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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 7, 2016 7:00pm-12:01am EDT

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innovative thinker because she was able to, as tony wagner says, solve problems creatively, but i take that a stuff further. solving problems creatively with an absence of fear using what you already have purposed in a different way. and to me that's what she did, and that's what we need in education. tony wagner also said that we no longer have a knowledge economy. we have an innovation economy, and the world doesn't care about what you know it. only cares about what you can do with what you know. and that's critical for the types of students that i teach and really the majority of public school kids are just like mine and teachers all around the country are facing the same challenges that i do. they are facing kids who as indiana university found in a large study that up to 90% of them are board and disengaged in
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school all of the school day. when they talk to teachers they find out that two of every five teachers, especially hat high poverty schools are leaving. one of the things that shocked me after i came back to my campus after a year of being away as national teacher was to see those numbers play out in realtime on my campus, as i watched some of the best teachers on my campus going out the door for transfer. so that's a real thing, and then the teachers who do stay say that they don't feel like the professional development that we give them applies to their lives, but even more scary and something that i've seen as i've talked to children who are thinking about going into teaching and those who have started and then quid education programs is that the three biggest pipelines of new
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teachers in this country, new york, california and texas, are seeing steep drops in teacher enrollment programs because those kids are getting the message at one young lady told me that to be a teacher is to check your creativity at the door and your intelligence which chilled me. because i thought what we need more than anything is innovative thinking, and even more so forth kinds of students that i teach. i don't call myself an english teacher. i call myself a literacy sales person because i feel like i'm in high pressure sales. i'm always running this race between my curriculum that's largely based around getting 16 and 17-year-olds, usually young men, usually non-english speakers, to pass a test, a standardized test, and many
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times they come to my class having failed it seven or more times, and i'm in a race with places like blue beacon truck wash in amarillo that promised these young men that they will give them up to $20 an hour in tips to pressure wash cattle trucks. now, that's a very real equation for many of the students that i teach. do i sit here where nothing but failure is what i've experienced, or do i go where somebody values maybe not my brain but at least something about me? and that is why i say that innovation is an equity issue at its heart. i love the way that pedro neguera describes the difference between equalitied a equity. he uses the idea of shoes. he says equality is as if we dumped a whole thing of shoes in bunch of kids and they with go, here you go, everybody has shoes
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but equity is that the shoes fit, and that's what innovation is. innovation is making those shoes fit for every kid, and i think that the only way that we can do that is by remembering three simple things that we already have. we're just not using them well, kind of like my grandmother's idea of the pillowcase and the towel. and that's the way that we use time and that's the trust that we give each other and that's teachers as coaches. so on my campus my principal made this deal with me. she said if i shift the schedule, will you teach all of your classes in the morning and then coach in the afternoon? and i said, sure, as long as that coaching doesn't mean that i'm one more arm of the testing octopus tentacle. and it has been one of the best things that i ever did. i was able to work with teachers
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and shore up those teachers who just needed a little bit of work, like david who when i started working with him my principal was ready to fire, but after working with him and identifying some things he wanted to work on and giving him relentless positive support, just like i would my students, david went from being burned out to fired up in three years and became a statewide literacy trainer. what can you do with the teachers on your campus, the ones who really believe in this, who really are ready to make those shoes fit, who are the most innovative and creative thinkers and here's how you'll find out who they are, those are the ones whose cars are still there when you pull out in the evening. those are your teachers who will make those shoes fit. those are your passionate teacher coaches. but you have to give them time,
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and time is something that we say oh, we don't have enough of that. we do if we use it well. i noticed when i became a department chair, i tried to do what i had seen done, and what i had seen done was some pretty not so good modeling, and that's adults standing up in front of other adults, and in my case 30 adults with english degrees, and reading things to them off of an agenda, like you can't wear jeans at school except on friday with a spirit shirt. and that was being taken -- that was taking up my time week after week after week, and it's when i made this firm commitment to not waste time, to hold true to this idea if we are in a room together and we are looking at each other across the table, then we are able to be vulnerable with each other. we are able to be creative with each other, we are able to innovate, but that's only if i move all of that other as it's
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been called administrivia off into other spaces and into things like consent age daze and use apps like voxor to take care of that other stuff, but to treat that time together as sacred. the last idea is trust, and sometimes that seems to be the hardest one. trust is something we struggle with in this country, and for some reason really struggle with it around teachers. there's so much fear in this country right now, fear that's being exploited and used because it's cheap and it's easy, and anybody can do it. anybody can tell you a ghost story about everything that's going wrong. it's the creators who have a hard time getting their voice heard, and those of you who are creators know this, and that's why you're so tired. creativity is difficult, and it takes a long time, but it takes
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trust, and you cannot have trust if you're afraid. as i've traveled as national teacher, one of the best things that i have found is that all over the world the people who do this work are the same. i don't care what language you speak. i don't care what your culture is. you, like me, believe that hope is something we create by standing at our doors every day. you believe that the seeds that we plant in our students are going to grow and bear fruit in a better world for all of us. that doesn't matter if you're a teacher behind a wall in gaza with rocket holes in your ceiling or if you're in a poor isolated school in china where you're not getting regular paychecks or if you're in peru digging the wells for your school. you're the same type of person, or if you're in north amarillo just trying to find ways to keep boys out of blue beacon truck
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wash. we have to honor and trust that commitment and trust teachers for the professionals that they are. teachers are artists of human potential, but more than that, they are warriors. they are warriors of hope that do battle against despair, and we need them more than ever now in this country. only teachers stand at the doorway and look at kid after kid after kid and say you matter, and you're worth everything that we invest to make that happen. in these countries all over the world that i visited, one thing becomes clear. they believe deeply in education as the only way out for many of them. peru definitely, because they are at the very bottom in any kind of scores.
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there is this huge energy and push towards getting their teachers up to speed and investing in their schools, and that's true in china as well. china, they were somewhat disappointed that i couldn't give them a magic solution. once principal got very angry at me because she kept saying through the translator, give me one thing, just one thing, tell me one thing that we can do to improve, and i said trust your teachers. and she asked my translator to retranslate that because she couldn't believe it was something so stupid. trust your teachers, what? but it's true. and we have to trust each other and stop blaming each other. brenee brown, a fellow texan and a social scientist, says that blame, as it's defined in social science research, is the discharge of pain and discomfort, and it is painful
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and it is uncomfortable to work with human beings in a very human enterprise that is teaching, but if we trust each other it can be done. so i want to leave you with a story that i read about the -- the y2 l everk phenomenon if you can remember that and so everybody panicked and were terrified about the new millenni millennium. they said what's going to happen to us in the new millennium, it's so scary, and they went everywhere and one group gave what i think is the best prediction, the elders of the hopey nation, a native american tribe who gives their predictions in earth metaphors, so they said this new millennium is like a fast moving river, and because of that people will be terrified, and they will cling to the banks, but those people who do that will suffer. it's only those people who let go and who float out into the
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center that will be okay, and the good news about that is what that when you float out into the center, you're not the only one there. if you look around this room, that's all of us, and to me that's what gives me hope. it's an honor to be here and it's an honor to be your colleague, and thank you for everything that you do that makes hope real for children all across this country. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you so much, shanna. that was tremendous. before we get started on our next plenary, i want to talk a little bit about a couple of things that we've had that we've
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produced at ecs around the teacher pipeline and why this issue is so important for me. the slide that's up there right now talks about six important papers that we've create that had are all available on our website and through the app that you have for the conference, but we did a major paper that was really around, you know, what are the teacher shortages? what do we know? what are the facts? what are some of the myths? and then we really did an individual paper on five major policies that we're seeing in the states, around alternative certification, financial incentives, induction and mentorship, evaluation and feedback and teacher leadership, and in all those papers there are state examples where states are making a difference and working on this issue, and i would urge you to look at them. but for me while the staff was doing amazing research in putting these papers together, the issue is a little bit more personal, because i understand the value of what teachers can have and the outcomes we desire for the future workforce, but i also understand that there's a different kind of teacher that's teaching these days. i had a teacher who made a
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tremendous impact on my life, but i want to give you some numbers, as i've talked about it, i'm a numbers person. i want to give you some numbers about this teacher. 43 years in the high school classroom. 18 different principals. 13 different schools. 9 different school districts. one state and a starting salary of $7,000. that teacher is mr. bob anderson, my dad, and my dad had an impact on so many thousands of students as a high school english teacher and as a gifted teacher, but there's not a lot of teachers like my dad out there who will have 43 years of service in the school district and that's why we're having some of the pipeline questions that we're having right now. my mother taught for 30 years before she retired, but we're not having that same kind of pipeline where teachers are able to stay that long and be that invested in it, and i think
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that's why it's a real policy issue that we need to be asking because i see it with my own children in their high school where turnover rates are sometimes at 20%. and so the next discussion that we're going to have is actually from linda darling-hammond, national expert, and we're ecstatic to have her to be able to go through some major find that she has been working at at the learning policy institute. linda is not able to be with us today because of travel problems, but she is going to be on the phone and we have some slides for ten minutes with her and then we'll have a panel discussion with three additional experts to talk through this important issue, so without further adieu, i'm honored to introduce to you, at least through audio, linda darling-hammond. [ applause ] >> thank you so much, jeremy. i'm glad to join you and sorry not to be there in person, but delighted you're taking on this very important topic which is such a recurring one in american education. i myself entered teaching in 1973 during a previous era of
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shortage, and while there were many policies then seeking to address the problem, many of them have disappeared, and we are confronting once again the need to find teachers in areas where not enough of them are available. so i'm going to ask amy to work with me in clicking drew these slides and on to the second one. what we saw at this last fall, many of you in your states saw that were a set of headlines coming up from all over the country about shortages that were occurring in math, science, special education, bilingual education, english as a second language, and in these occurrences quite often there was a lot of surprise because we've had teacher layoffs for the last several years as a function of the recession, but as soon as a little bit of money
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began coming back into the system what we found, going on to the next slide, was that we have had a very big drop in the number of people preparing to teach in this country. you can see that over that period from about 2009 until 2014, the most recent data that we have available, there was a 30% drop in the number of people preparing to teach, and that really has been a part of what has caused this latest round of teacher shortages around the country. going on to the next slide, what is happening is that while also the demand for teachers was kept down during the time of budget cuts and layoffs, that's changing, people are beginning to return to the class sizes and programs they had before with growing enrollment and with the kind of attrition that we have
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in the united states, there's a projected increase in demand that will surpass our supply and is doing that right now, and the prognosis, unless we change what we're doing, is pretty scary for the years ahead. one of the things that's pretty critical here is the turnover rate that we keep in the united states. moving on to the next slide, the critical issue for many of us to have a long memory is that we're having a sort of deja vu all over again of the challenges we had a decade or more ago. on to the next slide, you can see this reminder from california about how big a disparity and access to qualified teachers occurred. back in 2000 there, this occurred across the country and it's happening again now where students in high minority
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schools, in low-income schools, in schools that are underperforming, are many times more likely to have teachers without the training in their content area or in the pedagogies of teaching than children in other schools, and as states are putting together their educational equity plans, we see this emerging again where those ratios of assignment to teachers who also often turn over very rapidly are very disproportionate for schools of different kinds and, of course, our major problem in closing the achievement gap. so, on to the next slide, what do we know? having been through this before, what do we know about what matters in recruiting and retaining teachers? how can we solve this problem once and for all? it is a problem that is relatively unique to the united states. it's not a problem in finland,
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singapore, canada and many other places which i've recently studied for their teacher policies. obviously, the attractiveness of the profession makes a difference. compensation matters, and in those countries that don't have shortages, typically teachers earn the same amount as other college graduates. in the united states depending on the state, teachers may earn anywhere from 60% to 80%, perhaps 90% of what other college graduates earn in the states that are most attentive to teacher salaries, but it is very variable across the country, and both entry and exits are tied to compensation levels. we've had a lot of teacher bashing in the last decade, and that's really undermined the attractiveness of the profession. young people who saw the layoffs happening, of course, if they were intelligent, said, gee,
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this doesn't look like a profession to go into. preparation matters, those who are fully prepared to teach are much more likely to stay in teaching. those who come in without student teaching and without full preparation are three times more likely to leave in the first few years than those who have been fully prepared because it's a very difficult job and hard to maintain if you don't have the tools to do it well. mentoring makes a huge difference. those who have strong mentoring which means not only a mentor in your content areas to coach you in the classroom and to help you with your planning, your curriculum planning but also collaboration time with other teachers, often a reduced teaching load, those who have this mentoring are much more likely to stay in the first few years of teaching and to get competence and effective much more quickly than those who missed that kind of mentoring,
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and while most of our states have programs, again, the funding for those mentors has been cut substantially during the recession. and then teaching conditions matter, especially the extent to which teachers feel that they can be efficacious, that they have help from their administrators to do the work that they are trying to do. so, one of the things that we can do is attend to these areas fp we want to address the shortages. it's not just a matter, of course, of compensation. as one national board certified teacher put it, moving now to the next slide on attracting great teachers to high-need schools, about moving to a low-performing school, he said i would move to a low-performing school, but i would want to see social services for parents and children, accomplished leadership, adequate resources
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and facilities, flexibility, freedom and time. one of the single greatest factors in a school's success is principal leadership. effective administrators are magnets for accomplished teachers. as an accomplished teacher is to be assigned to a staffed school and not being given the time and tools needed to bring about changes that are needed in order to bring about student achievement. it's important to get principals in place who understand and who are well prepared to create the kinds of settings in which teachers can do effective work. so how might we proceed? on to the next slide. one important issue for addressing the current shortages is actually to keep the teachers that we have. we pay a lot of attention in these times of shortage to recruiting people. quite often the strategy has been to reduce the amount of
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training that people get, pull them into classrooms faster. unfortunately, this leads to higher attrition and higher turnover for those teachers and we get a leaky bucket phenomenon. in fact, our attrition rates for teachers in the united states are about as twice as high as they are in places like canada, singapore, finland. we're at about an 8% annual attrition and those countries are at 3% to 4%. if we were to just stop losing teachers at that rate, we would not have shortages. and so we need to think about this as part of the solution. the replacement cost for a teacher who leaves is somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 per teacher. if we were to treat people with the mentoring and support when they come in, that would be a better use of those dollars. the next slide shows one of the strategies that is emerging
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around the country as a way to treat this problem, especially in the high-need districts, often urban and rural districts, often those that serve a high concentration of children in poverty and students of color, new immigrant students, and this is teacher residencies, that bring people in for a year apprenticeship under the wing of an effective teacher while they are supported to get their preparation and credential and a masters degree. what you can see in san francisco is that people who come in through this residency route, which they have just doubled in size because of its success, are staying at rates of 80% over five years in the city, and, in fact, 97% of those teachers stay in the profession somewhere compared to their other new hires who come in in other strategies or pathways
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where only 38% stay, and so what -- what happens is that they are then paying the cost of that continual leaky bucket rather than actually meeting their needs in math, in science and special education and in these high-need fields. next slide. the residency approach which now exists in about 50 places across the country includes a partnership between the district and universities. a year-long apprenticeship with an expert teacher who can really demonstrate what a wonderful urban teacher or rural teacher in that community knows how to deal with those specific kids and the district's specific ways of working. the course work is integrated with that clinical placement so it is coherent and makes sense. there's opportunities to observe other experts. there's a stipend, a housing grant, health care, a guaranteed
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job and tuition remission. for that the resident gives a three-year commitment to stay in the district and teach in a high-need school. they get two years of coaching and mentoring after they start teaching to be sure that they are supported well enough by carefully trained mentors. it is kind of what we know how to do, but it's being brought together in a number of places. so to close up, i'm on the last slide, what we ought to be thinking about doing in this era of shortages is not just reacting reflexively to getting warm bodies into classrooms and trying to get them to pass what we call the mirror test when i came into teaching which is, you know, you blow on the mirror. if it fogs up, you're hired, but in fact to proactively put in place the pathways that we need to solve the problem once and for all. part of this is going to be
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building the pathways with preparation that's adequate and mentoring that gets people in and makes them effective and keeps them in, residencies and other innovative preparation pathways can be part of the solution. grow your own pathways are very successful in some parts of the country. getting paraprofessionals in special education and bilingual esl education through credentially programs is another way to get people from the community prepared to teach and ensuring that we rebuild the mentoring for them. many districts are looking at salaries, housing subsidies, building dormitories, providing mortgage guarantees, child care, retiree options. these turn out to be very important to a lot of teachers in deciding where to settle and whether to stay, and then, of course, there's the key issue of
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addressing the conditions of teaching which especially involved timeless colleagues in support of principles that make it possible for teachers to be effective in their work which is the greatest success and joy and compensation for most teachers doing the job they want to do on behalf of children. thank you, and i will pass this on to the other panelists. >>. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you so much. linda. i'm now excited to introduce the next three panelists who are going to be joining us on the stage for an in-depth conversation. it's my honor to welcome emerson elliott with the council for the accreditation of educator preparation to the stage, to invite kent mcguire, the president and ceo of the southern education foundation, and to invite johanna hayes, the 2016 national teacher of the
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year to join me on the stage. [ applause ] as they are getting settled, i'm going to run through a couple of quick slides and some things that we have and the papers that i talked about. the first of those slides i think is looking at is this a cyclical issue or is it not, and some of the numbers that we've highlighted are percent of schools with at least one teaching vacancy, and '99 versus 2011. it looks like it was worse in '11 than it is in 2011. we're seeing more of that now, but we want to make sure that we understand that there are cyclical parts to this, and i think the deja vu all over again that linda talked about is one of those things that we need to keep in mind. the second is the difficulty in many of your schools in finding teachers for some specific teaching areas, special education, some sciences, foreign languages, arts, and at least one subject area with difficult-to-staff teaching positions. in 2000 were were 30% of the schools that had that problem in
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2011-2012 it was 15%. this is still a big problem, but some of these issues are deja vu all over again and it's one of the things thatty with want to talk about on the panel. i would like to start off by throwing the microphone teamerson to kind of talk about what they are seeing and what they are seeing through some of the accreditation issues and what are some of the issues that are outlined across the country. >> well, thank you, jeremy. i think many of the things that linda is talking about are things that center a great deal around starting preparation in colleges of education. i just want to say a couple of words at the outset about the council for the accreditation of teacher adread days as an organization because oven times people have no idea what an accreditation is and how it functions and how it intersects
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wi with states. accreditation is a process that works on quality assurances through the process of writing standards that the profession agrees to generally, and then there is a peer review of a self-study prepared by the institution that is seeking accreditation. the authority for this kind of investment is in all states and you do this in all fields, including medicine and law, but have you a special interest in this area in education because of your constitutional responsibility for the education function and so our partnerships, and there is a slide here that shows where we are working very closely with states in direct partnerships in which we make arrangements for carrying out these accreditation reviews with state staff and with classroom teachers, so this is a very participatory peer review process.
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jeremy, i want to kind of try to pull this together by saying this whole process operates by having explicit standards, and sometimes those standards are challenging and a little bit difficult to figure out how institutions will meet, and our standards are based on the best the profession can tell us from research and from the practice of organizations in continuous improvement and improving quality assurance systems that we can as ball to state standards. and that -- and they involve -- the standards involve content and pedagogical knowledge, partnerships for clinical interpretation and involve selection of individuals with higher academic achievement. that has been an extremely controversial one of our
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standards. what are the provisions of that standard? why do we have that standard? why is it there? it is very much oriented to p12 student learn. we have that standard because that is one of the levers that colleges and universities could exercise to make a difference in p-12 student learning. why is that? the research shows that there is a close association between academic achievement of teachers and p-12 student learning, and that relationship is especially important for students at risk, and the research is consistent, has been there for a long time, and it's found in international studies as well as local ones. because that standard is controversial, we have been taking a closer look at it, and because we want to make sure that we heard from everybody we had several focus group conversations about that standard earlier this year, and one of,000 was with representatives of your states.
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the message was mixed. the people who came from your states were very cognizant of teacher shortages that were being faced in the state, and they said we don't want to do anything that will make that problem more difficult in our state and our chief state school officers talks to us about that and, c.a.p.e., are you making the problem more difficult by having the standard? on balance the view has we want you to hold for high quality, and this is an important high quality measure and stick with it, and that's what we did. >> thanks. i think, emerson, some of the questions out there in the states is what is the standard for high quality, and how is that affecting the shortage issue? and i think we've seen in some of the teacher prep programs on the slides that we've shown where the number of students in college who are in teacher prep programs has gone down over the last five years, but as linda showed in her slides, that's happened in other decades also at different times.
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>> right. >> so, kent, i think from your perspective with the southern education foundation, talk to us about what you've seen around the country on some of this, because this is a big issue that you've been involved in. >> thank you, jeremy. you know, i'm a -- i'm a recovering dean. let me tell you that first takes three years for every one year of service, so i'm still in recovery, and i was up in philly when i did that and watched our enrollments change as the state, i think, for all the right reasons increased the gpa required to enter candidacy, for instance. but -- and make that change right at a time when the changing demographics, you know,
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in the state, you know, really called and put pressure on all programs to increase the diversity of their -- you know, of their enrollments. this tension is even more vivid where i am now in the american south where students of color and low-income students are clearly a majority of the students enrolled in public schools. >> right. >> and where the -- the highest percentage of candidates of color are enrolled in preparation programs. my foundation has a long history of working with historically black colleges and universities who may not prepare lots of teacher in the aggregate but prepare high percentages of teachers of color, and i guess
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it's standard number three. i know that. i know that because we've actually convened the leadership of those schools a few times in the last year or so, and we've done some of that in talking with folks at c.a.p.e. to try to figure out how those standards can be appropriately met, so i think there's a tension there that we ought to through innovation, shanna, and other ways kind of struggle with it. if we don't, you know, i heard randy say this as a panel a couple weeks ago, you know, we're really going to bump right up against the problem i think that linda, you know, described where a legitimate interest in quality rubs right up against a legitimate and important need to increase considerably,
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substantially, the diversity of the workforce. one last thing i'll say right now, because linda mentioned this. i got a file folder full of educator equity plans that i was sort of looking at as i thought about coming here, and it is also true that the schools, the poorer schools with the highest concentrations of high need students are as you go from state to state, the schools with the least well prepared teachers, the folks with the least amount of experience and support and increasingly the least diverse, so it's a challenge that we really do need to confront. >> so johanna, your experience for national teacher of the year for 2016. congratulations. >> thank you. >> talk a little bit about your experience and what you've seen in the profession, because i
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think there's a lot of issues out there for state leaders especially saying where does principal leadership or teacher leadership come into play and has it made a difference? how has mentoring helped in these capacities to try to show teachers who join teaching right out of teacher prep programs and can we keep them for five or ten years or perhaps as i mentioned with my father for 43 years? >> well, good morning. thank you for having me, and for me as a classroom teacher, when i think about infusing the pipeline, i have to look at it as a classroom teacher, so my lens is very different than the policy-maker and the recovering deep. >> and the recovering dean. >> yes. >> so everything with me starts with my students, so, first of all, early exposure. as a high schoolteacher it pains me year after year when i ask my students what profession and every year the number who even consider teaching as a profession diminishes, and i think that that really -- so i ask myself what can i do about that, you know?
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how can i, you know, improve those numbers, and i think as teachers, first of all, we have to be very purposeful in our interactions with students. every interaction. there's so much negative and inaccurate media perception surrounding this profession, so kids need to know going in that their teachers enjoy what they do, and it's something that is a value, that is a noble profession. you know, when my students were interviewed for this teacher of the year process they didn't really talk about content. they talked about the interactions that they had with me as their teachers, so i would encourage the education community, you know, watch what you say. watch how you perceive this profession. the life of a teacher of the year is very different than the life of a classroom teacher. i'm sitting here. for the last decade i've fought to be heard and that's not what teachers experience so that's not what students see. another thing that i've done at my school, we've started student internships where they work
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alongside teachers and really see the positives of this profession. we've established vibrant yes clubs to give them opportunities, you know, to be engaged with teachers and see the other side, not just what they see from their seats but, you for example the value that is in this profession, and i have had to learn not to wait for things to happen but to network within my community to find resources, you know, mentorships, partnerships so that teachers feel supported in other ways. i think so often we just wait for legislation to be passed when we have to create those opportunities for ourselves. >> right. >> as far as educator preparation programs, i think one of the biggest things that i found, i visited hbcu to try to talk to teefrpgs, and some of the issues with reciprocity from state to state, i really can't wrap myself around why the requirements for a teacher in connecticut, we have very rigorous testing, literacy tests, are very different for the requirements for a teacher
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in new york so you can't even travel from state to state as a teacher. you know, i'm national teacher of the year but if i decided i wanted to move, to i don't know, wisconsin, alabama, i can't, i can't teach in alabama, you know, so there's something -- i'm not really sure what that means or why that is, but, you know, we're in a room with people from all over the country. i think that's a conversation that we need to have, and those programs really need to look at -- i came out of college content ready. i could write a lesson and manage a class and i could transition and had buzzwords and all that stuff, but lucky for me i teach in the community where i was born so i knew how to engage the community. i don't think preparation programs do enough to teach young and developing teachers. teaching is not just about what happens in the classroom and there's not enough emphasis put on putting teachers into communities, engaging them as partners, teaching them how to work with parents outside of the classroom, and then finally i can't live the stage without talking about recruiting
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minorities. i think that so much of our problem lies in the fact that -- i work in the largest -- the fourth largest urban district in connecticut. it's a majority minority district. we have about 76% minorities. i went through my whole career as a student with all female white teachers, you know, so if you're saying you have to see it to be it, i didn't know what that meant, know. none of my teachers looked like me, understood my culture, were from my community, and when you have students who are minorities, who have had so many negative experiences in the classroom, why would you want to go back and teach in that type of an environment or work or make that your life's work? so we really have to, you know, any about cultural competency and letting those students see that they have value as well and can add something to this profession. >> i think we ought to just pause and soak in what she just said. [ applause ] thank you.
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>> we have a lot of state leaders in the audience with us, and one of the difficulties is some of the funding issues. i mean, for many legislators, governors, chief state school officers, i mean, your k-12 budget is almost 50% of what the entire state budget is. it's a big expense, and compensation comes into play. we get a lot of questions at the education commission at states on how do we change compensation for our teachers, but teacher compensation makes up a very large percentage of that state appropriation? alabama had a 2% increase for teachers. south dakota had one of the largest increases in the history of their state for teachers. how, though, does compensation come into play, and is that one of the factors that can help to change some of the pipeline issues? >> definitely teacher compensation comes into play. jeremy, you mentioned that it's a large part of the school budget. one would wish that it was an even larger part of the school budget, that is, that -- a
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decision would be made by local school officials and state school officials to keep the investment at the level where it connects directly with the students as much as possible. one of the things that you can learn by looking at the numbers interestingly enough about private schools and public schools is that somehow private schools have been able to keep administrative costs much more contained than public schools. now, there are a lot of reasons for that. they don't have to run a bus service and other things, so those need to be part of the explanation, but it should be a conscious goal to keep administrative costs within reason so that more can be invested directly in schools, but i think if you're looking at working conditions, one of them is definitely pay. and i think that in linda's recommendations or other ideas also about working conditions, collaboration, ability for professional rewards, being able to work with your colleagues and those kinds of things that are a
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part of what are making people say they don't want to move into this profession. but, kent, buff pick up, there was a report from the state of new york put out two years ago that says actually if you look at the academic achievement of people coming in to prepare to be teachers in the state of new york, it actually has increased in the last four or five years compared with the period before that which was a very interesting finding. i think a number of people didn't understand why that was happening, and the authors of that study said it was because of policy initiatives in the state of new york to encourage people to go into teaching and to try to reward that field. so it's not all that bleak. >> well, and i just think there are a number of things states can do. i mean, this is another area for
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innovation arguably, but states shape markets, and while i, too, think we ought to figure out how to put more money in the system, there are also things that we can do in the system that we have to create more efficient markets that also help us pursue some of the goals we have both for the size and composition of the pipeline. there's no reason we couldn't negotiate a reciprocity agreement. when you enter into agreements with states, you're using a common set of standards across the country, for instance. >> right. >> hand those could be linked, and in some places they are, to the licensing and certification requirements across states so
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that there's less variation or rigidity in those markets. the common salary schedule is another area for real innovation. right now the money is predictably in the back end of the schedule. if you're going to improve the pipeline, we're going to need to move some of the money to the front end, and we're going to have to think about the -- you know, how a teacher progresses over the course of a career. we might need to acknowledge the reality that careers are changing anyway and that people don't stay in any given occupation for 30 or 40 years. that's not the growing pattern. so it has huge implications for the structure and nature of the compensation system, you know, in terms of getting the mix. i was on a school board for eight years.
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i'm still recovering from that, too. now that i think about it. but we had -- we had a very interesting policy discussions about what's the nature and then we got quickly to talk about does our salary schedule actually work toward that mix or against it. so i think there's opportunity for innovation here that you know isn't rocket science. we could actually figure some these things out. >> i think that when we talk about compensation, that's a very simplistic target because first of all, teachers are not doing this for the compensation. if i got paid dollar for dollar hour for hour, i would have a very different life. >> you would be making $250,000 a year. >> i would have a very different life, absolutely. so yes, we'd like to be valued. we want to be respected, paid what we believe that we're
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worth. however, i think that when we talk about working within the system, there are so many opportunities for, you know, engaging other stakeholders to partner with us. it doesn't have to be all these isolated -- we have 52 teachers of the year here as a result of scholastic who said we think it's important that you're here and we will support this. so there are lots of very different -- [ applause ] -- you know, i think that everyone is owning the problem as opposed to collaborating our resources, we're working together. everyone taking responsibility for the part that belongs to them and fixing the problem in a very holistic way. this very isolated approach, everybody has a piece of, we have to figure out all the components of this issue about compensation. no, how do we all work together? the program that i started at in my school was a results of me securing a $75,000 grant from my state you know, to get this program off the ground.
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my school districts said we don't have the money to do that. and i thought about if my students came to me with that same problem, my response would be figure it out. so i think my response today is figure it out. >> good. >> we are going to open up to questions for the audience. we'll have mic runners out there. if you have a question, please race your hand and they will come and find you. one of the questions i want to get back to is some of the reciprocity issues. we've heard about that from a lot of states. in many cases the requirements for certification were put in place for what at the time was thought the right reasons. it was quality. it was specific different areas of expertise that they wanted but without the reciprocity, i think some of those states are realizing it's hard to bring in teachers in some of those hard to fill positions like foreign language or special education or arts. so talk about some of the areas where you think that needs to be looked at differently because reciprocity in many other
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professions is a pretty easy thing that's figured out. you can sell insurance in multiple different states. you can work in the medical field in multiple different states with licenses. >> it's silly. it's just silly. my kids in connecticut deserve the same high quality education as kids in california, alaska, minnesota, alabama, every state in the country. it's silly to say that the quality of the teacher should vary from state to state when i was just in kentucky, literally. i was standing in kentucky and indiana at the same time, but you can't be -- the requirements in the two states are very different. so that is something that just seems silly. >> you want to speak to this? >> a little bit. on two things. one is, there is an organization that is into at least sharing information about what these requirements are from state to state.
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i think, johanna, one of the issues is you need to move to a higher political level to get agreement on the kinds of issues that you're talking about. i want to mention a special concern of mine about this area. and that is, the interstate sharing of information is really very important. but it is very difficult because you immediately run into privacy issues. so we're working on a kind of pilot project so that they can at least share information about criminal records and things like that that are important when you're moving people from one state to another. but there are a lot of important things about the experiences that a teacher has had or the credentials that a teacher has that would be important for hiring and important for making a decision about whether the credentials that a teacher has has are essentially the same as the ones that our state requires. and it's very difficult to get states to agree to share that kind of information because of privacy issues. i am convinced and maybe i'm
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totally crazy about this, that there could be a technical fix that would make it possible for the data to be in a warehouse someplace that nobody actually has access to but they could allow links to be made and then you would get the result of it. in a way that would protect privacy but i think that is a big challenge and i know the data quality campaign is working on that piece of it. >> well, if you're a teacher and you've been teaching, i have friends who have been teaching 15, 20 years. they are saying i'm not going to pay more money. i'm not going to be retested. so they leave the profession and do something in education but not specifically teaching because the hoops they have to jump through to continue to be certified are just so very different. i think that we like you said, people move, people transition. we're a very different world. people are not expected to stay in one place their whole life anymore.
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no. >> i think if you want different results, we have to do things a little bit differently. >> if we can use electronic records in medicine and big exchanges, use personal data every day to make sure that folks' claims get paid everywhere in the country. so clearly emerson, it's possible. there is a technical fix there is a technical a fix. >> good. >> do we have any questions from the audience for our panel? got one up here. >> utah senator howard stevenson. i'm thinking of dr. hammond's comments on high need schools and the previous ed talk on getting the shoes to fit the right kids. that equity issue. many of our leas have one side of the district that have high need schools and the other side of the district is higher income.
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and yet, through accounting sleight of hand, the district reports that the spending is greater in the title i schools with the additional funding. but what they use is the average teacher salary of the entire district and so the lower experienced teachers in the high need schools are -- you're actually spending less money in the high need schools than you are in the other side of the district. this is an issue i think that exists in all of our states and for the legislators in the room, can you tell us, has there been research done on this because it seems to me that if we had the money actually spent in those high need schools, we would have the staffing ratios better and we would have the kind of experienced teachers there in those schools rather than the slight of hand accounting of
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averages of teacher salaries. i don't know if that's understood but i think it's happening in all of our states in those districts where you have half the district with high need and half the district with not high need. >> i'm not sure the question was for anybody up here. but i do think it's happened. you know, say it differently. you know, the intradistrict variations in spending might be as great or greater than the variations in spending between districts. we studied it in philly when i was at temple. we were sort of looking at it you know, across the south as we peer into resource equity issues. you know, the other way to get at this, i mean, i think you're
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right as a practical matter, all that's going on is that the folks who make more money you know, tend to be concentrated in certain kinds of schools. right? it's a working conditions issue, right? you know, some teachers you know enjoy working in places where it's easier to work. if we created incentives for our really competent teachers, and committed ones to work in the schools with the greatest need, that would begin to solve the problem or make a big difference in it. you know, there were attempts at a point along the way in the national board for professional teaching standards to run an experiment of creating incentives to sort of concentrate highly qualified
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teachers in such schools. i know i was at mdrc in new york, and we were prepared to evaluate that if it happened. i just read an article on a plane coming here studying the performance-based pay system in denver which has a long history. and what the article reveals is that the incentives that to which teachers responded to an earlier point you made had actually more to do with showing up in high need schools and in being in settings with sort of group performance awards. so i think it is reality but it's also a dynamic that we could impact if we wanted to. >> emerson? >> in an earlier life, i was in the u.s. department of education nces. i can assure you that this issue has been studied and studied and
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studied and studied. it is as kent says, true. it is also a hot political issue. it false under the maintenance of effort that is a part of the elementary and secondary education act. i believe that the current secretary of education has tried to write regulations that would change that phenomenon and he was called on the carpet by senator alexander and the united states senate for going beyond the regulations authority that he had under that act. so talk with your congressman or your senator about handling that issue. but it is a real issue and it is a scandal and it has been in place since 1964. >> okay. so if it's been studied and studied and studied, and we know it to be true, and it's what's best for kids, why aren't we
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doing it? >> and we let it go. >> why aren't we doing it? i mean we have people from all over the country here. i feel like -- i think from a classroom teacher, you look at things through a very different lens. you know, if something is not working then you don't continue to do it. you step back, reflect, you evaluate it. i'm just saying. if we know this is an issue, it is not working and we're discussing the problem, i almost feel like we're admiring the problem. if we know where we need to to go, and the route that we're taking to get there doesn't -- i'm just saying. > you're going to have a very. you're going to have a very fun year as the issue as the national teacher of the year. >> i'm just saying. figure it out. >> it's an issue i think about the federal level and the states level. we're getting close on time. what i want to do is give each of you a chance quickly to say if there's one policy that you
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think needs to be looked at the closest in states dealing with teacher pipeline issues, what would you recommend? is it around compensation or reciprocity, is it around mentoring, is it about perception issues with the profession itself? >> i would like to start with the working conditions that teachers face when they are in the school. it seems to me that the research tells us over and over again that when people leave, that very frequently what they mention is pay but also the conditions of working and how professionally rewarding it is and the ability to work with colleagues and to be supported. i would want to start there. and i think i want to conclude by saying instead of viewing this as a current crisis to be dealt with in ten minutes and then moved on, i think it's an opportunity to think about things like teacher pay and teacher working conditions and the connections between state policies and what we're asking of colleges of education.
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>> i think we have a problem of perspective. and narrative. you can't spend a decade mostly saying bad things about public education and then expect rationale people to flock to it. right? you know, this is -- it may be the single most important public enterprise in the country. we used to think about it as how we grow and develop and nurture and support an economy. and our debate has been reduced to notions of markets and competition and that you know, the success in the classroom is strictly a function of an
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individual teacher. right? i think we've got to stop talking about teaching as if we were staffing factories. as if teachers were widgets, and if we could shift that perspective to one of professionalism and address the issues shanna raised about our sort of current orientation toward compliance and control and start thinking in terms of professional responsibility and judgment, we would come to the question of how to grow and fill the pipeline very differently. that's what i would encourage us to do. [ applause ]
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>> i think all of those things are very important. you know, it's a combination of everything that was mentioned in the slide, you know, compensation, working conditions, autonomy, creativity, supportive administrators but i think mentoring programs are very important. i think we have to look at education very differently. when teachers come into schools they need to feel. supported. they need to be invested in the communities where they teach. if you -- it's very easy to walk away from a community that you don't care about. so teachers are not seeing what's going on in their neighborhoods. learning the lives of their students, learning you know, how does what happened here connect to the outside community. and then working together collaboratively, so i think we have to look at education very differently. it's not just what happens inside the building. you know, and that's going to happen through partnerships and mentoring and bringing all of those people together. >> this is a very important issue and one we continue to
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hear from the states from often. and i think it's one that we're going to see a lot of states as there's changes in people in different positions of power, legislative chairs, chiefs, governors, they're going to be grappling with for the next few years. please join me in thanking our panel for their insights and sharing. [ applause ] >> we're going to transition now to our last session of concurrence which are all downstairs in the lincoln rooms again. we're going to meet right back here at 11:00 for dana goldstein the author of the book ""moving beyond the teacher wars," and we'll have our closing session officially at 11:00 a.m. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. i hope you had a great chance to enjoy some of the concurrent sessions that we just had. and for our closing keynote, i'm really excited to introduce our next speaker. dana goldstein is a journalist and an author of "the new york times" best seller "the teacher wars," a history of america's
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most embattled profession. she also does many different writings and has contributed to slate," the new republic, the marshall project, the atlantic and many other publications. dana is known to write about education, social science, inequalities, criminal justice, women issues, cities and health. she's here today to present her research on the history of the teaching profession. and how as policymakers, there's an opportunity for all of us to help teachers improve their practice. please join me in welcoming dana to the stage. [ applause ] >> good morning. thank you, jeremy for that really kind introduction. i'm really happy to be with ecs. it's an organization whose research i've relied on so much over the years, just to have a place where i can go as a
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journalist and see what's happening state to state in our complex 50-state system has been so helpful. so i was really grateful to receive this invitation and thank you to all of you who are sticking with me here right before the beautiful long weekend. to talk about the history of the teaching profession. so i wanted to begin by going back in time to 2011 when i began writing my book "the teacher wars" about the history of teaching. now at that time i felt as a long-time education journalist that there was something not quite right with our debate over public school teaching in america. teaching had become definitely the most controversial profession discussed in our public life. in the media and i am a member of the media, but veteran teachers were generally portrayed as undereducated, as incompetent, and insufficient committed to closing the
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achievement gap. now research showed then and still today that there are really big and serious problems with american public schools. such as a curriculum that's not up to snuff with our international peers, too much rote teaching, too many work sheets, rote learning and in general the persistent segregation of our low income children and color in separate classrooms and celebrate schools. these are giant moral and political shortcomings, and yet, back in 2011 when i began write ing my book, i noticed that the predominant policy response to these issues was very narrow. to weekend teachers job security protections and then use measures of student learning which i was most often used as a euphemism to find and fire bad teachers. now, if those posses had been a smashing success, helping teachers improve their practice
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and feel energized and inspired, that would have been a good thing, and i would be here today to celebrate everything that has happened in the past decade. but unfortunately, except for some isolated cases, there really wasn't the sort of systemwide success from those narrow policies. now, i'm a journalist and i have traveled the country reporting on schools, so i get to speak with a lot of teachers and i heard from many experienced and celebrated educators pillars in their communities, award winners, who said that they were alienated and demoralized by much of the teacher accountability rhetoric that was floating around and polling backed that up. between 2008 and 2012, metlife surveys found that the percentage of teachers that reported being very satisfied with their job plummeted from 62% to 39%, the lowest level in a quarter century. now, i had assumed that this war over teaching was new, but while researching my book i discovered
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that there was actually nothing new about it. since the early 19th century and the beginning of our common schools movement, american policymakers have often portrayed teachers in two unrealistic though often well-intentioned ways. now the first unrealistic portrayal of teachers is as angels or super human. to get a taste of that, i want to move back to the mid 19th century and to horace mann, the father of our common schools movement, which was that state by state effort before the civil war to establish universal schooling for all american children. a great social justice movement. in 1853 this is how horace mann described the ideal teacher. and i want you to note that he's describing a female teacher here. he said, quote, as a teacher of
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schools how divinely does she come. her feet sweetening the earth on which she treads and the celestial radiance of her benignity through the very envy of the beauty of virtue. now that is florid process. to translate that arne duncan told me in 2009 when i asked him what is an effective teacher, he said, quote, an effective teacher, they walk on water. now the second unrealistic portrayal of teachers that i write in hi history is embattled and sometimes blamed for large social problems, while certainly an element of them traces back to our schools, they are much bigger than schools themselves. in 1800 before the common schools movement, 90% of american classroom teachers were men. but when reformers like horace mann wanted to scale up our education system, they decided to hire only women teachers. why?
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raising taxes back then was about as unpopular as raising taxes is today. so women could be paid back then totally legally half as much as men. and so this was a very cost effective way to school the american public. now in order to raise support for this idea of bringing women into the classroom, and this was a controversial idea because it was still considered very scandalous for a middle class white woman to get up in front of a group, even a group of children and talk to you like i am today. common school movement reformers resorted to vilifying and attacking male teachers as lash wielding alcoholics addicted to corporal punishment. in one famous 1846 speech, katherine beecher, the leading female proponent of the common schools movement and harriet beecher stow's sister called male teachers, quote,
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incompetent, intemperate, coarse, hard, unfeeling, too lazy and stupid to be entrusted with children's education. i'm sorry for the male teachers in the room. now this panic about male teachers combined with the sort of unwillingness to have an expensive education system really worked. and by 1900, so we're fast forwarding here, 90% of american teachers in northern cities like chicago or new york were female. 1900 was a really difficult time for american public education. there were huge numbers of immigrants from eastern and southern europe flooding into our classrooms which meant class sizes in some cases of up to 60 kids, and there were not enough desks or chairs so kids were sitting on the floor in chicago classrooms. and there was such a huge need for teachers at this time, girls were graduating in the sixth or seventh grade and entering the classroom as teachers.
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so they were hugely underprepared. now, there's a lot of places we might go with a system like that, perhaps better teacher prep, higher standards, smaller class sizes. but actually it was thought among intellectuals at the time that the real problem now is that women were teachers. so in 1800, the problem was too many men and in 1900, it was too many women. charles william elliott, the president of harvard wrote that women teachers were physically weaker than men, more apt to be worn out by the fatiguing work of teaching. unfortunately, panic in which policymakers called for large groups of teachers to be fired continued. we've heard about men and women during world war i and then the mccarthy era, tens of thousands of pacifists, socialist and communist teachers were driven from their jobs, even if they never discussed their political beliefs with their students.
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and in an often forgotten historical interlude, after brown v. board of education, 40,000 black teachers and principals in the south were fired so they would not compete with white educators in newly integrated schools. a lot has changed for the good. at least today when we talk about ineffective teachers we are focused on teachers' impacts on their students, not on who that teacher is demographically for the most part. however the panic of bad teaching that i observed when i began writing my book in 2011, had one major thing in common with the past panics. it was focused much more on getting rid of bad teachers than on figuring out what good teaching looked like and how to replicate it at scale. you all are policymakers so you know that scale is very important in education policy. in america we have 3.3 million teachers, 100,000 to 200,000 are hired each fall and 70,000 alone are hired in our high needs low
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income schools. so when i was going around the country reporting on teaches, i often asked people who were experts how many ineffective teachers do you think there are who cannot be brought up to the level that we need to them to be for our kids. and i heard the estimates ranging from 2% to 15% currently working are ineffective. i sat down and did the math. 2% to 15% of american teachers is 66,000 to 495,000 people. i critiqued something arne duncan said earlier. now i want to give him credit for something else he said which is, quote, we can't fire our way to the top. that's absolutely correct because where will all the new better teachers going to come from and what systems have we put in place to assure that new teachers coming into the profession are going to do a better job? another reason we can't fire our way to success is because research shows that teacher
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longevity in the classroom matters. three researcher, matthew ronfeldt, susana loeb and james wycoff conducted an eight-year study of 850,000 fourth and fifth graders. so this is a very large study. they found in schools with high teacher turnover where many teachers were quitting their jobs each year, students lost significant amounts of learning in both reading and math compared to socio-economically similar peers in schools with low teacher turnover. here's something really interesting. students at the high turnover schools lost learning even if their own teacher was not new. i want to repeat that. they lost learning even if their own teacher was not new and even if overall teacher quality at the school remained constant. so the effect of teacher turnover actually crosses classroom walls.
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while at first counter intuitive, when i thought about it more, i realized that this is actually common sense because schools are communities. when administrators are constantly recruiting, interviewing, hiring, they just have less time to focus on improving instruction. and when many teachers resign each year, institutional memory is lost. there's weaker ties to the community. in short, turnover means that less adult expertise is spread more thinly among children. if we want great teachers to stay in the classroom over the long-term, we have do something that we've never done before in american educational history. we must do education reform with teachers instead of to teachers. [ applause ] and i think for policymakers, that means that the starting point for improving teaching must be replicating what can be observed by watching the best teachers work.
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i want to give you a few examples from around the country of how that is happening. i visited the kindergarten classroom of lenore furman in newark, new jersey. i saw lenore singing with her students and getting them super excited about books with complex vocabulary words like "hibernate" and "slither." and watching her teach a group of low income kindergartners these awesome words looked like magic. it was not magic. it was part of a system. lenore was a mentor teacher within a program called the children's literacy initiative which has developed tech techniques to help early learners read and write. this establishes a model classroom in every school in which it works. that classroom has an open door. novice teachers have time to --
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walk watch the mentor teachers use their literacy strategies, and the mentor teacher in turn has time to visit the novices' classrooms and provide feedback. students with these model classrooms are outperforming their peers in reading. and i want to point out that that mentorship amongst teachers takes place outside a formal or punitive evaluation systems. these are relationships of collaboration and trust between colleagues. at kingsbury high school in memphis, one-third of all teachers are working under the residency model which i know we've heard about today in which training teachers spend their first year as an apprentice in a master teacher's classroom. this allows them to see everything happens to establish discipline and rapport from the first moment of the school year to the last. this type of full-year student teaching experience is standard in many asian and european nations while most american teachers have 12 weeks or less of student teaching experience. teachers who participate in
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american residency programs have longer career longevity and in many cities have produced impressive learning gains for children. two years ago when my book was first published, it looked to me like examples like the memphis teacher residency and children's literacy initiative were isolated experiments and outliers in education policy. but i'm happy to report today, and you've heard it throughout this conference, that this is no longer the case. washington has invested over $150 million in teacher residencies. states and philanthropies are shifting their priorities to something that it is now easiest to do because of increased flexibility. i want to tell you about two states that are leading the way. through new legislation, iowa is fundamentally rethinking the teaching profession by requiring all districts to create roles for model teachers, lead
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teachers and mentor teachers. these teachers all receive bonuses ranging between $2,000 and $10,000 per year and they have time do this work. and that's really important. some of the roles call for 75% of time with children and 25% of the time with the adults. and some of the roles are 50/50. we can create the roles but if they're not funded and they don't have the time in the day it's not going to work. and louisiana has launched the believe and prepare initiative in 2014, it is bringing 1,000 new teachers into the classroom with a year long classroom residency already under their belt. in both of these states, policymakers have realized that the role of the mentor teacher is key. when selecting mentors we have to look not only for teachers who are great with kids, but teachers who have demonstrated ability to work with adults in linking theory and practice. these programs are experimental.
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it's important that as we increase expectations around student teaching, we don't allow our future teachers to get out of the crucial subject matter, courses in science or history or any other subject they'll teach that will give them the constant knowledge they need to excel. we cannot do this on the cheap. still, i'm cautiously optimistic. if you are a policymaker and wondering what you can do, i know you've heard a lot at this conference. i'll mention a few other resources. the council of chief state school officers has published a report called our responsibility, our promise and explains key state level policy levers for transforming the teaching profession. they also talk about international examples, what people are doing in other countries. in singapore, teachers have the opportunity to conduct original research on pedagogy and education policy. this adds to the body of knowledge of what works for students and allows teachers to maintain their own intellectual engagement in their career.
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finland decided, and i think this would be very controversial here, but it's worth mentioning that only flagship public universities could operate teacher training programs. and they simply shut down second and third tier programs. partially as a result of that change, teacher prep became highly selective in finland. which many of you know. the profession is open only to people who graduated in the top 10% to 12% of their high school class. another nation i like to mention is korea. the career salary range for a teacher there is 55,000 to $155,000 per year. in korea, a teacher earn morse than an engineer and just a little bit less than a doctor. the organization public impact also has a website, opportunity culture.org with ideas on how to redesign the teaching profession to be more collaborative. they suggest paying teachers up to 100% more if they're able to extend their reach by collaborating with adults. with the right federal, state and philanthropic supports, we
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can radically reimagine american teaching as a much more creative and collaborative profession which in turn will help teaching become more prestigious. academically elite and culturally respected. this would be a change from our historical pattern for teaching in the united states. so we shouldn't underestimate what a big, big shift this would be. we won't get to a highly respected and effective teaching profession with canned or test prep driven lesson plans. we will get there through creating a career ladder that is challenging and exciting. because teachers are neither super human angels norville lanes, they're professionals looking to grow. [ applause ] history teaches us that in the end, real educational improvement will be built not upon our fears of bad teachers, but upon the expertise and leadership of our best teachers who will guide their colleagues
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to excellence. and this is how we will end the teacher wars. and i'm happy to take questions. thank you. [ applause ] don't be shy. >> dana, what do you think would be the most important change the federal government could do with respect to improving the profession as opposed to states? and how do you distinguish here in the policy environments? >> i think the federal government through tools like how race to the top set up a competition for dollars. race to the top was very effective in getting states to
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change their laws. there is a whole lot of other policies that you can imagine being pushed forward through a competition like that, whether it's on these career pathway, extra funding for mentor teachers, something that is near and dear to my own heart, which i write about a lot in my book, which is working to make our school system less segregated by race and class. these are all things that there is a lot of innovative thinking around at the local level. and the federal government can help with funding. i think what we're seeing right now is we're seeing the secretary really widen the conversation in terms of the types of policies that washington is promoting. of course, it's at this moment when there is actually less levers for federal control. so it is really up to all you at the state level to bring these ideas forward at this moment in history. it doesn't mean that four years from now, seven years from now there could be another big push on federal string pulling. but that's not the moment that
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we're in right now. >> hi, dana. thank you so much for your research and for your advocacy. i'm rick joseph, michigan teacher of the year. and what i'm wondering is the extent to which you saw a role for national board certification in terms of teacher mentoring and creating collegial communities of practice so that a culture of job-embedded performance-based continuous improvement can exist in schools across the country. >> yeah, certainly. i think national board certification is absolutely a model of the type of work i'm speaking about. and i have visited schools where the whole staff together was going through the national board process. and that has been something that has been transformative for staffs that have pursued it. i think that having national board certification and also other ways and other systems and locally driven stuff, all that together is going to help move us in the right direction.
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>> hi, dana, dennis roush from new mexico. we heard some today and something i agree with, increasing the respect and prestige of the teaching profession. but at the same time we had a conversation yesterday about sort of the civil rights desire to make sure that the best teachers go to the most needy students in schools, almost like they're assets to be deployed. how do those two get reconciled? how do we keep educators with the autonomy that other professionals have with also trying to meet the needs of we've got to deploy them elsewhere? >> well, i think when educators are taking on a more difficult job, they need to be paid more. so that's a big part of that. on the other hand, and johanna mentioned this earlier, teachers are not solely or even primarily motived by money. the federal government has done some really interesting research on offering teachers $20,000 to go to a higher needs, lower income school.
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and a lot of people offered that bonus are not interested. and if you really dive in as to why, they will talk about what they perceive as the lack of administrative support, the principals that they want to work for are not in those places. so we've had a very big focus on teacher accountability. we need to bring principals and school leadership into the discussion. teachers really do not choose where they're going to work based on the boss they're going to work for. i think all of us do that. whenever we're considering a new job, we want to know who is going to be -- who am i accountable to? do i trust that person? do i have a rapport with that person? so it is very challenging. another thing we can do, though, is make sure if we can that there are fewer schools that are completely overwhelmed by the challenges of poverty. i live in brooklyn. the school zoning is gerrymandered like a congressional district. if you see where poor kids lived, a zigzagy line will be drawn around. so they're all getting sent to
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one neighborhood school. this is not acceptable. it's just simply not acceptable. so if we can make fewer schools that are totally overwhelmed with these 90% and up poverty rates, we're going to have more schools where teachers are eager to teach a wide range of our kids. i think we're running out of time. okay. thank you so much, everybody. have a good weekend. [ applause ] next on c-span3, a hearing on regional federal reserve banks and their impact on the economy. in about two hours, we'll hear from u.s. diplomats on the violence in south sudan. in about four hours, computer scientists take a look at the black markets of cybercriminals. this sunday night on q&a,
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david kaye johnston discusses the making of donald trump, which takes a look at the presidential nominee. >> i met donald. i immediately recognized, brian, he speaks barnum. he is selling tickets to the fiji mermaid and the amazing two-headed woman. because he was the dominant force in atlantic city, i started asking about him. and his competitors, including steve wynn and people who work for him and some big gamblers all said to me donald doesn't know anything about the casino business. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. now a regional federal reserve bank officials on efforts to further reduce unemployment, expand growth, and improve the economy's overall health. this hearing of the house financial services subcommittee is about two hours.
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the committee will come to order. and without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time in the committee -- i'm sorry, of the committee at any time. this hearing is entitled "federal reserve districts: governance, monetary policy and economic performance." i will now recognize myself for five minutes to give an opening statement. economic performance couldn't be stronger, especially in light of the deep hole that president obama inherited. well, that's the story you're going to hear from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and they've been telling it for years. but the fax clearly contradict
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this situation. the fact of the matter is we are mired in the slowest recovery since at least world war ii. historically, our nation's economy has grown at a 3% clip. the obama administration now pretends that a new normal of 2% counts as a success. small on its face, the difference between 3% and 2% is 50%. unfortunately, economic opportunities are now disappearing even faster. and while my friends on the other side have been crowing about this recovery for years, republicans have been calling out for what it really is, completely unacceptable situation. but today it will be different in at least one important respect. our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will finally join news acknowledging that our economy is underperforming. and together we will examine the important role that the federal reserve's districts play in expanding economic opportunity, a role that unfortunately is under heavy attack. this attack has been brewing beneath the surface for several years. in late july, the democratic party finally made their true
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objective clear. the party platform adopted in philadelphia promises to increase opportunity for all. instead, it has taken aim at the very foundation of opportunity in my opinion that is the governance and monetary policy and the subject of today's hearing. democrats have constantly resisted reforms that would modernize the federal reserve, bringing much needed transparency to what most americans consider an impossibly opaque institution. while such reforms promise increase of accountability, democrats falsely claim that a better disciplined, more predictable and clearly communicated monetary policy with congress and the public would somehow jeopardize the fed's independence. reforms such as these included in the for matt and the draft financial choice act would help insulate the fed from any opportunity killing political precious. however, my friends on the other side of the aisle would like to double down on what frank/dodd started. it has kicked opportunity to the sidelines in the name of reinflating asset prices.
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their platform promises to press the pedal to the metal in a drag race to printing money for the politics of those in office. they now have launched a hostile takeover of the federal reserve itself. and i'll note that this is a dual edged sword that some might benefit now. real economic opportunity cannot return until washington puts an end to the pretensive knowledge. well cannot promote economic policy for all that targets assets that benefit only some. oracles from the eckles building have been promising to do so for a decade, but where are the results? i'm as fed up as anybody. we are fed up as anybody. where is the promised opportunity? how could the fed have created trillions upon trillions of dollars from thin air in the name of buying questionable assets that they have left us with not only the slowest economic recovery in our lifetimes, but increased inequality to boot? i know that a better way is
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available, one that reverses the increased centralization of monetary policy in washington's politicized board of governors and an institutional source of support for sound monetary policy. i believe my house passed and the financial choices committee act offer a much better way. instead of doubling down on dodd/frank, they bring it out of the political shadows and into the sunlight of and strength monetary independence by restoring the voice of the bank district presidents on monetary policy matters while subjecting regulatory and supervisory services to oversight where they properly belong. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today. and the chair now recognizes the ranking member of the subcommitt subcommittee, the gentle lady from wisconsin for five minutes for an opening statement. >> thank you and good morning, mr. chairman. and good morning to my
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colleagues and to this distinguished panel. i so look forward to the tremendous assets that we have here in front of us, mr. chairman. and i especially welcome the honorable spriggs, who is a very well educated gentleman from the university of wisconsin madison. i think that your perspectives are going to be extremely valuable. and we thank you for giving us the time here. the federal reserve is the central bank of the united states. plays an extremely important role in our financial markets and economy. i think we have seen this post our recession. it's also very misunderstood. so i actually think that it might be helpful to have had this hearing to discuss the federal reserve and the federal reserve system. i'll have to admit to you, mr. chairman, that i was initially extremely suspicious of this
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hearing due to some proposals that i think would disastrously inject partisan politics into monetary policy. and we've heard some of them. i think it's interesting, mr. chairman, you talked about, you know, not wanting to inject politics into the federal reserve since we've heard these cries to audit the feds and balancing the transportation budget with federal reserve monies, and just your statement today, wanting to bring the federal reserve into more of congressional compliance. but short of undermining the independence of the fed with policy audits or appropriating the budget, i have been open, mr. chairman, to you and others about improving the diversity of thought at the fed. the fed was created and established to be independent. and i think that independence has fuelled a lot of these
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misconception and misgivings about the fed. and i think that we ought to and should explore smart reforms that balance maintaining the fed's independence, but it also bolsters public confidence and faith in the fed. we've made some tweaks in dodd/frank, including have the gao study conduct a study and make recommendations on reform. and i think that that's appropriate. and i think the gao recommendations are a good place to start any conversation on reform. and i also signed on to a letter with some of my democratic colleagues, encouraging the fed to seek greater diversity. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. and i look forward to this hearing, mr. chairman. thank you. >> the gentle lady yields back. thank you for that. today we welcome the testimony of esther george, president and chief executive officer of the
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federal reserve bank of kansas city. i know you're coming off a busy august with the jackson hole conclave that was put together. and i know that you met with a number of folks that are represented here today in the office, or in the audience. jeffrey lacquer, president and chief executive officer of the federal reserve bank of richmond. robert jones, bob jones, chairman and chief executive officer of old national bake corp., former board director for the federal reserve bank of st. louis. and mr. william spriggs, professor of economics at howard university. apparently he missed putting in the wisconsin part, ranking member. but i think that was undergrad. >> this is dr. spriggs. >> yes, dr. spriggs. each of you will be recognized for five minutes to give an oral presentation of your testimony without objection. each of your written statements will be part of the record. and with that, ms. george, we will recognize -- i'm sorry,
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we're going to go right in order, i guess. different from my sheet. but dr. lacquer, we're going to have you go first. and you're now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. good morning, chairman huizenga, ranking member moore, and chairman hensarling. i'm honored to speak to the subcommittee about the governance structure of the fed's regional reserve banks. to understand the fed structure, it's essential to understood the fed's purpose. prior to the founding of the fed, the banking system was often unable to adjust the supply of monetary assets flexibly enough in response to the changing needs of commerce. the fed was founded to furnish an elastic currency, in the words in the preamble to the federal reserve act. clearing houses, bank-owned cooperatives in larger cities played an important role in how periodic crises were resolved before the fed, including the issuance of currency substitutes. but clearing houses were widely viewed as favoring the interests of large banks.
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but with note issue powers and universal eligibility for membership the aim being to improve on the role of clearing houses in a way that served broader public interests. a plan for a centralized institution was rejected out of concern about excessive wall street influence at the expense of diverse regional influence. proposals for a government-controlled central bank were rejected as well for fear the federal government would use control of the money supply to resort to inflationary deficit finance. at the same time, a measure of public oversight was viewed as essential, so the act included a federal reserve board whose leaders were politically appointed. thus the final federal reserve act reflected a balance of competing considerations, a federated set of institutions to provide for representation of a diverse range of geographic and commercial interests with a hybrid public/private governance structure to provide for public oversight but contain potential misuse of monetary authority.
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the structure of the federal reserve is still effective in my view because the considerations the founders wrestled with are all relevant today. the federated structures benefitted policy making by ensuring the diversity of perspectives on policy and economic conditions are brought to the table. reserve banks historically have shown intellectual leadership on topics that initially went against the grain of mainstream thinking, but later become broadly accepted. and reserve bank presidents have a record of challenging conventional views. in addition, the federated structure has promoted broad regional engagement of the institution across the country, deepening the fed's understanding of the diverse economic challenges facing american communities. to be sure, our country's understanding of diversity has expanded since 1913. and it is in keeping with the spirit of our founding the federal reserve has taken the importance of diversity seriously, as we have sought to ensure broad representation of views in the formulation of monetary policy, including those associated with disadvantaged communities.
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i believe our record in this regard, like that of many other organizations in the united states shows a combination of substantial progress and areas where more can be done. in addition to bringing diverse viewpoints to bear, the fed's public/privacy governance helps the policy focus on longer term objectives. at time there is a temptation to provide excessive economic stimulus in the short-run and leave the subsequent inflationary costs for future policymakers to deal with. evidence from around the world, along with our own history in the united states amply demonstrates the temptation of shortsighted monetary policisis a bipartisan vulnerability, just as the fed's founders feared. for central banks, this implies that meeting-to-meeting monetary policy decision immediate to be insulated from short-term political pressures driven by electoral consideration. but independence with regard to the choice of monetary policy interest rate settings must be
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paired with strong economic ability. accountability rests on transparent communications which help congress and the public evaluate the fed's performance against its mandate. the fed's public /private structure supports monetary policy independence by ensuring a measure of apolitical leadership. the reserve bank's autonomous balance sheets protected appropriation status and independent capital stocks all play a role as wells by limiting high frequency interference that might diminish instrument independence. the presence of bankers on reserve bank boards is said to represent a conflict of interest, but strict rules limit bankers' roles. they simply have no avenue through which they can influence supervisory matters. moreover, best practice for any board is to seek members with expertise relevant to the board's activities. the fed's large payment processing operations make the original rationale for having
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bankers serve on reserve bank boards still valid in my view. in addition, bankers are particularly well positioned to report on positions in their footprints. in conclusion, while some claim that the federal reserve's governance structure is a historical anachronism, the continued relevance of the trade-offs of the federal reserve act argues for the continued utility of this finally balanced arrangements that they crafted. thank you. >> thank you, dr. lacquer. with that, ms. george, you are recognized for five minutes as well. >> chairman hensarling and huizenga, ranking members more and members of this committee, thank you for the act to share my view on the roles of the role of federal reserve banks as part of the federal system. because the federal reserve is an institution that makes institutions of consequence to the broad public, a discussion of these matters is worthwhile. the changes are to be considered, the public should understand not only the congressional intent for its current design, but also the
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strong safeguards that assure its accountability. central banks are unique institutions. they have important responsibilities for a nation's financial system and economy. congress as it contemplated a >> you need public structure, and it's designed to provide a system of checks and balances. challenges have -- not unlake they have today. in the end our country has remained confident in this decentralized government structure. criticism of the quasi-private
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nature of the regional reserve banks was anticipated from the start. indeed, the federal reserve act leaves no unchecked power in reserve banks. politically appointed members of the most important governance aspects of the research banks. they appoint the chair and deputy chair of a reserve banks board. they vote to approve the selection of the bank's president as well as its chief operating officer, and they approve the reserve bank's budget and salaries. the board of governors also meets with each bank's chair and deputy chair annually to review the bank's performance, and that of its president. the reserve bank's operations are vee viewed as well as an outside independent auditor. notwithstanding the strong public oversight some question the role of commercial banks within the fed's structure. here, too, important safeguards exist. supervision and regulation of the fellow reserve's member
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banks is a statutory responsibility of the congressionally confirmed board of governors. bankers who serve on reserve bank boards are prohibited by law from participating in the selection of the bank president and no director can participate in bank supervisory matters. finally, they are all expected to adhere to high ethalconduct and avoid actions that might discredit the reputation of the system. the capital stock serves as the foundation for the decentralized structure allowing for separate corporate entities. private citizens from diverse backgrounds and from the largest to the smallest communities have input into national economic policy. strong and varied independent perspectives, more easily emerge to engage in difficult monetary policy discussions. the central bank has provided
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insulation from short-term political pressures. altering this public-private structure in favor of a fully public construct diminishes these defining characteristics in my view. pressure can be exerted on a unpopular decision judged to be in the long run best interest of the economy. the 1984 speech he noted the important role of the structure of the federal reserve system in supporting the central bank's decision making -- it's designed to insure the judgment, the continui continuity, and professionalism in staff, a close contact with economic developments and opinion throughout our great
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land and a large degree of insulation and concerns. to that end, i extend a personal invitation for any of you to visit the fellow reserve bank of kansas city to see what a regional federal reserve bank provides in support of the central bank's objectives for economic stability. thank you. i look forward to taking your questions. >> mr. jones, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. chairman and ranking member moore, good morning. it is my honor to speak with the distinguished members of this committee today about the role of commercial bankers on our reserve bank boards. it is my belief that it is critically important the bankers continue to serve in this capacity. i sit before you as the chairman and ceo of old national bank corp., a 182-year-old community bank head quartered in evansville, indiana, serving indiana, southwest michigan, wisconsin, and kentucky. i'm also a proud former board
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director of the federal reserve bank of st. louis as well as a former member of the federal advisory committee of the federal reserve board. i would like to begin my remarks by touching on a partnership that has changed the lives for the better. at its center are two individuals, rosalynn jackson, a former substance abuse counsellor in western kentucky penal system, and ben engineeringens, old national bank corp.'s empowerment officer. with insights and guidance from rosalynn, ben designed a financial education program that provides non-violent offenders in our region with the tools to gain financial independence once they've completed their debt to society. launched in 2014 this program led the american bankers association to recognize ben with its george bailey distinguished service award. more importantly, it has led to nearly 2,000 individuals out of a cycle of despair and independence and was fuelled by
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their inability to manage their finances. one graduate of the program summed it up this way. i learned that you can always clean up the wreckage of your past and take control of your destiny. this is just one illustration of the many ways that banks, big and small, work to strengthen the communities that we serve. old national is a fairly typical community bank. with $14.4 billion in assets, we are literally head quartered on main street in evansville, indiana. our clients are small and mid-size business owners. farmers, young families, retireees, labor ters and community leaders. each year we invest millions in support of community causes. in our nearly 3,000 associates are known for their volunteerism. having donated more than 100,000 volunteer hours in 2015. in 2016 our company was named to the institute's world's most ethical companies list for the fifth consecutive year and recently the american banker
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named us as one of the best banks to work for in the country. the strong connection that banks like ours enjoys with their communities we serve gives us a unique and valuable perspective. not only do bankers serve as community catalysts, we are on the front lines every day assisting our clients who represent a broad cross-section of industries and neighborhoods. over time we gained vital instincts to how they view the economy and how those views shape their decision making. the bankers who sit on the board gain incredibly valuable information that they can take back to their communities. i experience this reciprocal relationship firsthand during my tenure. fueled by the knowledge i gained from my board experience old national spearheaded the creation of the first bank on program in the midwest back in 2009. we've added another 16 programs helping the unbanked and
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under-banked individuals take better control of their finances. again, all this dates back to the knowledge i gained serving on the federal reserve. my time as a director i and other bankers on our board not only brought valuable insights from our communities into our discussions, we frequently reached out to a diverse set of community leaders to gather specific feedback that helped drive policy decisions. over time these trusted voices from main street began seeking us out to offer their views on issues of the day. these candid regional perspectives were invaluable to our discussions on the drivers of our local economies. that is why i feel so strongly that bankers are our vital asset. i recognize the concerns that have been surfaced over whether bank directors might somehow attempt to control our manipulate decisions for the betterment of their own institutions. while no system is perfect, i do believe this has effectively addressed during the current policies and procedures of the federal reserve system.
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as this committee knows, the banking industry is highly regulated and bankers fully understand the consequences if we violate these regulations. the same consequences apply to regulations and policies that govern the federal reserve system. the existing governance model is strong, and i applaud the controls currently in place. i can assure you that during my tenure i never felt that my integrity or ethical set were in any way challenged or compromised. as banker, our role in the term reserve board is limited, yet crucial. we serve as managers, budgeters, auditors, and strategic planners. we supply a vibrant and important regional voice on issues that affect small and medium size towns all across our great nation. i encourage this committee to retain this vital link to the views, perceptions, and attitudes of main street america. thank you for your time. >> thank you, mr. jones. with that the honorable william sprigs is recognized for five
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minutes. >> make sure to hit your mike. >> sorry. >> there you go. >> good morning, and thank you, chair and ranking member moore for this chance to speak today. i want to start with a clear statement that up like in the past, the fed has not had the help of fiscal policy to stimulate the economy. on all previous occasions when we've had downturns, congress has held up its half of the humphrey hawkins act to fully address full employment. with when we look at the deficit spending under president reagan and the deficits that were run up under president george w. bush, we see that congress
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clearly understood the need to act and respond to the downturn. this is unprecedented for the fed to have to act on its own, and i would think as was the case with chairman volcker it that has led to a lot of public criticism. that is very hard for the fed. but for its independence, chair yellin could not be steering this in these unchartered waters. i also want to say that it is fully possible, possible, under the current standards to have regional bank presidents who are quite open to public participation and truly do think that they have to represent and listen to all the voices from their region. you have president george here on the panel who has let the doors of her bank open, has left the doors of her bank to engage
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her community, and to talk to all the citizens in her region and hear from those who are affected by fed policy and to respect their voices. it is possible i want to give my statements with regard to your theme, which is policy outcomes and to look back because, of course, we cannot ignore the great recession and would led up to it. that's going to be the tone of what i would like to speak about. you see the chart that's up now. this shows the record of inflation pre-1978. post-1984 what economists call the great moderation.
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morntly, it's greatly reduced. there is great stability that has occurred in terms of price stability. you can see the green line shows current, average inflation, but 1984, the red line shows inflation and the period before. the next slide, however, shows you the performance of the labor market. here you see a clear difference. before 1978 the average monthly unemployment rate in the united states was 5.1 %. during the great moderation it's been 6.1%. that one percentage point difference means a lot. in the great moderation only 25%
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of the time of american workers have been below 5.1%. this lack of voice on the part of workers affects the way that the fed looks at things. it's not guaranteed into the system. class b members often do have influence. the current president of the philadelphia bank was a class b member, chaired the search committee stepped down from the search committee and then became president of the bank. there are at least 12 instances in which class b members chosen by the banks have ended up being class c members. those who then govern the regional banks. the voices of others need to be put into the mix so that we can have guaranteed the voice of everyone. when the banks were established
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in 1914, we had a much different banking system. today the level of concentration in our banking system is at record high levels. that means that we can't think that the regional banks really represent regional views. we need to have a way to insure that that will be the case. >> i appreciate that testimony. >> the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes. i like to point out next week marks the eighth anniversary of legalan brothers collapse. brom independent scholars who studied the financial crisis points to a monetary policy that was too loose for too long as a significant contributor. scholars have also shown that the unique structure of district banks can guard against such policy mistakes, that is district presidents tend to be more concerned about overly accommodative policy than are their politically appointed colleagues on the board of governors. while this tendency has been
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criticized by advocates for extending what is already the greatest -- under the theory that doing so will increase wages and employment in that lower income levels it. research also suggests that we need to do just the opposite. for example, dr. christina roamer, a berkeley economics professor and the first person to chair president obama's council of economic advisors observed that "compassionate monetary policy is sound monetary policy. monetary policy that ames at low inflation and stable aggregate demand is the most likely to "permanently improve conditions for the poor." "president george, do you agree with president obama's first chair, that sound monetary policy is the most likely to permanently improve conditions for the poor? i'm going to ask everybody for a yes or no. >> yes. >> yes. >> how about you, mr. sprigs -- honorable sprigs -- do you
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agree? >> i think the sound monetary monetary policy includes making sure that the wages of workers lies with productivity, that we are in full employment so that the nation can have the highest level of productivity possible. >> is that a yes or aano? >> that's my definition of sound monetary policy. >> i agree with ms. roamer. >> i do too. it seems to me that we share a common interest, which is the widening wage gap. the underrepresentation that has occurred for those in low and moderate income who have not seen their wages increase. we all know and if you have watched my subcommittee at all or watched me in committee, i have said this many, many, many times. wall street is doing just fine.
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i'm concerned about main street and bhaewhat's going on. mr. jones, you literally are at the corner of main street in indiana. >> we want to make sure that there's a proper check on the federal reserve. i believe the district bank presidents do that. i also want to do a quick -- a quick -- do you agree the federal reserve district presidents bring regional and local knowledge to the fomc deliberations? if you don't mind touching on that briefly. you're at the table. >> yes, i do. intense focus of every regional reserve bank to understand economic conditions in their district in a way that compliments the national economic statistics ask is more
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granule granular and thoughtfu than statistics reveal. >> the transcripts show that a significant portion of the discussion about the economy does come from talking about regional aspects of the national economy. >> i've had my own little experience in that my family is involved in construction in michigan. i own a small third generation sand and gravel operation. my family has been involved in construction for decades. when i went to visit the president of chicago reserve bank, first 15 minutes of that was an interview of me, what was happening in if the local economy in west michigan. given those changes in populations and demographics, does the current rotation of who votes in each foc meeting fully leverage the benefits of that local perspectives that can bring to monetary policy. again, ms. george, i want to
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start with you. >> the importance of those regional connections come through access that we have in those district lines, through our branch offices, through our boards of directors on those branch offices, and so i think the country has been covered. in terms of despite demographics changes, that span that each regional reserve bank takes seriously, which is to make sure they understand within the confines of their district how that economy -- >> i think you asked about voting rotation as well. all the participants, whether they vote or not, have a voice and do bring their characterization of regional economic conditions to the discussion, and it's part of the discussion. where voting comes into play is just where the center of gravity of the committee? where does the chair find it useful to find a consensus? the current rotation was crafted decades ago, and altering it
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would alter the balance of forces within the community. >> my time is expired. that would bring more balance out of district level views and the voting process, and we've had such a weighted view towards new york and that permanency. i wanted to make sure all those voices are being heard. with that my time has expired, and i recognize the ranking member for five minutes. >> well, thank you so much, mr. chairman. i do want to thank you all for your testimony. i think i heard correctly from all of you thaw think that the independence of the fed is really critical towards your being able to do your jobs. was i -- did i hear correctly from all of you? yeah. so you all agree on that.
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that being said, i guess i'm concerned about -- i guess i want to hear from each of you what you think of the importance of having a more diverse representation on a federal reserve board. do you think or do you not think it interfered with independence or would that enhance the decision making process? i was on a letter with about 100 lawmakers which asked the federal reserve to look at greater diversity.
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>> the idea of bringing diversity to the table, the value of diverse perspectives and strengthening and decision making process is something that predates the concerns of this decade with a previous decade in diversity of access technology, resources, and opportunities. >> we and others have had minority representation, women representation on their boards going back several decades. it's something that is a regular part of the discussion and regularly reported on. >> thank you. i want to give others a chance to answer it. this question as well. >> i would say that a problem with having it owned by banks is regrettably the board of directors look like banks.
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>> the transcripts you see going up to the crisis, even regional bank presidents who were in regions where the epicenter of the subprime crisis hit hardest had no comments about what was going on in terms of the affect of the subprime crisis on the african-american and latino community or -- >> with that -- my time is limited, so let me take you here. there is often a lot of resistance to the bank doing their dual mandate to look at unemployment, and unemployment
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in the african-american community -- african-americans are not experiencing the recovery as other communities are. >> what do you think about reforms or activity that focus on reducing unemployment. especially among african-americans. is that something that would interfere with the other mandate to control inflation? >> the mandate of the bank actually comes from humphrey hawkins act. >> yes. >> the full mandate is full employment. full employment benefits everyone, skps that means full employment for everyone. actually, african-americans employment the population ratio has been rising faster than for anyone else. it's gone up 10%. the problem is that often the fed ignores the importance -- of that trend continuing and often thinks it can stop recoveries
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before full employment is actually reached. when full employment comes, we know that workers are better allocated. we get the efficiencies of the labor market of full employment, and discrimination falls. currently that's what's taking place. the gap in the unemployment experience of better educated african-americans through less educated whites is closing, and that's because the labor market is beginning to heal. it's not at full employment. wages are not rising with the productivity. we do not see rates to show that workers are being reallocated, and we do not see the level of discrimination dropping. >> do you think a reformation of the board and, you know, moving from class b to c or some sort of programming would enable -- would inform the board about the importance of focussing on the full employment part of their mandate if we were to diversify
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the fed more? >> yes. finally the workers' voice would be at the table, and the workers voice from communities that really are hurt the most would be at the table. in 2010 when the african-american unemployment rate was always about 15%, no one mentioned -- >> thank you for the indulgence. >> the gentleman yields back. with that the vice chair of the committee is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. i want to try to talk about three different things and see if i can weave them together. if you give me a second to try and do that. i heard eep of the three of you who have been -- i weigh that
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against my personal experience. i can never forget being in a homebuilders conference in california in 2006 or 2007, and the keynote speaker one night at dinner was some high ranking member of the san francisco fed. it was not janet yellin at the time. the subject of his speech that night was that it was the studied opinion of the san francisco fed after having done intensive research that on a national basis the home building business would never go into recession again. that the restrictions on supply of new housing was such at the local level that we would never see a housing recession again in the country. your efforts to try to know your district is weighed with the human weaknesses of being wrong from time to time, and occasionally being wrong on a monumental scale. secondly, i would draw to each of the panelist's attention not only a recent article in the economist magazine, but a scholarly piece of work that was referenced in there. i wish i could read the names. i think it's professors she slack morse and jorgenson.
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one from duke and two from cal berkeley. it goes into an interesting analysis of what market returns have been in the weeks after the private fomc meetings. >> it would be about 12 times. 1, 1,200% versus almost zero if you weighed in on every other week. the article mentions that the -- i'll read from the article very briefly. the scholars speculate there's a causal connection, selective disclosure, which they say is unfair. those who attend the meetings have informal contact with the media. consult answery and financial firms, and eventually the content of those meetings makes its way into the stock market. >> i would commend the study to you folks and be curious to know your opinion about it at another time that reminded me, by the way, that there is an investigation going on into the leak involving a company medley
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global advisors that is still ongoing. we know information is leaked out of the fomc meetings. two meetings want apparently similar, and i'm trying to get there. lastly, you mentioned in your testimony, we talked about in this committee several times, which is -- i'll read from it now. at times there's temptation to provide excessive economic stimulus. evidence from around the world and their own history demonstrates temptation of short-sighted monetary policies as a bipartisan vulnerability as the fed's founders feared. monetary policy decisions need to be insulated from short political pressures driven by electoral considerations. certainly my party is experiencing that now. we have a fed chairman who is appointed by someone of another party. it's a different philosophy that we share, and my democratic colleagues made in the future sometimes share that same concern if a republican nominee
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holds that chair. what do these three things have in common? >> it seems like the current system makes a difficult -- that our record of predicting the future at the fed is fairly poor. it also seems that there's a risk of market distortions just from us doing it. the scholarly piece doesn't suggest there's nepharious activities. you have the risk of political pressure from either side on the fed. there are people, and they're appointed by other people, and there are human tendencies here. my question to all of you is this. doesn't a rules-based approach to monetary policy lessen the possible distortions to each of those weaknesses? doesn't it take away and make it less important if we make big mistakes in terms of our predictability? does it lessen the likelihood that information is selectively distributed to the market so that some people can benefit and others do not? doesn't it lessen the likely
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hood of political pressure? doesn't a rules-based system, whether you are conservative, liberal, republican, democrat, solve a lot of the problems that we face at the fed? >> sure. we consult rules very regularly. i think having a sense of the pattern of past behavior of your own institution that gave rise to a good outcome is an important befrm mark, and i gave a speech about this last friday. i caution on that, and i draw the parallel between the search for the right rule and the san francisco fed study you cited, which was clearly well-meaning, where they believe their results sincerely. what you chose as the apt malrule. for that reason i think to back away from a rule, consulted as a guide to good policy, and not follow it mechanically or slavishly. i do think it's important to
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give prominent attention to rules that encapsulate good past behavior in our conduct and monitoring policy, and we do that. >> the problem is that many of the problems are more complex and can have counter balancing effects. i don't think in all situations you would want them to adhere to the rule. the rule, in fact, may be not the best policy. for farmers right now, the problem is an over supply of commodities, and this hurts them. the value of the dollar hurts our manufacturing sector. there are many things that are moving at the same time, and i think you wouldn't want a rule that would bind the fed in dealing with how those different -- >> i thank you. i thank you, chairman, for the indulgence. it sounds like the two gentlemen
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may not be that far apart. i appreciate the time. >> the chair will note again i have a light gavel, but four minute and 40 second chair question might not leave a whole lot of time for answers. >> the chair recognizes mr. foster for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses here. >> or, in fact, the gdp distribution or however you might assign the region. this to my mind is a huge problem in legislative power in our country. the senate is closely unrepresentative of the actual
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population distribution of the states. results in about a half a trillion dollars per year wealth transfer from the high population states which are underrepresented in the senate than the overpop laying states. the huge economic distortion that cost us a lot. be i know it cost my home state of illinois about $40 billion a year, and it's the primary driver of our fiscal difficulties. i was wondering what your reaction would be and with enough decades of time that you would actually have time to plan, and it wouldn't be disruptive. if you -- how big a problem do you think the mail distribution of political power inside the fed is to its current operation
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and do you think it would net out positively to redistrict the fed every century or so? >> i don't think we are handicapped by the current district lines. notwithstanding, the changes in demographics that you describe over the last is00 years, and the reason i say that is because each region, regardless of how the boundary is defined is focused on -- making sure it understands every part of that region. the federal reserve works carefully as we do in kansas city to make sure that all of our regions are represented, but we understand the economic issues there. >> i would offer that -- it appears that way, but over time
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some of the district lines have been redrawn. detroit was once represented by cleveland, and now it's with chicago as the whole state of michigan is. fine-tuning. >> yeah. personally i think there was still something like a factor of six differences in the number of people in different -- that's a big number. >> yes. i think more important would be an assurance that the people of the district actually were represented. the issue now is that the banks are represented. i think an issue is how can we make sure that the people themselves are represented? how do we make sure that an actual farmer in illinois is represented? not some giant agricultural chairman of some huge corporation? how do we make sure that the workers on the south side of chicago are represented because these policies affect them, and their voice needs to be integral to it.
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currently this is at the whim of the banking community, whether those voices really factor in to the decision making because those people aren't on their board -- aren't on the boards of the regional banks. >> i was very struck by the study paper from i think -- one of the federal reserve study groups talking about fiscal hawks and doves and if you look at the course of a cyclical downturn and the choice that the fed faces of maintaining constant inflation or constant employment that if you focus on constant employment, it has real distributional advantages to those at the bottom and converse conversely. if you choose to optimize the other way. i think this is a fundamental reason. you know, fundamental argument for diversity that there are real distributional effects because of the trade-offs that the fed has to make. just a final question on rules-based system. if you do go to a rules of had based system, it would have to
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go to a. >> as a fundamental input to that, so you are not talking about a simple tailor rule. you're talking about i avery involved macro-economic model. i think it exists. really sort of hard to specify in legislation. >> in the models we have that capture economic -- the economic -- economic activity pretty well implementing a tailor rule gets very close to the optimal rule that would be dependent on the broader range of things. in the models we have it looks as if the taylor rule gets you fairly close. >> there's an economist whose name i forget which has a more complete and general rule than the taylor rule. it had more perimeters, and it
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they did a better job. it's not an organize umt that started with the taylor rule. >> i will be a rarity and only a little bit over time. >> thank you, mr. foster. appreciate that. with that the chair recognizes mr. lucas of oklahoma for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. for my time since i am a resident of the kansas fed, i like to turn to president george. there were observations about the realigning of the districts, and it touches on the subject that you as a historian as well as a ceo know -- goes back not just to the beginning of the fed, but to the very beginning of this country about where the concentration of capital should be and control over the economy and how that capital flows. from the very beginning, the great battle was should the money centers -- new york, chicago -- should they be the dominant force? i suspect that's why my
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predecessors in this congress a century ago demanded the 12 districts and the lines be laid out the way they were, to protect the entire country from a handful. in 2009 when i was the ranking member of another committee with jurisdiction over the derivatives markets in a meeting one night, a senior administration official wrote up the topic of realigning feds as we were preparing to launch into dodd frank. taking the 12 districts. shouldn't the districts reflect the economic strength of a particular region? rather quickly both republicans and democrats, house and senate members in that meeting, made it clear to the senior official that that was not a topic that was acceptable at the time to
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congress. even as recently as 2009 it was a subject of real debate apparently at the highest levels of the administration. that said, from my perspective, i like not only the 12 feds, but i like the sub-feds. i like the groups in our district in denver is and in oklahoma city and in omaha who act as consultants, advisors. could you expand for a moment on the involvement in those -- those communities within the kansas city fed, president george, how they add to the process? >> the branch offices for each of the head offices play very important roles. in the case of the kansas city fed, i rely heavily on the input from those branch boards to the state of oklahoma to help me understand what's going on in energy markets. in our omaha board to understand what's happening in ag culture. and the diversity of input that comes on to those boards serves
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us well in the head office. that sort of regional input is essential in my view to make sure that all parts of that district are well understood. the regional economist who had each of those offices are out in those communities engaging with those. that structure has searched us well. >> so even though you don't clear checks anymore, and the regional banks aren't big currency repositorierepositorie still serve a purpose, correct? >> absolutely. the federal reserve has changed dramatically in its operations, but its compliment to those regions remain constant. >> your district is manufacturing. it's agriculture and energy. we seem to be under pressure
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these days in kansas city district in all three areas. how much concern do you have as an economist and banker with the circumstances right now in your district? >> so we've seen over the last six years a clear shift in the economies of that region based on commodity price falls, so the drop in oil prices, the fall in agricultural product prices and the strong dollar on our manufacturing have affected that region significantly so that today we do see more unemployment. we are seeing flatter growth, although some sectors are still growing. those are important inputs as we look at that region relative to the performance of the national economy. >> so it does matter having eyes and ears all over the country.
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thank you. >> gentlemen yields back. with that the chair recognizes mr. -- from colorado. >> thank you. president george, you'll get some questions if me too. although mr. lucas stole a few of my questions. let's just go back to basics. how many directors are there for each of the regional banks? >> there are nine directors. >> nine. what are the basic requirements of those nine directors? >> the first requirement is integrity and, of course, beyond that, there are three bankers. there are three businesses, and there are three that are selected by the board of governors. six of those nine represent labor, represent community, represent generally what is reflective of the region in that district as well as the three bankers on our boards. in the case of the kansas city
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fed, those three bankers are community banks. they are individuals who connect tightly with many aspects of meeting the credit neetsds of o region, as well as community leaders that we have in our class b category, and on our class c directors. >> okay. this applies to all of the regional banks. >> the general -- >> nine directors for every one of the regional banks? it. >> yes. >> similar kind of criteria. >> it seemed like it was agricultural, industrial, and financial. seemed to be the basic core principles. looking at your website, you have these regional kind of boards within your regional banks. you've got a head office, a denver office, an oklahoma city office and an omaha office. dr. lackner used the terms everybody is looking for
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diversity. to the two of you, i would say, okay, what the heck does that mean to you? start with you, president george, and then to you, dr. lacquer. i mean, says what do you mean by diversity? >> so diversity is built in to an institution like the federal reserve who is serbing a broad public, and it is essential to the public's trust in this institution that the public sees themselves around those that are making decisions and have input to policy. >> do you mean -- this really applies to both of you and mr. jones and mr. sprigs jump in if you wish. does it mean ethnic backgrounds? does it mean level of income? does it mean regional diversity? what does it mean? >> it means all of that. we will not be successful without having ethnic diversity on our boards, without having the interest of labor represented on our boards, as
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well as the multi-facetted contributors to that economy, says whether they are business, ag, energy. we look broadly at all aspects of that. >> dr. lacquer. >> i agree with how president george characterized it. there are multiple dimensions when we're looking at rounding out a board we look at. ethnic diversity is certainly one of them. gender. we're also looking at diversity within our region. you know, ours goes from south carolina and maryland out to west virginia. very diverse economies. we want representations from around the region. we want coverage across different industries. we want representatives of someone in touch with consumers and consumer groups, labor. all of those perspectives are valuable to us. we try and balance that. >> if i could say i think that's one of the key roles that commercial bankers play towards diversity because diversity is race, religion. it's also neighborhoods.
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it's also communities. if you think about the bank on program that was started was really driven through the fed to say how do we better serve the under banked and unbanked. that's really the key role that bankers play because we have a moral obligation to insure that all of our communities are served and as we sit on the fed boards, our primary focus is to make sure those voices are heard. as you prepare for meetings, you talk to folks from the under banked and the un-banked all the way to the gm running toyota, and you bring those voices to the fed and say here's what we see and what's going on in our markets. that's what's so critical for us as a commercial banker, because we're one of the few industries that see everything. that's the value. >> let me ask mr. sprigs, same thing. >> regrettably, there are only three labor members among the 12 regional banks. considering the importance of workers and workers as consumers, says i don't think the current system gets us the
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kind of diversity that we need. the entire history of the fed know zero african-american or latino has ever been chosen to be president of a regional bank. i don't think the system is designed. it looks like bankers. it talks like bankers. it doesn't have a built in way to insure it. we do applaud the fed for paying attention to this and paying attention, but they're doing it. >> i thank you for your answer, and i thank the panel for appearing today. >> the chair recognizes mr mr. schweiker from arizona. >> there are just so many things to ask, and we'll try to do this with a little caffeine in our soul and go quickly.
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>> the yo town e tone i was picking up say there was all this monetary liquidity, but you guys in the fiscal side, you need to put more cash into the system. was i misunderstanding that because was it dr. -- the reason for that is even in this year we're going to push up close to $600 billion of deficit spending in a year where just a couple of years ago our projections were, hey, we're only going to be 245, 265 this year. some here were deficit spending like crazy, and that's a type of liquidity. borrowing money, putting it out the door. plus, the accommodative. can you really make an argument that there's not enough liquidity put out into society in a world with almost zero
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interest rates? was i mishearing what you were saying here? >> no, you weren't mishearing, but it's not putting liquidity. it's putting demand into the system. >> k on. >> so at the current rate that we're going, we're not getting the level of investment that we should. that's because we vbt had our state and local governments in a position to take advantage of the current low interest rates. >> let's back up because, okay, demand in the system. does demand in the system come from -- let's go borrow more money and build something, or does demand in the system ultimately come from the regulatory, the environment we've created here? a good example would be when we look at some of our environmental rules, i can come to you with a way saying, you know, if we crowd source much of this data, we could do it cleaner and faster. yet, we still have a regulatory
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molgd that puts paper in file cabinets and say that's good environmental policy. it doesn't have anything to do with cleaning the air. it has to do with office buildings full of people shoving paper in file cabinets. some of our labor policies. if you wanted fiscal policy to increase demand, don't we need to be doing a series of things where we rationalize some of the crazy regs we're in, whether it's labor or environmental, all the way down to some of the creative destruction aspect that actually create new lines of economic growth that we've created barriers of entry. is demand available out there not from a bastardized helicopter money which all of those are sort of involved in and actually it's a regulatory arbitrage we need to move through? >> the demand is the drop in investment that we have seen,
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and it's not picking up in the private residential sector, and it's not picking up in the public sector. >> but how can you -- >> so we know we are down in terms of pupil, teacher, ratios. >> in a line where i have gone a decade now with falls in productivi productivity, how do you equate just even those couple of statements of teacher-pupil ratios with the fact of the matter is capital isn't moving in to acquisition of things that make us more productive? >> well, education does make us more productive. it's our foundation. workers are being trained and have to be trained, and so de-investing as we have done because our public sector had to live through not having the
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lender of last resort. they have downsized their operations to the smaller side. we have to invest in our people. we have to invest in their higher education. >> embrace apprenticeship programs, on-line learning. yet, we have a regulatory barrier right now saying we can't do that because it's not collectiveized, unionized, it's not those things. i hope there's a second round because it's more dough manned, more productivity, and you can't say i want to support the very institutional bureaucratic structures that have been there for years that are dysfunctional in a modern data driven, you
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know -- where this is the driver of the economy. not a mechanism that was designed in the 1930s. with that i'm way over time. thank you, mr. chairman. >> with that, the chair recognizes gentleman from washington for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i also want to express my appreciation to the panel for your presence here today. i want to go back to briefly a line of questioning that dr. foster pursued, which was population mal-distribution and preface my remarks by calling up one of my favorite adages. namely, the two most powerful forces, or compound interest, and the status quo.
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we ought not to re-examine -- it wouldn't make a difference. things are fine as-is. i.e., let's not dink with the status quo. i guess i want to pose a question in a slightly different way. it's does anybody on the panel genuinely believe that if you were starting from scratch to design the federal reserve system and you had any x number of federal research districts in mind. let's use an arbitrary number. 12. >> with you honestly say it would look like anything that it currently does? >> i think it's fair to say if you were starting today, it may not look like that. it may be that every state would want its own regional reserve back bank, and you would have -- your point i take, which is the world looks different today than it did 100 years ago. >> 103 years ago.
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with all due respect, the largest federal research district now by population is more than six times larger than the smallest. i dare say that it's gdp is probably ten times greater than that smallest one. it reflected the neighborhoods and the communities. i don't know how you can achieve that without some sem blens of a more balanced population distribution. >> dr. sprigs, i want to ask you about this underlying issue, the elephant in the room. if you will, the hawk dove issue. >> the fed has actually been involved in the achievement of
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its full employment goal exactly 60 months out of 25 years. they've generally had more tangible targets in that regard than on the inflation side, but i think it's fair to say that they've been more effective on the inflation side. i think it's, therefore, fair to say that they've been much more willing to put their foot on the brake on inflation, their foot on the gas pedal to achieve full employment as evidenced by the data. would you agree, sir? >> my third slide emphasizes one good product of full employment. a condition for wages to rise with productivity because we have to be at full employment. we get the allocative efficiencies of the labor market so that workers quit low
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productivity firms and move to higher productivity firms that really can only happen once we have full employment. we have other institutional factors that help them make at . we get the allocative -- we have other institutional factors to help make it happen. you see the third slide, you see that productivity continues to grow and wages don't. when you don't have full employment, you don't have the competitor force that the labor market can bring to bear on making sure that we get as much of a worker but they also make something that reflects it. so, we all benefit. the best policy. the reason congress passed the full employment act in the '40s. the best act for americans to
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work. beginning of 1921 -- >> doctor william sprigs, you have 13 seconds. >> i still want to get another point in here. >> which is i think and i have said so in this committee that it is time to re-examine how we measure full employment of the great adequate of the great recessions that takes into account. more discouraged workers is stubbornly just under 10%. if we are measuring achievement of our goals as we traditional have then we are missing a boat and not achieving what it is we
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should. i appreciate it very much, thank you sir. >> no problem. with that, the chair recognizes the gentleman from mexico. mr. pearce. >> thank you, for being here today for this fascinated discussion. i was going for follow up a little bit from what the gentleman from washington was talking about. you just got back to jackson and you are looking at the full employment mandate, what is the sense of the members presatisfied of the 5% employment concerned? you got an opinion about how or what the outlook was of the full employment mandate? >> i only speak to the region we serve in indiana. >> anybody on the panel go to jackson home?
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>> yes. >> did you read any online comments or anything? >> the focus of jackson homes was looking at monetary policy and framework for the future and global and central banks. the issue that you raised is one that's discussed at the meetings to understand how will the labor market perform ing in the econoy today. judgment about how close we are to full employment. so, what's the judgment? >> fairly close? 5% okay? >> i believe we are at or near full employment. >> when you reverse it, we see a participation rate of 62.8%. we are saying and your words, 62.8% which is you have to go back to the '70s to get a full
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participation rate at that level. you have the federal reserve says this is as good as it gets. that's alarming. i see the difficulty of spreading across the government between working participants and it is alarming that this is as good as it is going get. you put it up against the 1.1% rate of growth and then you get into the monitory policietary pn i go to my town hall, my seniors tell me, we live our lives correctly and we paid for our house and now you are making our savings worth nothing because we get nothing and the value of our house is down to 50% of what it was before 2008. your policies are kill us and so
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this function of creating laing elastic of currency that you are talking about, do you sit behind closed doors and ask yourself what the hell you are doing it for? >> that has not happened. it is true to our founding and it is true now. we are all aware of it. when i look at the dprgraph thas doctor sprigs put up of the unemployment break, going back, several of those recessions we could not prevent and some of those we did cause. >> i am asking of the effect of
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the elastic currency. when the price of food goes up because of this elastic currency, it hurts our constituents. i didn't want the history, i am trying to get, do you talk about the effects on the poors and the seniors of these policies. that's my question if you want to try again. i am running out of time so i want to ask one more question. >>. >> the answer is yes, we do. i met with the federal reserve branch in el paso just last week, the week before, they have the correct information. the thing that troubles most employers in our district is they cannot find workers showing up for work.
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when i ask janet yellen about this, she had no knowledge. if the information is not transmitted from those branches out there tracking of the specific problems of the economy, what difference does all this make anyway? >> we do bring forward that information. the antidote that you just described as one and it gets to understanding of what is it monetary policy can effect and we'll choir other source of policies to effect. when you zrieb, i would argue it is one that have to have other remedies brought to it as suppooppose to low interest rates. with that, the chair rec nices the ranking number, miss waters from california for five minutes.
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>> thank you very much, i would like to address the question to doctor sprigs. you discussed out african-americans suffer from over employment discrimination. as concrete evidence of this fact, you point to the unemployment experience of better educated african-americans is worse than the unemployment rates for educated white. >> first, thank you for joining us. when we look before the great moderati moderation, the unemployment experience with blacks with more education looks like unemployment of whites with more education.
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there was a significant closing of the gap that occurred between the passage of the civil rights act. as we came to the late 1970s, so much so that if you looked at young men that were college educators that's no difference between black or white. that gap was shrinking for others african-americans with less education. once we went into our high employment of the 1980s when the block unemployment rate never fell below for the entire decade, that gap grew or all levels of education and has remained and so that gap can close. we saw in the late 1990s as we pushed for full entreprenemploy. a lot of people thinking they needed to be worried about inflation. by letting the labor market ta t
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tighten. we saw the reduce of disparity. >> the humphrey's act clearly anticipated it. it is one of the findings in the act itself. so you knew congressman hawkins as well as i did, he met full employment. his language and the preamble talks about full employment and full opportunity for useful paid employment of fair way conversations. it is way down at the bottom that there is a sentence about reasonable priceablety. the preamble of that act says full employment and these other things should be considered and full employment gets this lower rate of discrimination. >> well, that's very interesting
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and thank you. we in this community who are concerned of full employment should pay attention and engaged in the bank. you are thoroughly right, you know? he was very serious about it and as a matter of fact, when i was elected to office here of the seat that he held, that has changed some what. having a appreciation of how you have to understand, what we need to encouraged to also -- let me thank the feds for something that may not mean a lot of folks. the recent meetings at jackson
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home where fedex was invited to participate and i have a great appreciation of that. >> with that, the chair recognizes the gentle lady from utah, mrs. love for five minutes. >> thank you. you know i believe that the united states, house of representatives is a branch of government that's closest to people. and, here the concerns on both sides of the isles, on the structure of the federal reserve system is a concern of mine also. and, we couple that with the fomc structure and the interests and the priorities of americans and western states like utah. with the answers that's been given, i am still not convinced that the western states are
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represented as well as the eastern states. with that thought and knowing that concern, i don't think it is enough to just say well, we believe it is working well because you do have members on both sides of the isle that are expressing concerns. and, i happen to agree with those concerns that they are expressing. so, i guess -- i guess i would like to know what you think maybe done to rebalance the federal reserve system to ensure that all americans are equally representatives monetary policy discussions. do i call you president george, or is that okay? >> yes, i guess. >> so your question is the important one of federal reserve. as i listened to this discussion, i remained convinced. in the case of western state, i
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have a few of those in my region. wyoming and colorado and the northern part of new mexico. where he intentional in picking up information, fact, today you will see coming up out of the beige book which is released by the federal reserve which directly in clouds those kinds of -- i am guess the question that i am asking is that i know that you are convinced that it is working. the house of representatives are closer to people is that every single one we are talking to are bankers and share that concern, also. again, i know you feel as if it is representatives but i am trying to look for different ideas where that thought made feel they are being more represented. >> although the federal reserve
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described as deeply engaged and understanding the entire country. we have one monetary policy for the whole country. the set of interest rates we set, applied in financial markets and they set conditions for the whole country. while president george or williams from san francisco or myself can go and explain what conditions are like in our district. it is still as in this body, we have to make the case that it is good for the country as a whole, one policy changer of another. so there is a matter of understanding and then there is a matter of what tools do we have? here in this body, tools can address things of one particular thing to another. we do not have that, a way to target monetary regions. >> if it is all equalled then what difference does it make? not to say if i agree or
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disagree with this. >> that should not change things either then? if that's the argument that -- >> in my view, the question was asked earlier. you know what our predictions would be is how the district will be drawn and whether it is drawn today. i think it is a fair prediction that they would be different. would we be worse or better off in terms of how the feds engages. i think we would be about the same. this goes to the way mr. george, the structure does not impede us. we probably would be as good as we are now. perhaps, better but it would not make a difference in my mind to the degree where we are connected. >> of course, i end up with about 30 seconds. president lack, just to switch gear, when one of your speeches of economic growth and
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strategies, i want you to give a description on why the district bank, president, would be interested and why is it good? >> when i look at my district, ca carolinas are deeply affected by manufacturing and what's going on the last couple of years. it is hard to think of economic development. when you think of how labor market works and what kind of transformation carolinas gone through. it is hard not to think about skills and you are thinking about, well, how do people acquire skills or the changing demands for skills affect people's choices and what can with e we do? >> i am out of time. thank you. >> spethe chair recognizes the
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gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. mr. pittenger for five minutes. >> thank you. i would like to ask you of the -- i happen to be from charlotte where we are certainly in your district. can you walk me through how the feds is fully public institution of the american public and the economy? >> how we affect the american public and the economy? >> so it is paramount to keep inflation low and stable. i understand that maximum employment is part of our mandate. keeping inflation slow and stable is our best way. the recession of the 1970s and the earlier 1980s, we are engineered by the feds. we are concerned about that.
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we are thinking of are we at full employment. is there a chance we are going beyond it or approaching beyond it. the risk of over stimulating the economy is the is -- if that were to happen, it would be hard for us to calibrate a response and causing a recession. in recessions, minority groups tend to do very badly. >> with that in mind, i will ask you with the fed's extra policy stra stance. has it produce an economic growth since we have seen post world war ii. that's been the norm of the country, give me an explanation for why you believe it is true a. >> there is a discussion of labor force participation
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earlier. the population and the fracking looking for worker employees have fallen. we no longer benefiting from the second half of the 20th century of engaging in women of the labor force. productivity is falling as well. >> this is including capitol formation and neither of those are under the direct control of the federal reserve pointed out. while we could achieve pri priceablety. >> the feds accommodated policies that have been important to the progress and the recovery, i think to see where the economy is at this stage of many years, suggest that there are other economic policies should be considered and come to bear for the progress of the economy needs. >> could you elaborate on that,
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specifically. >> for example, i agree with doctor sprigs. it would be important for the united states that any individual that's willing and wants to work is able to find a job and healthy labor market will be important. we must address issues that were raised earlier about businesses that are not able to find of the kind of workers they need whether it comes from training or education or other things. we should seriously look at all policies and our disposal to make sure that work can contribute to the economy. >> miss jones. >> we are just elaborating of the single biggest issues are here for our clients and the ability to atratract workers. our work force development is critical. full employment, to do that, we
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have to have more work force development. >> i would like to ask as well, do you agree the federal reserve and district -- of the fonc deliberatio deliberations? >> i actually do. sitting six years in st. louis and western kentucky and listen to the voices of agriculture to community leaders and as i said the head of toyota, i can tell you doctor bolter and his team and his people took those inputs very critical. we represent diversities. we represent a diverse economy. i have toyota as a compliant and tho and -- as a client. those voices are critical to the process. >> do you agree with that? >> yes, i do.
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>> apologize, mr. chair, but, i do node to need. i appreciate you extending the invitation and i thank the members as well. i apologize. >> not a problem and i appreciate you doctor sprigs sharing some time with us here today. we are hoping to do a quick second round but first we still have a first round questionnaire here. the gentleman from indiana who's recognized for five mens. thank you, mr. chairman and i apologize for being a little late. i came from a budget committee. it is good to see you mr. jones and fellow hoosier. i would like to ask mr. jones a question. first, i would like to address president george.
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in this article, the article quotes of congressman glass "of natural divisions in abundance to foreign countries, there is no argument of a banking theory or that dictates the central bank institutions. no matter how carefulfully managed or control. me question is this. which we can conduct the most economic policies, monetary policies. can you address? >> thank from tese issues were r
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a long time and coming a conclusion that a decentralized structure is best served the country. it remains true today and its values come from drawing many parts of the country, not just washington and new york and bringing those views to bare something that's important to the lives of many americans and not a decision about money. >> you know, again, i think that mr. jones can attest to this of what's going on. i see this frequently and i believe that our economy is pinned up right now and it is ready go but it needs certainly and know the rules. if we don't get our monetary policy right. can our economy grow? >> monetary policies have played an important role but it is not the only factor of what can stipulate the economy. as i listen to voices in my
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region, there are questions about other kind of economic policies that come to bare on their decisions. i would not want to over burden monetary policies to be the answer to all issues that could be affecting our economy's performance today. >> i agree with that. we are focusing specifically here on decentralization or centralization and sound monetary policy is a foundation. it is great to see you and i know that you ar work in indian is being recognized and not only in indiana but across the country. can you talk a little bit about the benefit of others, indiana, we have seen -- can you talk about the differencing between some of the state's regulations
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that's encouraging growth and of this conflict of washington policy where they are budding heads against each other. the country as a whole can be better. would you be able to touch on that? thank you for your service and indiana as well. >> the other issue we hear is regulation. and, it is both current and pending regulation that is challenging businesses to know the road map to success. you think about coal which is critical to our state. you think about agriculture and some of the changes in agriculture early. you know that as well as anyone. businesses need a clear path to success and part of that is understanding regulatory environment to operate in. access to capitol are ailment to all of our customers and clients. you think of banking regulations and making observations and you
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have seen flat tony. i spoke to our compliance and getting ready for our first exam which is going to be very, very important important. we submitted seven and a half feet stack of papers. i am sure there is a lot of good information in there. it requires a lot of people to do that that cannot give access to the capitols. regulations is a real challenge for our clients. >> mr. chair, i saw flat tony and he was about my height when i first visited him but now he's much taller. it is unbelievable to see the amount of regulations that institutions have to deal with. not only flat but he's tall now. >> all right, that's the je gen time has expired. we would like to move into brief round two if that is all right
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are our witnesses. i will start by yielding myself five micnutes. this struck me as we are talking about your business and what you do. obviously, we had conversations and not just here and other places of the federal reserve system is lacking diversity and not doing enough to serve their communities, i used to be a licensed realtor when i got out of school and as i said my family has been in construction and those kinds of things. one of the fundamental corner stone of my license ensures as a reali realtor to recognize that people are not black or white or yellow or brown or any color other than green. meaning they can either afford it or cannot afford it. that's how you have to treat customers. that's how you had to deal with
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people. it was an equitable way of looking at it. what i am concerned about and our friends and our fed up friends just left, unfortunately, i would love for him to hear this. my goal is to make sure that we have an equality of opportunity for everybody no matter where they live or what their income is. and, we have seen time and time again that sometimes for maybe a good goal but certainly the way that it is gone about has not gotten it there. i notice that in your testimony, your organization is remarkably diverse and heavily involved in various communities and i know you have business to run as well as part of that. my question is, you do feel a conflict between reaching out
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tens of thousands of people and i know you did. i think it was 900 plus, sort of seminars on better managed financial affairs on one hand and making money and having an ongoing business with employs and for your investors on the other hand. do you feel any conflicts in that? >> it is good business. if you think about what we do as community bankers are our moral obligations is dealing with our community. filling all the way up to the large corporations and doing so we start in the market that we serve and there is no real conflict there. that's what a community banker does. there is 8,000 of us throughout the country wake up and worry about what we can do to make this a better place for everyone. and, those are the voices that we bring to the fed as we think about what we do as members of the federal reserve board is to talk about all those voices.
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there is no conflicts. it is just good business. >> what i am concerned about and i too like one of my colleagues, i cannot remember who it was as they sit down and talk to employers, a couple of things they express is we have a hard time finding somebody that'll show up everyday and being able to pass a drug test. those are two basic thresholds that they need to meet and they say, you know what? we'll take care of so much of the rest of it. we need to have people that'll show up and show up clean and willing to work and that is a struggle that whether we had in michigan and i saw earlier today that michigan is doing different or better than other states in the region of chicago, interestingly enough, illinois. it is the lowest performing. i would say it is not just about regulation and taxation.
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it is about the environment that's been created and we and michigan know that we have very much attempted to create a commondative growth atmosphere. >> illinois is what it says to move across the border. >> we did because indiana tried that on us for a number of years for those welcome home billboards. >> it worked for a while, too. >> it did work for a while. we got it turned around. you know i want to milwaukake s that as we are moving forward, we are not losing sight of main street. wall street is doing just fine. it reaches down and goes to all
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levels. we are seeing wages coming up in michigan and some of those things stored but not fast enough. ultimatelily, it is about demand and ifill buster myself, my time is up. ask a quick question of a banker, i appreciate your time. with that, i recognize the member for five minutes. thank you very much mr. chairman. and thank you all for agreeing to stick around a little bit longer. i, too, are sorry of some of the other folks observing left. having said that, i do want to engage the panel on some things that i heard doctor sprigs say and he got a lot of push backs today. we have put a lot of pressure on
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the fed to grow our economy. there is a lot of criticisms or praise on both sides of the isle regarding your, you know, your fixes and what you have done. but, that being said, i think it was mr. jones that said, you cannot have a blank instrument with monetary policy. i think it was doctor lacquer respo lacquer -- lacker responding from the gentleman in utah. >> with that being said, you are limited in terms of what you can do. with that being said, i guess i am wondering what you think about the slow growth, the lack of recovery and certain parts of the country among folks like
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african-america african-americans. number one, what congress is doing? well, we focus a lot on prosperity and we believe that hurts growth. there is a gap of $1. trillion of structure. that could put 20 millions to work. >> i am guessing and i am wondering. doctor brigs said that there is a lack of demands. as we talk about regulations being too great and the debt being too great. he made the point that, you know, our 70% of our economy depends on people having money so they can spend it. i know in the african-american community, they spend every dime they get.
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if shops are closing down in african-american communities because they don't have any money. i am wondering what y'all think of what we do with regards to hurting growth in this country. what is your opinion on sequester and austerity and cutting pell grant and so son. i will yield to make doctor lacker. >> you asked me to stray outside the fed rate policy. baltimore is part of my district and thinking about the events that have transpired there thinking why african-american communiti
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communities lacked so far behind despite the fast innovations we head and the vast policy initiatives that brought to bear. >> doctor brigs is right. policies can influence the broad sweep of demand in our country. there is nothing that we can do to guarantee where it is going to show you. is it going to show up in silicon valley or the carolinas or inner city baltimore. >> is this the time to be doing austerity with slow growth. >> okay, just a transportation bill or infrastructure bill that was adequate. do you think that would help your efforts to -- >> i think you how old evaluate a transportation bill based on what your transportation
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infrastructure needs. we have 80,000 bridges that could collapse just like in minnesota. >> it is not like we don't need and don't have to go out and do a survey to see if we need to fix the roads and bridges. >> that sounds like a legitimate reason. i have no reason to disagree with it. >> would that or would it not spur our economy. mr. jones, you are jumping a little bit. >> clearly creating jobs and demands is helping our economy. the economy is a multitude of policies and procedures and inputs. one of the biggest ones that we see is confidence. you know if we can get a consistent message that says it is okay and i think you will see more and more people responding of the economy but it is difficult with the negativity that surrounds our economy create challenges. thank you, i yield back. >> thank you. >> i would like to recognize the
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chairman from minnesota. >> thank you. we partially agree here. it is the con infrastructure. as the discussion we had earlier with mr. stutzman, when you have seven fetal of regulatory paper work, how does that improve productivity in our society? paper work goes into file cabinets. that's what they said earlier. that was the testimony just 20 minutes ago. we are fixated of monetary policies and policies going as far as it can. our responsibility here to get creative instead of just trying to do more of. we are going to throw a bunch of cash at something. we'll see how well that crashes
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and burns. the year where we said all the models that it is going to happen but it did not. >> miss george, i want to sort of ask -- walk me through first, the services your federal reserve branch provides. just sort of, you know, from one that's on the old check committees, 21 committees. walk me through the services that i am providing. the renalal banks involving in the system. >> we are still clearing checks believe it or not. we distribute cash and financial institutions and we are involved in an effort to look how to
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mode modernize the payment sector. so you know where i am going. i see fascinating discussions coming out of silicon value using a distributor ledger model to basically, it is functioning credit of a mechanic movement and dramatically cutting down the cost. >> lets use papal -- they are landed in our utah and industrial banks to move money. clearing on this side and all of a sudden, i move the money from factions of penny. that's outside your mechanics. is from your discussion because you have a lot of really smart people around you. are you ready for what you and i would call the creative destruction that would help us bring efficiencies in the movement of money and the
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distribution of those resources and are you looking at these alternatives transmission networks and how to lower the cost? so our responsibilities in the area to make sure that the payment system is efficient and assessable and safe. the nature of this technology holds an interesting promises and as part of our work with the private sector to think about how this will affect the payment system going pforward. we are engaged in learning from them and trying to say where this intersects with -- >> you already know and we have a handful of our money center institutions that are already engaged in the trans and the movement of money using a distribu distribute ledge. why is this so important for a lot of us caring for econom
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economic -- you are the uber driver and you are deciding to put 50 cents in our account and every time you drive someone, the payment hits, the 50 cent goes over. in some of the networks it costs 18 cents to move that. you cannot do the micro management of small dollars. i need a network, i need a less expensive, safe. this is soon going to be our banking institutions. my great fears is we had the conversation of efficiency in society and productivity, i desperately hope that the federal reserve does not become the barrier of adoption of our
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society that we desperately need for productivity. my fear isil c silicon valley i about to run around you. with that, i am out of time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> for the last question of the day, we'll go back to the gentleman in indiana. >> thank you to all of you for your testimonies and your thoughts and advices today. it really helped. it is been a fascinating d discussi discussion. that's where holding
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on his smart phones. >> they are very easy which is nice, but the security of them. can we trust the technology that's coming along and i know it is been talked about it at owl today. some of you can address that and what's your role and mr. jones, if you can lead off mr. jones of what you are all doing as a banking institutions and online banking and how much of it is being done on smart phones. websites are being adapted to fit smart phones because that's where most of the banking being done. if you can talk about that. >> sure, a great question and clearly as you think of our industry and dramatic changes and mobile banking and sin tech are going to be the forefront of the next several years if not already. your question surrounds around cyber security. this is an area of coop reratio
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of the federal reserve and the occ and the cfbb are coming together and we are working together to make sure that those systems are safe and secure. richmond where doctor lacker were head of chairs. we were able to experience the great control that's in place. 8,000 commercial banks cannot work separately on things like cyber security and as i said, for the fed to convene commercial banks, it has made a significance difference for us >> so the rapid changes that's going on in our payment system as you note and the initiative that we currently have under way is to carry on a tradition that we had for most of our history
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is to work for our private sector as they come up with different ways to conduct payments at the end of the day, making sure it is safety and efficiency is apart of that. the effort that we are under now is looking at new technologies to see how that's best managed on behalf of the public. securing our system to make sure they are safe and effectiveness, for the banking system as a whole. either we cooperate and sharing what we know and can share, you know it is certainly led us to focus on the extent to which cyber risk of being managin managing -- as well as supervising focus of teams
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that's overseeing these large organizations. it is an evolving landscape so it is one way where we are going to have to continually keeping up in essence. >> how do you do that? do you hire teams of experts that know their industry that are on your side and working together but also making sure that their safe guards are in place. how much do you have to -- do you have to invest more down the road or making an initial investment and focusing on banking? >> our investment have increased substantially over the last ten years and information security. yes, talent is something we look at and particular skills set that you need are highly valuable in the marketplace and we look to find the skills that we need. >> i don't know of any further comments. 20 seconds left if anybody wants to say anything.
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>> if not, i yield back. >> i would like to thank our witnesses for taking the time coming. i deeply appreciate it by all of us. i had a number of colleagues going and giving me thumbs up and we thought this is an informative and helpful hearing as we are looking at what the future of this monetary system is and the effects of it. without objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit additional questions to the chair and reported to the witness for respond. respond promethaziptly as you a able. >> to the chair for inclusion for in the record. with that, our hearing is adjourned.
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c-span washington journal live everyday with news and p l policies that impact you. >> we'll hear from the minority members and top issues of education each is focused on. we'll hear first from ranking member, democratic member, bobby scott and joe courtney as a member of the subcommittee and the chair of the subcommittee, virginia fox of north carolina. watch our c-span journal live beginning at 7:00 eastern. in the morning, a subcommittee looks in the $400 million cash into iran. >> live from capitol hill at 10:00 a.m. eastern. in the afternoon, fbi director james comey and john brennan addressed members of the national community.
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we'll be their live for their remarks at 1:00 p.m. eastern. u.s. diplomats updates of members of congress of the violence and humanitarian situati situation. they look to address the crisis including a potential arm embargo. this hearing of the house foreign affairs on africa is about two hours. good afternoon everyone and thank you for being here. >> on april 27th of this year, we held al hearing of prospect for peace. it appears to be finally ending the civil war that broke out
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december of 2013. it was signed by both governments of south sudan and the movement of our position in august of 2015. we were cautioned by ambassador booth at the time. remember your testimonies on april 27th. mr. ambassador, you said it is the most important -- you also kau cautioned it and said it is the first step of lasting piece of the most difficult still lies ahead. those words were certainly very, very true especially given what happened in july. peace is never fully established in south sudan. we know finding areas that's not previously seen armed conflicts. 50,000 south sunnis had been killed since september of 2013.
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four million people are facing hunger. >> a veesouth sunnis women have case of sexually assaults by arm forces in the country sometimes incite in site from one of those bases. >> apartment compound which houses eight workers and the organization of staff. for several hours, they beat residents and assaulted women and looted the facility. one did not respond to the desperate call from help. even though their own personnel lived in the terrain compound. >> various components did not
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respond to orders to mobilize within the organization. un peace keepers were minutes away. they had a robust legal mandate to do so. >> the investigation of the south sunnis government is scheduled to be completed in days. our ambassador has asked to be an independent panel to look into what happened there. and there must be consequences for those who are found guilty. the deteriorating security. that may want to take to the emergency weeks ago. i have known sal since he first became vice president in the republican of sudan in 2005. i met him and only weeks he got
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the office. my hope is my visit might convey to him of the outrage of the murder, rape, sexually assault and attack on eight workers and the procarious situation that they faced. >> deploying 4,000 abused keepers. the monetary fund is strongly recommended in mechanism for financial transparencies and that meets next month. >> meanwhile, the house and senate both have measures that have embedded as well. ? j in juva we met with his defense
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team. t considered by many to be a major power behind the scenes. i have emphasize at that of the widespread rapes and sexually assaults and exploitation must stop now. it must be prosecuted and defense minister adpreegreed to produce zero tolerance against rape and sexually assaults. >> such decree informing perpetrators and they'll be punished but a place such as the government to enforce a decree. >> south sudan governmen government -- accountable and few and in cad adequate. that must change. >> president kerr gave us a
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copy. the results of that is due any day now. there are however 4 military officer in one civilian. no one has been arrested for sexuals or be sexual assaults or beating. >> hard details of the two soldiers. she gave us the name of the soldier w soldi soldier who "rescued her." >> i convey that to our defense minister. mr. ambassador, there were about 20,000 workers in south sudan and 2,000 are from the united states foreign countries. there is not greater securities and personal supplies. it is needed most of assistance
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and child soldiers must stop as well. 16,000 child soldiers have been recruited since the civil war began of more over, this year, the u.s. state department trafficking persons report gave south sudan a failing grade in part because of child soldiers. there is time for south sudan to make its pivot by implementing a comprehensive peace accord including and especially establishment of a hybrid court signed one year ago. time is running out. it is a very, very fluid and unfortunately volatile situation. the governments are guarantors of south sudan peace. all have expressed their disgust with the
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government and its armed opposition for not adhering to the peace agreement and providing for security in the well being of people. expressions of disdain are not enough. this area is not only intended to examine culpability but to try to find solutions to safe guard the future. as a guarantor of peace the united states can and should do no less. i would like to yield to my friend and colleague. >> thank you for your trip that you and mr. simpkins made. i know it was on very short notice but a very important delegation. i'm glad that you did that and also that we are having this hearing so quickly. i also want to thank ambassador booth and ambassador limen. i'm glad we will be hearing your testimony today. i was in south sudan in november and i went there with a small delegation to look at the u.n.
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peace keeping mission at the time and that was before machar returned. the question was will he return and will the nation hold to the agreement? it was shortly after president kier had divided up the nation and expanded the provinces. we were very concerned about how you could possibly since that was done after the peace agreement, how can you hold to the power sharing that had been agreed to in the peace agreement if you have reconfigured the entire geography of the nation. at the time we were concerned about what is happening then. now what is going on and how it is victimized south sudanese citizens and especially the ones least able to protect themselves,
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women, girls and youths. in response to the crisis i joined several of my colleagues in a letter to president obama outlining the severity of the deteriorating situation in south sudan and calling on the u.s. to lead the way and calling for an arms embargo on south sudan to stop the needless killing, endless brutality. the unsc august 12 decision to renew the proposed revision and inclusion of additional 4,000 strong regional protection force must be applauded, but there must also be clarification regarding specific rules of engagement governing the troops. i understand that the government agreed to the additional regional protection force as recently as sunday. i look to ambassador booth to outline the next steps which must be taken to bring an end to the nightmare of violence not only by the long-term suffering citizens of south sudan but also by the foreign nationals who with total disregard for personal welfare seek to assist these citizens.
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several of the questions that i have we'll get into in the dialogue, but i want to propose those in the beginning. obviously, the central question is what more can we do? an arms embargo, will it be effective? it seems as though there needs to be a whole international effort that is beyond this, and i want to know what your thoughts are in terms of the au and the au's capacity. and also in terms of uness what will their role be? will they be able to intervene and be aggressive or are they just going to be in a position where they will watch something happening. i just think that this situation has reached -- and we all know this, has reached dire proportions. i was in nigeria a couple of weeks ago. a staff member from the state department had just been evacuated and sent to nigeria.
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i really want to be as specific as possible. it's important to understand the situation, but i really want to get down to the brass tax of now what? what can we do? what can we do as a nation and what should the world do? because, otherwise, i just don't see the situation getting particularly better. with that, i yield. >> thank you. chair recognizes mr. donem. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. i will yield my time so we give the witness more time to testify. >> i want to thank all of our witnesses and ambassador booth for being here today. i look forward to hearing from you on the deteriorating situation in south sudan and as congressman bass said, what we can do to be effective in responding. i was optimistic when south
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sudan emerged as independent country however the civil war that has ravaged since 2013 has escalated alarmingly since the subcommittee's last hearing in april. the impact is devastating and potential for even deeper crisis is greatly disturbing. not only does south sudan face a post recon sill yar process, massive and chronic humanitarian needs, high level corruption but increasing human rights abuses including recruiting child soldiers. which is extremely distressing. officials averted targeted attacks may constitute war crimes and reports civilians have been directly targeted often along ethnic lines. forces have committed widespread violence. there have been more than 260 attacks in 2016 alone including an attack on
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residents for aid workers which resulted in assaults of several americans. and the killing of a local journalist. the dangers faced by foreign aid workers could have a devastating effect on relief efforts. this is a critical time. if the current crisis cannot be brought under control and the violence halted, the situation would likely deteriorate and could spin into complete chaos. i hope the decision to allow the protection force to deploy will enable the beginning of real improvement in this dire situation. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses on what else we can do to support stability in that part of the world. i thank our witnesses for being here. i yield back. >> thank you. we are joined by ed royce of california. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. i would just start by commending you, chairman, for your sustained focus on the crisis in south sudan. as all of you know, chairman smith just travelled to engage with our embassy there and to engage with our other partners.
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this is the fifth, i think, south sudan specific hearing that the committee has held since this crisis began. what is unfortunately and frankly maddening is the underlying problems haven't changed in the past three years. it is still a man-made crisis. it is still a crisis political in nature. and what does change, what changes every day is the number of innocent south sudanese killed, the number displaced. tens of thousands have been killed, millions have now been displaced. and i very much appreciate the recent senior level engagement of the administration including secretary kerry's trip to the region and ambassador samantha powers leading of a security council delegation to south sudan. i was on the phone a few hours ago with secretary susan rice on
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this issue. it is -- it is really unclear whether this high level diplomacy can have an impact on the ground. one of the oddities here is that the anti-american sentiment is growing in juba as of late. there is reporting today of an incident in which the presidential guard deliberately opened fire on a u.s. diplomatic convoy traveling through the city. i understand command and control of armed forces in south sudan is practically nonexistent in this situation, but there should never be an instance in which american diplomats are targeted ever. after lengthy security council negotiations, the security council approved of deployment of regional force.
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i met with the secretary general recently of the u.n. on this issue. and i shared that we welcome the establishment of force, but i know how difficult it is going to be moving this from concept to reality. it's going to be far from easy. especially envoy booth in your prepared testimony you explained that if the secretary general reports that the government of south sudan is impeding the new forces deployment, the administration would be prepared to support an arms embargo. we have made similar threats and other resolutions. i'm not sure anyone takes that threat of an embargo seriously anymore. i hope that we will be serious in terms of implementation of it.
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interestingly, in your prepared testimony you made no mention of the existing executive order that would allow the sanction of individuals who threaten peace in south sudan. i think that is worth contemplating. i look forward to hearing from you why no one has been added to the u.s. sanctions list in over a year. there were surely people who deserved to be on that list. if we fail to hold south sudan's political leaders on both sides accountable for the atrocities committed, we cannot expect anything to change. i thank you, and i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. rooney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for letting me sit in on your hearing. mr. ambassador, since the signing of the peace agreement
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in august 2015 and violence in july the u.n. security council and the u.s. have failed to implement an arms embargo in south sudan. the u.n. and the u.s. have failed to sanction additional individuals that we have proof have been involved in the attacks against civilians and continue to procure weapons and military equipment. secretary kerry in february in state foreign ops committee, which i sit on, as well as yourself, both told me that the u.s. is committed to holding senior officials accountable for continued cease fire violations and human rights violations that undermine the terms of the peace agreement. you both said that the administration would be willing to implement sanctions on such individuals. secretary kerry stopped short of endorsing an arms embargo. in august during a trip to africa, secretary kerry threatened to with hold humanitarian assistance if leaders continue to violate the peace agreement.
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so i'm curious to hear your testimony why the u.s. is threatening to withhold assistance to the people of south sudan rather than hold leaders who perpetuated the violence accountable through sanctions. i would like to know who in the administration is preventing additional individuals from being sanctioned and who do not want to implement an arms embargo. thank you, i yield back. >> i would like to welcome ambassador booth. donald booth was appointed special envoy on august 28, 2013. he previously served as ambassador to ethiopia and zambia and liberia. prior to that he was director of office of technical and specialized agencies. he has served as director of the office of west african affairs. deputy director of office of southern african affairs,
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economic counselor, division chief of bilateral affairs add the -- at the state department. your full resume will be made part of the record. the floor is yours. >> thank you very much, chairman smith, ranking member and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today. i want to discuss some of the tragic events that occurred over the past two months without ignoring the bitter reality on the ground i want to focus remarks today on the possibilities for the way forward. chairman smith, as you know from your visit, south sudan is in a dire state. the most recent outbreak of violence in early july created perilous security situation in many parts of the country. the humanitarian situation, as many of you have noted, is one of the most extreme in the world with 4.8 million people, over 40% of the population facing
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life threatening hunger, 2.5 million displaced and the economy in free fall. serious crime is part of daily life and aid workers and their supplies are targets as well. the violence in early july came about because neither president nor first vice president was willing to work with the other to implement the peace agreement or to set up the security arrangements that were designed to prevent or return to fight ing in juba we saw the moment of greatest optimism since the signing of the august 2015 peace agreement. the establishment in late april of the transitional government, we saw it shattered by the irresponsibility and ruthlessness of south sudan's leaders. both leaders lost control of their forces during a moment of tremendous political fragility and government soldiers engaged in sexual violence including
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attacks on foreigners. i would be remised not to pause here and praise the work of ambassador and her team at embassy juba. they have faced enormous hardships and real danger in doing their jobs and their work has been extraordinary. they have, against long odds, reserved the engagement needed to help the people of south sudan. they have done so despite two events that i know are on your minds. first on the night of july 7 just a few hours after a deadly encounter between government and opposition security forces, two vehicles carrying several of our diplomats were fired upon by government soldiers. fortunately, because they were both armored vehicles, the occupants were not injured. ambassador fee confronted the president the following day and received an apology as well as assurances that there would be a thorough investigation.
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that day, however, was also the same day that major fighting broke out between the government and opposition. the second event was much more tragic. the attack by scores of uniformed government security forces against the camp where 12 americans and other third country and other nationals were located. the attack involved hours of looting, beatings, rapes and murder of a journalist. i would like to express at this point my personal condolences to john's family and to all survivors of the attack. that attack occurred towards the end of two days of heavy fighting in juba, which saw government forces drive out the security contingent. even as shooting raged, as soon as the embassy was alerted to the attack, ambassador fee contacted security officials whom she believed still had command of their forces and convinced them to intervene.
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to rescue those under assault at the camp. i want to stress that she did everything in her power and resources in those circumstances to assist those who were under assault at the camp. in the aftermath of the attack our priority was the care and evacuation of the victims and then to protect their privacy and to demand justice for them. my written testimony contains a thorough account of what we know of the awful events as well as what we are doing to ensure safety of our personnel. i would like to focus the rest of my statement on what i see as the way forward or at least a way forward. first, in the wake of the fighting in juba in july political accommodation to avoid further fighting and suffering remains as important as ever. given that neither president kier nor former vice president
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could prevent their security entourages from fighting, we do not it would be wise for him to return to his previous position. this cannot serve as justification to monopolize power. what is most urgently needed is creation of a secure space for inclusive political process to forestall further violence. that is why we strongly support intergovernmental authority for deployment of protection force to juba to provide for free and safe movement throughout the capital. the rpf should contribute to stability and allow for demilitarization of juba. we must be clear that the government will need to allow the rpf to do its job once it is in juba. no political process can take place as long as large numbers of armed men and heavy weaponry remain in the capital. stabilizing the security situation in juba is only the first step.
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any political process to be credible and viable must be inclusive. i believe what is needed for political and military leaders in and out of government to meet together to figure out how to jointly shoulder responsibility for preventing further blood shed. however, this can only succeed if those currently in power are willing to accommodate legitimate interests of others. the violence in early july drove out significant factions of splm, in opposition of former detainees and other political parties. these groups must be deterred from supporting any further violence. thus they must see a path for peaceful engagement. south sudan's leaders must look ahead to the creation of a professional inclusive national army and other security institutions. they need to be able to articulate an agreed end state of security sector reform. as any international support for
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contonement or ddr activities will depend, among other things, of the credibility of envisioned security sector end state. the transitional government should prioritize legislation establishing an open process for drafting and ratifying a new constitution under which elections will be held at the end of a transitional period. in addition, the transitional government should prioritize legislation regarding african union led hybrid court. a recent opinion survey showed 93% believed there can be no enduring peace without accountability. we agree. what i have described is a sequence of interdependent events. i'm describing them as a way forward not because it will be easy to implement them, but because it is difficult to see any other path that does not lead to a future of oppressive
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one party rule, renewed conflict or most likely both. i am not naive about the chances of these things happening. our ability to influence events and steer leaders towards more constructive behavior is limited. the security council's permanent representatives just returned from a trip to south sudan. we were pleased that the council is able to come to agreement with transitional government on several key issues, including the government's consent to deployment of the regional protection force and to work with u.n. mission that is already there. however, we now need to see those words turned into action. if the secretary general's report finds the government is obstructing deployment of regional force or continuing to prevent from fulfilling the mandate, we are prepared to support an arms embargo in the security council. beyond an arms embargo, we stand prepared to impose restrictions on individuals involved in
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public corruption as official corruption has a long history in south sudan and played a direct role in furtherance of conflict in the country. i would have liked to come before this subcommittee today with better news. unfortunately, we now face a difficult and uncertain path for south sudan. it is a frustrating and disheartening situation particularly for south sudanese. it's their future that grows breaker by the day. with them in our minds, i believe we must continue to press to give peace a chance. thank you for inviting me to speak today. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you so very much for your statement and your work, your fine work. without objection your full statement will be made a part of the record. just a few opening questions. i want to add my congratulations and thanks to u.s. ambassador to south sudan and her staff who
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have been working around the clock to try to secure the peace, provide for access of humanitarian aid workers, which is one of the biggest impediments and why so many people are dying of mall nutrition and why so many young people especially children and babies are succumbing to starvation. they are working hard. i want to thank her for her leadership. let me ask you about the zero tolerance policy that the defense minister when i asked him said they would do against rape and sexual assault. he made it very clear that he was going to call the president to try to get him to do it, as well. we did meet and i raised it with him and he said he would do it. we called back since then, a little over a week. it hasn't been promulgated yet. of course, the mere issuance of a statement without implementation is not worth the paper it is printed on.
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we are hoping that the two will go hand in hand. good strong statement, hold the service members, armed forces to account and police and put them behind bars when they sexual assault and rape and kill and maim. your thoughts on that. secondly, ambassador limen, who will be testifying on the second panel who performed your job with great distinction when he was special envoy, makes a point in his testimony that the new rapid protection force should not be under uness. the u.n. mission there. greg simpens and i met with head of united nations mission. she said they tried to get commanders to make the trip which is only less than a mile away to try to save people who are under assault. they wouldn't go. this isn't the first time it has
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happened. several times. they have the right rules of engagement. they have a robust rules of engagement and charter seven powers. he suggested it be under a separate authority or mission. and then the access issue. it seems to me that if we -- as i said, people will do if there is not humanitarian access. the huge majority of workers are south sudanese who are in a special category of risk. your thoughts on what we could do there. and then security sector. when you testified last time, you put the agreement under four basic baskets which are mutually inclusive of each other. security sector reform and
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justice and reconciliation. i think as you pointed out the court ought to be set up to hold people to account for acts of impugnity and crimes against humanity. the security sector reform seems like the most daunting challenge with all the militias and all the lack of chain of command that appears to be the situation there. your thoughts on the prospects of meaningful systemic reform of the military? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me go through those. first of all, i want to thank you for being such a strong advocate for the zero tolerance policy on gender-based violence for rape and other such crimes and raising that at the highest levels during your visit to juba.
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it is certainly something that we are following up on. unfortunately, like many commitments that are made when we meet with senior officials in south sudan the promises are not always turned into reality. but it is something that certainly is important and we will continue to push on that. we will let you know what success or lack of success we may have in that regard. secondly, as regards to the regional protection force, there are a number of reasons why egad proposed and we have supported putting a regional protection force as part of the u.n. mission in south sudan. first of all, there is the issue of funding it. and a separate stand alone force under an african union or egad flag would have faced problems of being funded and would have severely delayed the ability to be deployed. doing it under the u.n. may not always be the fastest, but that
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is one of the things that i have been engaging on in my many trips to the region and talking with chiefs of defense and foreign ministry officials as well as other senior leaders to ensure that the three countries that have pledged troops to this regional protection force would be prepared to move their forces very quickly. and we would be prepared to help them to move them quickly to do that. also, this force was designed in a way that it would be under one commander and that commander would report to the force commander but would have the authority and the mandate from the troop contributing countries to use that force for the very specific tasks of the mandate in u.n. security council resolution 2304, which is to ensure the free movement of people in juba to protect critical infrastructure and in
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intervening should anyone be planning and engaging the attacks on u.n., civilians and a very broad mandate. again, in our discussions with troop contributing countries, they have assured us that troops they would deploy to do the mission would have the political backing to indeed enforce those tasks. so i understand the skepticism that many may have having looked at other u.n. missions, but this seemed to be the most practical and expedient way of getting troops on the ground who could actually provide a security umbrella in juba. but as i said in my testimony, just putting those forces on the ground will not solve the problem. they need the cooperation of the government and in the peace agreement particularly in the security arrangements that followed it that were negotiated after the signing of the
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agreement. in august 2015, there was a limitation of number of forces and the opposition could have in juba. and all other forces were to be at least 25 kilometers outside of the city. so that is at least the starting point for taking the heavy weapons and many of the security forces that are currently in juba and getting them out, and we would hope that the government would cooperate in further reducing the military footprints so that the citizens of juba can feel more secure and so that there is the room for the political dialogue that i have talked about. on humanitarian assistance, this is indeed a terrible situation. since the outbreak of this conflict, 59 humanitarian aid workers have been killed, making south sudan the most dangerous place for humanitarian aid workers, more dangerous than
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syria i am told. so this is a serious problem. it's something we have engaged repeatedly on in my visits, many visits to juba i have engaged with president kier defense minister and others on this. we keep receiving assurances that this issue will be addressed, that orders are issued, that they simply need to have a specific example so they can go after individuals who might have been harassing aid workers or stealing aid. frankly, this has become a systemic problem. shortly after the fighting in july, there was looting of many different stores in juba. one was the world food program warehouse. it was very organized. a truck came with a crane, not only to loot the food, but to take the generator from the compound. so this indeed does need to be investigated and people need to be held accountable. i think that is the only way that the message will get out
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that the government is truly serious, that humanitarian aid workers and their supplies are meant for the people of south sudan and should not be interfered with. this is going to be a continued engagement and a hard slog, i'm sure, with the government in juba. on security sector reform, the peace agreement and the security arrangements negotiated after it called for a security and defense sector review board to outline sort of the end state of the security arrangements of south sudan, what the army would look like, police, et cetera. that board had just begun meeting when things fell apart in july this year. but even under the peace
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agreement, it was foreseen it would not come to conclusion for about 18 months into the transitional period. whereas the idea of contoning forces and beginning a ddr process was to start prior to that. what i am proposing, and i have said in my testimony, is that we really need to have an idea of what the end state is. south sudan has suffered for too long as a heavily militarized state. probably understandable and it was the product of a long liberation struggle against the government, so almost 50 years of struggle. it is time that south sudan, in order to be able to be at peace and to prosper, needs to be a less demilitarized state. so can we get them to agree on the end state and if we agree that it is a sustainable and reasonable end state that is something we can look to support. really our leverage on getting a meaningful security sector
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reform is that we will not fund things if it isn't a reasonable outcome that we are driving towards. and then on the hybrid court, again, we share frustration that this is moving more slowly than we would like. i have engaged numerous times and we had our legal experts engage with the african union. we are at the verge of giving them $3.3 million to actually begin some of the work. we have encouraged them to move forward on at least establishing an officer of the prosecutor so that testimonies and evidence can begin to be collected even before the court is established and judges can decide on who would be indicted or who would be looked at by the court. so that is something we want to push forward. i have discussed that with the african union special representative for south sudan, honorable president, former
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president of mali who has been deeply engaged for the past year, as well, in trying to sort out the problems of south sudan. thank you. >> mrs. bass. >> thank you, again, mr. ambassador. i wanted to know if you could tell me the status of the former president and if you can review the role he is playing and then the status of that. we have talked about humanitarian aid. and i know no one wants to see that end, but how can humanitarian aid get to the population? you mentioned the world food program and the theft, the organized theft that took place. i wanted to know if that was the government or the opposition. you talk about -- we have talked about an arms embargo. i mention that in my opening.
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i wanted to know, one, what is the position of the administration on arms embargo and where are the south -- south sudanese getting their arms from now? i also wanted to mention a couple of other items. >> thank you, congresswoman. let me start with the question about the joint monitoring evaluation commission. he was appointed by egad to fulfill the role as chair of jmeg, a committee that is made up of south sudanese parties as well as members of egad plus. who are both guarantors and in our case a witness of the peace agreement. and he chairs monthly meetings of that group. his function is to oversee the
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implementation of the agreement and where the parties get stuck in implementing it, he to recommend ways forward. if the parties are blocking implementation, his recourse is to report to the u.n. security council. he has done a number of reports to those various bodies. he has tackled issues, such as the problem of the 28 states, the impasse in seating of members of the transitional legislature and other elements of the agreement that the parties were unable to find a way to implement because they were not working in good faith with each other. after the events of july 8-11, it temporarily moved operations. they have gone back to juba. and one of the tasks that the security council asked to
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undertake is to hold a security work shop to determine the level and arming of forces that should remain in juba. i understand that president mohi has convened a meeting held on the 22nd and 23rd of this month to look at that. those are the types of activities. we are one of the major supporters of jmec. we have contributed over $3 million to the operation of it. we believe it is a critical component for successful implementation for any part of the peace agreement. it has been criticized by the government in particular for being a usurping government authorities. we do not see it that way at all. we see it as the neutral arbiter of implementation of the agreement. on humanitarian access, i just really would like to clarify one thing on what secretary kerry was expressing in the press
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conference. i really think what he was expressing there was not a plan to cut off humanitarian assistance from the united states, but rather a frustration with the continued interference with the humanitarian assistance that we are providing. and really trying to put south sudan's leaders on notice that they have to get serious about dealing with this. that was the message. >> maybe i wasn't clear with my question.
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it's a systemic problem and it's partly related to the criminality of the wfp warehouse incident, for example, occurred after opposition forces were driven from the capital. so it would have to have been government forces that were doing that looting. and again, that's the type of thing that needs to be investigated and examples need to be made of people involved in that activity. of the people that the government claims it has arrested for looting in the aftermath of the fighting in july, it's not clear to us that any individuals -- of those individuals are particularly involved or being looked at for involvement in this attack. and then the arms embargo. what we have tried to do with the arms embargo, as it is a major tool, is to achieve progress toward peace by threatening it, and we have used that on a number of occasions, and we think it's one of the reasons that the government is seriously looking at allowing the deployment of the regional protection force. because they know that if there is impediments to that, and they know that many other members of the security council are already on record of supporting the arms
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embargo. but i think most importantly, what they heard when the security council permanent representatives went to juba this past weekend was a unanimous security council that was saying, when we pass a resolution, even though some may have abstained on it, it is the security council that is speaking. and so, you have to take that seriously. and as i mentioned in my testimony, if the secretary-general reports that there is continued obstruction of this force, we are prepared to move ahead. and as we said in security council resolution 2304, which we have the pen on, that there is an appended resolution to be voted on, an arms embargo resolution, and we are also prepared to look at other tools, such as sanctions. i must say, though, our record in getting additional people sanctioned in the security council has not been good. we had what we thought was a very good case back about a year
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ago when fighting flared up in the area right after the signing of the peace agreement. and the two generals responsible for this, paul malong on the government side and johnson maloney on the opposition side, we've put their names forward for sanctioning. and the council, certain several members of the council blocked that effort. so, even when you think you have a clear case, it's not easy to get the council to agree on that. and to be effective, travel and financial sanctions really do need to have the backing of a broader community than just in the united states. >> did you mention who's the primary -- or where is the primary place that they get the arms from? who's selling them the arms? >> they seem to have mainly come from the former soviet union area.
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but i think most of them come in through the gray or black arms market. i don't have specific countries that i can attach to specific arms platforms because, obviously, the government goes to some lengths to keep that information to itself. but clearly, it has access still to arms -- >> which is why i wonder about the effectiveness of an arms embargo, but anyway. >> well, that's why if an arms embargo is voted, it has to be something that is done by the security council so that it will have the impermature of that body and the weight of the international community behind it. >> so, mr. chair, before i yield, i just wanted to bring attention to someone who's in the audience who was a former intern with me, david akuth, who was part of the lost boys and lost girls that has been living
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very successfully in the united states and is leading an effort with other lost boys and lost girls -- i should say lost men and lost women, because they're all grown. but we actually plan to next week introduce legislation calling for a program that would be run by us, by the state department, to allow some of the former lost boys and lost girls to return to south sudan. those individuals who have come here, who have gotten their education, who have been successful and want to go back and give back to their country. obviously, no one would suggest that they go back right now, but given the length of time it takes to do legislation, we certainly would hope if a program like that was instituted -- it was one suggested many years ago by one of your former colleagues -- that it is something that we might consider. so, i just want to mention that, and i'll save my other questions for the next witness. >> mr. donovan?
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>> thank you, mr. chair, and thank you, ambassador, for your service to our country. many of the things you spoke about are troubling. two things i'd like you to address is, one, the recruitment of children to fight in these battles, and the other is the u.n.'s mission in south sudan's instability to protect the workers that are going there on humanitarian missions. and the last thing, if you have a moment, is you spoke about the path of peaceful engagement. i was just curious about how you think we get there. >> thank you, congressman. on child soldiers, i think the number was already read out, about 16,000 supposedly have been recruited during the course of this conflict since december 2013. child soldiers had been a problem in south sudan before this current conflict.
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it's something that we had actually engaged very robustly with the ministry of defense prior to december 2013 on, and which we were making actually some real progress in getting child soldiers out of the spla and even addressing those who were in many of the militias throughout the country. >> what ages are we speaking about, if you know? >> i've heard of children as young as 10, 12 being involved. it could be even younger in some cases. but this is, you know, something that we have been constantly engaging them on. now, during the height of the conflict, they were recruiting both sides, opposition and government, and they were utilizing militias. and many of these militias are sort of traditional youth organizations that go on traditional cattle raids, and there's sort of no distinction there in terms of age of majority, if you will.
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and so, they ended up being i think swept into the fighting. so that's part of the problem. but clearly, as we look, and i talked about a security sector end state. clearly, we want to see a security sector end state that the government would support. they would have no place at all for child soldiers. and we will continue to engage on that. the state department last week, i think, issued a very direct statement condemning the use of child soldiers in south sudan and the continued practice of that there. on the problems protecting humanitarian workers, i'd like to just give a little bit of context. the u.n. mission in south sudan on december 14th, 2013, the day after the trouble started in juba, they had camps in juba and in other towns, their own bases
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that became the sanctuary of tens of thousands of south sudanese who were fleeing ethnically based killing. and this was sort of a new move, if you will, for the u.n. to actually let people onto their bases in such numbers. but we think it was the right thing to do at the time and that it saved thousands of lives to have that happen. but what has resulted is the u.n. is now saddled with somewhere between 150,000 or so people that are actually now in, if you will, their own facilities, their own camps, that they have to provide static protection to. and in many instances, they don't control much of a perimeter around where their camps were. and so, it takes a fair number of troops to be able to provide that static protection. so this means that there are fewer troops available for
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moving out into the city, into the countryside, but we have had numerous successes. for example, back in april of this year, ambassador phee worked diligently with the government in juba, the regional governor in unity state and the u.n. mission to put in a forward base in lear, which is in unity state, so it was a hotspot for humanitarian needs. and the humanitarian community was demanding protection there. and so, the u.n. did go and establish a forward base there, and that enabled humanitarians to access an area that they had not been able to get to for almost two years of the conflict. so, we've had successes like that in some specific cases. but the ability of the u.n. to be able to move about the country as well as in juba has
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been restricted by the government. unmiss has had two helicopters shot down by government forces over the years, one before the conflict, one since. and when they need to fly, they need government permission to fly to make sure it's safe. and the government does not always give that. so, again, i would go back to the problem is partly unmiss, but it's also the government which has not allowed unmiss to do all that it could do to facilitate humanitarian assistance delivery, and that function, humanitarian assistance delivery and supporting that is one of the four key functions the security council has given to them, so they clearly understand that as part of their mandate. >> if you could spend a moment, as my time has expired, about your vision of how we get to this path of peaceful engagement. >> first step i would say is getting juba secured so there is space for a political engagement.
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now, why would those that are sitting in juba now who feel that they can implement the agreement where they are, why would they go forward on that? i think the answer to that is that they have to ensure that these people that have been driven out over the past two months and others that felt already excluded from the peace process, if they're not given a peaceful path forward, a political path forward, is going to result in more widespread fighting throughout the country, and can this government afford that? is that what it wants its legacy to be, is a south sudan that goes down with more and more fighting in more and more parts of the country? so, there's going to have to be pressure on the leaders, for sure, but frankly, it's the only way forward that is going to lead to peace, is to have this open up some political space and have this discussion with
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others. >> thank you very much, sir. >> thank you. >> mr. meadows? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. ambassador, let me come back to a question that my colleague, ms. bass, asked you, because your response was a little troubling with regards to arms and where they're coming from and where they are not coming from. are you suggesting in your testimony that we don't know? because you said it was a gray market, but we have unbelievable intelligence, even in that region. so, are you suggesting that we don't know or that you can't say? >> well, congressman, what we do know i would have to address in a different setting than this. >> all right. that's fair enough. i just wanted to make sure we clarified, because here's my concern, ambassador.
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i have followed sudan and south sudan before there was a south sudan. and it has been a passion for my family from a humanitarian standpoint. the stories, the true stories that have been told will break anyone's heart on what so much has not only been done but has not been done. and so, i appreciate you being the special envoy, your work there in a very complex and difficult situation. but what i've also come to find out is that from both sides, those who would be supportive of sudan and those who would be supportive of south sudan in a particular position, they believe that the united states has failed to live up to the promises that we have made and
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that we make threats that we don't follow through on. and even some of your testimony here today would seem to underscore that, that when we talk about arms embargo or sanctions, does it not have a chilling effect if we ask for sanctions and they don't get passed by the u.n., that there's no consequences, that life is going to be like it always has been? >> well, first of all on the threats, and in particular, the example that i gave of the two generals. even then, while we were trying to get them on the list, we were using that as leverage to get them to stop the fighting. and they were both told directly that we were going to sanction them, we were proceeding in new york to do so, and the only way they could get out of this would be if they stopped the fighting.
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well, while the sanctions committee did not approve adding them to the list, it also did have the beneficial effect of the fighting dying down in the same time frame. so, cause or effect. you know, i can't prove it, but -- >> but the results speak for themselves. here's the concern i have. if we make too many idle threats that are not backed up by action, what ultimately happens is the threats become irrelevant. and ambassador, do you believe that our country, indeed the state department, is using all its leverage points to accomplish the task at hand on dealing with the issue in south sudan? are we using every leverage point that we have? >> congressman, i think we are using all the leverage points that we have. some take some time to develop.
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sanctions cannot be imposed, even bilaterally, under u.s. law without a rather extensive package that could hold up in a court of law. >> right. >> so, oftentimes when you find you need to move against someone, you find that the actual evidentiary requirements are not there. this is, as you mentioned the idea of idle threats, this is one reason why we don't just take names up to the security council, if we don't think we can get them through. it's also why we, as we've often done with the arms embargo, we will say we will move on this and we will put the full weight of the united states behind trying to achieve this if you don't do "x" or "y." >> well, the reason i ask is because it sounds like you walked back a little bit secretary kerry's comments here today. and i guess, why would you walk those back? >> well, i'm certainly not trying to walk back what the secretary said, but our humanitarian -- >> that's what it sounded like.
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but you go ahead and clarify. that's why i'm asking. >> humanitarian assistance is something that we provide on the basis of need. it's not something we provide on the basis of political -- >> but it is something that we must prioritize. and so, if some groups are using it inappropriately, there is more need than there is ability, even for a very prosperous nation like the united states. and so, do they understand that there is a priority for humanitarian relief? >> that is something that i think -- >> well, if they don't understand it, please let them understand it based on this hearing. >> i think it came across from what the secretary said. it certainly is something that i've made very directly to them, that they are not the only place in the world that needs humanitarian assistance, that there are many -- >> and this comes from someone who is, my kids collected money in tennis cans to give to them to support. so i mean, it's not out of a noncompassionate heart. let me ask you one other question. i think there's a new law about ngos.
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and 80% of those ngos having to be south sudanese citizens in order -- is that correct? are my notes correct on that? >> yes. >> so, tell me about the implications. if that's indeed correct, would that not have a chilling effect on some of the work that the ngos have done and could do in the future? >> this ngo law is something that's been in the making for a long time, something that i've engaged on several occasions directly with president kiir on. yes, there is a provision that says the percentage of workers of ngos needing to be south sudanese. this is something that many countries do to try to ensure that aid workers or aid organizations are also hiring local staff. there are a number of problems with the bill that we've pointed out.
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a lot of them have to do, frankly, with things like excessive registration requirements and also very vague references to sort of what is allowed and what is not allowed that allows the government to interpret whether an ngo is doing the right thing or not. >> all right, so, let me ask and be specific, then. this new law, do you see it having the potential of providing less humanitarian relief to some of the most needy in the country, the potential? >> we certainly see this law as having a potential impact on the ability of ngos, both international and local, to operate. >> so, does the president -- their president not see that? >> well, i'm sure that they do see that. >> but they think that we're just going to go ahead and just go along and fund it and create a jobs program? >> well, i wouldn't see this as a jobs program. i think most ngos probably do hire more than 80% of their
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staff being local. i don't think that's -- >> so why the need for the law, then? >> well, that's a good question, and these are some of the issues that we've raised repeatedly over three years when this has been under consideration. >> well, if you could -- >> it is a problematic law and we've made that very clear -- >> okay, if you could, as the special envoy, take to their very highest government officials a sincere concern from members of congress on this new law that potentially the humanitarian relief that needs to get to needy families and citizens could be stopped because of the unintended consequences of a new law and that we would ask them to reconsider. and with that, i'll yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. meadows. mr. rooney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador, you know, you paint
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a very bleak picture in what we've talked about here today and the testimony you've given. i mean, we talk about a government that has lost control of its military from time to time, an opposition that's gone, a government that's raided humanitarian and food aid from this country of which i sit on the committee which helps appropriate that money, which is why it's concerning to me. but as a catholic, it's also concerning to me that, you know, that this would happen in this day in age, that we as americans won't be able to do anything about it. and the other thing it seems like you've said that we have leverage to use is this arms embargo. and we keep threatening to use it, but we never really get there. and then i just notice that maybe it might be a political thing to say, if we use an arms embargo, then we're admitting some kind of failure as a government. i hope that's not the case. i hope that it's a sincere ploy or a sincere intention of this government to use an arms
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embargo, because guess what, what can it hurt if we actually do it? if this guy controls the government, there is no opposition. he's used the term overmilitarization. you used that term. if that's true and the only thing that we can control is how much militarization that's in that country, then what can it hurt if the united states does take the lead to say enough is enough? we've got diplomatic envoys being shot at, we've got all kinds of crimes that we've talked about against its own citizenry, we've got humanitarian aid and food being seized upon, we've got the opposition has fled, we've got a government that's lost control of its own military, and we keep threatening to use this arms embargo as if it's something that, well, you know, maybe, maybe if we say this one more time, we'll put this security force in there of 4,000 people,
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which i've got to be quite honest with you, i don't think they're going to do anything. i think that this is just going to keep going on and on and we're going to be right back here again at the next hearing talking about how this has failed but we might use an arms embargo again. i just want to know, what will it hurt if we do it? i mean, is it an admission by the administration that we failed in south sudan? is that the problem? >> well, congressman, as i've said, it's a major tool, and to be effective, it has to be done multilaterally, not -- >> why? just do it. just use the united states as the leader of the free world and do it and other people will follow. who cares if it's unilateral? that doesn't make any sense! we build coalitions all the time and people follow us because we're the number one country in the world. we're the sole superpower. >> right. and because it is such an important tool, we have used it effectively, and we think we're
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using it effectively now to leverage a way forward for south sudan to get it back to a path of peace and political dialogue. >> do you believe that? do you believe that we're going to create this space in juba, like you say, and there's going to be elections and a political process and a constitution and all that? do you really believe that, unless we do something affirmative? affirmitive we're trying to do is trying to get this force on the ground and get juba to be demilitarized. and this is the leverage we're using to try to get there. now, the south sudanese may well not cooperate with this, and in which case we're prepared to move forward with that, as well as potentially other sanctions, so -- >> okay. i hope you do. >> the frustration level, we hear it -- >> hey, you're on the front lines, so i appreciate your service. i'm not -- i just don't believe that any of this stuff is going to work anymore, and i don't think that the security force is going to work. i think that we need to move
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forward with an arms embargo now and stop as much bloodshed and killing as we can and protect the food and the humanitarian aid that mr. meadows talked about getting in there by however means we need to figure out how to do that. because i think that's the only thing that's left to do is to help the people that are starving and being oppressed. but you know, trying to talk about elections and that kind of stuff, i don't buy it. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. rooney. mr. cicilline. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. ambassador. mr. ambassador, what is your best assessment of the anticipated timeline for the regional protection forces, both troops and deployment? and how long do you expect that negotiations with the government will continue on the composition of the rpf? how long will that delay the deployment? and have any countries outside of the immediate subregion, besides rwanda, indicated that they might consider providing troops to the rpf?
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>> okay, on the timeline. what i have been told by the military leaders in the region is that they are prepared to deploy the troops very quickly, within a matter of weeks, after there is permission from the government to go in. they've made it clear they're not fighting their way in to juba. the u.n. does not send missions to fight their way into countries. but if the government in juba accepts this force and provides land for it to be bivouaced on, what i've been told is they're prepared to move the troops very quickly. moving the equipment will take a little bit longer, and that's something that they've indicated that they might need some help with. >> maybe i wasn't clear with my question.
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i recognize that the troops are prepared to -- i guess my question is what's the length of time the government is likely to engage in negotiations? that's really the unknown. >> well -- >> piece, i think. >> there's also questions about how fast countries can actually mobilize their troops. >> right. >> but in terms of that, this is what the secretary-general's report, which should come out and will be discussed next week in the council, will be about -- is the government really moving forward to accept this force? and the message that was given by the security council visit that secretary kerry gave with regional leaders, including to the south sudanese who met in nairobi on the 22nd of august, was a clear message that we expect this force is going to be deployed, it's going to be deployed as envisioned by igad, which is with the troops from those three countries who are committed to this mission of actually the ensuring freedom of movement around juba, protecting the critical infrastructure, including the airport, and
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preventing violent actions, so protecting civilians in a more robust, not a static, manner. those troop-contributing countries have agreed to that mission. so, we don't want to enter into a negotiation with south sudan on who the troop contributors will be, what arms they will need, how many of them can deploy. that is foreseen -- and what their mission will be. that's all in the resolution. and so, that's where we get to this idea of using the threat of the moving on an arms embargo and potentially other sanctions, if, indeed, the government tries to delay this. so far, their actions have been on the one day to say, yes, the next day to say maybe, the next day to say no and then to say, well, probably yes again. so, this isn't something that we are not going to have patience with to drag on. >> so that leads to my second question, mr. ambassador, and that is, what influence does the united states have with the government of south sudan to
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encourage them to develop a more inclusive, transparent and accountable approach to governance? and what other things might we do to accelerate that process?

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