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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 21, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EST

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before the bill does fail. they're reevaluating their stance and wondering if a change to that los angeles is best. >> can they do that now that the house has gone forward and approved the rule for debate? >> they could go forward and change it. they would pull that bill vote on a new bill, vote on a new rule, and restart the process. so it's possible that if they do change the language the vote doesn't occur tomorrow as planned. >> at least from the speaker's press conference it sounds like they're going forward or calling for passage of the current legislation. speaker boehner voting the house will vote on protecting babies, a policy supported by the majority of americans. also katherine clark a democrat saying i'm urging the house to reject an extreme anti-choice bill set for the roe v. wade anniversary. take us back to a similar measure the house passed last week. in terms of democratic support it had some last year. what about this year? >> this year unlikely to see vast amounts of democratic support.
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the six democrats voted last year in favor of this measure, most of them have left congress. there aren't enough democrats to really -- that republicans can rely on to pass this over republican objections. >> you've reported and others have reported the white house issuing a veto threat on this legislation. what would happen in the senate? >> the path in the senate is very uncertain. mitch mcconnell hasn't given much indication on whether he feels it could pass the senate if it is scheduled and whether it could be scheduled. the senate obviously moves much scloe slower than the house. so even if a vote was held there it could be weeks or months before they go forward and they likely don't have the votes to override any presidential veto which could temper expectations in the senate they even vote on a bill. >> follow lauren french's reporting on twitter twitter @laurenfrench and politico.com. thanks for the update. >> thanks for having very on.
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>> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span 2 saturday night at 10:00 on book tv's "after words," former governor mike huckabee on america's cultural and political landscape. and sunday night at 11:00 princeton historyian julian vzelezan on lyndon johnson. saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, university of california davis professor eric roushway on the role of the british royal air force and allied strategy during world war ii. and sunday evening at 6:00 on "american artifacts," sammy morris archivist at the purdue university special collections division tours the school's amelia earhart collections which houses the world's largest assemble aj of papers relate to the american aviation pioneer. find our complete television schedule at c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400, e-mail
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uz at comments @c-span.org or send us a tweet tweet @c-span #comments. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> in his state of the state address iowa governor terry branstad talked about job opportunities for veterans, expanding broadband in rural areas and fighting bummying in schools. he spoke at the state capitol house chamber in des moines. this is 30 minutes. [ applause ]
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madam lieutenant governor, madam president, mr. speaker, leaders, justices and judges legislators, elected officials distinguished guests friends, family, fellow iowans good morning. it is my honor to stand before you today in this great chamber in front of the session of the iowa legislature to deliver the message the condition of iowa is strong. our strength comes from working together in our joint commitment to prudent choices for iowa. to the new members of the iowa legislature who are coming to des moines for the first time to serve their constituents back home, welcome. i also want to welcome returning legislators who return to the capitol after receiving a vote of confidence from your constituents. i'm eager to continue working
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with you to serve our state. as we return for another legislative session, we return without a military veteran and dedicated public servant, representative dwayne alonz who will be dearly missed in this great chamber. i know now more than ever that the work we do here together matters. it matters in the lives of hard-working iowa families and our main street business. it matters to farmers and farmland. it matters to public safety and our state parks. it matters to iowa children counting on us to give them a world-class education who are now benefiting from the phase-in of the most extensive teacher leadership system in the nation. it matters to the veteran completing their tour of duty. instead of worrying about where they're going to find a career after leaving the service they're comforted to know that
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iowa has thousands of careers available for them right here now because of home base iowa. it matters to the hard-working machinists on the line. rather than thinking industry has given up on them they're eager to the opportunity to sharpen their craft and demonstrate their skills through a national career readiness certificate. it matters that we work together. these successes should serve as guideposts for -- these successes should serve as guideposts for a familiar journey of coming together to help iowans create more jobs, live better lives and grow prosperity throughout our state. ladies and gentlemen, our work together has iowa on the rise.
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[ applause ] in the past four years 180 -- in the past four years 168,700 jobs have been created. iowa's unemployment rate has been slashed by nearly 30%. and over 9 billion in private capital investments have located in iowa. we passed the largest tax cuts in our state's history. which through a close collaboration of the iowa department of revenue and county governments is being implemented throughout the state. we invested historically in our children's future through transformational education reform. and we did it working together. together. during the 2014 legislateive session we worked across partisan lines to pass historic home base iowa package that attracts veterans leaving the military service to come to iowa to fill high-quality careers available here.
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our actions are working. today over 600 veterans have been matched with jobs in iowa through home-based iowa initiative. eight cities and counties have become home-based iowa communities standing ready tome brace veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life. and eight of our college and universities have earned the distinction of home-based iowa champs for their designation and for the commitment they've made to welcoming service members to their campus. already our work together has resulted in 24,000 jobs being post ed posted on the home base iowa jobs bank. our work to pass home base iowa is bringing new business to the state as well. this month i met with one of the owners of capital armament company, a former united states
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marine, he informed me that the company is relocating from minnesota to siblee, iowa in part because of home base iowa in this friendly business climate that we offer. simply put working together we've ensured that veterans leaving the service have boundless opportunities to live, work, and prosper in iowa. our work demonstrates that no veteran should have to worry about finding a job after sacrificing so much for our state and our nation. our work through the iowa apprenticeship and job training program, the skilled iowa initiative and the national career readiness certificate among other initiatives helped hard-working iowans move forward. unlike past years when tuition was raised by over 17%, we work
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together to pass a tuition freeze for iowa students at our regents institutions. [ applause ] our work has put us on a bright sustainable path. our budget is balanced. our state maintains a budget surplus. our economic emergency accounts are fully funded. and our unemployment rate is the tenth lowest in the nation. and we've done it together. [ applause ] with our continued progress we must continue to be mindful of the prudent budgeting that brought us the opportunity to reinvest in our children and to return taxpayers' hard-earned money. through careful management web
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continue to grow even if we encounter some choppy waters. we must continue following the lead of our fellow iowans like the nearly 40 farmers who came together in northwest iowa last october with eight combines and six dump carts and a dozen trucks to help harvest the beans of a fallen friend. the message that rings out today and always in iowa, together we can. together we can make our schools safer. we can continue implementing transformational education reform while passing new maeshs to protect our students from bullying and harassment in schools. together we can strengthen our rural infrastructure by connecting every acre in iowa to high-speed internet. better access to broadband means. ensuring modern farming methods can flourish in all iowa fields as part of a modern infrastructure.
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strengthening our infrastructure also means we must come together and strengthen our roads and bridges that connect iowa farmers and schools and main treat businesses to the world. we can make college more affordable and accessible for iowans. we can renew our commitment to providing affordable world-class education at our regents universities by offering select degrees for $10,000 and again freezing tuition for iowa students. [ applause ] >> we can provide more assistance to iowa students with financial needs attending our outstanding independent colleges and universities. let's continue to invest in our community colleges including skilled training for iowa workers. a better-trained workers means better opportunities for iowa families. simply put no position in our
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state should be left unfilled due to lack of skilled workers. together we can make iowa the most transparent government in the land. we can offer iowa taxpayers a new transparency portal, making state government more open, accessible and easier to navigate. together we can accomplish this forward-thinking plan of action. we have these opportunities to improve the quality of life in our state because together we made it possible. in the fall of 2014 lieutenant governor kim reynolds, my wife and i had the opportunity to visit sioux city, north linden and marshalldown town school districts to discuss the important topic of preventing bullying in iowa schools. we were pleased to be joined at each stop by students teachers, parents, school administrators legislators and community leaders. what we heard at each school was clear. students are ready to stand up
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and say let's end bullying in iowa. now our turn. [ applause ] students in these districts and throughout our state have told our stories of learning being disrupted and feeling unsafe. what's worse, we know some students are even being physically sxem oceanegs and emotionally harmed. community leaders shared it is time for the state to act. i agree. every day children in iowa schools are tormented by bullies. bullies attack in school and on the internet. they lurk not just in the corners of the schoolhouse but also on snap chat, instagram facebook, twitter, yikyak, and through text messaging.
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iowa common sense tells us that every child in iowa deserves to go to school each and i have day in a safe and respectful learning environment. they deserve a classroom and a community that allows them to grow and flourish, not live in fear of when the bully will strike again. this is the year that we stand up to the bully. we can't wait any longer. please join lieutenant governor reynolds, my wife chris and me in standing up against bullying. [ applause ] thank you.
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together we can end bullying in iowa. together we can protect our students at our schools frombullies. the bully-free act of 2015 that i proposed today gives parents information by requiring parental notification. however, i'm also proposing an extra layer of protection for students. this year's anti-bullying legislation allows an exception from notification if a bullied student and a school official believe that parental note fkation could lead to abuse neglect, or rejection. legislation also launches a bullying prevention program by empowering student mentors to take ownership of anti-bullying efforts in their schools. the bill allows a student who changes schools due to bullies to immediately participate in athletics. the legislation will also provide investigator training for schools.
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together we can make 2015 the year that iowa acted to protect our children and grandchildren by ending bullying in our schools. moving iowa forward always means ensuring our schools and communities stay safe and our families feel protected. it means we must do more to protect victims of domestic abuse. now domestic abusers can serve only a fraction of their sentence and return to demonizing their victims. this is wrong. it is wrong for the victims and it's the wrong policy for the safety and well-being of iowans. let's work together to pass additional measures ensuring that victims do not live in fear of their abuser returning from prison long before the sentence is completed.
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today i propose legislation classifying anyone abused of domestic abuse three times as a habitual offender. this classification would triple the mandatory minimum sentence. the legislation holds criminals accountable for their abuse allows them ample time to rehabilitate, and protects our communities. while victims and communities will be protect eded from habitual offenders k together we can protect vulnerable iowans from individuals making criminal threats. oftentimes iowa courts order a threatening individual to stay away from a potential victim. but should the order be violated the victim and the authorities are not notified until after the fact. and sometimes that's too late. together we can give authorities and the victims the power of knowing when an abuser is in close proximity. together we can enact legislation that expands the use of gps monitor inging on dangerous
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domestic abusers. together we can protect victims of domestic violence. together we can end bullying in iowa. [ applause ] we know our budget is sound and that our books are balanced. we've done this together. we passed historic tax relief. aiding main street businesses. and we passed measures to increase the skills of iowa workers. those measures help attract great companies creating high-quality careers for iowa all over our state. facebook just finished our first
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iowa data center in altoona and is already working on an expansion. google is working in council bluffs again. and microsoft is expanding in west des moines. car gil and c.j. just opened in fort dodge and are bringing even more good jobs to the region. in sioux city cf industries will be expanding production of nitrogen fertilizer for iowa farmers. the iowa fertilizer plant under construction in lee county will produce both nitrogen fertilizer and d.e.f. to reduce pollution and increase mileage for diesel engines. valent biosciences, kenzie, kamen, saber, brownells and mid americas historic wind project are all growing right here in iowa. across our state though farming operations still provide the lifeblood of our economy this
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continued success depends and their continued success depends on their ability to connect. not only to connect their equipment to the ground but in this day and age it means connecting their equipment to the internet. connecting with a global marketplace to sell their goods, connecting to main streets across iowa. the fabric of our state is woven together by the gravel roads and interstate highways. in this day and age it must also be connected by access to broadband as well. this legislative session let's come together and pass legislation allowing rural iowa to experience continued growth and connection to the rest of iowa and the rest of the world. together let's put partisan politics aside and give rural iowa the broadband legislation that connects every acre and connects communities to the careers of the 21st century.
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[ applause ] our connect every acre plan focuses on providing more rural broadband in iowa and encourages service providers to build out networks not just to the ending point but to the rural communities in between. between davenport and des moines, between mason city and sioux city. and all across iowa. we are enriched by many fine rural communities. let's weave them together with the fiber of high-speed prnt, connecting every acre and covering our state with broadband internet. we can accomplish this together by focusing on increasing access through reasonable regulation and encouraging growth and by fostering expansion by creating the iowa farms, schools, and communities broadband grant program.
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adopting these measures demonstrates an ongoing commitment to our state's continued growth. with some of the most fertile land in the world citizens with exceptional work ethic and a strong sense of community pride rural iowa has boundless opportunities. together we can adopt measures to connect every acre and give them yet another reason to believe their best days are ahead. [ applause ] building a better iowa means building iowa for the future. it means investing in our state's infrastructure. so let's invest in broadband internet and let's also invest in iowa's roads and bridges.
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over the past few years rhetoric has trumpeted results when it comes to action on infrastructure funding for iowa. a recently completed mattel study demonstrates the need for us to take a hard look at adequate road funding. the study shows that without action funding available for road and bridge maintenance will fall short of what is needed to remain competitive and most importantly safe. without action iowa's roads and bridges face awn certain future. our farmers will find it more difficult to deliver their commodities to market. business and industry will look elsewhere when considering where to invest and grow. as the study found, sound infrastructure remains a prerequisite for economic development. this is our opportunity to pave the road to iowa's strong future.
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together we can find common ground and pass a bipartisan plan to fund the systems krital to our state's vitality. iowa's roads and bridges. and our broadband infrastructure. building an infrastructure as strong as the future that we want, iowa 34u69must be a bipartisan priority this legislative session. [ applause ] >> i'm confident we can -- wa was work ethic commitment and dedication are recognized across the country and around the world. yet within our state today skilled job openings are abundantly available and going unfilled. last october i toured omaha
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standard, paulfinger in council bluffs. they're an international company that produces hoists cranes, lift gates and more. the council bluffs manufacturing facility was buzzing on the day i visited. production floor. being manufactured in america, they're being produced in council bluffs iowa. after our tour company leaders shared with me they're eager to find more workers in council bluffs if only they could find workers with the right skills. these are long-term high-paying careers for wa wanz and they should not be left open. together we can establish the center for human capital enrichment. a public-private partnership dedicated to aligning education and job training programs for workers with a stronger work
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force in place will bring more manufacturing and high skild jobs to our state. let's lift up the iowa worker. we can help companies like omaha standard paulfinger who are ready to expand and fill more jobs in the state of iowa. our state budget is tight. that is no secret. iowans rightly expect predictability and stability in state government. but they also expect our state budget to reflect their priorities. the biennial budget that i propose today is balanced. works within our five-year projections and still freezes tuition for our students at iowa state universities for the third straight year. [ applause ]
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freezing tuition for the third consecutive years is a bold step to provide an affordable higher education in iowa. but our path doesn't end there. that's why we challenge the state board of regents to develop a plan that offers students a set of degrees they can earn for $10,000. in addition, i'm offering legislation to create the iowa student debt reorganization tax credit. this tax credit allows individuals to volunteer for worthy causes in exchange for having contributions made toward their student debt. we've worked together to freeze tuition. now let's continue to take the right steps to make iowa a leader in reducing student debt.
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iowans rightly expect high quality for the money they spend on education as well as a government that reflects their shared values. together we work to increase transparency in government making it as open and honest as the people of our great state. we created the iowa public information board to give the public a resource when seeking information from local and state government. i'm pleased to report that the iowa public information board has responded to 643 cases in the past fiscal year. more and more of the inquiries are not complaints but rather questions from policy makers about how they could be more transparent. the iowa public information board is making every layer of government more open. this year i'm recommending that iowa establish a government accountability portal. a one-stop shop for citizens seeking information. the portal housed within the
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public information board will field requests and respond within one business day as state employees we are here to serve the taxpayers. iowa can do more to improve government transparency. for many years the people of iowa who fund state government have been kept in the dark on personnel decisions because of a loophole in iowa's open records law. i was pleased last year when the house of representatives passed on a bipartisan basis legislation that would shine light on these personnel files. a substantiated offense. while a government employee is being paid by the taxpayers. should not be hidden in the shadows. together, in the best interests of iowa taxpayers, we can shine light on these records and make our state government even more open open, honest, and transparent.
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as i travel the state i marvel at the endless beauty of our landscape. when i visit all 99 counties, i never -- i never cease to be amazed on what local communities are doing to continually improve on their main sfreets and quality of life. from the high trestle trail bridge near madrid to the revitalization of downtown cedar rapids. from the lewis & clark estate park near the banks of the missouri river to the historic mill work district in dubuque near the mississippi river, our land between two rivers offers our citizens a high quality of life and our visitors many attractions. but as lieutenant governor reynolds and i continue to work to bring more business and industry to our state, we hear that companies are rirnted not only in our welcoming business climate but also in the high quality of life for their employees. this year i'm proposing iowa
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next a holst tic plan for quality of life initiatives across the state. let's bring together state agencies that have a shared interest in quality of life initiatives and invest in our parks, trails, lakes, and museums. the proposals outlined today will impact every iowan. they will help to create jobs, protect students and families, and open up our government. like the old saying goes many hands make light work. remember back in june of last year? torrential rains pummelled northwest iowa. in the soup county town of rock, iowa. the rock river surged over its banks and into the streets and homes of residents. a few short weeks before rabb
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ray citizens and community leaders were wondering if they'd be able to recover. when i arrived in rock valley i had little doubt. in a town of just 3,500 people, 1,700 people showed up to help sandbag. members of the town helped evacuate a local assisted living home. emergency managers stayed up throughout the night to ensure the safety and well-being of locals, their homes, and the town's infrastructure. and when the cycles of rag ray from around the globe arrived in rock river, the city was ready because they worked together. when a challenge arrives, we iowans get to work. we know that by working together we can find a solution to any problem. the 86th general assembly is upon us. with it comes an opportunity.
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working together and moving forward is the iowa way. let's come together again and make our schools stronger and safer, our communities more connected, our families better protected, our workers better trained trained, our universities more affordable, and our government the most transparent in the united states. now's the time to get to work. [ applause ] now's the time to get to work. together we can build a better
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iowa. thank you. god bless you. and god bless all the people of the great state of iowa. thank you very much. [ applause ] illinois governor bruce rauner spoke about reviving the economy, cutting spending and tackling corruption in his inaugural address. mr. rauner is the 42nd governor of the state and his remarks are 25 minutes. [ applause ]
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raise your right hand. place your hand on the bible. raise your right hand. repeat after me. i bruce vincent rauner. >> i bruce vincent rauner. >> do solemnly swear. >> do solemnly swear. >> that i will support the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support the constitution of the united states. >> and the constitution of the state of illinois. >> and the constitution of the state of illinois. >> and that i will faithfully discharge. >> and that i will faithfully discharge. >> the duties of the office of governor. >> the duties of the office of governor. >> to the best of my ability. >> to the best of my ability. >> to help meso help me god. >> so help me god. >> congratulations, governor. [ applause ]
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♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ]
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>> okay. let's see what time it is. it's afternoon. good afternoon illinois. great day, illinois. [ cheers and applause ] thank you so very much. thank you so very much. i want to begin by thanking my wife, diana. [ applause ] she's my partner. she's my best friend. and she's going to be a tremendous first lady. thank you. [ applause ] and thank you to our six kids who have endured a lot over the last two years. and will be having to put up with a lot more over the next four.
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thank you so much. [ applause ] i want to acknowledge governor pat quinn for his years of service to the state and the people of illinois. [ applause ] . i'd like to recognize and thank our distinguished guests here today. madam chief justice and distinguished members of the court. president cullerton. speaker madigan. leader redonio. leader durkin. attorney general madigan. secretary of state white. comptroller designate munger. treasurer elect frerics. members of the general assembly. members of the congressional delegation. governor edgar. thank you. mayor houston. mayor emanuel. archbishop supic.
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and major general crumbrye and all the members of our national guard. thank you for your service. [ applause ] >> thank you, evelyn. thank you. you're the best partner i could possibly have to transform our state government. [ applause ] you'll be a terrific lieutenant governor. thank you. i'd like to express our very deepest gratitude to our veterans and our servicemen and women here today and around the world. god bless you. thank you for your service to our country. as governor i will do everything in my power to support you. i also want to say a very special thank you to our police officers, our corrections officers our firefighters.
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and all those who risked their lives to protect the families of illinois. thank you. i look forward to being an ally and an advocate for you and working very closely together. it's an honor to stand before you, before all the people of illinois today. i'm humbled. i'm honored. i'm privileged. and i'm excited. i love illinois. i want ours to be a great state. i want ours to be a great home for every family here. [ applause ] and i'm ready to go to work for you. you know, as i've traveled our state over the last few years i've met with tens of thousands of people. i've met with teachers and farmers. i've met with factory workers and coal miners, college
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students retirees. the people who are the heart and soul of illinois. in that process i've met with thousands of small business owners. and in our discussions i've been stunned, i've been shocked actually by how many of them are frustrated trying to build their businesses here and are thinking about leaving. i visited one company called keats manufacturing in wheeling. back in 1958 burt and glenn keats started a metal stamping company in a storefront on cicero avenue in chicago. their father had never made it past high school. but both of them made it through college, and they were eager to start out on their own. they had one employee and a couple machines. they worked long hours a second job, and sacrificed much. but they made it and their
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company took off. today keats manufacturing employs 110 illinois workers and has nearly 75 machines running 24 hours a day five days a week. the story of burt and glenn keats was not an uncommon path in our state, and it wasn't just chicago, and it wasn't just manufacturing. it was peoria. it was rockford. it was decatur. it was agriculture. it was transportation. it was technology. illinois was a place where people like burt and glenn keats from all over the country and indeed from all over the world wanted to come because illinois was a land of opportunity. almost without parallel in america. today illinois's very different. the grandsons of burt and glenn keats, i met with them. they told me i couldn't have
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started their company in illinois today. when their grandfather started the company all its customers were illinois companies. they were all illinois companies. they went door to door to find them. but today none of their customers are illinois companies. they have all left. and the grandsons told me that they themselves are feeling the pressure of high taxes and high regulation. today illinois is not able to compete with our neighboring states states. our citizens are suffering because of it. and in many cases they are up and leaving. last year we lost more people than any other state in america. and over the last ten years we have ranked right near the bottom of all 50 states for out migration to other states. people are leaving to find jobs
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or because they run companies and they're taking their jobs with them. our local businesses look in every direction and see states that are more appealing. lifelong illinoisans look at their future and think maybe they can achieve more outside illinois. you probably know a neighbor, a co-worker, or maybe even a son or a daughter who has said i can do better somewhere else. it breaks your heart. but you know, it's hard to argue with them. we need a booming economy that is pro growth, pro business pro job creation or we won't have the resources to solve any of our other problems. we must stay --
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[ applause ] thank you. our state must become competitive again. in the weeks ahead i'll be asking the legislature to work with me to pass a comprehensive jobs and economic package that will get illinois working again. [ applause ] let's get -- let's get our sons and daughters to return home. [ applause ] we'll do it. one of the main reasons companies have been leaving illinois is that they don't have confidence in the financial condition of our state. we are in the midst of a government financial crisis that has been building for decades. its roots lie in bad decisions,
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bad practices and bad management by state government. it is not a partisan creation. it is a truly bipartisan one. our government has spent more than we could afford, borrowed money, and called it revenue. rather than responsibly budgeting the money we had this hurt our economy even more. put more stress on our social safety net, and pushed more illinoisns out of our state. leaving fewer taxpayers to support the government. as a result, today illinois is not as competitive as we need to be
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be. and we cannot be as compassionate as we want to be. [ applause ] some in government will be tempted to once again take the easy road and leave the real problems for another day and the next generation but we cannot do so because to conduct business as we've been doing it would be morally corrupt. [ applause ] instead. instead, we have an opportunity to accomplish something historic, to fix years of busted budgets and broken government. to forge a path toward long-term
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prosperity prosperity and a brighter future. to make illinois the kind of state that others aspire to become become. a national leader in job growth and education quality. [ applause ] to achieve that we'll require sacrifice. sacrifice by all of us. politicians and interest groups, business and labor. those who pay for government and those who depend on government services and need us and who we need to support. each person here today and all those throughout the state will be called upon to share in the sacrifice so that one day we can again share in illinois's prosperity.
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[ applause ] we must all shake up our old ways of thinking. i promise you our administration, this administration will make our our decisions basted upon the next generation and not on the next election. [ applause ] i pledge to work on a bipartisan basis to drive results and get things done. we must be united in our willingness to sacrifice and do what is right even if it is difficult. we must accept the challenge and the sacrifice knowing that it will lead us to something greater. we must forget the days of feeling good about just making
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it through another year by patching over major problems with stitches that are bound to break. [ applause ] those stitches are now busting wide open and we must begin taking immediate decisive action. that's why today my first action as governor, first action today i will be giving a directive every state by executive order every state agency will be asked to freeze nonessential spending. i will ask every agency to review and report on every contract that has been signed since november 1. [ applause ] and i will follow through on my personal pledge to reduce my own
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salary to a dollar and decline all benefits. we are setting a new tone today. our state's crisis is not only financial. we have a moral crisis and ethical crisis as well. [ applause ] we have a state government that too few have faith in. and that lack of faith is justified. it under mines people's willingness to sacrifice and do what is necessary to help the government in its mission. illinoisens today seek insider deals and croneyism rewarded. they see lobbyists writing bills
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for special interests and the taxpayers being left with the tab. they see government union bosses negotiating sweetheart deals across the table from governors they have spend tens of millions of dollars to help elect. that's a corrupt bargain. that's a corrupt bargain and the people of illinois are left to wonder where do they fit in. who is looking out for them and their families? taxpayers' money belongs to them not the government. [ applause ] we have a moral obligation to minimize how much we take and to ensure what we do take is spent efficiently and effectively. [ applause ] every dollar we spend
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unnecessarily inside government is a dollar we can't put into classrooms and our social service providers or leave in the pockets of entrepreneurs and homeowners and hard working families of illinois. [ applause ] to the people of illinois and the people outside of our state who have been reluctant to invest in illinois because of the insider deals and croneyism i say this i'm nobody that nobody sent. [ applause ] and i've come to work for you. i've come to work for you and every family in our great state. i will send a clear signal to everyone in our state and to those watching from outside our
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borders that business as usual is over. it stops now. [ applause ] tomorrow i will sign an executive order that will improve ethics and accountability in the executive branch of state government. these actions and others to immediately follow will focus on regaining our state's good name and reputation. we must prove every day that we have learned our lessons and we have changed our ways. [ applause ] now, this is a very emotional personal issue for me. in everything we do, everything we do we must ask ourselves what does this mean for the next
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generation? for in order to thrive we must prepare the next generation for success. from cradle to career the people of illinois deserve world class educational opportunities. [ applause ] from early childhood and k-12 schools to vocational and technical training to community colleges and higher ed we need to invest adequately in every neighborhood. next to being a mother or a father teaching is the most important job in the world. and we must support our many good teachers. that means putting more directly
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into the classrooms, reforming the education bureaucracy, rolling back costly mandates and giving more students access to great schools. [ applause ] a high quality education is essential for higher lifetime earnings, a competitive world class workforce and strong economic growth. it's the key to bringing back the american dream for every family in illinois. for making the american dream a reality for everyone here, a truly better life for the next generation. if we work together illinois can be great again. we have everything needed to thrive great location the economic and cultural center of
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the midwest, fertile farms, infrastructure and most importantly wonderful hard working people. [ applause ] we need the policies and the leadership to make us the best we can possibly be. in just three short years this is an exciting time. in just three short years our great state will be celebrating its 200th birthday. yes 2018 will be the bicentennial of illinois. what a perfect time these next few years will be to return our beloved state to its rightful place as a leader among the states of america. [ applause ] a state that as we prepare for our bicentennial is ready to
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seize the future. a state where not only manufacturing companies want to be but where next big things happen, where entrepreneurs want to be, a state where technology companies want to start, where the next generation of manufacturing occurs, where family farms that have made us the bread basket for the world can pass from one generation to the next. [ applause ] where young couples want to start their families and their children are inspired in their schools. illinois is a state that truly embodies all that is great about america. since the days of lincoln we have stood as a beacon of freedom and justice. now let us embrace all that is wonderful about illinois. the reasons we love it here our culture of hard work and responsibility grounded solid
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values civic commitment and generosity. so that our next century is one of prosperity. we can do that if we work together just as a family does when it faces tough times. illinois is our home. right now our home is hurting but home and family are worth sacrificing for, worth fighting for. together let's do the hard work to rebuild our home. i'm ready to go to work for you. i'm ready to fight for you. god bless you, god bless our great state of illinois and god bless america. thank you so very much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. >> coming up tonight on c-span 3 a senate hearing on changes to the no child left behind law.
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then the house science committee looks into the use of domestic drones. later remarks by the chinese premier at the world economic forum followed by president obama speaking at boise state university. wednesday state and local education officials from around the country testified about changes to the no child left behind act which was signed into law by president george w. bush in 2002. they appeared before the senate education committee led by lamar alexander, a former education secretary under president george h.w. bush. this is 2 1/2 hours. i am the chairman and patty minded me she is a teacher so we will start on time. welcome. senate committee on health
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education labor and pensions will please come to order. this morning we have a hearing on fixing no child left behind testing and accountability. there is a lot of interest in this hearing. we have heard from people around the country ever since last week when we put a draft working paper up on the website. we have a lot of people in the hall. i would say to those in the hall who are not able to get in the room we have an overflow room room 538 so you are able to lisz listen to the proceedings. so if someone would let those outside know that then they have a chance to listen to testimony and questions. we welcome them and everyone here. ranking member murray and i will each have an opening statement and then we introduce our panel of witnesses. then we have a round of questions. we ask our witnesses to summarize their testimony please in five minutes each because the senators will have lots of questions. i'll call on the senators in
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order of seniority. at the time the gavel went down and who are here. after that they will go on the order of first come first serve. we will conclude the hearing at noon or before if we get through earlier. and in my opening remarks they take a little longer than normal since this is the first meeting of the committee in this congress. i promise my colleagues i won't make a habit of that. and i will keep my questions to the same five minutes that everyone else has. first some preliminary remarks about the committee itself. this committee touches almost every american. no committee is more ideologycally diverse and no more productive than thas committee. last congress 25 bills through this committee were signed by the president and became law, some very important.
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that is because chairman harkin and i work to find areas of agreement. i look forward to working in the same way with senator murray. she is direct and well respected by her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. she cares about people. she is a member of the democratic leadership and result oriented. i look forward to that working relationship. we will have an open process which means every senator regardless of party affiliation will have a chance to participate, full opportunity for discussion and amendment not just in committee but on the floor. i mean, when our bills in the last congress never got brought up on the floor but this year we want a result and that means go to the further and further amendments and further discussion. that means 60 votes to get off the floor. it will be a bipartisan bill. if it goes to conference we know the president will be involved. we want his signature on our bills. all the way through we will do our best to have input from everyone so we can get a result.
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the schedule of the committee generally will start with unfinished business. first fixing no child left behind. this is way overdue. it expired more than seven years ago. we posted a working draft last week on the website. we are getting a lot of feedback. staffs are meeting exchanging ideas. we will have more weeks of hearings and meetings but we have been working on this six years. we have had 24 hearings over the last three congresss on k-12 or fixing no child left behind and almost all of the members of the committee this year were members last year. so we hope to finish our work by the end of february and have it on the floor. i say it is important to do that so we can get floor time. no child left behind took six or seven weeks when passed in 2001. we would like to have a full opportunity for debate and
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amendment. second reauthorizing higher education. this is for me about deregulating higher education, mabing rules simpler and more effective for example student aid loan forms so more students can go to college. we can finish the work that we started in 2013 on student loans. we can look at accreditation and look at deregulation. the task force that was formed on deregulation will be the subject of our hearing on february 24. as rapidly and responsibility as we can we want to repair the damage of obamacare and provide more americans with health insurance that fits their budget. on this issue we don't agree among party lines but first hearing is on the 30-40 hour work week. we will have a hearing tomorrow on that and will report our
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findings to the finance committee. then some new business. let's call it 21st century cures what the house calls it. it finishes its work this spring on that issue. the president talked about it last night. he is also interested. i talked with him about it. he is interested in all three of these subjects that we talked about. fixing no child left behind finishing our work on higher education and 21st century cures. i like that because i like to find those areas of agreement. we hope we can have a legislative proposal that he will be glad to sign. what we are talking about here is getting more medicines, devices and treatments through the food and drug administration more rapidly to help millions of americans. now, there will be more on labor, pensions education and health. these are major priorities and that is how we will start. one other thing the president has made major proposals on community colleges and early childhood education. these are certainly related to
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elementary and secondary education but we always handled them separately. we can deal with the community college proposal as we deal with higher education. we will have to talk about how we deal with early childhood education. to do that in a comprehensive way involves getting into head scart and the grant we dealt with in the last congress. now to today's hearing. and i said some more of my colleagues are here today i said i would not be as long in my opening statement in future meetings but this is the first one. last week secretary dunkcan called for the law to be fixed. almost everyone seems to agree with him. it is more than seven years overdue. when we started working on this we did this republicans democrats six years ago former representative george miller
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said let's identify the problems. let's pass a lien bill and fix no child left behind. since then we had 24 hearings on k-12 or fixing no child left behind. in each of the last two congresss we have reported bills out of the committee. i would say to my colleagues at congress before last it was mainly what one might call a democratic bill but we voted for it to get it to the floor and continue to amend it. 20 of the 22 of us on the committee were members of the last congress when we reported the bill. 16 of the 22 of us were in the previous congress when we reported the bill so we ought to know the issues pretty well. one reason no child left behind needs to be fixed is it has become unworkable. almost all of america's 100,000 public schools would be labelled a failing school.
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to avoid this unintended result the u.s. education secretary has granted waivers to 23 states including washington which has had its waiver revoked as well as district of columbia and puerto rico. this created a second unintended result by congress which has stated in law that no federal official should exercise any direction, supervision or control over any curriculum or administration of any educational program. in exchange for the waver rrs the secretary told states how they should measure progress, what constitutes failure for schools and what the consequence of failure are and how to evaluate teachers. their department has in effect become a national school board or as one teacher told me it has
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become a national human resources department for 100,000 public schools. at the center of the debate about how to fix no child left behind is what to do about the federal requirement that states each year administer 17 standardized tests with high stake consequences. are there too many tests? are they the right tests? are the stakes for failing them too high? what should washington, d.c. have to do with all of this? many states and school districts require schools to administer additional tests. now, this is called hearing for a reason. i have come to listen. our working draft includes two options on testing. option one gives flexibility to states to decide what to do about testing. option two maintains current law regarding testing. both options would continue to require annual reporting of student achievement disaggregated by subgroups of
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children. washington sometimes forgets but governors never do that the federal government has limited involvement in elementary and secondary education contributing 10% of the bill. for 30 years the action has been in the states. i have seen this first-hand. if you forgive me for pointing it out, i was governor in 1983 when president reagan's education secretary issued a nation at risk saying of an unfriendly foreign policy the educational performance we might as well have viewed it as an act of war. the next year tennessee after a long battle with national education association became the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well. then the next two years every governor spent the entire year focusing on education. first time that happened in the national governor's association. i was chairman of it then. bill clinton was vice chair.
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in '89 a meeting of governors and established voluntary national education goals. president bush announced america 2000 to move the nation towards those goals state by state, community by community. i was the education secretary then. since then states have worked together voluntarily to develop academic standards, develop tests to create their accountability systems and adopted those that fit their states. i know members of this committee must be tired of me talking until i am blue in the face about a national school board. i know that it is tempting to try to fix classrooms from washington. i also hear from governors and school superintendents who say this. if washington doesn't make us do it the teachers union and opponents from the right will make it impossible for us to have higher standards and better
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teachers. i understand there can be short term gains from washington's orders but my experience is that long-term success can't come that way. in fact, washington's involvement, in effect, mandating common core and certain types of teacher evaluation is creating a back lash making it harder for states to set higher standards and evaluate teaching. as one former democratic governor told me recently we were doing pretty well until washington got involved. if they get out of the way we will get back on track. rather than turn blue in the face one more time in front of my colleagues let me conclude with the remarks of new york's high school principal of the year. she responded last week to our committee draft in the following way. i ask that your committee remember that the american public school system was built on the belief that local communities cherish their children and have the right and responsibility within sensible
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limits to determine how they are schooled while the federal government has a very special role in insuring that our students do not experience discrimination based on who they are or what their disability might be, congress is not a national school board although our locally elected school boards may not be perfect they represent one of the purist forms of democracy that we have. bad ideas in the small do damage in the small and are easily corrected. bad ideas at the federal level result in massive failure and are harder to fix. this is carol burris, new york's high school principal of the year. she concludes with this. please understand that i do not dismiss the need to hold schools accountable. the use and disaggregation of data has been an important tool that i use regularly as a principal to improve my own school. however the unintended negative consequences that have arisen
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from mandated annual testing has proven testing not only to be an ineffective tool but a destructive one, as well. senator murray. >> thank you very much, chairman alexander for holding this hearing today. i want to thank our witnesses with us. this is my first committee meeting as ranking member of the health committee. i want to start by acknowledging tom harkin and commend his years. he was a tireless advocate for those without a voice and will be missed as we all know. i also want to acknowledge and congratulate our new chairman senator alexander. i look forward to working with you, as well. we have had a number of conversations. as we both adjust to our new roles we have one belief we mentioned every time we talk and that is we think working together this committee can
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really get exciting work done in the coming two years. talking to our colleagues i am very excited about what we can do together in the coming weeks and months. i am ready to get to work especially on an issue as important as the topic of this committee hearing, education. in fact this is the issue that got me into politics. throughout my career first as a preschool teacher and then on a school board in my own state senate in washington and here in the united states senate i have been committed to making sure every child has someone fighting for them and their future. serving on this committee i am looking forward to making college more affordable and reduceing the overwhelming burden of student loans, expanding access to early learning and making sure voices of students and parents are heard in the policy making process and in the coming weeks and months i will be especially focused on fixing
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the broken no child left behind law. nearly everyone agrees that we need to fix no child left behind. the law set unrealistic goals for schools across the country and failed to give them the resources they needed to succeed. we can't turn our back in the process on measuring students' progress or let schools and states off the hook for failing to provide a quality education to all of their students especially because we have seen some successes since 2001 when congress enacted no child left behind. our graduation rate has increased by ten points among students with disabilities regular diploma graduation rates have increased by more than 12% and dropout rates have decreased by more than 17% and achievement gaps have declined among african-american and latineo students. the federal government has a
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productive role to making sure assessments and accountability work. assessments help parents and communities hold schools accountable. if a school is failing students year after year parents and communities deserve to have that information and be assured the school will get the resources it needs to improve. i know there are a number of parents here in the audience today and out in the hall who would agree with that. when it comes to our nation's largest federal investment in k-12 education it would be irresponsible to spend billions in federal taxpayer dollars without knowing if the law is making a difference in student laws. many colleagues demand evidence and accountability in other programs and agree we need it with education, as well. i would be concerned about any attempt to eliminate annual statewide assessments as i would be concerned about any attempt
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to roll back accountability to make sure we are delivering on our promise of a quality publication for all. now, 13 years after congress passed this law we should use the research and the best practices and the lessons learned to fix no child left behind. i have heard from parents and teachers as well as community members in the state of washington about the ways the current system doesn't work when it comes to testing. we can and should encourage states and districts to reduce redundant and low quality tests. because we have a national interest in making sure all students get an excellent education we do need federal oversight to make sure our system is working for every child. that means offering the resources for improving professional development and for expanding access to high quality learning opportunities to help our struggling schools so we don't consign some kids to sub-par education. while we carefully consider
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changes to assessments and accountability to give states and districts the flexibility they need we can't forget our obligation to the kids. i have laid out my priorities for fixing this broken law. i know chairman alexander has put his priorities out in the discussion draft. i hope we can begin conversations about a truly bipartisan approach to help fix this broken law. i know the members on my side are anxious to work and continue the long tradition of this committee tackling tough problems in a bipartisan fashion. fixing no child left behind should not be a partisan issue. it should be one that we do work hand in hand not as democrats and republicans but as americans. this is an issue that is not about politics. it is about what is best for our kids. in our country we believe that every student should have access to a quality public education regardless of where they live or
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how they learn or how much money their parents make. other countries in the world are investing in education. they are working every day to get it right for their students. china, india and others think they can beat us in the classroom. we know better. we know we can win this and we know that we have to. for students back in my home state of washington for our economic future and for our shared vision of an american dream. so we can't afford to turn back the clock on the promise of quality education for all. we can't not be the generation that drops the ball on that noble goal and i'm going to continue to fight to bring quality education to all of our students. thank you and i look forward to the panel discussion. >> thank you senator murray. as we will always try to do we will try to have a bipartisan agreement on witnesses. we were able to do that today. we ask senator warren and
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senator bennett to introduce two of the witnesses and i will introduce the other four. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am pleased to introduce dr. marty west, an associate professor of education at the harvard graduate school of education and deputy director of the harvard kennedy school's program on education policy and governance. dr. west studies education policy and reform and impact on student learning and development. he has authored many articles on the subject including many pieces on no child left behind. last year dr. west worked for this committee as senior education policy adviser. i know there are areas where we agree and areas where we disagree but i am always very happy to welcome witnesses from massachusetts to testify before this committee. thank you dr. west for being here today. >> senator bennett. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i want to thank you and ranking member for holding this hearing.
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i often say that if we had a rally to keep no child left behind the same on the capitol steps not a single person in the country would come to that. we are eight years overdue. i am honored to introduce my friend the superintendent of the denver public schools. tom joined as chief operations officer in 2007 while i was superintendent and then was unanimously appointed superintendent in 2009 by a grateful school board who no longer had to deal with me. before joining dps tom served as group vice president where he was responsible for mergers acquisitions and strategic partnerships. prior to level three he was legal adviser to reed hunt at the fcc. he helped establish the e-rate program. tom began his career as a junior high school english teacher. he claims to speak fluid mandarin. i have no idea whether that is
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true or not. today tom oversees the largest school district in colorado with 185 schools and enrollment of more than 90,000 students and 13,000 employees. when i left denver public schools in 2009 i said if i did a decent job tom will do a better job. no doubt that has been the case. denver public schools is ranked at the top of the state's largest district in student growth. in 2005 denver was dead last. just last year denver public school students eligible for free and reduced lunch had stronger academic growth than nonfree and reduced lunch students statewide in math and writing. and students showed more growth in state counter parts in math by eight points. on top of that the english language learners have outperformed the states. tom happens to be responsible for educating my three daughters. as we begin to talk about reauthorizing we need to hear the voices of those fighting
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every day to improve our kids' education. thank you for being here today and we are all looking forward to hearing your testimony. thank you for including me in this. >> i think that boils down to he cleaned up after you left. >> you can't even know half of the truth. >> we are delighted to have you. let me just mention the other witnesses and we turn to them. deputy commissioner of education in new hampshire. mr. henderson testified before this committee before, chief executive officer of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. fourth and fifth grade special education teacher of the earth school new york city. mr. steven laczar, social studies and english teacher harvest collegiate high school
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in new york city. i have asked -- we have your testimony and we have read them, at least i have. we ask you to summarize your testimony in five minutes because we have a lot of interested senators who would like to ask you questions. if you don't mind there is a clock that will show you five minutes. why don't>'v start with you dr. west and then go to questions from the senators. >> thank you. chairman alexander, senator murray, members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i would like to begin by congratulating the committee by putting this at the top of the legislative agenda for 114th congress. nothing is more important to our nation's future than insuring we provide all children with opportunity to reach full academic potential. congress can't do that on its own but it can help by addressing the shortcomings of no child left behind and restoring predictability with
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respect to federal education policy that state and local officials need to carry out their work. as you move forward with this important work, however, i urge you not to lose sight of the positive aspects of no child left behind, the law's requirement that students be tested annually in reading and math and once in high school provided with detailed information about student's performance in these subjects. the extent to which they have mastered skills that are prerequisite for other educational goals. this has called attention to achievement gaps across entire states and within specific schools. it is ushered in a new era in education research and made it possible to develop new indicators of schools' performance based on contribution to student learning. research confirms that by requiring states to do so no child left behind worked to generate modest improvements in
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student learning concentrated in math and among lowest performing students. i say worked in the past sense as the days when no child left behind worked are behind us. as the deadline for all students performing at grade level approached far too many schools were identified as under performing and the system lost its credibility. recent concerns have been raised about the amount of time students spend taking standardized tests. nor do we know how much will be optimal. a handful of recent audits suggest students spend 1% to 3% of the year taking standardized tests, a figure that sounds appropriate. we also know some schools test far more than this and too many schools spend too much time.
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the concerns voiced by parents and educators in these schools are legitimate. eliminating testing requirements is not necessary to address the concerns. it is not necessary because federally mandated tests account for half of test taking time. just 32% in a recent ohio study. the rest of the time is devoted to state and district mandated tests and new tests implemented to assess the teacher evaluation system. it would make matters more difficult because the most important flaw of the no child left behind accountability system is the reliance at the level as the measure of school performance. achievement levels are a poor indicator of school quality as they are influenced by factors outside of a school's control. this approach judges schools based on students they serve not on how well they serve them.
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performance measures based over time which are possible with annual testing provide a fair more accurate picture of school's contribution to student learning. why did congress design such a system in 2002? many states did not test students annually and those who did were not able to track performance of individual students. that situation has changed thanks to no child left behind and related federal investments. it would be ironic and in my view unfortunate if congress were to re-create the conditions that led to the adoption of an ill-designed accountability system in the first place. eliminateing annual testing would all but eliminate school level information about the learning of student subgroups and limit the information available to parents making choices about the school the child attends. it would prevent from evaluating
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effectiveness of new education programs when appropriate research design depends on knowledge of recent achievement. my main recommendation is to maintain the testing requirements while restoring to states decisions about design of accountability systems including how schools are identified as under performing. the federal government has a critical role to play in insuring that parents and citizens have good information about school's performance. at the same time the federal government lacks capacity to design a system that is appropriate to the needs of each state and has a poor record of attempting to dictate the required element by focusing on transparency of information about school performance and resources congress can build on successes of no child left behind while learning from its failures. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for excellent testimony, for coming very close to five minutes.
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chairman alexander senator murray and members of the committee thank you for inviting me to testify about testing and accountability. i am paul leather deputy commissioner of education in the new hampshire department of education. in new hampshire we are working to explore what the next generation of assessments might look like. we coordinated with council for priorities of reauthorization. these contain three important ingredients. it will continue to support annual assessments of student performance to ensure every parent receives information they need on how their child is performing. it would allow states to base students' annual determinations on a single standardized test or combined results from coherent. it gives states the space to continue to innovate on
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assessment and accountability systems so important when the periods of authorization can last ten years or longer. we are working in collaboration with four new hampshire school districts to pilot competency-based systems. we are intent on broadening expectations from simple recitation of knowledge and facts while fostering work study. that is why we have emphasized performance assessments for competency education or pace which is what we call our pilot project. there are several key components in our pilot, development of statewide model competencies that describe knowledge and skills that all students are expected to master, use of personalized competency based approach and awarding credit and the use of common and local performance-based assessments of
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competencies throughout each school year in tandem with great spend smarter balance assessments. i am submitting a detailed summary of all steps we are taking to ensure comparability as well as a brief description of demographics of the participating districts. second we support annual determinations based on a coherent system of state and local multiple assessment. rather than relying on one to make this determination we combine a series of assessment results to make the annual determination. over the last year there has been a crescendo of voices across the country raising the concern of overtesting. we believe that the overtesting issue has arisen because there has been a disconnect between local and state assessments. i have sat through many school board meetings where the superintendent explains to the board the state test results and
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their meaning and then describes their local assessment. these two sets of assessments and two accountability systems in some cases are redundant. our pace pilot braids these together. the result is less assessment overall with a more coherent system which provides benchmark information without sacrificing more actionable information at the classroom level. because of our work advancing competency-based learning model we understand the importance of creating freedom to innovate. starting with intensive professional development to raise the assessment literacy of our teachers. we are not ready to take it statewide but we hope to in the future. in new hampshire the live free or die state we believe that it is essential that local educational leaders help build the new system through innovative efforts. it is the combination of state
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and local creative collaboration that helped us build a new stronger more effective assessment and accountability system. we applaud the draft version section k that allows for a locally designed assessment system in option two. however, we also believe that congress should establish parameters in the reauthorization to ensure that locally designed systems do not result in a step backwards for students. we expect assurances of technical quality and assessments necessary be put in place. within a state local districts wishing to innovate should be able to demonstrate that they are able to focus on college career outcomes and are committed to improving achievement. they should maintain a clearly described internal accountability process and have leadership necessary to effect substantive change process. with these parameters in place we believe that educational
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improvements and innovative design will flourish throughout the life of the coming reauthorization. we in new hampshire greatly appreciate the opportunity to have our innovative educational practices considered by the committee. we look forward to the future of a speedy authorization of improved elementary and secondary education. >> thank you for this opportunity to be with you here this morning. my name is tom boesburg. i am superintendent of denver public schools. we have seen remarkable progress in the last decades under reform started by senator bennett at a time when he had a job with truly complex and challenging policy issues to grapple with. in that time we have increased our number of graduates by over 1,000 students a year increased on time graduation rate for our
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african-american latino students by over 60%. we have gone from a school district with our students having the lowest rate of year on year student progress of any major district in the state to being now the district for three years in a row where our students on a student by student basis are demonstrating the highest rate of yearly academic progress. as a result our enrollment is booming as families come back to and stay in our schools. in the last seven years our enrollment has increased by a remarkable 25%. nevertheless we continue to have significant achievement gaps between our students based on income and race and ethnicity. we are determined to eliminate those achievement gaps. one key to our progress is our refusal to be imprisoned by debates and false complex. we need to focus on what works for our kids.
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we can't be stuck in an either or world. the needs of our kids over 70% of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch are too great. what does that world look like? it's a world where we can dramatically improve our district schools, unleash creative energy of our teachers to open innovative new schools and at the same time welcome high performing charter schools, a world where both district run and charter schools work together as public schools to drive greater equity in our community. it is a world where we do measure the progress of our kids to see whether they are on track to graduate from high school prepared for college and career. it is also a world where we care deeply about nurturing and developing the whole child, expanding opportunities for arts and music, deepening interest and nurturing our kids' physical, social and emotional
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growth. there does not need to be a conflict here. in fact the experiences show the schools that most emphasize a broad curriculum and promote creativity and critical thinking are the ones that do best in helping develop literacy abilities. when we went to denver voters two years ago for a tax increase the first thing we asked for was funding to increase arts, music and sports. as a parent of three kids and a superintendent for 90000 do i care about seeing the progress my kids make every year in literacy and math? of course i do. of course, i at the same time care deeply about opportunities in creative arts and social sciences and sports and their personal growth as members of our community. i do believe that annual measures of progress for our kids in literacy and math are vital. at the same time as i have
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advocated in our state we need fewer and shorter tests. for example i do not see why we cannot have good measures of student progress that are limited to no more than three or four hours combined time for literacy and math per year, less than one half of 1% of classroom time. we need to eliminate other tests added that are unrelated to the law before this committee today. the new generation of assessments do a good job of helping us understand how our students are progressing in literacy and math. this transparency of how kids are doing is vital. vital for students for parents and for teachers. likewise having annual data about students' growth is vital to see what is working best in our schools. transparency and the holding of clear high standards are important for all kids but particularly for our kids in poverty and kids of color.
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historically too many of our most vulnerable students have not been held to high standards that enable them to compete for and succeed in college and the knowledge intensive careers in today's economy and is absolutely essential that we do so. that is why accountability is also vital. not in a blaming or punishment sense but to recognize what is not working and make necessarily changes in the high stakes work we are all committed to to help children and families break out of poverty and help all kids realize the potential they are born with. as we celebrate the birthday of reverend martin luther king jr. i hope we can help all of our kids live in the both and world that they deserve. >> mr. henderson. good morning chairman alexander and members of the committee i am president and ceo
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of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. the nation's leading coalition with over 200 national organizations working to build an america as good as its ideals. i'm also the professor of public interest law at the clark school of law university of district of columbia. i serve as the vice chair of the board of trustees of the educational testing service, the nation's premiere testing assessment nonprofit corporation. thank you for inviting me to testify on the reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act. the civil and human rights community has long seen education and voter participation as the twin pillars of our democracy. together they help to make the promise of equality and opportunity for all a reality in american life. we welcome the opportunity that this important and timely hearing provides to look at ways that we can improve esea and
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ensure that each and every child regardless of race national origin, gender sexual orientation, disability or zip code receives the best education that this great nation can provide. thank you for acknowledging the parents who have come in from around the country, states like washington, colorado, tennessee, minnesota, delaware to have their voices amplify the concerns that we reflect in our testimony today. significantly, this year we mark the 50th anniversary of esea which was a pillar of president lyndon johnson's war on poverty. congress recognized then and has for the past five decades that children living and going to school in poverty and especially those living in concentrated poverty need more not fewer resources than their more advantaged peers. today we speak with one voice on
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behalf of all of our children girls and boys, students of color, students not yet profish in english, those who have disabilities or are homeless or migrant. those in the criminal juvenile justice system. we speak with deep concern and growing alarm about increasing child poverty, the persistent low achievement of students with disabilities and the growing income inequality enour nation particularly as they are reflected and reinforced by grotesque disparities in resources available to high and low poverty schools. education is more important today than before. a high school diploma is not just enough to access the jobs of today and tomorrow. students now need post secondary education or further training after high school. so we cannot ignore the fact that state and local school financing systems have been
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unfair and inadequate. we know that money spent wisely can and will make an enormous difference in the ability of high poverty schools to prepare our students for college and career. we also know that money spent on high quality preschool is one of the best investments we could make. that's why a group of more than 20 national organizations created a set of principles which call on congress to maintain and improve strong accountability requirements. our approach to accountability is straightforward and sensible. first esea must continue to require high quality annual statewide assessments for all students in grades 3-8 and at least once in high school that are aligned with and measure each student's progress towards meeting the state's college and career ready standards. next statewide accountability systems must support all
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students to make enough progress every year so that they are on track to graduate from high school ready for college and career. states must set annual district and school targets for grade level achievements. high school graduation and closing achievement gaps for all students including accelerated progress for each major racial and ethnic group, students with disabilities, english language learners and students from @r(t&háhp &hc% income families and evaluate schools and districts on how well they meet these targets. third, states and school districts need to improve data collection and reporting to the public on student achievement and gap closing course completion, graduation rates, per pupil expenditures, opportunity measures and school climate indicators including decreases in the use of exclusionary discipline practices, use of police in schools and student referrals to
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law enforcement. this data must be disaggregated by all categories listed previously but notably disability gender race, national origin. i want to conclude by expressing serious concerns with your proposal as it is currently written. we have great respect for you but the proposal as we understand it today is detailed in our written testimony and it needs to be we hope addressed. the bill as a general manner bends over backwards to accommodate the interest of state and local government entities that have both failed our children and avoided any real accountability for failures. the federal government must continue to hold states and school districts accountable for the degree to which they are improving education for all students especially students who have been under served by the system for far too long. congress must not pass an esea.
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>> you are well over. >> i will bring it to a conclusion. thank you for the opportunity to be here and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> thank you chairman >> thank you, chairman alexander for your vision and for this opportunity to offer my remarks regarding the impact of testing and accountability on our public school children. i'm also a parent of a 6th grad grader and an 11-year-old. i want to provide some context of what i've learned about educational policies. the use of come pettive performance-based practices have long been assumed to motivate workers. microsoft, adobe are just some. the practice of applying rewards, consequences and rankings based on performance. these same business providers have informed many of our nation's biggest esz districtgest
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districts, including mine. what was bad for business has been disast rousz forrous for public education. i've worked in different schools. some of them through no fault of their own have become increasingly day-driven as oppose today student-driven. unfortunately, founded on the principles of child education where we teachers collaborate, development curriculum. it is the antithesis of stack ranking. students develop questions around the origins of the united states, the constitution and discuss the complex struggles we have made an e as a mags. my class decided to divide themselves into three different groups from the clone ral era. the native peoples, the european
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colonists and the african slaves. they are the researchers. my sbeintegrated, co-teaching classrooms consist of all abilities and they work in heterogeneous groups to present through a variety of mediums. they are learning how to learn. developing lifelong skills, researching, analyzing information from multiple sources, collaborating with others and sharing what they've learned in creative, and thought-provoking ways. they are the stewards of their learning. i've shown this not only as a best practice, but to em fa emphasize of trust, virtue and diversity. teachers working conditions are inextricably tied to students' learning conditions. when parents and educators have voice ds concerns of coddling.
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the great focus on testing has taken valuable resources and time away from programming, social studies, arpts and fiscal education, special education, services and ell programs. at my school, we no longer have a librarian and our parent association works full time to arts and needed programs. they are not covered by a budget any longer. and we are one of the lucky schools. whablt schools where parents must work to just survive. there's nothing more pain chl to watch or forced to be come police sit with. who is left to receive these tests and accompanies sanctions. who are the children exceeding curricula while losing recessed education in all other enrichment programs.
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>> i want to remind folks that the latin route of assessment means to sit alongside. until we have teachers and policymakers, sitting alongside and getting to know our students and classrooms in deep and meaningful ways we cannot fully understand the state of public education. and i sit here as a sole female, and this is a field sdom nated by women. no corporate-made multiple choice test will give you that data.
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i am hopeful that we can sit alongside each other and do the hard work of answering the questions most central to our democracy. what is the purpose of public education in a democratic society. how can we ensure that all children receive enriching and an ekquitable education. and how do we support teachers and schools to edge kat all. i want to thank you and i appreciate all of your incoming questions. >> thank you, ms. lee. mr. lazar? >> senator alexander senate xx murray and distinguished members of this committee. it is an honor to testify before you all today. i come as a proud national board certified public high school teacher. i teach in a high school in new york city. my students who are listening to me now and i need to remind to study for a history test
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tomorrow, represent the full diversity of our city. i'm also em bargsed to say i was a teacher who every may until last would get up to apologize to my students. i would tell them i've done my best job to be an comment teacher for you up until now. but, for the plast month of school, i'm going to turn into a bad teacher to properly prepare you for exams. we would then practice mindless rep tigsz of facts so that they could be successful on their state exams. i did this because standardized tests measure the wrong things. i did this because the states for my students force me to value three hours of testing over a year of learning. i did this because the standardized test was the only way for my students to demonstrate their learning to the government. right now, the federal insentives in education are wrong. because of this too many schools are designed as mine
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once was. to get students to do well on a one-time test where a school should organize themselves around student learning. making the test the curriculum harms all students. but it does the most harm to those with the lowest skills. when i taught seniors in the bronx, i worked with the high esz-performing students. we read philosophical tests ranging from kant to nosik. at the same time i worked with the lowest-performing students who had yet to pass the state tests. with them, we did mindless test prep. and even though i was really good at it, getting a hundred percent of those students to pass their exams in my final year of doing it i was doing the students no favors. i think to this day about tee. a senior whoa could hadly write and struggled to read. sure, she passed the test.
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but she was still not ready for the community college work she encountered that fall. when we focus our efforts only on helping struggling stunts jump over the hurdle of mandated kbams, the learning and opportunity gap widens. within consortium schools, high stakes are not an on-demand test, but a college-level performance-bassed assessment. students complete real and authentic disciplinary work, giving them significant advantage over others once they enter college. the consortium is widely successful with graduation and college success rates far exceeding the rates for all new york city public schools. models like the consortium need to be able to exist and expand
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within any reauthorized esea bill. now, despite its many well-known flaws, no child left behind did include some important features that should not be abandoned. its desegregation of student achievement data has put a much-needed spotlight only how the education of american youth is negatively affected by economic and social inequality. that is why i believe that a staff opposed to any esa is misguided. yes, every student must count. especially our stunts with the greatest needs. but we can do this without testing every kid, every year.
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limit the number of tests used for accountability purposes and allow schools to use more sophisticated assessment tools such as performance assessments. to do this requires a better balance of government and role and education with that in local decision-making. federal and state governments need to recognize that the best educational decisions for students are made by those who possess the fullest and deepest understanding of their needs. edge cay tor's voitss need to be the loudest on how students are tested and when students are tested. senate xxs, my students and colleagues and i are all inspired on how to improve the education of all of our nation's students. it is time to fix our broken system of steszing and acountability. >> thank you very much. this has been an extraordinary viert

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