Serial No. 106-2


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce


Hearing on "Implementing School Reform in the States and Communities"

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C.

Thursday, January 28, 1999















Hearing on "Implementing School Reform in the States and Communities"

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C.

Thursday, January 28, 1999



The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:02 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. William F. Goodling [chairman of the committee] presiding.

Present: Representatives Goodling, Ballenger, Barrett, Boehner, Hoekstra, McKeon, Castle, Hilleary, Ehlers, Salmon, Tancredo, Fletcher, Miller, Kildee, Roemer, Scott, Hinojosa, Kucinich, Wu, and Holt.

Staff Present: Victor Klatt, Education Policy Coordinator; Sally Lovejoy, Senior Education Policy Advisor; Kent Talbert, Professional Staff Member; Christie Wolfe, Professional Staff Member; Pam Davidson, Legislative Assistant; Gail Weiss, Staff Director; Mark Zuckerman, General Counsel; Cedric Hendricks, Deputy Counsel; June Harris, Education Coordinator; Alex Nock, Legislative Associate; Marci Phillips, Legislative Associate; Cheryl Johnson, Legislative Associate; and Roxana Folescu, Staff Assistant.


Chairman Goodling. Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here for our second day of hearings on state and local school reforms. I want to take this opportunity to welcome each of our witnesses and all others who are in attendance this morning.

One of our committee's major responsibilities this year is to review the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These two hearings set the stage for that review process. No stones should go unturned. And we will end the full committee hearings next week with the Secretary of Education. Then the two subcommittees will have, I don't know how many hearings they might have, probably the country.

For many years, I have tried to focus our attention on the quality of elementary and secondary education programs. Are taxpayers receiving their money's worth? Is the federal government being a good steward of education dollars? Are we emphasizing quality or quantity? And above all, are we helping those that we are trying to help? Because in most cases, they are children who have an education disadvantage when they appear at our doorsteps; and therefore, even if our program is good, that isn't good enough for them. It has to be better than good, so it has to be excellent.

More often than not, the government's focus has always been on quantity until recently. And I think in the last two reauthorizations of Head Start we talked mostly about quality. And we want to keep moving in that direction.

The President has said that we must change the way we invest the $15 billion that goes into public education and start reporting what works and stop reporting what does not work. As I told them yesterday, that is the one time in his speech when I jumped up and applauded and shouted and tried to get Mr. Kildee to join me, but he stayed seated at that particular time.


Mr. Kildee. I was watching Vice President Gore.


Chairman Goodling. Oh, okay. You were taking your cue from the Vice President. We were also finding out we haven't been getting the kind of results we had hoped to get across the nation. Forty percent of our fourth graders, we are told, score below basic in reading, 38 percent are below basic in eighth grade math. And most educational goals reports show our high school graduation rate has been stagnant over time and that we have lost ground in 12th grade reading achievement.

In addition to quality, we would like to focus on making sure the dollars get down to the classroom. We would like to increase flexibility in the federal programs. We would like to improve the quality of teaching. We would like to encourage parents to save for the education of their children. We would like to increase funding for the unfunded mandate of special education. We would like to support drug-free schools and encourage increased parental involvement in the education of children.

And today we will hear about several state and local education reforms. We have a very distinguished panel. I would ask the panel to give your report as quickly as you can because all these people up here get anxious about when they are going to have time to start peppering you, "peppering" may not be a good word, asking questions.

So I will now call on Mr. Kildee, and then we will be ready for your testimony.

See Appendix A for the Opening Statement of the Honorable Bill Goodling



Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There are many reasons why we are grateful that the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Bill Goodling, is chairman of this committee. We all know many of the substantive reasons, but also being a former teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools, he is here on time. That is not true of all committees, and we very much appreciate it, Mr. Chairman.

Educational reform, whether driven by Title I, Goals 2000, or state and local efforts, are essential components of giving our children real equal footing in this global economy. In this Congress, we are scheduled to reauthorize the majority of the elementary and secondary education programs that represent the federal effort to ensure high academic achievement for all our students and targeting resources to those most in need.

In addition to the present thrust of education financed at the federal level, I believe that proposals to strengthen accountability, reduce class size, and modernize our school buildings are essential priorities of educational reform that can strengthen the existing focus of federal investments. As efforts to implement education standards and assessments are completed and revised in the states, we will finally see the results of some of the most ambitious attempts in education reform in modern times.

I hope we can learn from the witnesses before the committee today about their experiences with education reform, especially the utilization of standards and assessments, and apply their knowledge to our work here in the Congress.

We look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, the rest of the committee, and those who are presenting their testimony here this morning.


Chairman Goodling. Thank you.

See Appendix B for the Opening Statement of the Honorable Dale Kildee


Chairman Goodling. We will begin starting at my left, your right, and work down the list. That way, the ladies get to go first. We are very happy to have Arizona's State Superintendent with us this morning and we will ask you to proceed at this point.

Mr. Salmon, would you please introduce your state superintendent?


Mr. Salmon. I will be pleased to. Thank you.

It is really a delight to introduce Lisa Graham Keegan to the committee. I was fortunate to be able to serve with Ms. Keegan in the Arizona State Legislature. She was in the house, and way back then, she was a pioneer when it came to education reform policies. And now she is superintendent of public instruction in Arizona, perhaps the preeminent educational reformer in the country.

Her efforts have not only helped to shape Arizona's education system for the better, but have triggered reform throughout the country. And I think she has provided a model which other superintendents of public instruction and governors can emulate.

On behalf of the Education Committee, I would like to thank Superintendent Keegan for her involvement in Representative Hoekstra's landmark Education at the Crossroads project.

I could easily spend the next hour detailing all of her virtues and accomplishments, but many of you are aware of them. This, I believe, is her fourth time addressing a key committee here in the Congress. But there is one area I would like to highlight notwithstanding the statement of President Clinton's State of the Union address that could be misinterpreted to suggest that he is the father of the charter schools movement.

Lisa Graham Keegan really has been the engine behind this reform. Her legislation paved the way for now 270-plus charter schools operating in Arizona, and was a model and an inspiration to about 30 other states to pass charter school laws, the latest I believe New York. Over 1,100 charter schools now operate nationwide. David Brooks, writing for the Weekly Standard in the article "Lisa Graham Keegan, Too Good For the GOP," called her "the school chief who has created the most effective charter school program in the country."

The hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of parents nationwide who now have real choice as to where to send their children owe a great debt of gratitude to Superintendent Keegan.

In Arizona, these innovative public schools, free of much of the red tape and burdens of other public schools, have dramatically changed the education landscape. Parents now have a broader choice of where to send their children. Parents who feel that their kids are trapped in failing public schools but lack the means to send their children to a private school, for the first time have real options.

And sometimes parents choose to send their children to a charter school not because the school is failing, but because a particular charter school may have an attractive, unique focus that meets the needs of their child.

With the arrival of charter schools, all schools in Arizona must compete for children that would improve the quality of education for all children.

Superintendent Keegan has made a mark in several other areas of education reform, including establishing academic goals for students, having education dollars follow the student to the institution of their choice, and demanding that schools be held accountable -- all very novel ideas.

I look forward to hearing her testimony and implore my colleagues to listen carefully as she suggests how Congress should approach the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Thank you.


Chairman Goodling. Well, he certainly made your job difficult.


Ms. Keegan. Yes, he did.


Chairman Goodling. I hope you feel able to continue.



Ms. Keegan. Thank you very much, Congressman Salmon. I appreciate that. And I just want to thank the people who have helped us greatly, actually, in Maryland, Colorado, Virginia, a lot of different states. We took cues in not only academic standards, but particularly Colorado helped us with the charter school bill that we changed in 1994 because of some advice they gave us. So we are always learning.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you briefly about what is going on in Arizona and to make a plea that this is a great opportunity, I think, to change the way that we deliver funding in these Title I programs, in particular as part of ESEA, mostly because of what they can offer those children who are not achieving.

And I think one of the most difficult things for me to accept in the current academic achievement in Arizona and in the country is the huge disparity between those children who are achieving and those children who are not. I believe that even our brightest children are not achieving as well as they should. I think the TIMSS studies will reflect that for us.

But it is certainly true that there is almost an inherent expectation that low-income children cannot achieve at the same level, and that is not true; it is disproven daily in many schools. And I think that efforts that are focused, such as you are able to do with programs that you have, on top of states' programs really can get to these children and perhaps offer them an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise have.

One of the things, I guess that concerns any state school officer, is headlines such as the President proposing more control over federal funds. I would suggest to you that you have control over your federal funds in my department, and Dr. Grasmick can speak to her department, but 7 percent of the annual operational funds for education require half, just about 46 percent of my staff to monitor. They are controlled.

What concerns me is they aren't getting the results that they deserve, because while it is a small relative portion, it is $420 million a year. That is a significant amount of money anywhere, but particularly in Arizona.

I would suggest that perhaps we could get more money onto the backs of the children, and out of my office even, with a little bit less regulatory requirement, a little bit more focus on achievement, a little bit more focus on that money moving with the children to programs that do work for them.

As the President said, I agree with the Chairman; I would love to stop doing what doesn't work. I think a very compelling way to do that is to have the money follow children into programs that they choose. Parents do talk, particularly in inner city programs, about what is working for their children; and the evidence that we have of children moving into programs that have been remarkable on the choice of a parent is quite marked, in Arizona at least.

When proposals are made from your venue, from the federal government, obviously to get everybody's attention, it is a very strong power that you have because the power to enforce that and delay requirements on top of what we are doing in the States is taken very seriously.

When the federal government wants to get involved, for example, in construction of schools, I welcome the investment in schools that are crumbling, but I also am worried that nobody is asking the question, why is it that we have crumbling schools in one part of the state and very nice facilities in another? And perhaps that is because that state has not yet dealt with the fundamental inequality in the public education system.

So while I think it is appropriate to worry and to invest in those emergency situations, I worry about the fact that, if that is the case, if you have a crumbling school or crumbling schools in one part of town, and everybody who drives through their cities can see this, and very nice schools in another, what is it about the education that is going on in that school? Might not that be as dangerous, and might not there be an inequity there and expectation that we ought to worry about as well? And shouldn't you encourage the states then to deal with these fundamental inequalities at their base rather than just trying to come in and make what could very well be a legitimate expenditure, but it won't solve the problem if it is based on fundamental inequality?

In Arizona, the way that we solve this problem, I believe we are now the only state in the Union to have done so, is to say that the money available to students not only for operations but also for capital construction, et cetera, follows on children. We will be, when this is fully implemented, a fully student-centered funding system. And in Arizona, we appreciate the efforts of Congressman Salmon and Senator Kyle to introduce such an idea to the Congress as well. That it is a very compelling idea, to have equitable amounts of money following children into the schools that they would choose.

There are five things we are suggesting that might be helpful to us in Arizona, and I know the other experts can give you plenty of suggestions. We would like to have the flexibility to have money follow children as it does in Arizona. I know that you are working on an Ed-Flex plan. I have to tell you, it frustrates us in Arizona because we don't qualify for Ed-Flex because we don't meet the regulations that would make us qualify. So it is sort of an oxymoron for us.

Equity and funding, I think it is very important that that funding is demonstrably spent on children at the school level. We can demonstrate that, and it is equivalently spent. It is not spent in district offices or in ways that wouldn't benefit the children who need it.

We would look for you to speak to very high goals for all children and for proof of those results. We believe it is possible. We believe the testing that we have in Arizona can give you those results.

And we would even say to you, make us prove ourselves. Give us the ability to use these funds on behalf of children. You may take those funds back if we can't increase achievement. Because we are achieving increases in achievement in Arizona, and we would like the opportunity to continue with that focus.

I appreciate the opportunity to share ideas with you and look forward to any questions you might have.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

See Appendix C for the Written Statement of Ms. Lisa Graham Keegan


Chairman Goodling. Dr. Nancy Grasmick is the State Superintendent of Schools for Maryland. We don't have a Marylander introducing her, do we? Dr. Grasmick has served as Maryland State Superintendent of Schools for the past eight years. Under her leadership, the Maryland School Performance Program was implemented. This program is a school reform effort that includes school plans, state performance standards for all schools, performance assessments, and accountability.

She has also been in the forefront in proposing and winning approval for new requirements for high school graduation and service learning. Dr. Grasmick also served concurrently as the Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families, where she worked collaboratively with state and local agencies, parents, advocates and businesses to promote prevention and early intervention services for children.

I think your predecessor is now the superintendent in Philadelphia…


Dr. Grasmick. That's correct.


Chairman Goodling. …is he not?


Dr. Grasmick. David Hornback.


Chairman Goodling. I am sure you are not looking to move in that direction.


Dr. Grasmick. No.


Chairman Goodling. Thank you very much for coming. We appreciate it.




Ms. Grasmick. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. It is a pleasure to be here with you this morning.

Maryland has the longest sustained school reform effort in the nation now. It was initiated in 1989. The centerpiece of that school reform effort has to do with standards, accountability, assessments, and promoting achievement for all 1,400 of our schools in Maryland, and to provide the public with the kind of information where they can make informed decisions regarding those schools.

There is a bottom line to the accountability system in Maryland, and that bottom line is the reconstitution of failing schools. It also provides rewards for schools making exceptional progress.

The result of this very substantive school reform effort has been the entire restructuring of the Baltimore City public schools based on a federal consent decree and legislation that was passed through our state legislature, a dramatic state/city partnership that is working. We believe in saying that Maryland has world-class standards. And as a result, we administer our assessments Taiwan in the areas of mathematics and science so that we can look at the achievement of our students relative to the achievement of students around the world.

Results are occurring. We have the number one retention rate in the entire nation of our students in school. We have dramatic increases in performance. And one of the handouts I believe you will have will be some examples of those dramatic improvements. And we have a very high standard for attendance, which is being met in most of our schools.

The centerpiece, or the purpose of this school reform effort, has been to drive changes in instruction and ensure quality education for every student, so there is not a differentiated standard anywhere in the State of Maryland regardless of the circumstances of the child.

To you, Mr. Chairman, we owe our gratitude for your commitment to young children, because that is a critical piece of our school reform effort. We have now forged a relationship with the Kennedy-Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University to marry for the first time with the State Department of Education the relationship between the most current pediatric research on learning, brain research, and practice in the training of teachers in the State of Maryland.

We were an early Ed-Flex state, and we are grateful for that opportunity to waive Federal regulations.

This is a total integrated effort, so when we receive federal funding, that federal funding must support the school reform effort that is occurring in Maryland. And we have multiple examples of how that has occurred; that is part of the handout that you have been given.

Finally, as you reauthorize the Education and Secondary Elementary and Secondary Education Act, I would urge that you maintain the targeted purposes for these programs. You should insist that federal money not supplant state money. You should insist that there be an integration to the centerpiece of reform in each state.

I urge you to maintain a role for the state education agency, because in Maryland, that has made a significant difference. You need to assure the Congress and the U.S. taxpayers that there is an imperative for accountability, such as we have in Maryland, that can be displayed to every taxpayer in the State of Maryland, and the kind of quality control that I have spoken to.

I want to thank you for your existing efforts because it has made an enormous difference in Maryland in terms of the achievement and retention of our students.

See Appendix D for the Written Statement of Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Gery Chico was appointed by Mayor Richard Daley to serve as president of the School Reform Board of Trustees of Chicago. In this role, Mr. Chico is responsible for overseeing the administration, oversight, and implementation of educational and management reform for the third largest school district in the nation.

Under his leadership, the board has initiated a broad series of education and fiscal reforms, including the Children First Education Plan, which has raised the academic performance of students through various measures. He is a partner in the law firm of Altheimer & Gray where he directs the firm's government and municipal finance group. He is himself a graduate of Chicago Public Schools.

I am happy to hear the last, because I have been told over the years, and I don't know whether there is any truth to it or not, that they always had problems before you folks took over because those who were responsible for the Chicago schools sent their children to private schools.


Mr. Chico. Not anymore, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Goodling. I am glad to hear that.




Mr. Chico. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning. And I appreciate the committee's allowing me to speak this morning. In the space of 5 minutes, it is very difficult to explain what our reforms have been about and talk about what is needed as we go forward, but I will do the best I can.

We have begun by holding teachers and principals accountable in Chicago. The bottom line is that the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, our national norm test, has risen three years in a row, but there is still an awful lot to be done. And just as we ask more of the teachers and of principals, we ask more of ourselves, holding ourselves accountable for eliminating waste, fraud, corruption, much of which we found in the first weeks on the job. I think that has gained the respect of the public in Chicago because they see there is a new day.

Let me begin by saying that what has worked for our system and works for some systems may not work for all. Many school systems share similar problems, but the solutions need to be carefully tailored to the particular communities involved. So I strongly urge the federal government to be as flexible as possible with existing as well as new funds. Let the local governments or school districts decide how best to spend the money and then hold us accountable for results.

The key benchmarks that we use, Mr. Chairman, are student performance, attendance, and graduation rates. If they are moving in the right direction, then you know that the money is well spent.

More specifically, I think you can help us in a few things. You can help us with one of our newest initiatives, Mr. Chairman, which is to partner with the local foundations and academic community in Chicago to create a national teaching academy which will allow us to recruit and train new teachers. This academy will be staffed by master teachers from our system and will be housed in a fully functioning newly created K-through-12 school linked with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Instead of simply putting new college graduates in front of kids and letting them sink or swim, we would like to have them meet with these master teachers, learn from them, and adopt the best practices so that when they enter the classroom, they are productive and ready to go.

Chicago would certainly welcome your partnership in this effort. It would cost money to build and operate such an academy, but we know that the money would be well spent because there is nothing more important than the teachers in front of our children.

Early childhood education, Mr. Chairman, is critical. Every study, and in fact, more importantly, every parent will tell you that the learning process begins long before a child's first day of school. By helping expand early childhood education, the federal government can make an immeasurable impact on the students' performance.

Chicago is doing its part with its own resources. We created more than 2,000 additional slots at the early childhood level. But since resources are always short, Mr. Chairman, diverting money from failing high schools and other efforts would be, in our view, like shutting down the emergency room to only offer preventive care, and we don't think that is smart.

After-school programs, we applaud President Clinton's initiative in this area to triple the amount of money available for after-school programs. Chicago, like other cities, recognizes that young people are susceptible to the temptations of drugs, vandalism, gangs, teenage sex. And there is no shortage of people offering to supply them with these things, especially during the hours after school and through the early evening.

For these reasons, we have already dramatically expanded after-school programs, offering safe places for our children to play and study during the afternoon hours. We have engaged community groups, libraries, and our local park agency to help us run these programs. And, to date, 314 of our 585 schools provide after-school programs for about 175,000 students. We could certainly use the help and support of the federal government to even expand these further. I think you will get the bang for the buck.

Targeted support for schools with large numbers of poor children, in our view, is essential. Children of poverty experience more problems than children who come from homes with more means. Historically, the federal government has targeted these programs through the Title I program, and I encourage you to maintain it and, if possible, expand this program, bearing in mind the concept of flexibility. We think we know what works best.

It is impossible for someone from Washington to know what a specific child in Chicago needs to cope with the unique burdens of poverty. It may be extra time, or a tutor to work with that child, or a home visit by a counselor to make sure that we are getting at the problem.

Reducing red tape: By reducing administrative costs and providing grants directly to large school districts, like Chicago's, the federal government can put more of the money that we are already spending right in the classroom. Federal and state red tape consumes a vast amount of time, as you have heard the superintendents talk about, and we believe that money should be spent directly on children.

By simplifying regulations and eliminating the middleman at the state level, large school districts like our own, which in some cases are bigger than some states, can redirect millions of dollars directly into the classroom.

School reconstruction: Almost a half century ago President Dwight D. Eisenhower set out two national goals, to build the interstate highway system, which has been an immeasurable success, and to rebuild the school system of the United States. Today, the roads have been built and rebuilt several times over, but the schools have succumbed to neglect. Now the new information superhighway threatens to leave many of our children without so much of an entrance ramp.

Currently Chicago, I believe, has the most ambitious school rebuilding program in America, having committed $2 billion of local funds, to date, among 600 local school projects. Yet we are still about $1.5 billion short, Mr. Chairman. And our goal is to modernize every school in our system with new wiring for computers, adequate classroom space, roofs that don't leak, windows that work, science labs for the 21st century, and a campus-like setting with green space instead of broken concrete, and safe and secure buildings with school libraries stocked with new books, music, and sports equipment.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we and Mayor Daley believe that the relationship between local school districts and the federal government is more like a handshake, not a handout. We offer our hand in partnership backed up by our record of accomplishment, our commitment of local tax dollars, and our willingness to be held accountability for improving student performance.

I strongly urge you to begin this next century, not merely with a larger federal role in education, but a smarter one.

I would like to end on this thought if I could, Mr. Chairman. In the past, when we have asked for help with school construction and things of this nature, we have heard that the federal government is very concerned about intruding on local control. We certainly don't view that to be the case. I don't think Washington needs to be any more involved in the day-to-day management of local school districts than a mortgage banker would be in the day-to-day management of a home where they give money.

The question in our mind is whether Congress or the federal government can afford not to support our children, but they must. The quality of our schools will ultimately determine our place in the global economy; and either we invest today in our children by making education a national priority or we can assign them, and all of us, to what we believe to be second-rate status in the new millenium.

Thank you for the opportunity to give our testimony.

See Appendix E for the Written Statement of Mr. Gery Chico



Chairman Goodling. The gentleman is here from Delaware.


Mr. Castle. Well, it was a car day. That was the whole problem, too much traffic around Baltimore.


Chairman Goodling. He will introduce his former State Superintendent.


Mr. Castle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be here, especially after spending so much time on the road. And it is an honor to introduce a good friend, the best part of whose life was spent in Delaware, not the number of years, but in terms of the best years of his life, where he was our Superintendent of Public Instruction when I was Governor. And, more importantly, he went on to serve my successor, we are in different political parties, who is the current Governor of Delaware, and then was nominated by President Clinton to serve as the United States Commissioner of Education Statistics, I believe in 1995.

Dr. Pat Forgione was also the first Executive Director of the National Education Goals panel and has experience as having been a university faculty staff member as well as a classroom teacher, which I think is also important.

I can tell you there are few individuals whose opinions I value more in education than Pat's. There are few people who have more energy for education than Dr. Forgione. So we are pleased to have him here today. And, Pat, we welcome you.




Dr. Forgione. Good morning, Mr. Goodling and fellow members of the committee. And thank you very much, Representative Castle.

I am pleased to share with you the full testimony, entitled "Achievement in the United States: Are students performing better?" This provides a factual backdrop for your important deliberations on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and your interest in implementing school reform in the states and communities.

Let me highlight some of the key findings presented in my testimony:

Are the nation's students performing better? How do they compare to their international counterparts? Have the students improved behaviors that are related to educational achievement and attainment?

The answer to these questions are critical to the nation's future and were so eloquently laid out in 1993 in A Nation at Risk.

What we see is that the news is mixed. My comments will briefly focus on student progress since the publication of A Nation at Risk, while my written testimony goes back further to give you the necessary data to support your policy development.

First question: Are the nation's students performing better? From the National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, we can monitor student achievement at 9 years old, 13, and 17-year-olds consistently over time in core curriculum areas. The results show different trends across the core content areas of reading, math, and science.

There have been gradual increases in math and science achievement since 1992. And as the Chairman indicated, there has been little change in reading performance through 1996. Science scores increased upward for all ages tested since 1982: 9 points, 6 points, 13 points. Ten points typically are a school year kind of growth. You can think of a metric. Mathematic scores also went up from 1982 to 1996: 12 points, 5 points, 8 points for our 17-year-olds.

The math and science achievement gap between black and white students narrowed since the publication of A Nation at Risk. Black and Hispanics in each of the age groups tested, 9, 13 and 17, tended to make larger gains than whites during this period.

The reading scores remained stable between 1984 and 1996. No significant changes occurred in reading during this time period. The gap in reading achievement remained about the same, since there were minimal changes among white, black, and Hispanic students at any of the ages tested.

Let us raise the second question: How do our students compare to students in other countries? I am going to draw upon the results of the Third International Math and Science Study. And I thank both the superintendents here today who have been good consumers of data and have been talking about the TIMSS results. These results suggest that the relative standing of U.S. students declines as they progress through school. In both subject areas, our students are above the international mean at fourth grade, just about the international average at eighth grade. But by 12th grade, they are considerably below the international average and standing.

In 12th grade, the achievement scores both for overall students on the general math and science knowledge test and for the advanced students in math and physics were well below the international average.

TIMSS results encourage us to emphasize three factors that I think fit into our policy development: rigorous content, focused curriculum, and good teaching as critical to improve national performance. For example, while most countries introduce algebra before high school, in the U.S. Only 25 percent of our students take any algebra before high school. Similarly, fully 90 percent of U.S. high school students stop taking math before they get to calculus. Less than 10 percent take calculus in high school.

Let me go on to the third question: Have students improved behaviors that are related to educational achievement and attainment? Here I identified three factors that I think are especially worthy of your consideration: the decline in the high school dropout rate, increase in the educational aspiration and college attendance rates for high school seniors, and increases in the academic course load of high school students.

The dropout rate has declined since A Nation at Risk, especially for blacks. The Hispanic dropout rate remains much higher than for blacks or whites and has not changed significantly since 1982.

The educational aspirations of high school students increased substantially between 1982 and 1992. In 1992, 69 percent of our high school graduates hoped they would go to college. Ten years earlier, only 39 percent had that aspiration. Higher aspirations have been accompanied by actual increases in college attendance.

And here there is good news and there is disappointing news. The proportion of high school graduates going to college rose from 51 percent in 1982 to 65 percent. Our university entry rate continues to lead the industrialized world. However, university dropout rates are higher than in many countries. In fact, more than 1 out of 3 children entering college will not complete.

High school students, some good news, have increased the number of math and science scores as taken. And, remember, that was one of the major requirements: Get the graduation rates up. And if you take the new basic definition, 4 years of English, 3 years of math, 3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies, it has gone from 14 percent of students in the early 1980s who did that to over 50 percent at this point. If you add the new basics, which is half a course in computer science and foreign language, we have gone from 2 percent to 25 percent.

More students are taking advanced placement courses. Between 1984 and 1996, the number of students who took AP exams increased dramatically, rising from 50 out of 1,000, now to 131 out of 1,000. Thus the predominant impact of A Nation at Risk has been on changing the behaviors of students in terms of staying in school, taking more rigorous courses, and raising their aspirations.

In conclusion, the national data on student achievement and related indicators reveals both positive and problematic findings: some improvement in math and science achievement since A Nation at Risk domestically, but not in reading, where the decline has been stable; declining relative international performance in math and science as students progress through school, but a much more competitive standing in the area of reading internationally; increasing the percentage of students taking courses in high school and entering college, but higher dropout rates from universities than in other countries.

In conclusion, it falls to researchers to identify the processes that contribute most powerfully to student performance and to practitioners such as my colleagues here today to implement reforms that lead to further improvement. By providing valid and reliable national, state and international comparative data on the most vital indicators of our education health, we strive to help you to be informed about the appropriate direction for these efforts.

Thank you.

See Appendix F for the Written Statement of Dr. Pat Forgione


Chairman Goodling. Mr. David Eisner is Vice President for Corporate Relations, America Online. Mr. Eisner is Vice President for Corporate Relations, where he overseas the company's focus on policy issues relating to integrating the new medium into society, including issues relating to education and youth development.

Before joining America Online, Mr. Eisner served as Senior Vice President at Fleishman-Hillard International Communications where he specialized in corporate and public affairs issues, management, helping clients with work force readiness and education issues relating to the deployment of new technologies. Welcome, David Eisner.




Mr. Eisner. Thank you. Good morning, Mr. Goodling and committee members. On behalf of America Online, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and some of the priorities that we see in education.

Let me begin by applauding the good work of each of the four previous panelists in improving our education systems. At AOL, we are interested, of course, in the need for a competitive, technology-literate work force. As important, though, we are interested in three issues that we believe are critical to the future of our business.

First, we need graduates who have met tough academic standards and to have the ability to be lifelong adaptive learners. Second, we need teachers who are fully prepared to ensure that children have the best quality learning experience possible. And third, we can't afford to leave any children behind.

When Steve Case started America Online over a decade ago, few believed that interactive technology was more than a hobby for computer enthusiasts. Now there is universal acknowledgment that the online medium will lead to a profound revolution in our society, our civic life, and our marketplace, both in the United States and in the global society.

The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that by the year 2000, some 60 percent of jobs will require proficiencies in the use of a broad array of information technologies. And by 2005, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be growth of 70 percent in technology-related jobs.

We need the American work force to be prepared for the new economy. Right now more than 340,000 high-tech jobs in the United States computer industry, remain unfilled. The situation is reflected in Northern Virginia where there is a current need for more than 19,000 technology employees. An additional 112,000 employees will be needed over the next 5 years. Yet we are finding that only 38 percent of the applicants who apply for technical positions have the skills necessary to fulfill requirements for available jobs, which is not encouraging news.

What is important to realize also is that technology skills are becoming essential for every industry and for every job, not just the seemingly technology-oriented industries. At AOL, our mission is to build a global medium as central to people's lives as the television and telephone, and even more valuable.

While virtually all of the jobs at our company require some familiarity with interactive services, the bulk of our employees are not actually specialists in technology. But we look to hire employees with excellent communication skills and the ability to work in teams. We want employees who are critical and creative thinkers; but most significantly, we need employees who are continuously updating their skills and prepared to change tasks frequently in a constantly changing and, some would say, excessively turbulent environment, what we call "lifelong adaptive learners."

An essential part of meeting this objective is to ensure that our schools provide challenging content that engages all students and teaches critical thinking. Technology is an important tool in engaging children in that kind of thinking. Technology helps young people cut across geographic, ethnic, class, and cultural boundaries, and it can provide high-quality educational content to every child in America.

Properly integrated into teaching and learning, technology is an important cornerstone of education reform. It stands to boost student achievement, making classrooms more learning centered, and encouraging higher-order thinking rather than rote memorization. It can motivate students and encourage the home-school connection. And most importantly, it can level the imbalances that already exist in educational resources and job readiness skills.

America Online urges Congress to renew and expand its commitment to technology literacy in the context of the ESEA reauthorization. And we urge that the focus on professional development and the use of educational technology be deepened and broadened throughout ESEA.

All teachers must become fluent in effectively using technology to improve learning across the curriculum, and all schools of education must integrate technology into their programs. Business-education partnerships should be an important component to this effort, and we should consider distance learning opportunities for teachers.

Furthermore, we believe that heightened attention to professional development must be particularly directed at underserved and minority communities where the risk and the implications of falling further behind are so severe.

Which brings me to our final concern. It is about the alarming gap in access to new technologies based on income, race, and ethnicity. Seventy-five percent of households with incomes over $75,000 a year own computers; yet only 10 percent of the poorest families in the country report computer ownership. Those figures are mirrored in the classroom where just 13 percent of low income and minority communities have Internet access.

Furthermore, there is disturbing evidence that even when students in relatively poor schools do gain access to technology, they are not being taught to use it as effectively as their counterparts in more affluent areas.

There is no doubt that technology is the power to be a great equalizer. We have the unprecedented opportunity to narrow rather than widen the technology gap. But that requires a national commitment from government, industry, and the education community alike to fully integrate technology into teaching and learning.

AOL believes in the power of the Internet and new technologies to fuel our economy, strengthen our democracy, and empower our communities. Education is certainly the most important investment we can make to that end, but without full technology literacy, many of our children will find the bridge to the 21st century shaky indeed.

All of us: the industry, the community, and the government at all levels, must make our best efforts to make technology literacy, challenging course work, high-quality teachers, and accountable school systems a reality for all of our children. Thank you.

See Appendix G for the Written Statement of Mr. David Eisner


Chairman Goodling. I want to thank all of you. You gave us more meat with fewer potatoes than we normally get. My hope will be that we will question rather than give you a lot of potatoes back.

I will start with Ms. Keegan. How do you ensure that all who are very much in need get to schools of their choice, rather than those who know the way to get there?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, we rely on parental choice. And obviously we have only since 1995 been in the business of really opening up choice to all students in all schools. We opened up even public school choice in a bill we passed in 1994 that prevented charging tuition from public school district to public school district, which had been done in Arizona previously. So we have been doing this now for about 5 years. And we do rely on the choice of a parent.

I think it is incumbent upon myself, as Dr. Grasmick said, for us to give information, the most powerful information available. And we are constantly trying to revise it. And we take our cue, actually, from the National Center for Educational Statistics many times, using their information on how our own schools are performing and how we compare ourselves within Arizona and to the rest of the country and around the world. Parents need that to make their choices. So we give them the information, and they make their choices.


Chairman Goodling. Do you have many more students or parents who choose one school or another school? How do you determine who goes where?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, in the traditional public school system, obviously we do allow preferences; and we more or less, if you will, segregate by community, by the school that you live closest to. And the traditional public schools provide a preference for you to attend there. And in the public charter schools, they are completely open. If they are oversubscribed, they need to use a lottery. So they are at choice. So if they are filled, then you simply go on a waiting list. But there must be an equitable process. There can be no selection of students.


Chairman Goodling. Thank you. Dr. Grasmick, you mentioned flexibility. Yesterday the Senate committee passed out their Flexibility Educational Initiative. Hopefully we will be taking that up shortly here. How does it work? What should we be doing to make sure that it works better so that you can better use the dollars that come from the federal government?


Dr. Grasmick. We were grateful to be one of the, I think in the second round of Ed-Flex states designated, Maryland was selected. And I think it was selected on the basis of the strength of its school reform efforts on its accountability system, which was well institutionalized when we were selected.

We have only 24 school systems in the State of Maryland. They are quite large. But it enables me to have very direct contact with each of the local school superintendents. They are keenly aware of any federal regulation that would inhibit their ability to apply for federal dollars or even our state grants in order to further implement our school reform efforts.

And so as we provide the opportunity for those competitive grants, whether they are Goals 2000 grants or other kinds of grants, they do make those requests for waivers. And we feel no inhibition about granting those waivers, because we have such a strong accountability system.

As has been stated over and over again here, we are not concerned about the inputs. We think that that should be local choice in terms of those inputs. What we are concerned about are the results. And based on the strong assessments that parallel exactly with what Mr. Eisner said, our assessments are performance-based assessments. Students must integrate knowledge. They must apply that knowledge. They must do real problem solving in those assessments, which I believe are actually a model for this country. And so we judge those individual schools on the performance of those students.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Chico, I was extremely impressed with your testimony. If you are successful, it should be a wonderful model for the rest of the country, and we are sure looking for that wonderful model.

I had a question in relationship to how you got the cooperation of your teachers in order to bring about the reforms and the changes that you wanted to make.


Mr. Chico. Well, we did something radical, Mr. Chairman. We sat down and talked with them before we decided what the agreement would be with the labor union.


Chairman Goodling. That is good.


Mr. Chico. And in all candor, we decided that we wanted a different way of dealing with the Chicago Teachers Union which is about 32,000 members strong. I had worked for Mayor Daley for about five years prior to taking this job as president of the school board, and had viewed firsthand these all-night sessions to avert a strike at 2 a.m. in the morning with cold sandwiches and cold coffee. And all it led to was a flight of people who had the means to leave the city or to leave the school system. It left acrimony with the teachers and a bad attitude when they came back to the classroom either after a strike or after some tense negotiation. And we decided that we wanted a new day.

So we sat down with the leadership; we told them that. We said we weren't going to quibble over 20 cents an hour. When you look at some of the salaries being paid out there to other people, we felt that we ought to invest in teachers and make the investments. So we reworked our entire budget and came up with the money to give them a fair labor packet, and we asked them in return for that to give us a 4-year contract, which we have now done two of, so we will ultimately have eight years of peace and quiet so we can concentrate on the things that have been talked to here today. But it is attitudinal, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Goodling. I thank you very much.

Dr. Forgione, you answered my question shortly after I wrote it down. My question was why a decline in junior-senior high school math and science? And then you went on to answer that. My time is up, so I won't ask you to answer it again. And, Mr. Eisner, I will get you on the second round.


Mr. Kildee.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to direct a question to Mr. Chico. But if the others would care to respond also, it would be helpful. When the Secretary of Education, Mr. Riley, or the Congress grants more flexibility in the use of federal funds for federal programs, how should accountability be structured to assure that those dollars are being spent productively?


Mr. Chico. Representative, I gave three examples of what we look for in terms of achievement and results. We look at student performance, whether you measure it in test scores; we look at graduation rates; and we look at attendance. Those are just three that we look at, and we watch them very, very vigilantly.

And when we see that we are not getting progress on those fronts, we at the local level intervene. And as we intervene, we do a number of things. First we make a pretty in-depth assessment of what is going on at a particular school. We do this on a school basis, school-by-school basis. And in 1995, when we first did this, we saw that 109 schools had historically scored in single digits on national tests. And we went into those schools with a team of experts, conducted an assessment, came up with a prescription for what we thought was health, and then implemented it. And I am happy to report to you that about 89 percent of those schools have improved over the last 3 years.

So I don't think it is terribly difficult, but I do think that the assessment that we performed offers a clue to what I am talking about in terms of accountability. You have to let the local body, in this case it would be school districts, with the Congress vis-a-vis school districts, make a determination about what would be most effective.

So, for example, while we support in concept the administration's 100,000 teacher initiative, we think that to reduce class size simply for the sake of reducing class size may not be the ultimate goal. We think what you are looking for is better student achievement.

So if we think we know a better way to get there, whether it is tutorials, longer hours, summer school, or Saturday school, we would like the ability to do that. That is what I am talking about when I am talking about flexibility.

And in terms of accountability, Representative, I would say to you that as a guardian of the taxpayers' money, if we are not producing, you have every right to question us. And I guess the ultimate power is to change the funding level.


Mr. Kildee. Ms. Grasmick


Dr. Grasmick. I would like to respond to that because it is very coordinated with the response that you have just heard. We have selected also achievement, graduation rates and attendance as three major indicators. However, at each school there is a requirement to develop what I think has already been stated: a diagnostic prescriptive plan. And each school must do that and must do it effectively. And we know whether or not they have done it, because we have the accountability and assessments to tell us whether or not they are being successful.

But I do want to caution that one size does not fit all. What I need to do in terms of the input and the diagnostic prescriptive plan for the schools in Baltimore City will be very different from what happens in Montgomery County, in Maryland. So we have to tailor it to the individual schools and the needs of those schools while being consistent in terms of the standards.


Mr. Kildee. Ms. Keegan


Ms. Keegan. Thank you, Congressman Kildee. If I might just add to that, because I agree with what has been said, but I would suggest I am a member of the Education Leaders Council which represents seven state school chiefs, very interested in reform. And we have had at the top of our agenda resetting of standards, because of what Dr. Forgione is saying. I think we can speak to it as the curriculum. Something is happening in the United States after the 4th grade to the 12th grade. We aren't getting to it. And I think the U.S. Department has laid it out pretty clearly for us that we need to go a lot deeper. We need to narrow our curriculum, if you will, and get it focused on those things that matter.

And then the states have, in most cases, developed tests. Maryland, in fact, is a model for us in the development of our own test; and Chicago is using a test that it feels that ITBS is marking progress for them.

I would suggest that the continued use of the National Assessments of Educational Progress are a fabulous audit, because I think you are right to question whether somebody in my position who is elected might not have an impetus to want to look good and might not want a test that was soft and represented an achievement gain. I think that is fair enough. So I think that audit with NAEP is exceptional. We use it. We rely on it. I wish we had it more often and on more subjects.


Mr. Kildee. If I may just add another question to that, most federal programs started out to serve special populations or special purposes. Title I was a special population. How does the federal government assure that those special populations or special purposes are being carried out?


Mr. Chico. In Chicago, I don't think you have much of a worry. Eighty-five percent of our enrollment is eligible for a program that would be defined by poverty standards. So to give us the flexibility in a city like Chicago, I can assure you that that money is going to go into the classroom and most likely be used even more effectively than what would be prescribed by federal law.


Dr. Grasmick. I would say in Maryland we know what those targeted populations are in each of our individual schools, and based on the results, we know whether or not those populations are being served effectively. We have no exemptions from our standards and from our assessments, and so we have full inclusion for our students with special needs, certainly full inclusion for our students who come from circumstances of poverty. And so, again, the accountability assures us that those dollars are being used effectively because we do not have a differentiated standard.


Ms. Keegan. In Arizona we have started to ask for an accounting, and we would like to be able to do this on federal funds as well on a per pupil basis, some evidence that this money is actually getting into the classroom on behalf of particular students. We would like the opportunity to do that with these funds as well.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Tancredo.


Mr. Tancredo. Mr. Chairman, thank you.


Mr. Tancredo. Ms. Keegan, I have long been an advocate of choice and believe firmly that it is a very important part of the solution. I also, however, believe that in order for it to work successfully, in order to sort of empower consumers in this arena, they have to be given information that is meaningful and that is helpful, in this case for parents.

The other night in the State of the Union address the President referenced report cards. I was certainly glad to see that. I know that Arizona has done a lot in this regard. I wonder if you could tell us, number one, what are the most important aspects or components of a school report card? And I am making an assumption here that the report cards that you use are in fact on the school not on the districts.

Number one, again, what are the most important parts that you believe should be there? And, number two; is there a federal role as sort of called for by the President in the expansion of the use of such a consumer awareness program?


Ms. Keegan. Representative, as you may know, we do have individual school report cards on the Web. They must be given to parents. The information has already been alluded to here a number of times, and I think the most important information is achievement, I will talk about that in a second, persistence in school, meaning dropout, how many kids are attending, what are the graduation rates. We look at that for everything. That is what we want to know about how our schools are performing.

It is also important on those report cards that schools can advertise themselves, if you will, a particular style of teaching, Montessori teaching, Direct Instruction, extremely successful in inner city schools in Arizona. I think that is equally as important. And then the state gives the objective information about achievement. We are in the process now of not only giving absolute scores but also what we call value-added or gain scores.

So how many students in this school actually achieved a year's worth of growth? It is an extremely powerful statistic and, I think, very important. It is ironic that oftentimes the highest performing schools, the wealthiest schools are not getting a year's worth of growth. They are more or less resting on their laurels, and the inner city schools that have incredibly and unfortunately low scores, oftentimes you can see a year, year and a half, two years of growth. That is some outstanding teaching and that needs to be recognized.

I think too often we penalize schools that are taking kids and really doing remarkably well by them because we are looking at raw score data. We are now trying to incorporate these gains scores into report cards as well. As far as a federal role, I think it is possible for you to take a look at that or to ask the U.S. Department of Education to take a look at whether or not states are providing consumers, parents and teachers in fact with that kind of really solid research information and encouraging it, particularly the new research on looking at gain and looking at whether kids are really making progress, because unfortunately what we are seeing in the inner city is that the expectation is lower. The child is not being asked to achieve as much as she can, and after three years of that, you can drop those percentile scores off by about 30 to 50 points just by expecting less of her than she was able. So I would welcome your advocacy for that.


Mr. Tancredo. Mr. Chairman, if I may, along those lines, the other thing that is helpful I think in determining is the extent to which there is an interest on the part of the folks that we often consider to be uninterested. That is to say, I have heard this often, people in inner cities, they just don't care as much. That sort of thing.

Is that your experience, using the report card as an example here?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Tancredo, nothing could be further from the truth. The most movement we have from school to school is in low-income families, and there is a reason for that. They don't have access to as high a quality. They move. In the public charter school movement, for example, you get a much higher percentage in the first year, particularly, of low income families moving into public charter schools because of their dissatisfaction.


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you very much.


Chairman Goodling. Dr. Grasmick.


Ds. Grasmick. I wanted to add one additional comment. I think that all of us sitting here would agree that the single factor that will make a difference for an individual child in a classroom is the quality of the teacher. And I believe that is something that the federal government, and particularly as we look at your higher education act which just recently passed, we ought to display for parents and for the whole community the qualifications of teachers in that report card. That is an addition that we will be making to our report card for individual schools. Parents should know that.


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you very much.


Mr. Chico. Mr. Chairman, as a representative of an inner city school, I can tell you that we have established a rule that for report card date, parents must come to school to pick it up. And inner city, 85 percent of our enrollment is poverty level, we have had a 92 percent appearance rate by parents to come get the report cards and talk to the teacher about their particular child. So if there was ever a thought that inner city people don't care or are not concerned about the quality of their education, I can assure you that is not the case.


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you very much.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Roemer.


Mr. Roemer. Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chico, back in 1988 the Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, said that the Chicago school system was the worst school system in the country. Having visited those schools many times as a member of this committee, I am proud to say that I believe that the Chicago system is now a model for reform and innovation.


Mr. Chico. Thank you very much.


Mr. Roemer. And moving very swiftly toward addressing some of the inequalities that we have seen exist in the delivery of education in this great country. I have been very encouraged by what I have seen in visiting your schools, and I hope to come back soon and look at them with you.

As a supporter of charter schools, you have widely embraced charter schools as an arrow in the quiver of helping reform our schools. Why?


Mr. Chico. First of all, we are not afraid of them. If you look at many of the large, I won't generalize, but lots of the large school districts seem to be insular and are concerned about competition. We are not concerned about competition. As you say, we have embraced it. We have ten charter schools approved to date. In fact, we are the only district in Illinois that doesn't fight them. There are vicious fights going on in the suburbs around Chicago to stop charter schools. We have embraced it. We have accepted ten so far. We have four more coming on line with 5,000 students in those charter schools.

I think the reason that we embraced them is as follows: We keep in mind very clearly our mission, and that is the best interests of the child, and there may be some cases where we can't get to the problem quickly enough to turn it around for an individual child. If somebody else can and we think they have a better way of doing it, then we will embrace it, and there is even the possibility that we may learn how to do our jobs better. And so we are not afraid to see if someone else can do it better. We will compete, and this is why we have embraced the concept.


Mr. Roemer. Mr. Chico let me ask you another question. We will be the findings from the Education Week's study, Quality Counts: Rewarding Results, Punishing Failure. Should we reward results and punish failure, "we" being the federal government or a local entity? And how do you measure that? Do you measure it by your attendance and graduation rates and test scores?


Mr. Chico. I would say that you should certainly reward results as much as you possibly can. I wouldn't punish failure. We are not in the business here; we are not the penal institution. What we need to do is figure out what is going wrong in those particular schools, as we have attempted to do, and re-tailor the resources to try to get those results.

The superintendent from Arizona has talked about Direct Instruction. It has worked marvelously in some of our schools that have historically had poor reading levels. I think you have to redouble your efforts to find out what is going wrong. If you are punishing anybody, you are ultimately punishing the children by withdrawal of those resources.


Mr. Roemer. You have tried to stop social promotion, where in fact stopping social promotion from one grade to the next may in fact require and does in fact require more remediation. It requires your resources for more teachers, for after-school programs, for summer programs.


Mr. Chico. That is right.


Mr. Roemer. And if you are addressing social promotion and keeping students back to punish, you would in fact be punishing the kids and not remediating?


Mr. Chico. For us, the end of social promotion does not equal retention. The end of social promotion means that when we first see a problem in a student manifests itself, we are going to step in and try to do something about it. In addition to the resources that you have mentioned, we have also hired retired teachers, college students to provide individual tutorials to kids where they need the help, and I have to tell you the results have been phenomenal. They have been inspiring, to see some children who would have been written off in the past recover two academic years in a matter of a month and a month and a half just by buckling down and getting the help they need.


Mr. Roemer. I would like to work with you on your National Teaching Academy idea.

Mr. Eisner, I know you know the statistics better than anybody else does. In 1992 there was no Internet; in 1998 we did $14 billion worth of commerce on the Internet. There was a sampling of college students the other day reported in the newspaper. Two-thirds of them use e-mail; three quarters of them use the Internet for research. You cited some startling statistics about how unequal access is for our poor citizens in America and in minority areas.

What specifically can AOL do to partner with our public schools to address this inequity between our rich and in some of our poorest school districts to get access to this technology?


Mr. Eisner. Mr. Roemer, we are testing several different approaches to this. Through our AOL Foundation we have just created 54 grant programs around the country.


Mr. Roemer. How much do you have in the foundation?


Mr. Eisner. It is in the millions. Each year we are putting in more.


Mr. Roemer. Tens, hundreds?


Mr. Eisner. It is less than in the tens now. Our focus is less on providing funding into the districts to increase access than it is to find new ways to ensure that children in schools get access. One of the positive statistics that we have heard is that now majorities, a larger percentage of children receive Internet access in the schools than through the home.

So we are hoping to continue that trend, make sure that all schools have Internet access and, more importantly, when they have the access that they know what to do with it. So we are very focused on teacher training. We are very focused on finding the appropriate best practices and curricula so that when the schools have Internet access, they are best able to integrate it into their programs and not look at it as an aside, a computer lab that kids simply learn how to get on the Internet for its own sake. It is an integration problem.


Mr. Roemer. Thank you.

Dr. Forgione. I would like to advise the committee, the week of February 22, the National Center for Education Statistics will release its fifth annual telecommunications survey. And we will be able to report to you on the progress in connecting schools to the glass and copper classrooms, to the Internet, as well as professional development. So I will be very happy to ensure that your staff gets briefed immediately so that you can get a sense of how America is connecting.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Hoekstra.


Mr. Hoekstra. I would like to thank Mr. Chico. When we started our process on Education at the Crossroads, the first city we visited was Chicago, and had hearings. That was back in 1995. In 1997 we had the opportunity to be hosted by Ms. Keegan in Arizona. Thank you to the two of you for participating in that process.

Dr. Grasmick, you have heard Ms. Keegan say that 46 percent of her staff is used to administer the 7 percent of the federal dollars that she gets. Is that accurate?


Ms. Keegan. Yes.


Mr. Hoekstra. If Arizona qualified for Ed-Flex, what would Arizona see? Would they see more dollars flowing to the classroom, and would they see the bureaucracy get smaller and the red tape being reduced? Or would they see a greater degree of flexibility in what they could do with their programs? Or would they see both?


Ds. Grasmick. I think they would see both. I think they would see much greater flexibility, and I think it would be very much calibrated with the needs of the individual systems applying for those dollars, the local systems on behalf of their schools. I also believe that there would be less staff committed to the minutia of tracking the regulations, and there would be much more energy that would go into being a service organization to support, provide technical assistance to the local schools and school systems.


Mr. Hoekstra. Are there any groups in the State that would be arguing against Ed-Flex and saying Maryland really should go back under the old regulations?


Ds. Grasmick. We wouldn't have one person standing up and saying that.


Mr. Hoekstra. So as we take a look at applying it to the other 38 states, it would be hard to find a constituency that might think that that would be a bad idea?


Ds. Grasmick. Absolutely. We think it is a wonderful idea and all of our constituent groups support that. It has worked. I do want to add, just as a caveat to it, that I think it is because of the strength of the accountability. Because I think you need to be assured and we need to ensure that there is accountability on behalf of the students and the dollars that you are giving to support those students.


Mr. Hoekstra. Mr. Chico, you indicated that you would support some additional federal funding in the area of construction and perhaps some other areas. Why do you look to the federal government for that? Is it that you can't raise the dollars locally because there is not local support, or is it that the local economy just can't support the kind of investment that needs to be made now?


Mr. Chico. I think it is the latter. What Chicago has done, there has been an enormous amount of support from not only the school board that I head but the City of Chicago itself, which is a separate governmental entity. Together with the State of Illinois, being the smallest portion of this amount that I will cite to you, we have raised $2.2 billion.

The problem is that there probably isn't a school district in the country that can do it on its own, and this is why we look to the federal government for help. We have raised our bond rating three times with Wall Street, and we had to work and work to do that.

But it is akin to a Visa card. We are almost at our Visa limit. The rating agencies come to us and say, "We are not quite sure that we like that amount of debt that you are carrying, but we also want to know how you are going to finish the job of the extra" we have about a $3.5 billion target construction program, and having raised $2.2 billion, you can see the difference. So we are asking for help from the federal government.

I know there are probably myriads of ways that the help could come, whether it is a tax credit option or something like this. We are not looking for the handout, but I am just here to tell you we can't do much more on our own without running into trouble. I would hate to walk away from the problem and leave it undone, claiming that we have done everything we can. The State of Illinois is trying to get into the act now, but even with their full participation, even they too will have limits.

So I think the only way we are ever going to get every school district in the country, by the way, this is not just an inner city problem. I have better luck than some of the suburban wealthier districts around me. They get shot down at referendum and don't get the support, but that doesn't mean the problem goes away. I urge the Congress to really help us in this regard. I think we will have something very good to show for it at the end of the day.


Mr. Hoekstra. Ms. Keegan, can you explain how the tax credit is working in Arizona and also, for my benefit, how it is different than what is going on in Minnesota?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Hoekstra, the tax credit, I presume you are talking about both for public schools and institutions that fund private choice. We have a program that was just approved a few days ago by the Supreme Court on the private side. We have a program that allows parents to give up to $200 to their local public school, any public school, whether their child is in it or not, in lieu of whatever they were going to pay the Arizona Department of Revenue, and so it is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. It is quite successful, and the schools can use that for extracurricular activities.

On the other side we have a $500 tax credit given for contributions to organizations that will fund scholarships to private schools. So you can't do that specifically on behalf of your own child, which is how I think it differs. You give it to an organization. We have several scholarship trusts. They then turn around and give scholarships into private schools for those parents who would need them.


Mr. Hoekstra. In Minnesota it is targeted directly perhaps to your own child?


Ms. Keegan. I believe that is true. I believe that the tax credit is for your own children, versus in Arizona you are giving to an organization for other people's children.


Mr. Hoekstra. Thank you.


Chairman Goodling. I would just add a comment to Mr. Chico. There are some of us that have been trying to help you desperately. If you got 40 percent of the excess cost to educate special education youngsters, you would get an additional $76 million a year. Multiply that times 23, that sounds like an awful lot of money.


Mr. Chico. We will take the help.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Scott?


Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to welcome Mr. Eisner, who is a fellow Virginian, and point out that his concern is really where we ought to be focusing because, as he has pointed out, we have a great number of vacancies in the high-tech industry in Northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads-Richmond area, and it is primarily because there are so few people that can qualify for them.

I guess my question is based on your testimony. It was a little unclear whether or not the technological education was what was needed or a firm background in the basics, reading, writing, communication skills and whatnot, and whether or not the technology can be picked up right after high school. Either you could teach it or a community college or some of the ECPI-type schools could teach the technical aspects of it, if you had children that were real good on the basics.


Mr. Eisner. The answer is, both are needed, but certainly the core underlying need is for children being able to graduate with critical analytical and learning skills out of high school, then being able to get the graduate education and technology that would then help them get jobs at AOL and elsewhere. And even for positions that are not technology based, those learning skills are critical.


Mr. Scott. I guess my question to all of the panelists is we know what needs to be done generally but what should the federal role be? Where should we be focusing our funds? There are a lot of things that you are not going to do or can't do or it is politically unfeasible, like Title I type funding, educating low-income students, special education, a lot of things that you might not get around to; maybe school construction is a particular burden, research. We heard regional resources.

What are the kind of things that we ought to be doing from a federal level, that would not get done on a state and local level unless we funded it?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, I have to tell you bluntly, I don't think there is anything that wouldn't get done if you didn't fund it. States are constitutionally required and I think they have a responsibility, both through their constitutions and ethically and morally, to do everything they think will matter for their children.


Mr. Scott. Let me ask it another way. There are some things that we are going to have trouble getting the funds for from a political perspective, and I think it is fair to say that the Title I funds targeted to low-income children would not be as aggressive were it not for the fact that it was coming from the federal government.

Are there other areas you are going to do everything possible, but are there areas that would simplify your life if we came in and funded those areas that you might have more trouble getting funding for?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Scott, I believe the investment is welcomed and I would never tell you any investment you made wouldn't be, but I would ask that you take a look again at whether the investment itself can be tied to students, because while the amount of money that is spent in Title I is quite heavy in Arizona in particular, I can only speak for us, the results aren't there. They may be in other states in ways that are demonstrable and without it wouldn't be possible, but even the studies that come out of the federal government would indicate to us, I think, that for the amount of money we are spending we ought to be seeing much greater gains.

So to me it is more powerful to look at how you give that money. I would make it travel with students, so that if the results aren't there and the student moves, the student is not penalized. I wouldn't take the money from the student, but I would allow that money to be sort of a portable entitlement so that if there is a program that works, that money can go to a program. Indeed, there are programs that work in Arizona. There are tom-toms beating about who is where and what works, among parents.

But the money is not portable right now. I think how it is funded is as important to us in Arizona as the fact that you do fund it, for which obviously we are appreciative that it is available. I think we need to think real hard about whether it is being used effectively or not.


Dr. Grasmick. I would like to say in Maryland we are very grateful for these funds. We totally integrate it with the entire expectation and standards that we have set for each of the school systems. So I beg you that it not be so burdened and seen as a separate initiative, that it is not fully integrated, and support the standards that we have set for the entire state.

But I would like to take a moment to speak about special education. In Maryland 12 percent of our student population has been identified as having special needs. I think when President Ford signed Public Law 94-142, he said we are promising more than we can deliver. What I would like to say is that as we become more successful in educating all of our children, I think we are going to see this percentage diminish, because sometimes I believe children are in special education because they are victims of poor instruction.

But I would also like to say that there are legitimate needs, and your assistance in fact in Maryland has been fairly minimal in terms of our needs for, I think legitimate needs for children with very special needs. I would hope that the whole, I know there has just been the reauthorization of IDEA, but I think the funding piece is not necessarily as coordinated with the reauthorization of IDEA as it really needs to be. I would hope that you would look at that very carefully.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Hilleary.


Mr. Hilleary. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I have been so impressed by this whole panel. This has been a fascinating morning for me. I appreciate you all coming. You all have presented us with a myriad of local programs, state programs, city programs that have really worked well for you, great innovations that you have instituted that have attacked various problems. No doubt a lot of these programs have overlapping federal programs or federal mandates or federal requirements, whatever.

Of those programs that you all have instituted that do have this overlap, which one of these programs do you feel would benefit the most if you could have a waiver that eliminated or eased the federal overlapping aspect and had that same money going straight to your program? Which one of these programs would be the best? And I would direct it frankly to the first three panelists here.


Mr. Chico. One example that comes to mind is, I asked in my testimony for the federal government to deal directly with the largest districts, and you can cut it off wherever you would like, the largest districts in the country directly because, for example, in Illinois Title I money flows through, the State of Illinois takes its 2 to 5 percent administrative cut off the top, and then it comes down to Chicago and then there are administrative expenses there, rightfully so, because you want accountability for those funds. But if we could just deal directly with the largest districts in this country, let us say the top 10, top 15, you could help a lot of people right there by putting more money, without spending an additional dime, right into the classroom.


Dr. Grasmick. I probably have a different view on that. It is not necessarily because I am at the state level, because I have also been at the local level. But I really feel that our effort is so coordinated from the state level that if you were to ask our 24 superintendents that question, they would be in accord with me that there is a whole accountability piece, and the state really having a coordinated effort, that they do feel our effort is important and they feel the technical assistance they receive from us is a tremendous benefit. So although we believe the lion's share of the money ought to go to the locals and most specifically the individual classrooms, they do feel there is an important state role.


Mr. Hilleary. Which program that you have at the state level would you most like to see this waiver, where you could actually take that money straight to your program as opposed to the overlapping federal program?


Dr. Grasmick. Well, I guess because we are an old Ed-Flex state, we have really enjoyed a lot of that ability, so I am just encouraging you to think seriously about expanding the opportunity for Ed-Flex because it has been wonderful for us not to be mired down in a lot of federal regulations.


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, I am actually going to agree with Mr. Chico. I would go beyond even to the larger school districts; I would ask for accountability that that money is being used for particular students. It is what we are going to ask for in Arizona. You can blow right past my office and I would thank you for it. Dr. Grasmick would not thank me for advocating that, but they have a different program in Maryland. They have only 24 school districts. In Arizona we have 227 school districts, 270 public charter schools. In each one of those areas we have real live honest-to-God children, 800,000 of them.

And I would rather have the 40 percent of the kids who are basically in Title II, and I would use it for Title I, I would rather have that per pupil allotment to show what the school, and then I would, even in the school districts, I would require the districts to show the money available in the schools and then use it as they see fit. So they will have some administrative costs, et cetera. But I would want, on the theory that where the buck stops first it gets used, I would stop it first on the children and then have decisions made after that as to how they need to take up administrative costs. But for us in Arizona, we would be happy for the kids if you bypassed us.


Mr. Hilleary. But you would all welcome a little bit more of this, right? Where you had local innovations that were working well, you have gotten more flexibility from the federal government.


Dr. Grasmick. I would like to add one thing I did forget, and that is, I think the federal government, and particularly in your passage of the higher education bill, ought to be more focused on professional development and the resources to support professional development. I think all three of us would agree that that is an absolutely critical area.


Mr. Chico. I offered a specific example of how to do that. We have found that, this is not a terrible criticism, but many of the colleges of education putting out new teachers, we simply find them unprepared to hit the ground running, and so it takes too long and you lose too much time. So that the idea behind our program, is to create a separate academy, work with the Golden Apple Foundation in Chicago to provide a 10-week student training stint in that school so that they have this, not only have the credentials but the experience of working with a master teacher, so that we get more productivity on day one. We will also find out who is ready to be in the classroom and teach.


Mr. Hilleary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Miller.


Mr. Miller. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the panelists for their contribution this morning. I think it has been very helpful.

In the consideration of Ed-Flex that many of you have talked about this morning, one of the requirements is that the districts or the state in this instance are held accountable for achieving intended results. Ms. Keegan, you said you were concerned about the President asking for more control. I share that concern, but I think he also properly asked for more accountability.

You said in your statement, "Make us prove ourselves," in your opening statement. I think one of the things we have been spectacularly successful at over the last 25 years is funding a great deal of failure because we haven't asked for accountability. Maybe, as we close out this century, that will be the marked difference at all levels of education, from parents to children to federal authorities, asking for greater accountability.

Yet when we look at the GAO report on the small Ed-Flex program we have, some states don't have any goals enumerated. We have given them Ed-Flex, but they don't have to tell us anything that they are going to do.

Some states have expressed their goals in the vaguest of terms. As one said, they have a commitment to the identification, the implementation of programs that will create an environment in which all students can actualize their academic potential. We have been doing that for 25 years and students still have not actualized their academic potential.

One state has stated it can only review its standardized test results for the state as a whole, but not for individualized districts or schools. We are giving them Ed-Flex authority. It sounds to me like we are getting a bad bargain here in those instances.

Yet we can move down to the State of Texas, and Texas has told us that for that waiver they are going to make, for the waiver under Title I, they will make annual gains on test scores so that in five years 90 percent of all the students will pass the state's assessment test in reading and mathematics. There may be some quibble about what that test is, but let us assume for the minute that it is a good test.

And they also have a subparagraph where they have told the federal government in exchange for this authority that they would require that 90 percent of African American students, 90 percent of Hispanic students, and 90 percent of white students and 90 percent of economically disadvantaged students will also be able to pass these tests. That is a huge range in what apparently the federal government is prepared to accept as accountability.

I think it has got to stop. I don't know whether the Texas answer is right or whether we will just simply be disappointed five years from now because we haven't hit those targets. And yet they might have done a marvelous job of getting 70 percent of the students to do this, which according to your statistics, we would be happy with.

So I think we have to cut to the chase here. What is the bargain on accountability? I have sat here for 25 years. I don't for a moment believe that we can control through federal funds, except in the greatest sense of deciding who has access to education, but I sure as hell think we can ask for some accountability and then measure and see whether we want to continue to play this game.

We have put $118 billion into Title I, and most reports tell us that we really can't measure much in the way of success or differentials between those students, those schools, those districts that participate and those that don't. That is why there is much greater flexibility in the ESEA. We have Ed-Flex and I am sure we will have additional flexibility in this new authorization.

I would like to hear from you. Accountability is the watchword. I would just like to know how specific, what we should expect here in being venture capitalists, if you will, we are venture capitalists in each one of these states and school districts on behalf of Title I, what we should expect people to tell us they are going to do over the next 5 years. What should we expect at the other end of the tunnel here, $35 billion, maybe $40 billion later?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, I couldn't agree with you more. There are a number of ways you could ask. Number one, you would ask states to submit their own standards and assessments to some sort of independent review process. There are a number of them in the country. You have got a number of organizations that do that. I think they do it quite well. Quite frankly, it gives you a composite picture when you submit your standards to a number of organizations. You test on the basis of those standards. That is your mechanism in the state.

I also think, as I have said, that NAEP is a great tool to audit whether or not those gains are being made. Whatever the assessments are, you can ask for at least a predicted year of gain, as we talked about before. One of the things we are doing in public charter schools in Arizona is advancing a policy that says if you don't make a year's worth of gain, you are on notice, you are out of business next year. It can be done. There aren't kids, other than those on IEPs for special education reasons, who cannot make that kind of gain.


Mr. Miller. It is very easy to, one of you said you don't want to whine against federal regulations. It is very easy to rail against federal regulation and federal outcomes and properly so, in many instances, as we all know. But if the federal government was to ask in a contractual sense, "We are going to invest $40 billion, here is what we expect," would you consider that unreasonable?

We can argue about whether it is achievable and whether it is the right measure or not, but we can get into all this. The stuff we heard in the State of the Union, which is all interesting and good and everything else, it still doesn't get down to what am I going to get back on behalf of the taxpayers in this nation after I invest $40 billion.


Ms. Keegan. Not only reasonable, I would have expected it and we would have welcomed it.


Mr. Chico. I have heard about the standards. I, quite frankly, as a parent and a school board president have tried to understand them. I don't know if you can. You could look at the percentage of meeting those standards, but the average parent doesn't know what you are talking about.

We have tried to write in English 10 goals for ourselves. We have put this out, and we also put out a report that tells people how we are doing on these things. We published this and disseminated it. We would be willing to make a contract with the federal government to do this. Maybe you would want more specificity than "decrease the incidence of crime on school property" or "decrease the dropout rate." We would like that. But I mean for ourselves, this is our first attempt, the first time ever in Chicago that anybody has attempted to articulate what we are after.


Mr. Miller. I will take more specificity than the environment in which all students actualize their academic potential.


Dr. Grasmick. I would agree with that. I think it is reasonable to expect more specificity. I think we would welcome that.


Mr. Miller. Thank you.


Chairman Goodling. You don't know how happy this chairman is to sit up here in the last year and a half and hear this determination to move toward quality rather than just more money. It just makes me so happy.


Mr. Miller. I am big on money, by the way. I just want to know where the hell it is going.


Dr. Forgione. As you are doing this, you need to think carefully about your intentions. Are you into program effects, specifically looking at these dollars and the impact, or would you settle for a global raising of the tide in the state? I think that is the kind of question you have to be clear about so we collect the right data.

In our NAEP program we collect data on how are poor kids doing in America. We can tell you that over time. We don't collect data on Title I because that population changes so often. That kind of indicator cannot come out of a NAEP program. You have to design special evaluations.

So I think you also need to answer that question up front so that these jurisdictions will have clarity of what the expectation is. Can they raise the tide for all and will that be counted, or must I show you certain kids who got certain programs were effective? That has been a tension we have had for a couple decades in the evaluation field.


Mr. Miller. But you can tell us how poor children are doing, you can tell us how ethnic groups are doing, and I think that in Texas that is what was interesting. If you just tell me sort of how the state is doing, that is interesting but I don't know much.

But if you can tell me about those subgroups, one of my assumptions about my investment in Title I monies is that you all are directing those at those pockets of poverty, and those kids that need additional help or those districts, you are making that conscious decision, recognizing what we know about poor children who are saddled in poor schools with poor teachers in poor environments.

If that is not happening, if you are leaving these kids behind, we will know that too, and we may want to ask that state, "Why are these kids being left behind?"


Dr. Forgione. That is an indicator system versus the program accountability. I think you are right. We can desegregate for you. If that is acceptable, then you have a good database. If you want more than that, it does take a lot of real careful evaluation, which there is not a lot of capacity in the land to do.


Mr. Miller. There is no evidence that we can find out how Title I is doing on an individualized basis.


Chairman Goodling. Dr. Ehlers.


Dr. Ehlers. Several questions. I was interested in the comments made that the scores are up in math/science compared to reading. I think that is a very good trend. However, we also have to recognize they started from much lower and they are still far from where they should be. So the question is, how can we improve that?

I also noticed Mr. Eisner's comments about the need for high-tech workers, and Representative Scott echoed that in his experience. My question for everyone is; what must we do about that? I have some definite ideas, but I want to hear your ideas; improve curricula, better teacher training, recruitment of better teachers, and perhaps higher salaries for math/science teachers so we can meet the competition with the private sector, where they get much higher salaries than many of the other teachers could command. Let us just go down the row.


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, very briefly on all of those, I am as frustrated, I think, as you are. I don't know who needs to do this but I would love to take a look at the best academic standards, reading, writing, mathematics in particular, and science, to take a look at the best standards as we have judged them in the country, and get a comparison as to what is being taught in the most prevalent textbooks in the country. I can tell you it doesn't match.

Textbooks are a huge problem in this country in terms of what they teach. It is very difficult and expensive to go through and make that analysis. Curricula does need to change. For teachers, I fear greatly a move towards a national board or some process. In Chicago they have a great plan; I wrote it down. We are end-running the colleges of education in some instances. In Arizona we have two very good ones, and two that I think you do worse off coming out of them than going into them.

And so we have to figure out how we are going to get these teachers trained. I really fear a process that is a nationally mandated board process or some process that for us would work against the kind of flexibility in specific content preparation, which is what we want and we have changed our own certification in Arizona to get that. So I would welcome any forays into those areas. We are going to try it in Arizona.


Dr. Grasmick. I would concur with what is being said. I would say in Maryland we have embarked upon a teacher education redesign for our colleges and universities that I think is promising in terms of content, expertise, because currently that doesn't exist.

I would also say that we have developed an alternative route to certification that is an interesting one, that people who have matriculated through majors in mathematics and science but not education have a mechanism to get into teaching, and it is a respected route to get into teaching. We have got to attract those people.

In addition to that, after we have attracted those teachers we need a better partnership, and we have a very strong Maryland Business Roundtable for Education which has had very distinguished chairs, including Norm Augustine of Lockheed Martin. He has provided opportunities for our teachers in mathematics and science to have full summer experiences in the real world in mathematics and science. They take that back to the classrooms, and it keeps them current in terms of what the expectations really are in the real world. So there are some of the ideas that I would share.


Mr. Chico. I couldn't agree with you more about the need to improve in the areas of math and science. The first thing I think you need to do is layout some standards that are rigorous, which we have done.


Dr. Ehlers. What have you done?


Mr. Chico. We actually sat down with some of our best math and science teachers. We were working in parallel with the State of Illinois. The global, the broader standards come from the state, and the local districts like Chicago get to work under those standards but can be more specific.

So working in parallel track under the State of Illinois, we developed our own more specific standards with our best math and science teachers. That is how we developed ours. From that you need to develop a curriculum, as you said, that meets those standards.

I am so frustrated by the lack of coordination between the textbooks and the curriculum that we adopt and the standards that we adopt, that we have to do something about it almost as a country. Textbook manufacturers are doing their own thing and we are heading in another direction. It is a real problem. I can only tell you that we adopt standards in curricula and the textbook fairs sell what they sell, and we are on different tracks. I don't think I could agree with you more about the recommendations you made about better teacher training and better teacher recruiting.


Dr. Forgione. If I could offer three pieces of information. From the TIMSS study we learned that what American 8th grade students in mathematics are getting, the high performing countries in the world are teaching at 7th grade. And if you go to 12th grade, you find out that you get a slip that the average general knowledge test in mathematics is benchmarked at the 7th grade level internationally. It takes all of our students to get to 9th grade to cover it, so the rigor of the content is certainly one thing.

Out-of-field teaching. In TIMSS we found out through other studies and correlated that 55 percent of the students taking physics in high school are being taught by a teacher who has neither a major nor minor nor graduate degree in physics or in the sciences. So out-of-field teaching is something we should not allow to happen if you are asking for productivity.

Finally, I am pleased say that 14 states and 14 local jurisdictions this spring will be taking the TIMSS test again as part of the international assessment you funded last year. It is voluntary. Fourteen states wanted to have that benchmark, and with that benchmark they can progress to design their own follow-through.

So those three areas I think are important ones: benchmarking, out-of-field teaching, and rigorous content.


Mr. Eisner. There are two things I would like to bring to your attention. One is that we should really be taking advantage of the benefits and we should be more carefully incorporating the excitement that we are all seeing in our professional lives, and that is certainly in the business arena but that has not gotten into the education space. We haven't done a very good job of helping students be extremely excited about the oncoming of the Information Age, so that they can be encouraged and understand how their education is directly linked to their success and to their ability to participate in the next century, and the medium provides a lot of ways to do that.

Secondly, I think that there are a lot of opportunities to partner with the private sector. This is becoming an increasing problem for the private sector, and I think that we can participate in the solutions. There is telementoring that is right now relatively underutilized. There are mentoring options. Professionals from all sorts of companies and fields can be teaching the areas that they are expert at in schools. I think that those sorts of relationships need to be tapped.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Wu.


Mr. Wu. Mr. Chairman, I request unanimous consent to insert a written statement into the record.


Chairman Goodling. So ordered.

See Appendix H for the Written Statement of the Honorable David Wu


Mr. Wu. And to ask one short question which is in essence a second bite of the apple that Mr. Ehlers, the gentleman from Michigan, started on in math and science.

On page 34 of Dr. Forgione's testimony there is an interesting sequence of sentences. I would like the panel to address this mathematics issue. The sentences are at the beginning of that paragraph. The sequence of math courses taken by students in high school influences their future opportunities to enroll in higher education and, further on down that paragraph, advanced high school course-taking in mathematics was found to distinguish at-risk students who enrolled in college from those who, dot, dot, dot, et cetera, did not enroll at all.

I would like to focus on that one issue. When parents of young children have asked me for my recommendations about education, based on a visceral instinct more than anything else, I have said take more math courses. Now, other than me jawboning with parents and children on an individual-by-individual basis, I would like to go through the panel again and talk a little, have you all talk a little bit about what we can do to increase enrollment in those courses which are gatekeeping courses, and mathematics courses in particular?


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the question. I think that State Boards of Education have requirements for certain math classes. I will just share information, Arizona's problem with you. We had required two years of mathematics for everybody, the assumption being years ago that was the basic algebra, geometry series.

Because it was never specified, as we have gone in and changed our standards, our academic standards of mathematics and have required, of course, algebra and geometry as a basic for graduation, what we found is that the quality of mathematics instruction in high school for all students is so degenerated that when a high school says to that you that is part of their curriculum, they mean that is part of their offering but not for all students.

I would encourage all states to do a serious survey of how many students, what percentage of students are required to complete the basic algebra, geometry. Not pre-algebra, not consumer math, not checkbook math, but real live algebra and geometry. Because what we have done, particularly in low-income areas, is assume that children can't, won't, or don't need to, and so they don't even get offered such courses.

As Dr. Forgione said, the algebra series is best started in the 7th grade in earnest. It should start in kindergarten in terms of conceptually, but 7th grade, 8th grade should be completed, you are into algebra II, geometry as you go on into high school. Very few American high schools or very few American schools offer that sequence.

As you go out and now in Arizona, where we have public meetings about our math standards, we get public uproar about why are we requiring college level math for everybody. Representative, we are only asking for very basic mathematics. We have fallen so far. It worries me a great deal. I think we need more of us saying these are basic requirements. It is not college math to have algebra and geometry. It is necessary for all students.


Dr. Grasmick. We are saying that, and there is an uproar about it. And we are going to mandate it because we are creating a new high school assessment; and students will not receive a diploma, and they will be tested in those areas. And that is the way you mandate it.

I would also just like to say parenthetically that I think we need more students involved in advanced placement. It is pathetic when you look at the urban centers of our country and see the pitiful number of students who have any exposure to advanced placement and who score three or better on the examinations. And that should be tracked, absolutely tracked. And we should ensure some equity of the opportunity for students to be involved in advanced placement, particularly in mathematics and science.


Mr. Chico. One of the things that we have done to address the problem is to lay out very clearly that in order to graduate from high school, you must have three years and three credits in the following sequence of subjects: algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, or trigonometry. So we have said it. We have to do it.

I think one of the ways to get at the problem is just mandate it at the local level. You have to be prepared to provide help. Many children are far behind. We think our program to end social promotion will make many of these children more prepared for these kinds of courses.

And there is one other issue that I just bring to your attention. To take the college credit test at the end of an advanced placement course requires money, and you have to pay for that. So we have developed a small, inexpensive program of about $95,000 that pays the fee to take this advanced placement course for the college credit should anyone not be able to pay for it. But I think you lay it out, you state it, and we just have to lead people in the right direction.


Dr. Forgione. Your comments, Representative, reinforce the importance of valid indicators. If you turn to the next page, on page 35, it shows that in A Nation at Risk, good news, we are taking a course more in math and a course more in science in 1992 than we did in 1982. The question is, as the superintendents just said, is it pabulum math?

And the one thing we are learning, and the College Board has done studies, the best predictor of achievement used to be how many math courses. Now, because the math courses were unregulated in the sense you didn't know what was in them, that has eroded as a good indicator. So you have to have the issue of benchmarking to go with it as the colleagues have said.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Castle.


Mr. Castle. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I felt at this time I would ask unanimous consent to suspend the rest of this hearing and move forward with the Ed-Flex bill and report it out of committee forthwith. Is that permissible at this time? I have heard enough after two days to think that is a good way to go. And I would like to ask some questions about that, if I could.

Maybe I should start with Ms. Keegan. We had a very nice discussion about this in my office yesterday where I learned that although Ed-Flex interested her Arizona does not allow her to do this. And I actually was, and am still, not sure even today exactly what that is all about.

I assume it is a state law that does not allow you to waive certain laws, or what? Can you explain to me why Arizona could not, I know Ed-Flex doesn't apply to Arizona because it is a pilot for 12 States, but even if it did, why you could not implement it right now?


Ms. Keegan. Representative Castle, with all due respect to the Department of Education, I don't know the answer to that. We are in a Category three, sort of the states that don't qualify. And as Representative Miller pointed out, it is very difficult when I look at the states and what they are doing and what kind of accountability measures they have, et cetera, it is hard for me to tell why a particular state would qualify and why another one doesn't.

In Arizona, it is my understanding that one of the reasons we don't qualify, if you will, is because, for our Goals 2000 program, we align that completely with our state program, and that didn't meet some of the regulations that were federal; and therefore, we were considered to be sort of a state that was not in, if you will, federal compliance on Goals 2000. However, ironically, we have had achievement gains, and I think that is the bottom line. So while I am not an expert on Ed-Flex, and you certainly need to talk to Dr. Grasmick about that, because she has had experience…


Mr. Castle. I intend to talk to Dr. Grasmick.


Ms. Keegan. …my struggle is for accountability. I definitely want the kind of accountability that you are asking for.

We can do that. I can do that. But I am not quite sure about a program that would require me to fit regulations over here in order to be loosened up over there. Then I have to decide which one of those is more important to me. So maybe can you change that.


Mr. Castle. Okay.


Chairman Goodling. Will the gentleman yield?


Mr. Castle. I would certainly yield to the chairman.


Chairman Goodling. I understood that your state would have to change something in order for you to be eligible for Ed-Flex, something dealing with your state regulations and so on.


Ms. Keegan. Mr. Chairman, that may very well be. I think there is a misunderstanding in this aspect, that Arizona doesn't provide waivers to districts. We do. We are also a waiver state, et cetera. I really don't understand it.

It is because of what we did in Goals 2000, Mr. Chairman. But to me, that indicates that you can only waive certain rules if you agree to follow others. And then you have to make a decision about which ones are worth following and which ones are not.


Mr. Miller. Will the gentleman yield?


Chairman Goodling. Yes.


Mr. Castle. I have a few questions I would like to ask. I am not going to yield at this point. I would love to yield if I get the extra time.


Chairman Goodling. We will give you extra time.


Mr. Castle. I yield to the gentleman from California.


Mr. Miller. Thank you. There is a list in the back of the GAO report; and one of the requirements is that the state has to have waiver authority.


Ms. Keegan. We do.


Mr. Miller. Because one of the things we would like in California, what we find out, we may be burdensome, but the State Department of Education in many cases is much more burdensome than we are. So if you are going to really try Ed-Flex, you have to have some flexibility from what, in some cases, is onerous state burden. So the legislature has to give you waiver authority.


Ms. Keegan. We have it. Representative Miller, I know we are listed in there as a state without waiver authority, but we have it. So that is just an error.


Mr. Miller. You probably have moved up to Tier 2.


Ms. Keegan. We are in Tier 2.


Mr. Castle. If I may reclaim my time.

Dr. Forgione, I don't know if you could shed any light on this very quickly because I do want to go on to some other questions. Do you know anything about why in Arizona or other states do not have anything beyond what the discussion has entailed so for?


Dr. Forgione. No, I don't. I don't have anything to add to the Ed-Flex.


Mr. Castle. Okay. We will do a little research on that.

Dr. Grasmick, this was in the last reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, you are one of 12 states as part of the Ed-Flex. You have obviously been pleased with it, and apparently everybody in education in Maryland has been pleased with it as far as I can ascertain, based on what you have stated. And it has brought more flexibility. You stated some of the reasons for it.

Could you give some specific examples of the kinds of things that are done? I mean, do you think it has helped in terms of relieving red tape and bureaucracy and paperwork? Or has it helped in terms of implementing programs in certain areas or having certain schools or districts apply that would not have applied? Can you be a little more specific about that?


Dr. Grasmick. Sure. I think I can. I think in the past the regulations have been so prescriptive in terms of input; are you doing this; are you providing this much money for this and that, in fact, it has eluded the whole purpose of our reform effort in Maryland, which is, you determine what the inputs have to be for this particular school. But what we are interested in are the results. And if you don't have the results, then we are going to go back and look at what you did and mandate some changes there.

In the past, the focus has very much been on all these inputs. Have you filled out these forms? Have you applied correctly, et cetera? That has all disappeared at this point in time.

The schools and the systems know that the requirement is to have progress toward meeting these standards and specific benchmarks. And so they are now geared up to look at their own individual schools, to assess their baseline data. We are very data driven at this point, and we didn't used to be. We didn't know what anything meant; it was sort of a shot in the dark.

We are very data driven now. And they are very sophisticated about being able to establish the kinds of inputs that will move them forward incrementally.

So this Ed-Flex has allowed us to eliminate all of that rigmarole related to these inputs, and have you filled out these forms, and are you doing this in a prescriptive manner from the state or from the federal government. We have eliminated that.


Mr. Castle. Well, I personally believe we should move forward on this as rapidly as possible. I have talked to a lot of education groups and a lot of members on the other side, as well as Secretary Riley. I think they are all supportive, too. I haven't talked to anyone who is not basically supportive. But some say, well, maybe we should delay it. Maybe we should wait for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization or whatever. To me, it would be best to do it as soon as possible.

The governors yesterday indicated, do it this spring, so that by next fall the various school districts could be implementing it. Would that be your best recommendation, too?

This is an area you may not want to get into, but my judgment is, it has worked well enough why not go forward with it? Why would we wait for anything?


Dr. Grasmick. I don't know. I just want to give you the limitations of my knowledge base here. I don't know inhibitors in other states. I mean, I would have a concern if a state didn't have a well-defined accountability system for student achievement. I would say, no, I wouldn't give them Ed-Flex, because that is the bottom line, the accountability and the performance of students. And so I wouldn't be willing to make that leap if a state did not have a well-defined accountability system.


Mr. Castle. Good. Thank you.


Mr. Chico. I wanted to ask you questions concerning your after-school programs. That is another thing I am vitally interested in. We know the President has recommended huge increases. I don't know if you have seen the line on this one. It looks like AOL stock. It is going up like this, just dramatically from a million dollars to 200, and talking about a lot more now. I am a strong believer in those programs as well.

In your schools in Chicago, do you keep them open in the afternoon, and do you allow these programs to come in that are not directly educational programs, such as a Boys Club or Girls Club or a similar entity, like a religious organization or some similar outside group to come in and use schools, as well as have kids go to the various sites where those programs may be offered?


Mr. Chico. The answer is yes, Representative. First, I would like to start off by thanking you because you were instrumental in helping us get a third meal of the day for many of the children that are in these programs. They are poor, and unfortunately in some cases this represents the only three meals a day that they will get with our system.

314 schools open their doors from about 2:30, 3 o'clock until about 5:30, 6 o'clock, and we call it the Lighthouse Program. In that time, about half the time, about one hour is spent on study. And there we, if we have to pull out kids who need special tutorial help, we give it. We have reading programs, and then for the next hour they have mathematics.

The next hour is spent on recreation. And many times we provide that. Sometimes we don't provide it. It could be the Boys Club, the YMCA; any group that is valid can come in, and we will work with them. As opposed to being insular, we have opened up, and we will work with anybody that has a valid program.

But then about the last half-hour of that program is eating the third meal of the day, which the federal government has been very helpful on through your leadership, and that really rounds out the whole day for the child.

The most important thing that has come out of this experience that we have seen is a high correlation between those 314 schools that have such programs and academic performance. I think about 90 percent of those schools have gone up.

Now, how could the federal government help? I would like to offer it to every school we have 585.


Mr. Castle. Now, I would assume if I asked you that same question a dozen years ago, about Chicago a dozen years ago, those programs would not have been in place. This is really something that has been happening much more in recent years in terms of the schools and the programs getting together and doing this.


Mr. Chico. The last three years.


Mr. Castle. The last three years. I also understood that you said that there was an hour of education. Is generally an educational component…


Mr. Chico. Yes.


Mr. Castle. …in these programs? It is not just purely recreational or baby-sitting or whatever it may be?


Mr. Chico. It is both. During the academic hour, I have, in fact, I toured with the First Lady through a school on the South Side of Chicago to see a reading comprehension program for an hour. I have looked at the books. I have read them. It looks like a very sound program.

The second hour of that program was playing chess, computer, recreation on the computer, sports, art, and things of that nature.


Mr. Castle. And how far down on the age do you go? Do you go all the way down? Are there kindergarten programs, third-grade programs, or does it only start in junior high or high school?


Mr. Chico. I don't think it is so much kindergarten. We get into these conversations with educators about how much time is too much time in school at that early age. But it is probably more in the grades, maybe second and on and obviously was employed in the higher grades.


Mr. Castle. I am not saying this disrespectfully of anything that the federal government has done or the President is offering now, but I assume that these programs, in your mind, these are valid enough programs that they should expand at the local school district and state level, as well as at the federal level, even if the federal government did not keep increasing its money, not that you wouldn't want the money, I understand that.


Mr. Chico. I think, as Superintendent Keegan said, even if the federal government were not helping us at all and had a zero budget, the states and local districts are going to do the best they can. And you will see activity in these areas, but you won't see comprehensive activity in these areas. I think that is where the partnership comes in.


Mr. Castle. Okay. Even my extended time is up. I would like to say, I agree with you on a lot of those things. I do feel that we should get as much data as we can on the programs which exist around the country, because there is such a variety of them, and get it out to everybody else because, in my judgment, this could help kids as much as anything we are doing.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Hinojosa.


Mr. Hinojosa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I compliment you, Mr. Chairman, for bringing us a panel made up of these five individuals: women, minorities, and experts who really get it in terms of the needs of minorities.

I want to work with you, Dr. Forgione, in doing an inter-link and being able to downlink some of the information that you gave us, such as this report, on my Web page, so that every school district in my congressional district can get hold of a document like this, which I think is a wealth of information and will empower them to start making changes as we plan for this next century.

I want to direct some comments to Mr. Chico.

I am very impressed with the leadership that you are giving the Chicago schools, and I am going to focus my comments and questions on what you appear to favor. And that is, you favor improving the federal role in education, that we should have larger involvement, but smarter involvement, possibly under "smarter involvement" thinking about the increase in the property rates that we are having to pay to the school district in South Texas. In fact, the State of Texas has gone from an average of 90 cents per $100 valuation to now somewhere in the range of $1.40 to $1.69 per $100 valuation, is just extreme. And yet, there doesn't seem to be enough money to take care of the needs of the local school districts.

So in what you said, "smarter involvement," what is the possibility of coming up with plans to better utilize the schools, the school buildings not only with the after-school programs, as you all are discussing, utilizing them for the early childhood education expansion of Head Start and Early Start, but maybe utilizing the sports facilities, like stadiums, more than we do now, having less of them, so that we don't spend so much money on buildings and facilities that are not being utilized 100 hours or more per week.


Mr. Chico. Right.


Mr. Hinojosa. And if we are to demand that our schools open up and be utilized, both the libraries, the technology centers for the computer lab and so forth, why not start changing the mind-set that stadiums are not being utilized 100 hours per week? They are so expensive, not only to build, but to maintain.


Mr. Chico. Right.


Mr. Hinojosa. So there needs to be a change in how we spend the local taxpayers' dollars.


Mr. Chico. I agree.


Mr. Hinojosa. Can that be done, and the superintendents, is that something that you all would take to the Association of State Superintendents and start changing the mind-set?


Mr. Chico. I don't think we have any choice but to do that. I will give you just three examples. I will tell you why, because I think it is smart business. We will have an easier time getting our taxpayers to support us if they see greater use of the facility during the day, so we get better bang for the buck.

Here are three ways we tried to do things; these are just three representative examples. (1) we just built a new school on the southwest side of Chicago, named after a teacher who was killed; we honored her by naming the school after her. But we took an entire two blocks of the city that had been fallow land and turned it into a school-park joint facility.

So a portion of the building that we built is used by the park district for its recreational programs. The landscaping that is around the school is marvelous with playing fields and jungle gym equipment and things of that nature. And about 75 percent of the building is a regular school. So we have combined facilities to cut our costs down and provide two kinds of services in the neighborhood.

Secondly, we have swimming pools in virtually all our high schools. They used to be locked shut at about 2:30, 3 o'clock. We now have opened up the pools in a pilot program in 12 neighborhoods that we call "Pools in the Schools." This way we get two things out of this. Not only do we get to get a better use of the facility, but we have also extended ourselves to taxpayers who may not have any children in our schools, but yet they can come rent them for parties, come swim recreationally. That is a smart thing.

And third, just yesterday evening I had a chance to visit Lakeview High School where we held our board meeting. We have a health clinic in that school. I talked to these doctors and psychologists, and they were so impressive by telling us that, if we did not offer such facilities in these schools, young men and women wouldn't seek any health care. I thought that the major problem they came in to address with these health care professionals might be pregnancy or something to do with teenage sex. It is not. It is mental health. It is anxiety, depression, and problems at home. And to have these professionals right in the schools, which is right under the noses of these students, is a wonderful result.

So those are just three examples of how I think you could stretch the facilities to give much better use to the entire community, not just to the enrolled students.


Mr. Hinojosa. Time is of the essence, and I am going to jump a little ahead of you and say that advisory boards to the school board of education should be created and that they should include at least 51 percent from the business community so that they can come in and share with school board members how to downsize. And I hope that you superintendents will actively promote, and I will finish quickly, Mr. Chairman, the idea of downsizing state involvement, that we go with federal down to the local as much as possible to, you know, eliminate some of the administration as the corporations are doing in today's world of business.


Mr. Chico. I think it is a good idea.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Salmon.


Mr. Salmon. Thank you.


Chairman Goodling. Excuse me a minute. I believe there are a couple of people that have to run; did I understand?


Dr. Grasmick. I will in 5 minutes.


Chairman Goodling. Okay. Mr. Salmon.


Mr. Salmon. Thank you. Superintendent Keegan, I just have a couple of questions for you, and then I also have one for Dr. Forgione.

My first question, most recently, within the last budget in the last year, there has been a lot of debate about the monies allocated by the federal government for 100,000 new teachers across America. I am curious. Have you done any kind of an assessment as to how many teachers that is going to mean, district by district, in the State of Arizona?

And, secondly, I am very curious as to whether or not you believe that those dollars may have been better served if they would have allowed you the flexibility to determine where to put those means, instead of just shrinking classroom sizes.


Ms. Keegan. Congressman Salmon, I think, as Mr. Chico said, in Arizona, it represents one teacher in maybe every third school, and the presumption that reducing class size generally is something that is necessary and that is why we need new teachers really doesn't work very well in Arizona. There are parts of the state where absolutely we do. But the prohibitions against that are neither money nor the federal money that is now available. It has to do with living arrangements, et cetera, upon the reservation in particular. So we would have preferred to be able to use that money differently.


Mr. Salmon. Okay. One teacher for every third school?


Ms. Keegan. About.


Mr. Salmon. Okay. That is very interesting.

Secondly, I would be interested in how you might explain this concept of the money following the child.


Ms. Keegan. Representative Salmon, as in your bill and the bill of Senator Kyle here, what we have done in Arizona has said that instead of funding per district, and Representative Hinojosa was talking about the expenditures made based on property taxes et cetera, we unlinked differential property taxes, and we basically said everybody is going to share this property tax. This much money will follow students not just for operations, but also for capital purposes, and the construction of schools is based on projections of growth, et cetera. And that money is per pupil allocated to the district. They can build whatever they want.

In the case of charter schools, we just give the pupil an allotment that is for the educational service. The state neither builds nor owns their schools, and we have had a very fascinating result that Mr. Hinojosa may be interested in, and that is that businesses, developers in particular, now this is in a growing state as you know, Mr. Salmon, but they have come in, built the schools, because they want a high-quality public charter school in their development. They will build a school, go into partnership with the developer, the school, and usually the city for the purposes of parks, et cetera.


Mr. Salmon. Thank you. Dr. Forgione, I enjoyed your testimony. As you know, several statistical indicators are used to measure dropout rates. According to my research, and I believe my staff has contacted your staff about this, the widely quoted statistics compiled by your agency, including those released in your report, "The Condition of Education 1998," measured graduation rates using age the 24 as completion age.

I would submit that by age 24, most young adults should be well into college, in the process of pursuing an advanced degree, or in the work force. Students in most instances should have high school diplomas before they reach the age of 19. Of course those who have completed high school at a later station in life should be commended, but my point is that our goal should be to have students graduate from high school prior to their 19th birthday. Why is the age 24 used as the benchmark?


Dr. Forgione. There are several ways to measure dropout. It is a very difficult statistic. We are experts in defining, through reports like this, what goes into the denominator, what goes into the numerator. In the state I was in previously, if you put the military in the numerator, not the denominator, you will look better than if you didn't. So we come up with the definitions.

You are absolutely correct. In our dropout report in Table 3, we do have state data that tells you about the dropouts, 10, 11, 12th grade; and it ranges in America from 2.5 percent in North Dakota through 10.3 percent in New Mexico. So we do have that event dropout rate, which is kind of like a motion picture where you follow them over time.

But to give this nation the best, most stable indicator, we also use the current population survey of the Census Bureau and take a large segment, like 16 to 24 years old, where we can say continuously over time, are you in school now? If you aren't, were you there last year? So we can give you a measure. So therefore we have several measures. The measure we have in the report that we tend to publicize is an 11 percent dropout rate as part of that status dropout rate. And, again, it is about 7.3 percent for whites, 13 percent for blacks, and for native born Hispanics it is 17 percent.

So we measure it several different ways. I would like to work with your office to show you. But we only have 30 states that will use those definitions. That is the problem. In Table 3, only 30 states have agreed to use the definition. It is always voluntary. NCS is about voluntary data. We like to give leadership. Some states don't want to change because they lose their trends over time.

The Representative showed Ed Week. They are a very good ally when they put these data in Ed Week and say to a superintendent, why aren't you reporting comparably? Because if you report differently, it is not fair.

So we do three different types. The one that you are interested in, we have a voluntary system, we are working with states. We are up to 30. We would love to have all 50 in so then we would have a comparable indicator, not report cards you are talking about.


Mr. Salmon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Goodling. I realize that two of you must leave. And I want you to know that I don't tell a lady that she has a beautiful hat if I think it is ugly. I also don't tell her that it is ugly unless she has intimidated me or something in that nature. So when I tell you that it was just a wonderful panel, I am saying that sincerely, because it certainly has been very, very helpful.

For those of you who must leave we appreciate your coming. And we will continue, hopefully, with the rest of you.


Dr. Holt. I am referring to just some people here as Dr., because I want to show you just how intellectually capable and superior and so on we are on this panel. Notice that a lot of us didn't get that title. Dr. Holt.


Dr. Holt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I would like to join Mr. Hinojosa in commending you and the committee staff for assembling such a good panel. It has been enlightening for me. And I would like to talk with you all today about the TIMSS study, about telementoring and all sorts of things, and gatekeeping courses. But let me just go to two quick questions and I would like to take a third or fourth bite at the apple that my friend and colleague Mr. Ehlers brought up.

Science and math education is something particularly important to me. And I am trying to understand, since you had talked about the importance of preparing teachers to teach in those areas, I want to see how far we want to go in removing regulations. And I would like to ask the superintendents in particular this question.

Should the Eisenhower Professional Development funds be available for any purpose or should they be used for strengthening the capacity of the teaching force? I see that as an important question with regard to science and math education in particular.


Ms. Keegan. Representative Holt, I think that when you have a specific interest like improving teaching in a particular area, and that is what you want done, I think the expectation is what will be done with those monies. Then you need to ask the question, how did you prove that it is done? So I wouldn't take issue with targeting those monies at strengthening professional teaching.


Dr. Holt. I am sorry; so they could be used for any purpose, or you are saying would not?


Ms. Keegan. No, I am saying we don't use them. They are pretty specific. It must be used for teacher preparation, et cetera, and that is what we use them for. And it is my assumption that there is a reason for that. Actually, in Arizona, it works well with the increase in academic standards of mathematics, and so they are used for that purpose.


Mr. Chico. At this point, I wouldn't recommend any change in the Eisenhower grant formula. I mean, I think the key is to I guess if you are trying to specify that we do better in certain subjects in certain areas, that is fine. We will take the cue and do what we can.

But the last thing I would do would be to do anything further and specify any further kind of mandate or regulation as to how to get those better math and science teachers. I think as it is right now, Doctor, it is fine. I don't detect any specific problem as I go through all of these specific Eisenhower grants that we receive and in turn make. So I don't have a specific recommendation to do anything other than what you are doing now.


Dr. Holt. Yes. Of course.


Dr. Forgione. To answer a question that was raised before, at 9 o'clock this morning, my testimony went up on the Web. And as a commissioner of statistics believing in freedom of information, it is wonderful to be able to do that, and I know it will be on the Website for the committee.

Later today, we are releasing a report on the qualifications and preparations of teachers. This would give you many insights into what teachers, a national sample of teachers in America feel are their greatest needs. Are they prepared to teach at-risk children? Are they prepared to use technology effectively? Manage a classroom? It is a wonderful report, and I will again make sure the staff, is going to be briefed either tomorrow or Monday, and I would have that available to you. That should help you, from a data point of view, work your way towards the policies you care about.


Dr. Holt. Thank you, Dr. Forgione. I look forward to seeing that.

For Mr. Chico, one more question. You have presented the after-school programs with great fanfare, and the President has indeed commended that and used that as an example to call for a large increase in his after-school programs.


Mr. Chico. Yes.


Dr. Holt. You paid brief attention in your testimony to your summer school programs. And what struck me is it seems to be an equally large program, about 170,000 students in each of those programs. Is there anything special in your summer school program that you would like to call attention to? It seems to me that is an important ingredient of whether it is connected to stopping social promotion or any of the other justifications that we are using for these programs or use of school facilities.


Mr. Chico. It is a critical piece in our plan to end social promotion responsibly. The summer program really serves two purposes. One, those students that don't make a certain grade level, based on the Iowa test of basic skills, are mandated to go to summer school for six weeks of intensive training in reading and mathematics. And I believe the results that we have seen out of that poll have been extraordinary.


Dr. Holt. And yet most are there voluntarily in the summer school?


Mr. Chico. Most are there voluntarily, because the other facet of the program, I am not aware of any school district that doesn't offer students the chance to make up a failing course or take something that they feel enriches them. But we have also turned the school system, at least over the last 3-1/2 years, into a center of the community, not only during the year. I have talked about pools, health clinics and things of that nature, but for recreation during the summer. So we have summer camps where there is part academic, part recreation, and that is why you have the large population. And the mayor has directed that.

I think what it has done is it has really broken down the wall in Chicago between the school system, the city, and the other agencies of government. More than ever now, these walls are gone, and we are working together seamlessly. And I think that has helped us out tremendously.


Dr. Holt. Thank you all for the enlightening presentation. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Goodling. Dr. Fletcher.


Mr. Fletcher. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I certainly have enjoyed this. I had the opportunity of hearing from one of your colleagues, Mr. Chico, at Williamsburg recently, regarding Chicago. I enjoyed that very much. And, Ms. Keegan, we have heard several times from you, and certainly this is very enlightening and I am glad to be here.

One of the questions I have, when we look at accountability, I know this is a recurring theme and subject here and I have got several questions, but let me throw this out first. When you look at it, I look at accountability in the areas of, first, testing; secondly, being able to present such as what Texas did that was alluded too earlier of presenting a plan and goals. What we do with that data after we get it or what we do if the goals are not met is a real question. Reporting, maybe requiring state testing and then how do we evaluate that and how do we look at making sure there is some equity across the states? And then, last, ensuring there is some accountability to parents that they may have empowered some way that, if they get this data, they can actually effect some changes. So I wish if a couple of you could address that, maybe Mr. Chico and Ms. Keegan.


Mr. Chico. Yes. Doctor, I think you have hit upon the ones that are commonly viewed as the areas to really hold accountable, but I think there are many more. I don't think there is virtually any area of our operation that we don't impose accountability, whether it is the quality of teachers that we are recruiting, whether it is the remediation that we apply to teach who need help, I will give you a big case, a disciplinary process.

There was a big claim that in Chicago, bad teachers were never dismissed. And while we are a very strong supporter of teachers, we do believe that to be accountable, we have to let those that simply can't cut it go. So we created the Department of Teacher Accountability and told them that they had to come up with a system that made much better the process of eliminating teachers who weren't cutting it.

So I don't see this as just three or four areas. Of course, I agree with you about student achievement, graduation, attendance, lowering dropout rates. But I think, for us, it is a way of living. It is across all the spectrum of activities that comprise the school system.


Dr. Fletcher. Let me interrupt you, just briefly. What should our role be? There is a great deal of reporting that could be required or there are other things that would put an onus, a burden upon the states. And what really should we be looking at to ensure there is accountability, that the money of the taxpayers is well spent, and yet that it is not a great burden to the states?


Mr. Chico. I think clearly the information that I think you ought to require is what you give money for. Title I, bilingual, special education was talked about earlier. I don't think it is that difficult to report about what you are doing. And the trick to do it is to make it into English so that people understand, and there is not a lot of "education speak" and language that goes over people's heads. We are more than glad to do that.

We feel that we have a pact with the parents. One comment I will make, which many people may not know about, Chicago is probably the most radical city to try and experiment in parent empowerment. We have what are called local school councils at each one of our 585 schools. That is an elected body of 11 people that have a very strong role in the governance of that school. They choose the principal, and they spend a lot of the state discretionary money. So I don't know that you will find any place in the country that has taken a greater step to give the parents a wheel, if you will, at the local school.

The tension has been that while we accept that as a model we have now come on the scene and have insisted upon greater accountability, and we have clashed a little bit in some cases where we didn't think that an individual school was pulling its weight after a decade or so. So we have had a little bit of tension there. But by and large, I think the tension has been productive, and we have worked very well together.


Ms. Keegan. Representative Fletcher, I appreciate the question. I guess the bottom line for me would be where you are looking for accountability, ask for proof of achievement. Accountability cannot be measured in how many pieces of paper were filed, in how many hours of instruction were held. It can't be measured in any of those things. It can only be measured in a result. So I would suggest that if the state or if the locality has a mechanism with which they provide achievement, and you are satisfied with that, let them use that so you don't have to duplicate that effort. But what is so bothersome, I guess, is the amount of time we spend trying to track either hours or reports filed or numbers of sessions, et cetera, in the absence of any really achievement data.

And at the end of the day, I think all that matters is either increases in achievement, reductions in dropout rate which lead to increases in achievement, the kinds of things that can and should be measured. If you are looking for a report, ask for that kind of accountability.

I also need to apologize, Mr. Miller. I got a correction from my own staff. We waive on state board rule, so we are back in category 3. I now see what the GAO is asking for.


Dr. Fletcher. One other question, then, as time is drawing close here, and that is what role should we have in ensuring that, say, best practices are communicated throughout the other States? In Kentucky we have had a testing system which has had some difficulties and problems. Other states may be doing a better job. And I know there is communication. Let me leave that at the time.


Mr. Chico. I think the U.S. Department of Education can play the pivotal role here, and I know they do a very good job already in this, by using technology to get the word out about the best practices that they are aware of around the country. And in fact our system looks at that Website and tries to use what we think will work in our district.


Ms. Keegan. Dr. Fletcher, I also alluded before to some independent groups, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council for Basic Education, the Fordham Foundation. There are a number of foundations now that take state standards and analyze them for their quality, and then you can take a look and see if their test really does relate to that.

Then you have, again, the NAEP which we rely on very heavily in Arizona because we think those standards are good, solid, and internationally competitive standards, so then we could judge our kids and our own testing on that. We do have mechanisms both within the federal government and then independent as a nation that I think we can rely on.


Dr. Forgione. Well, the National Center's primary role is one of data collection and information. My equipment has been turning that information into useful, timely products for these clients. In that TIMSS exam we mentioned, within nine months we have a benchmarking process that your districts could use to benchmark their curriculum against the best in the world, whether it is Singapore, the Czech Republic, Japan.

We also have turned out a video study. And if you haven't seen it, I would love to send it to you. You can look at our teachers teaching math in grade eight, compared to Japan and German teachers, look at the rigor of the content that is not there in our teaching, look at the development of the lessons that is not there. So this helps us with staff development.

I am very pleased to say that when these systems can generate useful information for local school boards and teachers and staff development, the Eisenhower Network, then it is a win because it is a good federal investment. And my commitment is making data into that kind of information. It takes good data, though. There is not a lot of it around. It takes a while to mature. But the commitment, with your help and if we know the needs of your clients, we want to assist in them.


Chairman Goodling. Three quick comments. First of all, I would encourage all of you to make sure that your lobbyists inside the Beltway know exactly how you feel, because they could develop inside-the-Beltway lobbyists. It is important they understand what is going on back in the district.

Secondly, I hope to live long enough to make sure that no child ever fails first grade and no child is ever socially promoted. So I am awfully happy to know, and I know you are waiting for me to say this, that in Chicago there are nine Even Start programs, and I hope that you will raise that dramatically. We will try to give you the money to do that.


Mr. Chico. Thank you.


Chairman Goodling. Because if they are reading ready by the time they get there, they won't fail.


Mr. Chico. That is right.


Chairman Goodling. And they won't get socially promoted.

And my last comment is strictly for Mr. Castle, Mr. McKeon, Mr. Kildee, and Mr. Martinez. I need to know when you are available, by February 3rd, because now you have to pick it up from this point on. Mr. Miller.


Mr. Miller. Mr. Chairman, if I just might follow what Dr. Fletcher talked about and the question of accountability. Under Goals 2000, states received federal money to develop standards and reform standards that dealt with hopefully high, achievement for all students. All students. It would seem to me that one of the things we might consider is then having the states tell us, in a contractual sense if you will, what they are prepared to do with respect to those standards. Are they going to ask students to meet them? What percentage of students would they have expectations would meet their self-imposed standards without being burdensome and not requiring development of new tests and all of that?

The states, very shortly here, are going to have to report to us what they have done with respect to these standards. We should ask them what outcome should we expect with relationship to those standards as we make the investment of this money. It would seem to me that that would be, nothing is straightforward in this business, but be relatively straightforward in terms of holding people to what they have made as a local determination as to what they want for their students. And if we are going to invest in that system, then asking them, what are you going to tell us 5 years down the road about the number of students that are able to comply or not comply with these new high-class standards and outcomes?


Chairman Goodling. Ms. Keegan, will you respond to Mr. Miller in writing?


Ms. Keegan. Yes, I will do that.


Chairman Goodling. Because your plane is waiting and you don't have state police protection to get you there, I am told.


Mr. Miller. My plane is waiting, and I don't have state police protection either. Thank you.


Chairman Goodling. Are there any other questions from anybody for the panel?

Again, I can't thank you enough for being here today. You certainly were an outstanding panel and we appreciate it.

[Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the committee was adjourned.]