Serial No. 106-86


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce

Table of Contents


















Monday, January 24, 2000

House of Representatives

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

Committee on Education and the Workforce

Washington, D.C.

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at New Mexico Technical Vocational Institute (TVI), Smith Brasher Hall, 717 University Boulevard, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hon. Pete Hoekstra, Chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding.

Present: Representatives Hoekstra, Tancredo, Wilson, and Kind.

Staff Present: Christine Wolfe, Professional Staff Member; Dan Lara, Press Secretary and Cheryl Johnson, Minority Counsel/Education and Oversight.

Chairman Hoekstra. Good afternoon. A quorum being present, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will come to order. Without objection, I ask that the record be held open for 14 days to allow for Member statements, witnesses, written testimony and other material to be submitted for the record.




Welcome to all of you, and thank you for coming and observing a congressional hearing at work. Over the last four years, our Subcommittee On Oversight and Investigations has been embarked on a project that we call Education At A Crossroads. The purpose of Education At A Crossroads has been to take a look at a variety of issues, but primarily, what we wanted to do was to travel around the country. We wanted to hear from states and local education officials as to what was working in education in their states, what was not working, some of the challenges that they faced, but most importantly, we wanted to get an assessment from them as to the effectiveness of the federal role in education.

If you don't know, the federal government, on average, provides somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 to 9 percent of any state's education funding for K through 12. So what we wanted to do was to go and take a look at what was working in the states, what types of strategies they were putting in place to improve the academic achievement for all of their students, and then to get an answer to the question as to whether the federal government was helping or hindering in that process.

We did a survey early on in this process that identified hundreds of different programs sponsored at the federal level that are targeted at K through 12 education. We'd like to hear back from grass-roots America, education officials at the local level, and education officials at the state level, as to whether we are helping or whether we are hurting.

We'd like to answer some questions such as, "When you send a dollar to Washington for education, how much of that dollar actually gets back to New Mexico to help you educate the children in your communities?" or "When you participate in a program from Washington, how much of your resources may or may not be diverted from educating your children because of filling out bureaucratic red tape from Washington?"

"Is the stimulus for new and exciting ideas that improve education at the local level from Washington, or do you frequently find that at the state and local level there are things that you would like to do to improve education for your children, but as you take a look at the rules and the regulations that you get from Washington, you find that you may not be able to participate or actually implement those programs with federal support?" So those are the kinds of things that we have been working on.

Over the last 3 ½ to 4 years, I think we have visited 18 states. This is actually, I believe, our 20th hearing where we have gotten input from people at the State and local level. We've visited a diverse set of states and schools. We've been to the Bronx in New York, we've been to where they have the voucher program, so we've been to inner-city Cleveland, we've been to Milwaukee, inner-city Chicago, we've been to a small town or a smaller town in my district called Battle Creek, Michigan, we've been to Little Rock, Arkansas, we've been to Kansas and to Northern California.

And for those of you who are now becoming concerned that we are going on junkets and playing golf, let me just tell you that I left my house this morning ten hours ago, and courtesy of Northwest Airlines, I finally got here a half hour ago. That is the second airline that I tried today. And when we're done with this, we're on our way to Colorado.

But it has been very much a learning experience for us. It has been a bipartisan effort as we, as Members on both sides of the aisle try to get a rough perspective on how effective $35 billion of Washington education spending is on a national basis.

With that, I'd like to turn it over to my colleague from the other side of the aisle, Mr. Ron Kind from Wisconsin.








Mr. Kind. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As Mr. Hoekstra indicated, my name is Ron Kind. I represent the western part of the state of Wisconsin. This is my second term in Congress. I want to especially welcome the students who are in attendance in the audience today. This is part of what we do as Members of Congress. We have hearings, listen to witnesses testifying with regards to a whole host of issues, and get feedback on various programs that the federal government's involved with, but we also listen to some of the innovative ideas and changes that are taking place at the state and local level so that we can share that information with other parts of the country.

I especially appreciate the chance to come back here to Albuquerque. This isn't my first time visiting. I was here in the mid '80s. I was actually able to ride in a bull riding contest in Albuquerque when I came through here, and became very familiar with the Sandia mountain man, and that wonderful discovery that took place in the mountains not too far from where we're sitting today.

This is a wonderful opportunity for us to get outside of Washington, stretch our legs a little bit, and hear from people at the local level about a very serious issue that we've been dealing with in Congress; dropout rates throughout the country. I have to commend Senator Bingaman for his efforts to raise to the national level the recommendation to Secretary Riley, given the urgency of the challenge that we're facing in this area, that we needed to form a task force. Secretary Riley, in fact, did assemble a panel of experts to take a look in much greater detail at the dropout rate, especially in the Hispanic community.

At Senator Bingaman's request, the panel has been looking at this, and is recommending solutions. The group that was formed is actually called the Hispanic Dropout Project, and it found that widespread misunderstandings of the underlying causes of dropouts exist throughout the country.

I'm especially looking forward to the testimony we're going to hear from the witnesses. Members of a very fine panel will be testifying before us and answering some of our questions. But, more particularly, I'll be interested to hear from the witness panels how the federal government can better partner with you at the state and local level to make the changes that are necessary to deal with the challenges that we're facing.

I mean, if students aren't succeeding here in Albuquerque or in New Mexico, it's going to be a concern locally here and for the state of New Mexico. But it also has to be a top priority for the national government and for our country as a whole, because we just can't afford, going into the 21st century, allowing students to be left behind in what is going to be a very competitive job marketplace, with a new economy forming and the technological revolutions upon us right now.

And there are many different facets that go into improving the education system. I think it's going to include the private sector being intimately involved. And that in large part is why we're here today to hear testimony on the ideas that you've been working on at the local level, what programs from Congress are working and assisting you in your goals, what aren't working, what can be improved upon, what can be scrapped. That is really the intent of this hearing today.

And so I look forward to hearing the testimony, and in particular some of the initiatives that have been coming out of Congress and from the administration of recent years. Many programs are geared to improving the quality of K through 12 education, but also preschool initiatives and after-school programs. We have an adult education act that was passed, the American Reading program, and the Read Write Now Summer Education Program For Students, the immigrant and migrant education programs, and a class size reduction initiative that many states are now pursuing. But President Clinton, in particular, has been adamant in trying to encourage Congress to appropriate more resources to class sizes.

On a school bill that just passed last year, the Teacher Empowerment Act, a portion of the bill places a lot of emphasis on improving the quality of teachers entering the classrooms so we have well-qualified teachers who are certified and qualified in the subject matter that they're being asked to teach. If there's one sure indication of how well a student's going to perform in the classroom, it's the quality of the teacher, whether it's a large class or a small class, which we have to work with. And we know that there's a lot more work that needs to be done in the area of recruitment and retention of qualified teachers. One of the great challenges we're going to face throughout the country is the approximately 2 million teachers shortage in the next ten years; qualified people in the classroom.

A new piece of legislation that just passed is going to be identifying disadvantaged students at early grade levels and working with them and getting information to them so that, if they succeed in their secondary education, there will be post-secondary education opportunities waiting for them on graduation from high school.

So these are some of the programs that we have been working on, and any feedback and insight that you can give us on how they are being applied at a local level will be much appreciated. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you.

Just a couple of things as we get going. Where are the lights? All right; high tech stuff here. What the lights mean is that, we try to limit Members and witnesses to roughly five-minute statements. Their entire written record and written testimony is put into the formal record. The green light typically will mean, you've got plenty of time, the yellow light means you're running out, and the red light means, please stop, your time is up.

And how forcefully that is actually implemented depends on the Chairman. I'm known to have a weak gavel, which means that if you go beyond the red for a little while, that's okay, but with two, good-sized panels, we hope that we stay to that. That's the high-tech nature of our business that we do in Washington.

What I'd like to do now is to turn it over to your Congresswoman, Heather Wilson, who encouraged us to come and take a look at New Mexico and hear what you're doing, and to get a better perspective of what's going on. And so, Heather, thank you very much for inviting us. We're glad to be here and we're glad to hear the testimony here from New Mexico.

We're also looking forward to taking what we've learned here and perhaps implementing it into legislation. Heather's going to have an opening statement, and also introduce the first panel to all of us, since they're her constituents.

And then, the guy sitting in between here is Congressman Tom Tancredo from Colorado and Washington. We typically limit opening statements to one Member from each party, and then we go directly to the panel. But because of the special nature of the field hearing, we also give the courtesy of an opening statement and introducing the panel to the hometown Congressperson. So, Heather, welcome.






Ms. Wilson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for coming to hold this hearing in Albuquerque. I think this is the first time, at least in the last ten years, the Congressional Committee on Education and the Workforce has been to New Mexico. I think it's important that you have come to New Mexico because, in some ways, New Mexico is a snapshot of where America is going. We are the first minority-majority state. We have some emerging high tech businesses here, and great public research universities, and we get a sense here for where America is going.

I want to share with you why I think it's important to have this hearing and why we need to focus and bring more resources and more thought to bear on improving public education. In fact, I think that it is the most important and critical issue facing America today. I was reading U.S. News and World Report over the holidays, and it was looking at the 20th century in the year 1900. Fifteen percent of American adults had a high school education. In the year 2000, that number has jumped to 85 percent because of a commitment by American leaders early in the 20th century to have universal public high school.

My grandparents didn't have high school diplomas, but they didn't need them because, while 15 percent of Americans had a high school degree, a third of Americans were still working on the farm. It's not that way anymore, and it's changing even more rapidly for our children.

So what will America look like in 2020, and how do we need to change the way we do public education to make sure that the kids graduating in 2020 are prepared for the world that awaits them?

By 2020 we will have mapped the human gene and it's entirely likely that any medical therapy you have will be personally tailored for you. The computer that sits on your desk today will be eligible for the Smithsonian, and it will be ten generations out of date. The entire body of knowledge contained in the Library of Congress will be stored in a space of 1 cubic inch. Your television and your telephone and your computer will probably be one device, and when the phone rings, you may put on glasses with an earpiece and greet the caller somewhere in a virtual chat room.

All of these wonders, and many more that we cannot even imagine today, are being unleashed by entrepreneurs or common men with uncommon vision, and the enabling force that has brought us to this point was the belief that education should not just be for the elite, but that every child has the potential to do great things if given the tools and expected to achieve. In fact, 90 percent of the scientists who have ever lived in human history are alive today. They are the ones creating the inventions that will define our society in 2020.

We have made the transition in the 20th century from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy. Now we're making the transition to the information economy. It will change our society as surely as the urbanization of America changed our society. It will affect the way we get health care, the way we communicate, the way we're entertained, the way we do business, the way we shop and the way we learn.

We have to prepare our young people for that world or we will be left behind as a nation. That means we've got to start coloring outside of the lines, and I've got to suggest some of the things, not all of which are the responsibility of the federal government, that we need to do that.

We need a longer school year. We need to raise the graduation requirements for science and math. We need to end social promotion. We need to increase the mandatory school attendance age from 16 to 18 unless you're going into a training program. We need greater variety in the public school system and more choices for parents within that system. We need to make it easier for second career teachers to get into the classroom, and we need more high-quality preschools and easier access to them for poor children. We need accountability for results so that no child is left behind. And we need to recognize that parents are a child's first and most important teachers. We need to bring art and, particularly, music back into schools, particularly the elementary schools. We need a charter school loan guarantee fund to get more variety in the public school system.

We need to focus on improving early care in education, and particularly making sure that students who are dependent upon public assistance, young preschoolers dependent on public assistance, are in high-quality preschools.

All of this takes money; that is true. So did universal high school education. So did the GI Bill. So did Pell Grants. The alternative is to choose to lag behind as a nation.

It's my pleasure to introduce some of my friends and neighbors to the Committee, and we have a wonderful panel of people who have great stories to tell. Miquela Rivera is the Deputy Director of Early Care Prevention and Intervention Division in the Children, Youth & Families Department in Santa Fe, which is the Department that I came from before I came to Congress. It's very good to have you here and have your expertise.

Kyle Smith, who is here with Lois Weigand, is the Director of the New Mexico Child Care Association, as well as being the Director of Southwest Child Care. I have to say that I first met Kyle when we were doing some hearings on the job care regulations. I knew I liked her immediately when she stood up and said, "I'm really not used to talking to a crowd that is above the average age of five." She is a wonderful person and a great organizer, with important things to say, even to difficult adults who probably need some adult supervision of their own.

Chris Baca is the head of Youth Development, Inc, which runs the Headstart program in this county. About three years ago, Headstart in Bernalillo County was as close to Chapter 11 as you can get for a publicly funded program. There were only six sites in the city to serve thousands of people and YDI stepped in and took over Headstart and has not only improved the quality of Headstart, but also extended it to 32 centers in a short period of time. So if we're looking at how you improve Headstart, here's the man who knows.

And Dr. Peter Winograd, who is the Director, Center for Teacher Education at the University of New Mexico, is doing extemporaneous speaking here today. He was a last minute addition to our panel, and I met him when he was talking about the need to mentor new teachers. It was his idea that we were able to incorporate, by amendment, into the Teacher Empowerment Act to make sure those kinds of programs are included in what's authorized re: Federal professional development monies. He's going to talk about what we don't know about dropouts, and what we need to know. Thank you all for coming.




Chairman Hoekstra. We'll go in the order that Ms. Wilson introduced you.

Dr. Rivera.






Dr. Rivera. Good afternoon. Mr. Chairman, Honorable Members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the connection between the importance of early care in education and the prevention of students dropping out of school.

As a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked with children, as an administrator of child care, child development programming and family nutrition in New Mexico, and as a concerned mother, I cannot stress to you enough the importance of quality early care and education programming and its influence on a person's future.

Kindergarten is typically the first mandated step to a formal education, but preparation for school begins long before then. Research has shown that by the time you get to kindergarten, half of your brain development is complete. Preparation for school success begins at birth, and school children must be ready in seven critical areas:

Language: Our ability to communicate, both in receiving messages and in sending them.

Cognitive abilities: Thinking and reasoning, assimilating new information and learning to apply it.

The third area is in social skills: Getting along with others, picking up cues from other people and learning to live responsibly in a community.

The fourth is emotional development: The ability to attach to other people, to understand their feelings, as well as our own, and to demonstrate self-control.

The fifth is psychological development: Including self-concept, the ability to cope and to perceive the world and how it should be.

The sixth are physical abilities: Coordination, movement and mastery of the world around us.

And seven is moral development: Our sense of right and wrong and our understanding of the choices that we make.

Of course, not everyone develops at the same pace, but we do each have a critical window in which certain areas of development must occur, and if, in some areas, this does not occur, we have lost an opportunity forever. In some cases, it is retrievable, but it's almost impossible, in some areas, to totally catch up.

To me, and to those in this field, the connection between quality early care and education and school success is apparent. If you're ready for school, you're more apt to enjoy it and complete it. Nationally, millions of children are in child-care, and that preparation for school success is going to happen away from their parents. What we teach our children and how we teach it matters from the moment they are born, and since the great learning potential happens from the time between the ages of two and ten, quality child care matters.

The High/Scope Preschool Curriculum Comparison longitudinal study, which began in 1967 and showed that children who are born in poverty experience fewer emotional problems and later have fewer criminal arrests if they attended a preschool program focused on child-initiated activity. In other words, if a child learns to explore and is able to be supported by teachers, they can succeed in productive ways.

The Abecedarian Project from the Carolinas, which was published this year, showed that early childhood education makes a critical difference in the later success of children, and it was a carefully designed, controlled research project which focused on all the areas I listed. Those children had higher cognitive scores than those who did not participate.

So how can you help? Start early. Increase and support the amount of finance to early care and education and child-care, and support adequate training of teachers.

Headstart has raised the educational expectation of their teachers nationally in general education. Child-care providers need to be supported so they can do the same. Compensate early care and education providers for their efforts. Turnover in child-care is high mainly because of low pay. If we fix that, I think that tide will be stemmed.

Expect appropriate curriculum. Health and safety are important, but so is what we teach.

And very important is that I ask that you support families, not simply the most impoverished, but also the working family, the ones who are not necessarily on state or federal assistance, but those who struggle from day-to-day to make a difference and to contribute. We'll all benefit as a result. Thank you.

Thank you very much.





Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you very much. Ms. Weigand.






Ms. Weigand. Mr. Chairman, Congresswoman Wilson, other Members of the panel. I'm the Director of the Emmanuel Baptist Child Development Center in Farmington. I'm representing New Mexico Child Care Association for more than 100 members statewide.

Thank you for allowing me to share my concerns about early childhood education. I have worked with children and their families since 1962. Like all beginning teachers, my ideal was to make a difference in the life of students. With all the cultural and social changes, I came to realize that I needed to reach children before they became teenagers. I started working with children from birth through kindergarten, on a volunteer basis in 1972, as preschool coordinator in my church. In 1992, after more than 26 years in a public school classroom, I retired and began concentrating on early childhood education on a full-time basis.

I applaud this panel for looking into the link between early childhood education and increasing the high school graduation rate. Good beginnings last forever. I believe it's also important to look at the link between early childhood education and youthful violence. Some of the same factors that cause youth to drop out of school also are in the background of the violence we have seen.

The violent crime rate among juveniles has quadrupled over the last 25 years, and the last decade has seen a doubling of weapons offenses for children ages 10 through 17. Self-directed violence has also soared with the suicide rate for children 10 through 14 years tripling in the same period. Aggravated assault by teenagers has jumped by 64 percent in the last decade. Forty American school children have been killed in schools each year for the past five years.

School resources for dealing with delinquent children are overwhelmed beyond their capacities. The juvenile prison system is also overwhelmed. It's a very sad thought that the building of prisons is a major growth industry in the nation.

In March of 1997, the U.S. Department of Justice released the results of a new study that showed if present rates of incarceration continue, one out of 20 babies born in the United States today will spend part of their adult lives in state or federal prisons.

We are greatly concerned about government spending on the U.S. health system. You may not have noticed that the cost of the criminal justice system is three times the cost of the nation's health care budget.

Media coverage of violence acts as if violent behavior suddenly emerges from a developmental void. It's rare for a story to look for sources of this behavior, even in preadolescence or elementary school. In order to understand this type of violent behavior, we must look before preschool to the first two or three months of life. These months, including the nine-month prenatal development and the first two years after birth, harbor the seeds of violence for a growing percent of America's children.

As more brain research indicates, we must appreciate the crucial nature of physical, emotional and cognitive care during the first 33 months of life. As we begin to discover the previously unimaginable impact of the smallest insult to the brain at the crucial time in development, we're beginning to see that much of what we had formerly written off as unknowable in origin, and, therefore, unchangeable, can and must be prevented.

Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring, showed us the link between toxins and the destruction of our ecosystems. More than 30 years after Silent Spring, we have yet to understand that the same dynamic is at work in the human experience. Toxic experiences, family violence, abuse and chronic neglect, along with toxic substances, such as nicotine, alcohol and illegal drugs, are being physically and emotionally absorbed by our babies in record numbers.

As in the natural world, these are complex links between the quality of human development and the status of the human community. Infancy is a crucial developmental stage when an individual forms the core of his/her conscience, develops the ability to trust and relate to others, lays down the foundation for lifelong learning and thinking. But quality of the human environment is directly tied to each individual's ability to love, to empathize with others and to engage in complex thinking. By failing to understand the cumulative effects of the poisons assaulting our babies in the form of abuse, neglect, and toxic substances, we are participating in our own destruction.

Our ignorance of and indifference to the complex nature of infancy has significantly contributed to one sign of system distress that we can no longer ignore. Violence is epidemic in American society. It dominates our media, permeates our play, steals our loved ones, ruins our families and claims a growing percentage of our young.

Each year, the Children's Defense Fund publishes a yearbook entitled The State of America's Children. According to their 1996 and 1997 issues, a baby is born every minute to a teen mother; the mortality rate for American babies under the age of one is higher than that of any other industrialized nation; 25 percent of our preschool children live below the poverty rate; one in four children, in five states sampled, enter foster care before his or her first birthday; one in three victims of physical abuse is a baby less than 12 months old. Every day, a baby dies of abuse or neglect at the hands of his or her caregivers; three out of every four children murdered in the 26 top industrialized nations combined were American; only 8.4 percent of infant and toddler care in U.S. child care centers is considered developmentally appropriate, 51.1 percent is judged mediocre quality care, 40.4 percent poor quality care.

These statistics are scary, but they are factors that can be helped with money and education that is put into place in time to make a difference. There are many high quality child-care centers in New Mexico that are already making a difference in the lives of many children.


Dropping out of school is also linked to learning disabilities. The vast majority of children classified in special education have specific learning disabilities such as reading or an information processing problem. In 1976 to 1994, the number of children with specific learning disabilities requiring special services went from just under 800,000 to nearly 2.4 million, an increase of 45 percent. Five percent of all children enrolled in school require these services.

It's also interesting to note that Ritalin is now being prescribed for 3 to 5 percent of all children in the United States to control attention disorders. Because most of these children are males, this means that 10 to 12 percent of all boys in the United States between the ages of 6 and 14 are on this medication.

Our challenge is to move this information into the cultural mainstream and into the legislative bodies to create a critical mass of people who know and who care and who will enable this information to go from understanding to practice.

My mother used to say, "An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure." The information we now have on the brain and its development gives us a new opportunity. If healthy emotional and cognitive development is substantially rooted in our experiences during first 12 months of life, then the adults who guide this development must have society's attention. It is this group, the nurturers of our children, who are the key to preventing violence and school dropouts.

As they shape the future, they need the tools, the skills, the information, and the social values to adequately do the job. These early childhood educators must be important to those who are providing the funding, regardless of whether the funding is state or federal. When those caring for children are themselves healthy, have adequate financial and emotional support, and are equipped with information and skills on what to expect of children, how to discipline constructively, how to manage anger and stress, the children in their care benefit. When such needs are poorly met, it is the children who absorb the consequences.

We must stop thinking of this important group of people, the early childhood educators, as baby-sitters and give them the status, the training, and the income they need and deserve to make a difference in our most important resource, our children.

Headstart programs have made a difference now for low income children for several years, and their move to focus not only on the three- to five-year-olds, but the birth through age two with the Early Headstart program are important, but these are not enough. Federal block grants given to states need to be regulated so states disburse these funds with equity for all children.

Beginning in July 1999, New Mexico child care providers received their first significant rate increase in nine years, but the increase was still not up to the 1997 market rate survey. There should not be a difference in the subsidy rates paid in rural and metro. It does not cost less to care for a child in Farmington than it does in Albuquerque. Child- care workers' average wage is $5.15 to $6 per hour, with no benefits. Some child-care centers will not take state funded children because the state does not pay enough to care for them. The average rate paid by the state is $13.25 a day, with the average cost to take care of a child at $20 a day.

When I testified to a state legislative committee in October, I followed one child through the $3.5 million increase in funds. Her situation is changed at this time because of domestic violence. Lauren's mother and her four sisters have had to move into a shelter. She had been functioning as a single mom, but decided to give the children's father another chance, but it did not work. We received $8 more for the month of July for Lauren's care. With an average of 21 days of attendance in a month, this gives us an increase of $.38 cents a day for the care of this infant. Were we to break this down further with Lauren, who arrives just after 7:00 a.m. and is picked up at 6:00 p.m., this gives us an increase of $.03 cents per hour.

Poorly subsidized child care not only impacts families, but also employees of the centers who cannot remain open. San Juan County has had five child-care centers close their doors between May 1998 and April 1999. Child-care workers are unemployed, parents lose child-care, children are uprooted from familiar people and their environment, and all the brain research shows this is not good. Mothers are not going to be able to go off welfare if there's no one to care for their children. Mothers are generally not able to enter the ranks of child-care workers because of lack of skills and education.

There is another kind of worry with child-care; unlicensed, unregulated homes. How many children are being cared for in unregulated homes? There's no way of knowing. Untrained providers caring for children in this critical time period for the first 33 months who do not give them their necessary stimulation for their brains to develop, just perpetuate the problems this hearing is addressing.

We cannot improve the dropout rate among teenagers without addressing the origin of the factors that cause these children to fail. It is imperative to address early childhood education before we lose a generation.

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to speak.







Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you. Sometimes we find that we have to calibrate machines, and that five minutes in Washington is a little different than five minutes in New Mexico. But the testimony is so compelling that I wanted to give you the opportunity to finish.

Mr. Kind. It's not very different, Mr. Chairman, in my experience.

Chairman Hoekstra. But if everyone's five minutes is that long, we're going to be here a long time. However, your entire testimony will be submitted for the record.

Dr. Venegas.






Dr. Venegas. Thank you for the opportunity to share some of our information with you here. I think some of us are a little bit older than others, about 53 years. I've been involved in education as a student, a public schoolteacher and a university professor, and the last 15 years as a parent and student advocate. I almost feel like I'm also pessimistically optimistic, if I give it up, or don't give it up. So within that framework, I think I provide some information.

There's a favorite song that I like; you know I still like songs. Phil Collins has a song, "Another Day In Paradise," and it kind of reminds me of when I talk about dropouts in education, or about the homeless lady calling out and feeling tired and cold. I think her pleading is saying, maybe it's over, maybe, Lord, just give me another day in paradise, maybe just kind of move me. And I'm thinking at my age, maybe we should be moved sometimes, or some of us that make decisions should be moved, and given another day in paradise.

So we ask a person, what is the data in terms of school completion? And has it changed in the last 40 or 50 years? And have we done anything about it? We really haven't. We talk a good game, but we haven't. So what is the current count? It's kind of nice to hear about silicon and the digital revolution, the booming market, and I'm thinking, wouldn't it be nice, wouldn't it be nice for some of us. So I always like to ask myself the question and those are the ones that we're talking about right now.

If we look at the elementary schools, we look at the Peabody Assessment that's typically used in a lot of the schools for language development. I've got to caution you, it's language development, and not intelligence. We looked at 69 where it says, 6 were bilingual, 28 were monolingual Spanish speakers, and 35 were monolingual English speakers.

The results of that language development test for these students who were about five years old, were 2 of the students scored at the two-year level, 20 at the three-year level, 21 at the four-year level, 19 at the five, 5 at the six, and 2 at the seven-year level.

Then we said, well, let's wait three more years and let's see where they are. So we looked at a sample of achievement data for a school district, and we looked at minority enrollment, to see where the students were. Most of the scores typically in this school district, in New Mexico in a large urban school district, were the same. In terms of percentile, with 150 being obviously the middle, the scores that we found were scoring at the 13th percentile, 20th percentile, 22, 24, 26, 27, 27, and 28.

So where are they going? We track them and they're not the same students, but believe me, most of them look like the same and not typically like the panel there. In Albuquerque, we looked at 1987 and 1998. For the Anglo population, the dropout rate was 16.3 percent in 1987, and 23.9 percent in 1998. For African Americans in 1987, it was 22.9 percent, and in 1998 it was 40 percent dropout. For Hispanics, it was 23.8 percent, and 43.1, and for Native Americans it was 29.3 percent and 41.8 percent.


I wish we could have had a Native American present with us to share some information, but I don't think we have. That would have been a good opportunity for someone to share information, like analysis and correlation. I'm thinking, sometimes we're not that bright. But as I was looking at the data I'm saying, the less affluent, the less politically empowered and the blacker and browner you are in this country, the less possibility that you will graduate and that you will achieve high. That's pretty standard, and that's been there year in and year out.

You were asking about programs. I think we always have this question. I think people are always thinking about that magic program, you're going to give me that magic recipe, that formula. And there are some good programs, but I think the first thing that I would recommend that's probably difficult for us in this country to believe is the acceptance and belief that all children can learn. Even poor ones can learn. Believe it. It's kind of revolutionary to think that they can, but they can.

But they haven't if we look at the record; they haven't here in New Mexico, and they haven't anywhere else. So we looked at a framework, and it wasn’t necessarily a framework of a program, but rather of attributes or characteristics of either programs or educational frameworks. We raised some questions about some of the things that are child based and speak to the needs of students. Are the programs child based and speak to the needs of the students rather than to the teacher's union?

We're not very happy with the teacher's union. We love teachers, but we're not very happy with the teacher's union. Is the teacher certified to deal with the 3 and 5 year old? Are they certified? Look at Headstart, look at Evenstart, and look at early childhood education. You know, it's not the same. Are teachers prepared? For the most part, we find that they're not. They're nice people, but not certified. In accountability, the most important thing that I would consider, is that which gets measured gets done.

I would say, do away or restructure completely Title I all over this country; Title I "pull-out" programs. Students start behind, and in five years they're still behind, and in high school they drop out. So why are we spending so much money, if the return on that investment is not there? You know, can we wake up? Can we put the light on for those of us who are providing those resources?

Finally, I think in terms of program framework, you might look at the effective school model such as some instructional leadership, some high expectations for every student, a safe and orderly environment, a clear and focused mission, time on task, timely and frequent monitoring of student progress. Do it all the time. Let's do it all the time. You do it all the time with your families; home school.

I think the last statement I would like to make is that I'm almost reminded of Ron Edmonds, Harvard professor, University of Michigan, African American, who provided a lot of research. He’s no longer with us, he's passed away, but he said he didn't think, and I think I agree, that the issue of who was learning and who was not achieving and dropping out was not about pedagogy, was not about reading programs or specific Headstart programs. In this country, we have always educated those that we want to educate. We have always done that. Now, do we want to educate the minorities: Hispanics, Native Americans and poor people that we haven't been able? I'm asking you, do you have the will to do it? I would think that you do. Thank you very much.





Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you very much.

Dr. Florez.






Dr. Florez. Mr. Chairman, and Members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity.

Teacher quality and its impact on students, I think, is something that is really critical for us nationally and within the state. The quality of the teacher determines the success of students, as indicated by the research data of today. With what we know about learning and teaching, it is critical that we pay attention to teachers as professionals with time and resources.

Some of the things that Dr. Venegas mentioned about students and their learning, ties to teachers, the diverse pool of teachers, and what teachers need to know to teach children that come from different languages, different cultures and different backgrounds. Recruiting, preparing and retaining pre-K through 12 quality teachers is critical for improving our schools today. The recruitment, the preparation, the induction, which is the mentoring, and the advanced professional development and evaluation, and accountability of what we do, and intervention so that children can be helped.

In order for students needs to be met, there has to be an ongoing professional development of educators. That means teachers, administrators, counselors and other school personnel that have direct contact with children. The high quality so that it's standards based and student based to meet the needs of each children. There's no way that anyone can stay on the cutting edge without continuing their own professional growth, such as in the area of technology, as Representative Wilson mentioned, the area of literacy, why we have the school dropouts that we do.

And a better question, what is it that makes our students stay in school? If we know why they stay in school, it may help us to find out, why don't they stay in school? What's missing? And school violence.

Also, a day school between 8:00 to 3:00 or 9:00 to 4:00 is not enough. Having strong and well-planned summer programs that enhance knowledge and skills for students' grades from a very young age to high school age, and after-school programs that focus on student development and learning is important for student success. I know that the cost may be high up front, but the long-term effects are positive, especially when it relates to the retention of students.

The child-care research that is available to us now in relationship to brain research is so critical and is so important. If we pay attention to what it's basically saying, if we pay attention to really early learning, early development, and early developmental practices in how children advance, we can make a big difference in how our public education changes.

To recruit and retain quality teachers, we have to provide particular services. Teacher compensation must be restructured to offer career pathways taking into consideration credentialing, responsibilities, merit pay, and incentives for quality teachers to stay in a classroom. The recruitment of competent individuals to enter the teaching profession also impacts student achievement. For us here in New Mexico, at the University of New Mexico and throughout the state, this means recruiting educational assistants. These are teachers that are already in the classroom that need to finish their degrees. Individuals with degrees in other fields, individuals interested in second careers, retirees, and young people searching for a profession. At the national level, this requires support for institutions of higher education that prepare teachers and administrators and other school personnel for schools.

Induction; for the beginning teachers, she gets out or he gets out into the classroom. What is it that they need? It's that mentoring. We have many teachers that do not stay in the classroom. They leave. We prepare them, they're excellent, they can go just about anywhere, they can choose other careers, and they do, and they leave and do not go into the teaching profession. Locally, it's my understanding that we lose at least 40 percent of our teachers within the first two years of being in the classroom. So we need to figure out how to mentor first-year teachers so that they gain confidence and skills.

Why students drop out of school is complex, and it's not linked only to one factor. However, we do know from the research that certain conditions in the classroom can make a difference for students, and it definitely makes a difference for teachers. Working conditions for teachers are critical, and reflect the value of them as professionals, what they have studied to do and how well prepared they are in dealing and preparing children.

One of the common themes in the research about dropouts is that it's the personal interest of the teacher per child. How well can the teacher relate to that child, their personality, the interests of that child, and the very life of the child, while looking at the child as a whole, and where that child comes from? Words like respect, attention, awareness, encouragement and pride are the common indicators.

In closing, I would like to stress the importance of supporting education by instituting sound practices at the state and especially at the national level and policies that make a difference for children. The educational research that is needed so that we know how to do better is so critical, and your support for institutions of higher education for the preparation of individuals for schools is a very important matter. Thank you.







Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you. Mr. Baca.





Mr. Baca. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the panel. My name is Chris Baca. I've been the President and CEO of YDI for the last 27 years, and we operate the Headstart programs here in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, but also in rural New Mexico, Rio Arriba and Taos Counties.

I wanted to deviate a little bit from my prepared text and just make some comparisons. It's interesting having started working with Headstart children three years ago and more recently with Early Headstart, which are kids that are six months old, and most of my career having been spent in working with adolescents. As Heather knows, when she was Secretary of Children, Youth & Families, we ended up dealing with the kids that were most in need, most at risk.

And to really parallel, what works with Headstart children, we have found, works with the older kids that are in serious trouble in terms of catching them up in their education. As an example, in Headstart, we limit our classroom size to 15 to 17. We actually are attempting to have a student pupil ratio of 3 to 20 which is really significant in that these kids who are mostly or all from poverty backgrounds, all from disadvantaged neighborhoods, all struggling to learn, because the same kind of program works for the kids we're working with in high school, as the ones that have flunked out.

In our dropout prevention programs, we get what you call the elite classified freshmen. Simply stated, they flunk their freshman year. And as we know learning being what it is, being taught in the school is sequential. If you're five credits behind when you're 15, it means you'll be 19 when you graduate if you can make up those credits during that period of time. If you get any further behind, using that same model, you'll probably be 22 years old when you get those 24 credits.

As Dr. Venegas mentioned, what hasn't improved in these kids' lives is their economics. You can predict by their family income what their education level is going to be. Now, there are exceptions to the rule in every case. I, myself, come from a family of 11. Nobody in my family had ever graduated from high school. My father's grade level was the 3rd grade, my mother's was the 5th grade, and I went to, supposedly, one of the worst schools in the district, which was Rio Grande High School.

There are exceptions to the rule, but in my 30 years of experience, unless you change the economic circumstances underlying these families, the attempts to address their educational achievement is going to be that much more difficult. Why? Very simply, because their need to survive outstrips their need to be educated, though the education is what you need to be able to survive. It's kind of this vicious circle.

And what do we have to do? We know that Headstart works. We know that the Headstart indoctrination, the learning that is set in motion with these younger kids, helps the kids out until they're about in the 5th grade, and then the learning levels begin to slip back. And the reason why is because it’s very hard for a 5th grader to change the economic situation of a family. The economic life circumstance again begins to catch up to that family.

In this booming economy with the groundswell that has raised many, many incomes, there's a whole ton of families that that have not benefited. The information superhighway that we know is much like the highways that bypassed rural America and left communities dying on the vine because they did not have access to that highway. Well, that superhighway is also the information superhighway and it is bypassing many of our families and many of our children. They do not have access to that. They may have access to it in the school environment, from 7:00 to 3:00, but when they go back into their community that has not changed in 34 years, they do not have access, they can’t participate, and the family cannot participate in this economy.

What we have proposed in using the Headstart model is working with higher-risk kids is smaller classrooms, more individualized attention, nontraditional hours, and more focus on what's going on in the home. The reasons why schools can't help these kids is because they're teaching for the middle; for those kids that are prepared and ready to learn in school. By and large, the schools don't have the time because they're further behind, nor do they have the resources.

Community-based agencies like YDI, who are in the neighborhoods seven days a week, 24 hours a day, have a better chance because they're working with the total family and they're not just working with the educational environment. They're talking about health, they're talking about the economic situation, they're talking about work, they're talking about better education, and better employment opportunities.

If we were to apply what we've learned through Headstart, we would look at a continual process of helping the most at-risk families. I think, that as you begin to impact the most at-risk families and the laws of geometric progression begin to take over, and they begin to emulate and model the successful members of their family, the economic tie will also upraise them, as well. That ends up happening when you target early. It sounds great, but it really does have meaningful impact.

The truth of the matter is that it just doesn't raise the whole family, and after a while, that inoculation or that vaccination effect that Headstart and Early Headstart may have had begins to wear off because the family did not participate in that. We are implementing, in our particular Headstart and Early Headstart Programs, educational programs and training programs for the parent, so the child and the parent can go to school at the same time. That's the only way this thing is going to work, in my opinion. Otherwise, it's throwing good money after bad. We're trying to do the right thing, but we're not doing it in the right fashion.

And it doesn't matter, you know, what color that kid is, brown, black or white, orange or green. If they're making $15,000 a year and they have six children in that family, their educational level of success is not going to be great because the struggle to survive is great to make ends meet, and you're not getting the very basics to that family.

We have seen, time and again, why kids are not going to school. We show up at the door and knock and we ask Mrs. Whomever, "Why isn't little Johnny going to school?" Well, if you were to look at what kind of situation they're living in, and what they're trying to get by on, education at that point in time is not the great need that they have. A warm meal and a better home is what are necessary. And my approach has always been in terms of looking at education, not to look at one strand, but the totality of the family, the holistic view of the family, spiritual, mental, economic and otherwise. That's how I believe we can make more impact and raise the standard of living for everyone, and we will begin to see impact on dropout rates. Thank you.







Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you. The applause is highly irregular. This is part of regular order in Washington, and we discourage it but I'm not quite sure why. Who knows? It may be the tradition. I guess because of the flip side, we wouldn't want to get into it, if you didn't like what a witness would have to say, then the audience would get into booing, and hissing, and those types of things. But we'll just kind of go with the flow today.

Thank you very much, Mr. Baca. Mr. Winograd.






Mr. Winograd. Mr. Chair and Members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to present in front of you. And, actually, there's a brief handout, Facing The Challenges Facing Our Children; I'm going to refer to a couple of quick graphs here.

My task today is to talk a little bit, also, on the issue of dropouts. What I'd like to do in the time before the red light goes on is talk about what we do know about dropouts, talk about what we don't know about dropouts, and what we need to do.

What we do know about dropouts is that we lose way too many students. Members of the audience can't see this, but in New Mexico, over the last ten years, 1987 to 1997, we lost about 73,000 students. That's about the size of Santa Fe, and that is way too many students to lose. We know that minority students and poor students drop out at a higher rate. Dr. Venegas said it the best; this is a political issue as much as an instructional issue.

If you take a look at the bottom of page 3, out of the 74,000 students in New Mexico who dropped out, 32 percent were white, 52 percent were Hispanic, 12 percent were Native American and almost 23 percent were black. It's just absolutely disproportional who we lose.

We also know, as the other members of the panel have talked about, that students begin to drop out early during middle school, but all of the points raised about early childhood are right on. This is just not something that happens in the last year and a child makes the decision to drop out.

At the bottom of page 2, you can see the percentages of New Mexico's 4th grade students at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Reading Assessments. That's 4th grade. And for the members of the audience that don't have this, it shows that among white children in New Mexico about 35 percent are reading at grade level. That means about 65 percent are not. That's not a good picture. Among black students, 10 to 12 percent are reading at grade level. Among Hispanics, 12 to 13 percent are reading at grade level. And among Native Americans, less than 10 percent are reading at grade level.

I want to make a point. We know that everyone has a responsibility in terms of dropouts. The good research that's been done talks about what students themselves need to do, what parents and families need to do, what schools need to do, what communities need to do, what business needs to do, and what the national, state and local policies need to do.

Part of what I'll introduce as testimony are a couple of reports. This one is the No More Excuses, The Final Report of the Hispanic Dropout Project, which is an extraordinarily powerful report, full of good comments. I'll also introduce the report from New Mexico First. For those of you outside the state, a couple of months ago,

folks from all over the state came together and focused on education in New Mexico, and took a look at a lot of recommendations. So those are in there.

We know that those are successful programs, and as I just pointed out, we know what good research has to say. I want to point out a couple of things on page 4. These tie into what Dean Florez pointed out. The chart on the top of page 4 shows the classes in high poverty schools taught by unqualified teachers. It's not just that we have a shortage of high quality teachers, it's that students in high poverty schools tend to get the least prepared teachers.

The chart on the bottom shows teachers of poor school districts who lack reading resources. So the kids who need it the most get the teachers who are the least prepared and have the least resources. Now, I want to be really careful here. This does not mean we don't have dynamite teachers in high need schools, but in general, those kids get the new folks or the folks with the least amount of preparation.

What don't we know about dropouts? We don't know how to define the term consistently. There are arguments about the percentage of dropouts per year, and the general population just gets exasperated with us. What we do know is we lose too many. We don't know how to measure the rate consistently. We don't track kids, so we don't know which ones come back. We don't know when they drop out. If you'll look at the data, it simply says on lots of forms, the kid didn't show up, but we don't really know what happened to that student. We don't know how to take the successful programs that are out there and how to take them to scale.

And we don't know how to build the political will and leadership to solve the problem. This is a bipartisan issue, and one of the best things that have come out of the federal government recently is from the National Educational Goals Panel, and it's lessons from the state, and I'll introduce that into testimony. There's good data from a lot of states that sustain bipartisan political leadership over time and it is what makes a difference. It doesn't matter that it's Republican; it doesn't matter that it's Democrat. What matters is the statesmanship, and that's what we need.

Now, what do we need to do? We need a clear and sustained focus on improving public education, and all of the things my colleagues up here have said are absolutely on target. We need a clear and sustained focus on the issue of dropouts. And more than anything, we need to understand that the kids we are losing are valuable. Because so many of them are poor and because so many are minority, it hasn't been that big an issue for people. We need to make it that big an issue. We need national help in terms of definitions about dropouts, data collection, coordination problem solving and sharing successful models. Some of the national centers that are out there in other areas are extraordinarily helpful to us as we deal with other issues, and that's the kind of thing that we could use in the area of dropouts.

And lastly, again, we need help in developing the political will to address this issue. Your willingness to come all the way to New Mexico is excellent, and we thank you for coming, but when you go back to Washington, we need your help, bipartisan help, in really focusing on this. Thank you.






Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you. We'll begin the questioning. We'll begin with Mr. Tancredo.

Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I think it was Dr. Venegas that said he had a pessimistic optimism, or optimistic pessimism about what we were here for. I certainly share that ambivalent sort of feeling about things because I can remember when I was with the U.S. Department of Education in 1983, when we produced a document called A Nation At Risk, and in that document

we identified many of the problems that you have articulated today, not nearly as definitively as you have laid it out. But nonetheless, it was the first time I think I'd ever seen the federal government so willingly jump into the fray, and to actually identify some of the major problems that faced us.

But the pessimistic side of it is that I don't know, from what I've heard, that we've accomplished much in those 17 years. With all the focus on change, with all the resources that have been applied, certainly a significant amount, it seems that we still have not been able to actually come to grips with the reality of the situation.

In that document I remember it led to national goals, and one of the national goals of course, was the reduction of the dropout rate to 10 percent, if you define dropout as someone between 19 and 20 years old without a high school diploma or a GED. So apply some sort of common definition to it, and we wanted to get down to 10 percent by the year 2000.

Well of course we failed, but not miserably. We failed, but it's down to about 22 to 23 percent nationwide using that same definition. But, of course, that's not the truth for everybody. What's also interesting is that in 1950, the dropout rate, using that same definition, was about 50 percent. In 1940, it was about 60 percent. We have actually achieved a great deal, if you want to think about it that way, in terms of keeping kids in school.

But for certain groups of students, we have not achieved anything at all. In fact, we see it going backwards, and I'm not sure yet that I can understand why; it's very profound. Believe me, I think the information that you provided here today has been extraordinarily helpful and insightful, but I still want to know why in those certain categories. Mr. Baca you attempted I think more than anyone, to put your finger on the fact that these kids at 5th grade, regardless of what you've done before that, go back into a home that is wondering more about how to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads than they are in education.

But isn't that the way it's been for people in poverty? Wasn't that one of the reasons most people sought an education, to in fact, escape that phenomenon in New Mexico? That was the door. That was the way to get out of it. What has changed, do you think? Why is that not the case? Why is it that poverty has not, in fact, influenced the people living in it to look at education as their way out?

Anyone. We'll start with Mr. Baca.

Mr. Baca. I really think the cycles of poverty are pretty powerful. You get caught up in this web. It's like a bad habit. That's how I view it. You know, I don't know if any of you have ever smoked or had any other bad habits. You know it's bad for you; you just can't stop doing it. It's the same thing.

I know it sounds crazy, but some folks just can't seem to find their way out of this cycle they're in. The more they work, the less they have. And especially in today's society, when even for a good computer system, as an example, it's $1,000. For some of us, it's cheap. For others $1,000 is a heck of a whole lot of money. And I think that as America's gotten richer, the poorer have gotten better off as well, but they're still behind.



Mr. Tancredo. We face that kind of a dilemma of poverty versus wealthier people, but I must tell you, if that's the determination, as long as we have poverty we're going to have dropout rates of this nature, then let's all close this thing up and go home. You will always have poverty.

Mr. Baca. I think that's correct. I don't know that we should give up on anybody, though. I don't think that's the American way. I don't think we've turned our back on the problems, especially when we're talking about younger generations, especially when we're talking about a workforce that needs, more so than ever, its young people and it's citizenry to be at high levels of education. We all know that we've turned a corner here that's never been turned before, and I think as America ages, the numbers of our young people at least through this point in time, have not kept up with that. We have a smaller percentage. But yet, we need all those bodies to help us to continue the American experience. I don't think we give up on anybody.

Mr. Tancredo. No, I certainly agree with that. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Kind. I thank all the witness for your testimony today. It was very enlightening.

Let me talk with Dr. Florez and Mr. Winograd. One of the things we've been focusing a lot of attention on in Congress is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Midway through so far in this session is the huge challenge of getting quality teachers in the classroom. And over the next ten years, you're telling us that because of the impending retirement boom that's going to be taking place, we're looking at anywhere from a 2 to 2.2 million teacher shortage with those retirements.

What do you think are going to be the keys, as we move forward in this area as far as attracting good people to enter the teaching profession, so that we do get the qualified teachers in the classroom that will be drastically needed in the years to come?

Dr. Florez, do you want to take the first shot?

Dr. Florez. Sure. Well, one of the things that we're looking at, and I believe it's also being done nationally, are alternative pathways. You know, we have a very traditional education program. But what we're looking at now is different ways of recruiting students like second career people. You know, someone is done with a field in accounting or and wants to move into teaching, and there is an alternative pathway, some other way of learning how to deliver content to students. So, we’re looking at different career pathways.

Also, the educational assistants, you know, in the schools, retirees. One of the things that have been proposed in the state of New Mexico is looking at the retirement system and how it's set up, because many of our teachers retire, really, at a very young age. Some of them aren't ready to retire. Let's revisit how our system is set up so that maybe some teachers can retire, but still be able to get supplemental pay to continue their career in teaching.

So, I think, looking at different ways of doing business and going back to what Heather said a while ago, looking at how to color outside of those lines because there is not only way of preparing teachers. There are different paths it can take. And we're looking at that in the college. We have alternative pathways program.

But we're always real leery of that, because we're talking about quality teachers, and then all of a sudden we're talking about alternative pathways. We have to make sure that whatever alternative pathway that we put into place, that it also has the quality, and that we have the teachers being prepared to deal with all children, including the children that we're talking about here today. Because if you come from one environment, and you have no clue what it's like to come from a home where children do not have enough food, they don't have the clothes, they don't have the fancy things that maybe the teachers have been used to, or someone else has provided to them or whatever, it's very, very different. Our teachers have to really understand how to teach these children, and feel comfortable with them. I think it's the level of comfort that is also very important.

And, so, those are some of the things that can be done. I'm always real leery when I say alternative ways, and then look at the quality. I'm not saying it can't be done both ways, but we have to look at that very carefully.

Mr. Kind. Mr. Winograd, do you have any thoughts on that subject?

Mr. Winograd. As we've been thinking about the issue here in New Mexico and nationally, it’s a couple of things; salaries and improving the working conditions for teachers. New Mexico ranks 47th in terms of teacher salaries, and we prepare some dynamite folks. In fact, we've got good early childhood people in the audience now. But we get cherry picked by Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and California that come and take some of our best people.

The other issue is working conditions. All of the debates about public education and all of the bashing that go on in teacher education. People say to prospective teachers, "Why would you want to do that?" We need to quit doing that. We need to honor teachers for the efforts that they make. So those are two key things.

As Dean Florez said, we think about what to do here in New Mexico in terms of improving our recruitment, our preparation, our induction, and advanced professional development. Getting more people into the profession, giving them different kinds and better preparation, and then supporting them those first two years. We lose 40 to 50 percent of our new teachers in the first two years. That's like trying to fill a bucket with a huge hole in it. Issues of dropout, issues of technology, and all of the things that are there, teachers need continued support in.

One of the good things that Washington has done, and this is a thank you to all of you, is given a Title II grant here in New Mexico for $2.4 million in part for teacher quality, that focuses on improving the recruitment, preparation, induction, and advanced professional development of teachers. So thanks for that help. It's crucial.

Chairman Hoekstra. Ms. Wilson.

Ms. Wilson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Moises, you talked briefly at the end of your statement about Title I. You and I know that since Title I has been implemented, the achievement gap between the have and have not kids, the Anglo kids and the minority kids, has in many cases and circumstances, widened and that was not what Title I was for.

You mentioned changes to Title I. If you had your magic wand and you could take the resources that we put into Title I and do things differently, what would you do?

Dr. Venegas. Probably two or three things: the first one, obviously, would be to be accountable for it. And, of course, if they start in the first week, and the fifth week, and they're still there, that's so basic. If you don't get the job done, you don't get the resources.

The other we've seen district after district. APS is not unique in this area. When we put resources, I like Chris' comment here, we always put resources in the system, the schools, or in the university, and we seldom ever put resources in the client, or in the families.

If you go to Title I, there's great family rooms and they're full of teachers. There are exceptions. We're generalizing. And if you pay for after-school programs, you get millions of dollars, and you pay teachers and administrators and school people, and a lot of people, but most of those resources don't go to the families. So I'm thinking, when you allocate resources, find a creative way of sharing those resources with those families, and those children. Try to change a little bit of that environment.

I think the other thing that I would probably think about is have you ever been to a Title I school? Since I was a director of a Teacher Corp program, some of you remember Teacher Corp, and a public school teacher, I’d say there's great teachers there. About 30 percent of the people there, sometimes good people, are not accountable for anyone at that school. They just pull out kids from time to time. And maybe when they pull them out, it's a great "pull out" for 15 minutes, but at the end of the year, it didn't do anything. And have you ever tried to deal with teacher organizations with regard to the rights of Title I, or special education, or special whatever it might be? So I would say, rather than have the "pull outs", lower the student-teacher ratio. You know, instead of 22 to 1 or 25 to 1, lower that and pool your resources in terms of teachers dealing directly.

Also, at the end of the grading period, most Title I teachers don't have to defend whatever that child has learned or hasn't learned. There are some very creative principals sometimes they say, when the parent comes, you come here, too, but for the most part, it's the classroom teacher. So, in that sense the resources always go to the system, but when we assess the system and the people involved, if we use the medical model there's pathology, and we always say, the people that are sick are the students. But when we allocate resources, we give the resources to the doctor, in some sense.

And I'm thinking, look at it. And if I have the time, I will break it down. And it could be absolutely correct wherever we are in this country. So I'm thinking, do that shift, do that shift. We haven't done it.

Ms. Wilson. Thank you. I have one other question. I don't know if we have time to get into it, but I do want to ask Dr. Florez a question based on the research that you were talking about, Peter; high poverty schools getting the least qualified teachers and the youngest children. What can either federal and/or state governments do to change that? If, again, you had your magic wand, what kinds of things would help, so great teachers would be in the schools where there's the greatest need?

Dr. Florez. Perhaps districts really accountable for the achievement of the students. The reason I say that is because when you were saying that, I was thinking of what we're trying to do differently in the way we place our student teachers.

One of the things that Peter and I found out was that many of them go to schools that are not of high poverty level. So we began looking at different ways of starting to prepare our teachers to work with these children in a different setting. And it's been really a challenge, because some of our students are not comfortable with that. But we're preparing them so that they can gain the confidence to be able to do that.

So we began looking in-house, and working with the schools is encouraging the administrators when they do hire their teachers, to place them in other places. But if they do place them in schools as we're describing, they need to have really excellent mentors, so that these teachers can really gain from the experience of the others. And that might be one thing at the national level, to provide funding and support for mentors so that practicing teachers can work with new teachers, and provide them the skills and the knowledge base that they need.

Mr. Winograd. First, I'd like to say, I think it's important not to set up a situation where you have schools fighting each other over a small slice of the pie, because that's a no-win situation for everybody.

I believe the key thing is to increase the number of high-quality teachers. If I had a magic wand, and I could have one thing, I would love to have more of the kinds of loans that I can go out and recruit high-quality people into teaching with and say, "If you go into high-need areas", and I'm talking areas like special education and bilingual, "and you go into high-need education", I'm talking about inner-city Albuquerque or up in the northwest part of New Mexico, "here is money for going through school." "And if you teach in those areas for a while, then you don't have to pay the loans back." That kind of support would be so helpful to us.

We have such a need for bilingual teachers in this state, Spanish, English, Navajo, all of the languages that we have, and there are a lot of educational assistants, primarily minority women, that would make dynamite teachers. They have the experience, they come from the communities, they know the kids, but they need some financial support and our ability to provide some financial incentives and support for folks to come into those high-need areas. I'll be looking for that in the mail in the next couple of months, I hope. That's my address!

Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you. I have just a couple of comments.

This has been a very, very helpful, insightful panel. I think we accept that all children can learn. I don't think there's any dispute. This Committee has gone to some of the roughest neighborhoods in America. We've seen some excellent things, some great kids learning, and I think there's a bipartisan willingness to educate every child in America. And without getting into motives as to why, or who wants what, I think the thing that we recognize is there's a moral issue and we owe every child the opportunity to learn.

And then there's an economic issue, if you want to get into another level. That for every child that falls behind, we as a society, pay a tremendous cost for that. So I think that we recognize every child can learn, and that there is a willingness to educate every child, and that makes me a little bit concerned about developing the political will, because I think the political will is there. I think it's there in Washington, I think it's there at the state level, and I think, in most places we've gone to, it's at the local and the parental level.

I think nationally, we recognize that early development is key. There's a great program in Detroit that focuses on kids in the first two years of their lives, saying, if we don't feed them and they don't get the right nutrients and the right diet in the first couple of years, a significant portion of their brain never develops. So I think we're trying to focus on that.

Peter, I think what you said was we've seen programs around the country that are successful, but we don't know how to take them to scale. What that means is we see a great program in Chicago, or we see one in the Bronx, or maybe we'll see or hear about one in New Mexico, and we say, "Man, that really works." "How do we take it to scale," because every community is slightly different?

I mean the issue, as I read the background notes, for New Mexico is the high percentage of minority students that you have. You're not the minority. You're the majority. So it's a different problem or a different issue here in New Mexico than it is in New York.

I'm wondering, do any of you see a need for additional research resources available to you on a national basis? You could say, here are the dynamics of inner-city Albuquerque, here are similar communities with per pupil spending, the demographics or whatever, and you know, here are the programs that they have implemented. Here's what's worked for them and here's what has not worked, so you can access those resources and perhaps shorten our learning curve. Is that information that's available, or is that something that you'd really appreciate having?

Mr. Winograd. I'll speak to that. First, it's absolutely information that we'd appreciate having, and there are all kinds of research.

And since we're talking about successful programs, one of the things that are most helpful to all of us is to have immediate access to what successful programs are around the country that we can look at and then tailor to here. And that's the kind of thing that is very, very useful; clearinghouses.

Chairman Hoekstra. Is that information readily available today, or not?

Mr. Winograd. It is in some areas, and it's not in others.

Chairman Hoekstra. Because I mean that's one of the visions that I have for education. It really becomes a clearinghouse of programs and attempts around the country to go after the most systemic problems that you can then learn from. But I do believe that you have to tailor every program to fit your own community. You can't find two of the same.


Dr. Florez. One of the things to add to that in relationship is the cost. You know, like these programs that are successful, how much did it actually cost to do it?

Chairman Hoekstra. Right.

Dr. Florez. Cost analysis. Look at it across the country, teacher quality programs, and teacher preparation programs. What Peter and I have been trying to find out is, how much does it actually cost to have a "teacher preparation program"? It's been really difficult getting that. People have different programs here and there, but we can't really get that.

We've done it for ourselves with monitor-ship programs and partnership programs with schools that tell us there are particular factors that are critical to the preparation of our teachers. So we're trying to take all of our programs for teacher preparation up to scale, and it's costly.

Chairman Hoekstra. Yes, because I think the resources are there. We have a tremendous amount of money in Washington. We spend a lot of money, and there's nothing more frustrating than for us to look at our own Capital, which is the only school district that the four of us have any direct impact on. You would love the amount of money that we put into Washington, D.C. schools. We put in over $10,000 per student. Wow! I'm from Michigan; we say "wow." But the problem is, we get disappointing results.

It's still one of the poorest, or if not the poorest, school district of any school district in the country. We struggle to determine if it is an issue of making it $12,000. Should it be $13,000, should it be $14,000, or are some other issues going on here that are not just the issue of money?

Dr. Venegas. Just a point, then, on the replication of successful programs. I think it is easy to replicate and move programs, but here again, it's not the program. I think what you find in those programs is a high sense of passion, you find a high sense of commitment, you find a high sense of involvement of people, and a different kind of attitude.

So to transfer that is not about details, I don't think. And it's not that they don't know, and not the information that you don't have, but in some parts of this country, they still don't have that sense of passion that it's going to happen.

You could literally package the 100 most successful programs, put them on the Web and distribute them to everyone, and you would still have to work with the people on attitudes that we have in terms of who can and cannot learn. And I think you're right, I think we've made some steps, I think we're going in that direction. To be very honest with you, we have no choice, because the faces are different. So if we don't educate those faces, they're the majority. So in some sense, let's move.

Chairman Hoekstra. There's no choice.

Dr. Rivera, I know you've got a comment, but we've got another panel, and Christine's been passing me notes for the last half hour saying, we've got to move, move, move. If you've got some additional comments or questions, please feel free to submit them to the panel. We'll review them, and put them in the record.

We're going to take about a five-minute break and get ready for the next panel, but for the seven of you, thank you very much for being here and providing some stimulating testimony.


[The Subcommittee breaks for five minutes.]



Chairman Hoekstra. One of the reasons we take breaks is that's kind of like job security.

Someone has given me a suggestion of a very successful school in Washington, D.C., that we ought to go take a look at and maybe see if we can't implement that in other places in Washington, D.C. We know that there are good schools in Washington, D.C., doing some very good things. But it's a very specific suggestion, and I'm not sure if she's here yet or not, but thank you for that.

We also had an opportunity to talk to some of the representatives of the Native American community that gave us some information that they'd like for us to follow up on. We're going to follow up with Congresswoman Wilson on that over the next couple of months. And then there was also a member of the audience who encouraged us to not only look at the issue of dropouts, but also to take a look at the issue of "push-outs."

And so that's why we go out. We don't have all the answers in Washington, and we come out and when we do the hearings around the country, we see a different panel than what we would see in Washington, and we also see a different audience than what we see in Washington. And some of you are frustrated witnesses, and many would love to have had the opportunity to come and testify, and since you can't testify you catch us during the breaks and say, "Why didn't you do this," and we say, "Hey, we hadn't thought of it, and we will think about it and we'll put it on our agenda as something that we need to take a look at."

So for the members of the audience who made those kinds of comments, we've captured them and we will take a look and put them as part of our process. With that, I will turn it back over to Mrs. Wilson for introducing our second panel.

Mrs. Wilson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’d like to introduce the second panel that's focusing on the issue of alternatives and things that work with kids, and how we attack this dropout problem when kids are a little bit older.

Joe Vigil is the Associate Superintendent at Albuquerque Public Schools who is responsible for this problem. Joe has also been very helpful in educating and helping me understand what works, what doesn't work, and how we can best achieve as a community.

Mr. Alan Marks is a teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools who is interested in starting a charter school for our underprivileged kids. Looking at Albuquerque Public Schools, Mr. Marks is an articulate advocate, and another guy who's coloring outside of the boxes.


Mr. Roger Cox has a real estate development company and is helping to finance and develop a charter school in the East Mountains. It probably is unusual to find a successful real estate man who has an interest and background in education, maybe not, but he's quick to point out he's not the expert on education. But he believes that the East Mountains need a high school, and when the Albuquerque Public Schools kept turning down the East Mountain community, he got behind the charter school movement. He's involved in getting that charter school started. He knows the height of the hurdles facing him, and we've asked him to speak here as a prospective businessman who's committed to making this work for the community.

Captain Craig McClure is a Danforth fellow at UNM and he's also with the Sierra Alternative Program here in Albuquerque, which is where I first met him in his classroom, trying and successfully inspiring his students to achieve and to stay in school. I look forward to hearing from him and hearing about his Danforth fellowship.

And finally, Mrs. G.P. Joslin and Geoff Joslin. Geoff was injured and was away from school for an extended period of time. He was told that he had to wait out a semester before he could return to class. And his mom was determined to get Geoff back into a formal learning environment, and found the Sierra Alternative Program. Geoff's been doing great at Sierra, and we're going to hear about his experiences today. And I promise that if anybody up here gives you any trouble, just give me the high sign and I'll take care of it.

Chairman Hoekstra. Before we begin, I want to give special thanks to the New Mexico Technical Vocational Institute. They've taken great care and given us a great facility. They've also provided us with Coke, and I think we may start a new Congressional tradition. They've also provided us with lunch, which for some of us is consisting of a bowl of M&Ms.

Mr. Kind. Their way of sweetening us up, I think.

Chairman Hoekstra. That's right, but thanks for the great hospitality here at the Vocational Institute, and here in New Mexico.

Mr. Vigil.





Mr. Vigil. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak before you today. As a representative of the Albuquerque Public Schools, I would like to start off by saying that even though we are the 25th largest urban school district in the country, we are very successful in many ways in that our test scores are above the state average, and even though we get maligned in many different ways because of our dropout issue, which is a significant problem in this district, there are some very positive things that are occurring within our district.

We have taken the opportunity with this new push for accountability to embrace that challenge. We have never been afraid of it. Since the 1800s when free public education was first made available, public school systems have opened their doors to a very diverse student population, and in our attempts to meet the needs of a very diverse student population, we have provided quite a bit of different construction for students to learn.

What has been fairly recent in this era of accountability, is that it's no longer good enough to provide opportunities for students. We now must make sure they are learning. Because in days that have since passed, students who did not get high school diplomas had many opportunities in careers and viable areas for employment. Now, students cannot be successful in our community without that high school diploma.

But the road to dropping out doesn't start when a child reaches high school. This is actually a long road, and a child goes through quite a significant process in making a decision to drop out. This is an emotional struggle that takes place over several years that festers and grows like a cancer until the child finally makes that critical decision.

And though the struggles they go through are similar, the reasons students quit school can be very different. Some students don't like school, or are having trouble getting along with others, including teachers and classmates. Other factors include a history of truancy, suspensions, sometimes because they don't keep up with their classmates and become discouraged and drop out of school. Other students have employment responsibilities. So there's a tremendous demand for school assistance to provide support for students because it isn't just about students learning how to read. It's also about providing the kind of support systems that allow children to feel successful, for them to learn how to get along with a very diverse student population, and, also, students making a commitment to attend school regularly.

A recent study was completed that indicated that students spend about 24 hours a week in front of the television, and less than eight hours a week doing their homework. So, in many ways, students have a responsibility to attend to the work at hand.

Parents have a responsibility, also, and part of the challenge for a school is how to make or engage parents in this process, through collaboration, and their own education helping them become well informed about student issues, nutrition and child development.

We have about 12,000 hours available for instruction in the student's K through 12 academic life. Currently we use about 75 percent of that time well for students who are high achieving, and about 50 percent of that instruction time well for students who are low achieving. We have a lot of work to do to increase the quality of instruction that occurs during those 12,000 hours available.

Some students need more than those 12,000 hours, so we need to dramatically increase extended learning opportunities, on Saturday and after school so students will be able to benefit and achieve academically.

Does that mean my time is up?

Chairman Hoekstra. You've actually got until the red. Oh, there you go.

Mr. Vigil. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.






Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you. Can we just go right down the line, or do you want to go in the order that you were introduced? We'll go to Mr. Cox, if that's fine with Mr. Marks.





Mr. Cox. I was well introduced. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I'm a little disappointed that the people that I brought to applaud for me have gone.

Chairman Hoekstra. We'll do it.

Mr. Cox. I was raised on the Navajo reservation, and I went to most of my elementary school with my brother and I being the Anglos and the rest of them being Navajo kids. And I don't know what's happened to all the rest of them, but I went on to get a degree in education. Some of the concerns that I heard earlier fit with the reason I got out of education because it didn't pay me a living. And I think that's sad, that our educators have that problem.

So, anyway, we're building a high school on the east side of the Sandias. We did a lot of things trying to get schools to be interested in that. Their criterion doesn't allow anything under 1,500 to 2,000 students, and in my opinion, that's not a viable thing. I see some of the big schools with some of their many problems, and so we're going to have a student body of a maximum of 500 kids.

We will start out with 100 kids in the 9th grade, and then we will add a grade a year until it's a full high school. The problems that we have encountered in this are being able to finance the structures. The only way we can do it, probably, is to pay a premium for the money, getting it from people that will loan that money at high interest rates with a lot of points on the front end, and so on. So we probably will have to finance it ourselves, and somebody probably will have to sign the paper. The banks don't like to loan it without that.

Another thing that we encountered, which is very difficult, is that they put a prepayment penalty in the mortgage if you get it with some of these institutions. And that's not an acceptable thing, because if the school grows or whatever, you've got a big cost to change that mortgage. So those are some of the problems that we've encountered.

We've had the land donated, so we have a good base. We can get the community to be involved in a lot of the construction. We've got a heavy-duty construction company that will go in and do the heavy dirt work for us, and that type of thing. So it's a community situation.

And in talking with Heather, it seems that one of the places that might be most beneficial is if the Federal Government could in some way help in the financing area: low interest rates, that type of thing. We feel that there are a lot of good people on the committee that I'm on, and they've done a great deal of individual work. That's the thing that we think will make this successful, because the parents will be very deeply involved in the school.

So that's basically where we're coming from. Come on, red.





Chairman Hoekstra. Two for two, I'm pretty impressed. Mr. Cox. You can have my time. Either that, or we've got the thing calibrated now.

Mr. Marks.






Mr. Marks. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, Mrs. Wilson. Welcome to New Mexico.

I taught from 1978 to 1992 in a very poor, large high school, about 85 percent minority. That really doesn't make any sense, does it? It's not really a minority at 85 percent? Approximately, I would say, 55 percent of the students drop out, and it’s a school where maybe 10 percent of those who begin high school go to a four-year college and maybe 4 percent finish.

In my written remarks, I address something that you were asking for in the last panel, and that was a bit of an insight into two systemic issues that cause dropouts. The first of those really has to do with the way too large impersonal high school as a unit for teaching and learning. The second has to do with the fuzziness of our educational goals. Without the clarity of what they're trying to achieve, students become confused, often bored, and sometimes hopeless about their education.

To address both of those issues, and many more, we decided to launch a model that we hope will help everyone in the state see what can be done with high school education. I won't have time to address the second of these systemic goals. We can talk about it in Q and A, or you can just read my comments.

The first, however, is very instructive, and I would like to invite you into the world that I inhabited for those 14 years. To start out, let's just picture a day in the school. There's about 2,500 students, 200 staff, and I'm a ninth grade English teacher. A person walks into my first period class, we meet and I become very interested in this student; however, I know nothing about what the student is doing for the rest of the day.

And then, you know, go ahead two or three years. I still have not seen this student again. The student does not see me again. I am not in her life again in a meaningful way just because of the nature of the beast, of the large, impersonal high school. So what kind of a caring environment does that provide for the student?

A student can get lost in that environment and doesn't have mentors that they can necessarily look to. You can imagine, as they begin to fall behind, as they begin to get confused, as they begin to feel pressures, as other things in their lives begin to impinge on their schooling, that a lot of times, in that kind of large environment where they don't feel like people are there for them; people that they have developed trust with over years. I think a lot of them decide that this just must not be the best way to do it, and they drop out.

I think it's broken, right?

Chairman Hoekstra. You've got time. Keep going.

Mr. Marks. It hasn't had time to be green yet.

From the perspective of a teacher, all of us want very much to have some kind of meaningful way to guide our students and to make sure that their problems and their needs are addressed, but again, we frequently don't have a chance to find out what's happening to them for the rest of their day in their other classes. We may have meetings within our own department, and some of us don't, but we rarely talk across departments. So we're very frustrated, as well, because we're not able to be the kind of agents that we try to be in this process.

Maybe what I'll do is, since I'm going to the same place that Mr. Cox went with his comments, let me refer to my written comments just for about a page. In our charter high school, for example, we'll have a small core of teachers who escort students all the way through their high school experience. We can anticipate problems and deal with them quickly and thoroughly. We can keep parents informed about any inconsistencies because we work daily with these students throughout the 4 years.

Each student will have a personal learning plan similar to the IEP that you're familiar with for special education, so that each student's special needs, traditions, care, concern, rates of learning and abilities will be acknowledged and can be dealt with because we are small. We can have high standards for all, but can chart improvement in such a way as to make low-achieving students feel challenged and self-confident about their progress.

Essentially, we form a school family that is consistent, coherent, and caring. We gain our coherence because, as a small school, we meet and plan together daily. Our curriculum is thematically linked so that a real world problem which students can get their teeth into gives meaning to abstractions such as math or social studies. Students who feel acknowledged, encouraged and cared for are much more likely to stay in school and experience academic success. And I attribute most of this success to a human scale, a small school.

So that raises the problems addressed by Mr. Cox. What are the constraints that keep these useful pilots and alternative schools from being as effective as they should be? The primary constraints which all of us in this state have found for charter schools is that we lack a facility. Unless there's an empty school building around, we're confronted with a terrible dilemma. Assuming we can even find a facility to lease, should we use a huge chunk of our operational budget to pay for that lease, and then with our correspondingly reduced budget render inferior services to our students? And what about the long-term? As long as we continue to pay for our lease and operational expenses, we'll never have a chance to create the permanent facility that truly embodies our dream as a charter.

In our case, in the poor barrio where we're locating, there really aren't any suitable buildings that we could even afford to renovate to lease except in distant strip malls, and even those would be well beyond our means to renovate. We'll end up leasing portable buildings, hoping to find a site with infrastructure for hookups. We think we may be able to partner with the county for the use of a vacant site across from a community center, but what do we do for the long-term?

We're a poor community, and, as you're well aware, we have no authority to float a bond to raise capital for a building. What we need to find, and you might consider recommending, is some source of funds for loans for capital improvements. Our community, though poor in wealth, is rich in enthusiasm and commitment. They are willing to put in thousands of hours to make this alternative public high school a reality, but the limiting factor is access to capital. Please consider a resolution of this issue as one significant path to improve student retention and achievement that your Committee could propose. Thank you.





Chairman Hoekstra. Thanks. Captain McClure.






Captain McClure. I thank the Committee and especially Mrs. Wilson for having me here today, and the Joslin family, as well. And my hat is off to your staff that logistically helped us a great deal in getting to this point.

I'm here primarily to speak to the importance of providing alternative schooling opportunities to our young citizens. Common sense dictates the far-reaching and dramatic ways that our society has changed in the last 40 years are having significant impact on public education. To meet the demands of these changes, our schools must change to keep pace. One of the most effective tools to meet our taxpayers' expectations is a community-oriented alternative school.

These schools lower the dropout rate and save at-risk students who might otherwise fall through the cracks of society seemingly stuck in an intensely competitive ultra-fast paced mode. Most of our alternative students are unable to effectively operate in a large impersonal environment, as one would most likely find at city high schools. By creating a classroom and a campus that is small and personal, we as the staff are able to provide a more individualistic service to these students than our larger schools can.

The reasons that young people find themselves grasping at alternative programs as their last hope are as complex and multifaceted as our society itself. There are, however, some common factors in making an alternative school successful. What follows is, in my experience, the five most important factors: design a flexible school with a small teacher/pupil ratio because traditional scheduling cannot meet the needs of many of today's high school students or parents; make the students accountable with a well-defined framework of understood expectations and boundaries because discipline is not a dirty word, it is both necessary and welcomed by the students; create a culture of community by involving the families and neighbors of the school and its students; foster a sense of belonging and an atmosphere that reflects and produces quality of character, self-discipline, self-denial, and most importantly, respect and love for others; and, the curriculum should stress academics and reasoning skills based on building a portfolio of tools that students see as realistic and applicable, thereby enhancing their employability and success in life.

Now, I would feel remiss were I not to address the main reasons our schools are not meeting the expectations of our citizenry. These are my personal beliefs. They don't represent the official point of view of APS, the University of New Mexico, or my school. We, as educators, can only do so much. We cannot repair the entire fabric of a society that has been torn in many directions. Parents have the primary responsibility to create successful students and respectable members of their community. Our job as teachers is to help families educate and guide children, not to raise them. Can anyone deny that the permissive and subdivided society we have today is not an integral part of these students' problems?

The music, the video games, the movies and the news glorifies and embellishes violence, drugs and reckless narcissism, while desensitizing young people to others' suffering with barbaric and irresponsible messages. Many parents are confused by a contradictory legal system that holds them civilly responsible for their children's misbehavior, but that threatens criminal punishment if they take disciplinary steps themselves.

What you, as legislators and representatives can do is stop and reconsider with great care prior to passing yet another fallacious law. Don't give in to knee-jerk reactions when the press sensationalizes school violence, creating yet another law restricting the rights of honest citizens.

For instance, knowing full well that young people have had access to guns since the founding of this Nation, ask instead what has changed to produce such uncivilized and irresponsible behavior in our youth.

Take the press and the popular media to task, rather than letting them set the pace, tone and direction of our government.

Lastly, do away with the ever-expanding Federal behemoth, whenever possible. Red tape entangles the hundreds of grants coming out of Washington, D.C. Help us by cutting away that red tape, ridding us of the bureaucrats that administer them, and leave it up to the individual states to administer those funds as they see fit.

And I would ask you to take this back to the Capitol. I hope all the Members of Congress, residents of the White House, and every political person in a position of power and public trust become more aware of their own responsibilities as role models. Each time our students observe corruption, poor character and dishonest behavior by the leaders of this Nation, it makes it that much harder as teachers to instill an ethical standard in America's next generation of citizens.

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." No one can deny and let no one forget the tremendous and valiant efforts by teachers to educate and prepare students for their future, despite dangerous work environments and embarrassingly low pay. If we sacrifice some of our individual pursuits and come together as communities, churches, neighbors and families, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. Thank you once again.






Chairman Hoekstra. Geoff. Welcome. Relax.





Mr. Joslin. First of all, I'd like to thank you for letting me have this opportunity to speak, and I guess I'll tell you my story. I was one of the kids that were going to slip through the cracks and become a high school dropout statistic.

In the fall of 1998, I had broken my foot, and because of the pain medication, I was unable to go to school for a while. I also kind of slacked off and did my own thing. To top it all off, my family was going through some rough times. My school told me I was going to be on long-term suspension, and couldn't go back until the new semester started in January.

I knew then, if I had that long of a time off, I would never go back. My girlfriend also, at that time, had told me she would never date a dropout, and my parents really wanted me to stay in school. Finally, my counselor said, "There is a program that can help you, but it only works if you want it to." I said I'd give it a shot.

I started in Mr. McClure's Fresh Start Program and realized it was more disciplined, same work, stricter attendance, and the work was more challenging, but I had a flexible schedule. It enabled me to get a part-time job to help my family. It seemed easier for me because I knew all the teachers and you can ask them for help any time, but it was rarely ever needed because of the more one-on-one teaching. It also gave me a credit for my part-time job.

If it weren't for the program at Sierra and the people, I wouldn't be in front of you today. We need alternative schooling. I speak for the kids that need something and want to graduate. Thank you.






Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you.





Mrs. Joslin. I'm G.P. Joslin, Geoff's mom. I've been in the Albuquerque Public School system for about 13 years with my two sons. My oldest son graduated in 1999. Geoff was still at Sierra; he's a junior. He started at Fresh Start Program last year because of a few too many absences, and like he said, he'd severely broken his foot in five places, and it was coupled with a family crisis.

He wasn't really motivated for school at that time. When his school informed me that he would have to leave and not start again until January, it really wasn't going to work for me. When you give a kid, any kid that kind of time off they don't want to go back. I couldn't let that happen. His high school counselor said there was one last resort, the Fresh Start Program. He said it was for kids that have had too many absences for ditching or for family crisis, whatever it might be.

We had a conference with the Fresh Start people, and they decided Geoff could be accepted in the program, but no tolerance on ditching, unexcused absences or anything. Geoff did well in the program. He connected with a few great teachers and got caught up on his credits, and, like he said, he got a part-time job.

He continued to work all summer long, but when the new school year started, Geoff didn't want to go back to the 2,000 plus regular high school. He felt he didn't get the attention that he got at Fresh Start. He told me he would rather drop out of school. I couldn't have that. That's, like, no way. I was even willing to compromise.

I told him, "Geoff, get your GED." Didn't have a problem with that. But then he told me, "Mr. McClure said I could go back." I said, "Are you sure, because you're not a fresh start any more? It's a one-time thing." He said, "Mom, let's call Mr. McClure."

I called Mr. McClure; he said, "Yes, we'll take Geoff back if it means saving him from, GED or dropping out." So Geoff took him up on his offer. Geoff goes to school; he's challenged; he does well.

Alternative schools are a key to the future of some of our kids. So many of our kids are falling through the cracks. We have to have a system or a way for these kids. A lot of kids do want to graduate, and they do want to finish school. We have to help them achieve this.





Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you. Mr. Tancredo.


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

What we have heard here is encouraging from a number of standpoints. I also want to make you all aware of something, and that is that the Congress did pass, in 1998, the Charter School Expansion Act, and with it comes some significant funding. There's an increase in fiscal year 2000. If you're not aware of how you could participate in this, and grants you could get, I'll give you a telephone number right now, which you might want to write down, 202/225-6558. A staff member on the Committee can help you.

Anyway, it has expanded the use of the money that's available through the Federal program, and it's to encourage what we see as a very positive development in education alternatives. And that's, of course, what you've been talking about here.

Now, it's intriguing to me that a there’s common sense in the way we describe alternatives to the present system, when we see the present system not working all that well, considering that we have as much opposition to this as we do. In order to really deal with it effectively, I think all of us are going to have to be candid as to why that opposition exists, exactly what it is and what we can do about it.

I notice that New Mexico has been moving ahead with the passage of its own legislation, expanding the number of charter schools that are allowed from five, I think was the original number, to maybe 100 now. That's a great, great step in the right direction, but it's a little bit late, you know. This movement for school choice, I'm going to use words that I know are highly charged here, but in fact that's really what we're talking about. We're talking about giving parents the ability to choose among a wide variety of educational options for their kids, and we're talking about giving kids the ability to make that same choice when it is appropriate.

But we all know that this is a slow, sometimes agonizingly slow process. I'd like to hear from you, in the most candid way possible, what you believe to be the obstacles we can deal with, on a Federal level especially, that prevent a faster flow toward true school choice and a wide, wide variety of programs and options.

Mr. Cox. Well, it seems to me there was a thing on television a couple of nights ago, one was for charter schools, one's for choice, and the other one was on the state education committee or whatever. And as I was sitting there, it appeared to me that the only thing the fellow that was working for the schools at the time was job security. It just seemed to me that all he was afraid of was, if this happened, he might not have a job.

Mr. Tancredo. How candid. Anybody else? Mr. Vigil.

Mr. Vigil. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I think that oftentimes, we interchange the word "choice" and "quality" and don't make a distinction, and in this era of accountability, it is not just choice we're talking about, it is the quality of education. Whether it's public school education or private school education or charter school education, it doesn't matter, but we interchange the two words like they mean the same thing.

Public school systems, like Albuquerque Public Schools, are charged right now with making sure students are learning. And our opposition isn't to choice. What we'd like if we're going to be held accountable, is that others should be held accountable for the same thing, student learning. That's a challenge we all face. Whether it's an alternative outside of our system or within our system, and if it contributes to students graduating and being successful, that's what we're all in this for. There's enough work for all of us to do, so we don't have to worry about the "pull-outs" there, because there is plenty of work.

So I guess I would just caution the choice of words, because oftentimes we think when we talk about choice, we're also talking about quality, and they're two very distinct and two very different definitions.

Mr. Tancredo. Don't you think that one develops out of the other? Don't you think greater quality develops out of more choice?

Mr. Vigil. I think it's actually the other way around, probably.

Mr. Tancredo. Fewer choices, develops more quality?

Mr. Vigil. I'm not sure. I'm not sure of your question.

I don't think choices necessarily lead to quality. Choices lead to choices, and depending what people would like out of an education. But right now, we need to make sure that our young children are liable for the economy and being educated enough to take on the world of work and higher education. Often, the choice doesn't offer that guarantee.

So the development of rigorous standards that every child can attain is very important. With this development of standards holding every school, whether it's a public school or whether it's a charter school, or any other kind of school, to that same standard, with the success of the school based on students obtaining that standard over time.

Mr. Tancredo. What would the failure result in? What would the failure of a school that did not live up to the standard, what would happen to that school, do you think? What should happen?

Mr. Vigil. The result would be the kinds of things that are happening right now, not only across the country, but also in the State of New Mexico. As I started off my comments, you know, we have students who are very successful in the system. About 66 percent of our students are very successful. Now, we have a large percentage of students who are not successful, but the state has recently adopted a methodology by which schools that have not met a standard are put on school improvement. There should be sanctions placed on schools, over time, which are not meeting the needs of students.

Those same kinds of sanctions should be placed on any school where the students are not making the kinds of gains we would expect. But the quality of school isn't just on the test scores of that student population. The quality of the school is how those test scores are rising over time. Because if you get a student who can read well when they come in and can read well when they leave, that does not necessarily mean that's a good school. So it's important to look at a trend line of student progress, and oftentimes we make the mistake of assuming that a school is good because their test scores are good, and that's not necessarily true.

Mr. Kind. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Again, I want to thank each of you for your testimony here today. Geoff, since you're the only student we've had a chance to listen to, I want to ask you a couple of questions. You did a wonderful job in your testimony, by the way.

Mr. Joslin. Thank you.

Mr. Kind. Is there a certain image to going to an alternative school program, like the Sierra Alternative Program that you're involved with now? Does it carry any kind of stigma by going to a school like that with friends that you may have or friends that are still in the public school system that are thinking of dropping out?

Mr. Joslin. Well, actually, I have friends from all over the city, and I have friends in all different kinds of schools and everything. What I tend to find is that either I'm doing better than them or we're doing about the same. I wouldn't say that I'm better than anybody, but I would say that I get more of the one-on-one teaching that I need, and I know that I need that for myself.

Mr. Kind. Well, that was the other question I was going to ask you. What are you receiving in the Fresh Start Program that you're in right now that you're responding to that you weren't necessarily receiving in the old school?

Mr. Joslin. Well, actually, I'm in the regular education right now, and I'm experiencing more economics, more English, and we get more hands on, I guess, as opposed to last year. It seems to be working with me.

Mr. Kind. It seems like you've developed a pretty close relationship with Mr. McClure here. Is that safe to assume?

Mr. Joslin. Yeah. Well, I've had him for 2 years straight now.

Mr. Kind. Has that been an important part of it, being able to make that connection with the teacher?

Mr. Joslin. Actually, it seems like the teachers there try to make a connection with all of the students. It just seems that I made my connection sooner than some other people, I guess.

Mr. Kind. What's the ratio of students that you work with?

Captain McClure. Are you talking about the student/teacher ratio? Probably average is fourteen to one in regular education.

The fact that Geoff said that teachers make a concerted effort in an alternative school setting to make a connection with students, it's not just there. Mr. Marks put it well. I did teach in a regular setting where I had, in one case, 42 kids. You'll want to make a connection, you'd really love to make a connection, but you just can't. Not with that many kids.

And you're looking at taking home 200 plus papers and staying up until 2:30or 3:00 in the morning trying to give them quality feedback on their papers, and it becomes a situation that is untenable.

Mr. Kind. Would the lower class ratios help the discipline in the classroom, as well?

Captain McClure. I think that, in many cases, it would. I think that discipline also rests on the shoulders of the administrators and teachers themselves, as well as, of course, the accountability of the students and how they behave in a class. They know what's right, and they know what's wrong.

Mr. Kind. Mrs. Joslin, you certainly seem to be a parent who is very concerned about your child's education, and your son, and how well he's going to do. What factors do you attribute to the fact that Geoff was slipping through the cracks, that he was on the verge of dropping out, and it seemed to horrify you when he was suggesting that?

Mrs. Joslin. I don't know. It might have been just a personal thing, a family crisis thing.

Geoff was an honor student in eighth grade, and he hit high school with 2,000 kids. I think it was the size of the school. Geoff wasn't interested. It was like they don't care what you're doing. You turn in a paper; you don't turn in a paper. I just don't know that he hit a connection with any of these teachers ninth grade year. And it just fell apart after that for him, I think.

I just couldn't have him not graduate or get his diploma. My father was 45 before he got his GED and my mother has a ninth grade education. I just didn't want that for my sons. If it meant me hanging out at the schools with him, I was willing to do that.

I could do that in elementary school. I was very involved in elementary school. I was a real mom 5 years running for one or the other boy, you know. I loved when they were in elementary school, I got to go again, and I loved it. I was able to do that. But once they hit middle school, they don't want as many parents in the classroom, and they don't want as much help. And I understood that. It was hard for me. I had that umbilical cord cutting going on. They didn't want me there.

In high school, they still want parents to be involved, but not necessarily in the classrooms. And I think, to a certain extent maybe, we still need parental involvement in classrooms. When Geoff was in fourth grade, I used to take three kids out into the hall, and the teacher was in there, she had four kids that just could not read. I got to read to them. That made my day. It's what we did for 30 minutes. They would talk about different stories, different books, and I think it made their day. I don't know. I just think that had an impact on me. And if reading for 30 minutes to three or four kids can make a difference to them staying in school and staying motivated, even in fourth grade, I'm willing to do that. I'd do that for anybody's kids.

I just feel we need to do something. It's sad that so many kids are sitting at home playing video games when they could have an education and some kind of a life. What do you do when you turn 19 and you still don't have a life or a direction. You need to make a connection, whether it's with your own kids or other people's kids. There are plenty of people out there trying to help.

Mr. Kind. Do I have time for one more question or do we need to move on?

Chairman Hoekstra. Go ahead.

Mr. Kind. Thank you. Trying to follow up with regard to the infrastructures, the building of new facilities, improving of existing facilities or even the addition of existing facilities. Since there is a demonstrated need here in the State of New Mexico, why haven't you been getting more support at the state or local level as far as coming up with the funds that you feel need to be done?

Just to put this into perspective, the Federal Government distributes roughly 7 percent of the entire education budget throughout the country. So there's a very limited role that the Federal Government plays, and yet infrastructure needs in particular have historically been a state and local responsibility.

Now, there is legislation pending. Representative Charlie Rangel from New York is pushing legislation to call for a tax credit on bonding issues at local school districts that the administration is very supportive of, but what's happening that this isn't getting done?

Mr. Cox. I think part of it is the fact that this is a new approach in the State, and there's a misunderstanding or a lack of knowledge as to how to move these things forward. I think that's one of the big problems. We made a presentation, and they just threw it out. And so I think that's one of the problems. We just don't have enough experience on the state level to administer this.

Mr. Marks. Mr. Kind, under the startup stimulus fund monies that are available in the State of New Mexico, even though they're limited, they can be used to renovate buildings and to do infrastructure improvements, lease property, or if we happen to have something donated. We're talking about charter schools throughout the United States. The main issue for all of them is getting a facility, and they don't have the ability to raise the capital to do that. So I think New Mexico is trying to do its part, but it's simply an issue that has not been adequately addressed yet.

Mr. Kind. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mrs. Wilson. I'd like to kind of follow up on the same line of questioning. We all know that we've got $1.2 billion backlog in the State of New Mexico for capital improvements, and the charter school law here is only a year old, so we're kind of learning our way a little bit. But, Roger, you've been in the real estate business and you're probably the only one in the room who understands a lot of this stuff with respect to capital funding and things. Have you ever had any experience with any of the other Federal loan guarantee programs, and which ones, from an administrative point of view, work and which ones don't? How would you structure such a thing?

Mr. Cox. Well, I've been involved very much in private schools. I represented the Academy in all that land that they sold out there. And there's, of course, no Federal connection or state connection to that school. I don't have any experience whatsoever with capital funding on a Federal basis. I get too impatient. You guys in Washington don't come through fast enough.

Mrs. Wilson. Alan, have you looked at this issue at all as far as how a loan guarantee program would best be administered or do you have any thoughts at all on that?

Mr. Marks. Well, the only thoughts that I've had on it so far are that certain basic principles that the Federal Government would want to see observed, and the school would certainly have to commit to those. For example, there is the possibility that charter schools could easily be used wrongfully, and in my opinion, to defeat diversity and socio-economically segregate society. I would hope that that didn't happen and I would hope that the loan guarantee programs would certainly not foster or favor that, as one example.

But I do know that there are a lot of guarantee programs, and incentive programs, and support and insurance type programs that the Federal Government has in all kinds of other arenas of life. If this could be one more, I think it would certainly achieve a significant benefit for society, and certainly for the alternative schools that we're talking about.

Mr. Cox. I'm on the committee that's really doing all of this. I try to take a back seat to all of that, and I have some very knowledgeable people on that committee with all kinds of funding experience and so on. I'm sure on that committee, there are people that are familiar with some of them.

Mrs. Wilson. Thank you. Just one final question for Joe.

I know that you've been focusing on this problem for a year or so now since you came back to do this work. We've got a handful of alternative schools or schools within schools here in Albuquerque. What plans does Albuquerque Public Schools have with respect to expansion of those, or what's coming, what's new, with respect just not to the prevention that we've talked about with the first panel, but the intervention with older kids?

Mr. Vigil. We've divided the work into three areas. One is prevention, second is intervention, and the third part we call recruitment, which is getting students back into a viable education system. The alternative programs we have in this district, which are pretty extensive, are designed to recruit students back in or to keep students in for a variety of reasons.

Our plans for the alternative program is that every alternative program in our system must meet rigorous standards of academic performance, because we want our students to graduate from the alternative programs, to have an education they can be proud of. So we are looking at the rigor of the academic program, but we also understand that the alternatives also provide an alternative support system that keeps our students in school. So that's one aspect that we're working on.

Second, where are the gaps in the alternatives that we currently provide? For example, right now, we don't have a place for ninth graders who have no credit or who are not enrolled in school for whatever reason. We don't have a place for them to land. So we need to develop that internally, or to work with others to develop a program for students. Ninth graders with no credit, how can they continue to get credit, but yet be prepared when they choose to go back to the rigors of a comprehensive high school? Because we don't want our alternatives to be considered watered-down programs in the area of recruitment, strengthening our alternatives and, increasing the numbers is one of our goals.

We also have a significant waiting list for students to get into alternative programs, and so we are increasing capacity in these programs. The very success of some of these programs, is because of their small size, which is an issue that has been reinforced, and also on this panel here. So when you increase capacity, it doesn't necessarily mean increasing enrollment in that school, but perhaps replicating that

successful alternative so that another small school can be created.

Mrs. Wilson. Thank you.

Chairman Hoekstra. Can anybody answer the question, what's happening in the home school movement in New Mexico?

Mr. Cox. It's very high. To my understanding, there's a lot of home schooling going on, particularly on the east side of the mountains. That's one of the things that we feel is going to give the school a great enrollment is the people that have not been satisfied, want to move into another school. We're planning one teacher per fifteen students type of arrangement.

And Mr. Vigil seems to be concerned about the quality of the education. I don't think there's any question. I've got a grandson that's been in the public schools and the middle schools, and we put him into a private school, and I can tell you the difference in his education is unbelievable. Of course, it costs $7,500 a year, and people can't afford that. But the education that that boy is getting in private school and what he was getting in the middle school can’t be compared. I've always felt like middle school and high school is where we fall down in our education. I think our elementary is pretty good. But the education he's getting in that private school is 200 percent better.

Chairman Hoekstra. But the movement of home schooling is growing in the State and does anybody have any numbers as to how many students?

Mrs. Wilson. One in 10 students in New Mexico is home schooled, I believe. It's a very strong tradition in rural New Mexico. Is the private or parochial school breakdown there?

Mr. Vigil. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, public schools conduct regular workshops for parents who are interested in home teaching their children, and we are making every attempt to provide the kind of information they need, as well as access to our system, because, for whatever reason, they choose to home school their child.

However, we don't feel that is a reason for us not support their work, because there are a number of different ways to educate a child. We respect their decision to do it in that manner. It demonstrates that when a child has a quality teacher, whether it's a charter school or a public school, regardless of the child's economic status or minority status, a child can succeed, and as long as wages are low for teachers, then we fail to attract the kind of people that we like.

I know we have excellent people within our system right now, but we also have a shortage of teachers, so that teachers are now teaching in classrooms that they are not certified to teach in, which exacerbates the problem of students not learning. So we have to maintain a high quality work force, and one way of doing that is investing heavily in professional development, which we need to do, but the other area that needs significant attention is to dramatically increase the wages that these hard-working people are making, because it's not fair to them.

Chairman Hoekstra. Captain McClure, did you want to say something about the home schooling? I noticed you pulled the microphone over.

Captain McClure. Mr. Cox fairly accurately responded to it. I, too, live in the East Mountains, and many of our neighbors have pulled their kids out in recent years and home schooled them.

Chairman Hoekstra. One of the options alluded to is when you open up the different options for schools and smaller schools, that you use the schools, or they become tools for a lot of other things. How do you address that concern?

Mr. Marks. I don't know. I just know that the gist of what I said is, small schools that provide those kind of caring environments, and those kind of alternatives that Mr. Vigil and everyone here has spoken to, are extremely successful. I don't want to get lost in the fact that there may be some abuses of a system, but I would hope that the state could keep that in line, as we experiment with this new movement which I think has tremendous support and enthusiasm. Okay?

Captain McClure. If I may, one of the things that scares people away from supporting alternative schools is they have in their mind an idea that the exponential cost is greatly increased. That's not the case. I've been reading some research and studies on financial support of these smaller schools, and it's basically quality over quantity, and you can take funds without putting a great strain on the taxpayer. You can take an adequate amount of funds and make a very effective alternative school.

Before the freshman program was cut from the city dropout prevention program, they cited that the program was, per student, not cost-effective. It was too expensive, and I offered to continue the program at half the budget. Once the setup has occurred, once you've got your structures and your textbooks and your equipment and your desks, that's the majority of the cost. Once that occurs in the first couple of years of the school's existence, you can trim that budget progressively until you get it down to a reasonable amount that I think the taxpayers would find to be an equitable balance between success amongst the students and the burden that they have to carry to pay for it.

Mr. Cox. One thing that I forgot to mention that I think is very important is the fact that in this State, if you create a charter school, the State only agrees to fund you for one year. So that makes a very difficult situation to go get a mortgage when the banker says, "Well, what's going to happen next year?"

Chairman Hoekstra. Good point; a one-year mortgage.

Mr. Marks. Let me clarify that. We do get operational funds every year, but as for the stimulus funds, it's a one-shot deal.

Chairman Hoekstra. I'd like to thank the panel for being here. Heather, thank you for inviting us. She's an articulate and aggressive Congresswoman expressing the needs of New Mexico and the special circumstances of New Mexico to her colleagues in Washington. We listen, and thank you very much for inviting us here to be a part of this today.

Mrs. Wilson. Thank you for coming, Mr. Chairman; all three of you. I really appreciate your willingness to be here and see what's working and what's not, and get some good suggestions.

Chairman Hoekstra. Sometimes you get up at 5:00 in the morning, we had snow this morning, looking at getting up that early and going to the plane one more time. Both panels, you made it a very worthwhile exercise to be out here today and to take a look at how we're investing our Federal funds to help kids like Geoff and the kids in New Mexico achieve what we all want them to achieve, which is nothing but the best. We want the best and the brightest. I'm selfish. I want the best and brightest kids of anyplace in the world here in New Mexico, in Colorado, Michigan, or Wisconsin. If everybody else in the world is up to our standards, that's okay, but if there is going to be a ranking, I want our kids to be number one. So thank you very much for the excellent testimony and the stimulating testimony.

The record will stay open for 14 days. If there's anybody in the audience that would like to submit some written statements or comments, they can do so through the Education and Work Force Committee in Washington. And without any other comments, the Committee will stand adjourned.

Whereupon, the Subcommittee was adjourned at approximately 4:50 p.m.