tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 21, 2011 9:00am-2:00pm EDT
it's up on our website too. but if not i'll make sure we put it up there. we have full disclosure as part of our policy and process. host: what is your annual budget? guest: our annual budget varies widely depending on whether there has been an election or not. the last election cycle we spent $5.5 million registering 2.6 million young people to vote. i will also tell you, roland, it shrinks dramatically in the of years -- our goal for 20 told is to raise between $5 million and $8 million and do new registration of young people and provide information about where to go, when to go, the good stuff that they will need it now. in terms of the staff, there should be some bios there. they are mostly young people
committed to this kind of work. in terms of who we register and engage, we use the media and popular culture. we go where young people are hanging out, concerts' and festivals, facebook pages and twitter. and during the campaign, the fall of 2012, we start bringing people together as well. we will host our own concerts and on a bus tour. entire states and engage people of all parties. we have country-western singers, hip-hop artists, we have rock stars to act as our messengers and deliver messages to the audiences that are listening to them. host: question on that front -- do you do a lot of college events? i have you been asked to go to conservative colleges like hillendale college in michigan? guest: we have not been to hillendale in particular
that i remember, as one college. we toured virginia during 2008 and hit colleges from various to print -- host: liberty in lynchburg, for example, campuses more likely to be conservative? guest: sure. if there is a campus and it is in a state where we are spending resources, absolutely. for example, in iowa, there is not a democratic caucus, per se in january, but we partnered with the secretary of state, republican secretary of state, to run a program called rock the caucus, doing mock caucuses throughout high schools to help voters who want to participate in republican caucuses understand how that works. we tried to be fair and balanced in providing information to all
voters. we have probably registered more republicans than anybody else, and have registered more voters than anyone else with large -- writ large. the last question is what i find all the time, responsibility and fraud. i think needs to be integrity established in our process. we have a system set up towards the 19th century electorate. there are many ways to do that. there are many solutions to provide a more modern election system that has great security and integrity, but those solutions cannot disenfranchise segments of the population in the process. host: last week from a regular viewer -- guest: [laughter]
host: president of rock the vote, thank you for being here talking to our audience. guest: appreciate it. host: we will look at how the census bureau tracks the u.s. economy. we will be right back. >> middle and high school students, it is time to get those cameras rolling for this year's c-span studentcam competition to make a five-to-a- minute video on this year's
team, the constitution and you, and get it to c-span by january 20, and you could win the grand prize of $5,000 bid for complete details, go to studentcam.org. >> during this period at the department of education, my working relationship with the judge thomas was positive. i had a good deal of responsibility and independence. i thought he respected my work, and that he trusted my judgment. >> it has been 20 years since anita hill testified on capitol hill alleging that then supreme court justice-nominate clarence thomas harassed her. this weekend, she spoke about what that amendment for her life and its impact on culture. -- what impact that had on her life and its impact on culture. >> this event that you had no idea was going to be what it was -- i said i would walk out
on the street, and everybody did polling -- they did polling immediately after the hearing, and it showed that 70% of the population thought i had perjured myself. in addition to the pressures i was having on the top, the threats to me personally, bomb threats -- the law school, my home, i had to go to the grocery store and realize that -- seven out of the 10 people i would encounter at the supermarket thought i had perjured myself in my testimony. >> watch her remarks, as well as the complete 1991 senate judiciary hearing on line at the c-span video library, archives and searchable. it is washington your white. >> every weekend, let the c-span
network to your source for public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. c-span2 has booktv, with the latest nonfiction books and authors. american history tv on c-span3, showcasing the people and events that shaped our country. all of our programs are available any time at the c-span video library. the c-span networks -- is washington your way. >> "washington journal" continues. host: welcome to our "america by the numbers" segment. we will look at how the census department looks at the economy. william bostic jr. is the census bureau's economic program assess the director. he is joined at the table by kenneth simonson, who is the chief economist at the associated general contractors of america, and president of the national association for economics. i found out something
interesting about the associated general contractors -- they were started under president nelson? guest: that's right. -- by president wilson? guest: that's right. in world war i, contractors were important in helping to gear up for war. host: one might wonder why the census bureau is involved in measuring the economy. how and why did you do it? guest: the census bureau has been involved in measuring the economy for quite some time. it is well known for conducting a population census. your viewers really have an appreciation and understand the critical role that the census bureau place. we conduct an economic census, and that is the foundation for the business statistics for the u.s. statistical system, because
it also serves as the frame for our business samples, and also we are talking about the source for gdp. which is benchmarked every five years from quarterly programs. and that is done by the bureau of economic analysis. it is the foundation for all of our programs. we cannot over 100 surveys, monthly, quarterly, -- we conduct over 100 surveys, monthly, quarterly, and annually. host: we have a major economic indicators that you look at. new residential construction, advance monthly sales for retail and food services, u.s. international trade in goods and services, durable goods, manufacturers, shipments, inventories, and orders. we will look at the numbers and have you interpreted them for us in what they mean for our economy.
i want to start with housing, because the real estate sector has been looked at as really a key to economic recovery in the country. this statistics looks at single- family and multifamily housing starts from january 1996 to september 2011. you can see how this trend kept going up and up and up, and then into 2008, the big decline. what are we seeing in the numbers here? guest: you are seeing that residential construction report -- it is a joint release by the census bureau and the department of housing and urban development. this particular chart -- you see it shows a dramatic decrease from 2006, the peak of the housing boom. clients started two years before the recession. the peak point was in january 2000, where housing starts at a level of 1800, and now is down
to 425 in september 2011, the most recent data. let me put things in context in way of definition. as housing starts is when excavation for the foundation began. single-family is defined as detached housing or a townhome. and then we're talking about multifamily, which is apartment or condominium. residential construction has been very slow to recover from the housing bubble. thet: as an indicator of state if the economy, there have been so many foreclosed properties, so there are empty houses and especially in certain regions of the country, a glut on the market of available properties. how does this statistics serve as an indicator for the state of our economy right now? guest: it is a very important
indicator, issued in tandem with building permits issued for new houses and multifamily units. together those indicate whether the housing industry has begun to start activity -- the single family had a precipitous drop you saw, a 75% decline from 1.8 million starts down to four under 25,000. the multifamily action kept going in a little longer, and that helped out some aspects of the construction industry and the many industries that depend on housing -- building materials, lumber, concrete, and in the case of some of the high- rise multifamily, things like elevators, roofing materials. it also is an indicator for industries that depend on home occupancy, such as furniture,
furnishings, carving. in the case of single family in particular, landscaping, gardening care materials and equipment. many people are looking at housing starts figure to get a sign of when these have turned around. certainly there is still huge overhang of houses on the market, houses in the or closure process, and houses that owners would like to sell but have been discouraged because it takes so long or the price is so low. nevertheless, all building cannot operate separately from existing home sales, because -- pullback building can operate separately -- homebuilding can operate separately from existing home sales. host: many of you are involved in sectors of the economy that we're looking at today -- housing, construction, retail, and the like. if you would like to ask about
that sector or share your own experience, we would like your position. we will put the numbers on the screen. you can send us a tweet if you like, or send us an e-mail. the two states -- on one side of the coin you up about one building permits, florida is particularly car hit. you contrast that with north dakota and wyoming. what is the story with these four states? guest: california and florida experienced a boom and bust prior to the recent recession. in florida, there was a boom with condominium sales, and having to do with the opening of the disney world. california -- that cost is similar to the trend from the recent recession. north dakota and wyoming by two states that have appeared better -- fared better during
the bust time than when they were in the boom period. north dakota is 4% higher during the 2007-2010 period, 9% higher for wyoming. they are just doing better with regard to other states. host: in your business, dui understand the why or jsut the waht? guest: we try to get some aspects of what is driving the numbers. there are things that are happening in north dakota and wyoming with production activity. that is what seems to be driving the new homes. host: almost every one of these statistics shows a big decline in the 2008 -- during the recession -- but in almost every stat we're looking at it is beginning to uptick. are there signs of growth
overall in the economy by these measurements? guest: there definitely are signs of growth. i am the vice president of the national association for business economics, a professional association for anybody uses economic information for work -- census, bureau of labor statistics data, people what to do forecasting, people who are analyzing policy, like people on capitol hill -- not just titled economists were people with an economics degree. at our annual meeting last month in dallas, there was a lot of pessimism because the statistics that were coming out of the census and other sources this summer looks like the economy was really slowing down. in the last six weeks, that is turned positive. both the single family is a little bit better, multifamily is starting to move way up.
host: this is a related slide. inventory of housing units under construction from january 1996 to september 2011. what more do we need to now? guest: the inventory is the lowest since it began collecting this data in 1968. since 2008, what happened is that single family and a construction actually fell below the multi-unit under construction. for the first time since 1975 -- host: you have not seen that before? guest: right. host: what does that mean, that the single-family fell below? guest: it shows how few people are willing to buy a new home at the time. homebuilders really did a good job of managing their inventories. they continuously cut the number of thomas they were starting. we have a fairly reasonable ratio of homes for sale or under
construction now. that is one of the statistics that the census does not highlight, but business analysts looking at the health of housing -- home-building companies or others who want to know how long before things pick up -- that is one of the things that they can glean from these census statistics. for my own employer, the associated general contractors of america, our members don't build single family, but there's a lot of follow-on construction. if you got a lot of single- family construction, there are additional schools, playgrounds, fire and police and other public structures. you'll get more retail going in those single family. this is tremendously important in many ways. host: one more chart, and let me will get to college. this is on median sales prices of -- and then we wanted to cause. this is on mediant sales prices
of single-family homes. across the united states, and then the western and southern regions of the united states. guest: those two regions represent 75% of single-family sales since 19 set -- since 1996. typically when you hear with price declines and in newspapers is for existing home sales. those numbers are put out by the national association of realtors. host: this suggests that would depress the prices aren' resal -- on resale, it is affecting prices. is this inherently good -- is expense of housing for inexpensive housing in hourly good or bad? guest: no, neither one is inherently good or bad. the median measures, the price right in the middle in terms of
counting the number of houses sold above or below that price -- it can certainly move widely, depending on whether at any one homeyou have a lovt of buyers. this is kind of in this indicator of the state of the economy -- kind of a loose indicator of the state of the economy. it is important to look at the volume of home production and what it means for economic activity. host: this a viewer, named maverick, has a question about the policy for all buyers. guest: they put out a series about the value in construction put in place, value spending, attempting to measure the amount of materials and labor that it
went into projects of all types in the most recent months. we did see an upturn after this really sharp drop in single- family callback construction spending. it began in april 2009, with the first-time home buyer tax credit taking a fact. as soon as the credit expired a year later, the number plunged again. home builders were thinking they were going to get a boost, but they were disappointed at the end of that cycle. just in the last few months, the spending figure has turned up before a single families and, as i mentioned, a huge jump lightly for multifamily. we are going to see the spending numbers reflect that very soon. host: cspanjunky tweets -- new jersey, you are on the air.
caller: my concern is with new construction -- i am all for new construction. and -- host: your question about it? caller: my concern is the american dream has been ruined by people losing their homes. my husband is a contractor it, but we are in foreclosure. my destroyed more dreams, the american dreams -- i voted for president obama, i am a democrat, and the congress won't let him do what he was supposed to do. host: why build more houses when there are some existing in the marketplace? -- so many existing in the marketplace? figuresmr. bostic's give us some answer to that id people are moving to north dakota to move on the shale
formation underneath, to exploit the wind that has been there and turn it into energy and transmission lines. rita road and pipelines -- railroads and pipelines. the ag sector there has done very well. they add that the population increase the last decade, which was not true the decade before. you need new housing in some areas. in areas like new jersey or in d.c., you see lots that were never developed or maybe they had a commercial use, but people want to live in the neighborhood and you are a home -- are getting homebuilding happening there. host: let's listen to a call from oklahoma. mike, go ahead, please. caller: all of this construction
-- when builders are building homes other retells bases, they are paying taxes on materials. in some places, they are also paying taxes on labor. this is a boon for the states and localities in that if you put $100,000 worth of materials in a single house, that is taxes, sales taxes, on $100,000. that is the equivalent of, what, five, six, seven families earning the thousand a year. -- earning 50,000 a year. guest: construction contributes to the economy in many ways. certainly the taxes that contractors pay on their materials and contribute on labor and taxes that the workers and owners pay on their earnings is one way.
in addition, of course, once the property is completed and occupied, you start to get property taxes. the decline in home building and a decline in home prices is one of the major reasons state and local economies, government economies, are in such bad shape. the associated general contractors it does see a pickup in some categories of construction, but because of this drag on property tax receipts, we are still way down on local government spending on names like the schools and public facilities. host: monthly sales by retail trade -- what does it cover? guest: all kinds of retail businesses. you are talking about department stores, grocery stores, gasoline stations, online retail shopping. those are just examples.
host: automobiles? guest: automobiles, car dealers. host: is turning up, and even though there was a dip in 2008, 2009, it is higher than when the recession started. guest: it almost doubled in the last five years. one object -- 2002 -- one uptick, 2001, where you had a 0% financing for new cars. again, as you indicated, like most other sectors, it declined during the recession. host: but going back up to it is this a couple -- is this a hopeful statistics? guest: looking at the data, it looks like it has risen above pre-recession levels. host: the number of people unemployed, the retail sales are still going up. the last caller asked about
policy implications. we had cash for clunkers, cash incentives to buy appliances,r we had a rollback in our wage taxes to stimulate purchases. can you see people buying more as a result policy initiatives? guest: yes, certainly the cash for clunkers program, which gives people a large brick on the price of new cars -- large break of the price of new cars if they trade in an old car, definitely affected sales for the month or so that was in effect. this is one by the policy advocates and forecasters all light can make use -- one away policy advocates and forecasters alike can make use of the census information. these unsexy economic statistics -- i don't think any
member congress will bet on the -- will get elected as saying "i put money into the retail sales survey," but it is important to get the policies right with timely and accurate census data. that is one example of how census figures help us analyze what really happened when we had a policy in place. similarly, going back housing, with a home buyer tax credit -- we see that affect in -- effect in census figures. host: this number here, retail trade and food service sales, is hard dollars. because of that, have the sales doubled or how the costs double overtime? guest: seasonality causes could
be holiday it, etc., but it is not adjusted for inflation. host: do you have a comment on that question as well? guest: seasonal adjustment is one of those things that my audience is -- that make my audience is glaze over, and yet it is really important. it is one way that is seen by the statistic and economic community as a real leader. census is the gold standard for this process of taking out the impact you always see because the holiday comes in a certain month or the weather changes. you don't get as much paving activity in denmark as you do in july -- in january as you do in july. if you do the evaluation without taking into account the normal seasonal effect -- we'd get it
right with the whatever use we have of the information. host: our guests are economists, one with the census bureau, the other in private practice. the phone numbers will be on the screen. you can send a tweet or e-mail as well. the calls are itdivided by regional sons, a little different than we normally do. -- regional zones, a little different than we normally do. the truck looks like normal economic cycle and recovery, meaning nothing really helps." guest: this is a great example of why you need to look below the top line. this is the top line, and then it at all retail sales. the sense provides 20 or 30 different kinds of weather
retail -- different cuts for the retail sales figures came from. if you go into the website for that, you can find 150 given categories. people to spend more on cars during the month of the cash for clunkers program was in effect. but they did not necessarily increase their spending by the same amount. they cutback in other areas. it is important to look below the top line or any other data series if you can. viewer tweets --u w >> is a call from miami. next is a call from
miami. caller: what is the single thing at the gas would recommend obama it do? continues -- guests would recommend obama do? continue spending, or something else? host: as a member of the census department, are you allowed to comment on policy questions? guest: no, i am not. host: let me turn to mr. simonon. guest: the company that pays me, associated general contractors of america -- we see a a difficult situation. you have to distinguish between investment and other kinds of spending. anybody out on the roads these days knows we need to be putting more into roads and bridges, other kinds of infrastructure. we have fallen behind. it really applies to our intellectual capital, too.
the census is one of those areas where i would protect spending. but clearly, we cannot go on with $1.30 billion deficit. -- $1.30 trillion deficits. nearly 40 years of watching washington policy, the erosion of the tax base. host: houston, texas. this is frank. good morning. caller: i'm calling as a commercial and industrial real terms, and with a background in development and project management. my question is basically, i hear nothing, absolutely nothing, in the general media about stoppage of funding for commercial and industrial money from banks.
i find quite troubling. for different -- through different associations, they are discussing the looming commercial inventory it that is in default that is on the back burner that no one mentions. and what impact that has not only on our economy, but the commercial construction industry. thank you. guest: i will take a crack at that. i am not a banking economist, but certainly the construction industry, part of it, relies heavily on developers being able to get financing. what we have heard for three years now is that banks are turning developers down cold. on the other hand, we still have a very high vacancy rates on retail and office properties. i think it is understandable that a banker is not going to let the developer get a huge
amount to put up a huge office building -- get a huge amount to put up a huge office building on the one next door is naked. -- is vacant. i think that office and retail will be some of the slowest. there are other types of construction that don't depend quite as heavily on bank financing -- manufacturing, hospitals and universities generally financed either directly or they go to the investment market for commercial paper or for tax-exempt financing in the case of some hospitals and universities. those markets have recovered much better. there are lots of questions of how you put your the banking system, unfortunately, it has not stopped -- how you cure the
banking system, but fortunately, it has not stopped lending. host: you would think that parts sales would go up when the economy is bad. am i correct on that? guest: that is for used cars, repairs, etc. host: the automotive sector of our economy is the focus of a lot of debate. we have had a lot of turmoil with companies and the like. what is happening when you look at the numbers? guest: you see the uptick in 2001, 0% financing, and then in july 2005 when manufacturers offered a program discount for employees. you see that uptick. 2007, 2008, 2009, downward trends with of the recession. then you see the cash for clunkers program in august 2009
to it in 2011, we had the japanese tsunami and the earthquake. sales were dampened. september numbers have increased. they are back up to reasonable levels. host: $68.8 billion versus $82 billion at the height of the measurement. what more should we know about this? guest: this is a case where there is very good private- sector coverage and a little census.ely thancens we still rely on senses for verification and more complete mess. -- more completeness. this is an area where we have some other sources of information. host: this shows a big drop
during the 2008 and 2009 -- we stopped buying gas. i will ask the same question as before. this isn't gallons or units, but how much is being spent. it reflects gas prices. guest: exactly. you see the 461 $7 billion. during the recession, we had high oil prices, reflected in gasoline sales. then they decrease significantly and you see the drop. now as the oil prices have gone out, we are almost approaching the $46.7 billion, which it was at the peak. you have any inflows of demand and for prices. you get -- a reactionyou -- you have ebbs and flows of demand and for prices. host: virginia beach, virginia.
caller: my concern is the approach with which the economists seem to be putting the data together. i appreciate the graphs and charting. however, why can't it be more proactive data gathering instead of reactive? we're looking at that train of history, instead of getting data at projecting what we need to be doing. the lady you had on the air prior to these two gentlemen talked about the young generation and how they are breaking records going to the voting rolls. in a lot of trend data is based on the baby boomers. but there is a baby boomer generation, and that, if i'm not mistaken, is far bigger than the baby boomer generation.
to they bring those types of numbers into their analysis? host: thank you very much. both of you. guest: the programs are monthly .rogram spres we collect the data of sales, and we don't do forecasting. we leave that to economists and decision makers to evaluate the health of the economy. what you are seeing here are trends. obviously, you cannot necessarily look at one month. you need to look at the trends to see how the economy is doing overtime. guest: absolutely. business economists and policymakers need to have the best possible database and data history to work from. i think it is important to have an agency that concentrates all its resources on doing that and does not scatter them into doing forecasting. forecasting is much more controversial and, frankly, most
people approach it with some kind of policy agenda was some sort of assumption built in. we all need to have some set of numbers that we can agree on before we can go out and disagree, as economists are so famous for doing. the census should stick to its job, and congress should give it enough of funding so that it can produce the best possible numbers that we can have. in my area, for instance, of construction, one way in which the census had to cut back was dropping a series on residential additions and replacements, improvements to existing houses. those numbers are, frankly, much less reliable than the census would like, and it causes of frustration for people trying to track total construction spending that they have to adjust estimates each time they go forward. host: this tweet --
i am wondering whether consumption, which is what all of these charts -- is a real indicator of our economy. guest: it is one of the most important, or two of the most important measures of the state of economic activity and where we are compared to a month or quarter or year or five years ago. it is not the be-all and at end- all. we are going to get into other statistics in a minute for investment in capital goods, durable-goods. those are also important indicators of how we are doing in terms of the global picture and the business investment side these two, housing and retail sales, are extremely important. host: we should let you know
that the president is planning to sign a free-trade agreement that congress passed last week today in washington, d.c. this looks at imports and exports. what is the story behind thae chart? guest: over the last 15 years, u.s. trade is kind of words, with two exceptions -- recession of 2001 and the most recent recession. in both cases, the tree to visit -- trade deficit also declined. as we can see in the chart now, the more recent decline was considerably pronounced in the recent recession. but the trade deficit actually went from a high of $66 billion in this recession to a low of 25.5 billion. now the trade for exports actually has rebounded, and we are exceeding pre-recessionary
levels. what we look at is imports and trade deficits are regarded as well, but at a slower pace than exports. host: mr. simonson, what should we know about these numbers? guest: first, it is easy to jump to the wrong conclusion about them. what is important is that they are both going up. we don't have to see the gap go to zero or reverse into a trade surplus. it is not necessarily our red if the gapred flag widens for a period. the u.s. economy has benefited from exports. consumers benefit from imports, to. i think that having open trade and getting these free trade agreements should open trade further with more countries and, hopefully, changed it tone towards opening the trade means that we are a more nimble economy, that we are using our
resources to most efficiently, and giving the most opportunity for consumers. host: next call from san antonio. caller: good morning. how are we going to keep our money flowing so that the banks can loan out, the mortgage company can lend money to build homes or commercial buildings? the flow of money as completely ceased. freddie mac and fannie mae kept it going. the circle of it goes around comes around. we have got to get it back. otherwise, there is not going to be any new builders building homes, there is not going to be new commercial. bring it back, don't pay the investors compound interest. if the loan was made for 30 years, the investor got his initial money back in 11, he had 19 years of profit. we have got to stop that. guest: there is no question that the banking system went too
far in how it was treating mortgages before the financial meltdown of 2008. we have gone to another extreme in terms of making it much, much harder for people to qualify for mortgages and for developers to get money for commercial projects. i think there is no quick fix to that. but we are seeing signs that both private residential and some categories of private non- residential construction are improving. i think we will continue to do so through 2012, and hopefully beyond. host: if you are interested in tracking and on the through the census numbers -- tracking the economy through the census numbers beyond what we're doing, the website as economic indicators. if we could show it on the screen on our ipad, it has current and previous positions. what can people learn from this
particular aggregation? guest: they can put all the economic indicators together and look at various segments of the economy to evaluate how well these particular sectors are doing. there are snapshots of the economy, and you can look at one place on our website. host: to you know whether or not the general public is likely to access this, or is it more for rational economists like yourself? guest: the census bureau gets a huge number of hits from all types of folks. economists like me down of this data as soon as it comes out. e- economists do like mewn download this data as soon as it comes out. wall street folks are on top of it immediately. but there are students and academics and members of the general public who go to the web site every day. host: alabama.
william, you are part of the conversation. caller: i don't know if this is within your realm of expertise, but is there any figures offenders -- host: there was a bit of break up. caller: unemployment for ex- felons, specifically its sex offenders? guest: that would not be out of the census bureau. some data is collected by census tsurvey takers. in addition, the department of justice has a lot of the statistics on people who of been in the criminal justice system.
it is not an area i work in. host: what is the export initiative? guest: the national export initiative was introduced by president obama in 2009. the goal is to double exports in five years. we are looking, and we kind of monitor the export rate. doubling exports requires an annual growth rate of about 142010 data. -- about 14.9% based on our 2009-2010 data. going forward, we need an average of about 14.3%. for the next four years. where we are looking through august 2011, we are actually
averaging annual growth rate of 15.8%. we are well above the 14.3%. host: can you talk about the national export initiative from a policy perspective? what is it intended to do it? what sector of the economy? where is it going? host: exports are an important piece of the economy. we are much less dependent on exports from smaller economies were some of the resource- producing economies or developing countries like china, but nevertheless, in this recovery, exports have outstripped the growth of domestic sales. a 14% to 60% growth rate is one of the strongest pieces a -- they can14% to 16% growth rate is one of the strongest pieces of the american economy.
there will be estimates of what is happening in the third quarter next week. those figures are going to be very closely watched by economists and policymakers also. it is fine to have a goal like that. it depends partly on policies like the trade agreements. you mentioned -- like the trade agreements you mentioned the president is going to sign. remove barriers, perhaps limit incentives. but if you are providing an incentive to exports, it means you are taking money away from something else. personally, i would rather see the market making the decision as to whether we want to be investing in exports or in some other area. host: the next is our top 10 export trading partner s, and imports -- china in first place.
why does the census bureau keep this data? guest: the collection of all the trade information, we get questions. importers of the top, exporters, with our trading partners -- host: how long as china and in the number-one position? guest: 2000 was when china surpassed canada as our leading trading partner. host: japan, the effects of the earthquake and tsunami -- tell us more about this. guest: prior to the earthquake, japan numbers were rising and it just about all major product categories. the earthquake disrupted the transfer just a few months. -- disrupted the trend it for just a few months. the area hardest hit was the
automobile industry. they have not rebounded to about $4.5 billion -- is. haver -- they have now rebounded to about $4.5 billion. but if you look at the overall rate from 10 yamar to august, even with the earthquake, japan's imports 06% higher than last year. host: this may not be good news for people looking at jobs in the united states, because it has stayed steady in japan for the year. guest: i think we have to focus on what is the overall picture, that we don't need to be in balance with any one country. going back to the list of top import and export countries, it is clear that there are major trading partners among the top 6. they rank differently on the exports and imports. it is interesting, for instance, that china has become the no. 3
country to which we export. a lot of people think that we're getting these goods from china and not selling anything to them. exports to china. not so much with japan -- exports to china have been moving up rapidly. not so much with japan. i would not expect to see our exports into japan growing so fast. but it is a healthy sign for us that we have been april to sell more to china. there is more that we are selling to korea. the trade agreement the president is signing -- a major reason that the united auto workers and others are supporting that is the opportunity to export more to that country. host: ohio. charlie, good morning to you. caller: ex-bus driver, a military person. i saw problems in the communities i went to, rich and poor neighborhoods pretty much the same.
gas prices were the first indicator that drove the prices of goods and services out of reach great that they created an interest rate with another practice and people losing their jobs. that is why they lost their homes, because they'd lost their jobs. and they don't need tax breaks, so they send it to other cities to reduce their taxes. there is too many jobs overseas. i agree, jobs should come back to america. we should not give anybody an advantage over american workers to create a better environment for their own country. host: i will let it stand as a commenta. anna marie, good morning. anna marie left us.
guest: that is my take overall. if you look at the whole 40 years that these slides cover, yes, the trends are unquestionably a ports, but it is the details in between that affect us. the famous economist maynard keynes is famous for saying, "in the long run, we are all dead." we're interested in what the trends show and what might happen next, but we are living in here and now. it is the squiggles that lurch downward that are important to us now. we are well below trend on a lot of these indicators. host: this is exports of soybeans and corn. what did we know about this -- what should we know about this again? the price of the commodity. guest: these are two of our
largest agricultural exports. what has happened here is increased demand, coupled with the global weather conditions, has driven up the price for both of these commodities. for example, with corn, it is used for producing ethanol, and along with poor weather conditions, if these to diminished supplies. the same thing with soybeans. you look at the growing nations, soybean-growing nations, such as the u.s., brazil, china, that top weather conditions -- that have had tough weather conditions, it has depleted supplies and troop up the price. host: anna marie, you are on the air now. caller: my question is for mr. simonson. do you see the need for housing -- the attitude of buyers
towards housing is changing with your analysis? my question relates to the fact that in the past it seems like many people bought homes to flip them or use them for investment. i am hoping that with our new buyers coming up, at they think of homes as being a place to really have a value, where they can raise families, or maybe have a second home, where they can enjoy it family gatherings for the next 20 years. i come to the home by about 20 years ago, and now i am living in it working as a realtor. there is some planning that has to go into a home purchase,
whether it be for your destination -- maybe it is your work -- i worked in atlanta for many years -- my husband is retired, i am still working. this is the end of the plan. mike plan was to buy the home 20 years ago. now i am living in. guest: you are right, there was a lot of speculative home buying before the recession, and that has not come back. one of the challenges for economic forecasters is has there been a change in the collective people belong your pardon -- has there been a change in the collective mentality? certainly, we have seemed much more growth in rental properties that we have in hoowner-occupied properties
lately. are they being shut out by their own conditions or their preferences? that is a challenge that we have sorting out. we depend on the census bureau getting the figures right and enough funding so they can do the numbers correctly and getting them out timely so a economists and policy makers who need that information to interpret forecast and make policies can do it right the first time. host: if you are interested in following this on a regular basis, the census website, attracting the indicators month to month. what is the major take away that you want people to know about the economy? guest: it is about the numbers and assessing the health of the economy.
it is moving along. guest: i think the economy has turned more positive in the last few weeks. i am optimistic about the u.s. for the medium to long term, but i think we are still at a severe risk for having sub-par growth and sluggish job growth. host: thank you both for being here this morning. you have a great weekend. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
classrooms and we ask you to bless those who enjoy the freedom of this great nation and those who are daily in harm's way fighting wars overseas. we ask you to inspire our leaders, give them discerning hearts and agile minds so together they can shape laws that are for the common good. equip them for the challenging duties you have given them to do and help those to lead with compassion and generosity. in the name of god, whom i know through jesus christ, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance.
i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, this is to notify you formally pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the house of representatives that i have been served with a subpoena issued by the united states district court for the central district of illinois for documents in a civil case. after consultation with the office of general counsel the subpoena is consistent with the privileges and rights of the house. signed sincerely, aaron schock, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication.
the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause twafe of rule 2 of the -- 20-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives i have a letter received from the white house on october 19, 2011, at 11:56 a.m. and said to contain a message from the president whereby he transmits a notice concerning the national emergency with respect to significant narcotics traffickers centraled in colombia. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will read the message. the clerk: to the congress of the united states, section 202-d of the national emergency act, 50 u.s.c. provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless prior to the anniversary date of its declaration the president publishes in the federal register and transmits to the
congress stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. in accordance with this provision, i have sent to the federal register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the emergency declared with respect to significant narcotics traffickers centered in colombia is to continue beyond october 21, 2011. the circumstances that led to the declaration in 1995 of the national emergency have not been resolved. the actions of significant narcotics traffickers centraled in colombia provides an usual and extraordinary threat for the united states, foreign policy and economy of the united states and calls and extreme level of violence and corruption in the united states and abroad. for these reasons i have determined that it is necessary to maintain economic pressure on significant narcotics traffickers centered in colombia by blocking their property and interest in property that are in the united
states or within their possession and control of the united states persons and by depriving them of access to the u.s. market and financial system. signed barack obama, the white house, october 19, 2011. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on foreign affairs and ordered printed. the chair lays before the house the following communications. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 18, 2011 at 11:23 a.m. that the senate passed senate 1721, senate 275. with best wished i am. signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house
of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 19, 2011, at 10:15 a.m. that the senate passed senate 925, that the senate agreed to senate concurrent resolution 32, that the senate passed senate 270, senate 292, senate 333, senate 334, senate 404. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 489, h.r. 765. with best wishes i am. signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 20, 2011, at 10:50 a.m., that the senate passed senate 894. with best wishes i am. signed sincerely, karen l.
haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 20, 2011, at 5:42 p.m. that the senate passed senate 1412. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 1843, h.r. 1975, h.r. 2062, h.r. 2149. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the house stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on monday next. >> of the house returns on monday for legislative work. president obama has signed a treaty -- a free-trade agreement
bill and the trade adjustment assistance bill that happened this morning. live house coverage here on c- span on monday. is spending package that includes agriculture, commerce, and transportation and housing. the senate fell to advance a portion of president obama's jobs bill by a vote of 50 to 50 and failed to pass a gop tax proposal that would of repealed a law required the withholding of 3% payments to government contractors. they did pass a couple of nominations, the deputy director of the office of management and budget. the senate will not be in session next week. they will return for legislative work on monday, october 31.
this evening here on c-span, a ceremony honoring a former kansas senator and majority leader, bob dole. that is taking place at the u.s. chamber of commerce in washington. live coverage this evening at 6:45. >> because i am a businessman in which incidentally i am very proud and formally connected with a large colony, the opposition has attempted to picture me as an opponent of liberalism, but i was a liberal before many of those men heard the word. before another roosevelt adopted and distorted the word " liberal." >> switching parties in 1940, he
sought and won at the republican nomination for president. he left his mark in political history, speaking out for civil rights, being a foreign ambassador for his opponent. he is one of the 40 men featured in the c-span's new weekly series. tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> the senate education committee yesterday approved legislation to rewrite the "no child left behind' law. the original law require that 100% of students be proficient at math, science, and reading by 2014. initial objections to the bill were by senator rand of kentucky. the chairman's tom harkin said that would happen before
thanksgiving. >> there we go. thank you. i want to inform everyone that we have been told that senator paul has objected to the meeting more than two hours after the senate convenes. this is disappointing but will not deter our efforts. the committee will meet at noon and 2 amendments. senate schedule allowing, both senator enzi and i hope to convene this tomorrow morning. senate schedule permitting. i hope that senators can adjust their schedules to be here tomorrow morning. when we adjourned yesterday, we
had engaged in a thoughtful discussion and an amendment offered by senator isaacs and. right now, we will set of that amendment aside with the concurrence of senator enzi and a ranking member, and we will move to the democratic side to offer an amendment. are there any title one amendments on the democratic side? senator bennet. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. chairman. i will like to thank you and the ranking member for holding this
markup. i deeply appreciate it. if there was a rally to keep "no child left behind' the same, no one would,. i consider this a rally to change a law that has done an lot of good things. it has shined a light on the failure of too many of our public schools to live up to the promise to deliver opportunities from one generation to the next. yesterday, i said on the floor if 100 of our senators were living in poverty in this country, only nine of us would graduate with a college degree. fewer than half of the people sitting around this table. yesterday, i cannot think of any other fact that is more at war with who we think we are as americans than that one. the time has come to shift the
burden of proof from those who want to change this system to those who want to keep it the same. i think we have a great opportunity today to build on the elements of "no child left behind." over 4000 coloradans have signed a petition. i want to thank you, mr. chairman and the ranking member, for getting us to this point. senatorwant to thank senato bingaman and senator sanders. >> [inaudible] >> i am sorry. title 1, amendment 1. senator bennet, amendment 1. when i took over as superintendent, i found and accountability system that was asking the wrong questions. we asked how one class of fourth graders was doing compared to
the previous year. it was not useful to any parent. we had a backward system where washington was telling us out to do things but not setting a high bar for excellence. i think there will washington is to set high expectations for all of our students and let the people closest to our kids figure out how to meet those goals. we are taking huge steps in the right direction. we can look at the student's progress over time, but it is important that all students are expected to make progress. i am introducing this amendment so states set performance our goal is that we are increasing student achievement with the tools that they need. they have told me that
performance targets are a useful tool for them in that work. 39 states have announced they are applying for waivers with republican governors. performance targets allows schools to provide parents with valuable information about their child's progress. when only two-thirds of the eighth graders are reading at grade level and only one-third of seniors are graduating high school ready for a career or college, we have a crisis. the answer is not simply to bemoaned what the federal government cannot do well. it is setting a high bar for the government and for schools. in the spirit of the conversation you had yesterday in this committee, i will withdraw the amendment for consideration for now, but i hope we can continue working on it to set clear, high goals and a lot of flexibility to meet those goals.
i hope my colleagues will support my efforts. >> i thank the senator for his offering but also with and to withdraw the amendment. i do support, basically, the idea behind the amended. we did not reach a compromise agreement on that. we did however, i would say to my friend from colorado -- i will say that i appreciate the senator from colorado being on this committee because he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge having been a superintendent of public schools in denver. all of my reading of that area when senator bennet was the superintendent of schools, they made great progress. i appreciate the expertise and knowledge that the senator brings to this committee and to this evil and of education and
secondary education reauthorization -- and to this education and secondary education reauthorization act. i think if i am not mistaken, 41 states have already said that they are going to adopt some accountability standards. again, we are trying to find a way to be a partner with the state's. while i might agree with the senator on this, i appreciate the fact that he has withdrawn the amendment. >> i too appreciate the fact that he withdrew the amendment. i understand where he wants to go and i realize this would be the appropriate place to go if you with the superintendent. we do not want to form a national school board, and that
is the opposition that you hear from the other side. that puts us in charge of what their targets would be. i think that is a state and a local obligation to do that. my hope is they will exceed anything we might have set up as standard. that possibility exists as long as we are not telling them what to do. >> may i comment on the amendment? i also appreciate the amendment and the senator being willing to offer it and withdrawing it so we can discuss it and consider it. what i hope will be a complete discussion of relevant amendments on the senate floor when the bill goes there. i think senator enzi said it correctly. senator bennet was one of the foremost superintendent of a major school system in this country.
this would be the precisely the policy that such a superintendent should try to enact in his own school system or even in a state board of education. it is inappropriate for a national law because it creates a national school board with very specific, very specific and complex standards. when we created -- i do not know if we have the title one plan. as a matter of eliminating all of our discussions about title 1, the biggest part -- right here. the biggest part of the federal elementary and education act is still ontitle one.
it has spent $15 billion or more even though the federal spending for public schools is only about 11% of the total. so we have if you are at the state level as i was you are always wondering why these guys are paying 11% of the bill making so many of the rules. it seems like they are making more than 11% of the rules of what we are supposed to do. while the draft has many it still has some provisions in it and that in effect creates a national school board. were we to pass the amendment with very specific performance targets, we would be putting back into the back door the adequate yearly progress provisions that we all agreed we would take out. the main purpose for fixing "no
child left behind" -- the first thing to do is to get washington out of the business of deciding whether local schools and local teachers are succeeding or failing. the draft does that with schools. it does not with teachers. i am going to have an amendment myself which i will offer and withdrawal as we continue in this spirit of highly qualified teachers. but as senator enzi, over the last 10 years, we have had a tremendous amount of progress in the states with the progress ought to be. we have had more than 40 states adopt higher common standards where we have had more than 40 states to adopt tests to those standards and where we have chief state school officers working together to adopt what is called an accountability system. if we also set performance
targets, we are setting for tennessee and kentucky and colorado the accountability systems that they ought to be setting for themselves. it sounds good to say that but in my experience, in a human nature, it does not work. which is why whether it is a teacher evaluation or highly qualified teachers or performance targets or achievement gaps or growth models, all of these are fine ideas. if i were superintending, i would want them in my school district. i would not want washington ordering me to do it. if washington does a regulation and then it more clearly defines what has to happen, and in the state has to do its title one plan which is this thing -- it took me about a month to get it. i do not know if anybody ever read it. it is done, sent in, and it is
peer-reviewed. so a state has to go through all of that in order to implement an amendment like this. so i would like for us to continue in the general direction of fixing "no child left behind" by moving in a different direction which is to recognize that these are terrific ideas but we do not want a national school board. that is my major opinion about the difference about the draft. this would take us in the wrong direction in my view. i would like to move and the other direction. i appreciate the expertise and the willingness to offered this amendment and withdraw it. i look forward to a chance to debate this when we get to the senate floor. >> thank you. any further debate on an amendment that is been withdrawn? if not, we will now turn to the
republican side if there are any amendments to title 1. >> are we going to wait for the senator to return before we conclude his amendment? >> yes. >> if no other republican seeks recognition, i would call up my amendment number two under title 1. >> number two. >> number two. mr. chairman, hopefully amendments are all around. this amendment would strike the overly prescriptive school improvement models for the lowest performing schools and leave the decision of what needs to happen in that school to the school district. let me be very specific here.
since we began this debate, we said that our attempt is to take the federal intervention out of education. and even though i disagree with focusing on the bottom 5%, because in every state the bottom 5% is something different, and more importantly, i do not think we have the answers on how to fix the bottom 5%, much less the middle 15%, i believe the school districts across this country better understand how to do that. for my colleagues, let me point to what this amendment strikes. it strikes the models in the bill. you are identified by your state as a low 5% school. you have three choices to adopt certain things. a transformation strategy.
point one. replace the principal if the principle has served in that role for more than two years. we are writing this into federal law. if you are in the bottom 5%, here is one of the things that you might have to do. or you might require additional staff or leadership to reapply to their positions. you could require all hiring be done through mutual consent. if a school district chose to do this, i am not sure i would have a problem with it. to write into federal statute, that under the transformation of that school they have to do one of these theories things to be recognized, i do not think that is right -- these three things to be recognized, i do not think that is right. one, if the principle has served
in the role for more than two years, replace the printable with a principal with a demonstrated record of success and student achievement. i would hope that school systems are attempting to do that every day in their system. but this is in federal statute. require the principal allowed to be to step the school with a turnaround team with individuals with demonstrated records and success which show include key leadership positions in the school in the case of a school that is an elementary school, not more than five teachers. for secondary school, not more than 20 teachers. or provide incentives for teachers to participate in the initiative. this has been sold as a massive change for federal intervention that many people express
concerns of in "no child left behind." when we are looking at a school with a horrible student achievement, it is easy to say and it is a knee-jerk reaction to say "fire the principal, fire the teachers." that may well be what is needed, but that must remain a local decision. if this language remains in the bill for those schools that are identified at the state level in the bottom 5%, this is no longer their choice. it is a requirement. i would urge my colleagues to support this amendment. >> mr. chairman? >> senator enzi. >> reluctantly, i oppose this amendment because we already had in federal law several strategies that had to be
accomplished. we have changed those and added more so there are more options for a school board to select from and would point out that the decision is made by the local school board. this is not done by the state. the state determines which of the 5% of the bottom schools in the whole state, but then the school board for that school, that district, then school gets to select the turnaround strategies, and they are the ones that see if it gets done. so, what i would prefer, i think, instead of striking these turnaround strategies is suggesting other strategies so maybe there are more options. >> will the ranking member except in modifications that would say "in addition to all of the strategies that of been listed in federal law or in this bill, that we add whatever
decision the school district decides?" >> i think that might be a bit broad but i think we might be able to work on a. [laughter] >> mr. chairman? this is an excellent discussion. i think senator burr may be onto something here with his exchange with senator enzi in a way of dealing with this bill. in the previous bill, it has six strategies for the bottom percentage of schools. the six is exactly what the senator just suggested, authorizing a six additional school turnaround model for the lowest to allow agencies to develop their own strategies and turn around the lowest performance schools.
that strategy would have to be approved by the education secretary but it would not be anything that the education secretary came up with. it would be north carolina or tennessee coming to the secretary saying that we have a strategy and he couldn't prove that. i suppose in a perfect world, i would not want any limits on it. but in exchange of getting rid of "adequate you the progress," whether they are succeeding or failing, in 95% of the cases, i agree that we can take 5000 schools and have an extraordinary federal intervention. and not everybody agrees with. that is what i agreed to. the alexander amendment number 5 does i think what i heard senator burr suggesting which is
to allow the state to propose its own turnaround model but it would have to be approved by the secretary. >> other discussions? >> i know why senator alexander liked the way the discussion was going because it went right to his amendment. >> i usually agree with myself. >> and you often do. [laughter] and it is an amendment that i am weighing very heavily because i think there is a number of ways to look at it. i note rural schools in my state -- i know that rural schools in my state have a problem with turnaround policies because they do not have enough principles or teachers to do many of these models. we have the whole school reform strategy that has been added to
the turnaround policies in this bill. to adopt a school reform program is based on at least a moderate level of evidence that the program will have a significant effect on student outcomes. i think that is perhaps sufficient. let me just bring up something that came up yesterday which is about, you know, we need to hear from superintendent, teachers, and principals. we did hear from the superintendent about this very thing. we heard in our hearings from joel kline who is a chancellor of the new york school system and he said the reason he likes these turnaround policies is that it gives him the authority as the superintendent, as the chancellor, to make the schools
do a policy that is effective. because there are schools that will not change. and we know that we have these drop-out factories that need to be changed. so, i look forward to the discussion on center alexander's amendment which is i think a better version of what senator burr rightly is trying for here. because i have seen rural schools and minnesota -- in new york city, you have access to a lot of principals and teachers and you do not in pine city, minn.. that is what i would like to add to this discussion. i think when you are talking to
is senator alexander's, and that is something i have been looking at very hard. >> mr. chairman, if i could respond. i think what mr. kline said was supplies and cover, the cover that they need to initiate some of the transformation. he did a wonderful job in those schools. we have had some wonderful superintendents. let me go to the whole school reform strategy very quickly. we do something in this we do not do and have never done in any of the models that are proposed here or in the statute to day. we say that including more than one well-designed experimental study. none of these other things that
we suggested are well implemented, experimental studies. so, i am not sure, even though i agree on the whole school reform strategy is a good addition, i am not sure who is going to be able to come up with one second half an experimental or quasi-experimental study that we want to use the whole school reform strategy. so i think they are going to efault them back to f iriniring principals or teachers whether that is the right decision or not to participate in the program. i do not think that is less of a federal intrusion into local education. if anything, it is the same or more from where we are today. >> senator bennet. >> senator, i appreciate it.
thinking about the school board meetings, this is a federal intrusion. but it is an important one. especially when this bill is retreating from the field as far as it is, this is the biggest federal retreat i think we have had in domestic policy in this country that i can remember. we are now focused on this question of the bottom 5% of schools. the senator said it is easy -- it is not easy. those are not easy decisions. those are decisions that are not made in local districts all over the country because it is a lot easier to let things go along. i have found a useful to visit schools and communities that i do not know at all -- chicago and los angeles.
to stand in a city that you do not know in a school where the children are being savaged, shackled to a place where they are getting no education at all, and to say that the federal government which is supplying roughly 10% of the fund should not be able to say that we ought to do something about the bottom 5%, i think mrs. the reality that our children are facing every single day in this country. we have given up in this bill over 95% of the school's. we are down at 5%, the worst of the worst. if you stand in one of those places -- and i know that the senator has. stand in one of those places and you cannot even tell where the downtown is from where you are standing. you are a fourth grader and sitting in that place and you are reading at a first grade level.
senator hayden and i did a press conference here with some other senators from a school here, and the secretary of education -- i went and visited classrooms after. children in this nation's capital, fourth graders were doing first grade math. here. and i do not even know if the school would be in the bottom 5%. we have held onto one small sliver of children that are utterly marooned in our society and have said you need to do something about it if you are going to take federal funds. the chairman has pointed out there is nothing that requires states and local governments to take local funds. they do not have to. but the idea that we would insist that the very bottom of the heap be dealt with, i think is not an overly intrusive
federal intervention. it was enormously useful to have the levers of "no child left behind" to begin the school reform that we started. i will tell you this. i do not want people in this town to tell me how to do my work. i do want them telling me that we have to do the work, that it is not acceptable that our children are shackled to the drop-out factories that they are shackled to. >> i would ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment because i think senator alexander will have one that i think has a chance of passing. [laughter] but i would like to make a comment directly to senator bennet.
we have talked a lot about where accountability should rest. even over the last 24 hours, we talked about accountability. we want districts and states to be accountable. i think, once again and this is us letting them off the hook. we are saying we are the only ones that can fix the bottom 5%. i will make a statement that maybe nobody agrees with me. i believe we do not have a plan to fix the bottom 5% of schools. if we pass this bill, i do not think there is a plan in here to fix the bottom 5% of schools. we have certainly put in this a lot of federal requirements for
school systems to adopt so that everybody that cares about this bill feels better, and our local accountability deflates further. i think what we ought to be doing is passing legislation that says you are on the hook. if you are a superintendent, you better fix your school system where you are going to lose your job. i think you need parents, elected officials, the business community that looks at the school system and sees it as a theater of economic development in the future, and if you have a system that is failing, you have a community that is on the slide down. unfortunately, to some degree, like "no child left behind," those that were passion about it all said this was going to fix it. we do not have to worry about anymore. we are less engaged at the local
level. we are creating this federal template where you have to make one of these choices. it might not fit the role of schools. i have the school systems that cannot recruit teachers right now. and if they do, they probably cannot afford them. so firing teachers is probably not the option that they are going to choose. if they are in the bottom 5%, they are probably going to choose something because they cannot get by without the money. therefore, they are going to adopt some of these. i would love to say how we are going to judge our success of this legislation and when we are going to come back and change it again. i would ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment. >> without objection, the center has the right to withdraw his amendment. let's go to a democrat.
do we have another amendment? we have done two in a row. we did? >> did we do two democrats? >> center isaacson offered his amended yesterday. -- senator isaacson offered his amendment yesterday. would the senator like to recap? >> we had a healthy debate yesterday until we were caught off. i would summarize by saying what this allows states to do is allow the assessment of special needs kids to be determined by the parents, the school, and
the teachers on an individual basis. i think it is been proven the difficulty of the special needs kids cost a lot of people to be assessed in such a way that was not in their best interest you got an e-mail last night from a group called the disability rights, education, and defense fund who have never come to my office. i never had a conversation with them. they did not come yesterday. the e-mail mentioned two points. one, either an alternative assessment based on academic achievement standards or an alternative assessment based on a modified academic achievement standards to any number and possibly all students with disabilities would be called by this amendment, allowing the parents, teachers, and the
system to determine the assessment of the individual child. it makes the determination by the parent, the teacher, and the school. so the threat that this lowers the academic standards for all students is wrong. secondly, the other-is deciding to assess students through an alternative assessment bars him or her from a challenging curriculum and an opportunity to achieve the skills necessary to be a full member of society. this amendment says nothing about the curriculum. senator bennet knows a lot better than i do, but you align your assessment with your curriculum. that should be determined as what is best but the parents, by the teachers, and by the school. this does not do anything to limit the rights of an individual with a disability. this empowers each one on an individual basis. we have already determined that these are special people.
the individual disabilities act is about special education. 40% more would be spent on a special needs child than a regular performing child. i do not think it is fair to lock them in to an assessment that is been proven to force them into a situation that is not the best way to assess. i do not want to put john the orbiter tom harkin as one who picks best, but i do think the parent, the teacher, and a school should be in that position. i think this is an important addition to empower the individual child with a disability to do the exact opposite of what this allegis, which in either case in my opinion is correct. i would appreciate the consideration of the committee and asked for a vote after the debate. > mr. chairman.
>> senator enzi, i appreciate concern isakson's putting this amendment forward. i think it is a really important consideration. i do think some of the and this is to go to some higher number has receded when we are no longer placing the same testing criteria before. what we have done with this bill is moving from looking at failing schools to try to look at kids that are not getting the education that they want. that is a huge change. before, there was a lot of emphasis that if one or two children did not do well on a test, they might fail aip and might be subject to other considerations. i appreciate that we got rid of
that over hanging over people's heads but we need to have the concern for the kids, that we make sure they are getting the education that they were promised. i do want to tighten up the aip even though that would be more federal dictation. i do not see the difficulty with the amendment before we had ayp. so i hope there is some consideration given to looking at this. again, i would hope that it could be tied in to some of the computer testing that is been talked about so we can get a more adequate test. that is what we need, more adequate tests for each child. >> i want to speak on this amendment we engaged in
yesterday's. this is an intense area of interest of mine. idea -- we have come a long way in our society in terms of how we view people with disabilities, at how we view what they can accomplish, what they can learn. i can remember i.d.e.a. when we passed it. i was in the house at the time. and we have come a long way in our thinking. and the involvement in making sure their kids with disabilities have a curriculum, a curriculum that challenges them to the highest levels, not too low expectations. we found, over the years, when kids were segregated out -- that
is what this is. this would be segregation. they are taken out of their classrooms. i have examples of young kids theynerar here where had friends but they are not with their friends in the classroom because they do not have classes with them any longer because they are specially assessed for a special curriculum. i can tell you in speaking with others,s, walgreen's, wal-mart and others that i've come to see me about hiring people with intellectual disabilities that there is a difference between those who have been given a curriculum that corresponds with the regular curriculum and their abilities and what they can do as opposed to those who were not. that they really can enter competitive, integrated employment.
so, that is why when you say you are going to set aside a certain number that will be specially assessed, have a different curriculum, there should be some rational basis for that. as i said yesterday, the reason that 1% was picked is because a survey was done about those who had such severe cognitive disabilities that it really was not able to get them the regular curriculum. the findings of the study was about 0.5%. ok, 1%. which is 10% of students with disabilities. that is 10% of students with disabilities. this amendment would make it much broader than that.
and it flies in the face of what we are doing in other parts of the bill. in this bill, we have put in here that we will have universal design curriculum. what does that mean? it means, for example, when my brother was segregated out and sent to a special school for the deaf, young kids today that are deaf and going to regular schools, maybe they cannot hear the teacher, but they can hear them. a blind student that cannot read, but they can hear the same curriculum. they can learn. and the same is true with people of other kinds of disabilities, whether physical or
intellectual disabilities. we have that here in the bill. it almost seems to me that we have always talked about teaching that the test is bad. we do not want to teach for the test. you are teaching to a test that has lower expectations. lower expectations. and id limits the opportunity of so many kids with disabilities. an easier curriculum is not the right answer. a segregated classroom is not the right answer. for the great bulk of kids with disabilities. i would just say that since yesterday we have received i do not know how many letters. i am told a 30-something letters that airport in in -- that have
poured in in opposition of this amendment. this is from those who actually teach special education. here is what they said. the amendment seeks to eliminate the cap on regulations. states would be allowed to administer different assessments, either an alternate assessment or a modified assessment based on modified academic achievement standards to any number of students with disabilities. the members believe that only a small number of students with disabilities need to take an alternate or modified assessment, and that once computer adapted assessments become widely available, there will be no need for a modified assessment as most students with
disabilities will have greater access to regular assessment based on regular academic achievement and standards. even those who are special education teachers are opposed to this. i would sum it up by saying what we need is as much integration as possible. we need curriculum and tests that are universally acceptable. not different. which is universally acceptable. universally accessible. when you say special education -- special education means the students need additional tools to learn. not different. i want to get this across as clear as possible. special education does not mean they need a different education.
they need additional tools, whether it is visual, hearing, or whatever it might be in order to take a regular curriculum. that is what special education is. i did not mean to go on so long, but i hope we can oppose this amendment and move ahead. >> can i just respond? i have deep respect for the chairmen's experience with special needs. the word segregation does not appear anywhere in here. i kind of resent the use of those words to make a point. i do understand your point however, that there is no limitation in this thing or application that it will be all students. it does lift the 2% waiver so there could be more. i admit to that. one of these days when alternative assessment can be delivered through high- technology like i referenced
yesterday, students with the cerebral palsy in many cases, take an exam through a computer rather than a paper and pencil test because of their particular disability allowing the parent, teacher, and the needs of the c. let me say one other thing. we need to empower everybody with a special need to be reaching the highest expectation possible, and nobody wants that more than the parent. the parent is key in terms of these decisions. the chairman knows that we do a lot in funding sheltered workshops which are alternative work environments to those with disabilities who can be meaningful parts of society. we have programs that against the focus on the special needs. this does not eliminate mainstream, a trickle. this is the parent, teacher, and child can make the determination of the best assessment for the child.
with all due respect to the ranking member, you are correct. we do away with but this bill has references to the achievement jacks because states will have to come up with a mechanism to report back to the parents of the transparency of the effective school testing. the issue is gone to be there. it will be measured against no longer adequately project, but as we accept as an alternative state measure. in georgia their application for a waiver will reflect the achievement based on 100%. the assessment is still going to be there and difficulties that came about and that all of us realize from the assessment under ayp for special kids' needs will still exist. i respectfully respect the
argument of the chairman. i disagree with that choice of words, and i would appreciate a vote on the amendments. >> i would like to speak in kson of the isaac amendment. as i thought the principals in my state, the complaint nonstop about no child left behind. fixing the ayp will be a step in the right direction. the number one complaint i hear, and there are plenty, they are being graded, and the teachers are being graded and told whether they are highly qualified or not qualified to be teachers. based on the scores of children that cannot confidently complete these tests. it does not have anything to do with integration. it has to do with testing. i met with six teachers in my
state recently, and a couple of them were special ed teachers. their organization may be mistaken in opposing this amendment, but if you take it around a special ed teachers, they will clap for an amendment like this that will change the process that they are stuck again. they resent being told they are not the teachers. these people care about their kids, care about as much as you do with kids with handicaps and disabilities, but are being judged -- they brought me a picture of a young boy with a vocabulary of three words, and they are told they should give him the world geography contest and then being told they are not good teachers. there are kids that cannot take these tests. these kids are not a percentage or a number. how do we know what percentage or the right percentage? why would we put a percentage in the bill and say only this percent? what if you happen to have 20
kids and half to 15% one year, and next year, when% sunproof 1%? you have to be closer to the problem. you have to be in that school. we cannot legislate how we should have testing and assessment for kids with disabilities. it is not that we do not care, but that we care enough that we know we do not know the answer here, and that the answer comes from parents and teachers, the ones who know this kids. if we do not fix this problem, this will be another example of how they will say we rushed to judgment on this, we did not adequately fix the problem, and special ed testing is a problem with no child left behind. if we do not fix it, we will hear from teachers, superintendents, and principles that we missed a chance here. >> we received 40 letters from teachers opposing this amendment and received a letter from the
national association of directors of special education opposing. we have had a good debate. i did not describe any that motives in the way, but say it is a different way of viewing how we do this. >> may i express my support for amendment.ackson's this is about testing. the whole objective of the senate education is to help each child reach his or her full potential, and in an ideal world every child would have an individualized education program. and the question is whether state tests are not designed for all children with disabilities, an individualized education programs are a better way to do it in my opinion. i support the amendment. >> the vote is on the amendment
>> no. >> no. [unintelligible] [applause] -- [laughter] >> no. >> the amendment is not agreed to. senator blumenthal? >> i have two amendments, and i want to thank you and the ranking member for the real opportunity and the historic step forward that this bill represents. my colleague from colorado described it as a retreat, and i know he meant to use that word in a different context, but the real retreat would be the failure to legislate and three
authorize the elementary and secondary education act, and i think the draft that you have proposed, albeit a work in progress, is a very significant step toward that goal. i want to first offer an amendment that i think service that goal, and i will offer and withdrawal 1-1. >> which amendment is it? >> the first amendment which i am offering, and then i want to say in all frankness i will withdraw it is 1-1, which deals with the problem of unfunded mandates that have been such a problem for our state and local education authorities. and, mr. chairman, i really applaud the goal of this bill to provide for quality assessments so our students can be more college and career ready.
one the central factor in achieving quality assessments at the state and local level is sufficient federal funding, and basically this amendment would guarantee that the federal government cover a minimal share of the cost of those assessments. i assumed -- i sued the federal government as a state attorney general because it failed to keep its promise and also comply with all -- with the law that mandates for assessment to be funded by the federal government. a man of would guarantee that the federal government keep its promise -- this amendment would guarantee that the federal comes with keep its promise for funding those quality assessments. i want to work with my colleagues on some of the details of guaranteeing that there be no unfunded mandates. some of those details relate to
specific appropriations level that is required the obligation or requirement, and i want to withdraw this amendment. this issue of unfunded mandate is a critical one, and i know it is shared by many of my colleagues, and certainly a lawsuit that i've brought against the federal government as attorney general released -- really struck a chord with tax paris, and it is and other press an area where we can work in a bipartisan way to achieve a resolution. i would like to offer secondly an amendment, which is 1-2. >> so the senator has withdrawn -- >> i have withdrawn the first one, and now we are on the second one. this amendment essentially
expand the opportunities for internships and apprentice ships on the job skilled training, so important to a dancing a career -- so important to advancing the career-ready goals. the bill has now included a provision that provides for opportunities for schools to provide for internships and skilled training. this amendment would provide opportunities for the school districts and local education agencies to engage the business community as well as secondary and post-secondary institutions to alleviate the current drought crisis in our schools, provide a more sustainable work force with technical schools, as well as core academic knowledge, and the innovation needed to help american businesses and workers succeed. as all the snow, at this table, there are a lot of businesses
and manufacturers that say every day as we travel around our state, they have job openings, the need people with the skills to fill those openings. and this amendment would expand the opportunities at the secondary level for internships and the princess ships so to provide that skilled training while in school, on the job, and provide those kinds of the central opportunities, and i asked for a voice vote. -- i ask for a voice vote. >> i do not like to say no to an idea, but we need to tighten the language to keep it from the required use of the funds. places great limitations on a lot of neighborhoods with the do not have work-force an employer- based opportunities, and the program would be unworkable in those areas. i would like to work with you as
a ghost of the floor to get something like this done. it fits in with the work force investment pact that we're trying to do some additional job training, and it is something that definitely needs to be done, and it is in this disadvantaged neighborhoods where it needs to be done the worst. we do not want to eliminate the other programs as we do this one. i would have to oppose it in its present form. >> i would be happy to work with the ranking member to clarify the language, but i think that there should be very strong incentives for the school districts to provide this kind of training. most of them would not need been sent as because most of them would welcome the opportunity for this kind of program, but i welcome the corporation of the ranking member's office. >> i would say that i am supportive of this.
i have seen this work in the private school sector. there is an organization where the judge not have done and worked incredibly well in terms of these kinds of internships and apprentice ships. i am supportive of this. i do not know about the requirement of using the money for that that requires them to provide internship opportunities for students. does anyone else have observations on this? >> maybe i could just ask senator blumenthal on this. is there anything in here that specifies how much of these funds be used for this purpose? if this were a requirement that they use federal funds for this purpose, do we specify how much?
>> there is no specific amount that is specified. >> does this amendment required them have -- provide work-based opportunities that may include internships, pre-apprentice programs, mentoring and other opportunities that provide a direct connection with business and industry? i'm not certain i know all the nuts and bolts about how the project works, but i think this is basically support this particular one. it is the business community that provides the funds for it, but i could be mistaken. i am not certain how that operates. i may have some agreement with the schools that the schools identify students that want to enter the apprenticeship programs or job-mentoring shattering, but i think the business provides the support for that. would that be the intention of
the senator's -- >> the intention is to provide a means for the school district of local education agencies to coordinate by these opportunities to have the resources and to use those resources so that employers can combine their resources. the employers by and large are who do the training. to provide these kinds of strong encouragements is important. >> my question is that the requirement is to provide work- based opportunities. that does not mean they need to provide funding for it? maybe personnel, may be some personnel or something? i do not know. it requires some personnel. to administer it. >> b a way to implement it, but
the point is to provide for the internships and apprenticeship programs that generally are sponsored and run by employers. >> senator white house? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to support the intention of the amendment. i helped with a mentor and job shuttle program when i was attorney general with a middle school in rhode island, and the difference with these kids was pronounced, but i share the ranking member's question about the extent to which this is a requirement versus an authorization, and i would look forward to working with the ranking member and senator bowen fall on trying to get that clarified and put me in a position to support this amendment, which is pointed in the right direction. >> i would be happy to work with all my colleagues going forward to clarify some of these questions. i think the point here is
stepping back. we know these programs work. we all know they are important, not just to the individuals involved, but the manufacturers and employers and to the future of our business community, and that is why these programs are supported by our business community, why they are supported by local education authorities, and what is necessary for expanding these opportunities is for the federal government to play the role of catalyst and provide the funds necessary to coordinate and start these efforts. somebody has to do it in a school district. there has to be someone there to mobilize and coordinate these programs. this kind of effort would provide those resources and would encourage, perhaps not
require, that the resources be used in that way. >> i would say to my friend from connecticut that i am much in favor of this. senator enzie has raised a point about different districts maybe not having the ability to do this. i asked the senator that maybe cut -- could i ask the senator to work with him and find in the language and we will try to work out a manager's demint when we go to the floor? i think we are mostly supportive of it. changing the language might work. >> i would welcome the opportunity, mr. chairman. and it is a good amendment and i would -- >> i will withdraw it. >> thank you very much, senator.
senator rakowski -- murkiowski? >> murkowski? >> i would like to offer my amendment to title i, which released a highly qualified teacher requirements as they might relate to alaskan natives, native hawaiians, or american indians. before i start off in describing this amendment as it is being passed around, i would like to drive the committee's attention to the fact that at no place
throughout this bill, or at least based on our reading of it, is there allowance for consultation with tribes or eligibility for grants to tribes. >i know senator bingaman has been looking at this, and as a member of the indian affairs committee, for many years now, as will look education issues, i am scared during through the bills to see how we are providing for our american indians, alaskan natives, hawaiians, and the consultation to that process. it is an omission that i think needs to be taken up. i do not have an amendment to that effect generally that will allow for a level of competition, but it is something
i would like to the need to be thinking of as to how we should possibly provide for that and provide for a correction of there. as it relates to my amendment that you have in front of you, i think those of us who come from various where we have made americans, tribes, allow that still speak their indigenous language, this is something that we want to try to continue. the fact of the matter is that these native languages are dying out at an astonishing rate. and when a language dies, a lot of the culture goes along with it. in alaska out we had made some pretty remarkable gains in some of our schools, whether it is within a certain area teaching our children or exposing our
children that language. we have got programs provide for instruction and another -- in other languages. i was down in juneau, alaska, last week and visiting several questions at the elementary level where the students are very engaged in their traditional languages, and you can see the thrill in being part of these classrooms where they have an exposure to that. in the particular question in an elder, andhere is this grandmother is not a qualified teacher, but the she land incredible value to the program as she works with these young people. it is something that as we look
to the provisions that we put in law and require of our teachers -- i want all our teachers to be the best they possibly can, but i also recognize you have situations where you will not have an elder who has the gift of that language going off and getting the credentials necessary to be a highly qualified teacher. i am proposing in this amendment that would codify u.s. department of education guidelines that native american teachers of american indian, alaskan native, or native hawaiian languages do not have to be highly qualified teachers and that if these teachers have made history and culture are serving as a guest lecturer, as part-time teachers, that they not have to meet these requirements. the states could require that
the upper creek tribes certified the credentials of the native teacher. that is how we handle it in alaska, but the reason why we have to address this is right now in many of the state's they classified native languages as foreign languages, which i find a little bit ironic. there is nothing for and about an indigenous language, but that is how our process exists right now, and therefore, they are required to meet a highly qualified standards. what this amendment does is it does not mandate the teaching of native language, culture history. it shows respect for our first peoples, shows respect for the elders who wish to carry on that language, carry on that culture to the young people. i think it makes it easier for the few remaining needed
americans who are speaking their language to really help the children with ensuring that this language does not die. it is a pretty direct thing, and hopefully we can all see fit to provide support so we can continue these the programs within our schools. >> mr. chairman? >> on this, i think it is an excellent amendment, and support it. i congratulate the senator for offering the amendment. >> i want to speak in support of the amendment. this is one of the problems that when you see a problem that applies to one particular group, your next question should be, i wonder if there are other people who have the same problem? i would say special ad is the albert problem, that we are judging the special ed teachers under this program and judging them under the same program as
kids in level one class is taught taking calculus 2. it is a much different subject and should not be treated the same. we have an amendment that will accept a special education from a highly qualified program as well. they resent how they are being judged and this, and really in order to judge -- it is hard to tell whether someone is a good teacher or not. i do not think i can tell from washington whether a teacher in bowling green -- there are a few good ones who have taught my kids from my personal experience with them, but i am not sure i would feel confident to judge this teachers on how good they are, even though i was a parent. i would have had to have been in the classroom and watch what they have done. to dictate from washington who is a good teacher is an impossible task and is rife with problems. when we are making things universal, describing who is a good teacher, that is a mistake to do that from washington.
i agree with carving out a particular problem alaska and hawaii, this is the problem of having universal doctrine for judging who is and who is not a good teacher. it cannot be done from washington. i hope the committee will consider its amendment, but also consider there is a better problem and this. this is a particular problem. the bigger problem is special ed, no matter what the special ed group may say, i guarantee you the special ed teachers do not like the tahlequah if i teacher aspect and the way we are administering it. >> i want to comment on this, but i do not want my remarks to appear that i am agreeing with horrified teacher requirement for special ed. we have some tribes in wyoming, and i know the kids refer to a couple of teachers as grandpa and grandma, and they are teaching very specialized things that probably nobody who has been to the whole education
process could cover in the school. we want them to be able to continue to do that. i would ask that some of the ice that senator murkowski -- that senator rakowski would hold on this a minute. there are others of the same sort of thing, and then all of the special ones could be mentioned in the report the language is referring to that, so we could have there is a need for some other comprehensive basis of exemptions under this as well. if you did not feel then that it had been covered then we can come back to it, if that would be acceptable. i do not have a problem with the amendment. >> i do not know what the other categories may be. senator paul has mentioned
special ed. i do not know if there other things that i would agree or disagree with. i know for alaskans -- and i know that wyoming certainly has tribes and their two you have -- and there too you're looking for -- want to make sure we are allowing for this to continue, because i think otherwise, not only do we lose good people who are really anxious to encourage a curiosity in young people that you just are not going to find if we send in somebody from another state to teach you about your culture, your heritage. i want to make sure that we are able to provide for just exactly this type of a continuation.
if i have got the assurance that we will be able to do that, i am willing to hold off for the interim, but i am not quite sure where we might be going with it. >> i would ask the chairman if we do not consider a comprehensive approach, that we come back with the amendment. it is covered under the other amendments where we a include other opportunities and she is satisfied, then we would not come back it. >> i must say that this amendment does bother me. why should we expect less and relax expectations for native students and we do not for non- native students? i think we are on a slippery slope here on this highly qualified teachers thing. it was a someone coming in, i
would say from my friend to alaska, someone coming in to teach their culture or to teach their language, that is fine kamal bout once we get into history -- that is fine, but once we get into history, i wonder how brightly we're coming from. we have good data to show that native tribes, alaskan or other places in delaware state's -- in the the worst day, -- in the lower states, they have some of the best achievements, and many highly qualified teachers. once we start relaxing that, i do not know what we're saying to them, that somehow we do not need a highly qualified teachers. they need more highly qualified teachers. i do not know if it was something dealing with a culture or a language that is unique to that tribe, i could understand that, but once it starts
spilling over into other things, i have some real problems with that. senator franken? >> i support this amendment, and it is something that the tribes in minnesota -- i have seen a transformation just in minnesota. some of the tribes through drumming or singing in the native language that is unbelievably beautiful and unbelievably transforming of the kids. i think -- i know the tribes in minnesota support this, and i do, too. whether we revisit it later, i would certainly support whatever the senator from alaska wants to do. >> i agree with senator frank and. -- senator franken.
>> i also agree. >> if i may speak to your comments, because i certainly do not want to accept lower standards for alaskan native children or any of alaska's's children or any of our kids, but i think we are talking about two different things. for instance, in alaska, most of the native languages were not recorded languages. these are languages that are conveyed orally. the last speaker of a language by two years ago. there is no more. it is gone. when we talk about the extension of the language and culture that comes with it, it is a livingisoral history -- living, oral history so often, and it is
not a situation where we are going to require that an elder, one of the last remaining elders who may speak a language, and indigenously which, as going to have to go out and get a teacher certification in order to come into the schools to teach that language, that language that may be considered a foreign language by those of us in washington, d.c., but then she would be able to share the culture, the singing, dancing, the history that she or he has lived. it is that sharing of the culture. when it comes to those academic standards that you and i expect our kids to know, the reading, the right thing, the arithmetic, we're not asking for relaxation of standards. we're asking for when it comes to an individual who is part of the classroom, who is teaching
in the native language, who is sharing that made history, that that's not what i have to meet a requirement -- that that not ought to have to meet a requirement that we make here in washington, d.c. i hear the ranking member's concern here about holding off. it seems to me the easier thing to do would be to incorporate this now, a vote for it, incorporate it, and then if -ons, thenattaddpo there will be add-ons. >> those in favor say aye. >> aye. >> the ayes have it. >> mr. chairman, i have three amendments, and the first
amendment that i want to offer is the extending the day -- >> could i ask the senator to withhold for a couple of minutes while we have a short conference here. i would just ask the indulgence of the committee for a couple, three minutes. >> a bathroom break? >> we will be back in five minutes. >> we will bring you more of the senate committee markup session in just a moment. a national staff writer with
"the washington post." why does the senate want to change all? >> when it was connected, it was an unprecedented reach into education by the federal government. this was a bipartisan plan that was championed by president bush, and the late senator kennedy. they argued that states that get federal money ought to be held accountable for results. for the first time, states were required to test their kids, to set performance targets, and work every year to meet those goals. and then nine years since, schools, states, teachers -- they have complained that goals are unrealistic and that the sanctions, if they do not meet those goals, were franconian. there was a lot pressure on congress to change the law. >> what has the committee accomplished this week? >> it represents a serious
retrenchment of the federal government in classrooms. no longer will states have to set achievement targets. they will have to test them every year, but will not have goals for achievement. they do not have to meet any goals, will not face penalties if the kids are not learning educators think they should be learning. also, there is no question cordially, senator harkin wanted some kind of teacher evaluation measure in there. he wanted to be able to tell good teachers from that teachers and require the states to somehow measured their achievement. that has been wiped out of there as well. worst- of the country's performing schools will face some kind of federal oversight. they did leave 5%, the list of -- the lowerst of the lows --
but 45%, the government is hands-off. >> the obama administration had it into a different direction. >> this law should have been reauthorized four years ago and congress did not act, and there's is this pressure building up from the states, saying we cannot work with this law, help us. obama directed arne duncan to issue waivers, to relieve them. today we have 39 states, and puerto rico and the district of columbia have indicated they want waivers, they want out. the administration moved ahead with that and that will cut the senate. they decided they did not want to be on the sidelines, did not want the administration rewriting the law, said that is
why we saw all this action al;l of a sudden. >> how likely is this to be approved this session? >> i cannot predict these things because it is hard to that. over on the house side, the republican leadership has wanted to do reform of this law in a piecemeal fashion. they have three bills they got out committee. only one of them passed the house floor. i do not know how committed they are on taking on a comprehensive rewrite. we will have to see what conference -- we will have to see what happens in conference if this gets to the floor. >> you can read the reporter's washingtonpost.com. >> i wanted to give back to the senate committee session.
this portion is about two hours, 20 minutes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the senate committee on health, education, and pensions will come back order. i would like to thank the senator for north carolina for withholding, and will recognize her to continue her discussion. i would like to inform all senators that senator enzie and i have reached an agreement to accommodate some concerns expressed by the senator from kentucky in exchange for his agreement to drop objections to the committee meeting throughout the day. we have agreed to convene an
additional hearing on the bill after the bill as reported of the committee, but before we go to the floor. we will work to schedule this meeting on november 8. accordingly, the senators should plan their schedules that should allow them to be here today throughout the day today and tomorrow as needed so we can attempt to complete work on the bill this week. i want to thank the senator from kentucky for working with us. i am confident as this bill moves forward we can continue to improve it and to continue to work toward a final bill that does better from our kids. i think the senator from kentucky. -- i thank the senator from kentucky. would the senator from north carolina withhold and yield? >> i was going to suggest that. >> mr. chairman, thank you. thank you to the senator from north carolina, the senator from
maryland. every senator is busy. a procedure, station on that. that we say before i offer my amendment that i want to thank senator harkin and senator enzie who has been working so hard to put together a bipartisan bill. i'm here so that we can move forward to a conclusion on this bill. many of this worker when we had no child left behind in 2001, and we did with a great deal of hope that the possibility and -- that the schools need it would be there for them. in the last 10 years, we've talked to parents and teachers and principals and superintendents that a lot of the testing and punishment materialize almost immediately, and the research supported that what we were doing was not fair. i commend you for putting together this bill. it really does a lot to help fix what is wrong, maintains the
high standards that is so important, but it gives our districts the tools and flexibility is that they need so they can offer our students with the beat. i was proud to work to include the comprehensive literacy program based on might learn act to make sure that no student falls through the cracks had to work to make sure we could for the first time a strong high school reform program to help give our students in high school a path forward toward a career. i wanted that a staffer working with us on the homeless children provisions. it is something i have worked on a long time that i am very proud of it. i want to thank senator nancy for working with me on those provisions on the important changes, so we can reinforce and expand key provisions. finally i want to say this bill preserves collective bargaining rights. i want to say there is no
specific protection in the other titles, and there are minimal protections, as a concern i have. >> i want to say to my colleague, we have to manage the provisions built on the floor. i said to my colleagues i will help maintain a quorum and i will be back for final passage. if you need me, i have another tv station i need to be in. >> i eighth thank the senator from maryland. i would like to call an amendment that addresses this the of the gap and reporting system in this bill. >> do we have that passed out? >> let me say that this legislation requires reporting of academic achievements various groups of at-risk students, but the date is required to be
reported in such a way that we cannot look forward -- further into it to get important information that we need to. on the surface it looks like a technical issue, but it has a lot consequences for a lot of our students. we know the act of gathering information, pulling facts out of the dark, has helped drive critical policy changes to make sure we have equity in this country. currently last tabulated data has allowed for generalizations and oversight of occasions with regard to differences in achievement among students which has led to problems being -- what this amendment does is to make sure that the data is reported in a way that will better illustrate progress in areas that need increased support. it is not want to add reporting requirements that are burdensome to the schools collecting that
data, and that that would not be reported in a group that is so small to protect stood privacy. the amendment makes sure school improvements and community efforts are driven by the death, not by stereotypes. -- by data, not by stereotypes. we want to make sure that every student in america gets the research is that they need. >> i think the senator, and have a couple questions on this. as i understand it, right now under current law, one can only see the achievement of female students and african-american students, but this would show what the subgroups, like
african-american female stands, african-american male students. >>, it does not require his sisters do any more. we want to be able that analyze the data of the subgroups. >> who would this thing that be released to and what level of information would be given? >> this would be released to the states so that this would report it to the states. -- said that districts would report it to the states. the information would be on the state report card. >> so the state would have to aggregate for all the schools across the tabulation -- the cross-tabulation? with that not require them that
the same computer programs statewide for their data? would it? >> they already have the data. it would be running the numbers differently, so i cannot imagine it would change any of their technical requirements whatsoever. >> i am not sure in what form the districts report the numbers to the state, if they report it electronically. electronic late, it could be reported cross-tabulated. >> it would just appear on the report card. >> across tabulated data is not
used for accountability of only four transparency? >> that is correct. just to make sure we did not make any assumptions or states or districts did not make assumptions based on oversimplification. >> i would be supportive of that amendment in that regard. any other -- >> if i am not mistaken, the adequate yearly progress -- let me take that back. the current reporting requirements requires reporting on tests in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school up to a dozen categories, said that as 84 datapoint per year that are required to be reported.
how many more is this, than 84? >> i do not have the number for you. >> i am wondering how complicated we want to make this reporting. i think it is important to remember that we have one of the thousand public schools and 50 million students, and every time we add a little or carmen here, it affects millions -- we add a little requirement here, it affects millions. efface tha-- if a local school board thought this is a good idea, they would be free to do it. there is nothing that keeps them from doing it. i am wondering if this does not run into overkill to say we can think of an infant that a small number of ways to report --
infinitesimal number of ways to report this information. >> we're talking about computers that analyzed numbers within nanoseconds. it is simply making sure that we are looking at the correct information. you express a concern about the impact of knowing too much. i would say the impact of not knowing enough can be detrimental to a subgroup, as the senator suggested, of female african-american students being lumped into categories. it provides information, not requires anything. it make sure that people make good decisions about what they are doing based on adequate information. that is all that it does. >> i am informed that schools already have this data. >> correct. >> it is just needing to be cross-tabulated.
>> a question to senator murray. we have some pretty small districts, the be in size, but the numbers are very, very small, and so in many of them, the level of data collection is very minimal. the question i have is, what impact, and typically from a cost perspective, in these very small districts, where the schools may be so small that there is no requirement for collection of that data. >> the schools already collect this data. this is confirmation that this checks already report to the states. this simply make sure that it is reported in a way that it allows for analysis of the results. >> they are not required to report because of their size.
you do not see any additional expense coming to the districts? >> i do not. >> of the problems we run into in small distance if you aggregate it enough you know exactly which child it is. >> this is information that is already collected. >> yes, about -- >> but it is not reported as too small data to be correctly analyzed. >> once had a requirement in wyoming with voters that you had to be a property owner to put your ballot in this box and a non-property owner to put your ballot in this box. in one of our voting districts, there was only one person who was a property owner, said they always knew how that person
voted. that is what i am worried about in this education thing. >> i understand that. that is not who we are impacting. we are trying to make sure that information that is collected is used correctly, and i think every one of us wants to make sure that happens so we do not have students that are not getting the correct analysis. >> any further discussion to all those in favor of the amendment say aye. opposed, nay. the ayes appear to havef it. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. >> senator, you have a title i? >> senator, i have a commitment
to title i, i would like to offer it, discuss it, and withdraw it, because it is an important amendment. let me just say that i especially appreciate the decision of chairman harkin, senator enzie, and the senator from kentucky to move ahead with discussion today. i think we are having a terrific discussion on these amendments here, and it is the kind of thing we should be doing, and i think the hearing will be useful, and i hope what this leads us to when we get to the floor is a consensus among senators that we might get in a situation that we have -- go to the floor and allow all relevant amendments to be considered and debated and have time limits and debate.od-fu, full
that would be a nice thing to do in the united states senate. there is no reason we should not be able to do that. i plan to offer this as well as other amendments in committee and not vote on them today, but with the expectation that there will be a full opportunity to debate it on the floor. my amendment would eliminate the federal highly qualified teachers definition and requirements in favor of state determination for certification and licensure for teachers and in favor of a teacher evaluation and principal evaluation system related to student achievement, which the harkin-and sea traffic encourages with several new provisions. i would like to talk about both at once. we just talked about reporting requirements. the principal contribution of no
child left behind is reporting requirements. it has caused us to see if in any school we're leaving a few kids behind, while the average is look good for the school, their kids that are not making it. that is an advantage, and the secretary as he looks ahead and take advantage of the other provisions in this harkin-enzie track record -- that encourages a secretary's report card. it gives the secretary an opportunity to take all this information we have and travel around the country and use the bully pulpit, in louisville, national, chicago, this is good, this is bad, and that is proper role of u.s. education secretary as opposed to giving orders from washington about what the governor and the school superintendents' should do. governor and school superintendent should do.
while the reporting requirements are kept here and improved here in this draft and the secretary report card will be a much more valuable asset, in general, the draft says, for 95% of our 100,000 schools, we will get washington out of the business of deciding which schools are succeeding or failing. one reason we can do that is because of the success of "no child left behind" over the last nine years and the work that has been done in the states, some of the encouragement of "no child left behind." examples -- most states now have accepted and worked out among themselves, and academic standards, which are higher standards. most states have worked out tests to those standards. there are two groups of those. we did not decide that year. they figure that out. the chief school officers are
working out what they call accountability systems. they say that if you want to have a growth model -- in other words, if you want to give the school an a-plus for improvement as well as for achievement, that is a great idea. but the states are working that out for themselves. if you want to notice that some groups of students are achieving more than other groups of students, that is a terrific thing to do, but states are working that out themselves. but if you want to determine whether schools are succeeding or failing, this legislation says in 95% of the cases -- that is 95,000 schools -- states and school districts will work that out themselves. it is their idea, not just our idea. what this amendment would do is complete the work and say, "we are not only going to decide from washington which schools are succeeding or failing, we are now going to decide which
teachers are succeeding or failing." states can do that. we will create an environment in which it is more likely they will adopt evaluation systems related to student achievement, which i regard as the holy grail of public education. the highly qualified teacher provision affects about 75% of our 3.2 million teachers. saying we are supposed to reach that standard by 2006 and all new teachers had to meet it there on. all of our teachers are open " highly qualified." 75% of them. but that has created some unusual problems, especially in special education. in special education, maybe 10%, 11%, 12% of our 50 million children. that is a lot of kids in this country. the way it works is a special-
education teacher who is teaching the students not only must be good at teaching special-education. if she teaches in the middle school, she must also help those children learn math and reading and science. that is required by our test. in order to do that under the federal rules, she has to have a bachelor's degree, hold 82 slices, the separately certified as a special-education teacher and either have graduated with a degree in one of the subjects or pass a rigorous state test. that makes it hard to find special-education teachers for these students who especially need help. there's not any real evidence that a highly qualified teacher ordered from washington is not any good. it is taken up a lot of time. it has been complicated, but student achievement has not gone up, and that is probably the clearest indication of that.
i think it is time for us to recognize that we need to move on from the highly qualified teacher requirement to federal encouragement of a principal teacher evaluation system, and the amendment as it in three ways, and then i will stop. i am no -- dino i am going a little bit long -- i know i am going a little longer. states may use money to design and implement a teacher/principal evaluation system that is related to student achievement. and this is a lot of money. $2.5 billion. it is about $660 a teacher. that is quite a bit of money. secretary duncan says, and i agree, it is the biggest waste of money in the federal education program because we
have ordered states to do professional development, so they are doing it, and they are lousy programs by a large. they are wasting money or in half the cases, they are using it to reduce class size. if i were a governor of tennessee, i would take the $660 per teacher and use it to design and implement a teacher evaluation program and use some of the money to reward outstanding teachers. teachers 10-month and 11-month contracts. i do not think we should order that from here because you might not want to do it in iowa or wyoming or other places, but that is the way i would be it. states have the option of using a lot of money to design and implement, and they are encouraged to do it appeared the second thing, the teacher incentive. these committees were put in a few years ago. they have big grants to cities to design programs to see if they can find for ways to reward outstanding teaching.
that is really hard to do. sounds easy. it is really hard. i spent a year and a half as a governor trying to do it. i was in a brawl with the education association. we had 10,000 teachers who voluntarily went up a career ladder. after i left, they killed it. but it needs to be done. there has been at a lot of progress, both by the nea and american federation of teachers, but it is best done when teachers by in and communities decide they want to reward outstanding teaching. the teacher incentive fund had $400 million in it. it has been beefed up to more directly affect teacher evaluation, and as we go through the process, if we can find more money to put in, i would be for that you're finally, raced to the top. not everybody on my side supports that. i do. secretary duncan is included --
has included the teacher evaluation. we have $2.5 billion on title two money that may be used. we had teacher incentive grants that are a good carrot. we have raced to the top that are good carrot. i believe may be one of them significant aspects of this legislation over the last five years would be to create an environment in which states and school districts can move ahead with a holy grail of public education, which is creating their ways to identify and reward outstanding teaching and school leadership. in order to do that, i think we need to get rid of the highly qualified teacher requirement. it is obsolete. move toward the evaluation systems as provided. this is the amendment i would like to offer when we get to the floor, but i am glad to withdraw it. >thank you for your patience and listening. >> i am sorry. i was not commenting on sarah
alexander. i wanted to make an amendment. >> i want to make a quick, in support of the amendment. i would encourage senator alexander to simply have a vote now because i think we should be on record as to whether or not we agree with centralized control of aspects of education or federal or state control. i think in every aspect, that is where "no child left behind" is failing us. too much federal control. this is sending stock back to the states. i would encourage him, let's have a vote now because it is important to be on record. folks in the room who think they are supportive of teachers will hear from teachers if they vote against things like this. i guarantee you -- the teachers, 90% of them, will say we should get rid of the federal highly qualified teacher definition and do it at the state level. you will not see any objection. i say put everybody on record and vote on it. >> i thank the senator for his
suggestion. i have had my share of symbolic defeat before, and i am not looking forward to another one now. i think we have a better chance of making our position is clear, and i would be glad to work with him between now and the time to get to the floor, and i think we have a fairly good chance of winning this amendment on the floor. several senators have taken amendments that are important and withdrawn them, and i am willing to withdraw this, but i fully intend to pursue it on the floor and i expect to be allowed to make the amendment on the floor when we get there. i appreciate the suggestion and look forward to working with him when we get to the floor. >> i would say to my friend from tennessee that a lot of what i heard him say i agree with. some of it i do not. but there is a lot in what he said that i do agree with it. the use of type two monies -- i felt a lot of it has been wasted in the past year as far as highly qualified teachers, i
would much rather have a highly effective teacher. less than how much somebody knows, it matters how much they can get across. we should go to a better teacher and principal evaluation system to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers. some compromises were handed out on that also. some i agree with, some i do not. i think this is something we might be able to work on as we move ahead. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have three amendments. the first one i would like to bring forward is the title 1 amendment 1. i wanted to speak about it for a few minutes, and then i do plan on withdrawing it. this has to do with extended learning times, specifically targeted for those low- performing schools. i think that the calendars --
the calendar we have in our country today is extremely antiquated and out of date with the rest of the world. students in the united states spend much less time in school than students in most other industrialized nations. if you look at the days in school, right now, we are at 180 days. most other schools are at 240 days. if you think about the time the students spend in school on average, students in other countries spend another year or two years more in grades one through 12 and our students do. i think what this amendment would have done is it would have expanded the learning time program that would really take huge steps toward ensuring the students in america would receive an education that would prepare them for success in careers and in college. i am disappointed that we are
not going to vote on this, but i did want to mention the -- mention that to this committee, that this is a way we need to look at to really make an impact on those low-performing students, to help them with really good programs that would prepare them for careers. i would like to withdraw that amendment, mr. chairman. >> i thank you, senator. i agree with the senator that having an agricultural calendar in information age does not make much sense. i do think that we need to extend the learning time. i see that different elements around the country. i see the mayor of chicago is moving to longer school days, and we need to also. >> i will be glad to bring this amendment back. >> let's work on -- as i say, i think we are going to have a good strategy here for relevant
amendments. this is absolutely a relevant amendment. i would like to work with the senator as we move ahead. >> we are competing on an international basis now. where we stand in science and math and technology and reading, we are falling behind, and we continue to fall behind. we all have 365 days in our year, like the rest of the world, so i think we need to seriously look at an amendment like this. >> my own view on that is i have felt all along that we basically should do like the european model, an 11-month school year, with one month off in august inappropriate holy days and holiday breaks during the year. to me, that ought to be the school calendar, but that is just my own view. >> mr. chairman, earlier, i said that i was hoping people would come up with a turnaround model.
on this one, one of the difficulties i have is in those areas, in those schools, part of the reason they are failing is the kids do not come to school for the number of days they are supposed to now. we add extra days, they just drop out. i do not know much about that, but i hope we can get additional information in regard to that. these might be the worst areas to extend the school time, but have some extra incentive for the kids to be there, during the year when they could be learning. i got in a lot of trouble in wyoming once because we spent -- and this was many years ago. we were spending $7,000 a student. i suggest that what we ought to do is charged every kid $7,000 tuition to go to school and give them a full ride scholarship provided they showed up, did their homework, and did not disrupt the classroom.
i got beat to death on it, and i still do not think it is too bad an idea. if a parent showed up and sat in the classroom a day they were gone. that was a missed date. i had a number of exceptions to that, but it would not have been a good turn around model. >> i do think you bring up a good point. part of this amendment is that we need to be sure that we have quality time in these extended learning programs with quality programs, quality instruction that really would keep the students' interest and, i think, the beneficial in the long run not only for individual students in the school system's but the states as well. now, mr. chairman, i would like to -- i did neglect to say that i appreciate all the hard work that the chairmen and ranking member have put into this bill and into this market up, and i appreciate the efforts of both of you.
so thank you. i had a second amendment i would like to discuss. this is about low-performing schools receiving grant funding when they are looking at one of six strategies for turning around their schools. this discusses the replacement of the principles -- principals. we have all been in schools, and we know when we see a good principal. you can see it in the school and in the students. when we look at consistently low performing schools, it does not do us any good to replace one ineffective leader with another ineffective leader. this amendment supports foster programs that will train school
leaders. what this amendment does is ensures that when a school districts elects a turnaround strategy that requires them to replace their principal, then the new principle has to either have been demonstrated record of success or training and experience in turning around low performing schools. i think we all know that every school needs a great leader, and i understand that this has been cleared, and i would just ask for a voice vote. >> i would say that i agree with the senator. i think research has shown that a good principal is one of the most important in of the most important ingredient. i have seen that myself. i have seen schools that were just low-achieving, disruptive schools, -- disruptive students, a lot of truancy.
they were turned around in a couple of years. when a school district replaces a principal in a struggling schools, to replace it with one that has a record of effectiveness or specialized training. is that the intent of the amendment? >> yes. be sure that the new principal has been trained in turning around the school or has succeeded in doing so before. there's a school in north carolina that has consistently been a very low-performing schools. this last year, i took an opportunity and spent about a day at the school with the new principal. the difference is night and day. i believe this principal is the one who just won a principal of the year award in north carolina. to see the academic achievement and success of the students in school, with an effective principal coming in for the turnaround, it is remarkable.
>> i am trying to understand why we need to tell the people in high of one or minoxidil or national that they ought to replace a bad principal with a good one. do we assume they not know that? if they elect to get rid of a principal in a bad school, they are electing to do that. do we think they will deliberately go out and get somebody who does not know what to do? >> we would hope not. >> who is going to decide whether they made the right decision or not? will they have to come and ask secretary duncan whether this person meets the criteria that we have just discussed, or does that need to be considered by the education committee or some people in the education department in washington? why don't we leave that to their decision? >> i want to clarify one point. this only pertains to the turn around schools. >> that is what i mean. we are talking about the 5% of
the schools. they are the lowest performing. they have five options to select -- the local school district does or the state does, and they say they are going to pick the one that fires the principal and limit who you can hire. what if they are in a row or remote area, and they cannot find anyone who has had success in turning around a school? they just get the best person in town who has other good criteria with a mine in the judgment be the best person but might not meet the federal definition? >> this amendment also sets aside funds for the improvement of principal performance from a trading perspective to help build up that cutcherry of principles that could be deemed -- have training and be effective. >> is in the definition that the person has to have some
experience? >> experience and/or training towards that regard, towards turning around a low-performing schools. i know sometimes you will not find the when you can pull from a school that has been successful, so we have to have the training component. >> what if you might have had a returning general from the army to a small town and bought him or her in instead. that might be the smartest thing they could do, but he would not fit the federal definition -- it is hard for me to imagine why we should go that far in defining what local people ought to do. that is my objection. >> i also understand that senators have an amendment they may be offering, which is designed to address the shortage of skilled principles -- principals in high-need schools.
>> thank you. it is - standing that senator alexander raised a very good point, that there is a difference between rural districts and urban -- it is my understanding. the second thing is this goes back to the discussion i was having earlier today, which is it is one thing to have a well- intended policy in washington. it is another thing to execute on that. everybody should understand that we do not have the capacity in this country right now to do the work well, and that is why i think this amendment is so
important around a question of school leadership. principals have been ignored. we spent a lot of time with teachers. i used to say that the instructional reform spending which senator alexander would recognize that we engaged in in denver were breathtaking in their lack of the originality because we were stealing these ideas from everywhere are around the country, but the one thing we did that was different was that i started virtually every single day that i was superintended meeting with a group of 15 of our principals in their schools, so that every three weeks, i saw every principal in the school district for two hours literally, and then we started again and again and again. in the four years i was there, i think i missed two of those meetings, and it had a huge effect. in one year, the union survey asked the question of our teachers, "my principal respects
me as a professional and engages me in the building" with from 37% yes to over 70% yes, and it has continued. at this point, the superintendent, if he left, the principals would just carry the work on. we have given him autonomy to make decisions, so i strongly support this amendment, but also the rest of the work that has been done to lift up the principal and understand that without the leadership capacity, we will not get this work done. with this, you can make a profound difference in the way schools work. superintendents, just like this committee, cannot order people to do anything they do not want to do. it is a cultural issue, but a principal that can lead can make
all the difference in the world. >> thank you. >> on lines 13 and 14 and 21 and 22, it has the words about experience. do you know what that limitation is? do you know what the experience described is? >> programs such as new leaders for new schools. >> i guess what i am trying to get at is this says demonstrate a record, training, or experience described in that clause, which seems to be giving a lot of flexibility to the system in terms of how they qualify.
>> on the amendment by senator hagen. ayes appear to have it. the ayes have it. a republican. >> i have one more minute, sir. >> i am sorry. finish the amendment. [inaudible] senator paul. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. i have an amendment that is directed to all titles. it is repeal of "no child left behind."
while i know i'm not be able to get together a majority on this and there may be some symbolism to this, i think it is important that when a law has 37 states that have asked for waivers, d.c., and puerto rico, there's something wrong with it. i would like to give people in the committee an opportunity to vote for repeal in "no child left behind." there is a significant coalition of people who think we made a mistake. i know we have people who are well intentioned with trying to fix education. the national education association says this bill, while probably improving something, still relies heavily on outcomes of test scores, prescribes top-down models of turnarounds, takes away teachers' rights to have a voice in their own evaluation system. heritage, a conservative organization, says while local school districts are crying out for more freedom from federal red tape and to have their
educational decision making authority restored, the proposal further empowers the u.s. department of education, while weakening schools' direct accountability to parents and teachers. former assistant secretary of education under the esteemed senator from tennessee was a big proponent of "no child left behind," as were many republicans who have now seen some of the problems that came about from it. you have a strange coalition here. conservatives, liberals, democrats, teachers all saying there are big problems -- not little problems, but big problems -- with "no child left behind." she has written a book called "the death and life of the great american school system" and talks about how testing is undermining our school system. she believes "no child left behind" has dumbed down the curriculum, narrowed it. our kids are being denied a full education because so much time spent on test preparation and test that are really not very
good and in some cases, even fraudulent scoring of the test. the kids are getting worse education. my amendment would scrap it completely. i know that is a dramatic change from what we have been doing, but what we have been doing is not working. there is no objective evidence looking at test scores that "no child left behind" has improve things. it is a top-down model that applies universal standards that ignore and negate the individual aspects of education. it is impossible for washington to judge who is and is not a good teacher. it should not be done in washington. most states have policies towards trying to develop testing. most states have policies with regard to having to judge which teachers are successful. it is not perfect. there are some really great teachers and some really bad teachers, but to presume that any of us in washington can tell the difference and be aware of what goes on in the classroom is a real mistake. i know you will see my proposal
as being too dramatic, too much, and that you cannot support it, and i will probably get very few votes, but go home and ask your teacher is whether they would vote for a repeal of "no child left behind ." i that 80% or 90% of teachers would vote for the repeal of the whole darn thing. it is not working. it does not address individuality of how teaching works. it is complicated. but you need to be in the classroom if you are a principal or superintendent or parent looking at the teacher to find out how the teacher is doing and how the student is performing. tests are part of it, but they are not the whole thing. you really need people on the local level determining who are good teachers and who are not. while i do not have high hopes for actually winning on this amendment, i would like to put people on record. there are those of us who think the preponderance of evidence is
that "no child left behind" is not working and would like to signal to the teachers and educators in your community that you take an even more dramatic step in this bill and eliminate the whole thing, this is your chance. thank you very much. >> [inaudible] all right, let me just ask a question on this -- as i read the amendment, it does refer to the secretary of education act that was first enacted in 1965. the second sentence says "the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 shall be implemented as if such acts" -- that is "no child left behind"
-- "had not been enacted." i assume that means we would go back to the reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act that we did in the clinton administration in 1994. so your suggestion is not that we repeal the elementary and secondary education act, but instead that we put back in place the version that was in place in the clinton administration. am i right about that? >> correct. and there are other ways -- see, i would love to do it that way and then start from scratch. instead of trying to fix something that i think is so horribly broken the 37 states want no part of it -- and i suspect more than 37 states want no part of this -- rather than fix it, let's get rid of it, go back to what we had, and see what we can do. there is still federal money to spend for school spirit let's work on incentives.
let's work on -- i would much rather send some of that money back. my children go public school in bowling green. there is one teacher who comes before school every day, and after school, he does all these advanced placement help. he does most of it without any additional remuneration. he is, to me, one of the best teachers i have come across. reward him with more money. when we look at our classrooms -- let's say in kentucky, we spend $7,000 per pupil. you have 20 in the classroom. you cannot always do it, but in some cases, which should give a really cool teacher in -- a really good teacher $140,000. "no child left behind" doubled the size of the department of education and doubled the funding for it as well since 2001. let's take some of that money and go back to a smaller department of education. some of that money, let's use
the incentive to give to better teachers, but let's not judge would be better teachers are. let's let the state and localities determine who the better teachers are. let's in effort grant that money back and let it be spent at the local level. >> senator alexander. >> mr. chairman, senator paul's arguments sound familiar to me. 30 years ago, as a young governor, i went to see president reagan and asked him to swap all of elementary and secondary education for medicaid. in other words, the federal government would get completely out of elementary and secondary education. i thought that was the responsibility of the states. and the federal government would take over all of medicaid, which would mean states would be in much better shape today if that happened. i still think that would be a good idea. but that is not going to happen.
president reagan and i were the only people who were for that at that time. and we moved on down the road. i think the better course for our children and our schools is to try to fix "no child left behind," not end it. while i respect the argument, the course of prefer to take is to fix it. this bill, and we are beginning a process that i have high hopes for because we might actually legislate on this bill, that is to amend it in committee some, a lot on the floor, take it to conference with house members and bring back something and get a result -- i think that is within the realm of possibility, fixing "no child left behind." when we begin these discussions a year-and-a-half ago, we thought that identifying eight or nine problems and fixing it would be a lot better than trying to start from scratch and reauthorize a complicated bill. the draft moves us in that direction in some important
ways. it sets a more realistic goal. it requires states to have high standards. it eliminates 95,000 public schools from the business of washington deciding whether schools are succeeding or failing. it helps states fix the bottom 5%. it encourages, as i mentioned earlier, a teacher/principal evaluations related to student achievement. that is an important step forward. it continues the reporting requirements of "no child left behind" which have been a valuable addition to what is going on. it creates a secretary's report card -- not a requirement, but a report card. it beefs up the teacher incentive fund, which has been useful in encouraging teacher evaluations, and it authorizes raese to the top. it has a number of provisions in it that i would like to get out of it, which in effect creates more of a national school board, but i will keep trying to remove those and get closer to the
legislation introduced a few weeks ago. but i think i may have a good chance at doing that as we go all the way through this process. so i respect that point of view, but i disagree with it. i think that the more regal way to deal with the problems in "no child left behind" is to fix it, not end it. i think we should try to fix it promptly. we have been working on it for four years. we do not, our inaction will turn the secretary of education into a waiver-granting czar with authority over every school in a country -- in the country. if we wanted an education czar, he would be a great one, but i do not want one. i think we should take this beginning we have made and fixed "no child left behind" and make sure the rest of the process, that we open it up to amendment and have votes and improve it and be willing to accept some
provisions that are not exactly the provisions that any of us would have preferred if we were writing the bill by ourselves. >> and just three quick points. first, i would like to endorse virtually everything senator alexander just said. second, i want to thank secretary duncan for responding to the community [inaudible] from the laws that exist today. people have been critical of that, but as we observe that waivers has been asked for by 37 states, the administration is responding to the local level, and i think it is important that we acknowledge that response. i am very glad we are legislating now because they think it is important for us to do our work and respond to our local community as well. third, i think it is important to have the discussion we are having in this committee about
what the appropriate federal role is and what is appropriate to do locally. no kid in denver would ever remember who was superintendent when they were there. my job was to make sure they remember their teachers as favorably as possible. my own view is that our job ought to be to expect more of our states and school districts. we should assist them, but we should not be telling them how to do the work. having said that, i just want to save for the record that we have a vital national interest in what happens in our schools, even though a lot of the work is at the local level. it would amaze people to know -- people do not know this -- that by the eighth grade, only 16 out of 100 children living in poverty can read at grade level. 84 kids living in poverty in this country out of 100 cannot read at the eighth grade level.
only 17 of 100 are doing math at grade level in the eighth grade in the united states of america in 2011. and they are not going to be able to contribute meaningfully to this democracy or this economy if they cannot do math at the eighth grade level or read. i know that -- the senators, i hope, agree with that. we have a vital national interest. the future of this democracy depends on that. the worst of the unemployment rate ever got in this recession, the worst it ever got four people with a college degree was 4.5%. we have a structural issue in this economy that cannot be addressed if we continue to fail the children that are going to america's schools. we did not know what i just said before "no child left behind" was put in place.
we did not know it. there is not a fiercer critic -- maybe there is one -- of the existing law than me on this panel. but we ought to understand the value of it as well. and we ought to understand that what flows from this discussion, i think, is that we need to radically overhaul in this country the way we deliver public education. we are not going to do it from here. i agree with that. but we have to do it. we have a completely obsolete system that was developed in colonial america that was brushed off one we had a labor market that discriminated against women and said, "you have two choices -- being a teacher or being a nurse began i
think it is really important that we keep the focus here and the attention here at a national level but says that this is not just something to be left some how to other folks, that we have to set a standard and a set of expectations, and then we have to empower people to do the work of the local level. they are the ones who do the work. we spend a lot of time talking about people's moral rights or this or that or health care and other kinds of things. as the parent of three little kids, i can tell you that if my kids faced the is that children living in poverty face, i would quit my job tomorrow and spend my time making sure that those odds change -- if my kids faced the odds that children living in poverty face. then i can i respond?
-- >> can i respond? >> i have complete respect for the senator from kentucky, but we are all avoiding the obvious reason there are 37 schools looking for waivers is because of this committee and what it should have done years ago. as i have said earlier -- and i disagree categorically with the statement about this does not focus on the individual because "no child left behind" was the first federal focus at the local level on the individual. we did not know how and african- american or non-english-speaking students was doing or whether they were being left behind. we finally created a measurement where we could disaggregate people by race, ethnicity, disability. we could test them and assess progress, and we created a measurement called adequate yearly progress. when they make adequate yearly progress in year one, they had
to do better in year two. reason you have more people being labeled as "needs improvement" -- and i reject the concept of failing schools. that is a medium term. while i understand the things we need to do, we needed to do them four years ago when this was supposed to be reauthorize, not dillydally around when the schools had this pressure put on top of them. i do not agree with the amendment. i think we should do what we should have done four years ago now and address the positive things "no child left behind" brought about and correct the things that have done their duty and no longer need to be in place and never lose perspective that for the first time six or 10 years ago, we started focusing on individual children and their individual achievements and got away from me and test averages. we never need to go back, so i will oppose the amendment, and i will appreciate the good things that have come back out of the
elementary and secondary education act, which was passed in 2001. >> if i might add one thing, this is a great discussion. i pay close attention to it. i would just make one observation. everyone thinks that the waivers are going to do anything. those waivers, as far as we have been able to determine, might affect anywhere from 8 to 20 states. the urgency of what we're doing is that we cover the nation. all states will get relief, not just the select few. there is an urgency for us to complete our action and move forward. >> i would make the point that i think there is so much wrong with "no child left behind," that rather than reducing the burden, let's scrap the whole thing and if there's anything good about it, let's add back
in. i think the fact that 37 states what out of it and two territories want out is a significant indication of its failure. my son's public high-school was ranked by a national magazine as being one of the top performing high schools in the country. it is an award they are proud of fear they have the magazine cover on display when you walk in. they are ranked as a failing schools in "no child left behind." if a school that we are very happy with that has some very high achieving kids and some low achieving kids, too, -- it is complicated. it has some extraordinarily good things, and i do not care if you are poor and barely have shoes on your feet. if you are smart and work hard in your class is, at this school, you can take college classes and go to college with 16 or 20 college credits by the time you go to school. regardless of who you are, it is there for you. it is complicated by some
succeed and some fail, but i do not think we know the answer. i would also say if we repealed "no child left behind," there is no federal involvement. in 1965, there was very little. it evolves for some 30-odd years before we than doubled it. the other thing is we are broke as a country and we are spending dollar after dollar that we do not have. we do not have the money at the federal level to spend money on things that are not working. when it does not work, i think we should get rid of it. if there is any part of it that might be useful, i think it is the minority, not the majority. let's start from scratch and work backwards instead of trying to fix something that i think is horribly broken. thank you. >> i just want to add one sentence to this discussion. what we're doing right now is repealing "no child left behind" and replacing it with a new bill, and we want that to be as good a bill as possible. >> no more discussion. all those in favor of the paul
this is a pretty simple, modest amendment which i hope is not too controversial. i think everybody in the congress is deeply concerned about the high level of dropouts that we see in our school systems. approximately 30% of our children drop out among african- american kids. unbelievably, -- of our children drop out. among african-american kids, unbelievably, the number is 50%. among latino kids, the number is even higher. i know there are a number of tools we are developing to try to address that issue. all this amendment does is give us a little bit more information about the number of kids who are dropping out. as i understand it -- the bill says we will keep track of kids from grade nine on. the kids who went to high school
drop out. we now know who those kids are. the problem is there are kids who leave elementary school, graduates from the eighth grade, would never go into the ninth grade. all that this amendment does is say that states should keep track of those kids as well to give us a better understanding of the magnitude of the dropout problem. that is about it. >> questions? i am sorry, who sought recognition? >> i have a question about how the local education agency would know who has transferred to and enrolled in a school outside of the local education agency. >> the process would be the same as is currently the case. we are tracking kids from the ninth grade. with the school district and entity would not be as to do is
to attract kids, for example, who have left the state. the issue is if kids are staying in that same area and drop out, we want to know who those kids are and what the numbers are. it would be the same process as is currently in the bill, starting in the ninth grade. >> you can do that with information that is already collected under this bill? >> yes. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman. >> graduation rate is a big, important issue. i compliment the senator for his interest in it. i hope by the time we have a hearing and go to the floor, we look at this amendment and the provisions in the amendments carefully because states and local school districts, one, have had a difficult time defining what they mean by graduation rate. that is not easy to do.
sounds easy, but it is not easy. the real world of public education today would be surprising to many people. we have classrooms, especially along the border, but even in places like tennessee, where students arrive in october and leave in march. no one knows where they go. no small school district has any capacity to keep up with them. maybe we have some capacity to keep up with them, and it would be a very good thing if we could do a better job of following a child from school to school so that as his military parents moved from here to there, that the records go and in our mobile society, we deal with that, but i just hope we are very careful. that is all i am saying. we do not want to impose an unrealistic requirement. i do not oppose it.
i just have questions. >> if i might clear up one thing, i want to ask the senator -- i think this only applies -- i am told this amendment only applies to district that get these competitive grants. in other words, they apply for competitive grants. they have to agree to do this. that is what i am told. i want to know if that is correct. it does not apply to everybody, only to those schools will apply for this grant. >> that is correct. >> anyone else seek to -- mr. chairman? >> there is currently not a mechanism to track from middle school to high school. if this is going to require anyone applying for these grants to figure out some way to track, figure out what happens. mr. bennett may know if there is. i do not think there is any existing way in which you can know that, so you will have to
create a mechanism to do that, which means you will create a person to carry that out. that would be my guess. any other comments on this? >> just to clarify, if you do receive the competitive grant and cannot establish -- i guess it then becomes a requirement that you must establish this tracking mechanism for kids moving up from middle school in order to receive this competitive grant? is that correct? >> yes, i think that is right. in order to receive a competitive grant, as i understand it. >> it is a question of tracking the kids that go from the eighth grade to the high school. i think it is -- senator alexander made a good point. this is complicated stuff, and all that we are trying to do, and i think we all agree. the dropout rate is unacceptably
high. all that i would like to do here, with minimal bureaucratic effort, is to try to track it a little bit further. if the kid leaves the eighth grade and does not get into high school, i think it is important that we know that. that is all we are trying to do, ascertain how significant the problem is. >> if i may just follow off on that, i support where you are going with this amendment because i do think that we need -- we need to know, we need to better identify. i am going to be bringing up an amendment later that begins our focus on dropout prevention, not at middle school but at the earlier years. i think we all know that kids do not just wake up one day when they are a sophomore or are in eighth grade and say, "i am checking out of here." it happens over a long time, so being able to track is
important. i share some of the concerns about how we do it. you said this is a simple amendment. i think it is simple in concept. we want to know what is happening with kids, when they are going, how we implement it may be more challenging. we have a lot of military students that come to our state. they are there for a couple of years and move on. we do not know, and i understand that those are not ones that you are tracking. i liked the idea. i think we need to try to figure out how we can make it work. >> this amendment would give the states the opportunity to figure out what mrs. work best for them -- what methods work best for them. >> as i understand it, as i read through, it says to has not transferred to or school outside a local agency outside the
state. this applies to students who do not transitioned in the local education. am i in other words, we are not asking the district to track the kids who move to another state. >> in the bill, we set up some criteria for finding out graduation rates. we have not had a good criteria before. we are going to find something out about that. we're going to talk about the transition from eighth to ninth grade. that is important, too, but it does impose an extra requirement from washington on the states for what they have to do. i think most of them will just put down that they left the district. i do not think it will really achieve what we are trying to achieve with this while we get the bad rap for doing another federal requirement. i will have to oppose it. >> in response to what the ranking member said, i think that districts and states are
applying for a competitive grant. the least we can do is ask for this kind of information. this is not hard. it is hard when people leave the state, but when kids are in the state, people ought to know where they are, and most of our state departments of education can do that. the more important point, from my perspective, is that districts all across the country until very recently were calculating their dropout rate based on who started the 12th grade and who finished the 12th grade. that is why they were able to say they only have a 5% dropout rate or 6% dropout rate. among african-american students, the dropout rate is 50% of them. latino students, it is higher, but district after district after district, we all know we have a 5% dropout rate. that transition is critical.
it is a good example of how obsolete our system is because these transitions from elementary to middle to high school were all invented in the past. there is nothing that says and there is nothing that says those ought to happen. it is not that hard. it is not a mandate. >> senator murray. >> thank you. i think back to my eighth grade class. we had 570 graduate from high school. nobody knew what happened to those several hundred kids. today, here we are, a generation later, and we still do not know what is happening. what is the process from eighth through the graduating year of high school. understanding that is incredibly important to the overall
discussion about graduation rates and preparation. there is a lot of language in this bill, intent on being college ready or career ready, that we are preparing focused -- we are going to have to work to collect the information, so i fully support we make this effort. it is limited. if it will provide data from those applying for these grants. it will help us understand the problem more broadly and the dow legal for the entire set of schools across the country. -- for the entire -- valuable for the entire set of schools across the country. >> if there are no objections, all of those in favor say -- it is adopted. [captions copyright national
cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> center alexander -- center alexander. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have a title one amendment i would like to offer, and see if the committee would be willing to accept it, then i have to w one -- two title amendments that i'd like to mention at withdraw. the first is state flexibility turnaround strategies. senator burr is not here right now, but it follows up a discussion about allowing state educational agencies to develop their own schools turn around
models for the lowest performing 5% of schools. as it stands in the draft, for the 5000 or so schools, the worst performing, there are five turnaround models that local agencies may select from. this would add a sixth category. it was in the isakson, alexander, kirk bill from earlier. it authorizes the turnaround model to allow state agencies to develop their own strategies, come to the secretary and say if this is all right with you, this is the one we want to years, instead of oz telling states what to do. this would be -- of costs telling states what to do. -- us telling states what to
do. they could say yes or no. there are a number of senators on the committee that already support it. senator burr already approved it, so i would like to see if that was something the committee would accept, and then there are two others i would like to withdraw. >> mr. chairman? >> this is adding a sixth turn around model. i think you have five. am i wrong about the numbers? >> they already have six? >> they already have six. this would be the seventh. i was not counting. >> mr. chairman, i support the amendment. i think the amendment as it is drafted does provide some
additional flexibility and it also retains the requirement that the secretary approve whatever the state chooses to do in this regard. i think with that provision in there, i think it is a useful addition to the bill. >> mr. chairman? i approved it as well. it is well thought out, and well written. i hope we can pass it. >> mr. chairman? >> sinotech -- senator murkowski. >> i was not here when the burr amendment was discussed, but if there had been any issues
brought in alaska about the proposals we have seen it has been the four turnaround models and the requirements contained their in. in our state, are very small, remote schools, part of the biggest problem is getting agitators' out there, and keeping them out there. -- agitators out there, and keeping them out there. we have had real hardship with the lack of flexibility with the turnaround model. so, i would indorse senator alexander's amendment that adds a great -- christchurch flexibility and let's this -- greater flexibility and lets the states determine what works best in their area. >> senator bennet, and then senator franken.
>> i will do this as a question for senator alexander. i appreciate the spirit of the amendment. one of the concerns that i have with it, and i have not made up my mind yet, here is that even under the current law, and i should say that i agree with everything senator murkowski just said about rural schools, but there is a loophole in the reconfiguration of the school that basically says "other." you could do this, that, or essentially do nothing, and what happens is our kids are in school year after year, and that never changes. one of the important levers of no child's left behind is that it focuses people on these turnaround models, some of which we have done well, some
poor light, but we have learned from those experiences. -- poorly, but we have learned from those experiences. i wonder if you have any thoughts, center alexander, -- senator alexander, to make sure that is the secretary is going to actually apply this in a way that creates rigor, read the and just lets people off of the hook -- rather than just let people off of the book? >> i know other white -- no no other way but the ballot box to the effect that. it depends on who the secretary is. i think the goal of this -- i mean, we have developed pretty broad support for the idea of focusing a lot of attention on these bottom 5% of the schools. in tennessee, that is 100 schools we should be working on
to turn around at one time, which is a lot of schools if you get down to a practical level. i could easily see a situation where kevin hoffman, the education commissioner, or the colorado commissioner might look at the six prescribed turnaround models, and the alaska commissioner might say you have a better idea, and i am sure our andy dalton -- party duncan would not like you do anything. this is going toward local initiatives. anytime you desensitize things, you have an uneven results. there is no question about that, but at a higher education system we are very decentralized, and we have the bus system in the world. i tend to favor more local initiatives. if i were a governor,
commissioner, or superintendent, i would not want to be told what method to use. i would want to figure out my own. i would not mind persuading the education secretary that it was a good idea, and i would expect him to defer to my judgment, just lazy and incompetent. -- i am just lazy and incompetent. >> again, let's keep in mind we are talking about is the bottom 5%. treen not talking about every school in america -- we are not talking about every school in america. we've reduced the federal footprint. we expanded the turnaround models from four to six. under nclb, everyone wanted to do the least possible to get
through, but that was covering every school. we're not doing them now. we are only focusing and the bottom 5%, the drop of factories. -- on the bottom 5%, the drop out factories. my friend from tennessee is talking about not having a secretary who is a czar. we're going to let schools in the bottom 5%, up with some other option and what the secretary decide. it seems we are trying to pass legislation that transcends whether the secretary might be. it might be arne duncan, or somebody else. who knows? i think we want to insulate the secretary from perhaps those of us in the senate or the house, maybe in an important committees
like appropriations and things like that, from calling up and saying i have this school district, and they have this other option, and i would sure like you to approve it. i would like to insulate secretary from that kind of political pressure that might come in that regard, and that is why i think we worked very hard and very long on this. we had a lot of men put on this in terms of the turnaround model, and those turnaround models should be rigorous. they should be evidence-base. evidence-based, and rigorous, and i do not know what the other option might be. whether it is calling to be rigorous or evidence-based or the -- going to be rigorous or evidence-based or not. in terms of the rural aspect, the bill provides rural districts with additional flexibility regarding the turnaround models in the bottom
5%. so, if we do do that. i would also add that this amendment does budget does not just add another model. it strikes -- does not just add another model. it strikes all the other requirements. >> i beg to differ. that is not the intention. the first six remain in, and this is the seventh. >> mr. chairman, i just want to make sure the amendment is drafted appropriately. >> he is withdrawing it anyway. >> you are not withdrawing it, are you? >> no, i would like to have a vote on that. i thought i heard you say that it struck the first six options, and it does not intend to do that, it just adds a seventh. >> even if it does not been withdrawn i still wanted comment and support this amendment -- even if it is not
being withdrawn, i still want to comment and support this amendment. what this one does is have the state education agency, with another alternative that may fit for something that we never anticipated for that state, and that may be important. again, it does have to have the approval of the secretary before it is done, but the others are all local school district making a choice from six or seven. this would allow the state, if they found that it would not work because of too few people, and they have a better idea for making things better, i think this would be a good amendment. >> mr. chairman? >> i did have senator krik, ben franklin, then -- then franken,
then murphy. >> as i read the bill, we have six strategies. we allow transformation strategy, strategic staffing, -- this is page 128 through 133 -- strategic staffing, turnaround strategy, will school reform, restart strategy, and for closure. those are the only ala. -- allowed. in my state, illinois, and the north chicago school district does not sit these strategies -- the north chicago school district is not fit the strategy is. the problem there was theft and an fbi investigation. i have enormous faith in arne
duncan. a lot of the foundation that he has put in mayor rahm emanuel has put in. this is the number one issue in chicago. much of what rahm is doing in chicago does not fit the strategy is either. i think the state of illinois, when it took over the north chicago school district, was handling a unique situation of an fbi investigation and corruption, and what mayor emanuel is doing is fairly unique, and i think arne should have the ability to sign off on the. i think it is a good amendment, and let's call this the dump in employment strategy amendment because i think he has the wisdom -- duncan inclement
strategy amendment, because i think he is the wisdom to do that. allowing him to approve a strategy that does is the right way to go. ?> senator frank inen >> i do not see anywhere in the amendment where arne duncan is guaranteed a lifetime appointment of secretary of education. listen. i am very sympathetic to this. and i actually do not know how i'm going to vote. i would like to continue this discussion. yes, in rural schools in minnesota, a lot of the options do not work. >> we provide the flexibility in the bill? >> i am sorry? >> we have a apply additional flexibility to rural districts. >> right, and that is to
provide whole school reform, but holds court reform -- whole school reform has to be something that as been proven to work before, and sometimes i am not sure if even that is going to be right for a school. i also think there is such a thing as 50 laboratories, and we might find models that states come up with or that they discover. i want to ask senator alexander about this -- online 7, page two -- "a local educational agency implementing improved alternatives in accordance with the seventh paragraph shall not be required to implement the activities required in some paragraph a. here are the requirements.
i will not read them all, the provide staff with ongoing professional development consistent with the needs and analysis described in paragraph four. if conduct regular evaluations for the teachers and principals at the school that provide feedback on areas of strength and improvement. provide collaboration time for schools to improve achievement. it goes on and on. cleverly with the parents -- these seem like -- collaborate with the parents -- these seem like really good, common sense, nobody could object to, requirements. again, and what bothers me here is we are down to the bottom 5%. so, if senator kirk is talking about a school district where
the school superintendent and the school board are under fbi investigation, i am not sure they are the best ones to come up with the transformation policy. anyway -- >> if i could respond, briefly -- and the idea -- it would be the state. >> i understand. >> the idea would be all these things in some paragraph a seem like pretty good ideas and i support them for the sixth turnaround more ideas that are there. the state of minnesota says we are pretty good here, we have led the country in education and a lot of ways, and these are nice ideas, but we think we can come up with a better idea for minnesota schools, maybe in a
certain situation. maybe it is a tribal situation, where an illinois situation -- or an illinois situation. we will come up with the idea, presented to the secretary, and he or she can decide yes or no. we do not know who the secretary is going to be. if there have been some questionable characters in the past to have been secretary, i will agree with that, but i do remember being one of them, that you do have a check on that. i was nominated in january, and senator hatch and senator harkin will remember it was able the -- april before i was confirmed. this sent can hold up a nomination. >> could it also go through
faster because you were more classic -- qualified? >> i do not know what it was, maybe it was my accent, but i have a problem. i do know there is a check. is michael bennett is the denver schools superintendent, he is pretty good. he might come up with a better idea for, rather than i might sitting here in washington, and if he does, and the secretary says i agree with you, why should not have the option? >> i agree with you. i want to recognize senator sanders. keep in mind, for 95% of all the schools in the state, they can do what senator alexander says. where are only talking about that bottom 5%. -- we are only talking about bad bottom 5%. you could be opposed to that, but the heart of the bill was to
focus on that bottom 5%. we are not talking about the whole state. >> i am a former mayor and i come from a small state and i believe in local control and flexibility. here's the problem i see with your amendment, senator alexander. in some cases, at least, if you have a school but is run very poorly, human nature suggests that human -- that people do not want to recognize that. the single digit the slippery slope is that i'm running the school, and doing a bad job, and and in the 5%. i would much prefer to say i am going to write my own proposals, i'm going to fight, called my senator, and i hope that my proposal is going to get past. i think we are opening a slippery slope because i fear that the vast majority of
quarterly run schools will use that option. that is life -- of poorly run schools will use that option. that is my field. -- feel. >> i agree, but that is not the amendment. the amendment is to give to the state of vermont the option -- i do not know how many schools are in vermont. you probably have 30 or 40 in this category. maybe it is 20. in the state of vermont, they might come up with a way that they think is better than the sixt identified. then they would go to the secretary of education. >> it is a fair point, but the argument that senator harkin is making is that we have given a lot of flexibility to small schools, and that failing school
would have more influence on their own people than they would in washington. you make a good point. i am not saying that in every instance you would be wrong. there are special cases that would probably require special solutions, but in general i fear of opening a slippery slope where bad schools will take advantage. >> can we have a rolls which a roll-call vote? -- a roll-call vote? >> i want to take what the chairman said and from this debate is about. 95% to have flexibility, but 5% will not have the flexibility of the other 95%. what senator alexander's amendment does is provide the 5% with the flexibility of coming up with something that is different than what we have prescribed in federal legislation as long as they petition the secretary of education and the secretary of education has said i think this
plan might work for vermont or colorado. it is not something they can do arbitrarily, but all senator alexander's amendment does is provide a degree of flexibility to the 5% that are excluded from flexibility in this bill. i would encourage everyone to support it. >> can i ask center alexander a question? on your amendment, on page 124, in paragraph 90 on page -- d on page 127 -- my staff looked it up. there are required activities for all the strategies. it has a list of things they have to do like conduct regular evaluations for the teachers and
the principles, provide specific feedback, and collaborate with parents, the community, teachers, and other school personnel at the school on the selection and implementation of the strategy. use data to identify and implement a research-based an instructional program that does a number of things -- analyze student process -- in other words, provide ongoing mechanisms for parents and family engagement, and a loss when it is provide a corporate support for students -- appropriate support for students. all of that stuff applies to everything. in your amendment, whether it is inadvertent or not, it strikes all of that. i have a lot of concern about striking all of the things here that apply to all turnaround strategies. that is what i said when it does
not just add another model. it strikes these other required activities for all school improvement strategies. >> mr. chairman, you are correct. it was not inadvertent. it is on purpose. it assumes that the governor of tennessee, and kevin hoffman, his education secretary, and the new head of their school achievement district in tennessee that are working on the toughest schools -- they have a plan, and they're doing more than anyone on teacher evaluation, currently evaluating every teacher in the state. they might come up with a smarter ideas than anyone of us could, and if they do, and present it to the secretary of education and say this is the way we want to turn around 100 schools in tennessee, why should we not let them do that if he agrees it is a preferable
option? i would like to ask for a roll-call vote. >> senator burr murphy wants to talk. >> thank you, mr. chair. one of the challenges is that the amendment you have drafted does not match the bill we have in front of us. all of these pages are off. there is no page 124 line a. we are having a very difficult time tracking the impact of your amendment. i would respectfully ask that you would come back with an amendment that we could actually figure out how it changes the language in front of us. >> center alexander had drafted this to the original mark hurd >> i understand that, but the challenges because it does not match the text we cannot understand what is happening. >> that should not present a challenge. what i am doing is saying you have a clean slate.
if the oregon secretary wants to come to the secretary of education and save for the 80 schools and we're going to have to turn -- >> we do not know what you are striking. you have several strikes. it is a friendly, it, senator. i wanted to understand the impact. i was interested in what you were doing. but i simply cannot track how it is going to have an impact, and we have been immersed over here trying to understand it, and there is another piece that is quite confusing, and that is you have both in i, but your second page of your amendment, you have both an i on the first page, and on the second page, you have exception for rec activities, and -- in accordance
with this subject to paragraph, which i am not sure if that is the ii or not, cannot subscribe to their rec activities. i point it is very hard to tell what is gone on here, and as a courtesy to members to understand it, if you could bring back a version that would attract the built it would help us get our hands around it. >> mr. chairman, i have enough sense to recognize it from the comment when i hear it. may respectfully ask the chairman if i could defer this until after lunch, to see if we could clear up these ideas and then vote on it at that time? >> absolutely, but this should not be any hindrance. the senator correctly drafted his amendment to the original mark, and there should be no
problem with that. if you want to do that, that is fine. >> it seems to be creating confusion. i would like not to lose a vote, if possible. >> again, i say to my friend from tennessee, again, focusing on the bottom 5%, i think we very carefully over a long period of time drafted the activities that you have to do before you take one of those turnaround models, and that is all what it out. i might be inclined to support the amendment if we let those in, that all the requirements we have prior that applies to all turnaround malls. -- models. it wipes it out for the other models. that makes it easier for a state to take the easier path, and again for the bottom 5%, i think
we have to have a rigorous involvement, and that is why we had all of these things outlined there. so that is why i am opposed to this amendment, but because of that. >> mr. chairman, i respect that, and we have a difference of view. if i could clear up the confusion during lunchtime, which could come back after lunch and vote on it if that would be all right. >> that will be fine, we will do that. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, i wanted to talk about early education. i have two amendments in this area and i want to commend you and senator enzie for the great work you have done over many months on this authorization. i want to comment about with amendments. in light of what we were discussing earlier, some of the
numbers and some of the challenges that senator bennett presented to us about where we are in public education and that the obligation we have to our children, a lot of that obligation starts with early education, and we've really do not have anything resembling a national strategy on early education. a number of states have good ideas, but we do not have nearly enough by the way of a strategy. what these two amendments would do would be to speak to that basic challenge. the first amendment, the casey amendment, number one, under title 1, would establish a voluntary universal pre- kindergarten program based upon a bill that i introduced earlier this year and had introduced it numerous times over the last couple of years. the second amendment, and that first amendment by the way is co-sponsored by senator frank
and senator sanders. the second amendment, also code- sponsored by senator sanders, creates a foundation for fostering learning among non children by insuring states place a continuum of comprehensive learning standards from birth through early grades. just by way of background in terms of the background for both amendments, we know the evidence that has accumulated over many years now i think is both compelling and irrefutable, that if we invest in children at an early age, the return on investment is better than any return you could get at any robust market, any stock market, any return on investment. some estimate that the return on
investment of high-quality -- and that is an important qualifier -- high-quality early education programs to be up to 17 bucks for every buck you spend. not a bad return. we know that a nobel laureate, among others, has been one of the leading spokesman for early education for many years, and a former federal economist talked about this return on investment. as we talk about creating jobs and building a stronger economy, this is where it starts for our kids, other than basic health care, and early education is central for whether a child achieves in school and reach their full potential. in some states there has been a lot of investment and activity and progress on this. i can report in pennsylvania the state government over the last couple of years especially has made very important investments. one example.
the harrisburg preschool program or at-risk children schocored higher on the school assessment test in literacy and math. just in a short about of time, not even a decade, when the track these children over the course of less than a decade, children who participated in the program scored an average of 55 points higher in math after being in the harrisburg program and 62 points higher in reading than their counterparts. i think both people -- people on both sides of the aisle understand the urgency of of this issue and the importance of making these investments. even as we are moving forward on early education itself, the states have got a lot of good work in this area. we know the states can be and have been real laboratories on
this. it is critically important as well, in addition to having a broader spree school strategy, that we work with the states to make sure that they are reviewing and revising a continuum of comprehensive burning standards from birth through the early ages so they have guidelines and standards that they measure up to. it does not destroy their ability to have flexibility and design their own system. either of these bills would do that. it's as we have to raise the bar and move in the direction of raising the bar in that area of early education. i will not have a long discussion. ly importantitical impo issue. the language may not be everything i would want or the component parts might not be, but you have talked at length in
the base bill about readiness, about goals, in some way -- and so many ways to advance the priority of early education. i think it is bipartisan. we might have different ways of getting there. i will withdraw the amendments for purposes of moving the ball forward here, but i hope we can get more discussion and more debate and maybe even a vote on the floor when we get to the floor. thank you. >> mr. chairman, i appreciate you withdrawing them because built the hard-working on is elementary and secondary education. we recognize the importance of preschool education, education, all of those things. but it would be more appropriate to address that sort of thing when we are working on the child and community development block of grants or headstart or any one of the 69 programs that
we have for preschool. the 69 programs that we find as much for as we do kindergarten through 12th grade. obviously there are some things that need to be done in that area, but i hope we do them down in that area as part of what we are addressing this areas specifically and that we keep this bill to elementary and secondary education. and recognizing there are some problems down there and we need to fix this, too. we do not need to fix everything in one bill. that is where we run into problems because we run into competing interests in seven gets upset with the part of one thing that really did not pertain to elementary and secondary education and then we lose the bill. we are -- i think there's a better place to concentrate on these things, and i hope we can even reduce the 69 programs to the really effective ones.
one of the difficulties we have run to is there are only 8 of come from thehat department of education. i appreciate your efforts on it and the concern for at, and i think that is shared by pretty much everybody. >> i would also thank the senator for his fricassee of early of-- his advocacy of early burning. i have stricken from my vocabulary "preschool." education begins at birth. in the mid 1980's, president reagan asked what we could do to -- wanted to find out what the business community had to
offer in the way of their view on education and what we needed to do on education. and so a committee was set up that included some of the titans industry, some of the biggest ceo's of the largest corporations around the country, and they came up with a report. i got it in 1991. the ceo of honeywell was the head of this. here is there book. "the unfinished agenda." they said put your money in early learning. this is 1991. this spring the united states should chamber of commerce issued a new report. i ask you to read it. it's as we have to start focusing on early learning. that is 20 years after this report came out.
i do believe -- i know elementary and secondary education, but maybe we need to rethink what elementary education is. the elementary education really does begin at birth and we should not separate it out as a child development thing here or head start here or something else, health and human services, education is in education, that we have to rethink that elementary education really does begin at birth. and that too many kids start kindergarten, maybe they do not have kindergarten, may be the start first grade and they are way behind already, and many of them will never catch up. that is when the brain develops the most. we know that, in these early years. again, we did some things in this bill to begin to focus more on early learning. again, i wish we could have done
more, but we did not, and we reached compromises on this bill. i agree with the senator from pennsylvania completely. we have got to focus more effort and energies, and, yes, resources, call that money, in early education and getting these kids are early in life. i do appreciate the senator withdrawing his amendment and look forward to working with him in the future. at the same for the benefit of the committee the schedule for today is as follows. at 12:00 p.m. there is 3 stacked votes. at 4:00 p.m. there are 4 stacked votes. we will try to make between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., because some funds that to a copy and think maybe go back. we'll try to be between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00, may be thinking . m. might:00 ;.m.
get it 3:00 p.m.. any other amendments? >> if i might comment to senator casey. senator murkowski -- mikulski an had two e already hearings about the block grants. when we talk about it two or three years where we have lapsed on no child left behind, that is my comparison to the child development block grants. i will be happy to work with you and take information we have learned at those hearings as we move toward what i hope is a reauthorization of that program of this congress. >> amendment on title i?
>> this is on all titles? it is all titles and it is amendment number 2. i think we can do it shortly because most of what i have said before about no child left behind it will stand that i said this previously. i want to ask unanimous consent to change the last five words on it. this says anything in no child left behind that imposes a man that -- a mandate for schools shall -- and i would like to strike the last five words -- say shall henceforth be voluntary. >> say that again. >> after the word "shall," say "henceforth be voluntary." >> "henceforth be voluntary"?
>> yes. >> without objection, the senator can modify his a minute. >> i would like to have a recorded vote on it, but i think that we should not be telling the states what to do. we have some good ideas. feel free to state with the good ideas are, but the states should have the prerogative of making the decision, whether they want to take our ideas or not. >> the only observation i would make to my friend from kentucky is, as i have said many times for, which provide about 90% of all the funding for education in america. -- it is only 9%. you're focusing that more nearly on the bottom 5%. again, keep in mind, no state has to do anything we say whatsoever. if they do not want the money, they do not have to do anything.
they can give up that 9% and they can do whatever they want. there is no mandate in here that they have got to do something if they do not want to take this money. >> it is not our money. it is their money to be in with. we took it from them to begin with. i am just arguing they are trying to get the money back. i am more than happy to have a recorded vote on it, more discussion, however you would like to do it. >> for the record, i wanted have us acknowledge that the senator asked for an unanimous consent. i do not agreed with the substance of this amendment or the change that was made. i did not object because i want a senator to be able to do his work, and i think the senate would function much better if these things became the course of the work that we do instead of having people hold things up on technical amendments like this or others, and i just want
the record to reflect that although i disagree with this i withheld -- the senator has a right to object. i would hold my objection. >> i agree, and in the spirit of that, i am more than willing to work with your side. we have narrowed our 75 amendments down to seven. we are more than willing to expedite the process, try to have some important votes that people are recorded on each side of, and i think it is important. that is what we're representing people about. that is mainly what i want to do in this process. >> thank you, senator. the clerk will call the roll. >> no by proxy. they must know by proxy. -- >> no by proxy. >> no by proxy.
want to thank him for discussions on that. as i traveled around minnesota i have asked teachers and principals and superintendents when we candida help no child left behind, and what they agreed on we could do to help it, and they all agreeing on something that we do in minnesota, which is these nwea tests. what they are, computer adaptive tests, and in contrast to the kinds thenclb tests, we have had, which i had a principal refer to as autopsy. the tests we now take under no child left behind are these tests that the kids take at the end of april and you get them back as the kids are leaving school, or after they have left
school. they do not form instruction at all. let me explain what these tests are, what these computer adaptive tests are. first of all, they are done by computer. the nwea test, which is one of these, and there's nothing magical. the teachers can get the results right of way. in minnesota, in addition to the required nclb tests, which have a number of problems with them, they take these computer adapted tests and most of them take three times a year and they love them. and they love them for a number of reasons. one of the reasons is that they get the results were a way -- right away, and so the teachers can use the result of the tests to inform their instruction of
the kids. imagine that. i think every parent thought when they heard 10 years ago they were doing no child left behind that that is what would happen, teachers would see the results of the tests and the teacher could use it to instruct their kids. secondly -- that is the computer part. you get the results right away. the adaptive part is as the kid takes the test, if he or she starts getting answers right, the test gets a little harder that area. so it really is a finer measurement of the child. it starts getting them wrong, they get easier. and something very important happens there. it actually will go out of gray level, and currently in no child
left behind, the tests for had it tests out of grade level. arne duncan asset to us that a sixth-grade teacher that takes a kid from a third-grade level of reading to a fifth-grade level of reading is a hero. not a goat. under no child left behind currently, that teacher is a good. the kid did not get to the level of proficiency. but that is a great teacher. a great teacher brought this kid up to grade levels. he did not know that this kid has a third-grade level if you do not allow the tests to go below grade level, to go and discover, and that is what the beauty of this adaptive test is. so this happens in real time while the kids are taking the test.
and it will allow for measuring growth. it will allow for measuring i think is soich important in determining what the bottom 5% is in schools, because there are schools that from populations that are very challenged, but the school does a decent job, but you didn't do it -- but you do not get to that level of proficiency. unfortunately, no child left behind has had this thing where this arbitrary bar of proficiency is what every school is tested on an every teacher is tested on. and that leads to a perversity that is called the race to the
middle in minnesota. i hear this all the time. what it means is the kids who are the smartest kids in the class, that kid, you do not have to teach that kid. no matter what he did, that kid is going to exceed -- there is nothing you can do to that kid will make that kid not meet proficiency. and since the teacher is only measured on what percentage of the kids meet or exceed proficiencies, they ignore that kid, and they ignored the kid at the bottom who is very challenged and nothing you could do to make this kid profession. the one part about no child left behind that i really love is the title. no child left behind. you are leaving that get behind and leaving this kid behind if you are not being able to measure where they really are.
and this will get to my other amendment, which is allowing growth, allowing growth as a model. but i think that we need to allow -- all i am saying is we need to allow these computer- adaptive tests so that we can accurately measure where every kid is, where each kid is, and allow the teachers to have the results of the tests immediately. so instead of these tests being autopsies, they are actually -- they actually get the teacher a tool instruction. i think all assessments should do that. they should be living, breathing, things that you can use. that is what my amendment would do, to allow these tests. >> thank you, senator.
>> they do, mr. chair. minnesota uses these tests currently, an oregon does, as well. have they been disallowed if for some states, or is this the primary instance to make it absolutely clear for the future that this is a tool that is eligible under the -- >> to make it clear that it is eligible. >> i just want to strongly support the senator's amendment. that has been a very viable tool in our state. we often compete with minnesota. i think in this we were the first in the nation to introduce these tests, and i thinkk universal response has been they are extremely of valuable -- and extremely viable. >> organ is allowed to use