Serial No. 106-20


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce

Committee on Education and the Workforce

Hearing On "Title I: An Overview"

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

House of Representatives

Washington, D.C.













Table of Indexes *




Committee on Education and the Workforce

Hearing On "Title I: An Overview"

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

House of Representatives

Washington, D.C.



The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:30 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. William Goodling [chairman of the committee] presiding.

Present: Representatives Goodling, McKeon, Castle, Greenwood, Souder, Schaffer, Upton, Deal, Ehlers, Tancredo, Fletcher, DeMint, Isaakson, Clay, Miller, Kildee, Martinez, Andrews, Roemer, Scott, Woolsey, Romero-Barcelo, McCarthy, Tierney, Kind, Sanchez, Ford, Kucinich, and Wu.

Staff present: Robert Borden, Professional Staff Member; Castleman, Office Manager; Pam Davidson, Legislative Assistant; Cindy Herrle, Professional Staff Member; Victor Klatt, Education Policy Coordinator; Reynard, Media Assistant; Kent Talbert, Professional Staff Member; Kevin Talley, Staff Director; Kirsten Duncan, Professional Staff Member; Gail Weiss, Minority Staff Director; Mark Zuckerman, Minority General Counsel; Cedric Hendricks, Minority Deputy Counsel; June Harris, Minority Education Coordinator; Marshall Grigsby, Minority Senior Legislative Associate/Education; Cheryl Johnson, Minority Counsel/Education and Oversight; Alex Nock, Minority Legislative Associate/Education, and Roxana Folescu, Minority Staff Assistant/Education.


Chairman Goodling. [presiding] I would suggest that we go and vote quickly, and get back quickly, so that we can get started. Let us all be ready to go at quarter of twelve. That will give us five minutes to get over to the floor and five minutes to get back.



Chairman Goodling. It would appear that we have a couple hours during which we should not be interrupted.

It is a privilege to welcome all of you here today. We have had one very lengthy hearing with the Administration, and now we have a hearing with all of you who are going to tell us what we need to know to provide a total quality program all over the United States. My emphasis has always been that, when we are dealing with the most educationally disadvantaged youngsters in the country, a mediocre program doesn't help them at all; a good program isn't good enough. When you are dealing with the most disadvantaged educationally, it has to be better than good; it has to be excellent; it has to be quality.

I know there is some confusion as to how much we have accomplished since the 1994 reauthorization, and we can argue that over and over again. I mentioned that the SAT scores, unfortunately as we discovered in some areas, they excuse a lot more from taking the test than they used to excuse. That doesn't help us get any kind of concrete information that we need if we are really going to make this program a totally successful program. I don't want to take a lot of time because I want to hear from all of you, and with that, I will proffer my statement that Kent worked hard in preparing for entrance into the record, and turn to the ranking member.

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


Mr. Clay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, last Sunday marked the 34th anniversary of the signing of the historic Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The moral imperative to give poor children quality educational opportunities is what motivated Congress to enact this critical piece of legislation.

During consideration of the original act, Adam Clayton Powell, a distinguished chairman of this committee, reminded us that a nation cannot remain both ignorant and great. He spoke eloquently of education for all without regard to poverty, cultural deprivation, or race. Powell cited a deplorable experience of one state, where 49 percent of the young men drafted for the military service were refused enlistment because they lacked academic skills necessary to perform as privates in the Army. As we begin deliberation on Title I of ESEA, hopefully, we will not get seduced by simplistic solutions for addressing the serious problems confronting us. Dumping money on the states without imposing standards, or requiring accountability is not the answer.

Originally, Title I permitted precisely what some ideological zealots are proposing today -- no standards, no regulations, no supervision. That type of policy will usher in improper and illegal use of funds for supervision by state bureaucrats and unprofessionally designed education programs. Before standards were imposed, Title I funds were diverted to support general expenditures and civil rights protections were rarely enforced. The use of block grants under Chapter II showed that state and local governments had not addressed the needs of poor and minority students. Under Chapter II, the Reagan Administration consolidated a number of education programs under block grants but failed to target funds to poor and minority districts and callously ignored advanced funding and equities among school districts. Enemies of public education launched a public relations campaign to repeal Title I and use its funds for parochial and private school vouchers.

Mr. Chairman, I hope the majority will not be bullied by far right ideologues, whose primary goal is to destroy our public education system. Mr. Chairman, with the help of Title I, fourth graders in high poverty schools are making significant gains in reading and math. Ten of thirteen urban school districts, and five of six states reviewed showed increases in the percentage of students in the highest poverty levels who met district or state standards for proficiency in reading or math. This should serve to broaden our commitment to increase investment in public schools, and continue targeting the poorest children, to insist on greater accountability for results.

Mr. Chairman, again, I request that you work with Democrats on a bipartisan education agenda as we reauthorize Title I and the rest of ESEA. I believe that the model we used to pass the Higher Education Act and IDEA will serve us well because these Acts were accomplished through negotiations of a bipartisan education agenda, without either side dictating to the other.

I look forward to hearing from the witnesses today, and yield back the balance of my time.


Chairman Goodling. I always love to take the opportunity to remind all that we do our best to target on this side (the House), and my colleagues' side over in the other body that messes up our targeting. So, I want him to use his influence over there.

I would ask that everyone else put your statement in the record, and make all of your statements during your five minute question and answer period.

The distinguished panel includes Dr. Alan Ginsburg, Director of Planning and Evaluation Service, Office of the Under Secretary, Department of Education, Washington, D.C. He coordinates the development of annual evaluation of federal education programs, and has co-directed along with the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Development Implementation of the Department's Strategic Plan. He was responsible for the preparation of the national assessment of Title I, for which we will hear testimony today.

Dr. Maris Vinovskis, Senior Research Scientist, Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a Professor of History and a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the independent review panel, a panel set up by the statute which is responsible for commenting upon the impact of federal education legislation enacted in 1994.

Dr. Michael D. Casserly, one of the pork brothers and Executive Director, Council of Great City Schools, Washington, D.C., is the more slender one of the pork brothers. He is the Executive Director of the Council of Great City Schools, a national organization that represents large, urban public school districts. For over 20 years, he has represented the interests of urban public schools on Capitol Hill, responsible for convening the first ever public education summit for mayors and superintendents of the nation's biggest cities.

Dr. Diane Ravitch, New York, New York, is a historian of education at New York University and a member of the National Academy of Education. We are especially happy to have her this morning as she has just come from presenting testimony in the Senate, the other body, I think I am supposed to say. She serves as a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute and is a Fellow at both the Manhattan and Progressive Policy Institutes. In the past, she has served as Assistant Secretary of Education in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, and was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board in 1997 by Secretary Riley.

We will begin with Dr. Ginsburg. The light will be on for five minutes. We hope that you can summarize you written statement and then save time for our Members to ask questions. It looks like there is a pretty good crowd here, so there will be a lot of questions asked. Dr. Ginsburg.





Mr. Ginsburg. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I appreciate the opportunity to come before you, and present the findings from the National Assessment of Title I. I also want to thank my staff that are scattered around this room for all the efforts that they put into it. I also want to acknowledge that the National Assessment benefited greatly from the involvement of the Independent Review Panel that had prepared its own report, Measured Progress. The open discussion and exchange of ideas generated by the Independent Review Panel is invaluable to the work of the Department. My fellow panelist, Maris, can testify, I think, to the openness of the panel debates that we had.

I would like to briefly highlight the methodology we used. The 1994 Amendments of Title I intended that the Title I program be targeted on the highest poverty schools, and that it not operate in isolation from state and local education systems which it was meant to support. Consequently, it was not possible to establish a control group of high poverty schools and not receive Title I funds. They are not affected by state reforms. What we did is, we applied a performance measurement approach that relied on multiple measures to assist paramentation. It is really quite similar to the government Performance and Results Act, measures that the Department submits annually.

We had two questions that we looked at. In particular, the Title I target population, especially the most disadvantaged demonstrating better results, and its implementation of the legislation at school districts and state levels changing in the directions intended. The degree of confidence in our findings is enhanced by the fact that we relied on multiple sources of government information. So, we didn't rely, say for example, only on the NAEP results.

Have outcomes improved? The general tenor of our findings is summarized by the title of our report, Promising Results, Continuing Challenges, and as we summarized it, it was a mixture of some clear improvements in student outcomes since the early 1990s, combined with substantial continuing performance shortfalls that the Independent Review Panel found in their report, Measured Progress.

More specifically, we did find NAEP improvements did occur since reauthorization, but we also found that very large gaps remain. The NAEP math improvements, by the way, are not effected at all by this most recent issue with respect to the NAEP reading assessments. My understanding from NAEP, so far, is that while the gains will be less, there will probably be gains that will be substantial during the period between 1992 and 1994 to 1998.

Along with looking at NAEP, we found, generally, positive outcomes on state assessments for the highest poverty schools. We looked at the six states that could provide us data, interesting enough, most states cannot provide three years' worth of test score data on high poverty schools. It is a real problem for Title I accountability. In those six states, five out of the six reported improved trends. We also looked at improvements with respect to the big city districts that have, maybe, our most severe education problems due to high poverty. We found that a majority of those results also improved. We looked at one-year longitudinal changes for students in high poverty schools, and were able to tie the outcomes to instruction, although I caution you that we only have one-year data on this.

Our preliminary findings are that student learning is related to content exposure. It is associated with standards-based reform, but that average students also need focused instruction, and that includes workbooks, skill sheets, and the kinds of things that I think might be consistent with some of the work of NICHD out of the reading effort.

We, then, looked at whether Title I is being implemented effectively to contribute to improved student results. The summary of our findings is that it is moving in the overall direction intended, but implementation is highly uneven. On a positive note, we found improved targeting to schools of greatest need, quite a change actually. Increased flexibility, greater use of standards, increased use of extended time strategies, although not as much during the summer as we would like.

On a negative side, we found weak Title I accountability. As I said, few states can actually report. In two consecutive outcomes, we found dual accountability systems that are operating in states. You have the Title I system that is parallel to the state system. We have limited technical assistance to schools in need of improvement. We have inappropriate use of teacher-aides, and that is a major problem.

Just to summarize briefly our options for consideration, we do recommend staying the course with respect to standards. But, we also have to reassess where Title I's capacity and effectiveness could be improved. We would like the indicators written into the legislation; we are having a lot of trouble; we still don't have some of the states reporting their Title I performance reports to us. This is April, and we don't have last year's data. We want to eliminate the dual accountability system. School report cards that are put out sometimes require a Ph.D. to understand.

In terms of strengthening instruction, we would phase out paraprofessionals, although offering them career ladders. Professional development is absolutely key to reform. We find some of our other programs, though, such as Eisenhower, really do not target on the highest poverty school districts disproportionately, as intended. That is in another report that you have, 14,701. We would recommend greater funding, particularly to the highest poverty schools, though 75 percent or more poor, they have the most severe problems in the country. We are calling for catch-up grants that could be used for after school for family literacy, for the Reading Excellence Act, and not necessarily require these schools to come in for separate competitions. But, they would be subject to accountability.

Moving to the last recommendations, parent involvement, we would particularly strengthen involvement in the early grades. We think parent involvement is actually getting lost in a lot of this debate that is going on. We would worry about the role of parents, particularly, for reading and family literacy where the role of the home is so important.

Early childhood, Title I actually serves five times the number that Even Start does. We know almost nothing about Title I early childhood efforts and there is very little accountability. We would like to see common standards with respect to Title I and Head Start, and some definition of readiness that both could work off of.

Our final recommendation is to worry about the special populations, the migrant, the private schools, and to make sure that they are fully included in the program. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

See Appendix B for the Written Statement of Dr. Ginsburg


Chairman Goodling. Dr. Vinovskis, I pronounced your name properly in the back room, and one of our young ladies, who must be of Polish descent, told me I was wrong, that it was Dr. Vinovskis. Now, I am told by Kent that I was right in the first place, so it is now Dr. Vinovskis.




Dr. Vinovskis. It is Dr. Vinovskis. I was born in Latvia, and that certainly has had a lot of different pronunciations in this country. But, I never have trouble recognizing that I am being addressed.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to participate. This is a very important beginning. This is one of the most important programs, as Mr. Clay and others have pointed out to us. Title I is really at the heart of much of our endeavors in education.

My testimony is based on a paper that I have done. It is called, ``Do Federal Compensatory Education Programs Really Work?'' It is submitted for the record. It is coming out in The American Journal of Education next month. I am not actually going to summarize too much of that paper, but I use the opportunity to reflect what it may suggest for your deliberations as we go forward.

As all of you know, historically, K-through-12 schooling was mainly a state and local responsibility. But, as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty, the federal government created several of these compensatory education programs such as Title I and Head Start. They symbolized, and it is important, they symbolized America's commitment to help the poor and disadvantaged, and that is something we want to maintain.

At the same time, I think most of the studies now suggest that at the time we promised more than we were able to deliver. Certainly some of the Title I and Head Start programs have provided a better education for at-risk children, and without them we would be worse off. The frustration that those of us who believe in these programs is that after these three decades and $150 billion at least on these programs, we still don't know what particular programs really work or don't work.

In 1994 the Congress took a major step forward, and reauthorized Title I and approached it with systemic reform, standards-based reform. I won't go through that with you. And you are now looking at it again. People are asking, should we stay the course? Should we make changes? How well have things gone?

As I say, most of my paper is more about the earlier evaluations, but let me make some comments that you might want to consider as you go through your deliberations.

First, given the pattern of exaggerated hopes at the beginning of early reauthorization and then the limited, often great disappointments four or five years later, be skeptical of any claims that large improvements in academic achievement for at-risk children are going to be easily achieved. They are not; they are going to be small and incremental; they are worth doing. But I think you have to have realistic expectations.

At the same time, the past suggests we should closely scrutinize any claims for success of the current Title I programs. Again, we tend to say, ``Oh, these are working, just keep at it,'' and then later reports show that often it isn't. So, as you listen to evidence, I think a lot of us want to have solid, scientifically sound evidence of the program's effectiveness. All of us want to make these programs work, but if they are not working, they are not going to help anyone.

Second, when systemic or standards-based reform was instituted legislatively in 1994, it was a plausible but empirically unproven approach. I want to remind you of that. We did not know what we were doing; we had a good hunch; it is a good hunch; it may be right, but we don't know. So, as you think through the legislation, it is not enough to say, ``Stay the course.'' Those of you who want to stay the course ask, ``What was that assumption in the course?'' Do you have the same assumptions? I think some of you are going to back to a situation and say, as Alan was saying, ``There are some good things about standards-based approached, but it is not enough by itself.'' We need to supplement it, but with what? Go back and think about these big issues. It is not enough to stay the course; we have got to do more.

Some people are going to say, ``We need to go much further, and try out new things.'' I think we are going to hear from Diane; we have heard from Chuck at another meeting yesterday. Don't be afraid to explore these things. Given where we are, be flexible in trying to say, ``How are we going to be better off four or five years from now when we have the same hearings than we are today?''

Third, whatever one believes about the successes or limitations of Title I, you need to remember it has been implemented very slowly. So, whatever we are talking about is not mainly a result of the 1994 legislation. It hasn't been put in place. That is one of the things that we have to be very careful about.

Fourth, national and state NAEP scores, which assess the progress of students, are useful and should be continued. I am a great believer in NAEP, and I would even expand them. But, they are not going to tell you much about the success or lack of success of what is going on. The programs haven't been fully implemented; the federal government plays a small role. Be wary of anybody who comes and says that NAEP is going to do these things for you, especially attributing causality.

Fifth, we need better evaluations ongoing reform. We simply haven't done a good job. Though five-year Longitudinal Study of School Change and Performance is something we may want to come back to and talk to. There are some real limitations to it, but we haven't seen the results. We did better on prospects in terms of evaluating reform than we are doing today. We can do better tomorrow.

Finally, we do have to put that investment in which programs work best. We haven't done that, and we ought to ask ourselves, ``Why not?'' We have got labs; we have got centers; we have got Alan's shop; we have got OARI. What are they spending their money on? Who is watching them? I am sure Alan will join me wanting to look at that one closely. To conclude, given the overall disappointing results of many federal compensatory education programs, some have argued that we should reduce our expenditures in this area, and return the money to taxpayers. While more than sympathetic to the needs to eliminate government waste whenever possible, I do believe that the federal government potentially has a very important role to play in working with states and local school districts to help disadvantaged children.

When existing federal education programs, well-intentioned though they may be, are not as effective as they could or should be, the problem is not just wasted tax dollars but wasted chances to help those most in need. We raised the expectations of those who have the least to look forward to, and then dashed their hopes by failing to really help them escape from their poverty. The overall experiences of Title I and Head Start also have been frustrating for the American public, who have been willing to sacrifice for the achievement of lofty goals but now find that little progress has been made. For many of the at-risk students who pass through these programs, and who are not significantly helped, however, the results are more than frustrating. They are opportunities lost forever. Thank you.

See Appendix C for the Written Statement of Dr. Vinovskis


Chairman Goodling. Dr. Casserly, I would remind you the big man is watching right behind you.





Mr. Casserly. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. My name is Michael Casserly. I am Executive Director of the Council of Great City Schools. Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify before this critical committee, and thank you for the opportunity to see so many good friends once again.

The Council, as you know, is a coalition of the nation's largest urban public school systems and the beneficiary of many of the programs funded under the Title I Act. In addition to my statement this morning, I provided the committee a copy of the Council's recommendations for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and a copy of our recent report, ``Reform and Results,'' an analysis of Title I in the Great City Schools, 1994-1995 to 1997-1998. I would ask they be included in the record.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to focus my brief remarks this afternoon, to discussing what the Council has learned about the implementation of the 1994 amendments. I am pleased to report to this committee that indicators of progress in our cities look hopeful and encouraging. We trust that the committee will find a report on Title I particularly helpful, although there are limitations to the data. The study is a preliminary status report in the absence of data, other than NAEP scores, on high poverty schools, on how the last reauthorization affected services and achievement in the Nation's major urban public school systems.

We collected Title I test score data over a four-year period on both norm-referenced and criterion referenced assessments for both grades four and eight. Results were analyzed by examining the numbers and percentages of Title I students in urban schools scoring at or above the 25th and 50th percentile in the case of the norm-referenced exams, and above passing levels in the case of criterion referenced exams. The trends were particularly heartening, Mr. Chairman, as 21 of 24 responding districts posted Title I reading gains, and 20 of 24 districts showed math gains. Improvements were particularly strong in fourth grade reading. The percentage of Title I fourth grade students in urban schools scoring at or above the 25th percentile in reading increased from 41.1 percent in 1994-1995 to 55.5 percent in 1996-1997 to 57.6 percent in 1997-1998. Conversely, the percentage of students under the 25th percentile went down.

The percentage of Title I eighth grade students in urban schools scoring at or above the 25th percentile in reading increased from 40.8 percent in 1994-1995 to 51.1 percent in 1996-1997 to 56.3 percent in 1997-1998.

Likewise, gains were realized in fourth grade and eighth grade scores in math. Achievement, as is clear from these numbers, is still low. But trend lines are, clearly, moving in the right direction. Page 4 of my written testimony has the graphs from the report that indicate the percentage of students over that four-year period in both reading and mathematics.

To get to these results, urban schools have been implementing higher academic standards for Title I and non-Title I students alike. Despite the focus on state standards development, most cities have not waited for the states to act and for state standards to be completed. Urban school districts have actively embraced the standards movement on their own, helping to boost results for Title I students. Some 94 percent of all urban school systems across the country now report having contents standards of some form or another in reading at the elementary and middle school level, as they do also at the high school level. Some 78 percent also report having content standards in both reading and mathematics.

In addition, the 1994 amendments to Title I for family altered the number of schools and students served by Title I in the major cities. The number of urban school students receiving Title I services increased by about 71 percent over that four-year period. The percentage of all urban school students receiving services from Title I jumped from 31 percent to 51 percent, meaning that Title I was serving a substantially higher number of urban school students across the country. In addition, we found that the number of school students receiving services under Title I in the cities for private schools actually went up, which was a finding which was contradictory to the national assessment.

These results appear to be consistent with a number of other indicators from across the country including NAEP scores for African American, central city, and poor students, our own ACT scores and the ``Promising Results, Continuing Challenges'' report that the Department of Education put out.

Our report also explores a number of the strategies that our urban school systems are using to produce these results, including reducing class sizes, implementing more research-based reforms, better professional development, after school activities, and parental involvement. Unfortunately, we found that state involvement in our school systems did not prove to be very helpful. I also have data in my written remarks about test scores and programs in individual cities.

In addition, Mr. Chairman, we have submitted a number of recommendations to the committee. Despite the encouraging achievement gains for many urban school districts across the country with the Title I dollars, too many of our school districts are not providing the education that our children deserve. We need to move faster for urban school districts are not satisfied with where we are.

The Council of the Great City Schools proposes changes in Title I that are aimed at accelerating improvements in student achievement in the urban schools, building the capacity of urban schools to meet the needs of our students, and strengthening local accountability for results. Our recommendations are in those areas.

We look forward to working with the committee, and hoping that this committee works together in a bipartisan fashion to craft the most constructive program to meet the needs of our many Title I students. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

See Appendix D for the Written Statement of Dr. Casserly


See Appendix E for the Council of the Great City Schools

Summary of ESEA Reauthorization Proposals


The Report, Reform And Results: An Analysis of Title I in The Great City Schools, March 199, is contained in the official record on file with the Committee's official record


Mr. Castle. [presiding] Thank you very much, Dr. Casserly. We had a coup in the committee while you were speaking, and Chairman Goodling is now in another committee to which he has to tend to business. So, we may have some rotations from time to time today.

Our final witness is a person, esteemed in education across the country. Most people know who she is, and a lot of what she has done. Dr. Diane Ravitch.




Dr. Ravitch. Thank you, Mr. Castle, and thank you to the members of the committee for inviting me to testify today. I should mention that I am associated with various organizations but I am not speaking for any of them. I am speaking, solely, as an individual.

Let me say, first, that Title I is a vitally important federal responsibility. It represents the nation's promise to help poor children achieve equal educational opportunity. I would add, also, that I totally agree with the administration's emphasis on standards and accountability for children in both Title I and non-Title I schools. It does poor children no good to allocate federal funds to districts and to states without paying close attention to whether children are actually learning, and whether the achievement gap between poor kids and others is shrinking.

I want to point out that Title I, as it operates today, is not actually a federal program with a coherent strategy and uniform activities. It is a funding mechanism to channel federal dollars into districts that have significant numbers of poor children. Consequently, it is confusing to refer to it as a program because the money is used in so many different ways for so many different purposes. So, when we say, whether Title I is working or not working, it is usually impossible to generalize, and always difficult to know what is working and what is not working because you are talking about all kinds of different approaches and methods and programs.

One of the things that I think has to continue to concern us is that the 1999 National Assessment of Title I pointed out that nearly 70 percent of fourth grade children in high poverty schools are below basic on NAEP's test of reading, as are nearly 60 percent on NAEP's test of mathematics. In low poverty schools, only 23 percent are below basic in reading and in math. In other words, despite recent gains, poor kids are still far behind in the fourth grade. And, when children can't read and do math in the fourth grade, they tend to fall farther and farther behind as they get older. So, I suggest we have to continue to press to reduce the large achievement gaps between poor kids and others.

The current system has many problems. One of them is that it breeds bureaucracy. It is so complicated; it involves so many regulations that it requires large numbers of state and local administrators to run the program, decide which school gets what, and manage the flow of paper. Because of the complexities of the formula, millions of poor children are not now receiving any Title I services because they are not in a Title I school.

I was told yesterday by a district administrator that in Houston, schools that are 60 percent poor are not Title I schools. I was told last night that schools in Philadelphia that are 62 percent poor are not Title I schools. I would assume this may well be a representative figure for many of our big city districts. It means, as I said, millions of poor children are not served at all. They get not a dollar of Title I services. When poor children in Title I schools move to a school that is not a Title I school, they lose Title I services. If they should decide to enroll in a public charter school set up specifically for kids with their particular problems, their Title I funds may or may not follow them. At present, Title I dollars fund school districts, not school children.

What I suggest is that states be allowed, if they wish, to turn Title I into a portable entitlement. This would mean that the federal Title I money would follow poor children to the school in which they are enrolled, consistent with the state's laws and federal constitution. Instead of sending the money to the states and districts, it would go to the school where the poor child is enrolled. This would mean the Title I would be available to every poor child in a state that tried portable entitlements. This would mean the Title I funding would support the education of every poor child in those states, not just those who happen to attend schools that are designated Title I schools by district officials. If the eligible child changed schools, the federal funds would follow her to the new schools.

This would mean, of course, an increase in federal dollars for Title I. Turning Title I into a portable entitlement for poor children would reduce bureaucracy. With a portable entitlement, the whole process is simplified and automatic. Schools would get money depending on how many poor kids are enrolled, period.

Let me be clear about what I am saying, and what I am not saying. I am not proposing to voucherize Title I. I am not suggesting that Title I funds should go to the family to use as they see fit. I am not saying that Congress should initiate this kind of change overnight, but rather that it should allow some states, if they choose, to try out this approach, and evaluate its effects on schools and children.

Accountability requires good information. One way to improve information about performance would be to provide incentives for every State to participate in NAEP and to continue to disaggregate NAEP results by income levels. This information would function as an external audit for Title I and for other efforts to increase the achievement of poor kids.

I would also suggest that this committee might consider recommending that districts be allowed to administer NAEP on a district level basis. With this information, state and local officials would continue to be responsible for overseeing schools accrediting, reorganizing, and even closing schools where necessary. My goal here in making this proposal is twofold.

First, to concentrate federal funds on poor children, on their teachers and their schools rather than on state and district bureaucracies. The immediate effect of this proposal would be to increase federal funding to every school that enrolls poor children.

Second, to use the Pell Grant program in higher education as a model for supporting poor kids in elementary and secondary schools. In 1972, there was a great debate in these halls about how to direct federal funding for higher education. On one side was Congresswoman Edith Green, Democrat from Oregon, who said, ``Fund the institutions based on the number of students they enroll.'' On the other side was Senator Claiborne Pell and Congressman John Brademus, both Democrats, who said, ``Fund needy students and let the funds follow them to the institution they attend.'' It is now widely recognized that Senator Pell's grants promoted the democratization of higher education.

The basic principle, I suggest, is more federal dollars for the schools that all poor kids attend, fewer federal dollars for administration and compliance. Under the current system, Title I is an entitlement for districts. I suggest it should be an entitlement for poor children and their schools. Thank you.

See Appendix F for the Written Statement of Dr. Ravitch


Chairman Goodling. [presiding] Now, we will begin the question period. I will remind all members we have a lot of members here today, so don't get windy. I will start with Mr. Castle.


Mr. Castle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before I ask my first question, which I hope Dr. Ginsburg will be able to answer, I must say that I was really disturbed by the articles I read yesterday with respect to the NAEP testing and the fact that perhaps, certain kids who might have scored lower in the test were excluded by a factor of several percentage points in some states, including my own state. It is a problem if we are trying to improve education by determining if Title I or other education funds are working, and our methodologies for testing, analyzing, and having accountability for this is not questioned.

I happen to have been on that National Assessment Governing Board for a term, and I believe they are very straight players with respect to this. Where this happened or whether it happened unknowingly to people or the press misrepresented it, I don't know. But I just think that is a problem. Maybe we could argue that in this case, it is not particularly significant. I personally think we should have a hearing on this, either in full committee or one of the subcommittees, to get to the bottom of it.

I say it only because, in some of your testimony in some of the testimony touched on by the other witnesses, there are references to test scores, and this concerns me. You can comment on that, if you will. I can't speak for anyone else in this committee, but I was really bothered by that. I don't know how it happened, or why it happened, and there was a lot of boasting about very diminutive increases in test scores, all of which in my judgment, has been thrown out of a cocked hat as a result of this.

Secondly, let me say that I am all for the Title I program. I am all for the Title I funds. I believe it is $7.7 billion this year, and I think there is a soft increase to $8 billion next time. If that money is working properly, then that is a good use of federal money. But frankly, I am not convinced, and the testimony I have heard here today doesn't necessarily convince me too much more, that we really have a grip on whether these Title I funds are working. My inclination is that if you are putting extra money into a school, it is probably working.

Dr. Ravitch makes the point that some of the kids aren't benefiting at all because they are going to places that don't get this money, which is an interesting issue that I think we need to discuss. But, I am just not convinced our analysis of all this is in order. I have to raise those concerns. I want to reauthorize this and I want to do it promptly, but by God, this is a time to not just to reauthorize it the way it is but to make changes to make these programs work better. It is what I think this committee really has to do.

Let me just ask a question. You can comment on any of those other things I said, if you wish. As I understand it, there are schoolwide programs. Some of the Ed-Flex states have used the schoolwide programs, but other districts have been able to obtain waivers from the Department of Education to get them, and I suppose there are not as many schoolwide programs as there are individual programs for under-achieving students. But my question to you is, is there any analysis between those programs?

There seems to be under the Ed-Flex program. There seems to be some indication that the schoolwide programs that are just having the money go to the schools and run programs in general versus specific classes for under-achieving students may be working better. Has anyone actually studied that particular issue?


Dr. Ginsburg. There are a number of parts to what you ask. First, let me correct you on the NAEP. NAEP does not run out of my office; it is run out of OARI.

Mr. Castle. I wasn't actually getting on you. I was just making that statement in general.


Dr. Ginsburg. I understand that, but in terms of the findings that we had, there is something called a main NAEP, and trend NAEP that we could spend all day trying to distinguish. But, what we used for our findings only go up to 1996, so that the findings as to the 1998 readings that were affected by the variable inclusion of language minorities and special education in some of the particular states. So, our findings, because we stayed with the trend NAEP, weren't affected by these results. So, that, roughly, we found about a grade level increase over the period. It still leaves a huge gap, though. Diane quotes from what we did, and nobody is disagreeing about the size of the gap that remains, it is an enormous gap, but there still is progress that did occur.


Mr. Castle. I would point out, too, I know my time is up and you need to answer the question, but I would also point out that there were still mistakes made in that, that we still have to review it to see what it did.


Dr. Ginsburg. Oh, yes.


Mr. Castle. They impacted the state results, not the trend results.


Dr. Ginsburg. Right. What we are finding with respect to schoolwides is that really much of it depends upon whether they take advantage of the school-wide opportunity or not. We are finding a lot more attention in the school plans to the alignment with state standards, and how instruction will re-enforce standards in those schools. We also have models that have been documented.

There is a recent study by AIR, that has been documented as being effective, and they really are school-wide models. I am thinking particularly of, say, Success for All, it is in about a thousand schools. You couldn't do that kind of model very easily under the old Title I.

But, what we also find, that is what Diane says, it is not a single program. We also find that there are still many schools that really don't take advantage of the schoolwide provisions, and they are still doing things the old way. And, in particular, what we find with respect to aides, half the Title I money goes to them. Of all of the teachers hired, half are aides under Title I. Almost none of those aides have a college degree, and about half of the aides are spending most of their time doing, or at least half of their time doing, direct instruction.

So, the answer is it offers the opportunity; some places are taking that opportunity. We are seeing it in their plans; we are seeing it in adopting schoolwide models. But a lot are not.


Chairman Goodling. Thank you, Dr. Ginsburg.

Let me remind everyone, first round, the answers are also part of the five minutes. When we get to those of you who stay for the second round, we will be much more generous. Mr. Clay?


Mr. Clay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Dr. Casserly, what is your view on Title I portability, as described here today? If we were to enact it, what do you believe its effects would be?


Dr. Casserly. Well, I haven't heard too much more about the portability proposal than what I have heard this morning, and a little bit in various news clips over the last week or so. So, I don't know the details on it. I have to admit to wondering whether or not it will actually do what people want it to do.

My understanding from Diane's testimony is that the goal here is to further target the resources of Title I on the neediest of kids, using Philadelphia and Houston as an example that you can't serve students before a certain poverty level, and I think that is probably about right.

Setting up a portability system, however, I don't know necessarily solves that. As a matter of fact, I have to wonder whether or not it makes it worse. Because, a poor child moves to a school, for instance, that is not particularly poor, and would not otherwise be a Title I school, the money follows that kid, and the money is not necessarily used for services for the kid that generated the funds in the first place. So, I think what may end up happening is that rather than further targeting the money, you might actually result in further diluting the money.


Mr. Clay. Thank you. Dr. Ginsburg, in your testimony, you stated that according to the results of the NAEP Assessment, high poverty schools in nine states are exceeding the national average in mathematics. What are those states doing that other states are not?


Dr. Ginsburg. We haven't done a detailed analysis of the nine states. But, what we do know where there have been analyses, particularly the most successful reform states, in particular Texas and North Carolina, that are states in which we looked at, and we also looked at districts in Texas, for example, Houston. Test scores are going up. What we find is the assessment system is driving, in both Texas and North Carolina, is driving reform, and that they need consistent assessment systems over time. And, a lot of states are not doing that right now. There are consequences both to the school and to the child level for not meeting that.

They are also preventing lots of technical assistance. So, the key is, not only do you have to have contents standards, but they have got to have those assessment systems in place; and you have got to have them in place for a number of years; and you have got to hold schools accountable for that. A lot of states can't do that. As I said, we could only find about nine states that could give us three years of test scores on low-income schools, and that jeopardizes Title I school improvement process.

But, looking at Texas and North Carolina have been very carefully studied, the assessment system, the strong accountability, and technical and support is key.


Mr. Clay. You also mentioned that although the number of schools offering after school learning opportunities has increased from 9 to 41 percent, only 12 percent of Title I students are utilizing these programs. Did your study identify why this is the case?


Dr. Ginsburg. This is a whole new area that has been neglected. What we do know is that time matters for kids learning, and if the time is used productively. A lot of after school programs have not used time productively. Our new 21st century school program is focused much more on homework help, and on learning and on reading and math, and these core education services. So, we are about to launch the major expansion of the program just took place. We are going to be getting evaluation reports in the spring, and we will know more about that, to answer your question.


Mr. Clay. Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Schaffer?


Mr. Schaffer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a number of questions, one for Dr. Ginsburg.

First of all, in your testimony and reading through the details of it, the Department seems convinced that replacing paraprofessionals and certified teachers is, somehow, part of the solution. I want you to tell us why, what makes us think that removing paraprofessionals and replacing them with certified teachers will result in improved test scores?


Dr. Ginsburg. I think probably the best report to look at would be the National Research Council report on reading that came out. Many of the children, at least 20 percent of the children, typically, nationally, and a higher percent in Title I schools, have very serious reading problems. If you can't read by the end of the third or fourth grade, you are not going to succeed. What that report says is that we need very well-trained professionals that understand how kids decode the alphabet, link it to words, can use measurement on the child, reading inventories. Most teachers can't do that, is what we have found. What you are getting are adults who may be very well intentioned from the community who may have no more than a high school education.


Mr. Schaffer. Let me stop you right there because, is your reform plan for replacing paraprofessionals predicated on not just certified teachers, but those who meet the kind of measurement expectations and expertise when it comes to these higher-risk children?


Dr. Ginsburg. Well, as a minimum, we would want certified teachers because if they're not…


Mr. Schaffer. Let me then just ask you about just the flow of logic here. First, the child is in the classroom with a certified teacher. What Title I does is actually takes the kid out and puts them somewhere else where there are not certified teachers today. Tell me why we just don't focus on the certified teacher who is with the child in the first place?


Dr. Ginsburg. It is a vestige of the old Title I. The old Title I initially, when Title I started back in the early 1970's, there were problems getting money to the schools. They were using it for building swimming pools, and we put in provisions to track the money within the school. Because they had separate tracking, what happened, one of the easy ways to track it would be to hire aides from the community. The schoolwides that Congressman Castle mentioned allow you now to not track the money, to use it for certified teachers. But, there is a built-up vestige of aides and paraprofessionals; it is almost an industry, and a lobby group for that. It has been very hard to change. We would recommend changing it.


Mr. Schaffer. Let me take off on that that it has become somewhat of an industry. I am curious how many federal employees are responsible for administering Title I?


Dr. Ginsburg. There are 43 employees in Mary Jean's office. Overall, there is less than 1 percent of the money goes, at our level, it is pretty small, less than 1 percent at the state level, and about 90 percent of the money goes in the classroom.


Mr. Schaffer. I would be curious, and it may be unfair to ask these numbers now, but I would be curious to know how many federal employees, how many state employees, and also how many local employees? How many people are employed in the industry of delivering Title I services?


Dr. Ginsburg. Okay. We will be happy to provide it.


Mr. Schaffer. Secondly, I want to go to Dr. Casserly real quick. You said your criticism of personalizing the entitlement is that it could dilute the money. I want to approach it from the inverse direction. It is very clear that the concentration of these dollars in some privileged school districts is not going far enough, and not helping children. I would assume, then, you would support concentrating the existing dollars even further to achieve the results that you must believe occur if personalizing these dollars results in some kind of harmful dilution?


Dr. Casserly. We are very much in favor of further targeting of the Title I program. The last reauthorization of Title I did an awfully good job of targeting funds within district. But, we really did not move the targeting of funds to states or across school districts as a result of the last reauthorization. We are in favor of additional targeting. Again, my concern is…


Mr. Schaffer. So, are you talking about raising the poverty measurement, then, for eligibility of school districts or how would you target? How would you determine which school districts would be eligible for the funds in a more targeted approach?


Dr. Casserly. As the chairman knows, this is a pretty complicated process of formula writing, and I was kind of hoping we would not get into formula changes in this reauthorization before the next census comes up. But, to target additional funds would mean changing the eligibility rules in the law to send additional money to school districts with the highest numbers and percentages of poor kids. The Title I Concentration Grants, for instance, does that in contrast to the basic program. There are a number of mechanisms for doing that.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Martinez?


Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, in the last reauthorization, we actually did improve the way the monies were targeted. The only problem is that the appropriators are not using the other two new formula criteria, and they are using the same old one which was just a number of school-aged children in poverty, and the ADA that the state provides to that school district. So, if we go to that formula as we developed it, maybe we would have a better apportionment of money.

My concern is that if you target the kid, this money will go to schools that are not, as you said, high poverty schools, and in all probability, the parents are sophisticated enough to do that for the kid, to send them to a private school. That private school really doesn't need that money, and it dilutes the money that is going to the public school system even further. What this is is a foot in the door for vouchers, and I would completely disagree with it.

Dr. Ginsburg, I am going to ask you three questions because of the limited time, and then see how many of them you can answer. You stated in your testimony that in 1997-1998, the most ever high poverty schools received Title I funds. It seems to me that the money is finally going to the schools that really need it. But now we pass an Ed-Flex bill that is in conference now, and if that bill were to pass, the problem is that dependent on whether or not the Secretary of State gives a waiver to the state, and whether or not the Governor, then, allows schools to have waivers from the percentage requirement of poverty in the school to make it a Title I school, we could end up with funds going to schools with very few poverty students. Wouldn't that really deter the progress we have made over the last several years? That is one question.

The next question is Title I funds are used for professional development, and I am very concerned about professional development, particularly teacher training. What particular activities are these funds being used for?

The third question is, you stated in your testimony that the Eisenhower program does not appear to make special efforts to target teachers in high poverty schools, and I will attest to that from stories that I have heard from those kinds of schools. Do you have any suggestions how the Department or Congress can act to remedy this situation?


Dr. Ginsburg. Thank you. With respect to Ed-Flex, so far in our data, really, I can only speak to what has happened. With respect to the waivers the Department gives, and only about one percent of the schools have been affected right now by flexibility waivers. Those that have, though, they have mainly been coming in for targeting, or that has been one of the major ones. It reduces by about 18 percent the amount of money that has been going to the highest poverty schools in those districts. So, there has been some reduction based upon our experience in the targeting where there have been Department's waivers that we grant that I can speak to. On the other hand, it is still only affecting about one percent of the schools. I can't really predict beyond that.

With respect to professional development, what we are finding, we know a lot more, actually, about the Eisenhower program, is that the professional development provided through districts often is not very good. What we find under the Eisenhower is that the professional development provided by institutions of higher education is much higher quality. When we look at it, we find much more impact on instruction from the institutions of higher education. It needs to be targeted, much more intensive than the kinds of professional development that we are traditionally giving teachers. In fact, what we find for school improvement, schools that have been identified for school improvement, they get no more professional development or assistance, even though they have been identified.

So, we are not doing a very good job in professional development or assistance. We would write in something for the Eisenhower program to really put some teeth in the targeting. Supposedly, there is supposed to be disproportionate targeting, but there is not.

Mr. Martinez. Thank you. How is that for staying under five minutes, Mr. Chairman?


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Ehlers?


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Ravitch, I appreciate hearing your testimony. I have read some of your writings over the years and appreciate some of the ideas you have expressed. I particularly appreciate the proposal that you have brought here that the money follows the students, rather than follows the schools, and I think that is something we should explore, and most likely, apply.

I do have a couple of questions about that, but let me first relate some of my experiences with it. I have been involved in raising money for and administering scholarship funds for students from poor families whose parents desperately want them to attend private schools, and in particular, private religious schools. They are willing, in spite of their meager resources, to contribute what they can toward the tuition. But, we raise money to supplement that, to pay for the tuition. The results have been very good, as a matter of fact. I also noticed from your example of higher education, the Pell Grants, they follow the students, but they follow them anywhere to any school they choose, whether public or private, whether religious or non-religious.

Yet, I noticed in your testimony you seem to emphasize that the money should only go to public schools, whether they are public charter schools or traditional public schools. Is that simply something you didn't address, or do you feel strongly that it should not go to private schools or, in particular, religious schools?


Dr. Ravitch. Well, sir, I should say that what I suggested was that any kind of federal funding of individual students should be consistent with state law. So, for example, in my state there is very strong sentiment against any public funding to non-public schools for schooling. So, it would not follow the student's religious schools. But, I think it should be consistent with state law and the constitution. I think, in this area, there is still a lot of litigation going on.

But, I was not intending to propose, and I said, contrary to Congressman Martinez, I was not proposing to voucherize Title I. What I was saying is that 4.5 million poor children are not getting any Title I services today. In a school that is 62 percent poor, kids get not one dollar of Title I services in most of our big cities. I think this should concern both sides of the aisle. If you think that personalizing or individualizing the grant and letting the money follow the student is a bad idea, then I suggest you repeal the Pell Grants and fund universities where poor kids go. And, what you will find is an enormous segregating impact because you will be funding highly poor, highly segregated institutions, and not giving students the opportunity to move into better institutions or different institutions where poor kids are not in more than 62 percent.

So, I think you have created a formula that really re-enforces segregation, keeps poor kids together, and after 30-40 years has 70 percent of fourth graders not reading. You heard Alan Ginsburg say, when you can't read in the fourth grade your chances of learning to read eventually are very slender. So, we have a program that is very diffused, has lots of different parts, some of it works well, and we don't even know what those parts are. What I am suggesting is not an overnight change in Title I, but rather think about allowing some States to do it differently.


Mr. Ehlers. Well, I certainly and strongly support that. What I see here, and I am relatively new in this committee, but what I see is a program that spent over $100 billion with results that cannot be measured in any quantitative way to show that we have achieved anything. So, clearly, major surgery is needed, and I think your approach is major surgery. But, I don't see any reason at all that our efforts would have to be bound by state law on this issue. We certainly don't adjust our Pell Grants to state law, and I don't see any reason why, if we would follow your suggestion of having the money follow the students, I think it should follow them wherever they go irrespective of what the states do with their money.


Dr. Ravitch. Well, even with Pell Grants, the institution has to be accredited, and some institutions are not permitted to receive students with Pell Grants. But, I take your larger point, and I think that is a decision for Congress to make.


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Kildee?


Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Casserly, the study produced by the Council indicates that low-income children in urban schools are producing increases in student achievement, and that the achievement gap with their non-disadvantaged peers is closing. How critical do you believe that the standards in the assessment model in Title I and Goals 2000 has been to these results? Let me add to that that the Miller-Kildee Amendment to the Ed-Flex bill which was rejected both here in committee and on the floor is patterned after the systemic reform in Texas, and Houston seems to be doing better than other places. Could you talk to us about how the standards and assessment model in Title I and Goals 2000 have been related to those results?


Dr. Casserly. First of all, on issues of Ed-Flex, I share the concern of some about what the unintended consequences of Ed-Flex may be on the targeting provisions under Title I. But, on issues of standards, let me set Goals 2000 aside as a program, as such, because so much of that money actually went to the state level, and that money got spent for the development of content and the performance standards which was all a good thing. But, it didn't always happen that the program benefit, directly, Title I in our urban school systems.

But, I have to say that the standards movement itself has been an extremely helpful focus for urban education in renewing our emphasis on the bottom line, which was the achievement of the kids. I think there has been no substitute for the standards movement, and all of the philosophical discussions around raising the expectations of our urban school kids, no substitute for that at all. When we surveyed our own districts, I think there are results in the report that we are presenting here today that indicate that school districts credit the standards movement, and their rising expectations with some of the achievement gains in urban school systems across the country.


Mr. Kildee. Do you conclude that lessening the emphasis on standards and assessment could have a negative effect upon further increases in achievement for Title I students?


Dr. Casserly. Oh, I think so. I think if the country backs away from the standards approach to education, then we really could see a severe backsliding in the progress that we have made over the last several years. I think it is very, very critical that we maintain the standards focus of our activities, not just at the federal level but at the local level, as well.


Mr. Kildee. That is one of the reasons that Mr. Miller and I offered our amendment to Ed-Flex. We looked at what has worked and based it upon the Texas model. We didn’t see any backsliding in that area.


Dr. Casserly. The Texas model has been very useful, and it has been very useful for the big cities in Texas, San Antonio, Forth Worth, Houston, El Paso, and other big cities in Texas which are really getting unusually large gains in achievement in both reading and math. Part of the reason for that is, not only their own programming, but because of the assessment and accountability measures that the state has put into effect.


Mr. Kildee. One of the amendments that we were able to get here in committee on the Ed-Flex bill is that Ed-Flex would sunset when we completed our work on ESEA, and we would be forced to take another look at it.


Dr. Casserly. Thank you very much.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.


Chairman Goodling. Calling on Mr. Fletcher, I would suggest that all of you might take a look at what Kentucky is doing. I think they might be on to something. I was down there at a workshop in their capitol, and they apparently forced a marriage between four-year institutions, two-year institutions, and community colleges to deal with the whole issue of getting people prepared for the jobs that are in that area. I think they may be on to something.

I have to go vote, again, across the hall. I will be right back. Mr. Fletcher.


Mr. Fletcher. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to make sure I understand some of the testing results. When we look at Title I students, the testing results and impossible progress that has been made, do we match those with controls that are not under Title I programs? Do we have any idea that the students that are in schools that are receiving funds are doing better than those in schools that are not?


Dr. Ginsburg. No, that is a very direct question. As I indicated in my testimony, Title I, because of the improved targeting, in fact, we cannot find control schools that are both high poverty and not participating in these districts have changed a lot.


Mr. Fletcher. Even if you couldn't match them that way, could you find students that, maybe demographically or at least economically were matched in different schools, that may be very close. I mean, very few percentage close, as far as school lunches, that one falls below the criteria, and doesn't receive that the others within the criteria?


Dr. Ginsburg. We haven't done that, but if you look at the target group schools, again, they are 75 percent, say, or more poor. They are the real problems in the country. All of them are really in Title I now. It is quite an extraordinary change. We could not find control group schools. We would have been happy to do it if we could find those.


Mr. Fletcher. Dr. Vinovskis?


Dr. Vinovskis. Let me add something to that. I think the Department does have something that they haven't talked very much about, and it hasn't produced very many results, that you are going to very interested in. That is the longitudinal study of school change in performance, which was to look at areas that are more attuned with systemic reform, have moved further along, places like Kentucky or elsewhere, and see how students there are doing.

Prospects which you did is to ask, ``Do high-risk students who are economically more disadvantaged, how are they doing compared to low?'' So, Alan is right. You can't simply say, ``Comparable students who are getting nothing, but all these other studies will tell us, ``Is this helping us in work?''

When we have prospects, when you made the decision in 1994, you had the interim report by 1993, which was crucial in convincing the Congress to go in a new direction. You now have, it is a year after the first year of results of this study, and if you don't pass this legislation this, and you may not, you will have two years of results. You ought to pay more attention to that, but you ought to pay careful attention. I don't think the Department is doing enough to utilize the study it has. Even with its limitations, it is much better than just talking about NAEP, and it is much better than talking about some of the State tests.


Mr. Fletcher. Thank you. I think it is going to be important, if we have any idea whether this Title I is working, that we have some sort of control. It is just essential that I see it.

Some of the concerns I have, too, are schools. I have got a lot of rural schools that may not fall in there, but actually there is more poverty in the rural areas, and yet fewer schools that qualify. So, we have a significant number of children that don't qualify, and the portability certainly is attractive from that standpoint.

The other question I have, let me use an example. We have got a housing project in Lexington, Kentucky, it is a Cheryl Court area, as it is called. We have a grant of about $19 million to basically tear it down, put these folks in new housing, scatter them out through the city. Now, when we do that, their children are going to be scattered out to the schools that are not low-income schools anymore. We are taking them out of Title I schools because we do have to qualify them. We are trying to improve their lives. Get them out, scattered, rather than in a housing project.

I am afraid that if we continue with this criteria for Title I in the schools that we are going to really encourage low-income families to stay in neighborhoods that are not safe. That is the reason this project is undertaken in Lexington, Kentucky, and that we are going to say that, ``We want you to go to schools that are in the poorer areas, which typically are less safe than those that may be out in some of the urban areas.'' And, we are going to say, ``You are going to have to send your students to the poorer schools; you are going to have to live in, possibly, unsafe neighborhoods for your children to get the benefits of Title I.''

So, I think we really need to look at testing, making sure we have got good prospective studies with cross controls, and that we look and make sure we have some equity here. Just because poor students live in the wrong area, and don't go to the low-income schools that we are going to deprive them of this privilege. I don't know if anyone has any comments on that, but I would welcome them.


Dr. Casserly. If I might comment on the issue of control groups in Title I. I share your frustration, in some respects, about the inability to have control groups, and to do an exact experiment on the effectiveness of the program. Alan is right, though, that particularly in communities in the big cities, it is very hard to find comparable, non-participating schools. But, the data is pretty clear, at least out of the major cities, that the schools in which Title I is concentrated, those schools seem to be having some of the greatest improvements. I don't know that it really matters a whole lot how much of that improvement was accountable to Title I, and how much was attributable to something else. Title I was part of the overall mechanism that brought higher achievement in those schools, and I think that is a good thing.


Mr. Fletcher. Thank you very much.


Chairman Goodling. Mrs. McCarthy?


Mrs. McCarthy. Thank you. I represent a suburban area, but everyone forgets that my suburban schools have urban problems. We have seen Title I really work. Over the last five years, Hempstead, which is probably, unfortunately, the poorest of my schools, has started using Title I funds. In those five years they have developed and implemented innovative programs with amazing results. We have seen, especially with high school students, 97 percent of them going to college. So the Title I money has produced results, but it also came in because they set goals and standards to be achieved.

Now, the question I want to ask is, do you think that there should accountability on where this money is going, and making sure that we are getting the best return for our dollar?


Dr. Vinovskis. Mrs. McCarthy, I think we have to remind ourselves what Diane Ravitch told us a little while ago. Title I is a stream of money, it is not a program.

What you did is you described a program that seems to be working well. One of the things that really impresses me is that out there, we have a lot of interest in local districts, and they are all different. What are the programs that would work in our area? What are the models that we could draw upon? So, one of the things is, I am not so sure we need as much regulation as we need consumer guide to models that have some validity in those areas. That is what we have not done.

So, one of the things that would fill this gap is if the Department of Education and I think this is a major federal role since the mid-19th century, if they would take the leadership and say, ``Does success for all work in all types of communities?'' ``Are schools better here or there?'' The problem is that OERI and PES have not been doing this.

In fact, there is a paper that I am doing for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which is having a conference in May. It is called ``Missing in Practice? Systematic Development and Rigorous Program Evaluation,'' U.S. Department of Education.

So, part of the answer to Alan's is, it is not a question of who gets Title I monies or not. That is one issue, but the question is, what do you do when you get that money? We can test whether schools that use it a certain way in their context do a better job than others. That is the kind of the job we would give to the federal government if we came and said, for your suburban areas, ``Here are five programs, and here they seem to work.'' I think your school districts would be very happy to have that.


Mrs. McCarthy. Well, that is why I brought Secretary Riley out to my district to see my schools, so that he would have an idea of what we are doing in our area with Title I funds.


Dr. Vinovskis. The next time you talk with Secretary Riley, ask him why hasn't the Department been doing more to help us know which works, and which doesn't work in this approach.


Dr. Casserly. Part of the reason why Title I isn't the kind of coherent, uniform program from the federal level that people might like is that there really are restrictions in federal law on the ability of Congress and the federal government to set out curriculum and other mechanisms by which school districts abide. So, you can't really lay out a reading program or math program from the federal level. What you can do, however, from the federal level is set out standards promising practices, and a great deal more research on what works in technical assistance on how to meet it, or how to get to success. I am sure that you can't regulate success, but you can sure model success, and put more successful programs and practices out in front of school districts, and encourage their adoption of them, and to encourage them to do what works.


Mrs. McCarthy. Thank you.


Dr. Ginsburg. Could I just add one addition? On targeting, right now it has a fixed pot of money, you are going to take it away from somebody to give to somebody else. I would only note that the Independent Review Panel called for full funding of Title I. I don't know whether we can fully fund Title I, but right now Title I is a share of the federal education budget for elementary and secondary education has been going down over time. So, another answer is to look at the recommendations from the Independent Review Panel with respect to increasing the total amount of money that is going for Title I.


Dr. Ravitch. Sir, if I can just add to what Alan Ginsburg said, and suggesting portability, and giving Title I funds to every poor child, I also suggested an increase in overall Title I funding rather than diminishing the amount of money available to everyone who now gets it.


Chairman Goodling. Thank you. Congressman DeMint.


Mr. DeMint. In my community, there is no shortage of folks who want to help the disadvantaged. Whether it is the United Way or literacy groups, there is a lot of energy behind it. But, as soon as you get out of these few schools with a concentration of poor kids, none of the money can help. There is no critical mass for the program. So, Dr. Ravitch, your proposal of portable entitlements makes a whole lot of sense to me.

What I would like to hear from Dr. Ginsburg, and maybe some of the other witnesses is that this is in theory. Can you think of a way that would make it work in such a way that would help the children? Rather than focus the money on certain schools and not being able to use the money to facilitate or act as a catalyst to combine community resources with public school resources to really help people? I will just start with you, Dr. Ginsburg. Is there a way to overcome your objections to this idea?


Dr. Ginsburg. Well, I haven't seen Diane's proposal until today. So, I don't want to comment directly on it.

What I would say, though, is there are other federal programs, in particular, the 21st Century School Program, in which the budget has gone up enormously. And there is a huge increase requested, in which community organizations are central to participating in that program; they had a very key role in terms of after school programs, much more traditionally than they do with respect to during the school day. That would offer them a tremendous increase in availability of funds, and I know they have had trouble before getting federal money for after school programs. So, this could be a terrific opportunity to look for.

With respect to Diane's proposal, I am going to have to look at the proposal, more specifically.


Dr. Vinovskis. Let me respond to your question, which I think is a very good one, and a couple of things coming back.

First of all, as you think about educational investments, the surprising thing is we are all up here talking about how important Title I is, but that is not where we are putting our money. The increases for next year are not slated by some people to go into Title I. There are great ideas, like social promotion programs, class size reduction, after school programs. Think about taking some of those monies, or most of those monies, and adding it to Title I, and get that concentration. The people who argue that we ought to focus the money, and target the money on the poor, I think, are right. And, I think Title I tries to do that, and does it better than most.

So, I would be very tempted not to start up four or five more federal programs, which are great, maybe, but adds to bureaucracy, and doesn't help this problem.

Secondly, in terms of portability, since we are not getting outstanding results in education in the last four or five years. We may quibble about how much we are getting, but no one is arguing it is outstanding. What about thinking about a compromise, where letting some of the states, as Diane suggested, letting some of the states stay the course because we don't want to abandon it if it works, but trying, like the welfare reform, trying a few areas these things to see what works and doesn't. It may be, for example, when kids are in a low-income area, and schools are worse, you may have to have additional supplements to that kid as you would, say, if you went to a wealthy suburb.

But, let's be creative, don't get stuck. For 30 years, we have been stuck. The problem is not the people who are administering the programs, we are still getting paid. The problem is the kids, so open your minds to some kind of experimentation in this round. I wouldn't want to see Diane's thing go all the way because, and she wouldn't either, because it is too early. We ought to try.


Mr. DeMint. Dr. Casserly?


Dr. Casserly. Yes, sir, thank you very much. I am all in favor of creativity. As a matter of fact, we get to be pretty creative in many urban communities across the country. But, what I don't want to do is harm, and what I am fearful of and concerned about, although Diane's proposal isn't in writing yet, is that it may unintentionally do exactly the opposite of what the intent was, and that was rather than targeting money, it may, in fact, dilute the money, and make it harder to get the kind of achievement result, and measure the kind of achievement results that this community has been after.

On the marginal nature of the results, actually from the achievement scores that we have been getting, and that I cite in my testimony, I view those as pretty substantial results. But, I think we have to keep in mind that Title I is still only about 5-7 percent of a school district's budget of seven percent of total average per-pupil expenditure for an individual kid. So, it is very hard to produce really, really, ``knock-them-dead'' results across the Nation when the total appropriation is so small. So, I think the truth of the matter is that we are getting pretty good results for the limited dollars that we have spent.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Miller.


Mr. Miller. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Castle said earlier that maybe we ought to slow down on this reauthorization when you look at the testimony this panel has given us this morning. It raises more questions, I think, than it does answers.

I am terribly concerned that if the best we can do is tout scores that bring us back to where we were in 1990 after a decade of funding, that is probably not the hallmark you want to take home to your constituents who are investing in this program and telling them that this is success. I am glad that we are making progress; we are making progress back to where we were.

I am also deeply disturbed that on the NAEP in reading, you see that in 16 states the gap grew between African-Americans and whites, in nine states the gap grew between Hispanics and whites in reading, and in two states the gap closed between African-Americans and whites, but only because the whites fell back, not because African Americans did better. And in the State of Wyoming, the gap closed, but that was because whites fell back against Hispanics. That is a pretty mixed bag to go bet another $100 billion on, and it is disturbing.

Of course, the flip side of the positive message is Dr. Ravitch's, which is 70 percent of the kids aren't even making the grade here. I don't know that we can have a fair discussion of your proposal, Dr. Ravitch, but a couple of things about it.

One, my immediate concern is for very young kids in very poor neighborhoods_ I don't know how I get those kids to another school. They can barely get to their neighborhood school because of lack of transportation, because of dangers, and because of the fact that their parents, in many instances, are working. That becomes just a pragmatic problem in some areas, like mine. There is no real good transportation system in those neighborhoods.

The other one is, and you answered part of this when you said you support increased funding, if each kid has an entitlement that is portable, that entitlement is worth today about $500-$700. Today, that is spread over a school-wide program. Does the child take with him or her the entitlement they brought to the school, or how the school used it which would dilute that to roughly half in a 50 percent school?

Then the other would get further diluted because we don't fully fund Title I; we fund it at about $8 billion, and it would really be about a $25 billion program, if in fact, it were a real entitlement program for every poor child. If you don't increase the funding, now you are sending the poor kid wandering around looking for a good education with $200. I don't know many schools that would say, ``Oh, come on in, and we will increase class size because you are a rich little poor kid.'' I think, unless we really want to talk about an entitlement for poor kids, that they can then take and market that is worth something, I don't know that it pans out.

That is an impression of your program, and this is not the kind of hearing to have a full airing on it, but I would like to have you respond, or comment whether I am crazy or got it wrong, or what have you.


Dr. Ravitch. Well, Mr. Miller, first of all, I want to salute you for your courage. I have followed what you have been saying over the last couple of years, and I think you are one of the real independent thinkers in Congress, and I very much admire what you have done.


Mr. Miller. Stop right there, we…



Dr. Ravitch. I will stop.


So, I would look forward to having a further discussion with you. I just go back to saying that if the Pell Grant is right, then we ought to be thinking about a different way of delivering Title I, if the Pell Grant approach is right. Because, I am not suggesting taking the money away or diluting money that any poor child currently gets, so the child that you describe who now isn't able to move out of the neighborhood schools that they are in, still has the same amount of money, the school still has the same amount of funding, and might even have more because less would be taken off by bureaucracy.

Let me tell you an interesting fact about American urban education. About 50 percent of the dollars that are spent actually get to the classroom, and all the international studies that have been made, the United States is the only country where less than half our education workers are teachers. In every other country, it is 60-70-80 percent of the education staff are teachers. I would support greater spending on Title I, and even if you keep it at the same amount for each individual, many, many more children would be covered.


Mr. Miller. But, I am raising a point and we can have it for discussion. The other one is that, obviously, in those schools, there is a huge number of children who are near poor. There is a critical mass in that school.


Dr. Ravitch. But, then you are requiring that poor children have to go to school with lots and lots of other poor children, or get no services at all, and I think that is a mistake.


Mr. Miller. No, I am not saying that. I am saying that if you, then, do what you want to do, I have got to ask, what is the funding remaining in that school because those kids don't have a voucher to take somewhere else?


Chairman Goodling. And you will have to answer that when we come back because the vote is on the conference report on the budget.



Chairman Goodling. The committee will be in order.

Mr. Greenwood, we will go to you since no one else is here at the present time.


Mr. Greenwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Vinovskis, in your testimony you said, "As we proceed with the reauthorization of Title I this year, it may be prudent to reexamine some of the key assumptions underlying systemic reform to see if they are still plausible and convincing in light of the experience of the last five years." You also said in your non-written testimony that we need to think about the original assumptions in which the program was founded.

I have spent a lot of time in the last couple of years in Title I programs that have been in virtually every school district and most of the school buildings, the teachers, the students, and the administrators. I have seen firsthand the kids who have trouble reading. You can see the ache in their hearts, and you can see the predictions of failure in life from that early on. I was just in a school last week, and I asked a kid what would he like with this program. He said, ``I am a good reader now,'' and you could see a kid just turn around.

I have seen poor kids in poor schools with these experiences. I have seen rich kids in poor schools who have trouble learning and poor school kids in rich schools, and all of the different combinations. I want to get to the basic premise of why Title I, which is designed to help kids who are having difficulty with basic educational fundamentals, like reading, why we should begin with the premise than rather than follow the child with the disability or the difficulty, we should base this all on poverty.

The question I have, and others can respond to it as well, is, is the premise here that we should use poverty because it is a crude predictor of where you are going to find difficulty in learning, and only a crude predictor? In fact, if we could pinpoint per student, we wouldn't need such a crude predictor as poverty. Or is it, in fact, designed to be a transfer of wealth, in which we say, ``In those districts that have a lot of poor kids. They are going to lack resources, and they couldn't provide these extra services on their own. So, we will transfer wealth from wealthy taxpayers to poor taxpayers?"

I fundamentally believe that that latter function is a state function. My state of Pennsylvania does a pretty good job of transferring wealth from the rich areas to the poor. So, I would like to hear your response and others’ as to why we begin the day with the premise that this program should be poverty-based?


Dr. Vinovskis. An excellent question, and a very hard one to answer. I guess my start would be, I go back to Lyndon Johnson, and the vision that he had at the time in 1965, and much of that was based upon poverty, economic poverty. A transfer is to give these disadvantaged, economically disadvantaged kids an opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty. So, it is an economic argument, in that sense. I don't think he was worried as much, at that time, about other kids who might not be thriving.

Over time, we have kept the rhetoric of poverty. We actually have a great deal of difficulty measuring it, and one of the things that I think is very important for you in the reauthorization to think about. For all this talk about poverty, NAEP does not measure it well. It is the school lunch, which is a very poor approximation. That is something that NCS and NAGDI ought to be working on. They should help us on that.


Mr. Greenwood. Let me give you an example of where I think you get an irrational result when you strictly use this poverty basis. I have several school districts, in which there may be four or five elementary schools, and based on the school lunch program, three out of the five or four out of the five qualify and the fifth one doesn't. I have actually had the experience of sitting with weeping parents who said, ``Our son struggled all through first grade, second grade he went into a Title I program, blossomed like a flower. We moved, within the school district, to an elementary school where they don't have the program, now he is failing again and he is miserable.'' Is that an irrational result that we should correct?


Dr. Vinovskis. It is an unintended one because the assumption in the 1960's was that every other school was thriving, and we just had these schools that were lagging because of this poverty issue. What we now know, and what your example suggests, are the difficulties. There are a lot of schools that are not doing well, and not just in high poverty areas.


Mr. Greenwood. I have poor kids from relatively wealthier districts that don't have the opportunity to get these services. And they are just as poor, they are struggling just as much, and their future is just as threatened. But by virtue of what side of Maple Avenue they live on, their fate is sealed.


Dr. Vinovskis. Right. And the question would be, then, and I think the 1994 reforms try to get at, is reform in all schools? How do we get all the schools, not just the Title I schools, not just those receiving those extra funds, because they are a small amount. How do we improve education throughout? We haven't gotten far enough, but what I do like about the 1994 is you have standards which are not high enough at the state level in many states, you have assessments in the states, which are a good idea, often not very well done yet, but a good idea. So, when students move from a high poverty school to a less poverty school or another school, they shouldn't be giving up quality of education.


Mr. Greenwood. Well, one way to do that, I think Dr. Ravitch would have us find billions of new dollars, put it all into Title I, make it an entitlement, and then in the situation where some kids who are from poverty stricken areas in Philadelphia whose school is maybe 62 percent poverty, not 82 percent poverty, and so they get nothing.

It is unrealistic that we are going to find the billions of dollars to do that any time soon. Another way to do that would be to give the school districts the money and say, ``You distribute this within your school district, as you choose'' because the parents in this particular elementary school can't transfer wealth within the school district to another school. What do you think about that?


Dr. Vinovskis. Well, a couple of things. First of all, and I am not against Diane's proposal, when that child moves to some other school and carries the money with them, that doesn't mean they are going into a good educational situation, either.


Mr. Greenwood. But the general question. I am sorry, I am running out of time. I would like each of you to respond to the general question, what about allowing each school district to decide how to distribute its allotment of Title I funds, rather than use the school lunch program, et cetera, to distribute it within a school district?


Dr. Vinovskis. Right. I will give you a quick answer so the rest can too.

That would be fine with me as long as you have an accountability system so that the monies get to poor kids, or that they do well. I am not so concerned about whether the monies get to them; I am concerned about their achievement. If you have an achievement system that says to pursue your plausible way, and poor kids are thriving. I have no problem, but I need to know that. If they are not thriving, I wouldn't be happy.


Mr. Greenwood. Dr. Ginsburg?


Dr. Ginsburg. The problem is where kids grow up in high poverty neighborhoods, they find they are doubly disadvantaged. You can look at what their scores would predictably be based upon family poverty. Then, we find they are below that, and they are below that because of the effects of the neighborhood and the community. So, a strong case could be made that the needs of schools that are serving those children are greater than the needs of other schools.

The problem you have is when you look at successful programs, say, like Success for All, there really is a critical mass of dollars, and you really run, it is common across all our federal programs, we try and serve an awful lot, we are under pressure to do that. When we look at district's monies, they really don't distribute disproportionately, nor states to high poverty schools. GAO has done a study of that, and we can provide that to you.


Mr. Greenwood. Could you repeat that last statement?


Mr. Ginsburg. That when we look at where state and local monies go compared to federal monies, they go in quite different directions. What we find is that state, and district monies are pretty much proportionate to the kid, while federal monies are about double the rate, say, to very high poverty schools. So, we target, it is a lot easier, politically, for us to target at the federal level. So, we would worry about dilution. You couldn't fund a program that would work, based upon our research.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Andrews.


Mr. Andrews. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Eight billion dollars a year is a lot of money. We are properly focused on the smart allocation of that money, as Mr. Castle and Chairman Goodling pointed out, but I do want us to put that into some context. For every hundred dollars the federal government spends, about 45 cents of that hundred dollars goes to Title I. Out of every hundred dollars that is spent by public schools in America, fewer than three of those dollars comes from Title I. Although it is not within the jurisdiction of this committee to change that, I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that we don't want to get trapped into a zero sum game, where we are helping some schools at the expense of others.

The broader argument is to whether we are prepared, as a Congress, to make a commitment of more than 45 cents out of every hundred dollars to elevate the performance of low-income children. Having said that, I want to ask some questions about this debate that we have heard today between focusing on the money following the child and the money targeting the school district. I guess Dr. Ginsburg would be the best to answer the first question. Is it true or false, based upon your knowledge of the research, that low-income children in low poverty schools outperform low-income children in high poverty schools? Is that true?


Dr. Ginsburg. It is true.


Mr. Andrews. And, to the extent that there has been any NAEP testing that would back that up, I would like you to supplement the record, and show that.


Dr. Ginsburg. Yes, it is actually the prospects database that we had, the longitudinal on about 25,000 children, and we will submit that for the record.


Mr. Andrews. Now, I am not an educator by any stretch of the imagination, but I think I have some common sense ideas as to why that is. A relatively low poverty school has an environment that is challenging and successful, and the ethic of success permeates the entire school, not just the special pull-out room where Title I children may be, not simply the couple hours a week that the Title I children may receive some intensified instruction, but everything the school does, in every classroom, and every day.

My concern with the proposal by Dr. Ravitch, and I regret that she is not here, is that we may be unwittingly diluting the ability to elevate the whole school by draining some of the resources away from schools with a particularly high concentration of poverty. I am very sympathetic to the idea that Mr. Greenwood just talked about. A low-income child who goes to the richest school in the community ought to have special services if he or she needs it. But, I worry about the risk of draining from the budget of the low-income school that catalytic element, that special quality that might transform the school, as some of these 109 that are in this booklet have talked about, have been able to do.

By way of a question, I would ask each of the panelists the extent to which they believe that there are benefits to non-low-income students in a low-income school because of the concentration of Title I resources in those schools? Does the rising tide lift all boats?


Dr. Vinovskis. Let me start. In theory, yes. It depends what those monies are going for. If Title I monies are being used as they are in Success for All, which I think is one of the better programs, then I think there is probably spill-over effect in the rest of the school.

The tragedy is for so many years, Title I has not been at the forefront of innovative practices and ideas. It has been a trailer, not a leader. That is one of the things, unless we change, it is not going to make that much difference. Because, for example, why is it that after 30 years we are discovering that Title I teachers, the pull-out teachers, are not really as well trained, as well qualified, not certified, qualified as they should be.


Mr. Andrews. Maybe it is because the only real source of funding, then, is Eisenhower money, of which there is very little. And, they are working, by definition, in school districts that can't even keep the roof from leaking.


Dr. Vinovskis. But, one of the healthy things that we are seeing in this Congress, and I think in 1994 is we are now asking, ``What is going to work? What is going to help those children?'' You are absolutely right. This is not just a federal issue; this is a state and local issue. We ought to be having hearings in state legislatures, and ask, ``Why aren't we doing a better job in Michigan, a better job in Iowa, as well?''.


Mr. Andrews. A better job in New Jersey, which I see ranked last in one of the charts that was given out -- that only 25 percent of our children were passing minimum skills in reading. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Dr. Casserly. Mr. Andrews, I think your point is really on target here about the concentration of poverty in schools, and how much harder it is to move achievement in highly concentrated poor schools than it is in schools where the poverty is not as concentrated. I think that forms the critical flaw in the portability proposal that we heard this morning. Because if five kids, for instance, move out of the highly poor school into a school that is not as poor, and take their Title I allocation with them, there is nothing from what I have heard to indicate that, even though the money follows them to that school, that the funds are necessarily spent on the improvement and the education for those poor kids.


Mr. Andrews. The smaller and, probably the more rural the school, the greater the impact.


Dr. Casserly. I would think that is right. It probably has less effect, ironically, on the cities than it does on everybody else. You may be able to spend the equivalent allocation that those children bring with them to buy some additional textbooks for everybody in that school. But how is it, then, that you measure the effectiveness of Title I as a program? Under this proposal, we could easily be back here in five additional years completely empty-handed as to what the effect of the Title I program was under that kind of proposal.


Dr. Ginsburg. On portability, and I know that Diane said this wasn't a full choice proposal. But we have a number of experiments that are going on right now in the choice area. The results right now are inconsistent. For example, in New York, with respect to vouchers and random assignments, there is a slight positive benefit to choice. In Cleveland, there was a slight negative effect on students that left the school. In Milwaukee, everybody is kind of throwing up their hands and trying to find out what is going on.

International evidence would be somewhat similar. We could provide you for both Canada and Chile on that. So, it is not, necessarily, that moving to another school is good or bad. Much depends upon what happens to the kids in that school. We do not have consistent evidence, though, to say that it will necessarily improve achievement.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Isakson?


Mr. Isakson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don't want to get into the portability issue. I want to talk about Title I for just a second. I want to tell Dr. Casserly my three children went to elementary school in a system run by Tom Tocco, who is cited in your report. As a school board chairman for the last two years in the State of Georgia…


Dr. Casserly. I hope you had a good experience?


Mr. Isakson. We had a good experience with lots of things, and we did a lot of creative things with federal funds. I guess I am going to make a comment, but I would like your response to the comment.

I hope we don't start chasing ``best practices'' all over the United States of America. It is going to be a disaster for the following reason. Kids are taught in classrooms by teachers; there is no ``one-size-fits-all'' formula. Every time I have seen somebody try to do it, you end up with, we have got one in Georgia, it is called a teacher tool box. It has got a hundred different best practices. It worked for a hundred different kids, which tells you the best practice is to let teachers, and the local systems direct the funds where they most importantly need them.

But I’ll tell you what my observation is. Title I is very important. We have an economic and employment crisis in America. As the baby-boomers age, we are going to have a declining workforce. We have a large drop-out rate in this country. There are no jobs for high school graduates, much less high school drop-outs. We have an awful lot of kids below the poverty level, free and reduced lunch, all the Title I definitions. It would seem to me, when I read each one of these and I read them quickly, the points of success, always with the exception, Dr. Ginsburg, of one comment you made with regard to math, were totally reading. The examples of hope were programs dedicated to reading.

My personal opinion is this: if a child, whether in a wealthy system or the most impoverished, cannot leave the third grade able to read at a quality, comprehensive level, or have a well-written IAP to deal with their difficulty, whatever it may be, environmentally or decoding or whatever, then all the programs that you put together from year four on out are, at best, maintenance of an individual who had always hoped you would improve them.

Second is that leadership makes a lot of difference. In my experience in Title I schools in metropolitan Atlanta where leadership was changed at the principal level, and the charge was given to take these resources, and improve the plight, and the comps for these children, it either happened or the principal was gone. Reading and leadership at the principal level were the two things that, inclusively, in every single case, the Title I school improved.

So, my question is this, I get scared when you all talk about ``best practices'' and if we go off on a tangent about trying to find them all for two years education is a process, it is not a destination. And the best practice today may be different five years from now. Why can't we, by leaving flexibility to accomplish the goals at the local level, but target the fact that our goal is for every child in a Title I school, when they leave the third grade, to be reading at a comprehensive level that is satisfactory or have an IAP?

Secondly, it is important for there to be incentives, for us to focus on the leadership in the school to attack the problem and obtain that reading comprehension goal. This is particularly true for urban school systems, but there are rural school systems that have qualifying kids that aren't getting the money. Number one, it would seem like if we do that, we would have a way to measure the success of Title I, albeit as it related to reading. Number two, we would address the issue of what if you can't do anything else. And number three, on this whole issue of standards, if reading becomes the standard, you have a measurable way to tell whether you are doing something meaningful in the life of a child at the only period of time we have any hope of intervening and making a meaningful change. Because, once they get beyond that third grade, we are in catch-up or maintenance, at best. I know that is a statement, but it has a question somewhere in there.


Dr. Vinovskis. Well, let me take the first crack at it. First of all, I think you have very wise observations. Reading is an indispensable; I think there are other things, as well. We all agree that reading is really indispensable. I think there is a lot of disagreement on how to do reading. I think we are coming more to a consensus, partly because of groups like National Academy of Science' study on reading, I think was very helpful. Also the work of NICHD has been very useful here. The work at OERI has been less useful. That is worth bearing in mind. So, in those areas, they are important.

I would also pay attention to what President Clinton has talked about, ending social promotion. If we can measure these things; if these things are so central, how do we stop kids being passed on to when they get through high school, and get into college, and they can't read really. So, this is a good area of attack. It is not the only one, but I agree with you, they are good areas. But, there are other things you need to pay attention to. I will give you one quick example.

The federal government encourages students to get GEDs, certain kinds of students, pregnant teens and others. We now know from economist like Hechman in Chicago and elsewhere, it is a dead end. It doesn't do much for you. I don't want to see our federal government encouraging things that are not doing very much. So, there are lots of ways we can go. But, I don't disagree with you. Let us take a few things; let us do them well. It is not Title I, it is the practices.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Roemer. I am sorry. You have something, Dr. Casserly?


Dr. Casserly. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would just like to agree with the Congressman about the kind of chase, at best, practices, and, the caution that he gives in that regard. It is one of the reasons we have raised concerns about the comprehensive school reform demonstration models in Title I.

We are in favor of doing what works, but sometimes what is touted as what works is not, necessarily in fact, what is based in good research. We are more interested in grounding practice, and in good research both at the national, and at local levels, in polling off of what works, particularly in urban and poor rural communities.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Roemer.


Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Well, we have been here for two and half-hours now, and Dr. Ravitch, who proposed something which is fairly intriguing, is gone. We have, hopefully, some more time through the course of the next several months to get that on paper to evaluate what it means for students, and the intentions, and goals, and the purposes of trying to elevate the performance of Title I students. We have heard some helpful criticisms, I think, of Title I, and hopefully some other new ideas from the remaining three witnesses.

As a supporter of the Title I program, at least the intentions and the purposes of it, I think that we can try to come up with some ways to reform it so that we can adequately elevate the performance of our Title I students and our at-risk students.

Let me ask a couple of questions with respect to how we spend the current money. If you could bear with me with short answers so that I can get to as many as I can, I’d appreciate it. What percent of the Title I money that we currently have is spent now on our teachers' assistants or teachers' aides? Eight billion dollars that we currently spend now, what percent is spent on teachers?


Dr. Ginsburg. I will get back to you with the dollars. Among teachers that we hire through Title I, half are aides. But, we pay them less often. I will make an estimate of the dollar amount.


Mr. Roemer. So, just estimate what we pay them?


Dr. Ginsburg. Maybe 20 percent, I would say, 25 percent.


Mr. Roemer. So, we pay the teacher's aide 25 percent of what we pay the teacher?


Dr. Ginsburg. No, of the total amount, maybe 20 percent of the total amount of Title I monies.


Mr. Roemer. So, $2 billion out of $8 billion, roughly?


Dr. Ginsburg. And, I may be wrong there, but that order of magnitude, maybe.


Mr. Roemer. Two billion out of eight billion is spent on teachers' aides. What is the requirement for teacher's aide, currently under law?


Dr. Ginsburg. High school degree or GED, I am told.


Mr. Roemer. Is it a high school degree, or is it working toward a high school degree or a GED equivalent?


Dr. Ginsburg. High school degree, I am told.


Mr. Roemer. You are told a high school degree?


Dr. Ginsburg. Right. It is Mary Jean who runs the program. Within two years of employment, you have to have to have a high school degree, which is quite minimal, obviously.


Mr. Roemer. Are we looking at increasing the requirement, then, for a teacher's assistant in your proposal? I am certain that the administration is probably evaluating this in their EACA proposal. What are your recommendations for that expenditure of $2 billion? Is it to go toward a teacher's assistant that has two years of college? Is it to completely redo this whole program, in terms of the professional development, and the teacher that we get in there? It just seems to me, Dr. Ginsburg, in order to effectively accomplish the goals in the Title I program, we need some of our best and brightest teachers, and helpers to those teachers, to meet these goals. I am not sure how you do that if you don't get higher standards with the people that you are putting in charge of these programs.


Dr. Ginsburg. Right. We concurred. We would recommend using aides for other functions. Particularly, they could be greater community outreach, to come from the community. We have some real problems with parent involvement in Title I, and the research supports using aides for that purpose.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Roemer, I think we are getting a feel for Dr. Ginsburg's area he is primarily here for research. I imagine the ladies on the chairs behind him could better answer, perhaps, the question that you just asked.


Mr. Roemer. Do we want them to come up to the microphone and answer the question?


Chairman Goodling. Well, they were trying to give him answers, but if you have a specific question, as you just had, in relationship to certification and those kinds of things, that is their area.


Mr. Roemer. I would be happy…


Chairman Goodling. Mary Jean has been here as long as I have been here.


Mr. Roemer. I would be happy to talk with Mary Jean after the hearing.


Chairman Goodling. And we are still less than 50.


Mr. Roemer. … and work with her on a proposal that I hope we can improve on. The ratio of teachers' aides, I guess, is what? You said four to one?


Mr. Ginsburg. They are 50-50. We find equal amounts of aides and certified teachers.


Mr. Roemer. Dr. Casserly, again?


Dr. Casserly. Just very quickly, to point out that this is not just a problem in Title I schools. This is often a problem system-wide in many urban communities, particularly as we have had trouble recruiting teachers. We, too often, have to rely on teacher aides and paraprofessionals. So, this is not a problem that is endemic to Title I per se. It is a much broader set of issues.


Dr. Vinovskis. And just to add to that, I want to remind us, that as we try to clean up the mess that we have in some of these areas, we are continuing it all over again. The schools of education, including places like the University of Michigan, are turning out teachers who are certified, but not qualified in the subject matter that they are doing. We don't want to lose sight of the fact that, sure, we need to do a better job on people who are in place, but for God's sake, let's really try to do something now to get people with the subject matter skills and the teaching skills in that area. Certification is not enough.


Mr. Roemer. If you would bear with me, Mr. Chairman, I think everybody here has asked a question. If I could come back to Dr. Ginsburg to ask that question with regard to the research?

You mentioned in your testimony, Dr. Ginsburg, that the institutions of higher education seem to be doing a better job, at least in putting out the certified teachers that are qualified to teach in some of these areas. How do we set up some kind of an academy or institute that can connect better with these Title I programs to get the qualified people into these programs and have this conduit going back and forth?


Dr. Ginsburg. What I referred to, actually, was professional development rather than the initial entry.


Mr. Roemer. How do we do both?


Dr. Ginsburg. Okay. With respect to the Eisenhower program, there is actually a set-aside that goes through two institutions for higher education. We would recommend in our 14701 report, perhaps, increasing the set-aside, so you have a direct way to get institutions for higher education through the Eisenhower program to help these schools. The problem is they don't disproportionately help Title I schools. Even though that is written in the legislation, when we did our study of the Eisenhower program, teachers tended to volunteer for the program across schools and teachers in low-income schools did not disproportionately volunteer for it. So, the program is not as well targeted as could be. One, we improved the targeting of the Eisenhower program in high poverty schools, and we improved the share of money that goes to institutions of higher education to offer the training.


Mr. Roemer. Thank you.


Chairman Goodling. I would add that in the higher education reauthorization, of course, we tried to get involved in that program. It isn't that we don't have enough certified teachers out there. They are all over everybody's five and dime stores, quarter stores or whatever stores they have out there now, and offices and so on, and some of them are probably quite qualified. But, how do you get them where they are needed the most, and we tried to deal with that, somewhat, in the higher education bill by saying we will reduce your debts if you will make a commitment to go where you are needed the most. That is what is happening now in California, unfortunately, in Los Angeles. They may have reduced the class size, but, oh, my.

Then, secondly, we have to find some way to get education departments in colleges and universities up here on this level. I mean, now there are stepbrothers and stepsisters and what have you, and that doesn't bode well if we are going to have better… yes, sir, are you taking some of my time, or…


Dr. Casserly. No, some of my own time.


Chairman Goodling. I have three questions for you when it is my time.


Dr. Casserly. If I could just underscore what you have just said, and also point out, at least in our own communities, in terms of recruiting qualified or certified teachers in urban areas, one of our great parallel challenges is holding onto the good people that we have got. Both combination of pay and working conditions; and lack of support and burn-out that many of them experience, has them moving out to other ``easier to work in'' school systems within a year or two years.

What I did want to do, Mr. Chairman, with your permission, is to correct one statement that had been made for the record earlier today. Dr. Ravitch indicated that research showed in urban education that only 50 percent of the money was spent on classroom purposes. The truth of the matter is that in urban schools approximately 65 percent of all revenues of urban schools are devoted to direct classroom and other instructional purposes, which is just a percentage point or higher than the national average. So, in general, urban schools spend their money about the same way as other kinds of school systems do, and that 50 percent number is erroneous.


Chairman Goodling. And now, my turn. First of all, let me say that it is a much greater experience the last couple of years, and not only because I am in the majority but the fact that I sat here for 20 years trying to point out that we have problems in Head Start, trying to point out we have problems in Title I, and couldn't seem to get much movement. Now, everybody seems to be saying, ``Yes, we do have some problems.''

One of the things we tried to do in Head Start, when you talk about quality teachers in Head Start, we said, ``Okay, this year, at least 60 percent of the money is going to go to quality.'' That means that if they have some good people, good teachers or some people who are becoming certified, they can pay to keep them. Otherwise, they are gone. So, we have done a lot of things, hopefully, that will move all these programs toward quality programs. We still have a long way to go, as most of you have indicated.

Dr. Vinovskis, the six suggestions that you gave us, or the six things that you offered at the end, I think will be very helpful to us when we go to reauthorize the program. I think everybody is to the point where you know we want to make sure that whatever we do is quality. One question to you, what is a reasonable time to close that achievement gap? You are saying, too many times we get up here on a pedestal, and we say, ``Oh boy, it is going to change; it is going to happen.'' What do you think a reasonable time is for us to wait, for instance, in the 1994 changes to see whether, as a matter of fact, we have made any improvement?


Dr. Vinovskis. Well, a couple of things. First of all, I wouldn't start out with achievement gap; I would start out as, ``How are we going to make progress for all students?'' The problem with that is that if you have a system that is improving overall, everybody is going to benefit, and you don't necessarily close that gap. More than anything else, I am interested in that the students who have, sort of, minimal qualifications today are raised to another level. I would keep my eye on that. So, if the thing is flat, but we are closing the gap, that is not as impressive to me.

Secondly, in terms of closing that gap, I think it is going to be slow. I think you are talking about 10-15 years, at a minimum. But, I would just broaden that question, though I know it is not the thing the committee is looking at. The question is how do we help Americans who don't have equal opportunities, education is just one of them. I think we put too big a burden on education. So, I am for all the things that we want to do, simultaneously.

I have this feeling that because of the nature of American politics in our time, we are out-bidding each other how to help middle class families, and not doing enough for the poor. I think the people in the 1960's were a little more dedicated, not more effective, more dedicated. And, I would ask that of every program. It is not just education, how do I help disadvantaged Americans, in health care, in housing? One of the best we could do is have more innovative housing in terms of economics.


Chairman Goodling. Well, improving the whole school improves everybody, of course, as being borne out by the successes in Texas because apparently, from what I am reading, their Hispanic population, their black population, their poor white population are improving more rapidly than all the rest.

I had three questions for you, and if I let you speak now, I won't get them in because the clock is ticking. Number one, your study, was that scrutinized by anybody outside, any independent group, or was that pretty much an in-house study in relationship to Chapter I?


Dr. Casserly. It was an in-house study. I assume, now that is starting to get more broadly circulated, it will be scrutinized by all kinds of folks. But, it was an in-house study.


Chairman Goodling. I think we may have gotten to the second question I was going to ask in what your experience is in your ability to hire quality teachers in your school system?


Dr. Casserly. Since we have covered that one, if I could go back…


Chairman Goodling. How do we get them there?


Mr. Casserly. …if I could go back to the question of the gaps that you raised before.


Chairman Goodling. Typical politician.



Dr. Casserly. The council has just recently formed a special task force on the achievement gap. It is an area of growing concern of our organization. But, one of the things that I think we need to be mindful of is that Title I as constructive, and as productive as it is, is still only part of all of the efforts that are taken to raise the achievement of poor kids. And, one of the things that we need to continue to look at are the disparities in funding across school districts across the country.

As you probably know, we have looked at the disparities in funding in the State of Pennsylvania, and in a place like Philadelphia in comparison, and Chester and York, and in other similar communities, those school systems in comparison to the wealthier communities in the State of Pennsylvania, those statistics show very, very clearly that by the time that your average kid in the poor communities in Pennsylvania is only six years old, there is already a whole year's worth of difference in investment in the kids in the poor communities versus the kids in the wealthier communities. By the time the kid is nine years old, there is almost two years' worth of difference in investment. By the time the kid graduates from high school, there is almost a four-year difference in what is invested in the wealthier kids, and what is invested in the poor kids in terms of their education.

Those kinds of disparities really undergird a lot of the achievement gaps that we are seeing in this country, and one thing that Title I, by itself, will have a very, very difficult time addressing. It needs to be a part of a much, much broader strategy.


Chairman Goodling. Governor Ridge would be disappointed if I didn't remind you that Philadelphia gets the highest per-pupil amount from the state and they are the lowest contributor of self-help.


Dr. Casserly. They have one of the highest per-pupil allocations from the State, but their per-pupil expenditure is below the statewide average.


Chairman Goodling. Yes, you missed the second part of it. Their self-help, their effort locally is the lowest in the tate.


Mr. Casserly. Yes, I think we would disagree on the tax effort in Philadelphia, probably a separate conversation.


Chairman Goodling. I have tried to help them simply by getting them 40 percent of the excess cost of special education which would be a tremendous boon to Philadelphia.


Dr. Casserly. It would be a great help.


Chairman Goodling. A great help. One last question. I worry all the time about over-identification of special education students, and so many times they are there to stay, even though it may only be a reading disability. Do you have any data on Title I students? Do they ever get out, or do they remain Title I students?


Dr. Casserly. It is a little harder to tell now, particularly since the last reauthorization because so many of the participants in the urban communities are in school-wide schools. Except for switching from school to school, we have our own internal mobility program, it is really hard to tell who stays in the program, and who does not because the program is not so identifiable, child by child as it used to be.


Chairman Goodling. I want to compliment you on your testimony because it, too, renews my enthusiasm because education groups have had a tendency to come before the Congress and say, ``Everything is wonderful; everything is rosy; all you have to do is give us more money, and all the problems will go away.'' I noticed you didn't do that, and I noticed you also gave us recommendations of how we can improve things. So, I appreciate that.


Dr. Casserly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We are trying to be balanced and constructive with our recommendations, and honest about where it is that we are in urban education. I think it has been very helpful in pointing out the problems and challenges that we have, not only in urban schools, but in Title I in general. But, it is equally important to point out the really unique progress that a lot of urban communities have been making over the last couple of years. It has been through a lot of hard work of a lot of great people.


Chairman Goodling. Mr. Ford.


Mr. Ford. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I know Dr. Ravitch had to leave, and Dr. Casserly, I know you had a chance to respond to that 50 percent number that was used, I believe when Dr. Ravitch responded to my colleague, Mr. Miller's questions.

With regard to empowering schools to implement some of the comprehensive school reform programs that have been shown to be successful for improving the achievement of Title I students, what can we do better to help school districts implement some of those? The question has been answered before; I apologize for asking it again, but I would like to hear you elaborate, if you can?


Dr. Casserly. I know the Memphis school system is an aggressive and active user of school reform models from around the country, and an active user of the upcoming CSRD funds. One thing that would be useful in regard to those various reform models, and I did indicate it in response to an earlier question, is that we shouldn't think narrowly about what it is that works in this country. We shouldn't necessarily be constrained by what a state happens to say is the most effective models for improving education, particularly education in urban communities across this country.

There is lots of research that I know that Superintendent Gerri House has done in Memphis that shows a number of different things, different strategies that work. I think that we ought to think much more broadly nationally and locally about promising practices and effective strategies, rather than relying so much on just a menu of programs.


Mr. Ford. I am a University of Michigan graduate, Doctor, and I saw you inching toward the microphone, so if you want to say something, go right ahead.



Dr. Vinovskis. Well, I just want to pick up on this point. I think it is important to specify what we are interested in, which are effective programs. They are not necessarily going to be comprehensive. You may have some intervention programs that are not comprehensive, less expensive, and equally effective. So, to me it is an open question.

I think Congress should specify what you are interested in, how to get at it. But, the thing I would very concerned about is that, inadvertently, Congress might have a list saying, ``We have comprehensive service programs that work,'' such as the O.B. Porter does that, in a way. You don't want to do that because some of these haven't been tested fully or not, necessarily, applicable.

What happens is that, once Congress lists some things, some states, inadvertently maybe, start saying, ``These are acceptable, and others aren't.'' I think what Dr. Casserly is warning us about is, ``Tell us what you are interested in, but be careful as you illustrate it,'' because someone may take that as guidance beyond where the evidence is.


Dr. Casserly. I am only concerned that we use that list of programs too much as a set of magic bullets, when some of them have been more strenuously tested than others. And, there are lots of other models out there that we could be pulling on.


Dr. Ginsburg. As a third University of Michigan graduate, one of the concerns we are getting on the CSRD models is there are a lot of sales folks out there. They are pushing these models, and there really isn't very good evidence that are backing them up. We need some kind of process, I am not sure it is a federal government process, to create almost a consumer guide where people can get honest, independent evidence that isn't necessarily provided by the developers themselves.


Mr. Ford. Something we ought to think about doing, that is true. Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.


Chairman Goodling. We have eleven minutes left. Anyone have any questions? Mr. Roemer, you have another question?


Mr. Roemer. I have just two quick ones, Mr. Chairman.

Dr. Ginsburg, you said in your testimony, I believe, that parental involvement in Chapter I is being lost, I think you used the term. Why is that, and how do we do something about that?


Dr. Ginsburg. I am concerned that we probably have too low expectations for parents, and we are asking for high expectations for students, for teachers, but not for parents. People don't believe that parents will be able to help kids or they may be used as an excuse. What we are finding is that if we ignore parents, and if you look at the impact in low-income communities, that much of an impact on children's achievement comes because of lower parent involvement at home. Monitoring homework, controlling television watching, reading to your child has come from the advantages of higher education or economics. All parents can read to their kids, but they need some help.

So, what we would like to see is much more focus in the early years on programs like family literacy programs, and possibly getting in the Even Start, Title I preschool. We have ignored Title I, preschool where reading is just so important, what goes on in the home. There are five times as many children in that program as in the Even Start. So, what we would like to see is much more attention to home school learning materials. We are actually working with the Family Literacy Institute and Sharon Darling, whom you know. The Department is putting out a compact for literacy, actually which are home school activities that could begin to help parents.

We need to start to evaluate, there has been very little evaluation in the parent area. Yet, what we find is it is going to be very difficult for schools to overcome problems, particularly in reading because you learn so much more in reading outside the school than inside school.


Mr. Roemer. We have tried to do that in the Head Start program, actually bring the parents into the Head Start program once every month or once every few months. When you can get the parents in, we have seen some huge successes in their involvement with their children. I would be happy to follow up with you in that area on some ideas.

Lastly, let me say, Dr. Ravitch is gone now, there certainly are some very controversial aspects of her portability proposal. But wouldn't one aspect of her proposal result in a very significant increase in spending for the Title I program since 4.5 million children don't currently receive Title I funds in certain schools that are up to 60 percent eligible don't receive funds? Could you comment on that?


Dr. Casserly. Part of the problem, I think, in the proposal that she has made is that to make that proposal work, and not dilute funding, as has been the concern from my testimony and others is that you do have to increase the appropriation for the Title I program all the way to $24 billion.


Mr. Roemer. So, it would triple the funding?


Dr. Casserly. Yes, and we already heard some indication from some of the members of the committee that Congress is probably not eager to make that happen.


Mr. Roemer. But, you are not advocating that position, are you, Dr. Casserly? You would like to see Title I fully funded?


Dr. Casserly. We are in favor of Title I fully funded, correct.


Mr. Roemer. Yes.


Dr. Vinovskis. Let me just add to that. I think we are at a historic moment in many ways because I think we are prepared as a country to spend more money on education. I think people are interested in doing that. The question is where are we going to spend that money? How are we going to get something for that money? As you think about that problem, and you have put weigh against other alternative programs in this area, take a serious look at putting more of that money in Title I, in whatever form, not because it is working so well but because we can make it work better.

What I like about Title I is the targeting of poor, and now the emphasis on ``do the results really show up?`` My fear is that we are going to take some of this money, and the great temptation will be help many of us middle-class parents who claim we need more money, and I am sure we do. But, I would rather give the money to the poor first, and let me take out the loan, and let me worry about educating my children after the poor are taken care of. That is why you don't want to lose sight of Title I.


Mr. Roemer. As our chairman has said a host of different times, he is very concerned about accountability. I would make the argument that, as we stress accountability and reform and new ways to make this program work better, it also underscores the idea that we can, then, argue with our appropriators that we deserve more money for Title I funds.

I am not endorsing the Ravitch proposal. I am certainly endorsing accountability, new program reform, new ways to make this program work in 1999 and the new century, and therefore, a better argument, a more fundamental argument that we can make in this body for more Title I funds for the poorest of the poor kids, and enhancing professional development.


Dr. Casserly. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would share that concern, and also, be worried that the portability proposal, at least as it was described today, in fact, would probably set the tenuous achievement gains that we have experienced in the last couple of years back.

What would be helpful, and our detailed recommendations that we have submitted to the committee, we would love to work with the committee in helping to fashion ways in which we can build more local accountability into Title I at the school system level. We have got a situation now where many, many states, too many states, as indicated from the National Assessment, really have very spotty standards, and annual yearly progress standards, and the like. Many urban systems need to move faster to catch up with the national averages, and the kind of minimal state standards are not going to cut it for us. What we need is the tools, and the latitude at the local level to set higher standards, set higher benchmarks, set higher annual yearly progress goals so we can move our kids ahead faster.


Chairman Goodling. The record should show that Dr. Ravitch was not here for the latter part of the discussion, so she wasn't here to further elaborate on her proposal. My hope is that before I close my eyes that no child will ever go to first grade that isn't reading-ready. Even Start will have a lot to do with that. Family literacy is very, very important. It took an awful lot of years to understand that you are not going to change the cycle unless you deal with the entire family. We are getting smarter.

Dr. Ginsburg, you attracted an awful lot of lovely ladies. You probably should introduce your entourage.



Dr. Ginsburg. Well, why don't I have them introduce themselves.

Mary Jean Letendry, Director, Title I; Sandra Cook, Office of Budget; Joanne Bogart, Planning and Evaluation; Val Plisko, Planning and Evaluation.


Chairman Goodling. Thank you very much. Thank all of you.


Dr. Casserly. Mr. Chairman, could I introduce the lovely Jeff Simering?


Also, Sharon Lewis, Gabriela Uro, Adriene Williams, and Julie Wright.


Chairman Goodling. Very good. We thank you very much for the time you have given us. We scheduled it from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. We realize that is over a lunch period. It is pretty tough to get things scheduled. We thank you very much for your testimony.

[Whereupon, at 2:29 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]