[House Hearing, 112 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] EDUCATION REFORMS: EXPLORING TEACHER QUALITY INITIATIVES ======================================================================= HEARING before the COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION __________ HEARING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC, JULY 27, 2011 __________ Serial No. 112-35 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Education and the Workforce
Available via the World Wide Web: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/ committee.action?chamber=house&committee=education or Committee address: http://edworkforce.house.gov U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 67-445 PDF WASHINGTON : 2011 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2104 Mail: Stop IDCC, Washington, DC 20402-0001 COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE JOHN KLINE, Minnesota, Chairman Thomas E. Petri, Wisconsin George Miller, California, Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon, Senior Democratic Member California Dale E. Kildee, Michigan Judy Biggert, Illinois Donald M. Payne, New Jersey Todd Russell Platts, Pennsylvania Robert E. Andrews, New Jersey Joe Wilson, South Carolina Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott, Virginia Foxx, North Carolina Virginia Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Lynn C. Woolsey, California Duncan Hunter, California Ruben Hinojosa, Texas David P. Roe, Tennessee Carolyn McCarthy, New York Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania John F. Tierney, Massachusetts Tim Walberg, Michigan Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee David Wu, Oregon Richard L. Hanna, New York Rush D. Holt, New Jersey Todd Rokita, Indiana Susan A. Davis, California Larry Bucshon, Indiana Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Timothy H. Bishop, New York Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania David Loebsack, Iowa Kristi L. Noem, South Dakota Mazie K. Hirono, Hawaii Martha Roby, Alabama Joseph J. Heck, Nevada Dennis A. Ross, Florida Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania Barrett Karr, Staff Director Jody Calemine, Minority Staff Director C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Hearing held on July 27, 2011.................................... 1 Statement of Members: Kline, Hon. John, Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce.................................................. 1 Prepared statement of.................................... 3 Miller, Hon. George, senior democratic member, Committee on Education and the Workforce................................ 4 Prepared statement of.................................... 6 Statement of Witnesses: Boasberg, Thomas, superintendent, School District No. 1, City and County of Denver....................................... 15 Prepared statement of.................................... 17 Cicarella, David, president, New Haven Federation of Teachers 32 Prepared statement of.................................... 33 Huffman, Hon. Kevin, Tennessee Commissioner of Education..... 9 Prepared statement of.................................... 11 Walsh, Kate, president, National Council on Teacher Quality.. 35 Prepared statement of.................................... 38 EDUCATION REFORMS: EXPLORING TEACHER QUALITY INITIATIVES ---------- Wednesday, July 27, 2011 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Washington, DC ---------- The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:03 a.m., in room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John Kline [chairman of the committee] presiding. Present: Representatives Kline, Petri, Biggert, Foxx, Goodlatte, Roe, Thompson, DesJarlais, Hanna, Bucshon, Noem, Heck, Miller, Payne, Woolsey, Hinojosa, McCarthy, Tierney, Kucinich, Holt, Davis, Bishop, and Loebsack. Also Present: Senator Bennet, Representatives DeLauro and Polis. Staff Present: Jennifer Allen, Press Secretary; Katherine Bathgate, Press Assistant/New Media Coordinator; James Bergeron, Director of Education and Human Services Policy; Casey Buboltz, Coalitions and Member Services Coordinator; Heather Couri, Deputy Director of Education and Human Services Policy; Lindsay Fryer, Professional Staff Member; Daniela Garcia, Professional Staff Member; Barrett Karr, Staff Director; Rosemary Lahasky, Professional Staff Member; Brian Melnyk, Legislative Assistant; Krisann Pearce, General Counsel; Alex Sollberger, Communications Director; Linda Stevens, Chief Clerk/Assistant to the General Counsel; Alissa Strawcutter, Deputy Clerk; Brad Thomas, Senior Education Policy Advisor; Kate Ahlgren, Minority Investigative Counsel; Tylease Alli, Minority Clerk; Daniel Brown, Minority Junior Legislative Assistant; Jamie Fasteau, Minority Deputy Director of Education Policy (Counsel); Brian Levin, Minority New Media Press Assistant; Kara Marchione, Minority Senior Education Policy Advisor; Megan O'Reilly, Minority General Counsel; Julie Peller, Minority Deputy Staff Director; Helen Pajcic, Minority Education Policy Advisor; Melissa Salmanowitz, Minority Communications Director for Education; and Laura Schifter, Minority Senior Education and Disability Advisor. Chairman Kline. A quorum being present, the committee will come to order. Good morning. Welcome to our committee hearing on teacher quality initiatives. I would like to thank our witnesses for joining us today. Your time is valuable, and we appreciate the opportunity to get your perspective on how States, school districts, and the federal government can support and encourage more effective teachers. Current law recognizes a teacher as highly qualified if he or she holds a bachelor's degree, is certified to teach in the State, and has subject matter and teaching knowledge as determined by a State test. While these are certainly important criteria for educators, none of these factors alone can determine whether someone will be an effective teacher capable of motivating students and improving achievement levels. The best teachers are those who keep students engaged, challenged, and progressing in the classroom. As members of this committee have discussed, the challenges facing the nation's education system with superintendents, principals, and community leaders this year, we have heard impressive stories of the bright men and women who are entering the field of teaching and bringing a new wave of creativity and innovation to K-12 classrooms. A few months ago, a superintendent in my home State of Minnesota shared the story of a promising young teacher in his school. This teacher made great strides in improving the reading skills of male students by pioneering a groundbreaking program called Boys Like to Read. His popularity with students, combined with the success of the program, earned him recognition as the teacher of the year. This and other examples from around the country illustrate what research has long professed: the most important factor in student success is an effective teacher in the classroom. Unfortunately, instead of receiving a bonus or promotion or opportunity to help other teachers replicate his successful teaching style in their own classrooms, this teacher of the year was let go from his school, where he was recognized for his accomplishments and appreciated by his students, parents, and administrators alike, all because of a ``last in, first out'' tenure rule. Valuing credentials and tenure over student outcomes is completely unacceptable. Every student deserves to be inspired and challenged by an outstanding educator, not one who has lost interest in helping students succeed but is protected by rigid teacher tenure rules. As we work to reform the nation's education system, the committee will support State and local efforts to recruit and maintain more effective teachers in the nation's classrooms. In Tennessee, for example, State legislators have developed a new law that revamps the evaluation system. As a result, teachers must undergo a thorough annual evaluation process based on student achievement levels and subjective measures, such as classroom observations. Earlier this year, the State went one step further by tying the results of these evaluations to meaningful consequences: teachers whose evaluations reflect sub-par performance in the classroom can have their tenure revoked. We will hear more about this new system from one of our witnesses today. School districts in Indiana are now required to take student achievement gains into account when developing new teacher evaluations. To attract more effective teachers to the classroom, the State is developing more rigorous professional development programs and has created a Beginning Teacher Residency program that authorizes school administrators to assess a new teacher's performance and provide a personalized plan for professional development. Indiana has also undertaken an initiative long supported by Republicans in Congress: taking an educator's performance in the classroom into account when making salary determinations. For years, we have championed programs that support performance pay measures. One such program, the Teacher Incentive Fund, awards competitive grants to States, school districts, and public charter schools to design and implement performance pay compensation systems for teachers and principals who improve student achievement. We all know there can be no one-size-fits-all federal solution for ensuring an effective teacher is in every classroom. However, we can make sure our efforts in Washington, D.C., do not undermine teachers' and principals' ability to make decisions that best suit their students' unique needs. At the same time, there are many interesting developments happening at the State and local level that should be encouraged, and that is what we are here to explore today. I would like to thank our witnesses once again for joining us, and I look forward to learning more about what States and school districts are doing to recruit and maintain effective teachers in classrooms across the country. I will now recognize my distinguished colleague, George Miller, the Senior Democratic Member of the committee, for his opening remarks. [The statement of Mr. Kline follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. John Kline, Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce Good morning, and welcome to our committee hearing on teacher quality initiatives. I'd like to thank our witnesses for joining us today. Your time is valuable and we appreciate the opportunity to get your perspective on how states, school districts, and the federal government can support and encourage more effective teachers. Current law recognizes a teacher as ``highly qualified'' if he or she holds a bachelor's degree, is certified or licensed to teach in the state, and has subject matter and teaching knowledge as determined by a state test. While these are certainly important criteria for our educators, none of these factors alone can determine whether someone will be an effective teacher capable of motivating students and improving achievement levels. The best teachers are those who keep students engaged, challenged, and progressing in the classroom. As members of this committee have discussed the challenges facing the nation's education system with superintendents, principals, and community leaders this year, we have heard impressive stories of the bright men and women who are entering the field of teaching and bringing a new wave of creativity and innovation to K-12 classrooms. A few months ago, a superintendent in my home state of Minnesota shared the story of a promising young teacher in his school. This teacher made great strides in improving the reading skills of male students by pioneering a groundbreaking program called Boys Like to Read. His popularity with students combined with the success of the program earned him recognition as the ``Teacher of the Year.'' This and other examples from around the country illustrate what research has long professed: the most important factor in student success is an effective teacher in the classroom. Unfortunately, instead of receiving a bonus or promotion or opportunity to help other teachers replicate his successful teaching style in their own classrooms, this Teacher of the Year was let go from his school--where he was recognized for his accomplishments and appreciated by students, parents, and administrators alike--all because of misguided ``last in first out'' tenure rules. Valuing credentials and tenure over student outcomes is completely unacceptable. Every student deserves to be inspired and challenged by an outstanding educator, not one who has lost interest in helping students succeed, but is protected by rigid teacher tenure rules. As we work to reform the nation's education system, the committee will support state and local efforts to recruit and maintain more effective teachers in the nation's classrooms. In Tennessee, for example, state legislators have developed a new law that revamps the evaluation system. As a result, teachers must undergo a thorough annual evaluation process based on student achievement levels and subjective measures, such as classroom observations. Earlier this year, the state went one step further by tying the results of these evaluations to meaningful consequences: teachers whose evaluations reflect subpar performance in the classroom can have their tenure revoked. We will hear more about this new system from one of our witnesses today. School districts in Indiana are now required to take student achievement gains into account when developing new teacher evaluations. To attract more effective teachers to the classroom, the state is developing more rigorous professional development programs, and has created a Beginning Teacher Residency program that authorizes school administrators to assess a new teacher's performance and provide a personalized plan for professional development. Indiana has also undertaken an initiative long supported by Republicans in Congress: taking an educator's performance in the classroom into account when making salary determinations. For years, we have championed programs that support performance pay measures. One such program, the Teacher Incentive Fund, awards competitive grants to states, school districts, and public charter schools to design and implement performance pay compensation systems for teachers and principals who improve student achievement. We all know there can be no one-size-fits-all federal solution for ensuring an effective teacher is in every classroom. However, we can make sure our efforts in Washington, D.C. do not undermine teachers' and principals' ability to make decisions that best suit their students' unique needs. At the same time, there are many interesting developments happening at the state and local level that should be encouraged, and that's what we're here to explore today. I'd like to thank our witnesses once again for joining us, and I look forward to learning more about what states and school districts are doing to recruit and maintain effective teachers in classrooms across the country. I will now recognize my distinguished colleague George Miller, the senior Democratic member of the committee, for his opening remarks. ______ Mr. Miller. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for holding this hearing. I note with a smile when you say that the rather minimal requirements we have for a highly qualified teacher is the idea of subject matter competency, with a B.A. degree and certification from the State; and I reflect back how hard- fought that was to get that in the law in No Child Left Behind. But then I remember back even prior to that when I offered an amendment on the floor of the Congress saying that I thought we ought to have teachers in the classroom who have subject matter competency. I lost that amendment 434 to 1. So we have come a long way, and I think the conversation today will suggest how far we have come. But there is a lot of work to do here as we think about the teaching profession and what we owe our children and how we can improve it. And we have spent a considerable amount of time in this committee looking into how a federal policy can best support great teachers in this country. It is an effort that is worth our time, because I know we will hear time and again today that teachers are the single most important factor in a child's education outside of the home. Student success is nearly entirely reliant on the quality and commitment of teachers at his or her classroom. And for poor and minority students, access to good teachers is an issue of equity. Poor and minority students are taught by novice and out-of-field teachers at a much higher rate than their more affluent peers. The very students who could benefit most from the very best teachers are least likely to get them. Our federal education policy should prioritize access to high- quality teachers for all students, including better measurements of identifying high-quality teachers. It is a productive exercise to talk about how we can improve and modernize the teaching profession, because these conversations will hopefully lead to better policies and improve student success. What is not productive are the attacks that we have seen on teachers across the country from Republican governors. In trying to strip teachers of all their collective bargaining rights except for negotiations over pay, these governors are showing how out of touch they are with today's teaching profession, school reform in America, and, frankly, the American workplace. All over America, school districts are changing the rules from the mere platitudes that teachers are the most important influence outside the home in the education of our children to really making that possible. School districts in unionized areas, where some said it could never happen, are soliciting-- imagine that--they are soliciting teachers' views on how we might improve the learning and teaching environment. And it will continue, because it reflects what great teachers view as the modern workplace, where results and outcomes matter to students, parents, teachers, and the community. Any efforts to help teachers must be done with those teachers, not to them. It is time we treated the teaching profession like any other modern workplace, with support, resources, real professional development, and real rewards. We now have to create a system where we as a nation are participants in the reconstitution of our schools. This is not to be done by experts. This will not be done by researchers or corporate executives. This reconstitution will have to be done by communities and by teachers who know what is best for our schools and our communities, for the children and their parents. The real change will require buy-in from all levels of the community. A great example of parents taking charge and the community being involved is the parent trigger law in California. In Los Angeles, the community decided that their schools simply weren't good enough for their children, the parents in that attendance area. These students deserved better and deserved attention from the district. The parents came together and decided to demand change in the schools. The law finally gave them the means by which to act. Buy-in isn't just nodding your head and agreeing that something needs to happen. Buy-in is helping to be part of the improvement. It means superintendents and principals that can look toward the future. It means moving the teaching profession into the 21st century and finally giving teachers a modern workplace and rewarding success, encouraging growth, raising expectations, and measuring outcomes. It is simply not enough for a small few of our students to have access to the best schools and the best teachers. If we want to have the best and the brightest in the world, it is time we demand the best. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses. Thank you again for this hearing and thank you to our witnesses for being here. [The statement of Mr. Miller follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. George Miller, Senior Democratic Member, Committee on Education and the Workforce Thank you Mr. Chairman and good morning. The subject of today's hearing is nothing new to this committee. I've focused my career in Washington on helping teachers and improving the teaching profession. In fact, I once proposed an amendment that would've required teachers in the classroom to have subject matter competency in the areas where they were teaching. I lost that vote 434-1. Thankfully, this Congress has changed quite a bit since then and there's now a growing consensus that we need to provide teachers as much support as we can. We've spent considerable time looking into how our federal policy can best support great teachers in this country. It's an effort that is worth our time because as I know we'll hear time and time again today, the teacher is the single most important factor in a child's education today. Student success is nearly entirely reliant on the quality and commitment of the teacher in his or her classroom. And for poor and minority students, access to good teachers is an issue of equity. Poor and minority students are taught by novice and out-of-field teachers at much higher rates than their more affluent peers. The very students who could benefit the most from the very best teachers are the least likely to get them. Our federal education policy should prioritize access to high quality teachers for all students, including better measures of identifying high quality teachers. It's a productive exercise to talk about how we can improve and modernize the teaching profession because these conversations will hopefully lead to better policies and improve student success. What is not productive are the attacks we've seen on teachers across the country from Republican governors. In trying to strip teachers of all collective bargaining rights except for negotiations over pay, these governors are showing how out of touch they are with today's teaching profession, school reform in America, and, frankly, the American workplace. All over America school districts are changing the rules from the mere platitudes that teachers are the most important influence outside the home in the education of our children to really making that possible. School districts, in unionized areas where some said it could never happen, are soliciting teacher's views to improve both the learning and teaching environment. And it will continue because it reflects what great teachers view as the modern workplace where results and outcomes matter to students, parents, teachers and the community. Any efforts to help teachers must be done WITH teachers not to them. It's time we treated the teaching profession like any other modern workplace, with support, resources, real professional development and real rewards. We now have to create a system where we as nation participate in the reconstitution of our schools. This will not be done by experts. This will not be done by researchers or corporate executives. This will have to be done by communities and by teachers who know what's best for our schools. Real change will require buy in from all levels of communities. A great example of parents taking charge and the community being involved is the parent trigger law in California. In Los Angeles, the community decided that their schools simply weren't good enough for children. Their students deserved better and deserved attention from the district. The parents came together and decided to demand change in the schools. The law finally gave them the means in which to act. Buy in isn't just nodding your head and agreeing something NEEDS to happen. Buy in has to be helping be a part of the improvement. It means superintendents and principals that can look toward the future. It means treating moving the teaching profession in to the 21st century by finally giving teachers a modern workplace, rewarding success, encouraging growth and raising expectations. It's simply not enough for a small few of our students to have access to the best schools and the best teachers. If we want to have the best and the brightest in the world, it's time we demand the best. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses. Thank you for being here today. ______ Chairman Kline. I thank the gentleman. Pursuant to committee rule 7(c), all members will be permitted to submit written statements to be included in the permanent hearing record. Without objection, the hearing record will remain open for 14 days to allow questions for the record, statements, and extraneous material referenced during the hearing to be submitted for the official hearing record. I will now move to introducing our distinguished witnesses. Today, I get a lot of help in that effort. We are pleased to have some folks here on the committee---- And, by the way, as you probably have surmised, there are some conference meetings under way discussing an issue which seems to be sort of prevalent out there. So my expectation is that members from both sides will be coming in during the course of this hearing. To introduce our first witness, I will turn to my colleague from Tennessee, Dr. Roe. Mr. Roe. The reason I am here is I have overdosed on conferences. I couldn't take any more conferences. Thank all the committee members for being here. On behalf of myself and Dr. DesJarlais, I would like to welcome Kevin Huffman, the commissioner of Tennessee's Department of Education. Before being appointed in April by Governor Bill Haslam, Mr. Huffman spent nearly two decades working with public education systems as a teacher, lawyer, and a nonprofit executive and nonprofit board member. Commissioner Huffman began his education career as a first and second grade bilingual teacher in the Houston Independent School District, teaching students in English and Spanish. He was a member of his school's elected, shared, decision-making committee and trained new teachers as a faculty advisor and school director at Teach for America's summer training institutes. Mr. Huffman joined the senior management of Teach for America in 2000, serving as the general counsel, the senior vice president of growth strategy and development, and the executive vice president of public affairs during more than a decade with the organization. Commissioner Huffman, I look forward to your testimony regarding exciting work in education taking place in Tennessee, and welcome. Chairman Kline. I will add my welcome. And, moving on, I am pleased to welcome Senator Bennet from Colorado to make the introduction of our second witness. Senator Bennet. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank you and the ranking member for holding this important hearing and having me here today and giving me the privilege of introducing my friend, Tom Boasberg, who was appointed superintendent of the Denver Public Schools in January of 2009. Tom Boasberg has led the district's efforts to accelerate its progress in student achievement and better serve the families of Denver. Over the past 2 years, the district has posted record enrollment increases, dramatically expanded the number of preschool and full-day kindergarten slots, cut the number of lowest-performing schools in half, and continued the student achievement gains that began with the creation of the Denver Plan in 2005. In 2010, Denver Public Schools graduated about 13 percent more seniors than the previous year. The district had four of the top five schools for year to year academic growth in the State of Colorado, and DPS continues a 5-year trend of academic achievement gains that has outpaced all other school districts in Colorado. In addition, in the last 4 years, the Denver Public Schools has seen a 40 percent decrease in the dropout rate. Before becoming superintendent, Mr. Boasberg had a distinguished career in the private and public sectors. But, Mr. Chairman, as I mentioned to you before the hearing, the real reason I am here is to ask you to please disregard anything he says negative about his predecessor, namely me, during the course of his testimony. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Kline. Without objection. Thank you, Senator, and welcome. Next, I am happy to welcome Ms. DeLauro from Connecticut to our committee today to introduce our today's third witness. Ms. DeLauro. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you and our Ranking Member Miller for giving me this opportunity to introduce one of my constituents, David Cicarella, who is president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers. As the union president, David led the school reform efforts of the Federation, producing a new 4-year contract that emphasized collaboration, cooperation with New Haven's public schools, with their central office, and with the school board. The contract incorporates new, innovative measures for a teacher evaluation system that is being referenced nationwide as the, quote, ``New Haven model.'' It came about thanks to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, New Haven Schools Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo, and our local teachers union all making the decision to work collaboratively through the existing collective bargaining process. David was instrumental in making it happen. He worked hard to build the support for the contract among his members. He was supported by the national affiliate throughout the process. And because of his hard work, our City of New Haven has led the way in demonstrating to the entire Nation that strong teachers' unions, strong schools, and strong education reforms are all part of the piece. It demonstrated a forward-thinking flexibility by all parties, a reaffirmation of the central importance of teachers' unions to our education system, and a positive and demonstrable commitment to real school reform by everyone involved. Along with heading the local AFT chapter, David knows the New Haven school system inside and out. Prior to his election as the union president in January of 2007, he was a classroom teacher, staff developer, instructional coach for 28 years, teaching science, reading, and math. For 5 years prior to becoming union president, he also taught mathematics courses at Gateway Community College in New Haven. So today's discussion is about teachers, their professional development, most importantly, how to ensure we are delivering the best possible education for our children. On these crucial matters it really is an honor for me to introduce my constituent, David Cicarella, to you; and I thank you for choosing him to testify before your committee today. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Kline. I thank the gentlelady and add my welcome to Mr. Cicarella. Now it is my turn. I have the pleasure of introducing our final witness for today's hearing. Ms. Kate Walsh became president of the National Council on Teacher Quality in 2002. Before joining NCTQ, she worked for the Abell Foundation in Baltimore, the Baltimore City Public Schools, and the Core Knowledge Foundation. Her work has tackled a broad spectrum of educational issues, with a primary focus on the needs of children who are disadvantaged by poverty and race. She also serves on the Maryland State Board of Education. So welcome. Before I recognize each of you to provide your testimony, let me again briefly explain our lighting system. You will each have 5 minutes to give your testimony. All of your statements will be entered in their entirety in the record. When you start, there is a little lighting system in front of you. There will be a green light that comes on. After 4 minutes, when you have 1 minute remaining, the light will turn yellow. When the 5 minutes are up, it will turn red; and I would ask you then to please summarize as quickly as you can. I am reluctant to bang the gavel while you are still speaking, but we also have a responsibility to keep this moving. So, again, welcome to you all; and we will start now. I will just move down the line, and we will start with Mr. Huffman. Sir, you are recognized. STATEMENT OF HON. KEVIN S. HUFFMAN, COMMISSIONER, TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Mr. Huffman. Thank you, Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Miller and committee members. Thanks for having me and for taking the time to engage in thoughtful discussion about the role that teachers and teacher evaluation can play. This coming school year, Tennessee will launch our new statewide teacher evaluation system. Teachers will receive an evaluation score from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Thirty- five percent of the evaluation will be determined by value- added scores from standardized tests. Fifteen percent of the evaluation will be determined by other student achievement metrics. Fifty percent of the evaluation will be a qualitative score based upon classroom observation. I want to pause here, though, and note something that I think is important. No evaluation protocol is perfect. In my mind, one of our great national failings in the discussion about teacher evaluation is that we consistently allow ourselves to be derailed through the unattainable concept of a perfect system. The reality, of course, is that evaluation in every field is imperfect; and our quest, instead, should be to create the best possible system and make sure that we continue to reflect on that system and refine it over time. In Tennessee, we think evaluations should be used for several key things: first, to support teachers by providing helpful feedback in real time; second, to identify the top performers in the field so that we can study and learn from them, recognize them, and extend their impact; and, third, to identify teachers in need of improvement so that we can tailor professional development and, in the case of a small percentage, exit them from the profession. For the qualitative 50 percent of Tennessee's evaluation model, we field tested three different observation rubrics last year, with very positive results. We also gathered input from our legislatively appointed Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee, a 15-person committee, including eight educators. Ultimately, we selected the TAP rubric, which is the observation tool used in the Teacher Advancement Program, because of its strong performance in the field test but also because TAP was able to provide a high level of training and support for our first year of implementation. The TAP rubric measures teachers against 19 indicators on a 1-to-5 scale, with clearly defined, observable criteria. Teachers will be observed by principals, assistant principals, or other instructional coaches. There will be a minimum of four observations a year for veterans and a minimum of six observations a year for apprentice teachers. At least half of the observations must be unannounced, and at least half of the observations have to happen during the first semester so that teachers are getting feedback early in the year. The observations are followed within a week with both written and verbal feedback. In order to become an observer, principals and other school leaders must go through rigorous training and pass a certification test. We have this summer trained nearly 5,000 observers in very intensive 4-day sessions. Each observer must pass an inter-rater reliability test in which they watch videotaped lessons on line and answer questions. On the quantitative side, Tennessee has been collecting longitudinal data on students, with links to teachers, for nearly two decades and has produced value-added scores for teachers in tested subjects and grades for years. For the roughly 45 percent of our teachers who teach in tested subjects and grade levels, the student growth component of the evaluation will be based on these value-added scores. For teachers in non-tested subjects and grade levels, in most instances we will this year use a school-wide value-added score. For instance, an elementary school art teacher would be rated based on the value-added score of the school for the 35 percent of the evaluation. Now, I want to identify with transparency some of the critiques of our system and how we are thinking about them. First, on the qualitative observations, while in the field test, teachers and principals had a very positive response to the rubric, we have heard some concerns. Some teachers worry that observers won't do a good job, and we are attempting to address that concern through rigorous training and through ongoing support. Also, principals are being evaluated on how well they implement the teacher evaluation system. But in the end, as in every profession, we can't guarantee that every boss is a good boss. Some principals are worried that the time required is too much, but the field test demonstrated that this should not be a concern. And, more importantly, our evaluation system propels a critical cultural shift in the job description of principals. Principals are now no longer simply building and budget managers. They have to take responsibility for instruction and for the development of talent in their schools. And, finally, the largest challenge I see on the qualitative side is trying to ensure consistency in the range of distribution of the observation scores, which we are trying to do through central tracking and then engagement with the districts. Quickly, for the quantitative piece, the biggest critique currently is from teachers in the untested subjects and grade levels. Many feel it is unfair to be assessed through school- wide value-added scores, and what we are doing this year is making sure that we field test other assessments across the State for different fields. Then, for the following school year, we would like to offer districts, at their discretion, the ability to use additional assessments; and we anticipate that some districts would choose to use those assessments, while other districts may continue to believe that school-wide data is actually appropriate for teachers in some circumstances. I want to thank you for having me. This is a work in progress. We are learning a lot from this system. I do think it is really important that we all stay grounded in the idea that evaluation is important, that it is always going to be somewhat subjective and imperfect, and that the important thing is that we study it, learn from it, and keep making it better over time. Thank you. [The statement of Mr. Huffman follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Kevin Huffman, Tennessee Commissioner of Education Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Miller and committee members, I am Kevin Huffman, Commissioner of Education in Tennessee. Thank you for inviting me to testify about our work to improve education for our nearly 950,000 public school students in the state. I want to thank the Committee for taking the time to engage in thoughtful discussion about the role that teachers and teacher evaluation can play in the effort to build a better education system. We are grappling with many complicated questions in Tennessee, and I hope that our experiences will be helpful as you consider the broader implications. Let me start by providing some context about our work. I was appointed by our newly elected governor, Bill Haslam, and have been in this position for a little under four months. Tennessee has been working on a variety of education reforms for much longer, with broad bipartisan and community support. While the current legislature and governor are Republican, the bill creating our teacher evaluation system was passed by a bipartisan legislature and signed by Governor Bredesen, our Democratic predecessor, who did significant work to advance reforms in education. This work has been continued and accelerated by Governor Haslam, who led the effort to implement many reforms, and to pass landmark tenure and charter school legislation this year. The legislature and Governors have acted in large measure because our education system has not delivered acceptable results. Tennessee ranks around 43rd in the nation in student achievement. At the same time, our state assessments historically showed that around 90 percent of our students were proficient. Additionally, virtually all teachers were automatically tenured after three years, and tenured teachers were evaluated (without data) twice every ten years. The system was broken, and a bipartisan coalition of political leaders stepped in and took action. Beyond the legislative work, there is broad community support for education reform in Tennessee. While he is known here in Washington for different work, Bill Frist started an organization in Tennessee called SCORE, which pulls together the business, education, philanthropic and local civic organizations under one umbrella to talk about schools. It has been enormously successful in gathering input and building consensus for change in the state. This coming school year--2011-12--Tennessee will launch our new statewide teacher evaluation system. Let me describe how it will work:
Teachers will receive an evaluation score from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. 35% of the evaluation will be determined by value-added scores, or comparable growth scores, from standardized tests. 15% of the evaluation will be determined by other student achievement metrics, selected through a joint-decision by principals and individual teachers. 50% of the evaluation will be a qualitative score based on classroom observation. These components are in the legislation, and our job at the state department of education is to help districts and schools implement the evaluation system as well as possible. I want to pause here, though, and note something that I think is important. No evaluation protocol is perfect. There is no system that is 100% objective, 100% aligned and normed, and 100% reliable. One of our great national failings in the discussion about teacher evaluation is that we consistently allow ourselves to be derailed through the lofty and unattainable concept of the perfect system. The reality, of course, is that evaluation in every field is imperfect. The quest is not to create a perfect system. The quest is to create the best possible system, and to continue to reflect on and refine that system over time. In Tennessee, we think evaluation should be used for several key things. First, support teachers by providing helpful feedback in real time so that they can continue to improve their craft. Second, identify the top performers in the field so that we can study and learn from them, recognize them for their work, and extend their impact by building meaningful career pathways that allow them to touch ever-more kids. Third, identify teachers in need of improvement so that we can tailor professional development to their needs and, in the case of a small percentage who cannot reach a bar of effectiveness, exit them from the profession. Because the national conversation has often focused primarily on evaluation as a means for removal of ineffective teachers, we too often lose sight of the way the vast majority of teachers will experience the evaluation system: as a means for feedback and professional development, and an opportunity to learn from the very best teachers. As we prepare for full state implementation of our evaluation system this year, we are working on the challenges of both the qualitative and the quantitative components. I will describe briefly how the system works, what the challenges and critiques are, and how we are attempting to address those considerations. For the qualitative 50%, we field-tested three different observation rubrics and rating systems across the state last school year, with very positive results. We also gathered input from our legislatively appointed TEAC committee--the Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee--which met more than 20 times over the course of the year to craft policy guidelines and criteria, review field test data, offer ideas about additional implementation needs, and to make recommendations about the quantitative and qualitative data components. This 15-person committee included eight educators, the executive director of the State Board of education, a legislator and several other business and community stakeholders. Ultimately, we have selected the TAP rubric (the observation tool used in the Teacher Advancement Program) both because of its strong performance in the field test with teachers and principals, but also because TAP was able to provide the level of training and support that we need for the first year of implementation. Here is how this works. The TAP rubric measures teachers against 19 indicators across 4 domains on a 1 to 5 scale, with clearly defined, observable criteria. Teachers will be observed by principals, assistant principals, or other instructional coaches or leaders designated by the principals. There will be a minimum of four observations a year for professionally licensed teachers, and a minimum of six observations a year for apprentice teachers. At least half of the observations must be unannounced. At least half of the observations must be during the first semester so that teachers get feedback early in the year. The observations vary in length, from full lesson-length observations, to 15-minute walk-throughs, and are followed within a week with both written and verbal feedback. In order to become an observer, principals and other school leaders must go through rigorous state-facilitated training, and must pass a certification test. We have, this summer, trained nearly 5,000 observers in very intensive four-day sessions led by expert TAP trainers. Each observer then must pass an inter-rater reliability test in which they watch video taped lessons on-line and answer questions to ensure that they understand what constitutes low, medium and high performance on the different components of the rubric. They must also demonstrate the ability to provide high-quality feedback based on the observed lesson by submitting a post-observation conference plan. On the quantitative side, Tennessee has been collecting longitudinal data on students, with links to teachers, for nearly two decades and has produced value-added scores for teachers in tested subjects and grades for years. For the roughly 45% of our teachers who teach in tested subjects and grade-levels (essentially, third through eighth grade in science, social studies, language arts and math, and high school end of course exams), the student growth component of the evaluation will be based on the same value-added scores that the state has generated and used over time. For the teachers in non-tested subjects and grade levels, to meet the statutory requirement of 35% of a teacher's evaluation tying to student growth data, in most instances we will use a school-wide growth score for this coming year. For instance, an elementary school art teacher will be rated based on the value-added score of the school for the 35% of the evaluation. Simultaneously, we are working closely with Tennessee educators and technical experts in subject matter committees to identify and develop comparable, alternative growth measures in these non-tested subjects and grades. Let me identify with transparency some of the critiques of our system and how we are thinking about them. First, the qualitative observations: In the field test, teachers and principals had an overwhelmingly positive response to the rubric, liked the observation protocol, and in particular liked the forced face-to-face feedback sessions with school leaders. Teachers felt like the process of observation and real-time, targeted feedback increased their ability to provide their students with effective instruction, and principals learned much more about their teachers' work and how to act as instructional leaders. That said, there are a number of concerns that teachers, principals and superintendents (generally, ones who did not participate in the field test) have aired in my many visits around the state. First, teachers worry that that the observers will not be effective because of skill limitations. We are attempting to address that real concern through rigorous training and through ongoing support. We will have nine coaches across the state who will be going into buildings this year and re-training and helping support administrators who may struggle with the new demands of this system. Additionally, principals are being evaluated this year, and part of the principal evaluation includes an assessment of how well they implement the teacher evaluation. In the end, though, we cannot guarantee that every boss is a good boss. This is true in every profession and every walk of life. With so many competing demands, principals worry that the time required is too much. The field test demonstrated however, that this should not be a concern. By designating additional administrators and getting them trained through the state program, principals should spend an average of five hours a week observing and conferencing with teachers if they plan their schedules and pace their observations effectively. More importantly, though, this evaluation system propels a critical cultural shift and growing trend in the job description of principals. Principals are no longer simply building and budget managers. They must take responsibility for instruction and for the development of talent in their schools in order for us to meet our ambitious state goals over the coming years. Finally, the largest challenge I see is trying to ensure consistency in the range of distribution for the observation scores. By this, I mean that we would like the same teacher using the same lesson to get the same score across different schools and across different districts. This also includes achieving a reasonable, consistent relationship between the quantitative and qualitative components for individual teachers across schools, districts and educator groups throughout the state. This level of consistency will not happen without a great deal of ongoing support, guidance and hard work on the part of school leaders, but we are working to build systems and support structures that will allow us to exercise as much quality control as possible. To this end, we are creating an on-line reporting platform so that principals across the state will be able to enter observation scores in real time, and we will be able to compile data at the school, district and state level. This means that in November, for example, we would be able to see through our state system that the average observation score in County X is a 3.2, while the average observation score in County Y is a 4.2. If the different levels of ratings do not correspond with achievement scores in the district--meaning that if County Y is not significantly outperforming County X on its achievement and value-added scores--we will reasonably assume that the counties are applying difference standards, despite our training and support. We then will be able to engage in site visits, observations, and re-norming of the observers and observation scores. In essence, we need to make sure to the extent possible that districts across the state are holding themselves to the same bar. For the quantitative piece, we are proceeding this year with the current system while we field-test and explore additional options for the 2012-13 school year. The biggest current critique is from teachers in the untested subjects and grade levels. Many feel that it is unfair to be assessed through school-wide value-added scores. Here is how we are thinking about that piece. First, this year we are working with teams of educators and experts to field-test several alternative assessments across multiple fields. For the following school year, we would like to offer districts--at their discretion--the ability to use demonstrated high-quality assessments. Some districts may choose to use these assessments, both because of the assistance in identifying student needs and also for individualizing teacher value. Some districts may continue to believe that school-wide data facilitates team-building and helps create a sense of collective accountability for results. I will share my own belief on this, which stems in part from my experiences as a former first and second grade teacher. I believe that for academic subjects and grades--for instance, first grade or secondary foreign languages--we should aspire to use assessments that capture teachers' individual impact on student growth. For many subjects, though,--for instance art and music--it is appropriate to use school-wide value-added data. I do not think we should test kids in every single class. Furthermore, teachers who touch large numbers of students in a school have a school-wide impact, not just on reading and math but also on building the school culture that plays a large role in outcomes. As one music teacher shared with me at a roundtable, ``When there are budget cuts that eliminate music positions, we are the first people to step up and talk about our school-wide impact.'' An additional concern is that the value-added scores will disadvantage teachers who work in the highest-need schools and classrooms. Our evidence does not support this claim. There are wide disparities in value-added data among districts and schools, and some suburban schools with high absolute achievement scores nonetheless have lower value-added scores. Additionally, as an alumnus of Teach For America, I am proud to note that in our assessment of teacher providers, teachers from Teach For America and Vanderbilt outperformed teachers from every other pathway on value-added scores. Teach For America teachers, of course, teach in the highest need classrooms in the state. A third complaint involves the volatility of value-added scores. Some experts believe that value-added scores waver too much from year to year. We believe that value-added scores, as used by the state over a period of years, are meaningful indicators of annual progress. To ensure the fairest system, though, we are going to use three-year rolling value-added scores for teachers for their individual assessments where possible. For instance, a teacher who has taught at least three consecutive years will be scored through the average of those years rather than simply through the last year. For teachers with only two years of scores, we will use the two-year average, and for teachers with one year, that will constitute the score for their assessments. One additional challenge is that there are a surprising number of one-off situations that impact the ability to use quantitative data. We have teachers who teach multiple subjects across multiple schools, particularly in remote areas, and it becomes ever more difficult to isolate the impact. We have teachers who teach in alternative settings, where students are sent to them because of behavior problems but may only be in their class for a period of a few weeks. These are real issues, and we care about doing the best job we can in these situations. I feel strongly, however, that we cannot let the outlier examples dictate policy for the vast majority of teachers. We are likely to read many newspaper stories this year in Tennessee that focus on anecdotes about individual teachers who do not fit perfectly within our evaluation framework. We have to strike the right balance of working to improve the evaluation tools for those teachers, while remaining focused on what I believe is a strong system for the vast majority of teachers. I want to touch quickly on the implication of the evaluation system for teachers. Essentially, what are the stakes? First, Tennessee's evaluation law states clearly that ``evaluations shall be considered in personnel decisions.'' This simple directive is critical to school district policy moving forward. LIFO--the pernicious system of laying off the youngest teachers first, regardless of how good they are--cannot be used any more. Schools must take the evaluations into consideration. Second, under Governor Haslam's leadership, Tennessee passed landmark tenure legislation this year. Previously, teachers were granted tenure after three years, and virtually every teacher got it. It was a virtual rubber stamp. Moving forward, teachers are eligible for tenure after a minimum of five years and only if they score a 4 or a 5 on the evaluation for their most recent two years of teaching. Additionally, teachers who gain tenure under the new system will lose their tenure if they are rated a 1 or a 2 for two consecutive years. I believe this legislation will be groundbreaking for Tennessee over the coming decades. If there is any place for tenure in K to 12 education, it must be tied to teacher effectiveness, not just initially but in an ongoing way. Let me close with some broad thoughts based on our experience in Tennessee. First, there is no perfect evaluation system. It doesn't exist and we should stop pretending that the goal is perfection. Second, a good evaluation system must have multiple measures. It must have both a tie to quantitative student achievement growth, and it must have multiple means of assessing a teacher, qualitatively. Third, there should be a continuous improvement cycle for the system itself. We are going to review our system every year, make changes based on feedback from teachers and administrators, and keep making it better. Additionally, while I have focused on our statewide TAP rubric for observation today, we have approved three alternative observation systems that several districts will use this year. One system is built around ten or more short observations of 5-10 minutes each. Another, through the work of the Gates Foundation in Memphis, uses multiple tools including student surveys. We approved these models precisely because we don't think we have designed a perfect system and because we do think we should have multiple systems in place that we can study and learn from. Finally, from my experiences to date in Tennessee, I strongly believe that at some point, states simply have to stop planning and dive in to do this work. I know there are many states that continue to kick implementation one year farther down the road. This seems to be rooted in the futile belief that states will perfect the system before rollout, or that opponents of the system will be assuaged by delay. Neither is true. At some point, states and districts have to actually implement the system, and I am enormously proud that Tennessee is implementing the system this year, without giving in to calls for further delay. Thank you again for the opportunity to present on behalf of my boss, Governor Haslam, and the state department of education of Tennessee. I look forward to fielding questions on this important topic. ______ Chairman Kline. Thank you, sir. Mr. Boasberg, you are recognized. STATEMENT OF TOM BOASBERG, SUPERINTENDENT, DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS Mr. Boasberg. Great. Thank you very much, Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Miller. I certainly want to also thank Senator Bennet for his kind introduction. Certainly the work that Michael led as superintendent to Denver Public Schools and his focus on attracting and developing and retaining great teachers and high-quality instruction for all and his relentless can-do spirit and optimism really helped transform the Denver Public Schools. So we have a slide deck for you today where we are focusing on a couple slides. And if we can go to the first slide in the deck, it really says, why are we doing this? Why is our program we call LEAP, Leading Effective Academic Practice, the number one priority of the district? And it is precisely because having a great teacher in every classroom is the most important thing in driving student achievement and helping close the achievement gaps we have in Denver, providing equity for every one of our students so that we can create a much stronger economic and civic future for the Denver community. Next slide, please. We have collaborated very, very closely with our teachers to jointly spell out what excellence in teaching across its many dimensions means, through focus groups, through joint principal and teacher design teams. And I certainly want to recognize the leadership of our teachers' association president, Henry Roman, for his role in helping lead this process. We piloted our new system this last spring in 16 of our schools with over 500 teachers, got a very strong response from our teachers, and in May teachers at each one of our schools had the chance to vote whether this school year, beginning next month, to use the system. And I am pleased to say that teachers in over 95 percent of our schools have chosen to do so. Next slide, please. The next slide represents our framework for effective teaching, the observation tool that principals and peer observers use to observe and give feedback to teachers about their classroom instruction. There are 21 specific indicators on the framework that fall into eight specific expectations around positive classroom culture and climate, effective classroom management, standards-based goals, high-impact instructional moves, differentiation, masterful content knowledge, academic language development, and 21st century skills. You will note a particular emphasis on the importance of our English language learners, who make up over 40 percent of the district students. One reason we chose to develop our own framework and rubric was we felt the national available frameworks did not have an adequate focus on English language learners. And you will also note the focus on the key skills we know our students need to develop to be successful in this century's economy: critical thinking, creativity, academic language, collaboration, and classroom leadership among them. Slide five, the next slide, shows how our teachers, 500 teachers in the pilot have felt. Over 80 percent of them have felt that they got feedback that was actually helping them improve their classroom instruction, more than two times under our previous system. And we know how extraordinarily challenging and sophisticated quality teaching is and how important coaching and feedback is to teachers to develop their professional craft. Next slide, please. This slide then begins to show one of the elements on the framework, specifically how a teacher motivates students to learn, to take academic risks, and demonstrate classroom leadership and really try and have very concrete and specific examples of what excellent practice is to give teachers that specificity and to help coaches provide coaching and feedback to our teachers. Next slide. This slide looks at that same indicator, motivating students to learn, take academic risks, and demonstrate classroom leadership and looks at student behaviors. And one of the things that we care most about our framework is that, for each of the elements, we not look only at the behaviors of the teacher but what is going on in the classroom. What impact is that having on students in the classroom? Because if it is not happening among students, then it is not happening. That clearly is the measure of effective instruction, is how students are reacting. So this looks very specifically and concretely at how students are doing in the classroom and tries to then distinguish what is, for example, very effective practice. When you look at something like the first bullet, almost all of the students begin work immediately after tasks are assigned and continue on task throughout their work time, versus approaching, which is that most students begin working on tasks after assigned, and some are struggling with those tasks. Next slide. Another example of this is on providing opportunities for creativity/innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving. Again, both the teacher behaviors and the student behaviors. Next slide, please. Just as students, so do adult learners need to focus on critical areas of development. So we make sure that in our framework each individual teacher picks one area of focus, each school picks a particular area of focus for focus on school- wide so all the professional development in that school is focused in the line towards the growth of the teachers throughout that building in that particular area. Go through the next two slides, if you would, which are about professional development, videos that we have on our website that demonstrate excellence in practice across each of the 21 indicators, excellent DPS teachers demonstrating that practice. This slide, part of our system also is feedback from students on questions that have been shown to be correlated with growth and student achievement. This is one of the elements of our program as well. The next and last slide, please. And then overall, summing up, overall, the teacher's assessment is based on a whole series of multiple measures. As required by State law, half of the assessment is based on multiple measures of growth in student achievement. And we also have the principal and peer observations, we have the professional contributions to team and to school, and we have the student perception data. So we believe very strongly in multiple and balanced measures of teachers, with a real focus on feedback and coaching and professional development of the professional skills of our teachers. Thank you. [The statement of Mr. Boasberg follows:] Prepared Statement of Thomas Boasberg, Superintendent, School District No. 1, City and County of Denver Good Morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. I would like to thank you for this opportunity to provide input regarding the critical issue of educator effectiveness. I am Tom Boasberg, Superintendent of Denver Public Schools. I have been Superintendent since January, 2009. Below we detail the purpose of our Leading Effective Academic Practice system (LEAP), the collaborative process used to develop LEAP, the Framework for Excellent Teaching, and the set of professional develop supports for our teachers that are aligned with LEAP. Purpose of Leading Effective Academic Practice System (LEAP) Overview: The Denver Plan The 2010 Denver Plan lays out the DPS vision and the course we are embarking on to achieve our goals. It states the district's committed to having a highly effective teacher in every classroom and building strategies to support this commitment. The Empowering Excellent Educators work, including LEAP, focuses on two strategies within the Denver Plan: 1. GREAT PEOPLE TO DRIVE BETTER OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS: Development of a multiple-measure teacher evaluation and feedback system that meaningfully differentiates the performance of teachers. 2. FOCUS ON THE INSTRUCTIONAL CORE: Create conditions to ensure educator effectiveness. This will require us to develop a shared definition of effective teaching (DPS Framework for Effective Teaching); do more to support teachers in becoming effective teachers; and continue to develop principals to be effective leaders. The Need for Reform: Despite the progress that we have made as a district, we must face the sobering reality: Too few DPS students are proficient on the state's reading, mathematics and writing measures. Not enough of our students are graduating from high school. In a district where a majority of our students are of color--58% Latino and 14% African American--and 73% of all students are FRL, an unacceptable achievement gap persists between our African- American and Latino students and their Anglo and Asian-American counterparts. While our growth confirms that we are on the right track, we acknowledge that we must significantly accelerate our rate of improvement and put far more of our students on the path to graduation and success in college and careers. Study after study has made clear that the most important factor in closing the achievement gap is the quality of teaching. Our students deserve our best and we need to ensure that all students have great teachers. Ready for Reform: It is time to accelerate our reforms, to sharpen the focus on student achievement and classroom excellence. A report released in August 2010 by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute recognized Denver as the 4th best city in the country for cultivating a healthy environment for school reform to flourish. The Council of the Great City Schools, a national organization of 67 of the nation's largest urban school districts, stressed in its 2009 evaluation of DPS that our district's vision for reform is ``one of the most promising and comprehensive in the nation.'' The council further noted, ``The architecture of these reforms--instructional, financial, and human capital--is among the most seamlessly conceived in all of urban education in the United States.'' Denver Public Schools has made steady strides in the past few years. Our momentum is strong and we need to capitalize on it now. Investing in teachers is one of the critical ingredients to school reform in Denver. Essential to our reform strategy is empowering educators with meaningful feedback to enhance their instruction and maximize their impact on student achievement. Empowering Excellent Educators: Elevating the Teaching Profession Empowering Excellent Educators is a comprehensive set of initiatives rooted in a commitment to consistently develop, recognize, reward, recruit and retain great teachers and principals. LEAP is part of DPS's commitment to Empowering Excellent Educators. reward and retain Foster a supporting environment for all DPS teachers to grow professionally Recognize and reward our best teachers as an invaluable resource Provide opportunities for leadership and advancement for highly effective teachers Build sustainable training structures Provide coaching to new teachers recruitment Attract excellent new and experienced teachers Recruit diverse teachers who reflect our diverse student population Complete early hiring cycles to secure the best available talent Provide multiple pathways into teaching including Denver Teacher Residency (DTR) Train our principals on how to successfully identify and onboard new teachers that fit their school culture evaluation Provide evaluations that are transparent, objective and complete Use multiple measures, including peer observation and student achievement data Link to differentiated professional development professional development and support Provide meaningful professional development Link professional development to identified needs Create a structure of feedback and support Provide teachers with the online tools and resources they need for success, including online assessment tools and easily accessible curricular resources Every component of Empowering Excellent Educators is built on the respect for the central role of educators in raising student achievement in the district. Our hope is that Empowering Excellent Educators will elevate the teaching profession within DPS, in our community and shine a national spotlight on the far-reaching and profound impact we know teachers have on their students. Collaborative process used to develop LEAP Collaboration: From the planning stage and throughout development, DPS and DCTA have worked collaboratively. DPS and DCTA recognize that a successful Framework for Effective Teaching and the supporting evaluation system, LEAP, must be informed by the ideas and experiences of actual practitioners. DPS and DCTA have worked together to organize various engagement groups: Steering Committee: An oversight committee for Empowering Excellent Educators responsible for ongoing strategic direction and decision making. Members of the group: Tom Boasberg--DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova--DPS Chief Academic Officer Shayne Spalten--DPS Chief Human Resources Officer Henry Roman--DCTA President Carolyn Crowder--DCTA Professional Practices Work Group: A group comprised of DPS employees, DCTA members, and outside experts that act as an advisory board to the LEAP steering committee, project leadership team, and design teams. Focus Groups: Conducted by a third party and used throughout the development of LEAP and the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching to incorporate teacher and principal voice. Design Teams: Groups of teachers and principals within DPS that were formed to incorporate teacher and principal voice into the new DPS Framework for Effective Teaching and LEAP. The five Design Teams include: Principal Effectiveness, Teacher Effectiveness, Peer Observation, Student Assessment and Outcomes, and Professional Development. LEAP Project Leadership Team: DPS staff dedicated to the development of LEAP and the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching. The team includes a full-time DCTA Liaison who works closely with the LEAP team and brings DCTA perspective on a daily basis. Focus Group Findings: Over a three week period in April 2010 approximately 225 principals, teachers, district staff, and students participated and shared their ideas in focus groups facilitated by a neutral third party. The purpose of the focus groups was two-fold: 1. DPS and DCTA wanted to gather the best information possible from all stakeholders about what is working within the current system, what is most in need of repair, and what would be necessary to build a more ideal teacher performance assessment system. 2. The focus groups would serve as an important step in a continuous improvement cycle that will seek out input, share that input with Design Teams, and check back to ensure the designs are in alignment with the specifications outlined by focus group participants. The Focus Groups resulted in a set of Core Values that have been used to guide the development of the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching and LEAP. focus group core values Rooted in Professional Expertise The definition of effective teaching needs to be based on the best research and is co-constructed by teachers themselves. Administrators and other evaluators must have the background and expertise necessary to accurately and fairly assess the quality of the teaching they are charged with observing. Multiple Sources of Data The system of assessment should bring together various points of data (including principal observation, peer observation, student growth, self-reflection, and other information) to identify areas of strength and to set clear, specific targets for growth. Continuous Feedback The system should provide frequent and ongoing feedback about practice, rather than one-shot data points. Constructive feedback is the lifeblood of improvement, providing information about areas of strength and areas for growth, and it should flow through all aspects of the system to ensure each element--from classroom practice to professional development--is achieving the desired results. Consistency with Flexibility The system should set clear standards of effective practice and apply them faithfully and fairly across the district, but allow enough flexibility to set goals for improvement and professional development based on the levels of experience and unique needs of each educator. Accountability While the system should aspire to help everyone improve their practice, it must also distinguish between various levels of performance, and hold people accountable for reasonable results. Improvement plans must be followed and have consequences. The measurement system should change from a binary ``satisfactory/ unsatisfactory'' to a continuum of performance with specifically defined levels of proficiency. A Culture of Learning The system must support and encourage learning and innovation at all levels--in students, in educators, and in administrators--instead of being punitive or just rewarding compliance. Growth must be the end- game for all members of the system. The district as a whole, as well as individual schools, must be intentional about fostering a culture that supports everyone to learn. Reward Effectiveness The system should reward effectiveness, linking financial rewards to the evaluation system as well as non financial rewards such as recognition and unique professional opportunities. It should reward effectiveness regardless of years of experience. Design Teams: After the initial focus groups were held, the next step in teacher and principal engagment was to form five Design Teams in the spring of 2010. 1. Teacher Effectiveness 2. Principal Effectiveness 3. Peer Observations 4. Professional Development 5. Student Assessments and Outcomes The five Design Teams worked many hours during the summer and fall of 2010. They applied the Core Values from the focus groups in addition to pertinent national research and made recommendations on the specific components of the new LEAP system as well as the development of the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching. The passion and dedication they put into their work was inspiring. As one Design Team member states: ``Teachers and administrators working together to define, describe and expect effective teaching will help ensure that every child has an excellent teacher in their classroom.'' La Dawn Baity, Principal, Steck Elementary School. Spring 2011 Pilot: The next step in teacher and principal involvement. * * * From the start, this effort has been collaborative and informed by the teachers and principals who will ultimately be supported by the new system. From focus groups to Design Teams to the spring 2011 LEAP pilot * * * teacher and principal voice has been a key element of the development process. The spring 2011 LEAP pilot schools experienced various components of LEAP and provided their input to help guide improvements to the system prior to the district-wide pilot in 2011-12. LEAP Pilot: January-May 2011 Sixteen schools piloted components of LEAP from January--May 2011. Teachers and principals in these schools were the first to experience the system. In many ways they were the architects of LEAP as their feedback guided improvements to the system in preparation for the district-wide pilot beginning in August 2011. DPS's approach of teacher and principal involvement is somewhat unique: it ensures that our new evaluation tool will be informed by teachers and principals within the district from inception through rollout. FRAMEWORK FOR EXCELLENT TEACHING Overview: The foundation * * * The DPS Framework for Effective Teaching serves as the foundation for the Empowering Excellent Educators work in DPS. It provides teachers and principals with: A shared understanding of effective teaching in DPS A foundation upon which teachers can reflect and perfect their craft Observation tool used in LEAP, the new teacher evaluation system Effective teaching = success with kids. The DPS Framework for Effective Teaching captures the potential of teaching actions to impact student learning in classrooms across Denver. The framework currently includes standards for measuring the effectiveness of teachers in the classroom (onstage domains). We are in the process of building out the standards for rating teachers' effectiveness outside of the classroom (offstage domains). 4 domains in the dps framework for effective teaching Onstage Domains Offstage Domains Learning Environment Planning & Preparation Instruction Professionalism With the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching, performance ratings move from a binary system of ``satisfactory'' and ``unsatisfactory'' to a continuum of performance with four levels of effectiveness and seven rating categories: Not Meeting (1-2) Approaching (3-4) Effective (5-6) Distinguished (7) Multiple ratings provide the opportunity to identify areas of strength as well as growth opportunities. Teachers are able to target their professional development to their growth areas. All teachers, whether new to the profession or veteran teachers, can continue to grow professionally and be even better for their students. Development: Initial Development Some of the most significant and challenging Design Team work was that of the Teacher Effectiveness Design Team. When discussing the framework to be used in DPS, the Design Team placed high priority on several aspects: ELL-focused, urban lens Teacher AND student behaviors Meaningfully differentiated performance of teachers Comprehensive but manageable The Design Team looked at various national frameworks and observation tools: Charlotte Danielson's Framework of Effective Teaching Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) Quality Urban Classrooms (QUC) The Denver Teacher Residency Framework for Educational Equity In the end, the Design Team recommended that DPS develop our own framework based on the best components of each tool, aligned to their specific understanding of teacher effectiveness in DPS, and based on the 4 domains of Learning Environment; Instruction; Planning and Preparation; and Professionalism. The resulting DPS Framework for Effective Teaching is a homegrown, practitioner-designed tool that pulls from research-based tools used locally and nationally. framework refinement The DPS Framework for Effective Teaching was the foundational tool used in over 1400 classroom observations and feedback conversations during the spring 2011 LEAP pilot. DPS also aligned all professional development offerings to the Framework making it the core of personal reflection as well as professional growth. Teachers and principals in the 16 pilot schools provided extensive feedback on the Framework which was carefully assessed by the LEAP project team and McREL, a third-party program evaluator. In May/June 2011, the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching was revised based on pilot feedback, alignment to Common Core State Standards, and alignment to the DPS English Language Acquisition program. The most noticeable change to the Framework was the addition of three new indicators focused on English Language Acquisition: two of these indicators will be observed in ELA-E and ELA-S classrooms and the third will be observed in ELA-S classrooms. The new indicators emphasize and support effective practice for English Language Learners across the district, which constitute more than 40% of our student population and apply to over 2600 designated ELA-E and ELA-S teachers. The revised Framework for Effective Teaching will be used in the 2011-12 LEAP pilot in over 120 DPS schools. Feedback from educators across the district during the pilot year will inform future improvements. View the Framework: DPS Framework Overview for Effective Teaching 2011-12 aligning support DPS is working to create a variety of different types of high quality professional development that are aligned to the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching. Teachers are able to access targeted support which enables them to refine their craft and continue to grow professionally. For example, video exemplars of effective instructional practice aligned to each indicator of the Framework are currently being captured and uploaded in the LEAP section of the DPS Online Learning Center (Moodle). A screen shot showing examples of support offerings available on the DPS Online Learning Center can be seen below. LEAP System and professional development supports Overview: The multiple measures in LEAP The district and the DCTA have worked in collaboration with DPS teachers and school leaders to develop a new teacher performance assessment system. Through their work on Design Teams, teachers and principals applied the guiding principles from the focus groups to develop recommendations for a meaningful system of observation, feedback, support and evaluation for teachers. This is what we now call LEAP--Leading Effective Academic Practice. LEAP provides teachers with additional feedback and support so they can continue to learn and grow professionally. Teachers want to be the best they can be for their students and our students deserve nothing less than GREAT teachers. Multiple measures Student Outcomes: All Students are Capable of Learning and Growing This component of LEAP is still in development and will not be part of the LEAP pilot. When taken into account with other measures of teacher performance, looking at student outcomes is a way to measure the direct impact of a teacher on student achievement. Student outcomes provide a full picture of the learning that results from teacher actions over the course of a year. When fully developed, Student Outcomes will comprise 50% of a teacher's evaluation. We will be using multiple measures of student performance data rather than a single data source and are committed to using, in as many instances as possible, assessments that are already being used to inform instructional practice. As we continue to develop the Student Outcomes aspect of LEAP, we are considering the following: student assessment criteria 1. Multiple sources of data 2. Growth 3. Summative--external and internal 4. Formative--consistent and accurate scoring across district 5. Alignment to standards, scope, and sequence 6. Increased emphasis on objective measures 7. English and Spanish options 8. School / team accountability 9. Transparent formula 10. Timeliness in administration and results Principal Observation: Feedback From Your School Leader The Principal Observation measure in LEAP is fully developed and in-scope for the LEAP pilot. Historically, principals have played an important role in evaluating and supporting teachers in their schools. This does not change with LEAP. Observation and feedback provided by school principals remain an important aspect of teacher evaluation. With LEAP: Principals are receiving extensive training on the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching, consistent rating (inter-rater reliability), and giving meaningful feedback. Principals will conduct classroom observations using the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching. Teachers will receive two principal observations during the 2011-12 LEAP pilot. Principals will provide teachers with post observation feedback, including insight on areas of strength as well as growth opportunities. Teachers will use this feedback to select from a variety of differentiated professional development offerings, all aligned to the Framework for Effective Teaching. Peer Observation: Third-Party Feedback With First-Hand Knowledge Peer Observation is part of the LEAP system because there is tremendous value in teachers receiving honest, open feedback from a peer or colleague who has a similar content expertise. The Peer Observer role is a new position to DPS but one that has been used effectively in school districts across the country for a number of years. Peer Observers are fellow teachers who have been hired specifically for this role because they are recognized for their experience and expertise in content, classroom instruction, student achievement, and best practices. Peer Observers will be matched as closely as possible to the content or grade level of the teacher they are observing so they can provide feedback and support that is specific and relevant. Peer Observers will provide a third-party, outside perspective combined with first hand experience with the realities of teaching. in relation to principal observation Principals and Peer Observers will both use the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching when gathering observation data and will also use the same feedback protocol to ensure consistency. Both the principal and peer observations will provide targeted feedback about how teachers are performing against the standards in the Framework for Effective Teaching and will help promote teacher growth and development. Peer observation is not in isolation from observations done with the principal, but simply adds data points upon which the principal and teacher can review to make decisions about next steps with practice. Peer observation allows for more opportunities for teachers to receive feedback. Collaborative Professionalism: A Teacher's Contributions to Their Team and School This component of LEAP was in development during the spring 2011 LEAP pilot. It will be ready for the 2011-12 district-wide LEAP pilot. Professional Collaboration represents the offstage domains--what a teacher does outside of the classroom that helps determine their effectiveness--of the DPS Framework for Effective Teaching. Examples include: Maintaining student records (student progress) Communicating with families Self-accountability for student growth Reflection PLCs Teacher leadership Collaboration with colleagues Collaboration with community Pursuing opportunities for professional growth Content & pedagogical knowledge Knowledge of students Identifying key outcomes Knowledge of resources/materials Integrating materials, resources, tools, technology Designing coherent instruction Creating student assessments Use of data in planning Student Perception: Students Know When They Have A Great Teacher * * * This component of LEAP was introduced to the spring 2011 LEAP pilot schools in April. Student Perception Surveys are important because they allow student voice to be part of the evaluation process. DPS is one of seven districts participating in a national research study called Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. The research findings from the MET project are informing our approach to this component of LEAP because MET includes a Student Perception Survey. Initial MET findings (released in December, 2010) indicate that: The average student knows effective teaching when he/she experiences it. Student perceptions can help identify effective teachers and point to specific aspects of teacher practice needing improvement. Valid teacher feedback need not be limited to test scores alone. By combining different sources of data, it is possible to provide diagnostic, targeted feedback to teachers who are eager to improve. DPS will be using research-based student perception surveys developed by Tripod. More on Tripod student-perception surveys: Developed by Harvard Professor Ron Ferguson The framework emphasizes an instructional ``tripod'' of content knowledge, pedagogical skill and relationships Tripod surveys have been used in hundreds of schools and thousands of classrooms in the U.S. and abroad, as well as in the recent MET study Includes measures of teacher effectiveness and student engagement, from the student perspective Professional Development Alignment: Balancing Support with Accountability DPS is dedicated to building a path that helps develop new teachers, ensures that all teachers continue to grow professionally, and rewards and recognizes great teachers throughout their careers. LEAP helps teachers recognize areas of strength in their teaching practice and also helps identify growth opportunities. Once growth opportunities are identified, teachers are able to access differentiated professional development offerings which are aligned to the Framework for Effective Teaching. DPS is creating a variety of different types of high quality professional development to ensure teachers can access the types that are most relevant to their individual needs and interests. Teachers and principals are able to work together to identify targeted professional development resources and focus a teacher's development on those opportunities that will have the most direct impact on a teacher's practice and student learning.
______ Chairman Kline. Thank you, Mr. Boasberg. Mr. Cicarella, you are recognized. STATEMENT OF DAVID CICARELLA, PRESIDENT, NEW HAVEN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Mr. Cicarella. Yes. Thank you. My name is David Cicarella. I am the president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers; and on behalf of the NHFT and its national federation, the American Federation of Teachers, I want to thank you for this opportunity to speak about our collective efforts to improve student learning and strengthen the teaching profession in New Haven. Our schools were facing the same challenges as many school districts in the country. This included the need for more meaningful parental involvement, comprehensive wraparound services for the most at-risk students, and, yes, a better way of evaluating teachers and providing them with the ongoing supports they need to do the best for their students. The situation in New Haven was exacerbated because the relationship between the mayor and the superintendent and the local union was often acrimonious. Teachers certainly were not satisfied with a system that failed to provide any meaningful supports or feedback to help them develop their expertise and maximize their capacity to improve student learning. We knew there was no way to improve our lowest-performing schools without involving teachers. Districts nationwide were looking at how best to improve teaching and learning by incorporating a more robust teacher evaluation system. In New Haven, the mayor, superintendent, and our local union made a decision to work collaboratively through the existing collective bargaining process. We ultimately were able to negotiate a contract that, in addition to wages and benefits, would lay the groundwork for a breakout model of urban school reform, one that values and welcomes teacher voice in all key decisions. Now, it is incredibly significant that both the national and State representatives from AFT were active partners, and they were completely welcomed by the New Haven School District. The contract was hailed in our local media as, quote, ``a first-in-the-nation agreement between a city and a teachers union to work together to change the way public schools work.'' I think it is also significant to note that the contract was ratified overwhelmingly by our members by a vote of 855 to 42. The new contract was ushered in with such strong support because the process that led up to its passage was very collaborative and it valued input from the teachers about the district's reform plans. Because the district involved the teachers in such a meaningful way, there was a tremendous amount of buy-in from the teachers. One of the reform initiatives we adopted was a new system for evaluating our teachers. The plan included multiple measures of professional performance and real supports tied to professional development. Now, what is key here is that we didn't just build a teacher evaluation plan that acts as a sorting mechanism to tell us who is doing a good job and who is facing difficulty. Instead, we created a system that focuses on the continuous support and development of all teachers, those struggling and those doing a good job. All teachers benefit from a goal-setting conference in the beginning of the year and at least two evaluation and development conferences during the course of the year, with additional conferences provided for teachers identified as needing improvement. The annual goals that are drawn up in these conferences center on the three components of our teacher evaluation plan: student learning, absolutely; teacher instructional practice; and professional values. Every element in the evaluation is mutually agreed upon; and when it comes to indicators of student progress, the teachers and evaluators are encouraged to use multiple measures of assessment that include standardized State tests, district assessments, student portfolio work, and teacher-developed assessments. Instead of instituting top-down reforms with no teacher input, we were able to utilize the collective bargaining process to ensure that teachers are heard and respected. Collective bargaining is much more than a process to ensure workplace fairness and give workers a voice in their jobs. It is a tool that the teachers and school districts can use to drive real reforms aimed at improving both teaching and learning. We are just finishing the first year of the implementation of our new plan. From the outset, we have collaborated on everything--not always agreed, but certainly collaborated. The commitment to work together has led to many positive outcomes, not the least of which is increased community support. Under the New Haven Promise program, funded in part by Yale University, eligible students graduating from every New Haven high school will receive full tuition to a public college or university in Connecticut. In New Haven, teachers have no problem being held accountable or sharing responsibility, as long as we are provided with an agreed-upon, transparent set of standards and a process for evaluation that includes student achievement, classroom practice, and professional values. Our collaborative work in New Haven has created a professional culture whereby teachers and administrators work side by side, channeling their energies to create a system that puts student learning front and center. Thank you. [The statement of Mr. Cicarella follows:] Prepared Statement of David Cicarella, President, New Haven Federation of Teachers Good morning Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Miller and members of the committee. My name is David Cicarella, and I am the president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers (NHFT), an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The NHFT represents more than 1,600 teachers. Thank you for this opportunity to speak about our collective efforts in New Haven, Conn., to improve student learning and strengthen the teaching profession through, in part, our development of a comprehensive teacher support and evaluation system in the district. New Haven schools were facing the same challenges many school districts in the country are facing today: Many of our students were not reaching their potential. As in all cases, a variety of factors contributed to that situation, including the need for more meaningful parental involvement, comprehensive wraparound services for the most at-risk students and, yes, a better way of evaluating teachers and providing them with the ongoing supports they need to do the best for their students. The situation was exacerbated because the relationship between the mayor and superintendent and our local union was often acrimonious, and was characterized by distrust and disrespect on both sides. Teachers certainly were not satisfied with the status quo: a system that failed to provide any meaningful supports or feedback to help them develop their expertise and maximize their capacity to improve student learning. New Haven did not have in place processes for turning around low-performing schools or for supporting and evaluating teachers. We knew there was no way to improve our lowest-performing schools without involving teachers and giving them needed supports. However, there were few good models that provided guidance. Districts nationwide were looking at how best to improve teaching and learning by incorporating a more robust teacher evaluation system as part of that strategy. In New Haven, the mayor, superintendent and our local union made a decision to work collaboratively--through the existing collective bargaining process. Keeping collaboration and the need for teacher input in mind, the NHFT negotiating team took an aggressive position on evaluation (including the need for teacher involvement and multiple measures of student achievement), turnaround schools and other thorny issues in order to shape the agenda and drive the final product toward solutions that are good for kids and fair for teachers. We incorporated the resources and expertise of our national union, the AFT, and its affiliate locals. We ultimately were able to negotiate a contract that, in addition to wages and benefits, would lay the groundwork for a breakout model of urban school reform--one that values and welcomes teacher voice in all key decisions. It is incredibly significant that both the national and state representatives from AFT were active partners and completely welcomed by the New Haven school district representatives. The contract, which our members ratified by a vote of 855-42, was hailed in the local media as ``a first-in-the-nation agreement between a city and a teachers union to work together to change the way public schools work.'' One of the reform initiatives we adopted was a new system for evaluating our teachers. The plan included multiple measures of professional performance and real supports tied to professional development. What is key here is that we did not just build a teacher evaluation plan that simply acts as a sorting mechanism to tell us who is doing a good job and who is facing difficulty. Instead, we created a system that focuses on the continuous support and development of all teachers--those struggling and those doing a good job. Under the new system, individual teachers and their evaluators meet each fall to set personal professional goals. This is the centerpiece of the new evaluation and development system--regular, substantive and collegial conferences between each teacher and his or her assigned instructional manager. Each teacher now has a single instructional manager who is accountable for that teacher's evaluation and development. The goal of the evaluation and development conferences is to focus teacher performance conversations around student learning, provide comprehensive feedback (including all elements of teacher evaluation) to each teacher, and set a defined plan of development opportunities for the teacher. These conferences are the anchor of the rest of the evaluation and development process, and the foundation of the professional relationship between teacher and instructional manager. All teachers benefit from a goal-setting conference in the beginning of the year and at least two evaluation and development conferences over the course of the year, with additional conferences provided for teachers identified as needing improvement. The annual goals that are drawn up in these conferences center on three important areas:
Student performance outcomes measured by growth in student learning and attainment of academic goals; Teacher instructional practice in the domains of planning and preparation, classroom practice, and reflection and use of data; and Teacher professional values addressing a set of characteristics including professionalism, collegiality and high expectations for student learning. Every element in the evaluation is mutually agreed upon, and when it comes to indicators of student progress, teachers and evaluators are encouraged to use multiple measures of assessment that include standardized state tests, district assessments (many of which are conducted quarterly as opposed to annually), student portfolio work and teacher-developed assessments. All are valuable and provide a full, more encompassing measure of student academic growth and achievement. The new system ranks teachers on a 1-5 scale: Those receiving a final summative rating of 5 will be considered for teacher leadership positions, while those receiving a score of 2 or below will be supported with a tailored improvement plan aimed at helping them receive a minimum score of 3 (or ``effective''). Our goal is to have an effective teacher in every classroom. Our members ratified this contract overwhelmingly for the following reasons. First, instead of instituting ``top-down'' reforms, with no teacher input, we were able to utilize the collective bargaining process to ensure that teachers are heard and respected. Collective bargaining is a process that ensures workplace fairness and gives workers a voice in their jobs. But it is much more. It is a process that teachers and school districts can use to drive real reforms aimed at improving both teaching and learning. For teachers in New Haven, instituting the changes in evaluation and giving teachers a greater say in decision-making at the school level means increasing their confidence in the system and the supports they need to be effective in the classroom. We are just finishing the first year of implementation of our new plan and so far, so good. We have established a citywide teacher evaluation committee consisting of six teachers selected by the union and six administrators selected by the district. From the onset, we have collaborated on everything, even these choices. We share our selections and allow every committee member to comment on them--all prior to making our choices public. The citywide committee met over the course of the entire year to complete the system. Despite the painstaking detail, it is straightforward with little room for ambiguity. In addition to the citywide committee, we established a ``working group'' that allows for every teacher in the district to volunteer to participate and have input into the evaluation system. Participating teachers brought their own questions and concerns to the discussion, as well as those from colleagues back in their schools. Principals were trained in the evaluation system over the summer, and teacher representatives were invited to address the initial training. This sent a clear message that the evaluation system is very much a joint effort that is supported by all parties. I was invited to address district administrators at their initial training. I was warmly received, and it was a positive experience. The lessons learned from our experience in New Haven is that teachers have no problem being held accountable, or sharing responsibility, as long as all are provided with an agreed-upon, transparent set of standards and a process for evaluation that includes student achievement, classroom practice and teacher professional values. Our commitment to work together has led to many positive outcomes, not the least of which is increased community support. Yale University has made a commitment of $4 million a year for the next four years to pay up to $8,000 annually to cover the cost of a student's enrollment at one of the state's public colleges or universities, or $2,500 at a private college. Full grants will be given only to students who have been in the New Haven Public Schools since kindergarten, and will be prorated for those entering later. No two school districts in our nation are alike, and I do not pretend to think that our plan will work in all districts. However, I do know that most school districts do not have good evaluation systems in place--ones that focus like a laser on boosting student performance through a process that prioritizes the continuous support and development of their teaching force. I cannot stress enough how critically important a valid, reliable, transparent, and ongoing teacher development and evaluation system is to the health of our schools and our students' ultimate success. In the absence of such a system, teachers and administrators are left to wonder what works and what doesn't work, or how and how best to inform and improve instruction. We need to work collaboratively at all levels--from local school districts to Congress and everywhere in between--to establish the conditions that our children need to succeed and our teachers need to teach. ______ Chairman Kline. Thank you, sir. Ms. Walsh, you are recognized. STATEMENT OF KATE WALSH, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL COUNCIL ON TEACHER QUALITY Ms. Walsh. Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Miller, and members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, thank you very much for your invitation to participate in this hearing today. My name is Kate Walsh, and I am the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality. NCTQ is an organization that advocates for a broad range of teacher policy reforms at the federal, State, and local levels aimed at increasing the number of effective teachers in our schools. As Mr. Miller and Mr. Kline both pointed out in their remarks, no school-based factor is more important in determining their achievement gains than their teachers. Not class size, not access to technology, not per student spending, not many of the other things that States and school districts pour money into in the name of education reform that fail to improve teacher effectiveness. In fact, if you look at school spending, while it has increased at a rapid rate, very little of these additional resources have been directed at improving teacher quality. Over the last four decades or so, per-student inflation-adjusted spending has soared, increasing by 2.6 percent a year on average. But it hasn't been spending on teacher pay that has driven that increase. Such spending accounts for only a fraction of the annual increase in actual education spending. Look at the patterns of spending on resources that are dedicated to teachers, such as Title II, for example, the federal funds targeted specifically to teacher quality under ESEA. For 2009-2010, the U.S. Department of Education reported that the vast majority of the funds, that is 42 percent, were used for nonspecified professional development activities, with spending to reduce class size coming in a close second, at 36 percent. Only 5 percent of those funds were reportedly used for promoting teacher quality. Given that research shows reductions in class sides are expensive, with little or no systematic relationship to improvements in student achievement, and typical professional development programs are poorly designed, it is not surprising that Title II, in spite of that annual $3 billion investment, has largely been ineffective at generating the kind of reforms that we all are seeking. At the foundation of current efforts to improve teacher quality are initiatives to develop fair and reliable teacher evaluation systems that measure teacher effectiveness in the classroom. As of 2010, we know that 16 States require that teacher evaluations are significantly informed by student achievement and growth; and 10 States, including Tennessee, require that student achievement growth is the preponderant criterion in teacher evaluations. That is to say that teachers cannot be rated as effective unless they meet student achievement or growth targets. Already in 2010, we have seen a huge wave of reforms. Four States--Colorado, Delaware, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island--have put in place State laws or regulations that require evidence of student learning to be the preponderant criterion for granting tenure. But I would like to emphasize that these 2010 data are likely catching just the beginning of the wave of change. We won't be surprised if the number of States adopting policies to include student achievement and teacher evaluations and alter their tenure policies could as much as double by the close of 2011. Still, though, the majority of States does not require annual evaluations of all veteran teachers, and most still fail to include any objective measures of student learning in the teacher evaluations that they do require. In all but a small handful of States, teachers are granted tenure with no regard to how effective they are with students in the classroom. There are many other critical areas that need to be addressed. I would like to turn my attention now to the quality of preparation of the nation's teachers. Every year across this country about a quarter of a million people enter the teaching profession for the first time. Almost all of them are prepared in the Nation's schools of education, which have until now managed to avoid the reform spotlight. I am proud to report that NCTQ, in partnership with U.S. News & World Report, well known for its ratings of the nation's higher education institutions, has launched a review of the quality of each of the nation's 1,400 education schools. This has never been done before, in spite of many previous efforts, including one by the U.S. Congress even 5 years ago. Some higher education institutions are welcoming this opportunity to have their programs evaluated, seeing the feedback that we will be providing as essential for making long-needed improvements in these programs. But the majority of institutions in the United States, unaccustomed to scrutiny, have organized a national boycott to block our work, refusing to provide us with the basic data that we seek. But we are joined by over 40 foundations across the United States who have provided funding for this effort and the endorsement of 10 State school chiefs, dozens of school district superintendents, and a host of education advocacy organizations. What we are rapidly seeing is an unfortunate battle between teacher preparation programs and their own clients in K-12 education. An effective teacher in every classroom is not a far-fetched proposition. But a serious effort to cultivate highly effective teachers requires us to take a hard look at current practices and have an honest dialogue about the full range of policies needed to transform the profession. We need to attend to how to identify, recruit, compensate, reward, and retain more effective teachers, and especially to growing more effective teachers from the start. Thank you. [The statement of Ms. Walsh follows:]
------ Chairman Kline. Thank you, Ms. Walsh. I want to thank all of the witnesses for your testimony. We will move now into questions, and I will start. Let me start by saying I think that it is important we heard from Mr. Cicarella and from Mr. Boasberg and Mr. Huffman, I think in different ways, that the systems being put in place are not only useful in evaluating teachers for perhaps retention or promotion or pay but giving real-time feedback to the teachers on how they are doing, which enables them to do a better job. Let me start with Mr. Huffman. When you were trying to develop the value-added metrics for the nontested subjects like art and music classes, you said that you used a school-wide-- some sort of school-wide assessment. Can you tell me how you put that together? How does that work if you are just an art teacher? I don't mean to say ``just an art teacher.'' Apologies to all the art teachers out there. If you are an art teacher, how does that work? Mr. Huffman. One thing I have learned on this job is there are a lot of art and music teachers, because they come talk to me every single time I go speak. So, right now, the way it works is for the 35 percent of your score that has to be based on student growth, instead of getting an individual assessment--so if you taught fifth grade, for instance, you would get a value-added score from the fifth grade assessments--in art, you would get the school value-added score. And the school value-added score is a composite based on all of the tested subjects and grade levels. So if you taught elementary school art, then the third, fourth, fifth grades across their subject areas, that all gets compiled into a school, that provides a school value-added score. And that is what would be used. And what we are trying to figure out--I think this is a very hard thing to figure out what the right answer is. What we are trying to figure out for next year is how we can field test some different assessments across different subjects and grade levels that are not currently tested and make them available as individualized assessments. But I will tell you that my own personal view is I think there are situations where it makes absolute sense to try to come up with an individual value-added score. So, for instance, in secondary foreign language I think there is a way to assess how much Spanish did children learn and to figure out the value-added. But I also think that it is appropriate in some cases to use school-wide value-added data. First, because we don't want to test absolutely everything. But, second of all, because in many cases teachers have an impact on the entire school. So if you are an art teacher, you only get kids for one class a week, but you have most of the school coming in, and you are contributing not just to the art education of those children but also to the school climate. So, in that context, I think it is actually appropriate; and I think teachers and principals have mixed views on what the right answer is here. Chairman Kline. So, under the current system, you have got 65 percent of this evaluation is not--65-35 is not the school- wide assessment. And so have you looked at changing those percentages or is that not possible under your system? Mr. Huffman. Well, right now, it is enshrined in State law. So the State law lays out the 35 percent value-added, 15 percent other academic achievement, 50 percent qualitative. We also have three additional systems that are being piloted by other districts this year. So they did field tests last year, and they asked if they could use these systems this year. They met the State law. And so we are going to watch how those systems work as well. One in Memphis sounds more similar to what Tom was describing about Denver. And I think it is going to be very interesting to gather all the data and see at the end of the year what people liked, what seemed to work, what the range of distribution of scores were. Chairman Kline. Okay. Thank you. I am going to run out of time here pretty quickly, so let me go to Mr. Boasberg. On the LEAP program, you are defining teacher effectiveness. For example, how are special education teachers, special educators evaluated under your system? Mr. Boasberg. Sure. Thank you. Special education is an absolute critical mission of the Denver Public Schools, and one of the wonderful things about the LEAP program is we have peer observers who coach and give feedback to teachers. So, for example, we have master special education teachers who then go observe and give feedback to our special educators who are in their practice in the classroom. But special educators are observed and assessed under the same framework, where it is both the principal is observing and giving feedback, peers are observing and giving feedback, there is student perception of the educators, as well as we are looking at growth in their students' achievements. Now, clearly, if you are looking at one of our self- contained classrooms for our highest and most severely disabled kids, that is going to be a little bit different. But the overwhelming majority of our special education students are included with our mainstream students in mainstream classrooms, and we have very high expectations and very high-level supports for special education students. We try and provide the same level of support and coaching and work with our special educators on the same basis as we work with our nonspecial educators. Chairman Kline. Thank you very much. My time has more than expired. Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller. Thank you very much, and thank you for all of your testimony. I note that there are certain consistencies. We have three different systems here, but there are certain consistencies in terms of how you chose to improve, hopefully, the teaching experience for teachers and the learning experience for the students. And the idea that this was done with everybody sitting at the table in one mixture or another that your systems chose. And the use of multiple measures, and you have given different weight to those measures in the three different systems that you have here. And a good deal of emphasis placed on additional training and professional development. But the three of you aren't representative of the United States. I guess this is my concern. I think that at this particular moment we are in the most dynamic education reform environment that I have seen in my public life. And so I worry about losing the moment, as we do in politics sometimes. And that moment is, how do we make sure that these types of evaluation systems are extended across the country? We know there is resistance in a number of States, we know there is a minimal pulse sticking out there sort of suggesting someday we could be for this, and yet I wonder why we would continue--certainly in school improvement, if we have these four models, why we are not making sure that school improvement funds are tied to an evaluation system. Again, I could take any of your three, I think. But that is not important. But the point is, why are we continuing to pretend like we can have these turnaround models if we don't change that teaching and learning environment and make it a professional workplace for teachers and a professional learning space for the students? Or why would we continue to make Title II grants that aren't tied to this kind of change? I mean, we are just funding the past. And I don't want to use any more of my time. I want to hear from you. Let's start with whatever order you want. Mr. Boasberg. Sure. I will start, and please pitch in. I agree with you strongly. Denver has been one of the districts most active in the country in terms of trying to improve and turn around our lowest-performing schools. And at the heart of that is indeed trying to work to have the best possible school leader and provide the time and resources and ability to better develop and have stronger teachers. So, for example, in our schools that are receiving money for school improvement grants, they have a longer school year, they have a longer school day. All the teachers voted to work a 9-hour school day. Mr. Miller. Let me just ask you. I know what you are doing. Can you imagine us continuing to give money where these changes aren't brought about? Mr. Boasberg. I want to be hesitant to tell you how to do your job. But I do think, as a taxpayer, it is fair to say that I think when the federal government gives money, and quite a bit of money, to have very high standards. We as a school district have very high expectations of our students and our professionals, and I think so should the federal government have very high standards of districts. And when money is coming in to have standards and accountability for the use of that money around having programs, around effective teachers, and having effective programs to turn around low-performing schools, to provide equity for our most disadvantaged students. I think that is a very appropriate role of the federal government. Mr. Cicarella. I just perhaps might add, in terms of the federal influence, I think I have to agree with you. It doesn't make sense to keep funding things that we know didn't work and continue do that. Perhaps where you gentlemen and ladies can come in is, in terms of federal law, you never want to be heavy handed with overly prescribing things, yet, at the same time, perhaps some things that we could do. There could be an incentive for the type of collaboration that has existed. You know, encourage some local bargaining to continue. Encourage professional development to be tied to teacher evaluation plans. And that is for all teachers, not just those that are in need of improvement. Because even teachers that are effective, all teachers need help in different areas, even those that do a pretty good job. And the teachers and school districts, they really perhaps should have flexibility to determine that correct mix, a little different from Denver to New Haven. But certainly, to answer your question, in terms of federal influence and what you should or shouldn't do, again, I hesitate to tell you that, but I would agree. I would think that doing what we did in the past, you know, we do need to make some changes, and I think we have made a good start in a lot of places, and we do need to replicate those. Mr. Huffman. My only addition would be that I think there has to be a lot of flexibility for States and districts to figure out what their plans are. We are excited about our plan, but I think the most important thing conceptually with all these evaluation plans is that there is an actual range of distribution. Because, of course, we had some level of evaluation before. It is just that 95 percent of the teachers were deemed to be outstanding. So there has to be a range of distribution. There have to be multiple things, including student achievement, that factor into it. And there has to be something then that happens as a result of the evaluation, something that happens positive in the form of feedback and professional development but also some level of incentives and consequences for the outliers on either pole of the system. And, beyond that, though, I don't think we have figured out what the perfect system is. I think we need a lot of flexibility. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Dr. Roe. Mr. Roe. I thank the chairman. And if you were evaluating an art teacher and she worked on mine, she or he would be a failing teacher if I had to pass art. I want to mention two people, Ms. Chiles and Ms. Smith, who were my first grade teachers. And there is no question that the first 3 or 4 years of my life, or even longer, I had great teachers. Not a great school building. We had six grades in one room and two in the other. We didn't have indoor plumbing or running water, but we had great teachers. And I think that and great principals, I think that leadership at the top. The question I have, I guess, in going back to Tennessee, and we are trying to figure this out, and trying to define a good teacher is extremely difficult to do. We all know what they are, but it is like beauty. It is just difficult to put a numerical number on it. Let me give you an example. In the No Child Left Behind, one of my former patients is a good friend of mine. Every time she asks me to come to her classroom, I go. And so I went this year and read to the students. And as I was getting ready to leave, I said, well, how is he doing? And she said, well, he will be back with me again next year. I said, why is that? And she said, well, he has missed 60 days of class because his mother won't get up and get him out the door to school. So he is going to be held back. And Jan, my friend, Jan Lindsay, my friend, a great teacher, is going to be evaluated on the fact that the parent didn't get the child to school. How do you do that? And have we looked at the educational level of the parents? For instance, I know where my kids went to school, elementary school, a public school, the education level in those classes in the elementary school was plus five out of high school. Those are going to be successful teachers teaching those kids. Is that in the formula anywhere, where you look at the parents? Mr. Huffman. Thanks for the question. A couple of quick thoughts on that. So, one, with the value-added scores we have not seen that teachers teaching in the highest-need classrooms are disadvantaged in terms of the scores that they are actually getting. So there is a broad range. And there are some suburban schools that get great absolute scores, but their value-added scores actually aren't that good in terms of how far they have moved the kids. At the same time, I am proud to say that, as an alum of Teach for America, Teach for America and Vanderbilt have by far the highest impact on student achievement of any of the teacher providers in the State. And the Teach for America teachers are teaching in the highest-need areas, where they have the biggest challenges in terms of parents and families. Clearly, we have got to figure out how to get parents and families more engaged to help the education system, and one question is how you align interests. In Tennessee, one thing that they did, quickly, is they passed a law that made student grades, a portion of student grades, I think it is 25 percent, contingent on their standardized test results. And the idea was to ensure that you didn't have students who simply just lay down on the job when it came to the standardized tests. Teachers felt strongly that they shouldn't be held accountable for something if the students weren't also going to have to take it seriously. And that is an example of aligning interests. Mr. Roe. Mr. Miller brought up a point a minute ago about how--my wife taught for 3 years in an inner city school in Memphis--and how you keep quality teachers in poor-performing schools. We have 50 percent of our educators drop out when they start college that don't end up being teachers, and then within 5 years 50 percent of our teachers stop. And so we are losing all this input. How do you do that? And the question I have also--and this is to any of you who may have evaluated this--is in all this evaluation of the teachers, are you getting any push-back? I know Mr. Cicarella, he made a point teachers don't mind being evaluated. I never heard one that didn't mind being held to a standard. The question is, are they getting burned out by--do they look like this as overly intrusive into their classrooms? Mr. Cicarella. I can speak for New Haven, obviously. Myself, as a classroom teacher for 28 years, I mean, you do want to be evaluated; you want to be evaluated fairly. And our present system, even though, yes, there is a lot more accountability and responsibility, and consequential at the other end, perhaps, for some of us, but we accept that. As long as the evaluation system, you know, again, it is fair, we have some input into it, we prefer that. Because in the past, it was basically, I mean, the administrators would, you know, they would come in, and we would call them the drive-bys. They would come in, they would stay 5, 10 minutes, write something up, stick it in your mailbox. If it was good, no one complained. And if it was bad, we complained, but you couldn't do anything about it. I mean, I would go to hearings with teachers, personnel, and we would say--the teacher would say, ``But the principal is never there. These dates are--you know, that is not correct.'' The personnel director would look at the administrator, ``Are those dates correct? Is that your information?'' ``Yes.'' And it was accepted as gospel. I mean, it was a ridiculous system. It wasn't comprehensive. And that wasn't the case all over, but that was very pervasive, to a certain degree. So even though the system is not perfect, by any means, we like it, because it is very clear to us now that--you know, there has been nervousness about it, as well, because it is new, as anything is. But we do like we know exactly what is expected of us. The goals are mutually agreed upon, you know, with the administrator, so it is clear what I need to do. And it is not unreasonable--and my final comment is, as a teacher, I have those kids in September. It is not unreasonable, when June comes, that they should make some progress. I mean, that should be expected of me. Mr. Roe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Loebsack? Mr. Loebsack. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I really want to thank the panel. This has been really enlightening. I am married to a former teacher of over 30 years, so I take some personal interest in this. But, also, I come from Iowa, and we are in a situation in Iowa where we are not what we used to be. And the Governor just had a 2-day conference in Iowa, and I think it is clear that the system in Iowa does need some improvement. We have prided ourselves in the past on being among the best in the country, and we have slipped. And I think that, certainly, teachers are maybe the major part of this, but we have to think about parents. And I think it was important that that was mentioned. We have to think about principals, superintendents, school boards, the community generally. I think we have to take kind of a whole-child approach to this, as well. We have to think about counselors, school nurses, the whole milieu, if you will, of support for our students. And I am glad we are focusing on teachers today, but we can't lose sight of all these other things, these other people, these other factors that we have to take into account, too, I think, for us to have good schools. And I do want to ask you, Ms. Walsh, you said that you are now trying to evaluate schools of education, and you are running up against some resistance. But could you sort of lay out for us the different factors that you want to use for the evaluation process? Could you elaborate on that some? Ms. Walsh. Thank you. And I was just at the summit in Iowa and was very privileged to be there. What we are doing is applying 17 standards that look at both the content and pedagogical preparation of teachers. So we want to know if they are taught how to teach--if elementary teachers are taught how to teach reading; if they learn appropriate mathematics, because they have to lay the foundational skills in mathematics. We want to know if the education schools are appropriately selective and not just taking anybody. It is easier to get into an education school in the United States than it is to qualify academically to play college football, so we want to change that dynamic. Mr. Loebsack. Can I ask--I mean, that is a sweeping generalization. I mean---- Ms. Walsh. No, that is not true for every ed school, but-- -- Mr. Loebsack. Right. Ms. Walsh [continuing]. In the United States, it is easier to get into education school than it is to qualify to play college football. Mr. Loebsack. Okay. Ms. Walsh. That is absolutely the truth. Mr. Loebsack. Well, I would like to see some data on that from you, if you would. Ms. Walsh. I would be happy to show that. Mr. Loebsack. Thank you. Go ahead. Ms. Walsh. So we are looking at the student teaching, whether or not they place student teachers in classrooms with effective cooperating teachers, rather than just any teacher. We are looking at the special education training that teachers get. So it is a wide range--I would be happy to share with you the full set of standards, but it is a comprehensive list. Mr. Loebsack. Thank you. I appreciate that. Also, it was mentioned that principals--Mr. Huffman, I think you mentioned that principal evaluation starting this year in Tennessee. Do others on the panel have thoughts about that? Because, clearly, the principal is a very important part of the education enterprise; there is absolutely no doubt about that. Would you like to share, yeah, Rhode Island? Mr. Cicarella. Yeah. In fact, in New Haven, one of the things, when we set out to do the reform, is we wanted top-to- bottom accountability. Teachers have no problem being accountable; we should be accountable, and we accept that. But so should the building principal, central office, as well. So we have systemic reform from top to bottom. So the teacher evaluation system is the one that got the most media attention in New Haven, and that is all very nice, but right next to it we created a new principal evaluation system and a central office, as well. So all three were revamped. And they are very, very similar. The same 1 to 5 rating, same matrix is used for all three. What they are rated on is different. But that is a central piece of our reform effort, is that it has to be top-to-bottom accountability. And all three systems--teachers, principal, and central offices--evaluations were revamped completely. In fact, in terms of the collaboration, I sat on the principal evaluation committee, which was, you know, very strange, to be in a room working on the principal's evaluation, as a school--you know, as a teacher, obviously. But that is the way we did it. We wanted to make sure there was transparent input from everybody on both sides, whether it was the teachers evaluation system or the principals. Mr. Loebsack. All right. Mr. Boasberg? Mr. Boasberg. Yeah, so I fully agree. I mean, our principals have a high degree of accountability already. They are at-will employees. And we look very closely at a whole series of measures around their school, from student growth to parent satisfaction to student satisfaction to--we survey all of our teachers in the building to get very detailed information from the teachers about the performance of the school leader. We are also developing and will be rolling out this year a principal evaluation and feedback system that is fully aligned with the system for teachers. We think it is very important that those be fully aligned. And, as James said as well, it is not just principals but for every employee in the district, they are having multiple--at least one evaluation every year. I think it is important that there be a performance culture and ways to measure performance and provide feedback and coaching and also make personnel decisions based on that performance at every level of the school system--teachers, principals, district leaders. Mr. Loebsack. Superintendents. Mr. Boasberg. Superintendents, certainly. Mr. Loebsack. Right. Thank you. Chairman Kline. I thought we had a UC agreement here. The gentleman's time has expired. Dr. DesJarlais? Mr. DesJarlais. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you to our panel for appearing here today. Commissioner Huffman, you had mentioned a minute ago about your experience at Teach For America. Can you share with us a little bit about how this shaped your belief in the importance of a teacher evaluation system? Mr. Huffman. Yeah, thank you very much for the question. So, first of all, I think being a teacher in an inner-city school with lots of high-needs kids, the biggest thing that I learned was simply that all kids, regardless of their circumstances, can achieve at a high level if we, as adults, deliver the services that those kids deserve. And the other thing as it relates to teacher evaluation is, as with children, with adults there is a range of distribution of people's performance. And, certainly, what I saw in my own school and what I think--this is not unique to a Teach For America experience, but I had colleagues who were in there at 6:30 in the morning, they were there at 6:30 at night, they were working hard, they were getting results for kids, and they were paid in lockstep with their colleague next-door who came from 8:00 to 3:00 and wasn't particularly effective. They were paid in lockstep, and they were evaluated in lockstep as well. And that was a system that, quite clearly, didn't make sense. It didn't make sense for anybody. And so, you know, I think I came to have a full appreciation for the need to treat adults like adults and call it like it is and make sure that that tied somehow to how our students were advancing. Mr. DesJarlais. Okay. Thank you. You also mentioned that Tennessee has started rigorous State-facilitated training sessions for district-level evaluators. Can you explain these training sessions in a little more detail and how they are going so far? Mr. Huffman. Yes. They have gone pretty well. So we have trained about 5,000 administrators. And the way it works is that district officials have to figure out how many people they are going to need in order to conduct the number of observations that they need. So it is principals, assistant principals, instructional leaders, and so on. And they come in for a 4-day intensive training. It has been run by TAP, who has created the rubric. So it is TAP experts who are coming in. There is a lot of videotape session, a lot of discussion, and a lot of analysis to try to norm people. The goal is that, across this rubric with 19 different sections, that people would become normed around what does a 1 look like, what does a 3 look like, what does a 5 look like, and be able to distinguish among them. And the feedback that we have had has been extremely positive. I have actually read a number of emails and encountered a number of people out who said they went in skeptical--so these are principals saying, ``I went in skeptical. Another 4-day training, you know, another rubric.'' And they came out saying, ``This is going to help our teachers become better.'' And, certainly, the field tests, that is the way the teachers felt, as well. Teachers, when they got feedback on the rubric, they said, ``I got helpful feedback, and I actually know what is expected of me.'' Mr. DesJarlais. What are some of the potential problems that you have seen so far? And what do you plan to do about those? Mr. Huffman. Yeah, I think one of the big challenges on the observation side is just the range of distribution. We have to make sure that there is not grade inflation or grade deflation across different districts. One thing is that this is now tied to our tenure system. So Governor Haslam led the effort to pass meaningful tenure reform which turned tenure from a 3-year rubber stamp into a 5-year process where you have to score a 4 or a 5 on your evaluation in the last 2 years in order to get tenure. And I think that ups the stakes for making sure that there is consistency in application across districts. And one thing that we are doing, we have an online system that we are going to roll out, so we will see observation scores in real-time. So, for instance, in November, we would at the State level be able to see that this is the average observation score in county X and this is the average observation score in county Y. And if there is a massive difference and if that difference didn't correlate to actual student achievement results, we would be able to go into county Y and provide retraining and so on to reform the system. Mr. DesJarlais. Well, thank you. I certainly applaud your efforts. And I yield back the little bit of remaining time I have. Chairman Kline. I thank the gentleman for that. Ms. McCarthy, I think you are next. Mrs. McCarthy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, everybody, for your testimony. One of the themes that I seem to hear from all of you and through your testimony, obviously teacher evaluations are extremely important, but also professional development activities are very important. One of the things that we have noticed is a lot of the young teachers, graduates, new graduates, seem to go into lower grades. So they are the most inexperienced teachers teaching probably the students that probably need the best teachers. With the evaluations and with professional development, how do you work around that? How do you bring a young teacher who wants to be in that career--we had a hearing many, many years ago, and we had four or five teachers there, new graduates, into the lower grades. And each one of them felt like they should drop out because they did not feel that they were qualified to teach. They wanted to stay as a teacher, but they weren't having the professional development. So are you having, with what you are doing, the teachers very, very involved in professional development on where their weaknesses are and how can they improve so they can be even better teachers? Because they are the ones on the front lines. Even though you are principals or superintendents or commissioners, you have probably come through the ranks in some sort, one way or the other. I would like to hear those answers. Ms. Walsh. Well, I will start. I just want to make a clear point, that I would argue that no teacher should go into a classroom who hasn't been taught how to teach reading or do any of the activities that young children need. So I think that the first order of business should be what kind of preparation we provided that teacher before she walked into the classroom. Then, I think that school districts are spending an inordinate amount of money on professional development activities. Some are worthwhile, and some are not. So I think that, in the process of better evaluation systems, we are beginning to identify how to tailor the professional development to teachers' future needs. I think it has been very problematic, without the kind of comprehensive evaluation systems that are now being put in place, for school leaders to even know what a new teacher needs. Mrs. McCarthy. So, with that, how do the rest of you deal with teacher development to make sure that there are programs that are worthwhile for the teachers to participate in? Mr. Cicarella. In the new teacher evaluation system in New Haven, the teacher and the instructional managers sit down and they self-rate themselves on the rubrics, of all the different areas. So I want to make sure, one, there is not a disconnect. If I am a teacher and I think I do a terrific job in classroom management and the instructional manager, you know, principal, doesn't see that, you know--so it usually is a very good--it is a good tool to determine where are the weaknesses and then have some targeted and focused professional development. Because, too often, a lot of our money is spent on system- wide things. And they are valuable, to a certain degree, but a lot of it, quite frankly, is wasted, because we march all 1,600 teachers in New Haven to a professional development session, and we bring a consultant in, very high-paid, when perhaps 200 or 300 of those folks would benefit from that. So our new evaluation system says that those areas of need are identified and agreed upon by the teacher and the principal. And then we will go ahead and target that and do less system-wide things and more either school-wide or even group-wide things--for example, classroom management. They would call in teachers that they have identified from the different schools in New Haven, and those teachers would attend those sessions. Mr. Boasberg. I think we recognize how extraordinarily challenging a profession it is, even for very experienced teachers. And for new teachers coming in, it is an enormously challenging job. And I think we have tried to address that in a series of ways. One is a recognition that, as Kate said, a number of our teacher preparation programs aren't where they need to be, in terms of truly preparing teachers to come in and be effective teachers from the beginning. So we have a multiplicity of areas where we try and recruit teachers from, both from our teacher schools of education, but Teach For America. We recently set up our own residency program, where high- talented individuals come in for an entire year, are resident teachers in the classroom of master teachers to really observe and learn teaching practices and gradually take increased teaching responsibilities under the eye every day of that master teacher. And I think that program has been very successful in developing teaching practices among our young teachers. And I think part of this is, if you look at our system and other systems, there has often has been too much emphasis on content. And if you look at our system, our teachers often do a lot better on content knowledge than they do on the most challenging pedagogical skills--for example, around differentiation, to mean different students need developing academic knowledge, developing problem solving, innovation, 21st-century skills. And I think one the things that we need to do and a lot of systems need to do a lot better is, yes, you do need to understand the content. I don't mean to demean content; content is important. But content is only one part of this, and have a much greater focus on the professional in-classroom skills that teachers need to be effective to meet the very diverse needs of the 20, 25, 28 kids who are with them every day. Chairman Kline. The gentlelady's time has expired. Dr. Bucshon? Mr. Bucshon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was a surgeon previously, and I will make a few comments, and then I will have a question more related to how we get people to become teachers. Many physicians score well on standardized tests. Many have been in the top of their class. But ultimately, once you are in practice, the outcome of your patients is what is important. The best doctors are not necessarily those who score best on the test. And there is an art to the practice of medicine, as I believe there is in teaching. The people that know the best how you do as a physician are those in your local community--the nurses, the other people that work with you, as well as your patients and family. Again, in my view, this is applicable to teachers. And, ultimately, what counts is the success of students. That said, I think all of us here today have recognized that student success is a multi-factorial equation, of which quality teachers are a very important part of it. So my question really is to anyone, to all of you, is, what can we do to continue to convince our best and brightest students to become teachers? And what can we do to attract even more of our best and bright students to become teachers? I think this is a fundamental issue that we appear to be struggling with, as we are in medicine. Mr. Huffman. I will jump in, and I know Kate is chomping at the bit. But from my experience at Teach For America, one thing we can do is recruit them. It is fascinating to me that, basically, if you look at the way many schools of education operate, they hang out a shingle and hope the people come and apply to want to be a teacher. There is not a proactive effort to go and find the best people and make the case to them why teaching should be what they choose to do. And at Teach For America, it is hard work, but it is actually doable to go out and get tens of thousands of very talented people to say that they want to become a teacher. And it takes meeting with them, sitting down with them, explaining the value proposition, explaining the leadership opportunity, the chance to make an impact on the most pressing social justice issue in our country. And, frankly, I just think schools of education have punted on that. They have been willing to take who comes in the door, rather than go out and proactively seek people. Ms. Walsh. I would agree with everything Commissioner Huffman has said. I just want to add that I think that one of the reasons that teaching has become low status is because the preparation of teachers has become such low status. We know that half the people that graduate from an education program don't even get a teaching job, they don't apply for a teaching job. So you have to ask yourself, why is it that so many people are going to an education school with no intention of ever becoming a teacher? And I fear that, for too many of those individuals, they have gone into the education school because it may be the easiest program on the college campus to complete. If you compare that data with what Teach For America has managed to achieve, Teach For America has managed to convey very high status to getting into its program. That does not mean all that Teach For America does is look at test scores, but it is the first gate. You have to meet a minimum level. So it is quite an honor to make it through that first gate, and then you have to go through many gates after that. So the selectivity that that program has modeled for the rest of us on how to attract the best and the brightest is a crucial, crucial point. But I have to say that when I go out and speak with deans of the schools of education, they push back quite vehemently on the notion that they need to become far more selective about who gets into their programs. Mr. Cicarella. I would just say, I mean, in terms of teaching, I think we all agree, no one becomes a teacher--is not about money--no one becomes a teacher to get rich. That is never going to happen, and we know that. The motivation is very different. In terms of attracting them and keeping them, one of the problems we have, it is a demanding job, first of all, obviously. But they need to have some input, not be blamed. That is probably--I mean, some of them just--many of the teachers kind of throw up their hands, ``I am just not doing this. It is just not worth it.'' So we need to maybe get a shift of the attitude, that we are not going to blame the teachers. You have to be accountable, you have to be responsible, but this, you know, consistent blaming that if the students aren't scoring well and you are the teacher in front of the classroom, therefore it has to be your fault and you have to go. We need to be accountable, we need to be responsible for student learning, no question. But I think that is a big issue. A lot of the teachers just don't feel that they are valued. And then they just get to the point where it becomes too frustrating. Mr. Bucshon. Thank you. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Hinojosa? Mr. Hinojosa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Miller, thank you for calling this congressional hearing on education reforms. If we are to remain globally competitive, we must modernize the teaching profession and provide our nation's teachers with the support they need to build their knowledge and skills to grow in the field and advance their careers. In regard to teacher evaluation, accountability, and tenure, I strongly believe that these decisions should be made at the State and local level, with the full participation of teachers, drawing on their expertise and knowledge to improve teaching and learning. Today, I ask my colleagues to consider the work that high- achieving nations such as Finland, South Korea, and Singapore have done to modernize and to build the capacity of their teaching workforce, as well as innovative teacher development and evaluation systems here in our country, in the United States. It is critical that teachers are given the opportunity to develop their expertise both as they enter the profession and throughout their careers. I would like to ask my first question to David Cicarella. Mr. Cicarella, I commend you and the New Haven Federation of Teachers for partnering with your local school system to develop valid, reliable, transparent, and ongoing teacher development and evaluation systems. It seems to me that this is the type of collaboration and leadership that our schools need. I read your testimony. You indicate that the New Haven Federation of Teachers contract was ratified by a vote of 855- 42 and hailed by the local media as a first-in-the-nation agreement between a city and a teachers' union to work together to change the way public schools work. What is unique about your teacher evaluation plan? How does it improve teaching and learning and prepare our students to be college- and career-ready? And the last part of that question is, why is it critical to have multiple measures of student achievement? Mr. Cicarella. I will start with the last piece first, the multiple measures. State tests--very often, we say, well, let's look at the State test and make that the sole factor in the teacher's evaluation. ``If the kids didn't learn the material and you are the teacher, it must be your fault.'' Well, one, the State test is too--the State tests were never, ever designed to evaluate teachers. They are designed to give us data so we can drive our instruction. Essentially, very simply, tell us what the kids know and what the kids don't know, and then we can adjust our instruction there. So they weren't created for that purpose. So what we do need is the multiple measures. So, yes, do we have to look at the State tests? Absolutely. I mean, they are important, they give us some good data, but it is just one piece. We don't want to look at a student and make an assessment of him simply by how he does one week on a test in March in Connecticut, for example. So that is why we need other measures of assessment that I referenced. The second reason is, in many districts, in New Haven, only 22 percent of the teachers teach in subjects covered by our Connecticut Mastery Test and our comprehensive assessment test in high school. So even if we wanted to, even if you wanted to make that argument, ``Well, darn it, we are going to use those State tests because that is what we care about,'' you couldn't evaluate more than three-fourths of our teachers. And that is true in many parts of the country. So, from a practical standpoint, we need multiple measures, but also from a professional standpoint. The State tests are not designed to evaluate teachers. Your question about--I wanted to make a point about the evaluation system. There are three components, in terms of the overwhelming support that we got for it. It is, one, that the teachers were valued. We sat there for an entire year, side-by- side, administrators and teachers, putting the system together--the teacher evaluation system, the principal evaluation system, the surveys, which we did extensively as well. And it emphasized top-to-bottom accountability. So everyone is buying in because they felt that it was important and that it is not just a matter of, ``We have to fix the teachers.'' Yes, we need to do--there is certainly a lot of improvement we need on our side, and we recognize that and we accept it. But in New Haven, they have also said, yeah, we have to look up and down the ladder, as well. And the last piece is the three components. The teacher evaluations shouldn't be merely test scores. Student learning is front and center, no question. In New Haven, it is roughly half. We don't like strict percentages on that. But, you know, the bottom line is that the kids have to learn; that is our job. But we also should be evaluated on things such as our instructional practices, classroom management, delivery of instruction, as well as our professional values. Mr. Hinojosa. Thank you. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Dr. Heck, you are recognized. Mr. Heck. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you all for being here and sharing your experiences. I represent the Clark County School District in Nevada, which is the fifth-largest school district in the nation. And we are certainly struggling with many of the same issues that you have faced. And I have learned a lot from reading through your testimony and hearing you today, and hopefully we will bring back some best practices for our district to take a look at. My undergraduate degree was in education, and I thought I was going to be a teacher until I did my student teaching. Then I realized that I needed something less stressful as a career, so I went into emergency medicine. And I still feel that that career is much less stressful than a career as a teacher. Mr. Huffman, in your testimony, you talked about the multiple evaluation parameters. And you had 15 percent of the evaluation determined by other student achievement metrics, selected through a joint decision by principals and individual teachers. Can you give some examples of what those other metrics were, how they were selected, and how they are actually measured? Mr. Huffman. Sure. So, for example, if you were teaching in high school, you might say, we are going to use AP exams, and we are going to see what the pass rate is or the percentage of students that are able to get a 3 on AP exams. Or you might say, ACT scores. Now all juniors across the State of Tennessee are taking the ACT, and so you might say, we are going to look at improvement in ACT scores. We are working with technical experts to figure out how to actually do the ranking of that and then how to compile it all back in, because I think that is one of the tricky pieces. It is actually tricky even outside of that. You get your value- added score, and then you have your observation scores, and how do you combine it all so that it winds up with one number? So we have technical experts from higher ed that are helping us figure that piece out. Mr. Heck. Do you foresee using things other than other types of test scores for that 15 percent? Mr. Huffman. You could imagine using things that are different than test scores. But I think what is important to me is that there is some level of consistency in the scoring and that there is a range of distribution. What I don't want to see is that if you teach X subject compared to Y subject, it simply is easier to get a more positive evaluation. So we have to figure out how to make sure that the range of distribution is reasonable so that we are continuing to incent people to go into the range of subjects. Mr. Heck. Well, I know one of the concerns I have had, as my State legislature has tried to grapple with this issue, is too much of a reliance on test scores. You know, I know I am a great test-taker. And I know I can go back to high school shop class and get the manual on how to rebuild an engine, and you give me a written test tomorrow, I will ace it. But I guarantee you, I am not the guy you want rebuilding your engine, when it comes time to actually do the hands-on repair. And so that is the issue that we are struggling with, is that balance of where does testing fall in the overall scheme of teacher evaluation. So I appreciate that. Mr. Boasberg, one of your parameters is student perception. And you say, ``students know when they have a great teacher.'' I certainly agree with that. But I am sure that changes from when you are in 1st grade, what a great teacher means to you, then when you are in 12th grade. So how do you account for how students interpret what a great teacher is in that metric? Mr. Boasberg. So, I see those measures primarily at the secondary level, rather than the elementary level, I agree. And as a parent--my youngest will be in 1st grade, although I think he actually got a pretty good sense of who is a great teacher or not. But I do think that what we have seen nationally is that if you ask the right set of questions and not just, ``Is this person a nice person,'' but, ``Does this person challenge you,'' ``Does this person follow up with you,'' ``Does this person meet your individuals needs,'' ``Are the students on task in the classroom; do they begin work immediately,'' that you see a pretty high correlation in those results from student questions to student achievement. So this is primarily an issue for our secondary students. And I think the students do have a very good sense. As a student, I remember very well who my great teachers were, and I knew within a very short period of time who my great teachers were and which teachers weren't very good. And I think it is very important that we get that student voice, particularly at the secondary level. Mr. Heck. Thank you. And, Ms. Walsh, based on the presentations of the other three panelists, what do you feel the role is and how can the federal government help support teacher reform efforts without interfering in the effective practices at the State and local level? Ms. Walsh. I will answer your question; I just wanted to add, there is a study out by the Gates Foundation that shows that students' perceptions of their teachers correlate with the results as low as students in 4th grade. And they didn't do anyone lower than 4th grade, so it may correlate down even further. So it is rather--you know, students have 180 days to observe their teachers, and nobody else has that advantage, so it is something we should respect. In terms of the federal role, it is very complicated because, you know, this is a rather blunt instrument, and trying to tackle these issues is extremely tough, especially at this stage of their development. I know Mr. Miller was asking a somewhat similar question. And I think, at this point, we are very much in an experimental stage, with the great work these three gentleman are doing and in a lot of districts. So we don't have definitive answers that maybe would lead to federal policy at this point that was either you do or you don't. But I do think there is a role for federal government in the reporting requirements and in the carrot. I mean, I think that we found through Race to the Top that that carrot really encouraged States to make some important reforms. But, more importantly, you need to look at--Race to the Top is not offering any carrot right now, and there are still States that are very much embracing these new sets of reforms. So I think we can all feel very encouraged by the activity and momentum that we are seeing currently. So I think with reporting requirements and transparency and tying some strings to what carrots we have, I think that is what is most appropriate at this point. Mr. Heck. Great. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Payne? Mr. Payne. Thank you very much. I really appreciate your testimony. I think that was an interesting question that the gentleman--or a statement he made, about the student perception of teachers, teachers that do well. I think also, though, that same concept of the teacher's perception of the student or students, I think, also tends to be important. Because we find that, in high-poverty areas, there may be a low expectation of the student and, therefore, the teacher teaches down. So I think the perception of the student to the teacher is probably even less important than the teacher's perception to the student, which people would tend to maybe teach down to. I just want to mention a couple of things just quickly. We know that poor, minority students are taught by novice and out- of-field teachers at a much higher rate than their affluent peers. For example, in high-poverty secondary schools and those serving most minority students, more than one out of three core academic classes are taught by out-of-field teachers, compared to one out of five where the low-poverty students are. So you have less qualified teachers, as it is very clear. Additionally, children in the highest-poverty and high- minority schools are assigned to novice teachers almost twice as often as children in low-poverty schools or schools without many minority students. And, finally, just to achieve true equity in education, federal, State, and local education policy must prioritize access to high-quality teachers for all students, including better measures of identifying high-quality teachers. Which, Ms. Walsh, brings me to a question. You noted in your written testimony that teachers are the single most important factor in determining the success of children in schools, which I agree with, although I think principals are certainly important, too, to lead the teachers. And In No Child Left Behind, one thing that was left out was principals. They just didn't deal with principals. It dealt with a lot of things, but not principals. And, of course, we mentioned about testing. And one of the gentlemen said he tested well. We know that with the high- stakes testing, we have even seen our educational system unfortunately have teachers and schools changing scores because of the pressure of the---- Ms. Walsh. Uh-huh. Mr. Payne [continuing]. High-stakes tests that I opposed in the--I think we need to evaluate students, there is no question about it. I mean, when I was a kid, many, many decades ago, you know, they evaluated students, so it is not new. I mean, you had a pass or you failed, and they had a way of grading you. But all of a sudden, you have high-stakes testing at 3rd grade and 6th grade, and kids are pushed into courses of learning to lead toward the test. And I am not so sure how much learning goes on when you teach toward the test. But, as you mentioned, Ms. Walsh, that all States should be developed to require a teacher quality index--agree. Yet you state that Title II funds should be competitive. Now, isn't that recommendation kind of counterintuitive? Because why is it better to provide such critical support for teacher evaluation systems and meaningful professional development only to a lucky few States or, in turn, to a lucky few schools or lucky teachers and students? You want to highlight what teachers are effective or ineffective in the State, but, you know--that is your testimony--you don't necessarily want to provide support to all States to improve the teaching force. So I think that transparency is certainly important in teacher quality, but transparency is really not enough. I think there needs to be a systematic change and systematic support to ensure equity. So I wonder about the competitiveness that you feel should be for Title II funds, which would eliminate many other schools that need it, probably even more. Ms. Walsh. I certainly understand and share your concerns about the States and districts that don't win such competitions, but I would ask you, what is the alternative we are facing? The alternative is we are currently spending some $3 billion a year on something that the taxpayer and those children in the classrooms are seeing far too little as a result of that investment. So I think the alternative here has not proven effective, the status quo. So we are looking for ways that we can use that same pot of money without depriving children of the investment that they would entail, but to use it more effectively and lead to much stronger results. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Thompson? Mr. Thompson. Thank you, Chairman. Thanks to the panel for being here. I appreciate the conversation and a lot of zeroing in on teacher evaluation and, obviously, what we do with that to develop all teachers into highly effective teachers. I want to back up a little bit. I know in my career--I came out of health care, and as I was a manager within hospitals, frankly, the best time we invested was hiring right, because you avoid so many problems. And, frankly, once you get somebody, when you don't hire right--and everybody is kind of, for the most part, smiling and shaking your heads; you understand the consequences of not hiring right to begin with. So I just want to throw this out to begin with. Is there a best practice that you have identified--I want to open this up to the panel; if you could be succinct, I have a couple questions--that is a best practice for making sure that we are hiring truly highly effective teachers? I don't think it is important whether they are novice or new or veterans or how many years of service. We just want the right people, and that is the highly effective ones. So, if you could start, please. Mr. Huffman. I will just jump in quickly and say I really appreciate the question, because as I have started my role as commissioner, this is something that I am really grappling with. I completely agree with your point, that if you hire the right people in the door in the first place, it solves so many problems. One of the things I have seen in my travels around the State is that a lot of the hiring is effectiveness-blind, and it is done based on historical patterns of hiring. So people tend to hire from the higher-ed institution that is geographically closest to the school district, and people are hiring without rubrics that are tied to effectiveness. I mean, I do think there is a tie to teacher evaluation, in the sense that it allows us to collect more data that we can tie back to characteristics of people and hopefully help develop rubrics that we can give to districts that will help them understand what are the attributes of teachers most likely to perform effectively when they are in the classroom, because I think that is what we have to be doing. But right now, the system is not where it needs to be. Mr. Boasberg. I think that--a couple things. One is to make sure, as a district, we have multiple sources we are hiring from. We don't want a situation where we are effectively hiring from only one source. So we not only hire from colleges of education, we have programs like Teach For America, we have a residency program, we have a mid-career program called the Denver Teaching Fellows. Because you want multiple applicants to choose from to be able to choose the best applicants. Second, we are very decentralized. We have principals and teachers who, in that building, as a personnel selection committee, interview the specific teachers. And decisions are made at the school level. We don't do district-based hiring assignments. We want that one-on-one contact and professional judgment of the principal in the school. Thirdly, I think it is really seeing someone teach. This is a profession--and paper qualifications are great, but it is really about how you do in the classroom. And, fourthly, I would add, while I strongly agree that hiring the best possible people is vital, in any profession sometimes you make hiring decisions that don't turn out great or maybe were good at the time but over time is not a great fit. And I do think, while we need to focus on our hiring, we also need to recognize that some of the systems that we have about replacing low performers certainly need to be changed as well. Mr. Cicarella. I just might echo some of the same things; that the paper resume is nice, but we can all put those together. And interviews, we all get trained on interviews and do a nice job in front of the, you know--but--so we do need, I think, in particular, to be sure that these people have kind of been field-tested. I mean, student teaching is supposed to do that, and it does to a certain degree, but, you know, a little bit more than that. Because we do need to see them in action. And many school districts are doing that now. You have to come in and do a lesson in one of the schools before you are hired, as a requirement to be hired. My only other comment I will make quickly is that I appreciate your comment about whether it is new or old. Sometimes reference is made that the newer teachers--I mean, we have new teachers that are very effective, that are terrific. They bring lots of energy. They are inexperienced, but they more than make up for that in some other areas. Not every veteran teacher is tired and worn-out. I mean, colleagues of mine, teaching 25, 30 years, they have just as much energy. They are in there, 6:30 in the morning, 7 o'clock, with the young ones. So years of service, that is really nothing to look at. So I agree with you that when we are doing hiring, we don't want to necessarily say, ``Well, we better make sure we have young teachers,'' or, ``We better get some veteran teachers.'' The best school systems have a mix of both. The new people bring energy and new ideas. Our veterans have a lot of experience that we can rely on. And the best school system will have a mix of the two, and we don't want to preclude one from another. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Ms. Davis? Mrs. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for being here. I really appreciate your testimony. I am trying to do double duty, but I did hear from all of you and read your testimony. And I was particularly interested--for one thing, I actually did introduce a bill, it is called the STELLAR Act. I hope you will take a look at that, in terms of evaluations that are tied into, I think, one of the issues that you particularly addressed, Ms. Walsh, Title I. So I would like to ask you about that. But first, Mr. Cicarella, buy-in is just a tough issue. I am from San Diego, California. And I think that there have been enough instances within, I think, most school districts where it has been tough to get that at a level where people really believe that the people doing the evaluations are going to be skilled enough to be able to really assist and promote professionalism as opposed to just doing something to teachers. And it is something you obviously grappled with. Is there anything else you could share with us in terms of getting that buy-in particularly, and how you worked hand-in- glove, essentially, with making certain that the observers, I think as you called them, were adequately trained in the eyes of teachers to actually do that? Were most of the teachers also mentor-teachers, nationally board-certified teachers? Where did you find those observers, from the existing ranks? Or did people, retired principals, teachers come in? How did you do that? Mr. Cicarella. Yeah, that was a big concern of ours, is that we have a new evaluation system which will be consequential for some, and we recognized that. But we wanted to make sure that it was done fairly and that teachers weren't scapegoated and a finger was pointed at them perhaps by an administrator that is not a good instructional leader, does a no-good evaluation, you know, ``The school is not conducive to learning.'' So one of the pieces we put in, we put a third-party validation in, where we have the outside observers come in. And that we agreed to with the school district. And they are a combination: They are sitting superintendents; some are retired. Principals, again, some active, some retired. None of them from New Haven; they are all from other districts throughout the State. And they would come in. So one of the protections the teachers felt was that there is going to be someone else. Until we get to that point where we have confidence in the administrator's ability to fairly evaluate--New Haven, we have pretty much a mixed bag. We have some administrators who are absolutely terrific. They can be an administrator anywhere in this country. On the other end of the spectrum, we have some, quite frankly, that shouldn't be in the principal's chair. And that was our concern. So to get the buy-in that you are talking about from the teachers, we put in a third-party validation system. I can speak to you more about it; I know time doesn't permit it. Mrs. Davis. Uh-huh. Okay. Mr. Cicarella. But those folks come in, and they are observed by both the principal or assistant principal and this third party, this outside validator, who was interviewed by the teachers' union and the school district and we agreed upon them. And these people had excellent track records of evaluation and of handling staff. And we had to agree to each one. So when we interviewed them, you know, we would say, ``This one. Nope, not this one. This one. Yes, this one is okay.'' So, at the end of the day, we have a cadre validators, third-party validators, that we all have complete confidence in. Mrs. Davis. Uh-huh. Thank you. I appreciate it. I think one of the things that we are searching for and something that would be carried if we go in this direction--and I think I heard from everybody that you do see a federal role here--is to allow--you know, it is definitely not a one-size- fits-all, but it is the process that school districts would go through over a period of time, even up to 5 years, that would provide this kind of a setting so that they can do the appropriate work of getting this together. That may or may not be too long, I am not sure. Ms. Walsh, when you talked in your testimony about Title I funds being essentially tied to quality data, and we know that those systems are very important, could you expand a little bit more on that and why you think that that would be essential as we move to having, I would hope, more evaluations throughout the country? Ms. Walsh. I just want to make sure--a correction, that I was talking about Title II funding and the $3 billion, money that goes toward--largely, it is being spent to reduce class size and for professional development. And I think both parties have been a little bit disturbed by the lack of results that have come from that annual investment and have grappled with ways to make it more effective. So we think that it is an opportunity to use that money as a carrot to hold out to districts and States, saying, ``Look, we need to do things a little bit differently here. We need to move toward an evaluation system, that all teachers are being evaluated fairly and reliably but annually.'' So we think that there is an opportunity here to use that money much more productively. Mrs. Davis. Uh-huh. Mr. Boasberg. Could I add a word about the federal role? Chairman Kline. I am sorry, the gentlelady's time has expired. We will try to work that in. Mr. Tierney? Mr. Tierney. Thank you very much. Can any of you speak a little bit to whether or not we should have an expectation of our higher education institutions for that period of time after they give out the BA or the BS to somebody that goes in the teaching profession and what that responsibility might be? Ms. Walsh. I am sorry, I didn't--would you restate your question, please? Mr. Tierney. Usually, they flip the ball to you, and you hadn't even heard the question. They are all just shuffling it down. Should we have an expectation for higher education institutions that produce teachers---- Ms. Walsh. Oh. Mr. Tierney [continuing]. Beyond the time that they give you your degree? And what is that expectation that we should have? Ms. Walsh. I mean, we certainly struggle with that issue. There are some education schools that have said, you know, if you are dissatisfied with our product, we will, at our own expense, retrain or re-prepare that teacher. And then there are also, on a much broader scale, there is an effort nationwide to look at the value-add of teacher graduates once they leave an institution and how much they contribute to the performance in a classroom. So we know that teachers from one institution are more effective than another. I know Tennessee has been a pioneer in that effort. There are some limitations. It is not something we can do very easily. But, currently, there are only three States in the country that allow us to do that. But even when we do have all 50 States providing that kind of data, it will not ever tell us, well, what is it that education schools are doing right or wrong? Mr. Tierney. Well, is--and, also, thinking along the line, regardless of whether or not a particular institution that might be located in a particular geographic area graduated that teacher, might they not have some responsibility with the community in which they are located to support that teacher? You know, particularly, we have these instances where a lot of the students that are high-poverty and high-risk are getting teachers that are newer, often less experienced, and sometimes teaching out of subject. So is there something that can happen there, where those institutions work with the community and support those teachers to help improve their performance? Ms. Walsh. There is a great deal of interest on the part of institutions becoming more involved in the clinical practice and in real schools. That is a change that we have seen happen, and I think that is all great. I would just think that we need to attend also to this the basic needs of new teachers, and are they coming out of an education school with the basic credentials--not credentials, but work that they should have done before they go into classrooms? Do you realize that there are over a million children a year assigned to first-year teachers? And if you look at the contribution of first-year teachers to student growth, it is not good. Students lose ground consistently under first-year teachers. So we know that children who are in high-poverty schools where there is a lot of turnover have more of those first-year teachers. It doesn't need to be that way. We have seen programs that have delivered teachers well-prepared into schools on day one. And they do not lose ground; they make up--they make progress. Mr. Tierney. And going along with your point earlier about a lot of students feeling that they can get into an education program because it is easier to get accepted and easier to complete, what would be the change in that if we paid teachers at a level, say, that we pay police officers? In our communities, when they publish the income of public employees, the police officers are always the first 10, 12, 20 positions on that, or other people in that category. What if we paid our teachers like that, so that people knew, if they graduated and did well in a teaching job, they would make that kind of money and might want to sustain it as a career? Do you think that would have a positive impact? Ms. Walsh. I think it is absolutely critical. I think one of the reasons we are not attracting the best and the brightest into the teaching profession is because they are in college and they look at their future careers and they know exactly how much they will earn in 25 years if they go to work in the school district, adjusted for inflation. That is not a incentive to most 21-year-olds. We have to make it possible for young individuals, college graduates, to say, you know, ``If I am really good at this job, I am going to make a very nice income. It is all going to depend on my contributing talent and skill.'' Mr. Tierney. Thank you. I yield back, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Kline. Thank the gentleman. Mr. Holt. Mr. Holt. Thank you. Well, I won't pursue Mr. Tierney's line of questioning except just to comment that in my own State, where we have the top public official in the State insulting teachers and telling them that they are getting too much in health benefits and pension, it is not leading too many people in that profession. Two very different questions. First, looking at science and math education--I am not sure who I am directing this to, probably Ms. Walsh--but we used to have the Eisenhower funds, which provided something on the order of $400 million a year to teachers all over the country for professional development, mostly in science and math. That was turned into Science and Math Partnerships, funded at about a third of what Eisenhower funds had been. And now those funds, this administration has proposed be pooled with all sorts of other things. So there is nothing nationally available that is specifically for science and math teacher professional development. What is the strategy that we should be using? Is there any different strategy that we should be using for the professional development of science and math teachers? I am using this term kind of broadly, the STEM areas. And maybe others would have comments on that. Teach For America seems to be bringing a lot of science majors into teaching, at least temporarily; and they do have some different training, I believe, for the students who are doing that. Well, let me let you talk. Ms. Walsh. Well, you know, it is such an important question, and we get asked it a lot. And I am just going to be honest with you, I find it a little frustrating. Because, in terms of professional development for science and math teachers, right now, if you are an elementary teacher, it is too often the case where people say, well, I am an elementary teacher because I am not any good at math. And yet they are the first teachers of our students in mathematics. We know what preparation elementary teachers do need to be effective in the classroom. We know exactly what they should be learning. But, nevertheless, across the country, if you look at what kind of preparation teachers are getting in mathematics, it is all over the map. There are programs that provide no courses. There are programs that provide any courses. There is no consensus. So I think the best thing the U.S. Congress could do is to look to the State of Massachusetts, which is the only State in the United States which is currently requiring its elementary teachers to pass a rigorous test in mathematics. There are a lot of States that require any test, but there is only one State that is making real progress. So rather than try to get--I just think that this testing issue is the easiest way to reshape the practices and policies of States. So I just think it is ultimately very important, and I don't think that we should burden school districts with the job of providing the content preparation that should have happened before teachers arrive in their school districts. Mr. Holt. Would the other witnesses--Mr. Cicarella, please? Mr. Cicarella. Yes, perhaps two comments. On science and math, I referenced earlier that teachers don't become teachers to make money. But there is such a disparity between what the folks can make on the outside. I was a math major. I can make a lot more money on the outside than teaching. I chose to do it, and many of us do, but that is a difficult one. And not that money is always the answer, but that is part of the problem we have. There is such a disparity in the salaries, if you have a math or science degree, on the outside as opposed to education. And then the only comment I want to mention about Teach for America, they are a terrific organization. My daughter is a TFA person, so I very much like those kids. They are bright, they are driven, they work hard. But in terms of training, they have no special training. Quite frankly, it is just simply a crash course. I can speak firsthand. My daughter went through it. They come from outstanding colleges. My daughter was a Boston University graduate. Mr. Holt. Yeah, more than 15 percent of the graduating class at Princeton University applied for Teach for America. Mr. Cicarella. Yeah. But their training is one summer. They have one summer of training, and they have some follow-up work with their folks. So they are not doing anything special with math and science. That is a good organization, they do good work, but they are not helping us with the math and science problem. Chairman Kline. The gentleman's time has expired. Ms. Woolsey. Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. One of my biggest concerns for a long time with our public education system and with evaluating teachers fairly to see how well they are doing is that many classrooms, many districts, many cities in general provide teachers with kids that aren't ready to learn in the first place. They come to school insecure. Their homes are not safe. Possibly they may not even have a home. They may be moving every 6 months. They are hungry quite often. Sometimes they don't have medical care. How in the world can we evaluate teachers--so this is a question to all of you. How would you take this into account when teachers are evaluated? How do we measure a teacher's progress when that teacher is provided a classroom of kids that are in real need? Mr. Huffman. I will jump in. So while it is absolutely true, everything that you said, that kids come to school with very different needs and that those needs impact then the classroom environment, excellent teachers are able to advance learning with kids regardless of the challenges that they are bringing to school. We see that again and again. Ms. Woolsey. Excuse me, one kid at a time. What if they get a classroom of half the kids in the class move every 6 months or they have got 13 different languages in the classroom? One excellent teacher is going to be able to balance all of that without any help from us? Mr. Huffman. I think there is a difference when you talk about measurement between moving, in which case you have a measurement challenge between---- Ms. Woolsey. All right. I am talking about what that does to the kids. So I am not talking about--okay. Mr. Huffman. I personally believe, yes, we see it all the time. So it is not accidental, again, that the Teach for America teachers are actually outperforming other teachers, even though they have the toughest classrooms. Part of that is because we are doing value-added. So we are not just saying, where do you wind up at the end of the year? We are saying, how far do you advance your kids over the course of the year? So is it hard work? Yes. But, on the other hand, we only want people in classrooms serving high-need kids who believe they have the locus of control to move those kids' student achievement. Mr. Boasberg. Maybe I could speak to Colorado. In Colorado, we measure growth as well. Last year, of the five schools in the whole State of Colorado, 2,000 schools, that grew the most, four were in Denver. Three of those schools, the student body were more than 90 percent of those students came from families in poverty. We have too many schools that perform extraordinarily well with students who come from families in poverty. So I have seen it done in classroom after classroom, in school after school. Is it challenging? Yes. But the alternative, that somehow we do not evaluate, do not have accountability for our teachers who teach our highest-need students, to me is a far more concerning alternative. Ms. Woolsey. Absolutely. So let's go on to you, Mr. Cicarella. Tell us, I am sure, building on what these two gentlemen said, what do we do? Why are those classrooms able to make up that difference? What do we provide? Mr. Cicarella. You are right. I mean, the extenuating circumstances do count. While I agree excellent teachers make a difference, I am going to disagree that if you are an excellent teacher you are going to overcome all these impediments. Kids don't come to school. You can't teach them. You can't teach an empty chair. Some of them have so many severe problems--we don't need to go into those--that the last thing on their mind--I taught algebra and I taught reading in eighth grade. That kid could care less about my polynomial lesson when he has got all kinds of things going on at home. That is just the reality of it. I prepare my lessons diligently, I care about them, and I do the best can. But if they are not engaged and if they have so many things facing them, they are just not going to be--no one is going to break through that. So to your question as to what do you about it, we do need to look at the legitimate reasons. And so the wraparound services are really important. That is part of what we have for school reform in New Haven, is that we have to address those issues. Because you can be the best teacher in the world, as I said, but, again, some of those impediments are so severe that no one is going to break through those. Ms. Woolsey. Okay. Thank you. Ms. Walsh, you have just a little bit of time. Ms. Walsh. I think that they have spoken well to this issue. I do think the question before us is what is our alternative. Ms. Woolsey. No, I am not suggesting we don't do it. I am suggesting it will be an investment that has to be made. Otherwise, we will be leaving groups of kids out and/or evaluating teachers on something that is quite impossible. So we need a lot of help in that regard. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Kline. I thank the gentlelady. Her time has expired. I want to again thank the witnesses for being here, for excellent testimony, and really being engaged in the questions and answers. I am going to recognize Mr. Miller for his closing remarks. And, by agreement, he is going to roll at least one more question into those remarks. So stand by. Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller. I just have kind of a general observation. I appreciate your observation on the observation. Mr. Boasberg--I think I got it right--yeah, this is yours. Mr. Boasberg. It is, yes. Mr. Miller. On the teacher and student behaviors and teacher behaviors and on the learning behaviors, on those parts of the graphs, you have for a distinguished teacher the students are observed pursuing their own strategies and ideas, students are observed supporting each other, and persevering and solving problems. Students are observed encouraging each other to work harder. You have here for students, student mediate diverse opinions or approaches and devise their own. Students approach tasks and responses in highly original and applied ways. Students are creative problem solvers and think about systems, not just isolated parts. Most teachers would tell me that this is all inconsistent with teaching to the test. I assume you still have annual tests? Mr. Boasberg. We do. So thank you for the observation, and I appreciate you bringing it up. If I could respond, I don't see there is any inconsistency at all. I think that all of us in the community care very deeply can our students learn to read, write, and do math. To me, that is just the threshold that all of our students need in order to contribute to our society and have jobs. And I think those tasks do measure that. Those are important to our students. Can they learn to read, write, and do math? At the same time, our schools all have real aspirations to prepare our kids for the 21st century, to be good citizens, to be problem solvers, to be innovative, to be creative; and we care very deeply about those things. That is what our parents tell us. In Colorado, it is a school choice State. As a parent, you can send your child to any school anywhere in the State so long as there is room. We need to be able to make sure that we are offering to our students rich classrooms that really develop the whole child, and I see absolutely no inconsistency at all. In fact, what we see when we have teachers who are developing those higher order thinking skills, the problem solving skills, the creativity, innovation, collaboration, that students are taking command of their own learning, being original. They are the ones who are scoring best on reading, writing, and math. So, in our experience, there has been absolutely no inconsistency with caring deeply about students to be able to read, write, and do math and, at the same time, caring deeply about the whole child and fostering the critical thinking, the creativity, the innovation skills that I as a parent care so deeply about, and all of our parents care very deeply about. Mr. Miller. Anyone else? Mr. Huffman. I would just agree. I don't think teaching to the test works in advancing test scores the way people think. I think that it is actually the mediocre teacher that teaches to the test, and it is the strong teacher that teaches a robust set of skills that winds up being demonstrated in advanced test results. Mr. Miller. I probably have been an outlier in that I insisted for a long time that it was an excuse and not a result. I am very encouraged that we would consider these attributes in evaluation. Because I think these attributes mirror a modern workplace much more so than most schoolrooms and where students do collaborate, where workers collaborate, where people work across grades or work across schools or get together with other schools and start to figure out solutions, as opposed to the right fact. The facts are on Google. The question is, can you pull them together and come up with a solution to what may be complex in fourth grade or seventh grade or eighth grade and can you do it with others? I think that tells us more about getting people ready for a modern economy and modern democracy, if you will. So I appreciate that. Thank you very much. Thank you very much for all your testimony this morning. Chairman Kline. I thank the gentleman and identify myself with all of his closing remarks. Mr. Miller. You heard it here first. Chairman Kline. You heard it here first. Mr. Miller. Probably never again. Chairman Kline. Maybe, maybe never again. Mr. Miller. The gentleman gets the right to revise and extend his remarks. Chairman Kline. In this case, I won't. I do agree. I am heartened by what we have heard here today. I think you are making fantastic progress. We are going to continue to grapple with our role, with Washington's role in what you are doing. I can tell you that, as a very minimum, we want to make sure that you are able to continue with what you are doing and the successes that we are seeing. Again, as I said earlier, your testimony is fantastic. You have been very involved and engaging witnesses. I thank you for that. There being no further business, the committee stands adjourned. [Whereupon, at 12:13 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]