to move to now,
again switching gears a bit, but there are strong themes here.
Reviewer #3: I wondered whether one of you might or many of you might like to expand
on your thoughts about the science and technology, math area in your plan?
Reviewer #1: You have got about 28 minutes left.
Reviewer #3: You can use the whole 28 if you want.
[Laughter.] Reviewer #1: I recommend not.
MR. PASTOREK: I worked at NASA for a couple of years, and became infused by the importance
of this for our country. We had what we refer to as Louisiana systemics initiative program,
which has really been about building a capacity of mathematics teachers in the state. It has
been underway for some time, and if you actually look at our numbers, you will see that our
math numbers are higher than our ELA numbers in the state.
But that is a slow and steady piece, so we have ramped it up with another similar program
where the universities are actually working with teachers in the summer, and we are building
that capacity of those teachers to be able to provide high quality teaching and learning.
The teen center is a math/science enterprise, part of LSU, and we have some tremendous mathematics
folks over there. I was hoping that we can get someone over there to really lead our
effort. We have grand designs on this, but this is
early stages. Now, we are I will go ahead and turn it over to you, and let you make
a couple of comments. MS. MARTIN: In addition, you will notice in
the application that we put a heavy emphasis on Advanced Placement. One of the things that
we really need to focus on in Louisiana is Advanced Placement, and we have budgeted for
and anticipate having 600 additional teachers in the Advanced Placement and training programs
that we have around the State, and a lot of those, probably I would say 60 to 70 percent
of those courses are going to be geared towards the STEM initiatives.
Reviewer #3: Just to press on a little more, what sort of strategies would you have to,
say, increase the participation of girls in science, math, engineering? Have you given
any thought to that, is that in your plan? MR. PASTOREK: I don't think that it's in our
plan as we have described the plan. I do think that's in our conception. We have actually
put on two conferences in Louisiana targeted toward young ladies to get them exposed to
the STEM area. Sally Ride, a former astronaut, has come at
my request to Louisiana for that very purpose, to stimulate and put on fairs for girls to
become more interested in that. I really do think that whether or not we focus on girls
or boys, we really need to focus on it all, in a much deeper way.
MS. CARTER PETERSON: If we could just add to that point, I mean in Louisiana, certainly
post-Katrina, we’re experiencing some things that other states are not. A little example
of the health care industry. We are rebuilding the charity hospital system there. We are
also building a new VA hospital, which happens to be located in that district. I am working
really hard with the math and science high schools to be located in that district.
So, we have some unique opportunities to really tie together the health care industry, which
we know is going to need over 13,000 jobs in the next few years, and make sure that
we are aware of the curriculum in high schools, to make sure that the children and the students
are prepared to take advantage of the job opportunities.
So there is huge connect between we know where these jobs are, we know that math and sciences
are a priority, and making sure that we feed the right population, the student population
into these fields, just because it's just to sustain ourselves. Inevitably, it is happening.
Reviewer #3: Thank you. Reviewer #1: Other questions or comments on
STEM before we shift gears? Reviewer #3: No, I am good.
Reviewer #1: Two questions coming your way. We have got 23 minutes left. We are doing
well. Reviewer #4: I want to give you the opportunity
to clarify what was in the proposal exactly about what the role of your State board of
education is going to be, and also the role of the teachers’ unions that you referred
to earlier. MR. PASTOREK: Let me start with the Teachers’
Unions and Association. Notwithstanding some anxiety by one of the teachers' unions, we
are going to pull all of these players in to build our comprehensive performance management
system, which is really the thing I think that gave the concern to one of the unions.
So, I think we made it clear in the application, but I will make it clearer now, all of those
people need to be at the table as well as the Association of Professional Educators
of Louisiana to help build this. We know that we are not going to be successful
with teachers if they don't have buy in, and we know that we are not going to be successful
trying to implement something that looks like it is top down.
So, have tried to set the parameters here, but we have made it very clear to the associations
and the teachers out there that they are participants in helping us build this. We will build it
together. We will build it around the framers, but we are going to allow flexibility within
those parameters to make it work. The other thing we have said, and I think
it is what got us the support that we did get, was that we are going to look at the
results and we are going to assure that the results are fair and reliable, and to the
extent that there is concern over the fairness and liability of it, we are going to adjust.
I think that was a very important reason why we were able to get the Louisiana Federation
of Teachers on board, and why we were easily able to get the Association of Professional
Educators of Louisiana on board. The same is true for the Principals’ Association.
I think in terms of the Board, the Board's role in the application frankly is to see
to it that the nine goals are met. So, the Department has set forth in the RFP that there
are four goals, but we’ve taken it down to a level of we look at high leverage areas
for how we will get to the four goals that are being proposed by the Department.
So, we have nine goals in there, which talk about readiness for kindergarten, making kids
get to fourth grade on time, those kinds of things, and the Board adopted those rolls
as ones which were important to it as ones which thought we would do at high leverage
to be able to accomplish that. They basically told me that my job is to meet
the targets. Now, this is a little bit unusual, the State Department of Education is committed
to meeting targets, and that is why we went and I hope it wasn't terribly confusing but
we went through a lot of trouble in the application to show you how we are going to assign people
to be responsible for targets, real numbers and how we are going to move those numbers,
and I think that is part of the Board's role, and then I think the other part of the Board's
role is to gain buy in from all of the communities out there that we can possibly gain buy in
from. The Board is mostly elected. It is eight elected
members and three appointed by the governor, so it's a strong grass roots political. Bottom
up organizationand they are accountable to their local school districts and the ethnic
communities, so they really heard the piece that modulates us to make the strong contact
throughout the State. MR. VALLAS: I am going to make one comment.
That is unique to make them on school boards across the State because they are almost an
independent legislative body. So they can really insulate these reforms from changes
in attitudes, changes in administration, as Karen pointed out.
I mean, it really is kind of unique. They set the MFP, the funding levels and everything,
and they are firmly supportive of this. Just one little footnote. It took 10 minutes
for UTNO to sign on, and they’re, the Recovery School District union, it took them 10 minutes
to commit to Race to the Top. We have had a great relationship despite the
aggressive Race to the Top policies because we are very collaborative.
Reviewer #1: I want to go to the next question. Any other comments on this?
Reviewer #2: Would you please explain the extent to which your examples of innovative,
autonomous public schools meet the RTT definition? In particular, we are interested in hearing
about staff selection and removal as well as budget control.
MR. PASTOREK: Paul? MR. VALLAS: Let me just say that Louisiana
is also unique in that the tenure laws are not as constrictive as they are in other states,
so our ability to remove ineffective teachers even within even those tenure teachers is
significantly more streamlined than it is, say, in other states like Illinois or even
Pennsylvania, with the tenure laws, can sometimes be almost as restrictive as seniority laws.
But the schools going to participate in Race to the Top are given RSD type authority to
in effect site select the personnel. So, in other words, what they have to do is they
can pick people irregardless of their levels of seniority, and they can in effect move
ineffective teachers out of the system as long as they can provide proper documentation.
That removal process is an expedited process. It doesn't require another year of observation
or another year of support. You see what I mean?
So, the ability to, in effect, control the hiring of your own personnel and to control
and to make determinations based on a site selection basis in terms of recruitment and
retention and promotion, that autonomy the RSD has that autonomy it actually has that
autonomy in schools that participated in Race to the Top also had the autonomy, and schools
that come within the RSD jurisdiction even through MOU are required to have that autonomy.
Now, in terms of, obviously, the budget, schools in the RSD for the most part, the majority
of them are charters, and they have their own financial economy. They are their own
LEA, so they are provided money, and they make the determination on how to set their
budget priorities within the construct, so within the guidelines that the State sets,
obviously, for the use of Federal and State funds for all districts, but they are not
micromanaged by central office. It is really kind of support and accountability as opposed
to us running the day to day, managing the day to day budgets of these schools.
MR. PASTOREK: Just to be absolutely clear here, where we are talking about schools particularly
in high performing schools initiative, where they are using school improvement grant money
where the requirement is that all principals will be in charge of the building, more site
select, and we will manage the resources that they have to run the buildings, so that should
be unambiguous. I do think that one of the reasons why a number
of the districts wanted to participate is because they wanted to migrate to this situation,
where principals are stronger in the building and have [inaudible].
I think we’ve begun recognize in the State that that is an important piece, and I think
it is entirely consistent with Race to the Top.
If we didn't make that clear Reviewer #5: Can I just add a question? I
am a little confused about the RSD. You stated the three kinds of RSD schools. Those are
one set, most of which are charters, you said. MR. VALLAS: The majority of schools in the
RSD that are run directly or direct run schools are charters.
MR. PASTOREK: That is 60 percent. Reviewer #5: So, you have schools of innovation
that are not charters. They belong to the district, they were run by the district. Are
those the school improvement schools that you just spoke about? I am trying to figure
out where these autonomies happen outside of district control.
Reviewer #1: You mean outside of RSD. MR. PASTOREK: Let's be real clear about this.
The schools that are in the RSD, are in the RSD, they are taken away from the districts,
they have no control. Now, the districts have schools that are at risk of being taken over,
over 200 schools, now that we have raised that bar.
All those schools are eligible for school improvement grant money, but priority is being
given to those districts that are participating in Race to the Top.
In all of those schools outside of the recovery school district, so in Assumption Parish,
their school. They are going to take that school and grant autonomy to the principal
to do site selection to pay the budget, et cetera.
Now, we are going to do that over time to get people up to speed, but all of the participating
LEAs have all of their schools, and all of those schools are going to behave in the manner
that we are describing, separate and distinct from the RSD.
Reviewer #5: Thank you. Reviewer #1: I am going to limit this question,
shifting gears a bit. We have got about 13 minutes left, we are going to try and leave
some time, so you will have a chance to kind of throw things together We have got about
13 minutes left. Reviewer #5: Could you please share with us
the strategies that you are going to be using to make sure that there is more equitable
distribution of effective teachers and principals across difficult to staff schools, special
populations in different subject areas. MR. PASTOREK: I am going to give a real brief
piece and turn it over to Rayne. I want to make sure that we understand that ask those
outsiders of a recovery school district. All those in the participating LEAs will follow
the strategy that will be outlined here because we have a very specific strategy carefully
constructed about assuring that there will be effective teachers throughout, and not
rolling up into individual schools. MS. MARTIN: Great question. This is one of
the things that we were most proud about in terms of strategy behind our plan, because
we do have some areas that are rural and definitely, it is hard to staff and the schools that are
low achieving. So, right now we actually have pipelines into
the State, again, to distinguish that have been working with RSD, and those are generating
about 500 teachers a year. We have already had discussions around expanding
those teachers because quite honestly, in New Orleans, we built a piece, human capital
based within our school. So, those providers that have been providing,
those teachers are going to expand out through the state.
We are also going to increase that pipeline by another 500 annually, and we are going
to do that by taking, creating five different locations throughout this thing, that will
be into the participating area, so that we have actually got mechanisms within the local
communities that are attracting both local and national talent. These are providers that
we have worked with on a national level already in Louisiana or, again, have been identified
as a better teacher preparation program through a value added analysis on teacher programs
in Louisiana. We’re proud to say, that by doing that,
there should be no district that is more than 40 minutes from one of these locations that
we are going to have staged throughout the State.
That gets to the supply issue, but there are two other parts of the strategy. One is to
make sure that we actually build enough capacity in the districts themselves to identify key
vacancies, to project where those vacancies are going to be, and actually take advantage
of the pipeline. So, we are going to be doing surveying. There
goes my name, here I am. We are going to be creating district capacity,
first, by actually finding out where we actually have these vacancies, and have the district
figure out where we have those. Eventually, we will have the human capital information
system, but we are not going to wait for that, we are going to start that process now.
We are going to fund and pay districts to actually have what we call modest staffing
initiative. They are people who will go into districts and help with best practices around
recruitment, identification of talent, placement of talent, and it is something again we are
really excited about, and then the third part of the strategy is really to incentivize people,
and we are going to do that in two ways. First of all, again, really taking advantage of
the fact that we are the only state that can tell the key difference between the high quality
teacher preparation programs for individuals that are willing to go to those, and to go
to a high need area whether that being based on performance or locale or subjects.
We will give those individuals stipends, so like I said, we are very excited about this
part of our strategy. Reviewer #1: Any follow on?
Reviewer #4: In the special populations part of that?
MS. MARTIN: Yes, that will apply as well. Reviewer #3: Science, tech and math teachers?
How big is the stipend? MS. MARTIN: The stipend is $7,500.
Reviewer #3: And how long do I get it? MS. MARTIN: You get it for I think it is up
to three years you get it. Reviewer #5: And are all these strategies
just with teachers or with your leaders? MS. MARTIN: they’re for both.
MR. PASTOREK: Remember that both for principals and superintendents, you wanted the principal
objectives for each one of those in their performance evaluation is whether they are
able to bring in more effective teachers. So, we have tried to create a circumstance
where they are incented themselves and their job is really to bring effective teachers
and grow the number of effective teachers in their building or in the school from the
superintendent's perspective. I think that is a pretty interesting way of
looking at it as opposed to saying we want your academic achievement to go up. We really
want your teacher corps to be effective, and you have the obligation to build that teacher
corps into an effective teacher corps, and you are going to be able to use these stipends
in order to be able to do that whether it is for special populations or math or science,
whatever is weak. That is where the human capital information
system comes in, because it is going to allow us to be able to monitor this and provide
support, and then if there is gaps, we can help at the State level by then routing some
of the pipeline pieces. Reviewer #5: Thank you.
Reviewer #1: I have a couple of clarifying questions I want to ask in my current role
as facilitator, so these are kind of quick hits but very important.
I have heard you talk about the ability of the State to intervene LEAs and in schools,
is that in statute and legally clear that you can intervene as a State and low performing
LEAs and low performing schools? MR. PASTOREK: The rule now is to focus on
schools. There was a period where we could intervene in LEAs, but it was still around
schools, so we do not take over LEAs. We do not take over LEAs. We take over schools.
Reviewer #1: So you work at the school level. MR. PASTOREK: That's right. Now, I will tell
you the effect is powerful because, for example, we have three schools in St. Helena and five
schools in Madison, and all of those schools can be taken over because they are all at
the level that can be, and so the effect is we take the school and then we have the whole
districts. So, it really accomplishes the same thing,
but technically, you are right, we don't take over LEAs.
Reviewer #1: I have a question that team here knows about, is alternative pathways are a
very significant part of the RTT effort. Help us see how, in your plans, they all really
are alternative, particularly as you think about flexibility in courses, flexibility
around how free they are at the higher ed. structure.
Again, you have not got about less than six minutes.
MS. BUQUET: We have created the pathways, and it comes, of course, in cooperation again
with higher ed., as well as private providers. We have alternate certification in both areas.
We have also, on our level, created a policy of accountability for those, and using the
value added, we go in and we actually look at the effectiveness of the teachers from
both areas. So it is a coordinated effort, but we do have
it open for private providers in various ways, and they come before [inaudible] providers.
Before we end, I do have to say something from a teacher angle. So often it seems to
me today we have talked about what you can do to teachers it almost sounds like. If I
were the teacher, I am listening to that. I want teachers to know that we are there
to help them, and that they are not just doing it.
When we talk about things in tenure, we talk about taking over schools, we are talking
about support for the future, and we realize that communication is a huge part of that.
Knowing that teachers want to do the best they can for their students, we want to communicate
to them about career ladders, about pay-for-performance, about mentors and coaches, and how they can
stay in the classroom where they love and still have that career ladder.
Knowing we have a communication area, we have worked with the National Governors Association
and I’m very happy to tell you that when they saw what we wanted to do and who we were
talking to about hiring, they said “we’re going to give you the grant and we’re going
to get[noise interruption] the communications person for you to do that. We think that is
very significant as a way of getting the teachers to understand we are for you.
Reviewer #1: Thank you. On the alternative pathways, any other comments on that, helping
us understand? MS. MARTIN: You are just trying to understand
the level of what flexibility? Reviewer #1: There are many issues. I mean
there is a very definite definition in the application in terms of how selective programs
are, how score based the programs are, how flexible they are in coursework.
We have about three minutes left, and there may be some other thoughts.
MS. MARTIN: In terms of both? Reviewer #1: What you propose.
MS. MARTIN: Specific pieces. Reviewer #1: Yes.
MS. MARTIN: Well, what we are proposing, we actually because I am sure you know this D1
actually talks a lot about the conditions of the existing alternative programs. We actually
believe we have one of the most robust and one of the most diverse set of alternative
programs within the State. So, really, our strategy in our application
is to continue to allow that and to expand that. One example of expansion would be, for
instance, the urban residency program that I talked about.
That again is the unique thing even around the country, and would again add another type
of alternative flexibility program, we actually are really satisfied with the ones that we
have, and we continue to actually use a lot of those to fuel the pipeline that I talked
about earlier. So, the strategy is to expand it and add the
urban residency program. Reviewer #2: The place where I am not clear
is you talk about the alternative pathways. They appear to in some way be connected to
higher ed. Do you have any that are not? [Simultaneous speaking.]
MS. MARTIN: Yes, absolutely, and I would entertain to say angle. It is probably half and half.
Reviewer #2: Can you tell us? When I read the application, I couldn't distinguish who
could go straight through that. Another provider that is not also taking coursework in higher
ed. MS. MARTIN: So, we have, for instance, TFA
is a big part of our alternative certification program. We use the leaders. I mean it would
be helpful to give those examples? MR. PASTOREK: Let me just make this clear.
All of our alternative pathways that don't reside in the universities are independent
of that person, don't require any connection. Reviewer #3: Paul, do you have some final
remarks? MR. PASTOREK: I want to go back to the union
question and make sure I am clear with you. While the state union LAE was resistant, there
are a number of learnable LAE organizations that are supportive. In fact, in one of the
collective bargaining districts, the political LAE union signed on.
So we do have other support in the unions, and just the State organization pushback on
that. Let me say that we believe that this is a
very bold plan. Because so many things that we have already done make in many cases the
requirements that you have set out. Where you going to go extremely bold, which we feel
that we have done, it is not for everybody, and if you are going to scale up, you have
to scale up over a period of time. I really believe that that is Race to the
Top is all about, it is not about trying to get everybody at one time, it is trying to
do and put the right amount of resources in the right place to make it work.
Thank you all very much. -