Serial No. 106-31



Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce























The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.

Present: Representatives Goodling, McKeon, Barrett, Deal, Ehlers, Isakson, Martinez, Owens, Tierney, and Kind.

Staff Present: Mary Clagett, Professional Staff Member; Victor Klatt, Education Policy Coordinator; Sally Lovejoy, Senior Education Policy Advisor; D'Arcy Philps, Professional Staff Member; Michael Reynard, Media Assistant; Shane Wright, Legislative Assistant; June Harris, Minority Education Coordinator; Marshall Grigsby, Minority Senior Legislative Associate/Education; Mary Ellen Ardouny, Minority Legislative Associate/Education; Marjan Ghafourpour, Minority Staff Assistant/Labor; and Shannon Gardner, Minority Receptionist.




Chairman McKeon. Good morning. Welcome to this Subcommittee's second in a series of hearings focused on issues related to teacher quality. Let me begin by noting that this is Teacher Appreciation Week. I know that several of our witnesses are, or have been teachers; and I am sure we have at least a few teachers in our audience. To each of you, I thank you for your dedication to our Nation's children.

Yesterday, we passed a resolution supporting and commending our teachers, and there were a lot of good things said; and I am sure it was inadequate to really thank our teachers for what they do.

Last week, we heard from a broad spectrum of witnesses who all stated unequivocally that teacher quality is the most important factor in student achievement. A question perhaps far more difficult to answer is, how do we make sure that every teacher is of high quality? Although there are many views on this question, today we will take a close look at the role that professional development can play in making sure that all teachers at least have the necessary knowledge to be highly effective.

We will begin by examining the role of the Federal Government in providing funds for professional development. Additionally, we will take a much closer look at the largest Federal program dedicated to this area, the Eisenhower Professional Development Program. In focusing on this program, we will hopefully get a better understanding of its strengths and weaknesses from both a national as well as a local perspective.

However, the Eisenhower Program is often only a piece of a broad array of professional development programs administered by school districts. To learn more about how these, along with State and local programs, are coordinated and the difficulties in doing so, we have the opportunity to hear from an exemplary local school official.

Additionally, we will have the opportunity to hear the tremendous benefit that an effective professional development program can have upon both teachers and entire schools.

I wish to thank each of our witnesses for taking time to be with us, and I look forward to their testimonies.

At this time I yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Martinez, for any statement that he might have.






Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As you said, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. And yesterday we passed a resolution recognizing the important achievements of our Nation's teachers and urging all Americans to pay tribute to our Nation's teachers.

Many Members came to the floor to share fond memories and express deep gratitude for a teacher or teachers who made a difference in their lives. My own perception of education was greatly impacted when my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Cason, took the time to show me that I could learn once she got my attention.

However, I think that all of us who spoke yesterday realize that the very positive experiences we encountered in the classroom took place in a different era. Although, as many highly qualified and dedicated individuals enter the field of teaching today, they face different problems than they did 40 years ago. Today their talents are spread so thinly they cannot effectively address the needs of their students. Many become discouraged and leave the field after only a few short years.

Therefore, I believe it is incumbent upon us to provide incentives to these highly qualified and dedicated individuals to not only entice them into the classroom in the first place, but also to ensure that once they get there, they stay.

We must provide teachers with smaller classes so they can manage their students better and spend quality time with them. We must provide them with classrooms that are clean and safe. We must provide them with a curriculum that is current and technology so they can prepare our children for the 21st century.

Most of all, we must provide them with opportunities to continue their own educations so they may effectively pass this curriculum and those technological skills on to our children. In the words of the famous librarian, John Cotton Dana, "He who teaches must never cease to learn."

As such, we must ensure that our teachers have access to quality professional development that is intensive, sufficient in duration, and connected to the classroom.

This Subcommittee is currently in the process of drafting legislation that will provide such access to our Nation's teachers. We are seeking input from the community on this legislation, and we are very interested to hear your thoughts on professional development.

I look forward to your testimony, and I yield back the balance of my time.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you, Mr. Martinez.

We always make very careful plans, and we set up these uninterrupted sessions and then somebody else calls a vote, and that has now happened. We are in the middle of a vote. This is probably a good time to break, if we have to. We will run and vote and come right back and then introduce our witnesses and get right into your testimony. Thank you very much.



Chairman McKeon. Well, they assured us that we have no more votes for an hour, for at least half an hour.

We have first Dr. Marnie Shaul, Associate Director of Education Workforce and Income Security Issues from the U.S. General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C. We have Dr. Bea Birman from the American Institute of Research, also in Washington, D.C. We have Dr. David Bauman, who the Chairman of the full Committee is going to introduce because you are from his State. Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Goodling. My extoicomometry, which I never heard of the word in my life, professor and chemistry professor as a freshman in college, which was Dr. Harry Bauman, had a son, David Bauman, and I had to go down and find out if Dr. Bauman was he. Of course, I was a country boy, and Dr. Bauman indicated about halfway through the first semester that if I really didn't get down to work, I didn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of passing through the course. So he was generous, however, by the time we got to the end of the semester.

I also, first of all, want to congratulate Dr. Moats, because I understand that the reading situation in D.C. is improving dramatically. And I am happy to hear that that’s the case through your efforts.

I want to introduce Dr. Bauman, who is the Executive Director of the Capital Area Math/Science Alliance in the Capital Area Institute for Math and Science in Summerdale, PA, which is part of my Congressional district. The alliance and the institute provide long-term professional development and technical assistance to 24 school districts in Central Pennsylvania.

He has an extensive background in education and related fields. He was a teacher, principal, college professor, and taskforce leader of the writing committee to develop Pennsylvania's science and technology content standards. He is currently the Vice President of the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association. I could go on with a list of accomplishments, but we will save the time for him rather than for me. Welcome.


Dr. Bauman. Thank you.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you. We have Dr. Colleen Seremet. Colleen Seremet, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction from the Board of Education of Dorchester County, Cambridge, Maryland. And Dr. Louisa Moats, who the chairman just referred to, Project Director of NICHD, the University of Texas at Houston, Early Interventions Project here in Washington, D.C. And also Mr. Abdullah, a teacher in that program. My understanding is you will not be testifying, but you are available for questions.


Mr. Abdullah. Yes.


Chairman McKeon. I am correct. Great.

Let's begin with Dr. Shaul. You see that red light. You have each been notified you will have 5 minutes. You will start with a green light. When you have a minute left, the yellow light comes on, and just before the trapdoor opens, the red light comes on to give you a warning. Your full testimony and anything else you want to add will be placed in the written record.

And we are happy now to hear from Dr. Shaul.





Dr. Shaul. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee. We appreciate the opportunity to discuss our ongoing work for the Subcommittee concerning federally funded teacher training programs. Two factors make today's hearing timely: one is the increased national attention on teacher quality and the other is the evolving implementation of the Results Act, which requires that agencies rethink how they manage programs and demonstrate professional development. Because teacher training plays a key role in education reform efforts, it is important to know the current level and range of Federal investment in these programs.

Today, I would first like to describe the number of agencies and the programs they administer that support teacher training, along with some general characteristics of the programs. Then I will discuss the funding provided for these programs.

I will also discuss some of the challenges in determining whether these programs are achieving desired outcomes. My statement is based on preliminary observations from our ongoing review. In summary, our preliminary results indicate that 13 agencies administer 87 programs which support teacher training to varying degrees. The Department of Education administers the majority of these programs. Federal funding for teacher training is estimated at about $1.5 billion during fiscal year 1999.

The number of agencies and the number and diverse nature of the programs create challenges in determining whether programs are achieving national goals. I would like to elaborate briefly on each of these topics.

First, the extent to which the 87 programs support teacher training varies. While some programs were created specifically to support teacher training, many other support teacher training as a means of achieving other purposes. As part of our review, we asked agencies to classify their programs into three categories based on these differences.

Agencies responded as follows: 12 programs are designed only or exclusively to support teacher training. Education administers eight of these programs, including the Eisenhower State Grant Program, the largest teacher training program. Thirty-nine programs are designed to achieve purposes other than just teacher training but support a significant amount of teacher training.

These programs include, for example, education's title I program. Teacher training is only one of many ways title I funds can be used to help educate disadvantaged children. Thirty-six programs allow teacher training as an activity but do not provide a significant amount of teacher training.

Across all three categories, the majority of programs are designed to support training for teachers who already teach, rather than those preparing to become teachers. They do so by providing funds to pay for a variety of training-related expenses. The most frequently reported eligible use of funds was for materials, such as books on teaching strategies, travel, direct instruction, graduate credit.

Agency officials estimate that about $1.5 billion will be used to support teacher training in fiscal year 1999. Education's programs account for about 87 percent of total funding. More than $579 million will be provided by the 12 programs that agencies classified as focused exclusively on supporting teacher training. This is about 38 percent.

About 945 million will be provided by the 39 programs that agencies classified as supporting teacher training to a significant degree. This accounts for 62 percent of total funding. Because State and local officials have flexibility under these programs, the amount of funds spent on teacher training may vary from year to year.

Funding estimates are generally unavailable for programs where teacher training is an allowable, but not a significant, activity. As we have shown, the Federal Government will make a significant investment in a variety of programs that support teacher training, about $1.5 billion. An investment of this magnitude makes knowing whether programs are achieving desired results important.

As part of our ongoing review, we plan to assess whether identified Federal programs are effectively configured to achieve national goals. One of the ways we will do this is by reviewing agencies' efforts under the Results Act.

This concludes my prepared statement. I would be happy to answer any questions you or Members of the Subcommittee might have. And did I miss the trapdoor?


Chairman McKeon. I saw that the trapdoor really had you worried.

[The statement of Dr. Shaul follows:]




Chairman McKeon. Dr. Birman.





Dr. Birman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be here today to discuss preliminary findings from the national evaluation of the Eisenhower Professional Development Program. And I am accompanied by Dr. Garet, the deputy director of the evaluation.

Professional development of teachers is a crucial element of the Nation's efforts to improve education. And as Dr. Shaul mentioned, the Eisenhower Program is the largest of the Department's efforts to develop teachers' competence. I will be talking about two aspects of the program today: one component which funds States and districts based on a formula, and then the 16 percent of the program that goes to the institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations through a competitive State grant program.

The 1994 reauthorization of the Eisenhower Program really laid out four strategies that I will be discussing today. First, the program is aimed at supporting high-quality professional development activities; second, the program is aimed at including and targeting teachers of at-risk students; third, the reauthorization in 1994 intended the program to be integrated with other ongoing reform and professional development efforts; and, fourth and finally, the reauthorization intended that the program track progress by means of performance indicators.

I have details here in the testimony, which I won't go into it about the evaluation itself. But just in a word, we have conducted national samples of teachers who participated in the Eisenhower Program, coordinators of the program at the district level, project directors from the institutions of higher education. We have conducted case studies in 16 districts around the country. And we are currently in the middle. We are not finished with the evaluation.

We are conducting a longitudinal study of about 500 teachers at three points in time to get a more firm fix on the impact of the program on teacher practice. So those results I won't be talking about today, but I will be talking about the results from all of our national surveys and case studies.

The first area I wanted to address has to do with the contribution of the program to teaching practice. And I am focusing on the knowledge and skills of teachers, the knowledge and skills that teachers bring to the classroom. Preliminary analyses of our survey data indicates that there is a lot of variability in the reports of knowledge and skills that teachers gain from the Eisenhower Program. Some teachers report substantial enhancement of their knowledge and skills. Other teachers report much less.

On average, the higher education and nonprofit organization part of the program appears to be producing better results than the district-sponsored part of the program. One of the important aspects of our evaluation is to identify what are the features that account for this. And we identify six features.

One very important feature is the content focus of the professional development. I believe you mentioned this in your earlier remarks. The content focus in literature is showing that that would have an effect on student achievement. Also professional development in particular content and how children learn that content appears to have a very important effect on teachers.

Second is opportunities for active learning, features such as being observed, sharing knowledge, evaluating student work; third, connection of the professional development to teachers other experiences; fourth, the amount of time, number of hours, and the time span of the professional development is an important feature; fifth, participating in professional development with other teachers from the same school, grade level, or subject area appears to be important; and finally, what we consider reform types of professional developments, study groups, networks and so forth, appear to be important because they have some of these other features as well. They go on for a long period of time as well.

What we found is that the IHE portion of the program, the Institution of Higher Education portion of the program, appeared to be better on many of these characteristics. And that explains why teachers appear to have better results from the professional development provided by the IHE portion of the program.

Is the trapdoor opening? I just have a few more remarks. A couple of other areas I just need to cover. I mentioned the importance of targeting of the program to teachers in high-poverty schools. We find that preliminary data shows that the program is not particularly doing a particularly good job in this area.

The proportion of teachers from high-poverty schools doesn't appear to be very different from the proportion in the Nation as a whole. And we attribute this from some of our case data to the fact that the Eisenhower Program, as most professional development, really focuses on recruiting volunteers for professional development. So that is at least one explanation.

With regard to fitting in with other professional development programs and activities, we find that the Eisenhower Program directors report that they align their activities with State and local standards and also participate in a lot of coordination, especially with activities funded by the National Science Foundation.

And this is in part or largely due to the fact that the Eisenhower Program, as you know, is a mathematics- and science-focused program. Most of the funding goes to professional development in mathematics and science; and, therefore, it is a logical connection to make with the NSF-funded programs.

We find also that there is a lot of cofunding of professional development activities with NSF programs. And this, in fact, helps districts to fund the types of professional development that appear to have the most effect on teachers.

I will skip my remarks about program indicators, but I will be glad to discuss them later with regard to the evaluation, how districts evaluate their activities. I just wanted to say about three things on implications for the program from our study from our preliminary findings.

First, we feel from our findings that the program should seek ways to encourage the use of all of the features of professional development that we have listed as related to the teachers' knowledge and skills, with a particular emphasis on the content focus of the professional development.

Second, the program should place greater emphasis on targeting for teachers of high-poverty schools. If this is a priority for the Congress, then we feel that that doesn't seem to be happening, and it would be a good focus.

Third, the program should continue to emphasize alignment with standards and assessments and cofunding professional development with activities funded by other programs. This appears to give the districts the ability to pool resources and provide the kinds of long-term, in-depth professional development that teachers seem to benefit from.

And, finally, the Eisenhower Program has provided continuous support for professional development activities within the areas of mathematics and science. As I have said, the evaluation highlights the importance of a content focus and the Eisenhower Program has in many districts built capacity in those areas.

So if the Congress is considering expanding the program, it should consider creating analogous programs within content areas, rather than eliminating the content focus on math and science entirely. I would be glad to answer questions. I am sorry. I am glad you don't have a trapdoor actually.


Chairman McKeon. I was just getting ready.

[The statement of Dr. Birman follows:]




Chairman McKeon. Dr. Bauman.




Dr. Bauman. First, I would like to thank Representative Goodling for inviting me here. It is an honor and privilege to come before you and talk about professional development. I would also like to thank Congress for their continued and ongoing support of the Eisenhower Professional Development Program. The Math/Science Alliance and Institute are projects of the Council of Public Education in Harrisburg, which is a nonprofit community-based program which receives its funding from private sources. However, we utilize professional development funds to leverage additional funds in our work.

For every dollar of Eisenhower funds that we use, we are able to leverage at minimum 10 additional dollars. We do not use any of the funds for administrative or operating expenses. Without the Eisenhower funds, our districts would not be able to send teachers to the institute and participate in professional development sessions. The changes in classrooms would not be occurring.

The alliance and institute are attempting an unprecedented approach in the Harrisburg region by addressing the entire educational system. Systemic reform is based on the assumption that all components complement and build on the strengths of each other; therefore, we don't focus on any one component, but are attempting to influence all components and build upon their interconnectedness. The key agent in math and science reform is the teacher.

Effective teaching is the heart of our efforts. Teachers who participate in the institute commit to complete over 125 hours of professional development over a 3-year period. We design the sessions to meet the needs of the classroom teachers as they implement a standards-based curriculum. It is imperative for these teachers to learn new content and how it applies in a real-world setting.

Are there significant changes due to this? Yes. Students of participating teachers are more motivated to learn math and are more self-confident. They are more involved in problem solving. They understand math concepts better. They are using manipulative layers and concrete experiences. Teachers are more aware of NCTM and State standards. The math is more focused.

Teachers are more confident. They have more opportunities to learn math and science content. Students are more involved in hands-on inquiry-based science. They understand science concepts better. And I can go on from what our data has shown.

The Pleiades Project is another project where seven districts have committed to work together to align and develop K12 science curricula with the standards, national and State. They are collaborating on in-service days, utilizing interdistrict communication via Internet, professional development for the proposed adopted curriculum.

Two of the superintendents have told me without these funds they would not be able to participate. Once again, professional development is the key to the success of this project. And Eisenhower funds have leveraged the additional dollars to make it possible. Given that materials appropriate for inquiry-based science teaching are central to achieving the educational goal set forth in the standards, it is critical that an effective infrastructure for material support be part of any science program.

Our materials resource center has over $500,000 worth of materials and equipment utilized in classrooms across the region. All were purchased utilizing private donations and foundations. Private industry has donated funds towards specific items and projects, but want to see their funds leverage additional dollars. Again, the Eisenhower funds through our professional development program make these donations possible.

The Providers Network is an effort by the alliance to bring together and coordinate different initiatives in the Capital Area. A provider is an organization whose efforts impact math and science education for K through 12 students and is funded through grants or donations.

This network meets regularly to collaborate with others to learn from the experience of others, identify needs within the region, strengthen programs and ideas and discuss possible future initiatives, and ultimately avoid duplication of efforts.

As a part of that, we are facilitating the building of local capacity. We focus the training session on alignment of materials and projects to standards. The Providers Network align their outreach to both national and State standards, as well as the curriculum of the individual districts. Therefore, even though these workshops are often short term or one-day events they are very focused on the curriculum and setting.

These providers are aligning their services with all efforts in the region to promote math and science reform. Eisenhower funds, again, enable each of these outreach programs to leverage additional dollars. Short-term professional development can be effective, if it is focused on identified needs and programs.

We are seeing the results. Our funders expect schools to match and contribute towards professional development programs. The Eisenhower funds are the means by which we are able to show a match; and more importantly, they provide the means to districts to release teachers to participate in our program.

The amount of money Eisenhower leverages is significantly more than the total amount of money we receive through Eisenhower. While our efforts have been visionary, a common thread throughout all of this, as you can tell, is the Eisenhower Professional Development Program. Thank you.

[The statement of Dr. Bauman follows:]




Chairman McKeon. Thank you.


Dr. Seremet. Good morning.


Chairman McKeon. Good morning.





Dr. Seremet. I appreciate the opportunity to share our work on a systems approach to professional development and resource alignment. We have engaged in a partnership with New American Schools and Policy Studies Associates, Incorporated, to develop a strong professional development system to ensure the best and lifelong learning for our teachers and the highest quality instructional programs.

We have learned three key lessons from our work: first, a comprehensive professional development system consists of four separate, but very interrelated domains, the individual career paths from new teacher induction to retirement; second, formal and informal professional development learnings, focused on student outcomes, including what we traditionally think of as professional development trainings and workshops, but also study groups, peer collaboration, and experimentation and reflection. Third, professional development policies in a district including teacher selection, rewards, incentives, governance and performance appraisals are important; and, fourth, the links to the key district priorities and operations, including the school improvement planning process and resource allocation.

School districts must develop programs and policies in all four of these domains to provide a quality professional development system.

Our second lesson. At the school and the district level, comprehensive planning guided by careful review of student outcomes and achievement needs with resources aligned to these outcomes is essential.

And third, a standards-driven continuum with flexibility in funding sources and requirements and accountability for student learning is needed to make sustained growth in teacher learning and is paramount to a successful instructional program.

Our journey into Dorchester County has been greatly identified by a professional development tool that new American Schools and Dr. Hasham at Policy Studies Associates have created. During the past year, our superintendent established a professional development council comprised of teachers, principals, parents, and central office administrators. Thus far the council's work has included collecting and reviewing data on our current programs and budgets in professional development, the writing of a professional development standards document for our district, which is being presented for adoption by our school board; and, third, we have begun work on a comprehensive evaluation system on our PD program.

In addition, we are currently concentrating on developing a school improvement plan resource guide for our teachers and principals, to use in allotting their student needs assessment, their instructional improvement initiatives, their school professional development plans, and their school budgets. The connections between a school improvement plan, the professional development plan, and budget are critical to help focus on improving student achievement.

At the same time, our district has been engaged in this professional development infrastructure work. The State of Maryland has initiated a new planning and budgeting process that we call comprehensive planning. This process has become pivotal in our district; indeed, we live and die by the red book in Cambridge. It allows us to proactively engage in using the Ed Flex options for coordinating program design and delivery across several Federal and State funding streams.

During the last fiscal year, Dorchester County initiated nine instructional improvement programs with funds from 16 different sources. These initiatives reflected funding support from Title I; Title II, Eisenhower; Title IV, SAFE and drug-free schools; Title VI, innovative programs; Goals 2000; Obey-Porter/Comprehensive School Reform; State compensatory education; targeted poverty grants; State monies for targeted improvement grants; limited English proficiency grants; early childhood education; a professional development project; child abuse, suicide and teen pregnancy-prevention monies.

When I arrived in the district 18 months ago, I found a report of 137 grants in a tangle of funding streams and programs which were very cumbersome and confusing. They all had different fiscal years and program formats.

By simplifying the planning process and allowing flexibility in the variety of grant sources, we have been able to focus on our students' and our teachers' needs and implement programs to address the kids' achievement needs.

We have in Maryland the School Performance Accountability Program, and that provides us with the standards and tools to measure student improvement. With that already in place, we found the flexibility of coordinating the funding sources, along with these clear accountability standards, to be especially helpful in our efforts to improve professional development for teachers.

We believe that development of an integrated professional development system and a coordinated approach to allocating resources across multiple funding streams has enabled our district to focus on our school improvement needs.

We sincerely appreciate the work of the Members of the House of Representatives in making professional development for educators, teachers, and administrators a substantive issue at the national policy level. Professional development is truly the cornerstone of school improvement. Thank you.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you.

[The statement of Dr. Seremet follows:]




Chairman McKeon. Dr. Moats.




Dr. Moats. Good morning. It is a privilege to speak to you today, not only as a researcher, but as a former teacher and a current teacher of teachers. From any vantage point, the need to improve teacher quality is obvious and urgent. The question is how best shall this be done.

My comments today focus primarily on lessons learned from our professional development program in nine intervention and three comparison schools in the District of Columbia. Seven of the intervention schools targeted as assistance schools all have a high level of children in poverty.

Our goal is to enable teachers in the early grades to teach children to read. Success for us is measured by two criteria: one, teachers demonstrate the knowledge base and skills to accomplish the job at hand; and, two, the children in their classes achieve at grade level or better.

During the first year of our project, the 29 first grade classes as a whole raised their scores 25 percentile points on average to above the 51st percentile. We hope the results will be even better this year. The NICHD-funded research we conduct includes a strong emphasis on teacher course work, observation, consultation, and collaboration. To this end, our motto is, "Know your stuff, know who you are stuffing, and stuff children systematically at every moment possible."

The following principles appear to be those most influential in the successes we have achieved: Number one, professional development must be informed by a clear delineation of the content knowledge and procedural knowledge that expert teachers need. Effective teachers must know the essential components of instruction, why they are important, how these components are related to one another, and how to teach each one well.

We justify the practices we advocate with reference to research that represents the consensus findings of the field. It is essential to begin with a coherent advisory, as have the States of California, Illinois, Texas, and Virginia, and I am sure others, that defines the major findings of reading research and what they mean in practice.

With a clear definition of research-based practice, policymakers can adopt standards for teachers, students, and teacher-trainers and then proceed with the enterprise of instructional improvement. Without a core curriculum for teacher preparation, fads will come and go; and schools will continue to buy "edutainment" packages from workshop vendors that have minimal impact on teacher behavior.

Our teachers in D.C. like the fact that our courses teach a comprehensive framework for action within which the individual lessons and activities will fit. They expect, given the comprehensive agenda we have constructed, to work toward mastery in increments over the year and more.

Second, the content of the courses must be aligned with student performance standards, classroom curriculum and programs and student assessment. Our success with teachers varies in D.C. sometimes we are frustrated when there is no immediate carryover between what we teach the teachers and what they do in their classes.

We have learned that there must be direct continuity between what we teach them in class, and what their instructional materials ask them to do with their children. For example, we taught teachers about phonemic awareness during the first year of the study, but it was not until we gave teachers a supplementary program manual, a test that measured the skills taught and practiced carrying out specific activities, that the teachers were likely to apply what we had taught them.

If the teachers' job is to implement best, then best practice must be consistently defined, as it is in the California reading initiative, and must be consistently represented in instructional materials, curriculum standards, assessments, and teacher preparation courses. It is the confusion and discontinuity of past practice that has been very discouraging for teachers.

Third, there must be constant interplay between actual practice with children, and formal classroom study of psychology, pedagogy and content area knowledge.

Fourth, teachers need incentives, recognition, and rewards for doing well. Some of the incentives we have used are small stipends for afterhours course work, thanks to Congress, credits for participating in training, positive comments from the observers, visits to classes, citation of highly-successful teachers within our program group, the use of those teachers to mentor their peers, donations of free books and instructional materials for completion of tasks and positive verbal acknowledge for the efforts teachers are making.

In summary, quality professional development shall be one aspect of a system-wide program of change, class size reduction should be one dimension of systemic reform. Quality teacher preparation and professional development should be another. Training will most likely improve teaching and raise achievement if it is long term, comprehensive, continuous, aligned with research, aligned with standards and assessments, and if it teaches teachers to do specific things for which they have a purpose. Thank you.

[The statement of Dr. Moats follows:]




Chairman McKeon. Thank you. This has been very enlightening. We had a hearing last week, and we asked all of the witnesses, what is the most important element in learning, and all of them agreed that the teacher was Number 1. Do any of you disagree with that? Yes, Doctor?


Dr. Bauman. If I could put a qualifier on that. Yes, with inquiry-based science and problem-solving mathematics, then the classroom becomes critical as far as how the children learn. I don't see the teacher necessarily being the conduit of knowledge, but being able to create a classroom environment where inquiry or problem solving can occur, so long as that doesn't mean that the teacher is the one that puts the knowledge in the kid's head that creates the environment for the learning to occur.


Chairman McKeon. You can lead a horse to water; you can't make him drink. But the right kind of teacher can make them want to drink, and the wrong kind of teacher can make them not want to drink. So we would agree on that.

And then the question is, how do you get all teachers to that achieve at that level? And that is like saying how do you get all policemen to be the best policemen, or how do you get all physicians to be the best? I think in all fields, we have different levels of competency. What we are trying to do with this is come up with some way to help to raise all teachers' competencies and professionalism.

Most of your testimony is directed towards in-service, which is teachers that are already practicing teachers. We will have another hearing where we will be looking for developing teachers that you will then take to another level. It sounds like the money's spent. The Eisenhower and the other programs are kind of evenly divided; some is spent.

How was that divided up, that $1.5 billion?


Dr. Shaul. The $1.5 billion was divided on a number of different dimensions: one, was between programs that focused exclusively on teacher training, that is, about 38 percent of the funds, with the remainder on programs that have broader purposes, but where teacher training represents a significant activity.


Chairman McKeon. But this is all for in-service; this is all teachers--


Dr. Shaul. To answer the in-service question, about 78 percent of the funds were devoted to in-service primarily. The agencies reported that about 6 percent of the funds were devoted primarily to preparing teachers, and then there was a mix. The remainder of the programs said there was sort of an equal amount between the preservice and in-service. I think that was about 16 percent of the funds. So the majority is for in-service.


Chairman McKeon. I forget who mentioned now, the criteria that you use in hiring teachers.


Dr. Seremet. That might have been me.


Chairman McKeon. What do you look for in hiring a teacher?


Dr. Seremet. We look for alignment of their training program with the Maryland State accountability standards. Have they received training on both consent and pedagogy? Do they know what to teach and how to teach it? But, frankly, that is the second thing.

The first thing we look for is someone who is really passionate about working with children. We can teach the content and the pedagogy, we cannot teach that attitude.


Chairman McKeon. So whether or not they have the attitude is the number one characteristic you look for?


Dr. Seremet. That is number one. We would really like to have one and two as they come in with their transcript ready to be hired. But the reality for us is they do not have number two. And we have to do intensive beginning teacher training programs to transition from a college preparation program into practice in their first and second and third year of teaching.


Chairman McKeon. You find no teachers coming out of the university that are prepared?


Dr. Seremet. No, no; but there is certainly a gap between university training programs and current practice in the field in terms of the student outcomes and expectations, and accountability standards. It is particularly difficult in Maryland, where Maryland only trains about half of the teachers that she hires, which means we go to other States and other parts of the country to get them and they are obviously not being trained on Maryland accountability standards and content standards.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you.


Dr. Seremet. You are welcome.


Chairman McKeon. Mr. Martinez.


Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to expand on the last question that the Chairman asked, and that you responded to, because it is the second time this issue has come up -- the first time from somebody on the other side of the country, California -- that the field experiences that are provided to teacher candidates in colleges and institutions of higher education are not like situations that they would actually encounter in the classroom.

As a result, many teachers come to the classroom ill-prepared for what they encounter there, especially like in rural areas. And so, they get discouraged because they weren’t expecting to encounter those kinds of situations, and they weren’t taught how to deal with them. They then either leave the teaching profession altogether, or they try to find a school district where they won’t encounter those kinds of situations.

And sadly, I don’t think there is any place you go today, even in the rural or suburban areas, where you will not encounter difficulties in the classroom. I believe we should prepare our teachers better.

However, you say that you have overcome this problem by providing in-house training when they come to you from these colleges. How does that work?


Dr. Seremet. I am not sure I would say we overcome that. I would say that is a major priority for us, that the transition period in the first two years for a teacher, from their college preparation program until they become a tenured teacher with us, is one of very intense training. We do summer programs and extended day programs for them. It is a critical transition for them.

The internship, the student teaching experience, most of our beginning teachers tell us isn't long enough for them, and they don't really have their own classroom. They come in; they work with a cooperating teacher, but things like parent conferencing and classroom management strategies, in addition to the content and pedagogy, are areas that they really need time on their own to learn those skills. It is not something that is learned in a classroom in isolation of the students.


Mr. Martinez. I have a question for the entire panel, while I don’t expect an answer right now, I would like you to think about it. How can we, at the federal level, provide incentives for districts to provide quality teacher training? You might be able to help us with that.

Dr. Shaul, I was looking at appendix 2 of your report, the index of 40 programs that you categorize as receiving or providing significant teacher training. And I am wondering how you came up with this list -- when in some instances it says training obligations are unknown, or percentage of funds not available. So, how could you know what they were providing?

Then in one case you list a program as providing significant teacher training -- I am referring to the fund for the improvement of postsecondary education -- when only four percent of the funds are used for teacher training. How does that qualify as significant? I can see where Goals 2000 or local education systemic improvement grants, which dedicate 36 percent of their funds to teacher training, how I would consider that significant. But how do you compare 4 percent to 36 percent as significant?

Furthermore, there is one program here that you have listed as being one of the 40 programs that receives no funds for teacher training. The Ellender Fellowship receives no funds for teacher training, and it doesn’t appear to have any training obligations. How can you list this as significant teacher training?

There are certanly some on this list that I agree with. For instance, the International Education Exchange at 60 percent and the Aerospace Education Program at 50 percent. But even with the aerospace program -- it is hard for me to imagine how you lump it in with education programs, because it is specially dedicated to aerospace and it is part of that program exclusively.

But you do have some that I would consider very significant, like the Educational Exchange Teachers from secondary and postsecondary levels and the Fulbright program which provides 100 percent teacher training. 100 percent is significant. Forty-nine percent is significant. But how do you come to the conclusion that programs that receive no funding at all are significant?


Dr. Shaul. Let me try and answer that question. The methodology that we use to group the programs into three credit categories was one which we went through the catalogue for domestic assistance which describes programs. Then we sent surveys to each of the agencies and asked them about their programs.

We asked them to categorize whether their program in their opinion had as a focus, a significant focus, teacher training. Whether it was an exclusive, a significant focus or whether it was an allowable activity but that it was not significant from their perspective. They weren't necessarily making it on the determination of the percentage or the number of dollars.

For example, if you take Title I, the Education Department classifies that as an important program, a significant program for teacher training, but only 2.5 percent of that program is spent on teacher training, although it is $190 million.

Now, the other point to mention is that many of these programs have local discretion, and so the decision in one year could be to devote most of the program to teacher training or 50 percent or 30 percent. In another year it could be zero. So this represents the fiscal year 1999 plan.


Mr. Martinez. You are telling me then, that your study is based on self-declared information. That reminds me of a story that is not related to this at all, but there is an analogy. When I first came to work here in Washington, D.C. and I hired all my staff people, a magazine reporter called my office and asked for the names of my employees. And based on the names of my employees, he determined what ethnicities were represented I had in my office.

Now, there was a woman by the name of Ms. Grant who happened to be a Native American. He listed her as anglo. There was a woman named Mrs. Bowman who happened to be black. He listed her as white. Because of the name Bowman, he assumed she was white. It is the same thing here.

Instead of self-declaration, the purpose of a study like this is to allow us to consolidate programs and eliminate those programs that aren’t effective. However, I don’t think, that based on this chart and information, that I am willing to do that. I think we need to use a different methodology in determing which are significant programs and which are not significant programs.


Dr. Shaul. If I might add, these are preliminary results, and we certainly intend to delve deeper into programs. This represents sort of the big map rather than the in-depth boring in on the individual.


Mr. Martinez. I am looking forward to a more definitive answer.


Dr. Shaul. Thank you.


Chairman McKeon. When will we have that report?


Dr. Shaul. Later this year. Where we are right now the next thing we would be providing under the update of the previous 1995 report would be something more specific on the purposes of these programs.

Our intent would be essentially a follow-the-dollars strategy where we would look first in our study at the 12 programs that are exclusively devoted to teacher training and then look at a fairly small number of programs in the significant list that have substantial numbers of dollars, to begin looking at those issues.


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


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to the panel. I appreciate your testimony and the broad spectrum of backgrounds represented on the panel. It is very helpful to us.

I am going to zero in on just one area, and that is math/ science education, but I will ask each of you to respond to these questions if it relates to your area of work.

Three questions. First one is, we spend a lot of money in the Federal Government on professional development and other activities, and yet our student performance in math and science has not been good. It has gone down in some places. It barely held its own in other places. Why? What's your opinion of why that is true?

Second question, of all the activities that you are aware of in the various departments, and there are quite a number of departments as we have seen from Dr. Shaul's report, how does the performance or the results of these various programs, activities, et cetera, compare to those from the National Science Foundation programs?

Now remember, we are restricting it just to math and science programs. In other words, all the Department of Education programs, health and human services, agriculture, all the various programs listed, what is the impact and the beneficial effect of those programs compared to the beneficial effect from the National Science Foundation programs?

And my final question, what is the best way, in your mind, in your professional judgment, to improve student performance in math and science? Are we taking the right track? For example, I noticed almost all the programs are in service training rather than preservice. Should we do much more with preservice training? I am just asking what in your mind, in your professional judgment, is the best way to improve student performance in math and science. I eagerly await your answers.

Dr. Bauman first.


Dr. Bauman. If I can jump in on that. I will try to answer them. First question, why isn't student achievement where we would like it to be? If we use the TIMS data, it shows that we start off pretty well and we kind of decline from there on out. We can use that data to look at different things that we are doing in the classrooms from the teaching and also from the curriculum standpoint.

In our work, we are really focusing on the areas that TIMS data shows where we are lacking, such as mathematics, geometry, becoming more focused; and a piece of our professional development is helping teachers become more focused on their teaching and what they are teaching so they go in greater depth without a Jeopardy trivia-type of rote answering of multiple topics so they go in depth on fewer topics. The professional development needs to coincide with that.

Two, of all the activities, how do results compare from like NSF projects? NSF projects tend to be fairly narrow in their focus and they also tend to focus on specific regions. In our area, we don't have NSF-funded projects.

We could be likened to what they do, but we use all private money. We don't have access to their funds right now. So, therefore, we can use the information learned from them and implement it in our region but also using additional dollars from the Federal Government, such as Eisenhower, which is very important. Had that not been there, I don't think we'd be doing what we are doing.

Best way to improve math and science, focus on content, curriculum, and the professional development to match it and the materials and equipment that go along with it. They all go hand in hand.


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you. Dr. Birman?


Dr. Birman. I can only elaborate on some of the points because I am in agreement with Dr. Bauman on many of them.

Why is student performance not good, again, echoing Dr. Bauman? The TIMS study indicates that there is a lot of repetition of fairly basic skills over the life of the student and not enough focus on depth knowledge of content area and, that is why we think that the performance of students goes down as the years progress.

Or in the data, fourth graders do better or eighth graders do better than twelfth graders in mathematics. We feel that one reason is that teachers don't have that depth of content focus either and, therefore, cannot teach the students as well as they need to.

So one of the things that we found in our study is that focusing on content knowledge, not just the subject area but also how students learn the subject, how students think about mathematics or science, and what kinds of misconceptions students bring. That kind of very detailed professional development seems to be the best bet with regard to helping students to achieve better.

With regard to your second question comparing to NSF, there is very little actual information with regard to outcomes. In fact, we feel that our study is one of the first that deals on a national level with professional development looking at teachers' performance and outcomes.

There was a study not just of NSF but of many exemplary programs throughout the government, and we find that the IHE portion of the Eisenhower program, for example, does about as well with regard to reported teacher outcomes as those exemplary programs. The district part of the Eisenhower program doesn't do quite as well, though we are finding that there are some improvements in the district part of that program as well.

Regarding the best way to improve student performance: I think I would agree again that the focus on content would be key and then the professional development that would support that would have to occur over a long time frame to help teachers to engage with students or to actually look at what students are doing; professional development that links the learning of teachers to other activities to standards and assessments and so forth.

Those kinds of things we feel are the best ways to improve teaching and ultimately student performance. But frankly, there are very few studies. We conducted a literature review with regard to the effect of professional development on student performance and found virtually a handful of studies that looked at that issue.


Mr. Ehlers. Dr. Seremet, you look like you are eager to get in.


Dr. Seremet. I was just going to elaborate on your last question if I could. Regarding the best way to improve student learning, what we found in our district is that teachers need to see the direct connection between their student assessment results, how are the kids doing on unit tests and final exams and the State or the national standards, and that their professional development must be embedded in their daily work design for them to make that connection.

A summer workshop is an excellent beginning to getting strong content knowledge background, but embedded professional development has to be the instructional strategies, the appropriate use of materials and being able to engage in experimentation and reflection. Coaching with their principals needs to be embedded in day-to-day work so team planning time, before and after school time, use of monies and comprehensive school reform models where we don't separate curriculum from assessment from instructional strategies from grouping practices and school organization practices.

Teachers live in the real world every day in their classrooms and need to have a holistic approach in their school building to their own professional development and the connections in seeing their students' results.


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you.


Chairman McKeon. Mr. Owens.


Mr. Owens. Thank you. I think you have touched on it already, but I would like to go a little further. Dr. Seremet, you said that many of your teachers don't come from Maryland. You implied that those who have been trained in Maryland and come out of the colleges are prepared adequately because you have certain kinds of standards. Did I hear you correctly?


Dr. Seremet. Actually, we are finding there is still some struggle there even for those trained in Maryland. Our partners in higher education at the university level are revising their curriculum and teaching strategies to make sure that Maryland teacher ed. candidates are receiving that training, but frankly it is not at all unusual for us to hire a new teacher who doesn't know the Maryland State Assessment Program, the accountability standards and practices.


Mr. Owens. In Maryland, you would say you are having considerable success in preparing teachers who can come out of the undergraduate education, go into the classroom, and work well in a short period of time?


Dr. Seremet. As long as we have the opportunity for that transition period during their beginning time.


Mr. Owens. I am asking because I have been on this Committee for 17 years, and I have been hearing over the 17 years that this is a case where undergraduate education just can't prepare you. Many people argue that you must have graduate education. Teachers need more time. They need to be professionally trained in much the same manner that doctors and lawyers are trained in order for them to really be able to carry out their duties and functions, and I thought you were saying that it can be done in a four-year program.


Dr. Seremet. It can be, especially if there is a good balance and practicum work as well as course work at the university level, the sooner the student teachers get into the schools and have an opportunity to observe and begin practice teaching in their sophomore and junior and senior years in college and not simply wait.


Mr. Owens. There is some kind of almost obvious thing that they are not doing that they should be doing. Like they obviously should provide more practical training in the undergraduate years than the senior year? They should do more than the practical training that they get now?


Dr. Seremet. And I think we are seeing movement in that area.


Mr. Owens. A simple low-cost solution like that has eluded them for 17 years? No, I am sorry. Dr. Birman, you said that there have been very few national studies of professional development. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Are you saying that we have a thrust where we are calling for national testing for students, national curriculum, national standards, but we have not really focused much on how to train teachers? The Federal Government needs to do more to encourage professional development, to encourage a better approach to professional development? We haven't done all we can do?


Dr. Birman. Well, certainly we don't know as much as we could know about the professional development of teachers nationwide. A lot of the information about professional development is in very small studies, some of them very useful but still studies of a few teachers or a few schools or even one or two school districts.

There is very little national information, say, from a national sample such as the data we collected; a national sample of teachers or a national sample of school districts where you could really get a picture across the country of how districts compare to one another, of how teachers' experiences compared to one another.


Mr. Owens. None of this has come out of the OERI-funded labs and centers over all these years we have funded those labs and centers? We don't have some good comprehensive national studies?


Dr. Birman. I don't know of one, though I could defer to Dr. Garet to see if he has anything to add.


Mr. Garet. I am Michael Garet, deputy director of the Eisenhower evaluation. What we really lack are studies that look at the link between professional development, teachers' teaching practices, and student achievement. That is probably the single lack, the greatest lack in the field of professional development.

These are not easy studies to do for reasons you can imagine. But studies that do that well within disciplines, within math, within science, within reading, there are studies.


Mr. Owens. Thank you. Dr. Bauman, you wanted to comment?

Dr. Shaul, you stated your study included programs that support teacher training in a variety of ways such as providing books and other supplies. I want to know how many of the 87 programs support professional development versus how many actually provide professional development. Some support is kind of vague, but how many actually would you say are doing professional development?


Dr. Shaul. Of the 87 programs that we looked at, there were a total of 51 that either had teacher training, professional development as their soul focus, or who said that that was an important or significant part of their activities.

I would say the 36 programs that simply allow for teacher training probably are not providing a great deal of professional development. They reported to us, although sometimes they didn't have data. The data that we do have would show that it is less than 1 percent of the total Federal investment.


Mr. Owens. The numbers, again, 51 you said out of the 87 provide actual professional development?


Dr. Shaul. Correct. That is right.


Mr. Owens. What's the other figure, 36?


Dr. Shaul. Thirty-six programs that we identified as possibly supporting teacher training reported that that was an allowable expense under their program but that it was not a significant activity, so I would count those 36 programs as providing a very, very, very small amount of professional development.


Mr. Owens. My time is up. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you. Chairman Goodling.


Chairman Goodling. This Committee has been pretty hard on teacher training institutions the last several years. We hope that you are all making them understand that they have to do a far better job preparing teachers for the 21st century. I don't know how much we can do, but obviously it is necessary.

Dr. Shaul, you don't know how much pain and suffering the General Accounting Office has caused me over 24 years: 700 education-related programs spread over every agency in downtown; 160 job training programs spread over 30 some agency departments; 13 agencies, 87 programs, some support for teacher training.

Unfortunately, we have what is called the pride of authorship, which is very important in the Congress of the United States, and we are having a difficult time breaking that down. I have given up. I used to run over when I am sitting in my office listening to someone introduce a program on the floor, and I would run over and say I know you realize we already have that program on the books. The answer was always, well, one more won't hurt. And I guess one more won't hurt; but oh my, if we could ever get them coordinated, we could probably spend money far better. So you do your job well because I am pained and I am suffering.

Dr. Birman, I was glad to hear you talk about content focus. I have said many times I hired an awful lot of elementary teachers, many of which had very little math and science in high school and none in college, and they are expected to teach all subjects and somehow or another turn youngsters on to math and science at an early age when they've never been turned on themselves.

So we have been telling that to the teacher training institutions also, how important that is, particularly for those -- well, for all teachers. But if the elementary teacher has to teach all subjects, they should have something more than how to teach a course in math. It doesn't do you much good knowing how to teach if you don't know the content.

And Dr. Bauman, I was glad to hear your emphasis on the importance of Eisenhower for you to leverage other money. You said something about 125 hours, and I wasn't sure whether you were saying that in your programs that it is a 125-hour program.

I mention that primarily because I am always happy when I am down here on the day that my wife, who has been teaching for 40 years, is having an in-service day, because then I don't have to go home at night and hear, how could they ever take me away from my students and send me to something as stupid as that and as meaningless as that. Were you saying if you complete your program, it is 125 hours?


Dr. Bauman. Spread out over a three-year period, and that is summers and during the school year. We feel it is very important that there is continuity and building upon each additional session. So teachers are out of the classroom any way from two to four days during the school year, spend up to four or five days during the summer depending upon the cycle thereon within the institute.


Chairman Goodling. My experience, personally. And then what I hear from my wife is so many times it is three, four, five hours of something, whatever.


Dr. Bauman. These are full-day sessions with the teachers. Two weeks ago, one teacher as she was packing up her equipment and going back to the classroom told me that when she told her students she was leaving the next day, the response was, cool, does that mean you are coming back with more of that science stuff for us to do. So the students automatically are noting the connection to what she's doing as well.


Chairman Goodling. Dr. Seremet, I was glad to hear you indicate Ed Flex has helped you with your professional development.


Dr. Seremet. It has been essential for us.


Chairman Goodling. We hope that all States will take advantage of this new opportunity they will have.

Dr. Moats, I complimented you on what appears to be happening in D.C., the schools in which your project is included. I wanted to ask Mr. Abdullah what do you attribute that to, because as I look at the statistics the schools you are in and in relationship to the schools you are not in in D.C., there seems to be tremendous increase in scores as far as reading is concerned. What do you attribute that to?


Mr. Abdullah. We attribute it to the focus on teacher training and professional development. Our students are doing better on tests. My colleague at Garrison elementary school in Northwest, Mrs. Abney, a student scored above the national norm in reading last year. This was primarily do to the implementing of the NICHD program which focuses on teacher training, professional development, and abundance of rich literature, mentoring, and tutoring support for our students.


Chairman Goodling. Are you finding that most of these teachers you are working with really had very little preparation in how to teach reading, for instance? Either Dr. Moats or Mr. Abdullah?


Mr. Abdullah. From my own personal perception, I had very little training in how to teach children how to read prior to the NICHD program, and I expect most of our teachers receive very little teaching training in teaching children how to read also.


Chairman Goodling. We had a first grade teacher testify last year, and she said the only reading course she had in college was her professor said that if you can read, you can teach anybody to read. I thought boy, for 50 percent of the students that are going to be in front of her, she's going to find the shock of her life. Dr. Moats?


Dr. Moats. If I could explain why I invited Mr. Abdullah to come to this hearing. Not only has he weathered two years of our course work, but when we started, the first workshop we did it was Mr. Abdullah who came up to me tearfully saying Dr. Moats, if anybody had ever taught me these things about how to teach children to read, I know that the students I have been working with for the last three years would be achieving so much better than they did.

And he talked to me about his frustration not knowing what to do. And I think he is a completely transformed teacher. He was one of those who had been teaching and had all the right attitudes and commitment and dedication to his job, but he simply had not been given good training or materials and now the results are very different.


Chairman Goodling. Thank you.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you. Mr. Tierney.


Mr. Tierney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank all the members of the panel for sharing your thoughts with us and your testimony today.

Dr. Seremet, let me just ask. You mentioned the comprehensive school reform at the top. What have your observations been on the role that teacher development has made in most of the comprehensive school reform programs that you might have come across? Is that a large component of many of the programs?


Dr. Seremet. It is a large component. We are a school district of 12 schools. Six of our 12 schools are in comprehensive school reforms. Three are successes for all, and three are modern red schoolhouses; and for us as a district, the blessing of comprehensive school reform is that it comes as a package.

The curriculum, the assessment, the professional development, the grouping strategies, the leadership training, all of it comes as part of the best practices research base that Dr. Moats talked about, so that a busy, building school principal isn't having to pull all of the research and try to put the elements together. It has made a significant impact in our district.


Mr. Tierney. I'm glad to hear you say that. I think the only shame of that is that it hasn't gone from a demonstration program to implementation. We have to do something about that.

Dr. Moats, how important is it for a teacher seeking professional development to have connection to an academic institution? Is that a necessary part of the development?


Dr. Moats. No, I don't feel it is, especially with what is being offered through academic institutions at the present time. In fact, unfortunately, in the field of reading, some of the best training for teachers is available through private vendors, if you will, or just institutions that have perfected the art of teaching teachers how to teach children to read.

I think, in fact, it is the private sector and the consumers who are having an influence now on what universities are offering, and it has been the pressure from those who need to know and get the job done that has actually transformed teacher preparation in colleges.


Mr. Tierney. Who serves as a clearinghouse, or somebody, that can inform school districts of what is available out there? How does a principal know or a group of teachers know just what is available for professional development from time to time?


Dr. Moats. In my view, it is really haphazard, hit or miss; and there really is not a good mechanism for informing principals.


Mr. Tierney. Dr. Seremet, do you have any ideas how that might be improved somehow? I don't know if it is a role for us necessarily but what schools might do to enhance the objectives.


Dr. Seremet. I can tell you as a school district what we do is use the comprehensive school reform legislation that has nine key criteria for what quality programs look like, and we write our professional development strands in each school improvement plans.

So the principal and the teachers look at their student achievement needs and determine where the gaps of knowledge are for the students and then match to the research best practices what professional development would align with that.


Mr. Tierney. That professional best practice actually serves as a resource so that if you go to one of the programs, they'll know--


Dr. Seremet. If it is a comprehensive school reform model they will. Otherwise, we depend on our principals, and in our district five supervisors, to be screening the Internet and the professional journals to make sure we are matching truly what are research base best practices and not just the fad of the month.


Mr. Tierney. Did you want to say something?


Dr. Bauman. In our region for math and science education, three times a year we publish all of the different opportunities provided in our region for teachers in math and science. Those items must be aligned with the standards and must follow inquiry-based science. So the districts receive everything from higher ed, nonprofits, in one booklet three times a year of what is available for them.


Mr. Tierney. To whomever might want to answer this, what's the role of distance learning in this? Is there any role at all that you see coming into play here? Do you envision one for teachers to take advantage of their professional development through distance learning? Apparently it hasn't had a real big impact on anybody.


Dr. Seremet. It is sort of one in a menu of options for us.


Mr. Tierney. But it is out there? Do you have a feel of whether it is something that people are looking at favorably or unfavorably, something they're bashful about or shy of?


Dr. Seremet. Our folks are a little shy. Some of our adult learning theory and experiences are that people learn best in interactive kinds of settings and that is sometimes still to them a distance learning experience.


Mr. Tierney. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you. Mr. Isakson.


Mr. Isakson. Mr. Chairman, I know we have to leave, and I wouldn't want these folks to come back just for my questions. I will make an observation, and Dr. Moats can tell me if I am right or wrong. When Congressman Owens made his comment about teacher preparation when he served for 17 years, I have become convinced that the single most important thing we can do to improve teacher training in public education would be to require every college of education and every professor in it to teach one out of every three or four years in the public schools of the United States of America.

There is a disconnect between theory and the applied technology of teaching children to which Dr. Moats' program is a specific example; and you tell me if I am wrong, Doctor, but there are three components you have in your program for reading. Number one, your college of education or your instructors at the University of Houston, yourself anyway, must have been involved in the D.C. schools by actually going into them and working with those teachers; is that correct?


Dr. Moats. Yes.


Mr. Isakson. Number two, the biggest deficiency in America in teaching reading is that there is not the option for our teachers to use phonics as well as whole language and other practices. And from reading what you have here, you introduced both those techniques and made them available as an optional best practice for the teachers; is that correct?


Dr. Moats. We are requiring that all the teachers know how to teach all of the components well including phonemic awareness and phonics. It is not an option for us. It is a necessity.


Mr. Isakson. That is the implication of what I meant. And third and last, Mr. Chairman, I only observed the most expensive Federal or State program in the United States of America and public education, which is reading recovery. The largest single contribution to school dropouts in America is the inability of a child to read, therefore bringing about low self-esteem and many of the other problems.

So I commend what you are doing. I hope you will make it available to others as we develop programs, one to get universities back in gauge with actually teaching in the classroom or observing it; and, two, focusing on reading. With that, Mr. Chairman, I won't go any further so we can vote.


Chairman McKeon. Thank you, Mr. Isakson. I thank you on the panel for being here and as has already been said, we are again in the middle of another vote. Will you please watch what we are doing as we go through this process. If you think of something you didn't get a chance to say that you would like in the record, please get it to us. And if you see something that you would like to see that we are not doing, please get it to us so we can get that in the record of the bill that we are working on. Thank you very much.

[Whereupon, at 12:12 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]