Serial No. 106-45


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce

Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families

Hearing on "Academic Accountability"

Wednesday, June 9, 1999

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C.













Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families

Hearing on "Academic Accountability"

Wednesday, June 9, 1999

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C.


The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:55 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Honorable Michael N. Castle [chairman of the subcommittee] Presiding.

Present: Representatives Goodling, Petri, Roukema, Castle, Miller, Kildee, Woolsey, Hinojosa, McCarthy, Ford, Kucinich and Wu.

Staff Present: Robert Borden, Professional Staff Member; Becky Campoverde, Communications Director; Linda Castleman, Office Manager; Pam Davidson, Legislative Assistant; Sally Lovejoy, Senior Education Policy Advisor; Michael Reynard, Media Assistant; Kent Talbert, Professional Staff Member; Christie Wolfe, Professional Staff Member; Alex Nock, Minority Legislative Associate, Education; June Harris, Minority Education Coordinator; and Roxana Folescu, Minority Staff Assistant, Education.


Chairman Castle. Let me welcome everybody to this hearing of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families, which handles, among other things, kindergarten through 12th grade education issues, for the most part, for the full Committee on Education and the Workforce. That is the reason that we are gathered here today.

Let me apologize again for the delay in the beginning. It is subject to the circumstances on the floor of the House. Let me try to explain to everybody what is going to happen. I will make an opening statement. Our distinguished ranking member, Mr. Kildee, will make an opening statement, both of which will probably be relatively brief, and then Governor Thompson and Lieutenant Governor Brogan will make their statements, after which the panel may ask questions for up to five minutes per person for and then this panel will be done and we will go to our second panel.

We will probably have another vote in about 15 minutes or so, so get ready for that little interlude. This panel probably will be done by then. Let me commence with my opening statement.

Obviously we are pleased to welcome everyone here today, the guests, the witnesses, and members who are here this morning to our hearing on academic accountability. This issue is a central element to our discussions on the improvement of elementary and secondary education.

During recent months and years, the nation as a whole and particularly our states and localities, have begun to focus more and more upon academic accountability. States like Wisconsin, represented, of course, by Governor Thompson, Florida represented by the Lieutenant Governor here today, and Texas, have acted boldly and have begun to hold their schools strictly accountable for education results.

School districts like Houston and Chicago have been in the forefront of academic achievement, and many others have begun to adopt innovative policies on school report cards and the promotion of students from one grade to the next.

By way of comparison, for over 30 years, the federal government has focused its efforts on strictly regulated policy inputs. We have continued to put billions of dollars into these programs, but we have failed to keep sight of our most important purpose, the academic achievement of our children.

All one needs to do is to look at the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In program after program, there are paperwork, process, and compliance requirements, most of which have nothing to do with academic performance outcomes.

The current standard actually favors process over results. As we all know, academic accountability is really about quality education for all students, and the performance of our local schools and school districts is one of the more important indicators of a quality education. To be sure, it is not the only indicator, but it is a very key indicator.

Today the pendulum of education reform has begun to swing away from the focus on inputs that make up the status quo. It is my hope that we will be able to use this momentum to provide the educational experience for all students, teachers, and parents.

Today, I am pleased to welcome our distinguished panel of witnesses and wish to thank each of you for taking the time to be with us.

In just a few moments, I will proceed with the introductions, but at this time I will yield to the ranking member for any statement that he might have.

See Appendix A for the Opening Statement of the Honorable Michael Castle



Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to join with you at this hearing on academic accountability. I want to extend a warm welcome to Governor Thompson from my neighboring state and to Lieutenant Governor Brogan of Florida and the other witnesses today. Both of us are looking forward to their remarks.

Accountability and the requirement for academic results is the most vital part of every educational program and system. Dollars invested in education, whether they come from federal, state or local sources, must be tied to outcomes.

Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky, and other states have shown how the adoption of rigorous standards and assessments can and do produce results.

Key to the accountability system of these states and other viable approaches is the focus on results for all children to achieve high standards. Very simply, if we demand results, all of our children have the ability to make progress and succeed.

In addition to these outcomes of focused requirements, we should end the practice of allowing low performing schools to continue providing substandard education to what are often our most at-risk students. We need to embrace the call for substantive change that has been made by President Clinton in his ESEA reauthorization proposal and by Congressman Miller and myself and our consideration of the Ed-Flex bill earlier this Congress.

Low performing schools need educational triage in the form of substantial intervention and investment designed to raise the achievement of all their students. If change does not happen within a reasonable period of time, there must be consequences for the school since allowing our children to continue in substandard environments could lead to disastrous consequences for their future.

Accountability for academic results is not easy and cannot be accomplished through quick fixes.

Mr. Chairman, in 1994, when I was chairman of this subcommittee, we took steps in Title I and Goals 2000 to adopt systemic reform designed to produce results. In this reauthorization, of Title I, which Chairmen Goodling and Castle, Ranking Member Clay, Mr. Miller, and myself have begun to work on, it is my hope that we can continue this focus and strengthen our desire for outcomes that benefit all of our children.

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

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



Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. We appreciate your kind words on this subject.

To introduce our first witness, the distinguished Governor of the State of Wisconsin, we call on the distinguished Congressman from the State of Wisconsin, Mr. Petri.


Mr. Petri. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is a real pleasure and honor for me to introduce a constituent and Wisconsin's leading citizen, the dean of our nation's Governors, the longest-serving Governor in the United States of America, and the longest-serving Governor in the history of my state by a long shot, Tommy Thompson.

He has been our Governor since 1986 and has presided over what we regard as the Wisconsin renaissance. He is our state's leading cheerleader. He makes things happen. He has moved our state from a kind of negative feeling to a pro-job and pro-business environment, and we have seen our economy flourish.

He has led our state and our nation in achieving welfare reform, welfare-to-work with a heart, providing a structure to help people into the world of work, and also leading the nation in providing choice for parents and students in the troubled inner-city schools in our country.

He is the man that makes things happen in the State of Wisconsin and, naturally, chairman of the Amtrak board of directors, trying to turn around what some people regard as an impossible situation, a monumental task. He is providing real leadership, working with Michael Dukakis on a bipartisan basis on that effort, and today he is here as chairman of an organization called Achieve, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace for improving student performance by encouraging and supporting innovative research-driven education reform and providing a range of services to support standards-based education reform.

He will testify about his views on the role of academic accountability in Wisconsin as well as the role of achieving and advancing economic accountability.

I want to thank you for this initiative and your other efforts and for making your staff and the experts in the State of Wisconsin's administration available to this and other committees as we work on improving the delivery of services to the American people.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Congressman Petri.

Before introducing Lieutenant Governor Brogan, I might just say I can't imagine two more important subjects than education and Amtrak, those two things. I probably ride Amtrak more than anybody else in this whole building.

I have known Governor Thompson for many years. It just seems as if he has been Governor for most of the last part of this century, and he has done an extraordinary job. Among other Governors, as well as in the State of Wisconsin, he is highly respected. It is a pleasure to have him here today.

Lieutenant Governor Brogan also has a distinguished background that deals with education, too. He was elected in 1998 and has always been a strong advocate for education reform.

As part of his tenure, he helped enact a comprehensive education reform plan to grade all schools on an A to F scale, expand the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test to all third through tenth graders; reward successful and improving schools; correct failing schools; eliminate social promotion; dramatically increase funding for remediation efforts and school safety programs; raise teacher standards; increase parental choices by providing opportunity scholarships to children and chronically failing schools and provide financial rewards for superior teachers.

Now, he didn't do all of that as Lieutenant Governor because he has served before that as the State commissioner of education and superintendent of the schools for Martin County, a school administrator and a teacher. I had the pleasure of having a meeting with Governor Brogan several months ago, and I only knew him as the Lieutenant Governor at that time. I was a Lieutenant Governor once, too, and I couldn't believe that a Lieutenant Governor could know this much about education. That's where I knew about his whole education background, which is extensive. We are pleased to have both of you here.

With that, Governor Thompson, the time is yours.



Governor Thompson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and Chairman Castle. It is an honor for me to be in front of your subcommittee and to say congratulations in all you have accomplished. I would also like to say the same about Congressman Kildee, a neighbor in Michigan. I only wish that we could play football as well as you do in Michigan, Congressman. Thank you very much.

Congressman Petri, my very good friend, and Congressman Goodling, Mr. Chairman, all of you, I first would like to begin my remarks very simply by saying thank you. Thank you to Chairman Goodling, Chairman Castle, and all the members on the education committee for your help in the passage of Ed-Flex. This new law is going to help states and local school districts improve student performance through greater flexibility while helping to maintain high standards.

Accountability has been a major focus of education reform in my State of Wisconsin, as well as the nation. States can now hold administrators, teachers, and students responsible for performance and give them tools that diagnose areas where extra help is needed.

In Wisconsin, we recognized bureaucratic strictures within our educational system that have prevented teachers and schools from responding effectively to a changing world. We adopted a system to promote excellence, innovation, parental and student choice, direct accountability, and fuller community development.

Wisconsin gives families options so each and every student, regardless of income level, has access to the best education possible. We must return control to the local level, and we must empower parents by giving them the tools and choices necessary to ensure that their children can excel.

Following these principles, we created open enrollment to allow students to transfer between public school districts on a space-available basis, as well as allowing juniors and seniors in high school to attend vocational school or to the university and use those credits towards their associate degree as well as their high school diploma.

Low-income parents in Milwaukee also came to me to demand the resources to find alternatives to struggling public schools. The Milwaukee parental choice program issues vouchers to pay for children to attend any participating private school in the city, religious or nonsectarian, at no charge. And this school year, almost 15 percent of the children are enrolled in that program.

Now, that money is not the determining factor in access to good schools. Parents are satisfied and academic achievement for inner-city poor children have risen. In response, Milwaukee public schools, because of choice, have also risen to the challenge. They have offered now a guarantee for children who do not read at grade level that the school board will pay for a tutor to get them to read up to grade level at the school board's own expense.

This shows that competition does and will work. The competition in choice programs has spurred MPS to reform, attracting students with new creative programming. Schools should trust parents and compete on quality.

Parents know what their children need and schools, if they fulfill that demand, will be busy places. Wisconsin is also a leader in charter schools. By breaking away from bureaucracy, parents, teachers, and community members, we have been able to set up and run more than 40 charter schools this year in Wisconsin. We also allowed the city of Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and the vocational school and medical school to set up charter schools in the city and they are run by those particular entities, the only city in the country that allows that to take place.

Regardless of where families choose to send their children, a focus on student achievement drives our schools. We have forged a consensus in Wisconsin about holding students and teachers to high expectations. The Wisconsin model, academic standards outlying key concepts, all students are expected to master in math, science, social studies, English and language arts. We evaluate the mastery of these standards through the Wisconsin knowledge and concepts examinations at the end of the fourth, eighth and tenth grades; and beginning in 2002 and 2003, we will also require every public school student to pass a comprehensive high school graduation test.

The data from these tests is crucial to holding administrators, teachers, and students accountable for academic achievement. I hope these exams will help us move toward a pay-for-performance school-based budgeting and other results-oriented reforms in Wisconsin in the near future.

To help parents make better informed decisions, we will soon provide the data from these tests and other information on each school district through an Internet State report card. Public scrutiny should prompt schools to improve their services and will encourage deeper partnerships between parents, schools, and communities.

As cochair of Achieve, along with Lou Gerstner from IBM, we have been able to help lead other states in setting accountability standards. This is an alliance between governors, business leaders.

Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization set up by the governors in the business community designed to help states set quality standards and develop new assessments.

This is a national, but not a federal, effort to help implement reform. Achieve has recently created an unprecedented partnership among the states to raise math achievements in middle schools. Participating states will help Achieve and develop an entire package, including an eighth grade assessment, teaching material and professional development programs, and to focus primarily on the foundations of algebra and geometry, the mathematics that the top achieving countries make their students master.

We are set up by Achieve so that when we get ten states, we will be setting up an eighth grade math test that's going to be able to compare these ten states to find out what this state is doing better, how they are doing it and be able to adopt those programs into the other states.

Achieve has helped improve education, not by prescribing a magic potion to every state, but by showing states and communities what has worked in other places; how our students match with up with their peers in competing countries and what can help them improve as well.

My time is over. Can I have one extra minute, Mr. Chairman?


Chairman Castle. That is fine.


Governor Thompson. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the conference President Bush convened in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1989, Achieve is going to host a second national education summit; we held one three years ago. We are going to hold another one on September 30 through October 1 this year. We are going to again bring governors, CEOs, and educators together to refocus the country's attention on raising student achievement.

I do believe the federal government has a role in education. States that accept federal funds should answer for how they spend those dollars. However, mandating accountability without flexibility means more paperwork and bureaucracy and less time for states to invest in their students.

I urge you to let Governors do with educational policy what we have done with welfare reform. We have used block grants successfully to reengineer our welfare systems, and not every state has used those federal dollars the same way; nor should they be forced to, but all have seen significant results by fitting programs to their state's needs.

A federal, one-size-fits-all approach undermines the creative dynamic. States must be given broad flexibility to design educational programs in children, not school systems, and don't force us into federal programs that will impede our state's reform initiatives, create administrative headaches and focus on inputs instead of results.

The President's new accountability package, I believe, undercuts what we have already done at the state level by focusing on process instead of demanding academic improvement.

I happen to be the last serving Governor, I know Governor Castle you were with us in Charlottesville, to attend President Bush's National Education Conference. It was based upon standards and base reform and it was an exciting new concept.

In the years since, however, we have learned the real dynamism; that real change in education comes from competition and choice within a framework of standards based on reform such as demonstrated in Milwaukee. Standards and quality assessments will give us much needed accountability, but only competition in comparison will create the urgency necessary to make that job successful.

I urge you to let us continue our reforms in achievement and accountability. At the state level, we have given schools autonomy; we have held them responsible for results; we have given them districts incentives for innovation; and we have provided parents broader choices and alternatives.

Mr. Chairman, keep allowing Governors and legislators the opportunity to innovate in exchange for specific, locally determined and agreed-upon results. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to testify.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Governor Thompson. We appreciate your words and look forward to having a little bit of an exchange with you on some questions and answers here in a moment.


See Appendix C for the Written Statement of the Honorable Tommy Thompson


Chairman Castle. Next we will go to Lieutenant Governor Brogan for his statement.





Mr. Brogan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is good to be back with you, Chairman Goodling, and all of the members of the committee. I have got a double pleasure today, not only being back with all of you, but also testifying with Governor Thompson, a man that Governor Bush and I hold in tremendous regard relative to the leadership he has shown in his home state on issues such as education and welfare reform.

I also want to commend both parties for the leadership that they are showing on this incredibly important issue of education. You are to be applauded for that.

I am excited to be here today to talk about some of the reforms taking place in Florida. In Florida, under the leadership of Governor Jeb Bush and strong legislative leadership, we have recently passed the Bush-Brogan A+ Plan for Education, which we believe to be the most comprehensive state accountability package to date.

Based on the conviction that all children can learn, the A+ Plan starts with high expectations for all and is focused on increasing student achievement. We will also assure that no child will be left behind or abandoned to a substandard education in Florida. It is important to note that we began laying the foundation for this plan with three major initiatives beginning in 1995.

First, we adopted challenging academic standards backed by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, to measure student achievement. This was a two-year process that included parents, teachers, business leaders, and others. As a result of this process, our sunshine state standards had broad local support and buy-in.

Because we were significantly raising the bar of expectation for Florida's children, this was critical, as evidenced with the announcement of first round of scores on the FCAT. More than 70 percent of Florida's 10th graders scored below the basic level in reading in the initial administration of that FCAT; yet public support for demanding high academic standards remains high. These sobering results tell us how far we have to go and our standards provide a road map for getting us there.

Secondly, we provided choices to parents, teachers, and communities by allowing the creation of public charter schools. Charter schools are free from the burdens of unnecessary rules and regulations and are strictly accountable for the academic performance of their students.

Our purpose here was to drive student achievement by providing increased accountability for schools, along with quality choices for students. Charter schools have thrived in Florida. We now have 73 charter schools serving nearly 11,000 children. Charter schools are serving a diverse group of students as well and, in fact, serve a significant number of students traditionally considered to be low achieving or otherwise at-risk.

One-third are serving exceptional student education, alternative education, and disadvantaged children. Thirty-five percent of charter schools students in Florida are African American.

Finally, we initiated a program to remediate what we call "critically low performing schools." Elementary schools were identified as critically low performing if two-thirds of their students scored below the proficient level on standardized tests of reading, writing, and math for two consecutive years. This was clearly not a very demanding standard, but we had to have a starting point.

I can't say we were surprised, but we were still very troubled to find that 158 schools could not reach even this minimal standard. We put those schools and the local school districts on notice that this kind of performance would not be accepted. Children deserve better.

The Department of Education and state board of education were empowered to assist schools in instituting approved improvement plans and demand changes in curriculum and staff, if necessary, if schools did not improve. Three years later, not one of those original 158 schools remained on the critically low performing list.

Though based on a low standard initially, this effort demonstrates that if states set serious expectation for students in schools, provide some direct assistance where necessary and refuse to accept continued failure, schools can perform at higher levels.

We also showed that identifying low performing schools is the beginning of the solution, not an end. The A+ Plan is a comprehensive accountability system built on this foundation that significantly raises the achievement bar.

Beginning this year, Florida schools will receive report cards and be graded on a scale of A through F based principally on how students perform on the FCAT. Importantly, schools will also be measured according to how well their lowest performing students learn and will not receive higher marks if these students are left behind.

These grades are not simply window dressing. Our accountability package contains significant incentives and rewards for success, as well as serious remediation and consequences for failure. Schools that receive an A or improve by one grade level on the A through F scale receive a bonus of up to $100 per student. $15 million has been appropriated for this purpose for the 1999-2000 school year.

As an additional incentive, the highest performing schools will be deregulated and rewarded with the freedom to manage their own budgets and innovate the curriculum and other strategies. Importantly, we are providing incentives and rewards for success while also providing the support and flexibility necessary to replicate and expand strategies that work.

For schools that don't measure up, there is additional assistance available for remediation as well as consequences for continued failure. If a school receives an F for 2 years in any 4-year period, students become eligible for opportunity scholarships, which would allow them to attend a public, traditional or charter or qualifying private school of their choice. State money allocated for the education of that child would follow. The people of Florida had determined that we can't continue to wait for schools to improve while the children they are supposed to serve are left further and further behind.

The A+ package calls for increased accountability for results at the state level while pushing more power and local control to the district schools and parents. We strongly believe that those closest to the child being served should have ultimate authority over that child's education.

Key elements of the plan include rigorous and measurable expectations for student performance, understandable information to parents about school performance, deregulation of budgets and curriculum at the school site level, remediation and unprecedented assistance to low performing schools, including $527 million in flexible funds that can be used for after-school and Saturday programs, one-on-one tutoring, reduced class size and other efforts to help students success, and choices for those stuck in schools that do not improve.

Florida is not alone in injecting freedom, flexibility, and true accountability into state education policy. In addition to speaking to you today as Florida Lieutenant Governor, I also represent my colleagues in the Education Leader's Council, the ELC, a national organization of state education chiefs and other state school officials from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

ELC-member states are pursuing policies that put the needs of children and parents over systems, that focus on increasing student achievement, rather than a fixation on process and procedure, and those that empower the creativity, unbounded energy, and the unique abilities of communities, enterprising school leaders and teachers.

Current federal education policy focuses strictly on compliance with regulations and categorical programs with no regard for specific state and local needs or for whether prescribed programs are producing academic results. This handcuffs all of us at the State and local level by severely limiting our ability to abandon failing programs and put more resources and energy into efforts that are producing results and serving children effectively.

Though the Federal contribution to education is small, about seven percent of total spending in Florida, it takes more than 40 percent of the state's education staff to oversee and administer federal dollars there. In fact, in Florida six times as many people are required to administer a federal education dollar as are required to monitor a state dollar.

In the coming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, there is a tremendous opportunity to transform the current weight of endless regulations and categorical programs into leverage for positive change.

While the White House plan identifies a number of worthy objectives, it continues to tie our hands with what we believe are inflexible programs and procedures that may or may not address states' unique problems and needs. Rather than increase student achievement, success under this proposal is measured by compliance.

We urge Congress to choose another course. We ask that you liberate states, at least the ones that want to be liberated, to try different approaches.

Lastly, we believe the widely discussed Straight A's concept would be a very effective vehicle for freeing states that have demonstrated a commitment to accountability to innovate and replicate their success. Under such a scenario, states that participate in Straight A's would then have the flexibility necessary to transform the often counter productive state and federal relationship in the delivery of education into a productive partnership on behalf of children.

We don't ask for increased flexibility as a blank check. We who are serious about driving student achievement in our states are willing to trade true accountability for student performance for all children, for the opportunity to innovate with our federal dollars and pursue policies that are producing results for children in our states.

For more detail on that issue, I have provided for you an attachment from the ELC which is a resolution on the reauthorization of ESEA, and that is providing to each of the members.

Mr. Chairman and members, I thank you very much for the opportunity to be here, and again I congratulate all of you for putting such important emphasis on what I believe is one of the most incredibly important issues facing America today.


Chairman Castle. Well, thank you, Lieutenant Governor Brogan. We appreciate both of your comments, and we will go into the question period.

See Appendix D for the Written Statement of the Honorable Frank Brogan


Chairman Castle. I yield first to myself for five minutes.

Let me start by asking in two areas, and you both touched on both of the areas. Let me start with Governor Thompson, who stated a couple of things that I enjoyed. One is that he believes in the federal role in education that is nice to hear because sometimes we don't hear that and I do, too. But you also said that mandating accountability without flexibility would be a problem. I agree with that completely as well.

As you know, we just passed the Ed-Flex legislation, taking what was a pilot project in 12 states to all 50 states, and now we are looking at something that is much more expansive than that, if you will. It is referenced as the Straight A's or Super Ed-Flex, and it is still sort of being shaped up.

Both of you referenced this, actually. I think, Governor Thompson, you have indicated that you are willing to be held accountable for gains in student performance in exchange for that flexibility. I think in your case that is a demonstrated object. But my question is, if that is the case, what is the measuring device that we should be looking at? Should it be student test scores, or should there be other things in there? And what is the methodology for treating this? Should it be a reward or a punishment? Do we give more money if you do better or less money if you don't do as well?

In other words, if you were shaping the legislation, what are the kinds of things you would look at on a federal level in terms of implementing that kind of a program?


Governor Thompson. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would look at testing. I would look also at the attendance. I would look also at the graduation rate. I would look at how well they are doing, measured on ACT and SAT scores, and have a comparison there. And then I would reward those school districts and states that are doing the best job.

That is the best way, I think, to really develop programs is to reward those states that are doing the best job and the school districts that are doing the best job. We do that at the state level in Wisconsin, and I think the same thing can happen at the federal level. I think you are going to find a lot of states that are going to buy into that.

You know, Mr. Chairman, that when you were a Governor, you couldn't stand to have another state beat you in anything. You were very competitive, and I can remember that. And that is the same way that I am. I am not going to allow Iowa and Minnesota and especially Michigan to beat me. I have got a competition with John Engler.


Mr. Brogan. Florida is a given, however.


Governor Thompson. Florida is a given.

I want to be able to say that Wisconsin is leading and that we are doing innovative things here. So I think it is the reward kind of thing that is going to drive and get states to come up with the best policies.


Chairman Castle. Why don't I ask the same question to you, Lieutenant Governor Brogan, and then I want to ask another quick question.


Mr. Brogan. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. We also agree in Florida, as Governor Thompson mentioned, that federal government does have a rightful role in assisting in education, especially as we have tried to do over the years with disadvantaged students to the greatest degree possible.

As Governor Thompson mentioned, I believe that what we are advocating is a new relationship with the federal government in terms of the money flowing to the state, and that is the fact that we are willing to put on top of the table agreed-upon measures of student performance, of effectiveness that could be broad ranging.

In Florida, for example, one of the things that we would propose to use would be our scores from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, but beyond that we also would like to look at measures that have to do with how our minority students are doing; not general testing information but also are the federal funds that are flowing to Florida, that at times are meant to serve underserved populations of students, impacting with this new flexibility, that targeted population, and lay those indicators of student achievements, be they standardized test scores, dropout rates, attendance rates, discipline rates, et cetera. Is there an impact there?

And we would agree to sit down and design an accountability system with the national level, and I emphasize agree to that, before we would ever enter into such a flexible arrangement, and then put those measures on top of the table and be held strictly accountable, to the end that if we are successful we could be given not only more flexibility in the future because we believe if we are successful we earn that right to greater flexibility through empowerment, but also if some economic incentives as we are doing and I know Governor Thompson is doing with those districts in our state that are faring to the greatest degree in achievement levels, could be provided incentives. It is a system of carrots and sticks, I think, that will serve us well.


Chairman Castle. Thank you both. My other question may forever go unasked due to time constraints. At this time we will turn to Mr. Kildee.


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

Governor Thompson, have any studies been done on the quality of education at those public schools where children have left to take vouchers to attend private schools?

Governor Thompson. Not yet, because we just started. We started the program and then ACLU brought an action, and we had to go up to the Supreme Court; and then it had to go back to the district court and had to go back up to the appeals. The state Supreme Court granted the constitutionality of it in the State of Wisconsin. Then it was appealed to the federal Supreme Court, and the federal Supreme Court did not issue cert.

So we really didn't get started until this year. Now next year, in September, you are going to see a lot of comparisons and especially at the end of the next school year, because we really only got started this first year.

Mr. Kildee. I certainly would encourage you to complete these studies of your state and any state. Michigan has schools and I have always worried, with charter schools or any choice system, that if a student leaves school A to go to school B because they perceive school B to be better, what happens to the quality of education and what happens to the students back in school A? That is a real concern.

Governor Thompson. We want to find that out, too, Congressman. We want to make that comparison. We want to get that information.


In Milwaukee, there are so many choices. A parent can send a child to a public school; it can send them to a private school nonsectarian, private school sectarian. They can send them to a choice school run by the public school, a charter school run by the public school, a charter school run by the city, a charter school run by the university, a charter school run by the vocational school, and then we have a separate school set up for just science; and we also have a separate school set up for industrial arts. So the parents have plenty of choices, and we want a comparison to find out how the students are doing.


Mr. Kildee. So you will put in place a plan in schools for people to see?


Governor Thompson. Absolutely. The law requires that, and we will do that.


Mr. Brogan. Mr. Chairman, in the State of Florida, again, a variety of choices now with the A+ Plan in place, but whether they chose to remain where they are and we believe opportunity scholarships and changing a failing school are not mutually exclusive. We have a responsibility to change that failing school around while at the same time providing some choices to parents, but whatever choice a parent opts for, be it public, private, charter, or otherwise, students are all required, who use and opt for those choices, to take the same State test, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, so we can get comparison information as this process unfolds.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you. I think that is very important and has been one of my concerns for many of the years that I have been in Congress discussing choice and vouchers.

Who are the chartering agent or agents in your state? Governor Thompson?


Governor Thompson. We have various. Sometimes it is the public schools and then our urban areas it can be done by the city. It can be done by the school district. It can be done by the vocational school. It can be done by the university system. We even have a medical school that is going to be chartering a school in the central city of Milwaukee. So there is different enabling legislation that allows for different people to charter, and it is all supervised, of course, by our Department of Education.


Mr. Kildee. Lieutenant Governor Brogan?

Mr. Brogan. In Florida, Congressman, our chartering entities are not as broad based as they are in Governor Thompson's state. The school boards, we are 67 districts in the State of Florida, each county is its own school system with its own superintendent and school board, each school board must charter the school. We have municipalities that are using charters. We have also a different variety of workplace charter schools, et cetera, but they all must work under the umbrella of the local school board. Advantage/disadvantage: The advantage is that more charter schools are coming on-line than most of us believed would, using that model. The disadvantage is that some school districts are still either recalcitrant to or attempting to smother the charter school movement in some of the districts in the state. So it has its advantage and disadvantage.


Mr. Kildee. Do either one of you find much shopping for charters? In other words, if they get approval from one entity, do they go to another, and another?


Governor Thompson. I wouldn't say shopping between one charter versus another, but definitely shopping as to what is the best school district and what is the best school for those children.


Mr. Kildee. But not for the chartering agent?


Governor Thompson. Not for the charter.


Mr. Brogan. In Florida, actually, as I mentioned in testimony, the charters, not surprisingly, have grown up around centralized themes, a target audience, if you will, schools serving at-risk children, et cetera. So there has been less of a shopping approach, but parents who are opting for the charter school found something there that they believed they could not find in the traditional system, and it has provided them that new opportunity very successfully.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Lieutenant Governor.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee.

Mr. Petri.


Mr. Petri. Thank you very much for your testimony, both of you. It is a breath of fresh air to see what is actually going on out in the states and communities while we are arguing about the programs that are of a generation or two ago and moving a dot here and a dot there, and we seem to be a little bit behind the curve and out of the loop so far as innovation and change. Maybe you can help us come back into focus and help you and your school districts do the job they want to do.

In that connection, I wonder if you could comment. You mentioned in your testimony a little bit, Lieutenant Governor Brogan, but Governor Thompson didn't, the idea that a number of groups have been working on, governor's association, our committee, it was called Super Ed-Flex, now it is called Straight A's, to try to provide some more flexibility.

Some are saying that is a great thing to do, but we need to have a provision that holds every school district in the country harmless so they get just as much money as they got under the old program, but then we will call it flexibility.

Would that be a constructive addition to the legislation, or do you have any comments on how we should do so far as leading to watering it down and keeping the mandates or making more flexibility available?


Governor Thompson. Well, I think it flies in the face of what you are trying to accomplish with super flexibility, requiring every school district to get exactly the same and everybody has the same kind of rules or regulations. What is happening in Florida is happening in Texas; it is happening in Pennsylvania; it is happening in California. Governors are stepping up and coming up with great ideas. Don't harm that. Encourage that. You know, give the states the opportunity.

Not everything is going to work, but the wonderful thing that is happening is that we are taking what is the best and we are copying it in our respective states. We are taking what Florida is doing best and we are copying it. We are not giving Florida the credit. We will take the credit for it. But that is the same way that is happening in Florida, the same way that is happening in Michigan.

We are learning from each other, but we are not being so restrictive that it prevents the innovation that is going to help us, and if we had the kind of restrictions that you are talking about put on the Super Ed-Flex, I don't know why we want to do that. The Straight A's, the Super Ed-Flex bill, is going to allow us to champion new ideas. Like we did on welfare reform and like we are doing in choice, like we are doing in charters. There are as many different charters in America today as there are ideas to change the system.

Don't harm that. Let that continue.


Mr. Petri. Thank you.


Mr. Brogan. Congressman, there are typically two reasons people avoid block grants: One is they believe it is cover for less funding; the second is because they believe there is no accountability. I think what Straight A's does is try to put that to rest, the idea that you can provide greater flexibility and how you use your funding, and put on the table hard accountability in its place, as a partner, not an enemy, to that flexibility.

I think if it does give some people in first year, those who opt for it, a greater comfort level then at least in their first year of a Straight A's arrangement and agreement that they wouldn't be funded less than they were the year before, but understand that after that first year their funding may change based on results, I think that may give people at least in the first year the notion that that flexibility is not going to be used as cover at the national level to provide less funding, if that helps.


Mr. Petri. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Petri.

Mr. Miller.


Mr. Miller. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And Governor, Lieutenant Governor, welcome. Thank you for your testimony. I agree with much of what you have said.

I guess I am a little bit of a hawk on this issue of accountability. Let me, if I might for the sake of clarification because we addressed this in the beginning of the session and we are going to address it again, it seems to me that in reading a lot of the literature and research that is being done, far many more of our students can succeed and have the capabilities to achieve than we realized in the past. And let us start with today, and that we really have to have a system that is in fact accountable for each and every student.

One of my concerns about accountability, as it has been reported in the past from states, from school districts in my own district, is that sometimes it doesn't really tell us

the state of the school system, if you will, or how each and every one of these students are doing.

In Wisconsin, Governor, correct me if I am wrong because I don't want to mislead anybody here, my understanding is that in the plan that you filed with the Department of Education, success is the percentage of students in a school that meet the proficient or advanced levels of performance that is equal to or exceeds 90 percent of the state average in these categories. Does that sound about right?


Governor Thompson. That was submitted by the Department of Public Instruction. I believe it is, yes.


Mr. Miller. Yes. Okay.

I think this is sort of a lot of states do this. This is sort of the 90-percent rule.

So as I interpret it and I look at your results, I think 62 percent of the fourth graders were proficient or advanced in reading and 47 percent of the fourth graders were proficient or advanced in math.

My concern is what do we know about the makeup of that population, the 38 that weren't proficient or advanced in reading, in terms of ethnicity, in terms of what schools they attended. What do we know about that population from that report in Wisconsin?


Governor Thompson. I could get you that information. I don't have it at my fingertips, Mr. Miller.


Mr. Miller. This Council of Chief State Officers report, when you look under Wisconsin, it says, grade four reading, all students, national percentile 67; and then it doesn't say anything else.

If you look under Florida, Florida then goes, all students, Title I school wide, Title I targeted, percent of schools in poverty, LEP students and migrant students. I don't know how many LEP students we would have. And North Carolina would do it more like Florida.

I was arguing a couple of months ago that we ought to ask Governors to do it sort of like the Governor of Texas has done it, the guy from the other party.


Mr. Brogan. He is a good one.


Mr. Miller. Where he sort of said that it was about 90 percent of his students would pass the Texas State exams, but then it would also be 90 percent of African Americans, of Hispanics, of poor students across the board. I just want to know is that the arrangement? I mean, to me somebody is taking, if you will, political accountability for the success or the failure of the system at that point because that is a hard charge. I don't know that he is going to get there, but that is a goal. The has bought in on this, and I think that says something about it.

Is that, as you interrupt it, your state system?


Mr. Brogan. Yes, sir. That is the bottom line, that the days of determining how huge groups of students are doing and appear to be performing satisfactorily, but within that huge group there are subsets of students who are performing abysmally is what we are out to change.

The A+ Plan not only builds on what individual students do, classes of students, schools of students, and districts of students; but within that disaggregates the data and will guarantee that we are looking at subpopulations of students within it.


Mr. Miller. I guess the question would be, in Wisconsin or Florida, it is one thing to say that 90 percent of our students are going to pass the Wisconsin State test or the California State test. It is another thing to say that the percentage meeting proficiency will be 90 percent of the statewide average. I don't think that really tells parents…


Mr. Brogan. Absolutely.


Mr. Miller. …or really allows for the kinds of standards, hard standards, with an edge to them that you need, because it is a moving target. Some years, 90 percent you would be proud of and some years 90 percent you wouldn't necessarily be proud of.


Governor Thompson. Congressman, in Wisconsin that is going to be all computed, and it is going to be on a report card so a parent can get on the Internet and can compare their school districts versus other school districts, how well their students are doing in math, in reading, attendance, safety, and all of these things. It is going to be broken down so that every parent will be able to get that information.

Now, on the national level, Achieve, which was set up after the last summit up in Palisades, New York, with Lou Gerstner and myself, when I was chairman of the National Governors Organization, we have now come out with a plan that is going to set up a program for math, for all eighth graders, any state that wants to buy into it; and we are going to have a math test that is going to be the same in all of those states.

We are going to be writing the math tests. We are going to make an assessment, and we are going to then be able to give that information out so that the states will be able to compare each other as to how well we are doing in math in that particular subject.


Mr. Miller. Could I just ask one further question, just quickly?


Chairman Castle. Yes.


Mr. Miller. Would you, and maybe you want to think about this, would you have problems? Again, the question of 90 percent of the students passing the state exam or 90 percent of the average who pass the exam would you have a problem with that kind of hard standard, that it is 90 percent of the number that take the exam, or 80? I don't care where the Governor sets it. I really don't care.


Governor Thompson. I personally would not.


Mr. Brogan. Congressman Miller, the Educational Leaders Council has actually said that in this arrangement with the federal government, remembering that those federal dollars are largely meant to target disadvantaged students, if we are provided that flexibility, part of the agreement needs to be exactly what you are talking about; that this accountability, how are students doing in an agreed-upon accountability structure.

The federal government has a right to know specifically how the students that those federal dollars are meant to target are doing specifically, as a part of that agreement, and what you are talking about is exactly what we are talking about in the Straight A's accountability approach.


Mr. Miller. Thank you very much. I am sorry for going over a second or two.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Miller.

Ms. Roukema.


Mrs. Roukema. Yes. Thank you. I really do appreciate what you have already answered in terms of the Chairman's question and other questions regarding accountability and flexibility.

I appreciate that, and I particularly appreciate your stating in one form or another that there is no more fixation on process but rather on results, and I think that is what we are about here today.

I have a couple of questions. One is really a very practical one, and, Governor Thompson, particularly from your experience it is a practical one that I as a former school board member have got to say with an open enrollment and now we are talking only about public schools and charter schools; I am not talking about vouchers.


Governor Thompson. Yes.


Mrs. Roukema. I am talking about public schools and charter schools. Do you have an over-enrollment? What do you do when you have more people who want to go to one school than you have openings for? Has that not been a problem for you? How do you resolve that, along with the question of transportation costs? I am always confounded by the amount of money that has to go into transportation. These are really practical problems. I don't have to know the more fundamental problem.


Governor Thompson. There has to be space in the receiving school.


Mrs. Roukema. What do you do, work on a waiting period or a waiting list? Is that what you do?


Governor Thompson. Yes. It has not had many problems.


Mrs. Roukema. I see.


Governor Thompson. It has worked out quite well.


Mrs. Roukema. In general, good.


Governor Thompson. We have also extended that open enrollment to allowing juniors and seniors to go to the state vocational schools and to the universities as well.


Mrs. Roukema. Interesting.


Governor Thompson. So you can go in your junior year in high school, you can take courses in the technical schools or in the universities and use those credits toward your high school diploma as well as your secondary education.


Mrs. Roukema. It is completely an open enrollment. You don't have any priority list? It is a first come and first serve and the waiting list handles that?


Governor Thompson. But if there is no space, it stops.


Mrs. Roukema. Has the cost of transportation been a profound cost that you have to absorb?

Governor Thompson. That is worked out between the school districts.


Mrs. Roukema. Is that right?


Governor Thompson. Yes.


Mrs. Roukema. That is interesting. All right. Thank you.

Now, the more fundamental question, however, and forgive me if you mentioned this with some specificity and I did not hear it, but I would like both of you to elaborate. We are looking at Teacher Empowerment Act, a way of improving the quality of teachers and also the number of teachers in the classroom. Can you give us some recommendations from your own perspective on how you would want us to support and supplement what you feel needs to be done at the state level through any legislation we pass? Because fundamentally it is the quality of the teacher in the classroom that is everything, isn't it?


Mr. Brogan. Absolutely, right on target. I tell people all the time, we argue constantly about buildings and buses and books. We are really not in that business. We are in the people business.


Mrs. Roukema. Thank you.


Mr. Brogan. There are two members of the workforce, those who are there now in Florida, 135,000 professional educators, and those who aspire to be.

We are, under our plan, taking a two-pronged approach, naturally so. One is to rebuild our colleges of education to make sure that we are turning out 21st century teachers. It is hard pressed to believe that someone can come out of a college of education after four years and not know how to use technology in a classroom and have to be taught by the school district how to do that.

We also are looking at our current workforce, and that is a monumental issue because of the constant need for training and retraining for teachers. I will say this: That much is said about the word "certification." Certification in itself is not a silver bullet. I remind people that in some of the schools in Florida where two-thirds of the children can't read, write, or count everybody is certified. It is how you are certifying people and how you are training and retraining; and we are right now, as a part of the plan, also upgrading the standard of testing that we are requiring, as well as upgrading the requirement.


Mrs. Roukema. Standard of testing of the teacher?


Mr. Brogan. Yes, ma'am. As well as upgrading the requirement of someone to get into a college of education.

Colleges of education typically have been a place for some that they went to because there were no requirements to get in. Unlike so many of the other colleges in a university, we are going to put in place, after a study, requirements so that you must achieve a certain GPA, et cetera, in order to even get into a college of education.

Lastly, and then I will turn it over to Governor Thompson, is how we pay our existing workforce. We have got to move away from the old industrial model of paying people for moving from one step to the next on that salary schedule; and our plan calls for recreating that and providing a part of a teacher's salary be based on how their students perform and how the teacher performs.


Mrs. Roukema. Merit pay. Sometimes known as merit pay?


Mr. Brogan. Yes.


Mrs. Roukema. Thank you. Governor Thompson.


Governor Thompson. My wife is a sixth grade teacher, and she teaches full-time. So I hear about this subject every night.


Mrs. Roukema. Good.


Governor Thompson. I am very proud of her, of course. But we do a lot of the same things that a lot of states are doing and Florida is doing. You have to have a certain GPA to get into the schools of education. You have to take a test in regards to competency in your basic subjects. We are also putting in this budget, I don't know if I am going to get it through or not, sort of a bonus, a fairly nice bonus, to a teacher that goes out and gets nationally certified in the national certification to encourage them to improve themselves, to become a master teacher; and that will be written right into the contract, and the state is going to pay for that.

So we are trying to encourage a lot more on-the-job training and a lot more on education.


Mrs. Roukema. Very good. I would hope that you have a chance to review this legislation we have and will make some recommendations to us on how it can be improved.


Governor Thompson. I am sure the Lieutenant Governor and I would love to analyze any legislation that comes out of this committee.


Chairman Castle. You will get a little license on that. I am not sure how far we are going to go into that, Governor.

Thank you, Ms. Roukema.

Mr. Hinojosa is next.

Mr. Hinojosa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to thank both of you for coming and sharing your states' work on academic accountability.

I am going to ask my first question of Governor Thompson. Governor Thompson, are you familiar with the National Academy of Sciences?


Governor Thompson. Yes.


Mr. Hinojosa. They do studies on many groups, especially on limited English proficient students, and their data on one of their studies indicate that the majority of LEP students reach competency in subjects of math, science, social studies, English from four and a half to seven years of learning in their home language and some English, and then making the transition.

So my question then, Governor Thompson, is: Would you explain how the State of Wisconsin mandates accountability for schools educating LEP Students?


Governor Thompson. I can't answer that because I am not sure, so I would have to get the information. I can get it for you and send it to you, but I do not know.


Mr. Hinojosa. That would be great. And one other question.


Governor Thompson. If I could just expand a little bit on what you are saying, though. In Achieve, which is this national organization that I co-chair, we have also found that our students in math and science at the fourth grade are on par with all of the rest of the countries. In the eighth grade we are a little bit below, but by the tenth grade we are quite a ways down.

So, therefore, in math and science we are setting up, hopefully, a national sort of assessment that states can buy into as far as math and science; and we are going to be testing at the eighth grade, and any state that wants to buy in on a voluntary basis can do so.

We have already got 12 states that have signed up for this. We are hoping to be able to get at least another 10 to 15. Then we should be able to make that comparison throughout the country, as far as math and science is concerned.


Mr. Hinojosa. How are the students in Wisconsin tested, and how are your schools doing with bilingual education programs?


Governor Thompson. I think we are doing very well in bilingual education. We have testing done at the fourth grade, at the eighth grade, and at the tenth grade. We also have a third grade reading test on top of the fourth, eighth, and tenth, a comprehensive test; and we are also going to be starting in the year 2001 and 2002 a high stakes graduation test that you are going to have to pass then in order to get your diploma.


Mr. Hinojosa. Thank you.

For Lieutenant Governor Brogan, how are the students in Florida tested, and how are your schools doing with bilingual education programs?


Mr. Brogan. Well, as you can imagine, Congressman, we have enormous number of students who are LEP students in the State of Florida. I am very proud of that fact.

We have very carefully crafted with our testing system the opportunity to look at each and every student, whether they are a first-year bilingual student, second-year student, third-year student, and determine the level of their English proficiency. We want to test as many students as possible. We think that is important, but we also recognize that some students are simply not ready yet to be immersed into the full-blown accountability stream that we are putting in place in Florida.

That is not, by the way, only for LEP students. That is for exceptional education students. We want to test as many exceptional education students as possible. We think that is important, but we know that there are some students who will never be tested; others that will be tested and yet not counted in that accountability strand based on the level of their exceptionality.

So the idea here is, whether it is LEP or exceptional education, to try to increase the testing pool of students. It is important information that we need to see if our programs are successful, but also to make certain that we are sensitive to the needs of the individual students relative to their readiness to be involved in that testing stream.


Mr. Hinojosa. It is obvious that both of you really care about disadvantaged students, and the reason I am asking these questions is that it is alarming to see that Hispanic students are not graduating at the percentage, at the rate, that our Anglo children nor our African American children are graduating.

If the information is correct, nationally Hispanic students are dropping out of high schools at a rate of 30 percent or greater. Florida, Texas, California, having the largest number of Hispanic students then have a real challenge on their hands to be able to find what we are going to have to do in terms of improving our schools, our teacher certification and training, our programs that address the special needs that our limited English-speaking students have and how to be able to help them get turned on to education and want to finish.


Governor Thompson. Congressman, I wish you could come to Milwaukee and see one of our choice schools, the Bruce Guadalupe School, which is an Hispanic school. It is doing extremely well. The graduation rate is in the middle to high 90s. They are doing extremely well. If you ever have the opportunity to travel through, I would love to show you what a choice school in an Hispanic neighborhood is really doing.


Mr. Brogan. Congressman, as I stated before to the ranking member, an important part of what we are talking about is the Educational Leaders Council, with the Super Ed-Flex or the Straight A's program is that again the federal government does have a right to know that if those dollars are coming to help disadvantaged students or students who are LEP students, that that accountability agreement be able to give that kind of information back to the federal government; that even though great flexibility has been provided, that target audience of students is achieving at a higher level as a result of that flexibility that they have been granted.


Mr. Hinojosa. Lastly, I want to say that we have an opportunity in our hands, that we are doing reauthorization of elementary and secondary education; and this is one of the components that is probably the most challenging if we are to graduate 90 percent or higher of the Hispanic students.

So we thank you and look forward to working with you as we do this reauthorization act.


Governor Thompson. Thank you.


Mr. Brogan. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Hinojosa. Mr. Ford.


Mr. Ford. I won't be long. I thank the panelists. I have not been here the entire time, and I apologize. Good to see you, Governor Thompson, certainly Lieutenant Governor.

My dad has become a constituent of yours down in Florida. He used to serve the district that I serve now, but he just bought himself a place in Miami, so don't take my daddy from me.

Two quick questions, one regarding professional development. I know that my colleague, Mrs. Roukema, talked a little bit about teacher quality and some of the efforts that are underway right now in the states, but in terms of current professional development programs, what are you doing in both Wisconsin and Florida?

And two, I know Governor Thompson has talked a little bit about parts of the President's accountability act, specifically the fact that the report cards on states might encourage additional bureaucracy. I went to school in Michigan. Governor Engler, I know, has been a proponent of this, and I know that perhaps you can clarify at least for me and maybe some of the other folks, your thoughts about this bureaucracy.

I know several states, if not 30 or 35 states, are already doing this, and how are they able to avoid this bureaucracy? Maybe there is something that we are missing here, or that I am missing, and maybe there is something we can work through outside the committee, but I was curious to know your thoughts on that as well.

So, one, the professional development and, two, for the Governor, with regard to the report cards, how will that create another level of bureaucracy?


Mr. Brogan. Congressman, the professional development, as I said earlier, is critical to this whole issue. It is a little like painting an airplane in flight. We don't have the luxury of bringing it for a landing while we repaint it and send it up again. We have 135,000 professional educators who are out there this minute plying their trade, and a big part of what we have got to do, just as we are trying to refocus energies, attention, and resources on learning and achievement levels is refocus our professional development, dollars, resources, and activities on teaching.

We have, and we have a study to bear that out in Florida that we had commissioned, spent probably billions like most states over many years on professional development, but it has been all over the map. What we are trying to do now is to bring all of our professional development activities back to the central issue: How to make a teacher a better teacher as a result of that professional development and follow-up.

One of the ways that we hope to reach a greater target audience, because again 135,000 people is a lot of people, and also have the accountability and the follow-up in that professional development, is by using more technology. The private sector has been doing this for years with training and retraining of their workforce; and it is being able to get to more people and also the incredibly important step of follow-up.

So often people go to professional development, it is the last they ever hear on that issue and they use it for a while and then it is forgotten. We hope that with some of our new teacher academies in Florida and the use of that technology, we are going to be able not only to target our resources but come up with a better product at the end.


Governor Thompson. Congressman, we are doing a lot of the same things, but we are also putting in a $500 million capital investment in the Internet and we are wiring every school, every library, public and private in the State of Wisconsin. They are going to all be wired by the year 2000. We also have got teacher academies set up. We are also having teacher competency testing in regards going to be starting in regards to the subject area of the teacher.

We are also putting money in this budget, I don't know if I am going to get it passed, that is going to encourage teachers to become master teachers; and if they do, they will get a bonus for doing that extra work.

We are also putting $16 million in this year in order to teach teachers how to use the Internet, how to use the technology. We are making a huge capital investment; but we are finding that a lot of teachers are somewhat fearful of it, that the students know much more about the Internet and about the computers than the teachers. So we are trying to retrain and to educate teachers in that capacity.

In regards to the report card, my concern about the federal government is and you were not here, Mr. Ford, is that we are trying in states like Florida, like Texas, all over the country, in order to develop innovative things, give us the opportunity to set it up.

Achieve is a national organization, and we are trying voluntarily to get states to come in there; and the first thing we are going to do is take on math in the eighth grade and we have 12 states already signed up. We are hoping to get that up to 25. Then we will have a comparison, as far as a report card, on all of the students that take the math and science course of those states that sign up for Achieve.


Mr. Brogan. Mr. Chairman, if you will indulge me for one more thought, and it comes on the heels of what Governor Thompson said, Congressman Ford, we too in Florida have money in the budget that has been approved to provide a $3,000 stipend to teachers who become master teachers.

But also, very importantly, they have the opportunity to get access to an additional $3,000 on top of that if they agree, once they become a master teacher, to mentor other teachers through the process. I don't think we capture the genius of our own best and brightest professional educators enough, so this would allow someone to add between $6,000 and $7,000 to their base pay by becoming a certified master teacher and then agreeing to turn that back into professional development for their colleagues as well. It is an important part of this.


Mr. Ford. Thank you. I would say this to both of you, I do think it is important to note, Mr. Chairman, that 94 percent of all of the dollars raised and spent on public education, as well as virtually all of the policy setting, is done at the local level. It chagrins me a little when I hear folks talk about this federal intrusion. I wish there was so much of it that it would actually justify some of the things that people say.

I appreciate what you said, Governor Thompson. I supported Ed-Flex and believe that folks closest to the problem have the ability to fix it, but I do think you are a little disingenuous when you sort of hint or insinuate that perhaps the federal government has sort of been roaring and intruding and encroaching upon your jurisdiction there.


Governor Thompson. Congressman, my only rejoinder to that, if you would comply with the federal statutes and pay the 40 percent on the special education students, the Congress, you would be doing a tremendous amount of good for school districts, especially for special needs students, and you would be helping out the states a great deal. This is a Democrat-Republican-Independent position.


Mr. Ford. I support you, Governor. I am in total agreement with you.


Governor Thompson. That is the one area that we would love to have you intrude a little more.


Mr. Ford. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Castle. With respect to that last issue, we are obligated to pay that 40 percent. We are paying about 11 percent right now. It is about a $10 billion annual deficit, and I agree completely. That is an area that you can't do in one year. It is not a Republican-Democrat issue.


Governor Thompson. No, it isn't.


Chairman Castle. We should start setting targets and each year moving up in that direction. I think it is something we need to do.


Governor Thompson. Mr. Chairman, one of the biggest problems of controversy right now within school districts in Wisconsin, and it is not only in Wisconsin; it is in Florida; it is in Maine, is where a special-needs student is required to have so many kinds of services and you are taking away from other programs within the school district and everybody is pointing fingers. It is not a good situation.

One of the biggest problems right now in education in America is the special-education needs. They want the states to pay it. They want the federal government to live up to it. All of us have to come up and somehow solve this serious problem.


Chairman Castle. And obviously it frees up, dollar for dollar, every dollar we give to you frees up a dollar you can spend either on furthering that purpose or some other purpose. It is an understandable debate on this, but it is an important issue.


Mr. Brogan. You are right; and the understandable inclination, because there is so much to be done, is for people at the state and federal level to continue to add new programs on to the old programs.

Governor Thompson is correct, as are you gentlemen, that if, indeed, we pay greater attention to the ones that are already on the books, fully fund them before we add even one more new program, I think we would be doing a true service to all 50 of our states and allowing, as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, the opportunity to use the dollars that are different to pump back into programs like staff development and some of the other needs that we face there.


Chairman Castle. Well, let me thank you for that comment. Let me thank you both very much for being here today. We know you have pressing schedules, and we do have another panel. So you will be pleased to know that we are not going to go through another round of questions.

You have shown us a couple of things: One is that there is tremendous innovation going on in education in America today, particularly at the state and local levels. You have a responsibility in your states for the local education as well.

It is something that is not always understood, either here in Washington or I don't think by people generally across the country, and I think you have helped to demonstrate that, as well as the importance of some of these programs, and we need to pay heed to what you are saying. We are very appreciative of your being here. So we thank you a great deal.


Mr. Brogan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Governor Thompson. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. We hope you enjoy the rest of your day and wish you the very best in your states, particularly with education. Thank you.

We will set up the next panel, although we are about to have a vote. Why don't we get set up and then we will see what we can get done before we have to go for a vote.

Let us go for the vote, actually; and we will come back and we will start with the second panel when we come back. So we will stand in recess for about ten minutes.




Chairman Castle. Thank you very much for panel number two. We hoped that panel number two would be called a little bit sooner than this. Unfortunately, the votes and the interest in the Governor and Lieutenant Governor cut into that.

What you have to say is obviously no less important than what they had to say, and I have been told that this is an excellent panel, so we look forward to hearing from you.

I am going to briefly read introductions. Unfortunately, all of us have schedules too, so we are all sort of getting pressed for time now. So I am just going to do this very quickly, if you will. I can read fast if I have to.

Our first witness will be Dr. Susan Sclafani, who is the chief of staff for Education Services for the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Sclafani is the chief of staff for the Education Services for the Houston Independent School District, where she is a part of the Department of Research and Accountability.

The department provides timely and useful information on academic outcomes to schools, government agencies, and the community. The Houston Independent School District Board of Education recently passed a plan allowing the district to pay the costs of transferring failing students from low-performing public schools to a district-approved private school. The students would have the option to transfer to any nonreligious school that meets the district's criteria.

Our second witness is Dr. Kathryn Jane Massey-Wilson, who is the superintendent of West Point Public Schools, West Point, Virginia. Dr. Massey-Wilson is the superintendent of the West Point Public Schools and has 28 years of experience in education, where her focus has been on high standards and high expectations.

In 1998, she was selected as Virginia's Superintendent of the Year, and Money Magazine recently recognized West Point Public Schools as among the most elite in the nation. The State of Virginia has also recognized them as one of four top-performing school divisions in the state.

Next is Ms. Stacey Boyd with Project ACHIEVE, which you have heard about today from San Francisco. She is the former principal of the Academy of the Pacific Rim, a Boston charter school, and currently works for Project ACHIEVE. She designed the Achieve Management Information System that empowers schools to use technology to make academic standards work by tracking what has been taught and learned, which in turn improves collaboration in communication and enables adults at a school to share information about students' information that feeds a school's accountability system and improves its ability to meet the needs of each and every student.

Next is Kati Haycock, who is a director of the Education Trust in Washington. The Education Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting high academic achievement standards for schools and colleges serving low-income, Latino, African American and Native American students. She also serves as executive vice president of the Children's Defense Fund and founded and served as president of the Achievement Council, a statewide organization that provides assistance to teachers and principals in predominantly minority schools in improving student achievement.

Our cleanup hitter is Mr. Andy Plattner, who is the chairman of A-Plus Communications, a company that specializes in building public understanding and support for high-quality schools. His company has prepared a report entitled Reporting Results that shows exactly what information parents and taxpayers want to know about school performance and the best ways to communicate this information.

As you know from these lights, we have a five-minute rule. We let the Governors go a little bit longer than we would have liked to. We would hope that you would try to stay within the five minutes. After four minutes, you will see yellow, and when the red goes on, your five minutes is up. At that point, if you could, start to come to closure.

By the way, sometimes I worry because later in the day you just lose Members, but your statements obviously go out to all of the staff and all of the Members so they have a chance to read this in full. Your statements will also be included in the official record of this proceeding. So what you are doing now is basically summarizing your written statements. Again, we really appreciate your being here.

We will start with you, Dr. Sclafani.




Dr. Sclafani. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

I think that Texas probably has the longest record in terms of accountability and therefore provides an excellent model for you as you are looking at the issue. I think the three critical pieces of this are that we started with a curriculum that was to be taught in every classroom at every grade level, built tests that measure achievement of that curriculum, and then established an accountability system to hold school districts and schools accountable for the results.

The tests are in English and in Spanish at certain grade levels, and we up until this year have disaggregated the scores from special-education children and limited English proficient students, those who are taking the test in Spanish, from the accountability system; but starting this year all student groups will be included in the accountability system.

The state has a system that measures student performance starting back in 1987 with the first testing that looked at the performance of all students at a school. Later as the performance improved, changed that to measuring the scores of each student group by ethnicity and economically disadvantaged, and using those as the accountability measure. So the philosophy was that a school is no better performing than the performance of its lowest performing group, which meant that if 90 percent of the students at a school passed the test, which would ordinarily be exemplary, yet the Hispanic students at that school were scoring at the 40th percentile, that school would be identified as low performing.

That has made an enormous difference in the performance of our students across the state, and I believe it is the reason why our scores for our minority children have improved so dramatically over the last eight years.

In addition, it has provisions within it to look at the high-achieving schools and giving them recognition, as well as low-performing schools being held accountable for their performance. Our local system added several pieces to that. It looked not only at the performance of schools on a benchmark test each year, but also looked at their progress from the previous year.

In addition, our performance is the cause for two kinds of responses: Number one, high recognition activities for our schools that are high performing and using them as mentors for our low-performing schools; and, secondly, for our low-performing schools we have technical assistance teams that go in to help analyze the problems, and then those schools are given some additional dollars to create an improvement plan over and above their regular school dollars.

What we have found is that our schools that are low performing have made a number of poor decisions on how to use the resources allocated to them in the past; and if they are going to make an improvement, then we have got to provide some additional dollars to provide resources and teacher training that has not taken place and to do it in an expedited fashion.

We have within our local system, as the state does, the options of removal of the principal, removal of teachers, or total reconstitution of the school, which means that the entire staff is put on notice that they must reapply for their positions and they may or may not be selected.

We think the combination of the state and local systems, both the disaggregation at the state level by ethnicity and economic disadvantage and the use of progress in our system, has enabled us to take a look at performance over the years.

Since the state system changed each year, we had no one system that could be used to compare how we did at the beginning in 1992, 1993, and at the end.

So when we look at our system, you can see the dramatic improvements. We have added to that that there are no longer any exemptions for limited English proficient students or special-education students, except for the most severely disabled, and so we expect our performance to take a movement down and start the up climb again.

Having this system has pricked the conscience of our schools as to the performance of their students, and we think that it has improved. I listened to the conversation and your questions for the Governors; and we like the flexibility of Ed-Flex. We would, of course, like the block grant to come to our school districts. I think that is appropriate for the top 25 school districts in the nation. You don't do an audit of a state program without doing an audit of the largest city in that district, in that state, and so it is a duplication of effort.

Our choice programs give our parents choices within the public schools, magnet schools, space-available choice, as well as what you mentioned in the introduction, which is that if we have students who are low-performing, attending a low- performing school, we give them the option of going to any of the public schools or a private school that is willing to meet our criteria of daily attendance and giving the same tests that we do within the public school system for those children.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Dr. Sclafani. Five minutes goes fast, doesn't it?


Ms. Sclafani. Yes, it does.


Chairman Castle. When you are having fun.

See Appendix E for the Written Statement of Dr. Susan Sclafani


Chairman Castle. Dr. Massey-Wilson.




Ms. Massey-Wilson. Thank you, Chairman Castle, members of the committee. It is an honor to be here; and I appreciate your comments earlier on accountability and the work that you are doing.

I come to you today in support of high standards, high expectations, and accountability. Our students deserve no less, and American businesses deserve no less. We want to make sure that our students are competitive in the world. We keep hearing from businesses that students are not prepared in the basics; that they are having to teach them how to read and write; colleges are teaching remedial courses. We need higher standards in public schools.

We in Virginia have implemented a new K-12 Education Reform program. It has four elements, including the standards of learning. K-12, the standards are rigorous, academic, and measurable. It includes standards of learning tests. It includes ensuring the accountability of schools for students and student achievement, called the standards of accreditation; and, number four, it includes a report card to parents and the community.

Our report card, by the way, is on the Internet already so you can pull that up. We had a first round of tests last spring. We just completed the second round. So we are waiting for the scores on those.

I am really pleased and proud that we are engaged in such high-stakes standards in Virginia, and I commend the state board of education for taking such a bold and sometimes an unpopular stand to make sure that our students in the Commonwealth are prepared.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my own school system. Prior to the standards of learning, we engaged in our own grass-roots reform and did not rank where we rank today. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about how we got to where we are.

Our focus is high standards, high expectations for all students and teaching students on the instructional level, challenging them, no matter what grade level they are in challenging them on their level; teaching the right subjects and the right curriculum in the right way; deleting out subjects that don't challenge students; adding more rigorous subjects; guiding students into more higher-learning mathematics; hiring teachers who are accountable.

We have extended teacher contract for staff development. We have hired mentors for teachers to develop them. We focus on small classes. We have eliminated social promotion and inflated grades.

Another thing that we have done is that we have worked on student attitudes, trying to teach students the connection between what they do in school and their success in the future. And that is important.

We have had administrators, teachers, and community resource people coming in and working with students, and that attitude has turned around. Students want to learn and want to be successful.

We use test scores as a diagnostic tool. Results are used for improvement of instruction. We protect instructional time. We provide a safe environment so that it doesn't interrupt instructional time.

We have eliminated study halls during the instructional day. We felt that they were not beneficial. We have added study halls in the evening. We have a full remedial program for at-risk students. It is required for students who are in the lower quartile and who do not pass the standards of learning tests. Our program includes a summer school and after-school tutorial for which transportation is provided, and a mentoring program.

We have established a longer day for students. We want to continue our accountability plan in implementing the new standards of learning; and in addition to that plan, we have made other efforts to help our students accomplish the standards of learning because the standards of learning are even more rigorous than our curriculum that we had previously.

You have mentioned that we were recognized by Money Magazine on our old curriculum; and now we have a much more rigorous curriculum, and we are happy about that.

We have brought in consultants to help the teachers teach the standards of learning to help them analyze test data and a plan for improvement. We have integrated more technology into the curriculum, and our teachers and administrators are working to align the curriculum with the new standards.

During the first round of testing last year, our students scored extremely high in certain areas, in English, geometry and earth science. They did not score well in some other areas: Algebra, history, and social science.

I believe that with the changes that we were making that will improve. Change is never easy. It takes time. We need to refine, improve, and polish our program, especially in social studies. This is statewide we need to do that.

Historically, I believe that one mistake we make in education is not allowing enough time to make a new program or reform successful. If programs are not immediately or instantly successful, we abandon them and move on to something else.

I like the lead sentence in the editorial recently in the Richmond Times Dispatch titled "Making the Grade." It says, "Here is a revolutionary idea: Give the Virginia standards of learning an opportunity to work before coming up with excuses for schools that might not make the grade."

In summary, we need high standards in schools; and we as leaders in education and leaders in our nation need to be courageous enough to take the action to make sure that our students learn the rigorous core curriculum to keep them globally competitive.

I want to thank you, and I encourage you to reward schools and school districts who do a good job and have high student achievement.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Dr. Massey-Wilson. You didn't say punish those who don't do well. We will talk about that later.

See Appendix F for the Written Statement of Dr. Kathryn Jane Massey-Wilson

Chairman Castle. Ms. Boyd.




Ms. Boyd. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you about the issue of accountability and education.

I would begin by just clarifying that Project ACHIEVE is different from the Achieve, Inc. that Governor Thompson talked about earlier this morning, although we are very interested in high standards.

As you know, for far too long there has been little true accountability in our public schools at the state district school and even classroom level. The good news is that the situation is beginning to change, thanks to state academic standards, accountability systems, that include real consequences and the more sophisticated use of technology.

The first step for any state is to set clear and high expectations of what its students are expected to know and be able to do. States such as Florida and Texas, Massachusetts, Colorado should be commended for the difficult work that they have done in setting rigorous standards.

However, standards in and of themselves are inert. It is people's behavior that needs to change so that children will learn more and actually attain those standards.

Without consequences, good or bad, the most rigorous and brilliant state frameworks will gather dust. Standards grow teeth in places where superintendents, principals, teachers, and students and parents come to realize that there are consequences for reaching the mark and for not reaching it.

As a school principal in inner-city Boston, I felt the pressure and the clarity of standards and accountability. I felt it personally and I felt it acutely. So did the teachers and the students in my school. Both standards and consequences are needed; indeed, they are vital. And the state plays a very essential role in setting the bar high for its students in making sure that the adults responsible for getting kids over that bar do their job.

Indeed, I believe it is one of the state's most important tasks, but it also creates a daunting situation for principals and for teachers. After years of zero accountability and little clarity about common standards, our schools are suddenly being squeezed in good ways, when after years of coasting and keeping results pretty much to themselves, schools are faced with a tall pile of standards, high stakes tests and intense public scrutiny. It is good. It is healthy. It is also very, very difficult from a practitioner's perspective.

You may have read about some of the bad reactions that a few schools have had to these new circumstances: Cheating, dropping everything to teach the last year's test version. But think about it for a moment. How do I as a principal know which students and classrooms in my school have covered the materials specified in the standards? Save for visiting every class every day and remembering which teachers were teaching what to which students and which class and keeping a mental catalog of all of that information, I don't have a good way of knowing this.

Yet, for the first time my job and reputation depend on it. As a principal in Massachusetts, I need to keep track of that kind of information for four cumulative years. The MCAS is given in fourth, eighth and tenth grade, which is our statewide assessment system. Even the Stanford 9 is only given once a year.

But teachers don't teach, and kids don't learn in one- year increments, much less four-year increments. If a third grader does not learn two-digit multiplication in October, she won't learn long division in December, I promise you. And when you find this out 18 months later on the fourth grade MCAS, it is too late. That is where technology comes in.

Schools are the most data-rich organizations of our society. Just think of the 50 separate academic standards that a Massachusetts sixth grader is expected to meet in a single subject, math, for example. Multiply that times 12 grades. Then multiply that again by six core academic subjects. We are at 3,600 standards. Multiply that again by 650 students, the average U.S. school size. Now we are at well above two million bits of information at the principal's level. Multiply that by 16, the average number of schools in a district. You now have a general sense of what a superintendent's job is like.

In a given year, he or she is responsible for monitoring the performance of that district's pupils with respect to 37.4 million learning objectives. It is this daunting, almost unimaginably unmanageable task that compelled me to combine my business training and experience running a school to create Project ACHIEVE, an Internet-based software system up and running in five cities that helps schools consolidate all of those fragmented bits of information that it possesses about a student that impact their learning.

I am talking about information ranging from attendance records and disciplinary incidents, which both the Governors mentioned as important indicators, as well as standards taught and skills mastered.

With teachers simply entering information such as their lesson plans, student grades, and homework reference into ACHIEVE, tasks they do every day in schools across the country, the principal can produce a report for all 50 of those math standards and see class by class, as well as student by student, how everyone in the school is performing. Superintendents at the district level can do the same.

Once a critical mass of districts have been reached, the state could easily assemble the same information.

This kind of information management is new for schools and school systems but not elsewhere. The Gap, for example, can tell you at the end of the day how many pairs of khakis have been stolen store by store, city by region, even worldwide. Hospitals can do the same.

Schools need to be able to tell you and themselves, constituents and stakesholders, how many kids have learned two-digit multiplication. I need that information in October so I can catch the boys and girls in the third grade that didn't learn two-digit multiplication and re-teach them that material when December rolls around so that they are ready to learn long division. I need to know this so that suitable rewards attend success and well-chosen interventions accompany failure. That is what accountability means and that is where technology and Project ACHIEVE can help.

Thank you for the opportunity to appear, and I look forward to your questions.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. Boyd. We appreciate your statement and we look forward to the questions with you, too.

See Appendix G for the Written Statement of Ms. Stacy Boyd

Chairman Castle. Ms. Haycock.





Ms. Haycock. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Kildee, thank you for this opportunity to testify this morning.

Improving accountability is clearly a very important priority for this reauthorization. In fact, we would encourage you to think about it as one of the two highest priorities. The other one is improving teacher quality. While I realize that is not the subject of today's hearing, I would be remiss if I did not say as clearly as I could that there is no issue more important to the education of poor children than ensuring that they have high-quality teachers.

That said, I think we all know by now that improving teacher quality is not enough; that states, school districts, and schools receiving Title I funds must be held strictly accountable for student achievement.

Now, there are many critics who claim that Title I is an outdated relic of times gone by, that it should be replaced by more modern approaches like Super Ed-Flex that exchange flexibility for results.

What I think is terribly important for us to remember is that, in fact, that is precisely what you did in 1994. In that reauthorization, you shifted the focus of Title I from inputs and processes to a focus on results for kids; from low-level skills to a focus on challenging standards; from small pullout remedial programs to a focus on improving instruction in schools as a whole.

As we work with schools in districts around the country, we see every day the impact of the changes that you made in 1994 in schools like Bessemer Elementary in Pueblo, in Perry in New York City, and Collins Foster in Indianapolis, and other students that are moving ahead to aggressively implement the changes that you made in 1994.

Now unfortunately as we all know, these schools remain a minority. Is that because the kids in other schools are somehow more damaged by their poverty than the kids in these more successful schools? No. In fact, it is because the adults in those schools still haven't made the changes that you asked them to make in 1994.

In this reauthorization, I hope you will send those adults a clear message that you mean business, a message that says very clearly that a continuation of the bargain that you made in 1994, the bargain of more flexibility for more results, does, in fact, depend on more results.

Now, the question, of course, is how can you do that? I want to suggest to you three very important changes, all of which are intended to sharpen the definition of adequate yearly progress, which as you know was a kind of linchpin of your accountability system in 1994.

First, you need to make it clear, much clearer, unfortunately, that when you said all kids you actually meant all kids.

When I read current law, it looks to me very clear that states need to define adequate progress in ways that make sure that all kids, especially including poor kids and LEP, get to state standards. Yet despite what you may have heard this morning, the fact is that most states have set definitions of progress that do not get to all kids at all and in fact leave millions of children behind.

One state, for example, requires schools to get two-thirds of its children above the 50th percentile. Once the school gets its kids to that, what I would argue, ridiculously low goal, no more requirements for progress; and that state is not alone. In fact, according to a recent report prepared for the Chief State School Officers, a full half of the states have defined their progress goals in ways that leave half of their children behind.

This is particularly problematic for the reasons Congressman Miller brought to our attention this morning, and that is that because that means that all of the kids, poor children, all of the schools' poor children could actually be left behind in that bottom half, and that school would still be judged as making adequate progress for Title I, which is a program that is supposed to be about poor kids.

You need to remedy that problem, this go-around, by making sure that all states do what Texas has done so successfully and that is making sure that all groups of kids meet standards.

Secondly, you need to make it very clear that when you said progress, you meant real progress. Again, despite what we heard this morning, most states have defined progress or what passes for progress in those states is laughable. In some states, for example, the school is judged as making adequate progress so long as its kids' test scores don't fall backwards. In other states, you are judged as making adequate progress if your kids make such tiny amounts of progress that my own teenage daughter will probably be a grandmother by the time the kids in those schools ever meet state standards.

I hope you will make it clear this go-around that when you said progress, you meant real progress and that you mean that that will happen in this generation of students, in other words, within ten years.

Finally, it is very important that we make parents real partners this go-around. I am not going to elaborate on the school report card issue because I think Andy Plattner will do that, but it is critically important that we give parents the information they need to join you in holding schools accountable for educating their kids to high standards.

Together these changes would, I think, send a stronger signal from Congress to educators that you mean business; that in exchange for the flexible use of more than $7 billion you want to see poor children make progress.

Now, I realize that many people will urge you not to take these steps, to, in fact, leave them to the states or to local communities, because it is somehow too hard for adults to make this progress or because in the end maybe poor kids really can't learn.

In support of that claim, they will point to lots of research from back in the 1960s, from Coleman and others, that seems to suggest that poor kids can't learn. But those claims are contradicted every single day in the city streets of Houston, in the dusty streets of El Paso, in rural hamlets in eastern Kentucky where poor kids are knocking the top off of state exams, and they are also contradicted by mounds of new research that say unequivocally that poor kids absolutely can achieve to high levels and that they will when the adults in their schools teach them to high levels, high standards.

I hope you will act this time on behalf of the kids who are not being educated well, to send a message to the adults in their lives that you mean business about high achievement for all. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Ms. Haycock.

See Appendix H for the Written Statement of Ms. Kati Haycock


Chairman Castle. Mr. Plattner.




Mr. Plattner. Thank you for inviting me today. A-Plus Communications works around the country with states, with urban school districts, and other organizations. We help clients communicate more effectively, particularly about high standards, tough tests and new accountability systems.

A few months ago, we produced public opinion research on what key segments of the public want to know in order to hold schools accountable. I will give you the findings of that in just a moment.

Governor Thompson this morning mentioned the Charlottesville summit. Most of the time, when I look at schools, I do so as the parent of five children. When then President Bush met with then Governor Clinton and the other Governors in Charlottesville in 1989, my son Jacob was in second grade. He didn't actually read the education goals, but I think I told him about them at the time.

Today, Jake is nearly 17. He is about to finish his junior year of high school. He is driving and dating, often simultaneously. His boyish charm has been replaced by the aggressive monosyllabic surliness that comes from teenage hormones, and as near as I can tell these national education goals have made no difference in Jake's life. So like other members of the public, I can be a touch skeptical about the promises of education reform.

One of the things we are finding that policymakers at all levels are focused on is accountability, essentially holding educators and students responsible for particular results. My company worked with Education Week to understand what the American public wanted to know to hold schools accountable and how they feel about the reports they are getting now.

We turned this research into a short report called Reporting Results: What the Public Wants to Know, which you have before you. Here are two of our key findings. First, parents and taxpayers want these accountability reports to offer data on academic performance but also to provide a richer picture that includes the safety of the school and the qualifications of their children's teachers, and they want to know how students are doing compared to other districts, other schools, other states.

The second key finding, the reports that exist now are not getting through. We found that only about a third of parents and half of educators have actually seen or received an accountability report.

We asked the public to prioritize a list of 21 indicators that reflect what many states and districts are now reporting. The public's top two issues were safety and teacher qualifications. That came through loud and clear.

Indicators of academic performance, test scores, promotion rates, are strongly desired by the public. They are not at the top.

At the bottom of the list were things like the number of students per computer or the percentage of parents who attend parent-teacher conferences or the demographic characteristics of students.

Let me amplify just a couple of issues. Parents want comparisons. They would like to be able to compare their child in school to other children and other schools. They would also like to know how their child is doing against a fixed high standard. A few states, such as Delaware, are actually starting to do just that, offer both comparisons.

In an increasing number of states, the principal measure of accountability is the result of a single test, usually a multiple-choice standardized test. And this makes the public quite uncomfortable. Only about a third of parents and a quarter of educators thinks it makes sense to rely on test scores as the main measure of accountability.

There continues to be a considerable disconnect between those people who work in schools and those people who have a stake in them, parents and taxpayers. Let me give you just one example. We asked about proposals to make educators more accountable by tying improvements in student academic performance to financial incentives for teachers and principals. About two-thirds of parents and taxpayers think that is a good idea. In contrast, at least three of five, or 60 percent of educators, think it is a bad idea.

Those differences in attitude are significant for a couple of reasons. One, no matter what accountability system gets put in place in a district or a state or from Congress, it is still educators that are going to implement the system.

Second, the individuals with the most credibility, with parents and the public, are teachers.

I will close very quickly with a couple of policy issues that the research raised. One of them is the issue of assigning labels to schools. A number of states are now doing that, things like "low performing" or "exemplary." We would suggest caution both in the selection of the terms and the reference to consequences.

North Carolina last year, for example, had two-thirds of its schools, elementary and middle schools, getting exemplary ratings. That creates some public credibility problems. The public simply doesn't buy it.

The other end of the scale, Virginia, in January released results showing that 97 percent of its schools were labeled as failing, if you applied the standards. That was the headline, 97 percent of schools failing.

Second, while we issue a caution on the use of demographic information, that concern is based on the way that it is typically displayed in most state reports, which is merely a listing of the various categories of children attending a particular school. We did not test the reaction of the public to student performance data that is disaggregated.

Finally, the power of information. These reports are an excellent opportunity to engage a community in a discussion of what really matters about schools, but don't expect average citizens to necessarily take the information and rise up as a political force to insist that schools change. We did not find that level of interest.

Thanks again for inviting me to be here today.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Plattner, for your testimony.

See Appendix I for the Written Statement of Mr. Andy Plattner

See Appendix J for the report Reporting Results: What the Public Wants to Know


Chairman Castle. I actually have developed a question for each of you, and I am going to ask only one person to answer that question and go from there. Some of them are a little bit offbeat, things that you said that probably weren't a major part of what you said but I am somewhat interested in. I will try and get through this very quickly if you can help me with that part of it. There is no particular order to this.

Dr. Massey-Wilson, you said one of the things that you are trying to do is to make the connection between school and what they do in the future, and I happen to think that is very important. I think that most of these kids have no idea of what they are going to do in the future. I am not sure that they really understand the relevance of education to their earnings, or whatever it may be. I would be interested in any details on that that you could provide us with.


Dr. Massey-Wilson. Well, what we do is we have teachers talk about and integrate career education into the regular curriculum, what we call seizing the moment, and explaining to students, if they are learning math, how they will need math in certain jobs, how they use math, how the teacher uses math every day.

The principal also goes in and talks with students, talks with students during assemblies; and we have resource people coming in from the community to talk about how they use certain subjects that they learn in school.

For example, an attorney, how does he use English writing in his career; a banker, how do they use math. That is the type of thing that we are doing. Of course, changing attitudes takes a long time and it is difficult, but we have been able to successfully do that in West Point. I am not saying that we have changed every student's attitude, but I can remember about eight years ago, it used to not be cool to do well. Some students would deliberately not pass a test because they didn't want their friends to know that they did well. That has changed.

Our students want to be successful now, but we have made a concerted effort to connect to students.


Chairman Castle. Thank you. Ms. Boyd, and this is a small part of what you talked about, but you did mention parents before you discussed technology and some of the other things. You have some experience in all of this, but what are your personal observations of how to connect better with parents or those in custody of the children, in terms of their children's education?

Any observations you have on that I would appreciate it.


Ms. Boyd. Yes. First, I agree with you, I think it is absolutely essential. Parents have kids for the other half of the day, and I think one of the great challenges in schools, given how busy teachers are, is to relay what is going on at school with parents at home.

I can mention a couple of the ways in which our schools have found, the ACHIEVE schools have found, an information management system helping them to that end. Every week on a Friday, downloaded from their lesson plans, which teachers do every day as a matter of course, but they do it electronically here, you have the weekly learning objectives, so subject by subject parents get a written report on what it is that students are learning.

In most of the ACHIEVE schools, parents bring that back signed on Monday so we know that parents know what is going on within the school.

The second piece is not only what is been taught but what is actually been learned. Same thing, you can download a report for parents on a Friday; send it home with kids that has how kids progressed that week, what homework assignments they did hand in, which ones they didn't, how they did on tests, how they didn't do well on tests, what tests are coming up; parents can bring that back signed on Monday.

So to answer your question, I think probably the most important thing in terms of involving parents in their education is just giving them the information they need. That is information that isn't captured in a quarterly report card.

If I get a report card in math on how my third grader is doing, a report card in math on how my senior in high school is doing, each may get a B, but you are talking about qualitatively different things; and it is very important for parents and kids to get the information how they are doing within a time increment that makes sense, which is more every week or every month rather than quarters or years.


Chairman Castle. Thank you.

Ms. Haycock, I don't want to reopen your whole discussion or even get in an argument with you about this, but like you, I worry about Title I a great deal and whether it is really working or whether the changes made in 1994 are really effective or not. I don't particularly just want to change it for the sake of changing it just so we can say we are making progress. I want it to work.

We did have testimony at that table on the Ed-Flex legislation several months ago, now from both Maryland and Texas, that things that they were able to do under the flexibility of Title I, they were Ed-Flex sample states, has worked quite well in terms of helping some of their lower income, and particularly minority students, achieve at really quite substantially improved levels.

I am not one that believes that Title I has worked extraordinarily well. I mean, we have pumped a lot of money into Title I. I think the figures I show here are $118 billion over the years, and marginally maybe things are happening. I happen to think it is probably because of the particular administrators and principals and teachers and not anything we did here in Washington.

So I am always looking for what tweaking we can do to make that work better, and rather than just say, oh, gee, we think it is starting to work and some people are making it work, do you have specific suggestions of things that perhaps we should be doing to tighten it or to make it better as the next step of our reauthorization of ESEA?


Ms. Haycock. Yes. Again, we actually just finished a study that took a very close look at high-poverty schools that were achieving at high levels or that had made real progress in the last few years; and what was very clear in that study is that these are the early implementers of the changes that you made in 1994, the ones that are putting standards into place instead of the old low-level stuff. They are the ones that have real accountability systems. They are the ones that have focused on teacher development so their teachers actually know more.

So we would urge you to sort of act on that knowledge and to tighten up in the two places where those of us who work in the field a lot agree that there are problems. One, again, is in making sure that the messages in the accountability system are clear this time; that not any old progress, including not falling backwards, is sufficient, and especially that poor kids have to make progress; and second, to concentrate as much energy as you can on this issue of teacher quality, and that is not just the issue of teacher quality as a whole within a state, but the issue of the maldistribution of the teachers we have where our kids who are most dependent on their teachers for learning are, in fact, taught by our least well-educated teachers. So those are the two things that I would urge you to act specifically on.

Once again, the claims that are made about what you can't do under these Draconian current laws, nobody ever says what specifically they can't do. And the reason for that is you gave them a lot of flexibility in 1994, no question about it. So a lot of these are rhetorical claims that are simply not backed up by the reality in schools and districts today.


Chairman Castle. Well, I can say now that the Governors are gone, I can say that sometimes we are blamed for things that are happening at the state level, too.


Ms. Haycock. That is absolutely right.


Chairman Castle. Sometimes the federal government is the easiest target, if you will.

Dr. Sclafani, obviously I am running a little bit over my time, but I do want to finish this up.

Apparently, articles have been published about various things that you have dealt with concerning positive education outcomes that you funded with money from the federal Title VI innovative strategies program, about which I personally don't know a lot about at this point.

Would you describe some of these outcomes and talk a little about any flexibility in Title VI that has been helpful, if you are personally familiar with it?


Ms. Sclafani. Yes. Title VI has been very helpful to us, because it has given almost carte blanche to the school districts to use it for programs that we believe are going to be most effective. We have used it to do some district-wide initiatives that have improved teacher quality, quite frankly.

We have taken what the state has given us in terms of standards and recognized that when we look classroom to classroom, there is major misunderstanding as to what those standards mean. So one of the things that we have been working on with our Title VI dollars is how to clarify those so that every teacher understands these are the objectives to be taught; these are the prerequisite schools that children must have; these are some suggestions as to how to teach it and how to assess it so that we can truly hold our schools accountable.

The other project, major project, that we have done with our Title VI dollars is to ensure that our curriculum resources, in fact, are aligned to what it is we are asking teachers to teach. So those have been two major areas that we have used the dollars for.

In addition, we have given some of those dollars to our administrative districts so that they can, again, address those issues that are particular to their geographic community. So that if it is the needs of incoming immigrant students to have kind of an intensive program for the older children who are neither literate in English nor in their home language, that we can create the programming to do that.

It allows us to go above and beyond what Title I, Title II, Title VII allows us to do by saying that we can use these funds in conjunction with those to make a difference for children.


Chairman Castle. Thank you. That is interesting.

Mr. Plattner, this is within what you were talking about in terms of school report cards and data, but within that data you mentioned that school safety was identified as either the number one or number two issue. And I found that true, too. It is funny. We sit here and talk about education standards, ACHIEVE and everything. I go home and people say, boy, you know, somebody has got to do something to restore order in these schools.

Now, when we say school safety, with Columbine we often think in terms of that safety. But I think when people are talking to me, they are talking about something beyond just safety. They are talking about safety, discipline, discipline with kids who are really disruptive, and even keeping order in the classroom type of thing.

I would be interested in any breakdowns of information you have with respect to that. It is something, frankly, we don't talk about much and it is not really in a lot of the programs that we have, but it sure bothers a lot of parents, students, teachers, and even people on the outside observing school kids today who really get frustrated by this.


Mr. Plattner. We tend to classify it as sort of safety, discipline and order, and a lot of people's views on it depend on where they live.

We were in Baltimore doing focus groups; and we had a mix of urban and suburban parents there, for example, and we asked the question, what would indicate a safe school to you? And one of the mothers from inner-city Baltimore said, well, if it had metal detectors, I think that would indicate a safe school to me.

Right behind her was one of the suburban mothers who said if it had metal detectors that would be for sure to me unsafe.

The conversation depends on the view people have, the neighborhood in which they live, and the events that have happened in the schools in those neighborhoods. What we would conclude from our own research is that we don't know enough yet about what, for example, are the right indicators of safety to put in a report card. We are pretty sure it is going to need to vary by community.

We used, in a prototype report card, the number of suspensions, for example, or violent incidents per 100 or per thousand students. Quite frankly, we think that is a pretty worthless indicator, but we don't have the research to tell us what are the right ones to use yet.


Chairman Castle. Thank you.

We will turn now to Mr. Kildee for whatever time he wants to use, I guess, since I went over my time.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You have that privilege to use all the time you want. As the Chairman and as my friend you have my understanding and I enjoy working with you always.


Chairman Castle. Thank you.


Mr. Kildee. Dr. Sclafani, your results in Houston and certainly the results in Texas as a whole are indeed impressive. We have been calling attention to that many times during our hearings on Ed-Flex and other matters before the Committee.

They are impressive especially in the area of narrowing the achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their nondisadvantaged peers. What do you think are the essential ingredients in achieving this in Texas, around the country, and some specific things you do in Houston?


Dr. Sclafani. I think really the first issue is attitude. When we have talked to our schools that have gone from low performing to exemplary, with new leadership having gone into the building, what they will tell us is, we didn't change the kids, we didn't change the teachers, we changed our attitude.

The expectation that all children will learn and that adults at the school are accountable for making that happen is probably the biggest difference that the accountability systems at the state and local level have made.

I think the second piece is that the reason that Houston, in fact, has been more successful than some of the other districts in the state is the technical assistance that has been provided so that we understand that schools who are not achieving are not doing it out of malevolence but out of ignorance; that they don't know what to do to improve student achievement; and having some others, as I mentioned, both high-performing principals and teachers who can come in and do a peer review and point out the problems and suggest the strategies that will improve it, and the amount of training that we have provided as a district, particularly in reading and mathematics across the district, I think are the things that have made the gap even lower in our district than it is overall in the state.

I think that what the state is unable to do is to really provide that level of technical assistance. The state departments can't staff up to provide that. It has to be done at a more local level, and what we see is that and that is one of the reasons, of course, that we think that dollars at the local level are so critical because we can provide that on a regular basis, not just once a year someone coming in for a visit to see what is happening, but on a weekly and monthly basis to come back and check with the schools, see how they are doing according to the plan they established, and then again provide some problem-solving assistance to those that aren't making the gains that they expected to make under the plan.


Mr. Kildee. On that, a block grant to the state capitol, whether it be to the Governor with the legislature, or block granting what we have been using since 1964 on these various programs, do you see some danger in block granting these programs to the state capitol?


Dr. Sclafani. Let me say that the state has a great diversity of students and school districts. Obviously, we are the largest with 211,000 kids. They have school districts in Texas with 25 kids. Trying to create programming that is appropriate for each and every one of those 1,063 districts is very difficult to do; and if they are focusing on some, then they are taking attention away from other kinds of problems that districts face.

The largest school districts are seen as the ones with the greatest resources and in some respects we are. We have equalized our funding system in Texas so that a dollar or a penny in Houston is the same as a penny anywhere else in the state.

It does worry us that perhaps a block grant might want to focus those dollars on those school districts that are not doing as well, and that would impede the progress that we are able to make in Houston because we are using those federal dollars very effectively to intervene in those schools where children need the help and need the consistency of programming so that they can truly become high achieving and not just make some progress and then fall back down because we have taken the dollars away.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much.

Ms. Haycock, in the Ed-Flex debate, both here in committee and on the House floor, Congressman Miller and I offered an amendment requiring disaggregation of data on student assessment. How important do you feel that disaggregation of data is?


Ms. Haycock. It is the most important thing for us to do. The Texas example has taught us all a lot about the critical importance of saying, unequivocally, you can't just make progress with a few of your kids; you have to make progress with all groups, and as somebody who works with educators in all different states, I can't tell you the difference that a clear requirement that you succeed with each group makes in terms of attitudes that educators have about who they are responsible for.

When I visit California, I hear constant whining about minority kids and demography; and we are just deluged with all of these problem kids, and that means low achievement.

When I visit Texas educators, I hear very different responses. What they are saying is, sure, some of us are in more challenging settings, but we are responsible for getting all of our kids, each group of kids, to the 90-percent level, not ten percent below, not 20 percent below, but to the same level. That makes a huge difference in how they approach their jobs.


Mr. Kildee. You know, that is interesting. I taught school for ten years at a high school, one of three were three high schools in the city of Flint, Michigan, and everything was internalized. We knew what we were doing somewhat within our school building, maybe not even so much what was happening in the next classroom.

The only aspect we had to compare the schools was how many went to college from each school. That is the only real data we that had, and it was just our own observation. We have come quite a long way these days.

I quit teaching in 1964, which is just about when ESEA was first passed. That was when I got elected to the state legislature. But the disaggregation of data is critically important. I know Flint knows much more now about its students, how it is serving the poor, how it is serving minorities and how it is serving the disabled. I believe that the disaggregation of data is very important, so we know how all kids in school are doing.


Ms. Haycock. Yes. You are so right. And that, after all, is what Title I is supposed to be about; and that is what, unfortunately, gets lost in these nondisaggregated, general sorts of approaches to accountability. It is the poor kids and the minority kids who get lost.


Mr. Kildee. I was very disappointed. Super Ed-Flex is coming along now, and I really think that very often Governors, and I served in the state legislature, would like to have money put out on the stump and then they can come pick it up and spend it the way they want.

I think education is a local function. It is a state responsibility, but it is a very important federal concern. Very often the federal government got involved in education because certain groups were not being served as well as they should be served.

A focus on special populations didn't change much until Goals 2000 came along and we started putting some money into kind of the general uplifting of all education, right? But certain groups were not being served.


Ms. Haycock. That is right.


Mr. Kildee. That is why I really felt that the amdendment that Mr. Miller and I offered on disaggregation of data, was very important in making sure that those federal dollars are still serving at-risk populations and that they aren't being left out.


Ms. Haycock. Absolutely right.


Mr. Kildee. Mr. Plattner, you mentioned that in one state two-thirds were classified as exemplary schools. That reminds me of Garrison Keillor saying all of the children in Lake Wobegon were above average, right?

Would you have any comment on disaggregation of data? I know you are not too keen on some of the things we have done here or too convinced that they have made that much difference.


Mr. Plattner. Oh, no. I think I am expressing a level of personal skepticism that I see reflected in most of the parents and people that we talk to.

A lot of people hear a lot about education reform. Governors and others are certainly anxious to talk about it. When it comes to the level of your own children, we don't always see it. That is what I think I was trying to reflect.

I would agree with Kati about the power of disaggregated data. I think one of the things that I often try with clients to separate is the amount of data that is necessary to manage and make good decisions versus what necessarily has to be in a report card or a particular report.

I would argue that if you don't have the kind of data that is disaggregated and gives you the ability to see how various subgroups are doing, I don't know how you can manage certainly a state program or a district program or even within a school.

At the same time, what we saw was what is typically done, which is to list sort of the color or ethnicity of kids in schools, and the public fairly viscerally reacted against just that listing as saying you are simply labeling schools and having lower expectations because of the kind of kids who are in it. So I don't see how you can not go to disaggregated data. What we were reporting was simply what is on report cards.


Mr. Kildee. Anyone else want to comment on disaggregated data? To my mind, it is extremely important that we know how at-risk student populations are performing. You disaggregate data in Texas as well?


Dr. Sclafani. Yes, we do in Texas and we do in Houston. I can give you an example of a very high-performing high school that really was unconcerned about its growing Central American student population until it was labeled low performing because of their performance, and suddenly all of the families at that school became concerned about these children and developed programs. It was the dropout rate at that point that was making the difference.

They worked with the kids, found out that they were dropping out for financial reasons. They helped get them after-school jobs. They helped tutor them. They became a family, a community concerned about all of the children. That never would have happened if the school's performance had not suddenly been labeled something they felt was unacceptable to them.

So I think that it makes a difference not only in the adults' perception of what they are responsible for as employees of the school system. It makes a difference in the community's response to the needs of the school and really brought about and brings about in many cases a commitment to all of the children by the members of that community, not just for their own children.

That is a very dangerous thing that, I think, has happened. As long as my children are getting theirs, I am not worried about others, until it affects the whole school, at which point they are willing to become accountable for the performance of all children.


Ms. Boyd. I would like to make just a quick comment on that. In terms of data, I think there are two things we need to think about. One is time, what is the increments in which you look at the data? And second is the unit of analysis. It depends on where you are in the system as to what makes the most sense there.

By time, I mean, again, as a school principal having the MCAS of fourth, eighth, and tenth grade is terrific in terms of the state evaluating how well our students are progressing. For me, getting MCAS data every four years is not soon enough. The Stanford 9 that comes once a year, that is not soon enough.

I literally need to know in October that kids didn't learn two-digit multiplication so in November I can teach them the two-digit multiplication they need in December so we can teach them long division.

So finding ways and giving schools tools to look at the data in the time increments that make sense, which is the way in which kids learn every day, every week, not every year, is important.

And the second is the unit of analysis. I think you need to start at the classroom level in collecting the data. I don't think what you want to do is start up here. Teachers are the ones that are closest to that information and we need to be thinking about solutions and systems that give them the ability to easily input information that they are used to doing anyhow.

Every teacher keeps a grade book. Every teacher keeps attendance in that grade book. There is a lot of information they do on a daily basis that if you can streamline it, they only need to do it once rather than six times, which is the case in a number of school districts that we are working in particular. You end up streamlining the effort that they put in, and the data you actually have is that much more useful.

You can look at the individual, the class, roll it up to the school, roll it up to the district, roll it up to the state level. But I think that both in terms of the time and, second, in terms of the unit analysis, I think is important.


Mr. Kildee. I think you raise a good point. The teacher level, what the teacher knows and when the teacher knows it is very important. I taught Latin. I can recall I was trying to teach a sequence of tenses, which to my mind was very simple because when I went to college all of our courses were in Latin. I found out even my good students were not grasping the sequence of tenses when you go from indicative to the subjunctive mode.

Because of their test scores, I figured I was not doing that well, and I went back and changed my methodology. My students began to catch on to sequence of tenses.

So I believe your point is correct that the classroom teacher should know as soon as possible how his or her students are performing.


Ms. Boyd. Yes. And the second piece of that is you may have been one of four Latin teachers that taught first-year Latin so you know what your 25 kids can do. The other teachers know what their 75 kids can do. When they go on to second-year Latin and those classes are mixed up, the new teachers that are teaching second-year Latin need to know how those students are doing as well.

It is being able to track that information, again not only in a daily and weekly way in terms of your own particular classroom but in year two being able to look at causes that kids might be having a tough time in second-year Latin. So I agree.


Mr. Kildee. Do you have any comment?


Dr. Massey-Wilson. Well, I agree. And one of the things that we look at in our school system and one of the ways that we improve student achievement was really looking at the students who are in the lower quartile and raising student achievement, and we do look at it at the beginning of the year and require reports at the central level as far as how many students are working below level in reading and math, say, at the elementary school.

We require teachers to actually meet with parents and let parents know on what level the students are working, say, if they are working behind or they haven't mastered the skills so that parents can work with them at home. I think it is critically important to know that because you have to know it to deal with it, to raise student achievement.


Mr. Kildee. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you and both of our staffs for assembling a tremendous panel. Each and every one of you have been extremely helpful, and I really do appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Chairman Castle. Well, thank you, Mr. Kildee.

I just got a note from staff on this, because I think it is important too because I don't disagree with Mr. Kildee or any of you on the disaggregated data. I think it is important to note that it is required under current law in Title I.

In the Ed-Flex law, the Ed-Flex law states that states must be in compliance with Title I, which requires the accountability system and the disaggregated data by the year 2001. There was an effort to do it sooner that was not accomplished in this particular thing, but I think it is a question of timing.

I think ultimately it is something that all of us favor here. I think it makes a lot of sense myself.

I would like to thank all of you for your testimony here today. We appreciate your being here. It is probably a little later in the day than you expected to be here, but we have learned a lot with your help. So we thank you, and at this time we stand adjourned.

[Whereupon, at 1:40 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]