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tv   Hearing Focuses on Every Student Succeeds Act Implementation  CSPAN  May 22, 2016 4:50am-7:01am EDT

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elementary secondary education act. this is our third of six hearings to discuss the implementation of the every student succeeds act, which is the president decided december. it is the second opportunity for this committed to hear from the states, school districts, teachers and others to help us pass this overwhelmingly bipartisan law and working together to implement it in a way that is consistent with congressional intent here and i want to focus my remarks on the administration's proposed supplement not supplant regulation. this is the first opportunity the regular she has the right -- the administration has the right regulations. in my view, it rates an f.
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congress chose to leave unchanged a provision of culpability. this provision says school districts have to provide at least comparable services with state and local funding to title i schools and non-title i schools, but the law plainly states the school districts shall not include teacher pay when they measure spending for of comparability. that has been the law since 1970. we didn't change it last year. there is an entirely separate provision known as provision, not supplant, that prohibits schools from using dollars for low-income schools. attempts to do is to change comparability by adding a new regulation
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. it would include teacher salaries and how they measure state and local spending and would require the state and local spending any's title i school be at least equal to the average spent in non-title i schools. this would be to violate the law as implemented since 1976 -- section 1605. the administration may get an a for cleverness, but untapped for following the line my opinion. the negotiated ruling committee could not agree on the proposal said thatt one member "congressional intent is not necessarily being followed here." last week, the congressional artisan research survey said the same thing. crs issued a report saying "the department's interpretation appears to go beyond what would be required under a plain language reading of the statute.
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crs found that they regulations "appeared to directly conflict with statutory language that desks to place clearly clear limits on the department authority and raise a significant doubts about the department's proposed regulations." i look forward to hearing from witnesses about what i've been hearing across the country is true. here is what i have been hearing. that the department's proposed regulation to turn upside down the funding formulas of almost all the state and local school district systems across this country. most states and local districts allocate k-12 funding to schools based on staffing ratios. this often results in different amounts going to different same district because teacher salaries vary
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from school to school for reasons having nothing to do with the school's participation in title i. instead, salaries vary because their teacher experience merit pay or -- are subject of the great -- or subject of the grade level they teach. wholesaleequire transfer teachers and the breaking of collective bargaining agreement spirit number three come i have been hearing the school districts will not be here -- will be receiving the funds to comply with proposed regulation. number four, students could be forced to change schools. number five, the pose regulation could increase the segregation of low-income and high-income students. and number six, that it could require state and local school district's to move that to the burdensome practice of detailing every individual cost on which they spend money to provide a e-cig distance -- basic education to all students, which is what we were try to free districts from one way past the law there and according to the council of great city schools,
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the propose regulation would cost $3.9 billion a year just to just just for their 69 urban school systems to eliminate the differences in spending between schools. what the department has done for the first time is to try to put together the two major provisions of law that have always been separate. on comparability, which is the first one, members of this committee discussed and debated changing this provision we discussed at great length over the last six years. senator bennett of colorado has lots of experience with this and had one proposal. i had another. we ultimately decided not to make changes in comparability. instead, we included more transparency in the form of public reporting on the amount districts are spending on each student coming putting teacher salaries, so that parents and teachers know exactly how much money is being spent and can make their own decisions about what to do rather than the federal government mandating it be used in comparability
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calculations. then on the second provision of the law, on supplement not supplant, we address this provision and made changes with an effort to simplify the law and make it -- not make it more combo hated by no stretch of the imagination did we intend does any of the language in the law say that supplement not supplant may be used to modify the comparability provision. in fact, we specifically prohibited that we prohibited secretary, from requiring local school district to identify individual costs or or services as supplemental. we prohibited the secretary from prescribing any specific methodology that districts use to distribute state and local funds. and most importantly, we prohibited the secretary from requiring a state, local district or school to equalize spending.
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regulation is nothing but a deliberate attempt to -- no one has to guess what the law says. as the congressional research service is, we can just read its plain language. if the administration can't follow language on this, it raises great questions about what we might expect from future regulations. senator murray. you,or murray: thank chairman alexander, for holding this hearing. i appreciate all are witnesses for taking the time to be here with us today. last year, as you know, chairman alexander and i worked together on legislation to fix no child left behind and we both agreed -- what everyone across the country agreed, the low was badly broken. i'm glad we were able to break through that partisan gridlock
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and find common ground and pass the every student succeeds act with strong bipartisan support. at its heart, the nation's primary and secondary education law is a civil rights law and it is in that spirit that i come along with my colleagues, work to ensure that all students will have access to a halt -- a quality education regardless of where they live or how they learn or how much money their parents make. now that our allies on the books, i am committed to making sure it helps our students and our parents and our teachers and our schools in mice -- in my home state and across the country. here's what the education law does. the act gives states more flex ability. but it also includes strong federal guardrails for states as they design their accountability systems. a preserves the department's role to implement and enforce the law's federal requirements. it also promotes reliance on high-stakes testing. and it makes significant new
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investments to deseret access for our nation's youngest learners, to name just a few provisions of the law. right now, the department of education and states are taking this law from educated steps to active steps. i will continue to closely monitor several issues to make sure our law lives up to its intent to provide all students with a high-quality education. i expect the department to use its full of 30 that's its full authority to hold states and schools accountable. we were deliberate in granting -- department that includes things such as making sure states and districts take action every year to improve student achievement in any school that has groups of students struggling. i will take a close look at guidance and regulations for school intervention and support.
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those things will be critical to help low performing schools improve. one important is fiscal accountability. i hear from teachers and principals in my home state of washington about how important federal funding is to support their work. we need to make sure we support local and state resources and do not simply replace them. the regulation known as supplement not supplant is an important fiscal accountability measure, it is important to get this right. many stakeholders, including teachers and administrators and civil right groups have provided thoughts on how to regulate in this area. i hope as the process moves forward the department will continue to work with these groups on this issue. collaboration will be critical, not just for one particular regulation or another but throughout process to implement every student succeeds act. and gets information from parents and right groups is essential in making sure the law
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works in the coming months and years. i've been frustrated to hear from many stakeholders that they don't feel like they have a seat at the table as their states work on implementation and that includes teachers who aren't receiving time off to be part of state planning sessions and parents who can't attend meetings during the work day. a long with the ranking member bobby scott in the house have asked the department to help states and districts eliminate the systemic barriers that stakeholders face in getting involved in the implementation process. i'll continue to encourage stake holders like all of those represents here today and many more to stay active and make their voices heard throughout the implementation process. it is up to all of us to uphold the legacy and promise of the primary education law works for
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all students and i look forward to hearing from everyone today on how we can make sure that this law helps provide a good education for every child. >> thank you senator murray and thanks to you and the other members of the committee for your hard work on this legislation. i'm pleased to welcome seven witnesses to our hearing today. thank you to each of you for coming and for all you've done to help improve the education of the nation's children. senator hatch, former chairman of this committee, will introduce our first witness. who is miss lily garcia, president of the national education association. senator hatch. >> thank you, and i appreciate this opportunity and i'm pleased to be here today and grateful we could be joined by a true leader in education policy, lily garcia. i consider myself lucky to know lily. and even lucky to call her a friend. it is truly an honor to introduce her to the committee today. miss garcia has had a remarkable path in education. she began her career as a cafeteria worker and became an aide to a special education teacher. and as young mother, she worked
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her way through the university of utah where she graduated magnum cum laude with a bachelor's degree in education and laster earned a master's degree in instructional technology. she taught fourth and fifth and sixth grade in utah. and while in utah, she also worked with homeless children in a single classroom, mentored student teachers and acted as a peer assistant team leader. after demonstrating her effectiveness in the classroom, she was named utah teacher of the year in 1989. her passion for education extended beyond the classroom. and eventually led her to a career in policy making. she served as president of the utah education association before joining the national
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education association where she has served as a leader since 1996. in 2014, she was elected to serve as the president of the nea. she was instrumental in helping congress pass the every student succeeds act and i'm sure she will be an equally helpful person as we work to implement this ground-breaking legislation. essa represents a momentous opportunity for students and teachers alike by removing many of the overbearing federal policies stifling classroom instruction in the past. this new law allows educators more room to innovate and tailer their teaching to the needs of individuals and individual students. we're grateful for the role miss garcia played in helping this reform become a reality. miss garcia, we really welcome you to today's hearing and look forward to your guidance on the questions at hand and i just want to personally testify how much i appreciate what you've
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done with your life. thanks so much. >> thank you. i'll introduce the other witnesses and beginning with miss garcia, we'll ask you each to summarize your views in about five minutes and that will leave time for senators to engage in conversation and ask questions. our second witness is miss randy weingarten, the president of the american federation of teachers when represents 1.6 million members nationwide and prior to that she served for 12 years as president of the united federation of teachers, aft local 2. our third witness is dr. tony evers. we're getting accustomed to seeing him here. welcome dr. evers. he is the wisconsin state superintendent of public instruction. he serves as president of the board of council of the chief state school officers and served on the department of education's recent negotiated rule-making panel for regulations on the
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every student succeeds act. our fourth witness is dr. thomas ahart. he is the superintendent of des moines public schools in iowa and also served on the department of education recent negotiated rule-making panel for regulations on the every student succeeds act. our fifth witness, dr. nora gordon, associate professor at georgetown university and focusing on economics of education and federalism. and next we'll hear from denise marshall, from the executive direct -- patient attorneys and -- parent attorney and advocates. [laughter] close, wasn't i? parent attorney and advocates. she has over 30 years of experience working in the field of disabilities. our final witness is miss janet morgue ooeya, she is president and chief executive council of la raza and advocates for the
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latino community for education and workforce and civic engagement. thank you each for being here. miss garcia. >> thank you so much and thank you senator hatch. i appreciate that introduction. i am president of the 3 million member national education association but more important than that, i am a sixth grade teacher. and not only that, i'm a really, really good sixth grade teacher. i give myself goosebumps. i'm amazing. i have spent the last 13 years fighting against what i saw as a cloud of test and punish that was hanging over every public school in the united states of america. and i cried for joy the entire day that the president signed the new law, every student succeeds. that day would not have come without the leadership of senator alexander and senator murray and i just want to start by thanking you and thanking all
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of your colleagues for making in a day possible. i have about 14 hours worth of really good advice to give you. they told me i have five minutes. so i will talk really, really fast. number one, and i cannot stress this enough, i am a really good teacher. you should really listen to me. and i mention that because i remember, i was in my classroom at the salt lake homeless shelter in a one-room classroom, a k-6 classroom in the shelter when congress was debating the passage of this thing called no child left behind. and i just was beside myself thinking, wait a minute, 100% of the kids are going to hit a cut score on a standardized test. that is not even possible. and i remember thinking, did anyone stop to ask a working classroom teacher how we made out a report card, how we measured success.
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did anyone stop to ask a working classroom teacher what might be the unintended consequences of high stakes testing on the most vulnerable students like the students i was teaching so for me, a huge part and the first thing i want to talk about is the fact that in this new law states and districts must engage the people who know the names of the students. it says over and over again that you have to include the educator's voice in developing that dashboard of indicators and how we're going to be pleasuring student success. -- measuring student success. some folks in states are going to respect that and some folks aren't. we're already hearing back where someone -- an educator has asked to sit on a committee, but they meet during the school day. and they don't provide a substitute teacher. or you put an educator on a committee and she has to drive three hours to the meeting and
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there is no reimbursement for her gas to get to the meeting. so we know it is possible to do it right. we are hearing good things from places like oregon. the oregon education association knocked at the door and folks on the state level said come on in and their at the table and making amazing things happen. very collaboratively. and then you go to new mexico, where our new mexico affiliate knocked on the door and the door was slammed in their faces and they said we don't need you. so we're going to have -- we're going to have this implemented in very different ways across the country. we have so much hope that if our voices are in the room, we will get something really good out of this much better law and we hope you'll continue to encourage the state leaders to abide by the law you passed and welcome the educators to the table. number two, you cannot possibly imagine how excited we are about
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better data, better information. aside from that one side fits all standardized test, to have the dashboard of indicators we believe is the game-changer for our students. as you know, the original 1965 esea did give school districts some important resources for title one schools and other programs to help fill that resource gap that was so obvious among schools that had so much sand schools that had -- and schools that had so little, depending on what zip code you were in. but it was never meant to take over the primary responsibility of state and local government for running our schools. the federal government's role in esea is still to assist but what is new and what is completely appropriate for the federal
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government is to require that we have better data, more complete data that transparency that the community deserves, so everyone can see whether all students have that equal opportunity to learn. and where it is unequal, what the state and the local school district plan to do about it. that needs to be on the table. we're thrilled that everyone seems to be using the word "equity." that is what we feel like we got away from, looking at the equitable resources that are given our most vulnerable students. but finally, i do want to say that even though we're all using that word, governors, the department of education, the unions and certainly congress in putting it in the law, we're defining it sometimes in very different ways. we think you did a very good thing in spelling out in the law that school districts have flexibility in how they're going
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to report what services are being provided to our students. you rejected that continuation of a one-size fits all number. there is only one way to judge this. we think it is very good. and so we're very worried at the proposals of the department of education that appear to take away that flexibility. we absolutely -- and i need to say this very clearly, we support the new reporting element that requires all public schools to report their actual per pupil expenditures. local state and federal. disaggregated by personnel and nonpersonnel and that is a improvement and gives better transparency. but we know we're seeing popping up around the country some very creative programs in giving services to students. if all you're doing is counting those specific dollars spent by
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education departments, you are going to miss some services that are provided in a community school concept maybe by social services. you might not count some of the services that are provided by a boys and girls club. >> excuse me for interrupting, i want to make sure everyone has the five minutes. >> ok. >> go ahead and wind up. >> winding up right now. if you are just counting dollars that a district makes in teacher placement decisions based on the specific salary or benefits cost, so that things look -- you're going to worry about things looking equal instead of saying are we actually giving services to our students. all we're saying is why in the world would you want to cut off reasonable flexibility that a district might have in giving something creative and meaningful to our students. and to discourage districts from finding those creative solutions.
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we hope that will you make your intent crystal clear. and in closing, i would just say we are ready, willing and able to find those creative solutions. we're excited about being at the table. and we appreciate you giving us the chance to show you what we can do. >> thank you. miss weingarten. >> thank you. am i on now? thank you. it takes a state superintendent to tell me that. thank you. so my name is randi weingarten and i'm president of the aft and it is my privilege to be here to talk about the views on the
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implementation of esea but i want to start with my colleague and friend lily garcia started with as well which is i cannot thank this committee, and particularly senator alexander and senator murray enough for listening to parents and practitioners and helping to navigate this bill to law and to break the gridlock in d.c. to enact esea. we need to thank you over and over again on that issue. what i wanted to discuss was the promise of esea but i'll focus my comments on the regulatory process particularly on what the u.s. department of education has released so far on the supplement not supplant provisions and what we anticipate will be released on accountability systems. now we at the aft view the policy details through the lens of whether they both work in america's classrooms and reflect the voices of educators and i particularly today am speaking with two decades of experience in the largest school district in the united states, where we actually had to deal and had to work through and make sure equity matters in terms of some of the provisions.
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i am particularly pleased that senator murray and representative scott as senator murray has already referred, reiterated the priority that getting the voices of practitioners and parents in this implementation is absolutely critical. unfortunately, in the first regulatory action on the supplement, not supplant rules, the education department demonstrated it was neither listening to stake holders nor following the framework of the legislation. instead by con flating as senator alexander has already said, the supplement not supplant and comparability policies, the department seems to be pushing or pursuing an agenda that was rejected in the legislative process. now the pursuit of both equity and excellence for the children is part of the equity dna and there are several ways to do this. one is through full funding of title one. something we will keep fighting for through this appropriations
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process. i would suspect that almost anyone involved in education would be fighting to level up spending rather than level down spending so that schools currently spending the least could be made whole. in addition, esea continues important equity safeguards so you could not deny disadvantaged children to level the playing field. that includes the maintenance of effort provisions as well as the s and s provisions an the way in which the title one formula is currently structured, all of which we fought very hard for , as all of you know. and this is why i disagree with the supplement, not suppose plant proposal. the department as lily said wants to make dollar for dollar comparisons rather than what happens right now. so this is what that means in practical terms. right now principals have a number of teachers they can hire based on positions rather than an exact dollar amount they can
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spend. that principal, if it that changes, then a teacher's salary and benefit is what will determine whether the teacher gets hired, whether the teacher gets retained or gets transferred, not anything else. not what the school needs to run a program, not what the schools particular problematic focus is, not the needs of school children. so what will happen is that some schools will face cuts that will compel them to make no-win choices about which teachers they keep or they hire. dollar for dollar comparisons and i can talk about this for hours, because i've lived this. dollar for dollar comparisons in a district could even be thrown off by something as simple as how many teachers in each school have individual health coverage as opposed to family coverage. the difference between $5,000
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per coverage versus $20,000 for coverage. these types of unintended consequences are major disruptions that have nothing to do with equity or opportunity . when you force districts to count exact spending in a school, the goals get lost in translation. we cannot equalize spending that way. finally, we are concerned that the education department will take the level of prescription as proposed for supplement not supplant to the upcoming regulations on school and district accountability systems. this could strip the flexibility necessary to create accountability systems that envision new ways to define and measure learning as opposed to the current and far too restrictive and counter productive focus on test scores. the promise of esea lies in the opportunity for stakes, for states with broader stakeholder input to create robust systems of accountability that redefine how we measure learning.
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so that learning is really about learning and not simply math and english test scores. thank you very much and i'm sorry i went over by 34 seconds. >> but it was an enthusiastic 34 seconds. so thank you ms. weingarten. dr. evers. >> thank you chairman and ranking member and members of the committee for allowing me to testify. it is good to be back.
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i'm back again. as i highlighted in previous testimony before this committee, state and local leaders are committed to making sure that all kids achieve rat theat the highest level. overly prescripted mandates left states and local districts without the ability to tailor strategies to meet the needs of the kids. as a lifelong educator, i believe we must learn from our mistakes. the every student succeeded act which gives us a chance to move our state and local education systems forward in ways that are impactful. but in doing so, we have to admit and recognize that essa is is a landmark piece of civil rights law and one that presents us with the opportunity to see our challenges with new eyes in the hopes of finding a solution that makes a difference for kids. last week, i sent authorizations to the rise a group to identify members of the groups, i reached out to national civil rights organizations and groups that had not focused on k-12 issues. they joined education-oriented legislation, parents, teachers, and others to advise on a state plan which will increase opportunities for all kids. as i told prospective members of this council in the invitation,
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we need a diversity of experience and expertise if we're going to be successful in closing one of the nation's largest achievement gaps in the state of wisconsin. in addition, wisconsin's broader outreach plan involves facilitated learning sessions and virtual sessions for we also use facilitated feedback for anyone in the state who wants to provide information, and this information will be used before the equity council. i am proud of the work we are doing in wisconsin on equity, the best solutions come from places closest to kids. regulation and guidance develops providing clarity otherwise confusing areas not implementing requirements that were not envisioned by congress. flexibility has been a central element of essa.
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i recognize the state has different systems. the flexibility provided allows states to focus on the most important and difficult work ahead. in contrast, the department negotiated the rulemaking process on supplement and not supplant. they were well intended, but it will have significant impact on drug focus away from student learning in service to unwieldy physical balancing acts. it is the responsibility of school leaders to put educators in front of kids that need them the most. qualifications, in service to kids, they contemplate optimal configurations, staffing patterns, and so many needs all with an eye for increased
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student achievement. i worry that the rules reduce these complex decisions to an overly simplified calculation which at the end of the day does not guarantee student access to quality educators. as a member of the negotiated ruling committee, i understand the arguments on both sides of the issue. i believe it is clear that the proposed regulations that supplement the plant exceed the department's authority under the law. state and local schools absolutely have a responsibility to their kids to examine federal funding. they owe it to parents and families that they support that they have the discussions that are open and meaningful and transparent. they need to be sure that they are reaching all of the people that make up the school community. that kind of authentic discussion and problem solving
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cannot be achieved through a federal mandate. i firmly believe the state should be held cannibal for the accountable for the students results. states are committed using additional flexibility funding to improve education outcomes for all kids. let us lead the way and thank you so much for allowing me to testify and i look forward to your questions. >> good morning, chairman alexander and senator murray and the rest of the help committee and thank you for your leadership on finally achieving the reauthorization of esea, long overdue. i'm tom ahart, superintendent of the des moines public schools with my seven member board of education i'm responsible for the education of the largest school district in the state of iowa. we are committed to meeting the educational needs of each one of our students by recruiting and supporting a team of talented professionals and in each of the 63 schools.
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our 33,000 students were born in 106 different countries and speak over 100 languages, qualify for reduced price meals at a rate of 75% and are 58% minority. that commitment is reflected in a steady increase in the graduation rate and in reading and math and proficiency in closing achievement gaps. des moines continues to operate under the antiquated no child left behind act since iowa is one of the few states without a nclb waiver. we have more reasons than most to welcome the enactment of the every student succeeds act and we're working closely with the state department of education on a statewide implementation process. virtually all of the school-based representatives of the essa regulations negotiations committee expressed practical concerns regarding the impact and feasibility of the number of the proposed regulations. these operational concerns relate to regulatory barriers to effective instructional services for students, interference in school autonomy, staff replacement, unworkable
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criteria, and additional costs and unrealistic obligations. while regulations are intended to clarify provisions of the statute and facilitate effective implementation, many of the regulatory provisions appear to restrict, condition, redefined, and even expand essa. i'm hard pressed to identify any regulatory additions or offered by the education department necessary for effective implementation at the local level. the most troubling regulatory proposal was the department's draft regulation to impose per pupil expenditure comparability requirements under the supplement, not supplant provision of the act. despite no changes in the current esea provisions, the department require per pupity expenditure comparability between title i schools and non-title i schools. this proposed regulation would
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require salary equivalency between such schools. as senator alexander already mentioned, since the nation's teacher salary system is based on years of experience and advanced education, schools with older, higher-paid staff compared to younger and less higher paid staff would trigger noncompliance on an unprecedented scale. moreover, requirements ensure the same number of equivalent teachers are employed in title one as in nontitle one schools. to comply, districts would have to spend additional state and local funds to cover salary deferential between higher paid and lower paid teachers or in an alternative compliant scenario, districts potentially could shift the higher paid teachers to title one schools and lower paid teachers to nontitle one schools. unfortunately, neither of these options correlate with improving student performance because state to state, there is simply there is no relationship between salary level and teachers effectiveness.
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school districts do not have the state and local funds for compliance, nor should districts disrupt instructional continuity of practice in our schools by summarily transferring teachers. moreover, the teacher transfer option would violate more collective bargaining agreements. many districts would be facing with an impossibility of performance under these regulations which have no reasonable basis in the act and appear to violate three separate statutory prohibitions in the essa. i hasten to add that neither of these solutions, even if possible to implement, reflect best education practice. what often seems to be lost on the department is that many high poverty schools are not served with title one -- with title one because frankly, there is not enough to go around. while a 40% free and reduced price meal rate can qualify for title one services, just in des moines public schools we have multiple schools with an over 70% free and reduced price lunch rate that we are not able to provide with title one services. additionally, our ability to
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serve schools with concentrated poverty for which we do not have title one funds would be jeopardized under the proposed regulations. essa was enacted with a broad group of support and at the national and state and local regulations. that could undermine that broad support. no child left behind has demonstrated that the best intentions for improving achievement of at risk students could not be micromanaged from the federal level. i would suggest that state and local officials be given the opportunity to get it right under essa. on the other hand, the education department could be helpful in issuing nonregulatory guidance that provides a nonexclusive range of examples of implementation options for various provisions of essa. there is no such thing as one size fits all. even in iowa, the broad range of individual district to characteristics vary widely. the only hope for successful results from essa rest in the state agency's craft of guide
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abc meaningful to individual state and district contexts. finally, i am proud of the progress that my district has made over the last four years despite insufficient state funding and ever increasing student needs. the current supplement, not supplant regulations focus on positions, not funding, have helped to make that possible. dmps is becoming the model for urban education in the united states. the proposed essa regulations will force us to disrupt some of the effective reform in the country and threaten the progress of some of our nation's most disadvantaged students. we can better if regulation as line with the letter and the spirit of the statute itself. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the new regulations with you. >> thank you, dr. ahart. dr. gordon. >> thank you. chairman alexander, ranking member murray and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
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i'm associate professor the georgetown university mccourt school of public policy and research associate at the national bureau of economic research. i conduct research on u.s. education policy, school finance, and desegregation. in the course of my research on title one i have analyzed finance data and interviewed many state and district title one directors. today i'll discuss how it changes the definition of supplement not supplant and how the department of education proposes to regulate it and discuss the unintended consequences that could come from the proposed regulation. the department's proposed rule as other witnesses have testified is meant to up support equity. this is a laudable goal. but when you look at the compliance incentives it generates and consider what district might do in order to comply with the rule, you could see how it could actually wind up hurting disadvantaged students both in title one schools and in nontitle one schools. supplement not supplant is meant to ensure districts do not
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reduce the amount of state and local money they give to a title one school compared to what they would give the school if it did not participate in title one. this is an important mission given the history of the law and past abuses. under no child left behind, an earlier versions of the esea districts could comply with supplement not supplant based on what they bought with title one dollars even if they gave title one schools less state and local money and add title i funds make up the difference. essa fixes that by showing how funds are distributed by the school and their methodology does not reduce the school state and local funding because of the school's participation in title one. federal law still requires districts to spend funds in accordance with program goals and track their spending regardless of how supplement not supplant is regulated. the department of education proposed rule would require districts to use a methodology to allocate state and local
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funds as others have discussed but just -- please, one more time, this one sentence, that results in each title one school spending an equal or greater amount per pupil than the average amount it spends per pupil in the nontitle one schools. current data don't permit us to generate reliable evidence on how many districts are in compliance with the proposed rule based on current resource allocations or how much they would need to spend in order to comply. aside from these unknown costs, the rule could trigger consequences that are bad for equity as districts are forced to consider compliance first and what is best for kids second. for example, the rule could penalize districts working to increase economic or racial in inintegration and those in title one schools. the rule could penalize district efforts to increase teacher diversity in title one schools because increasing teacher
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diversity requires the recruitment of new and therefore typically less expensive teachers. the rule could penalize districts that allocate state and local funds through weighted per pupil formulas that generate more money for low income and special education or english language learning students. such districts could nonetheless fail under the proposed rule if higher weighted students attend nontitle one schools. importantly, the proposed rule only compares funding levels in title one schools to nontitle one schools. this narrow focus penalized other local approaches to equity and ignores many low income schools that do not receive title one funds as we've just heard. this could punish districts that attempt to mitigate poverty effects in those poor but nontitle one schools. stakeholders are absolutely right and want to ensure that federal funds are not used as a sub for state and local funds and title one schools.
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as the new statutory language does this by requiring districts to have allocation methodology that do not reduce a school's access to state and local funds because of its participation in title one. an alternative regulatory approach than the one propose would be to require districts to make their methodology like their spending data publicly available. then parents and voters would not only see how much is spent at each school, but they would also see district priorities as revealed through their funding mechanisms. thank you for the opportunity to comment on this topic. >> thank you, dr. gordon. miss marshall. >> chairman alexander, ranking member murray, and members of the committee. i'm honored to be here today to represent copa, a national peer to peer network that works to protect the civil rights of students with disabilities and their families. we stand strong to say our kids count, they can achieve and what they need and deserve is an equal opportunity to succeed. copa thanks for your bipartisan
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leadership in passing our nation's general education law, the every student succeeds act. we worked very closely throughout the reorganization -- reoptimization with her disabilities, civil rights, and business communities and communities to ensure that esea included critical issues it is intended to support. this includes 7.7 million black students, 13.1 million hispanic students, 25 million students from low income families, 4.5 million english language learners, and 6.4 learning students with disabilities. it gained support precisely because although it has that great focus on flexibility which is important, we were also able to ensure it had accountability, key provisions that protects all. it's harsh to recall and unbelievable to realize that students with disabilities only had access to education in my lifetime.
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it took 40 years prior to the passage of the no child left behind. they were not counted. they were not included in the assessments, in the state, local, or district accessibility systems and as a result, they were all but invisible. not including them in the account and not holding students accountable for their learning limited access to the general education curriculum and created separate and often segregated instruction. parents had no idea how their students were doing in school as compared to the state standards. now the requirements of esea can access the regular curriculum and have a real shot at a regular diploma. this is a civil rights law and we have fought hard for equal access. our kids want in and our families deserve to have the same data about their child's achievement as every other child in the building. through the eyes and ears of the copa network, we know how to keep expectations high.
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coupled with the requirements of i.d.e.a. and other federal laws, protecting the rights of students and their families, esea can change the lives of students. i want to share two stories, one about bruce from south carolina who suffered, bullied relentlessly, unable to keep up because of his dyslexia. but with relentless efforts of his parents and educators and the right services for dyslexia, he's graduating high school, has a full-time job, and heading to college in the fall. blair, a young student from pennsylvania, with the support of her service dog, graduated high school and is currently a public relations major in college. we have a long way to go before we can report the success of all students, but we know the possibilities for each to succeed are substantial and real. today i focus on some important
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provisions of essa for us. creating the public transparency in the data i know we all share and requiring school leaders do something about it when the data shows there is reason to act. accountability equals responsibility. essa no longer contains the mandates and consequences of his predecessor and i think we were dancing for that. but the responsibility lies squarely with the schools. esea includes core principles and guardrails that we know can guide decisionmaking and protect resources and students. critical provisions are intended to assure and strong regulations must support the requirement for action when outcomes are demanded. we have to have a state system with design goals and measures of progress that have summative ratings and quality indicators, intervention in each of the three categories of the law, timely evidence-based intervention focused on raising achievement. we simply cannot leave any child's language with no intervention.
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they need to have the intervention and services in a time frame that can have an impact in their educational lifetime. we also want title 1 regulations that provide for a range of statistically reliable and accessible end sizes and we want to ensure state support is provided to business to reduce bullying and harassment, all of which are disproportionately used on students of disabilities and students of color, which result not only in harm and trauma but make it impossible for them to learn. we need safe school climates. you passed essa to advance the equity of education. that is the test and the measurement that counts. state and district efforts must target policies and resources on urgent needs of students on what is an important journey in their lives. i want to finally add i urge us to get past the tug-of-war of control and figure out a way to
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invest equitably in students and find innovative ways to ensure the greater number of students, including those of color, ell, and disabilities are able to succeed. i thank you for this opportunity and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, miss marshall. miss lugaia. >> thank you, mr. chairman, chairman alexander and ranking member murray. i want to thank you all and all members of the community for the opportunity to appear before you today and to discuss a subject that is so critically important to the civil rights community, this implementation of essa. for over a decade, i have served as president and ceo, of la raza, which is the largest organization in the united states representing hispanics, and we represent over 250 affiliates which are community local-based organizations
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serving latino and immigrant populations nationwide. i was very proud to stand with many of you behind the president when this important legislation was signed into law. again, i want to thank you for your leadership. we know it has the potential to benefit 13 million latino students and 5 million english learners across the country. for the first time, english learner students will be included in states accountability systems and states must standardize entrance and exit criteria for these students. that is a big step. my remarks focus on latino educational attainment. i will share ways appropriate implementation of essa can improve outcomes for communities of color. last year, american schools reached a significant demographic milestone. a majority of students in our classroom were students of color. as schools across the country have become increasingly
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diverse, latino students make up 25% of our k-12 enrollments. the second largest group of students in schools after white students. in part as a result of comparable standardized assessments and college and career oriented curricula, latino students are now graduating at higher rates than ever and they're enrolling in post-secondary institutions in record numbers. however, despite improvements in key areas, inequality and access and achievement among latino and other students of color remain persistent, and still too many latino students are not college-ready. according to the 2015 national assessment of educational progress, regrettably nearly half of latino fourth graders were reading at below basic levels compared to 21% of whites, a startling statistic given our changing work force. as the department of education
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moves forward implementing esea, it is important to recognize the legacy of the original elementary and secondary education act in promoting equity for our nation's most vulnerable children. it is imperative that federal funds are used to sup meant -- used to supplement state and local resources for those most in need. students in high poverty districts receive nearly 10% less in state and local funds per student than those in the lowest poverty districts, meaning students in districts most in need of extra services staff or educational supports, including english language instruction, are being short changed. the future success of students of color and english learner students in large part depends on addressing this resource gap. in addition to furthering equity, esea mandates that the department of education issue
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regulations to hold schools accountable if groups of students are not meeting challenging academic standards. while states and districts have flexibility in designing their accountability plans, the federal government must play a role to ensure progress for these students does not erode. to this end, the department of education should set clear parameters for state accountability systems and timely interventions for student students falling behind. finally, we know the didn't of -- we know the department of education cannot fulfill its mandate alone. stake holders from the business and civil rights communities have a role to play to ensure states and districts thankfully implement the laws' requirements. faithfully implement the laws' requirements. already, a nashville based affiliate has organized partner organizations to jointly engage the tennessee department of education on the state's accountability and equity plans making the case for needs of latino and immigrant students.
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in the months ahead, these stakeholders will be closely monitoring the regulatory process to emphasize essa's potential to promote an educational system that is transparent, accountable, and equitable to further the achieve achievement of all students. thank you, and i look forward to working with all of you as we implement this important law. >> thank you very much. we'll now move to a round of five-minute questions by the senators. dr. gordon, you're a scholar of education, finance, and legislation. let me ask you this. the language in the law on supplement and supplant has as its goal, to say, that a school district can't use title i money to replace local money, a fairly straightforward proposal. why -- the language, we thought, was pretty plain and clear. why is there a need for
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regulation of that law? isn't it possible just to read the law and know what to do without the department elaborating on it through regulation? >> thank you for your question, senator. i'll read the law because there's a lot of questions about the law. >> you only have five minutes. >> it's one sentence. the methodology to allocate local funds to each school under this part ensures that such school receives all of the state and local funds it would otherwise receive were it not receiving assistance under this part, this part being title i. to me, that sentence is clear. i've read that sentence more than some people. i understand how clarification could be useful to some people, but interestingly this part of the law already applied to schoolwide programs under no child left behind, and the department of education issued extensive guidance in july of
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2015 clarifying how to clarify this with types of examples. >> let me interrupt because i only have a short five minutes for questions. if the effect of the proposed regulation because it would require title i schools to spend on average, an amount that is at least as much or greater than non-title i schools, which you say that would be an attempt to equalize spending among schools in a school district? would not be effective doing that attempt to equalize spending?
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>> i am an economist. attempts toically curb spending. but the federal one says you may not do that. you mentioned new testimony were not concerned about this contradictory specific provision to the law. but what that might mean for future regulations. my understanding was that the whole discussion, or most of the discussion about fixing no child left behind was the consensus that we keep the federally required tests and would expand the man of data that was used to let people know the results of the test were.
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do but theat to results of the test can responsibility of those closest to the children. that is called the accountability system. what about what the department is doing marie's you about what might happen with future regulation involving the so-called accountability system? >> thank you for the question. i share janet's concerns in terms of the accountability system. that is where most of the real thought needs to go into what are the guardrails, and what is the flexibility that states should have to actually think about what constitutes real food learned in these days and had we actually help kids get there. the fact that the department
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seems to be doing the same old -- doingthe terms of and trying to rewrite history terms of supplement not supplant , as opposed to really thinking about how do we ensure there's flexibility that really looks at what kids need through the lens of the practitioners is what is concerning all of us in terms of any number of issues. like the weight, the definition of significant, the definition of evidence, what happens in terms of the 95% per dissipation rate. so it's whittling away the good will that all of us have at actually helping all kids succeed. particularly vulnerable kids. >> thank you. >> as i said, it's to provide all children access to fair
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equitable high quality qualification. esea maintains that to cla fie -- by requiring states to classify each school or any subgroup of student is consistently underperforming for districts to take meaningful action. i agree with the civil rights committee, including those who advocate for the rights of students with disabilities without strong regulations our nation's most vulnerable students could be ignored or left behind. miss marshall, i want to ask you can you speak to why a regulation should focus on performance of individual groups of students rather than on comparing students to each other within the same school? can you explain why that's particularly important for students with disabilities? ms. marshall: thank you, senator murray, for your commitment of the equality and plow text of civil rights of students with disabilities. since disability are general education students first, it's imperative they be compared against the same state standards that every other student is compared against.
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we want to make sure that they have a fair and equitable opportunity to both access and to benefit from their education. in order to find out how they are doing in that regard to -- compared to peers at their grade level, we have to look at the subgroup or individual scores against the state standard. we want to make sure that we know how they are doing in regards to the possibility of getting the diploma. research is clear high expectations equal being further in life, having no diploma basically equals lack of outcomes, no jobs, sitting at home. the stakes could not be higher for our students. senator murray: for miss garcia and ms. weingarten, just
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yesterday as of the 62nd anniversary of the brown vs. brown decision n.g.o. released a report detailing the relationship between resegregation and resource equity in our nation's schools. in particular g.a.o. found that schools with high prsages of low-income and minority students are less likely to have access to advance course work and more likely to experience high rates of exclusionary discipline. essa requires any school in which one or more subgroups is at the level of the bottom 5% to address inequities and could significant new reporting requirements, i want to ask both of you. how critical is the issue of resource equity? in particular in light of how far we still have to go in terms of the promise. >> for all educators, resource equity is the game changer here. it's what we haven't been measuring. i think it's why so many of the
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comments today were on -- let's not go back to a numbers game where we pretend that if we hit this number it must mean that we have equitable opportunity to learn. you can be measuring things on that dashboard. the dashboard is absolutely crucial for us because when you have that collaboration between the professional educator that knows the kids, the parents, administrators, elected school board members saying here's what we believe will be the game changer, how many of our students are graduating from high school having already earned college credit? you can measure that. that's an opportunity to learn. that's a program that could look very different if you're in a rural community or an urban community. if you have a community college, if you have a.p. class, international baccalaureate programs. we want to actually have that dashboard measure the real services and supports that those kids have. we believe that that is how you're going to move the needle.
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senator murray: ms. weingarten? ms. weingarten: i would go further which is not covered by this law which is resource add -- adequacy. we need to level the playing field for kids and there are many, many times that vulnerable kids actually need more. and part -- that is baked into some of the title 1 formulas, but what happens is we have to make sure there is not counterproductive efforts here. so adequacy and equity are essential to leveling the playing field. but that includes a much broader view than just actual dollars. it includes, what are the programs, what do we need to do in terms of dual emergent, a.p., to ensure the kids i taught at clara barton high school, a title 1 school, could compete in the debates against kids in scars dale high school, a very well funded school?
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that requires a lot of thinking about how do you actually contour schools to the needs of your students. senator murray: thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator murray. senator enzi. senator enzi: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to start by stathe -- stating that the actions of the u.s. department of education that they have taken over the last few months on a number of issues is of great concern to me and the people that i represent. i want to thank all of you for -- that have testified. you provided some great information both in the printed testimony and what you said. i want to thank the chairman and ranking member for the tremendous leadership that they provided so that this committee could have an influence on changing the law and in a way that the president signed and that we are now trying to get done. now is not the time to implement the law differently. it's important that we implement it as it was written, and we are in charge of presiding over
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that. and this is a good start. it's not the time to bring up things that were not agreed to and change the outcome through executive action. when i first got here, i had a principal who wanted to see where the reports went that had he to do. he got leave from his school district to come back and spend a semester here. he spent his time over at the department of education. when he reported back to me he said, you know, they take a look at every one of those forms. they make sure every single blank has a logical answer. if it doesn't they send it back. then when it's completed they file it and nobody looks at it. we have been in the process of eliminating some of those. in the meantime. but this particular supplement sounds like a new opportunity to get new reports that will tain a lot of information that, again, may not be used or could be used detrimentally. i do know the devastating effects that could be within the proposed changes that could have on states such as wyoming.
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wyoming's constitution as the chairman mentioned calls for a complete and uniform system of public instruction. one that mandates the equitable allocation of resources among all school districts in the state. wyoming doesn't need the federal government telling it how to provide equalized education for all students. we have been doing it since 1889 and taking it to court regularly to make sure that happens. it's not just the dollars, it's the supplies and even the school buildings that have to be equal. and i'm hearing from my state that the proposed action by the department of education would cause the forced transfer of public schoolteachers across our county and maybe even the state. i'm the father of a public school teacher and the grandfather of a public school student and there is no reason the federal government should be interfering with where my daughter chooses to teach or where my children get their
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instruction. so, doctor, can you tell me how this will impact frontier areas such as wyoming? we are the least populated state in the nation. i understand the forced transfer of teachers sounds ok to individuals in this administration that don't understand states like wyoming or wisconsin. it seems to me that rural and frontier states will be hit the hardest with such an outcome. as a former teacher of the year -- as the superintendent of a rural state, can you tell me what kind of an impact this will have? >> absolutely. just as an aside, the -- one of the major issues in rural wisconsin, and i'm sure in rural wyoming, is who is going to teach those schools? we were having an extraordinarily severe teacher shortage, and it can be blamed on a whole number of issues. i have my own opinions.
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when we take the ability for local school districts, rural or local, and confine the way they hire people in a way that isn't going to help kids necessarily, and we try to -- i get the idea that it's important to have some transparency around equitable distribution of money. this doesn't get it. that's the main thing. but what it does do is give rural districts who have a very difficult time to begin with in hiring staff members, they would amplify that concern in that it would take away principles and superintendents and those that do hiring to really conflate a number of different issues that really doesn't matter. and that's equalness of the distribution. so it's going to make their jobs more difficult to find high quality teachers. that's the bottom line. for rural wisconsin and wyoming, that's a huge issue. in rural areas, teachers are the
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main backbone of those communities and we have to make sure that we get the best people in those positions. senator enzi: i'll get you written questions on the negotiating rule making panel you are on. i want to thank dr. gordon for the specificity of accounting consequences which you had in your testimony and what you said. i'll be providing more questions regarding that. i know that those have a tendency to put the audience to sleep but they are important to what we are doing. thank you. >> we have one accountant on the committee. which is senator enzi. thank you. senator bennett. senator bennett: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, panelists, for being here today and everything you do for our schools and kids. it's been said today that this federal law is a civil rights law and i believe that. what that means for me as we sit
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here is thinking about the millions of children that are marooned in public schools, rural and urban, in america today that are schools that nobody on this panel would ever send one of our own kids or grandkids. and it's the reason i work so hard to try to close the comparability loophole. we didn't get there. we did get important reporting language on reporting actual salaries and other costs. i think that's important because it will equip teachers and parents with information they need to be able to make the case going forward. about how to create a system of public education that actual -- that actually will work in america for kids living in poverty. that won't be done by people on this panel. it's going to be done by all of you and the people you represent all across america. let me start with one question which is that we are one of three countries in the oecd who spend more money on wealthy students than we do on poor students. is there anybody on the panel who will defend that system in
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terms of closing the achievement gap in the united states? in other words, do you expect that if we continue to spend more money on wealthy kids than poor kids we have any hope of closing america's achievement gap? >> it was said today, there was testimony today, mr. chairman, i think we spent $620 billion, all in on education in america. if you're running a decent school district, 80% of that ought to be spent on teachers or more in my view. testimony from my fellow superintendent today was that, quote, "there is no relationship between salary level and teacher effectiveness." does anybody want to defend that? there is no relationship between the expenditure of 80% of what
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we spend in effectiveness of teachers. >> i may not -- senator bennett: what i want -- >> of course there is a relationship. i won't speak for who is an amazing superintendent in des moines, but there is much evidence that there is relationship between the experience of teachers and the stability of schools, and frankly part of what we are trying to do in schools that are struggling is how do we nurture and secure great teachers to stay at those schools. obviously there is both on a macro and micro way a -- there are real both correlations here. i think what my colleague was saying is that the dollar for dollar piece that the department is proposing doesn't get you to the equity issues that you have spent your life, senator -- senator bennett: and you as well. what i'm saying is whether the department ends up with this rule or doesn't end up with this
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rule. the reality is the way we are spending resources in this country, i'm the first to sarkse maybe the second or third because the two of you are here, the first to say we should pay teachers more in this contry. it's a disgrace what we pay teachers in the united states. but how we pay them really is important. i don't think we should be having people come here 0 years from now and say there is no correlation between how we pay teachers and their effectiveness. i think we need to work together to make sure that's not the case. because then you can't make the case we should have more resources. it worries me that we continue -- we come here, we tinker around the edges, and the reality is that if we don't have a solution to the kids that are showing up to kindergarten having heard 30 million fewer more affluentir
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peers, if kids don't have a choice would send our kid, and higher education continues to accelerate in its costs so if you're in the bottom of income earners, it costs you 85% of your college, whereas in the top income it's 15%. you add that together and our system of education is reinforcing the income inequality gap that we have rather than liberating people it. and that's an invitation from me to anybody on the panel to figure out how we go forward so 10 years from now we don't sit here having seen these results. that's going to happen in america not here. >> can i just comment on that? i would say, look, it took an extraordinary amount of effort for us all to kind of sort of barely come together to get this law over the finish line. it required a lot of engagement of a lot of stakeholders. honestly, as we look to implement this law, we are going
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to have to do the same thing of local district by local school district, state by state, and for us, those of us obviously who are very invested in seeing that equity outcome that we know is so important consistent with our american values, we believe that that flexibility is there. now that we have created this law. but it does not, in my view, undermine the importance of requiring appropriate rigorous federal oversight. and striking that balance as we move forward is going to be the challenge and the charge for all of us. i feel like in many ways our work has just begun as we look at how we are going to try to do
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this. what that flexibility is. i want to guarantee a strong, appropriate federal oversight as we move forward. senator bennett: thank you. >> senator isakson. -- senator murkowski. i made a mistake. i have done that once before and don't want to do it twice. >> actually, i will defer to senator isakson as i just came back in and i'm just finding out what has already been discussed. i will defer to senator isakson. >> senator isakson. senator isakson: thank you. i appreciate that, ranking member murray -- she left. i want to commend the ranking member and chairman for their leadership on the point we are at today and i think it will be a great empowerment for local boards of education and state boards of education to carry out the educational mandate in their state. throughout the debate, and i'm one of the last remaining people that wrote no child left behind so i readily admit that. it was a great act for six years but went through seven years where it wasn't re-authorized and it became an impediment because it made it harder and
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harder to make progress and people end up put in nonperforming schools that shouldn't be there. the thing i focused on most were children with disabilities and assessment. i'm married to a special ed teacher when i chaired the state board of education in georgia, i i worked hard on psycho-education and kids with disabilities to try to provide as much quality rules as we could and quality education. one of the things we had was a 1% exception. for kids with the kind of disability to have an alternative assessment rather than the mandated test under no child left behind. we rewrote the every student succeeds act the 1% cap stayed for the state but overruled by a regulation that said that the state board could not keep a local system or a -- from determining if a kid needed an alternative assessment based on the i.e.p. or individual disability in education act, to ensure there was more flexibility. all the 1% cap, it doesn't apply
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because the state, local education agencies idea governs and the i.e.p. is the governing document to determine whether the assessment is necessary. as two superintendents, would you tell me how that's working and how you intend to carry that out? dr. evers: that was an issue of lots of discussion if they negotiated regulations were. it is -- it's clearly -- it has changed the -- flipped the equation in that schools aren't held to their 1%. states are. we have an obligation to, think, it's an obligation as a state to meak sure that we don't, as a state, exceed that 1%. in addition, when we negotiate a rule around that, there are
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rules that -- asking for a waiver for any particular district we have to go through relatively rigorous process to make sure it doesn't happen. it's going to be about providing technical assistance in those districts that exceed 1%. and we'll do that. it's our responsibility. in the past it's been a local responsibility, but it's clear that this committee determine that the state needs to be accountable for that, which we will be. it's something that we take very seriously. >> thank you, senator. my district probably has a bigger challenge in meeting that 1% mark simply because of some of the specialized programming we have for medically fragile and severely and profound disabled students. but we always meet -- fall under that 1% mark. this is another example where it's very difficult at the federal level to set benchmarks that translate into an equitable measure at the state and local level.
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one of the things that came up during regulations negotiations was just this issue. and certainly what seems to be a bit of a paradox there, the state can't go over 1% but individual districts can. i would argue that a district that -- could have a lower percentage of students with that alternative assessment than what i have in my district, and be inappropriately testing more students than i am because of the nature of the programming that we offer. again, i think with good guidance from the state and the state offices working closely with the local education agencies, i don't see this as being particularly problematic. senator isakson: that's good to hear. the chairman made sure we empowered the local school boards. this is one of the areas where federal agency decide to enforce
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its side of that 1% it would be negative for local citizens of the state. we want to empower you to be in control of education. i appreciate what do you for the kids. thank you. >> thanks. senator warren. senator warren: thank you, mr. chairman. we spent a lot of time today talking about the financial accountability provisions in the new education law and the department of education's plans for enforcing these provisions. now, we have heard concerns from witnesses who represent the professionals on the front lines implementing essa, i want to make sure we have an opportunity to clarify a few key points regarding these provisions and why they are in the law in the first place. congress strengthened the financial accountability provisions in essa for a simple reason, to ensure that federal money is used to meet the purpose of title 1. i don't have a poster but i'll read it, to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high quality education. i underline all, not just children in wealthy districts.
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miss weingarten, let me start there, why do you believe it is important for federal law to require equity and adequacy in how education money is spent? ms. weingarten: i have been having a microphone problem all morning. essa is a civil rights law and it is about trying to make sure that there's opportunity for all children. so if that is the case, equity is absolutely essential in order to get to excellence, but as i was saying to senator murray earlier, that what we are seeing locally is that we have to actually have a fight for adequacy, too. it's not simply what is equal. in order to level the playing field, we actually have to give our vulnerable kids more. as senator bennett said, flip what's going on in this contry. what the law does is it starts
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us on that path, but it's not the end of that path. we need to be vigorous and rigorous in making sure that the kids who have had the least get the most. senator warren: thank you. i agree. let me follow up on that by asking, do you believe that the department has the authority to ensure that states and districts do not divert state and local funds away from public schools in low-income neighborhoods? ms. weingarten: i'm very glad you asked the question in that way.
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the entire testimony we have been talking about increasing as opposed to diverting. i believe that the federal government and the department of education has the authority to ensure that there is no diversion. >> let me turn to that part of it. they have the authority, but how can the department enforce these provisions in a manner that doesn't result in the unintended consequences that you and others have discussed? ms. weingarten: that, frankly, should have been what was -- what consumed the time of the committee with all due respect. as janet has said earlier, this is a very complicated law and there is a lot of complicated factors because it is very much a law that is about human behavior. and about lots of different
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multiple parts, as many of the senators and witnesses have talked about. the law provides some very powerful new provision, including transparency. and that transparency provision, as dr. gordon said, can be over methodology not just resources. we need to actually see what the funding levels are. we need to see how those transpyre and provisions operate. that can be the first set of enforcement processes. and then after that one looks at what you do next. but right now to move to something that one-size-fits-all enforcement mechanism that's not even allowed by the law seems like -- seems not wise. senator warren: not in the right direction. thank you. i will ask more on questions for the record. financial accountability is about making sure that federal dollars are used to make sure that the money goes to the children who need it most.
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there are legitimate disagreements over how the department of education can best enforce financial accountability provisions, but these are not disputes over whether those accountability provisions should be enforced or whether the department of education has the power to enforce those provisions. on that issue, i believe that the democrats and the teachers are in very strong agreement. republicans, on the other hand, seem to be arguing that financial accountability provisions of the law should simply be ignored. the department needs to figure out how to enforce financial accountability in a way that doesn't have unintended consequences, that disrupts schools. it is critical that the department listen to our teachers and to our school leaders. but ignoring accountability provisions is not an option. financial accountability is essential to ensure that states and districts actually give our teachers the resources they need to do their jobs and the states
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and districts use federal money to help our most vulnerable kids get a decent education. that is the law. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator warren. i'd like to say to the witnesses that i have an unavoidable conflict at 11:40, and will i need to leave, but senator casty has agreed to chair the remainder of the hearing. i want to thank each of you for coming and for your excellent written testimony and for what you have said this morning. senator murkowski: thank you, mr.
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chairman. thank you for the discussion this morning. very important at a lot of different levels. i come from a state where we spend a lot of money per pupil on our students, yet the outcomes are not consistent throughout. most tickly in our rural areas. back -- most particularly in our rural areas. back in 2007 a case was heard before the state supreme court brought by stakeholders in three rural districts. this was based on the concern that these districts were low performing because of a lack of funding equity. considerable deliberation, long-term fact-finding, the judge came back and said the problem wasn't money because each rural district got about the same per pupil, what they were saying were again different outcomes among them and among the individual schools. what the judge found was that the issue was the degree of state support and its effectiveness within different communities or perhaps lack thereof within the communities. so it was local support for schools. it was community school relationships. it was effective and culturally relevant curriculum. teach earn principal effectiveness.
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the data really demonstrated that this was what mattered here. not that money doesn't matter. you have to have the money in order to do these things, but the judge back in 2007 denied the move for more money and ruled that what the state needed to provide was more effective state support. then back in 2012 there was a settlement because there was still an argument about whether or not adequate financial funding was being provided. so in 2012 we see a settlement where the department of education and the state agreed
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to create programs to support pre-k, targeted resources grants, teacher retention grants, exit examine remediation, but it went specifically to the level of support that could be made available to these respective districts rather than a dollar for dollar comparison. i guess i'd throw it out to anyone here on the panel. i noted miss garcia, i wasn't here when you made the comment, but you apparently made a comment that we want to measure actual service and support not just the dollars. can you- comment on this situation in alaska and what our state's courts -- ms. garcia: i was a teacher but i was a student in alaska. i went to school when the stars were still out in the middle of the day. i want to tell you that the best teaching assignment i ever had was the salt lake city homeless shelter because the surrounding support that i had as the teacher that the district placed there, there were social workers that worked with the family.
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there was a health clinic. there was a dentist that came in every two weeks. the nutrition programs that they had. i was never alone. i had the support i needed as the professional who could deal with sometimes mental health issues that that family had. so i understand when you say you do need -- every school needs the technology, the textbooks, the facility. you need the stuff. but you also need to deal with the reality of that child's life. some children come to us with so many more needs that aren't met in their home, in their community. they come from homes where they don't have disposable income sometimes to take a child to the dentist. and so that child walks into our classroom in pain and we have to do something about it. whether or not we have been given the resources to do anything about it or not.
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so for me it is more than just counting the dollars. the dollars are important. but you also have to say how creative can i be in seeing what kind of service and support, what kind of community organizations are out there that can help me? in utah we are the lowest per pupil funded school district in the nation. we can stretch a dollar until you can see through t we are the most creative educators on the planet. give us more money, that would be nice. but whatever we are given, then we try and leverage that into something more meaningful and supporting those children.
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that's why we want to say which services, which supports, which programs. it may cost a different number of dollars in this community than in this community, but for instance, i keep using support as how can we make sure our kids graduate from high school having already earned college credit? what would that look like? it might look like something very different if you're in nome than in anchorage where you have a university right there and another might look like something online. but what we want is that power of professionals working in collaboration in each community to design something that makes sense for that community. and in what you're measuring is do you have the ability, do these children have the opportunity to earn college credit before they graduate from high school? how many of them are doing that? how many of them used graduation day as a springboard into higher education?
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talk about what -- describe what you're trying to accomplish, and then be creative about designing something that meets the needs of that specific school community. >> may i respond briefly? senator murkowski: i'm over my time. >> what jumped out at me that you said initially about the case was that the judge ruled that there was already a per pupil equality in the expenditure. i think for us it sounded like that's what you -- that it wasn't the money that made the difference. but for us that equality is important because i have been in a lot of schools on both ends of the spectrum. when you walk in the front door and the starkness of the resources hits you in the face, i cannot imagine how adding extra dollars there equals
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supplement. when the scale is so tipped. >> i would just add a point. look, we know right now that black and latino students are 1.5 times more likely to be taught by novice teachers. is there a dollar for dollar solution that's going to directly address that in every part of the country and in every district and every state? i'm not sure. but i do know that a zip code should not dictate the resources available to students. we need to make sure that there is an opportunity for the voices of those communities, most affected and impacted by the plans that are going to be set forth at the state level, to be represented. and i think for us having affiliates, and we have affiliates in alaska, to have
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that voice heard so that they can be represented is going to be an important part of getting to an outcome that hopefully achieves that equity that is at the heart of the original legislation. i believe is still embodied in this legislation. but for me it's the strong federal oversight role that going to ultimately be the counter balance to making sure that that is set forward in a manner that's consistent with what we have intended. >> didn't mean to cut you off. senator murkowski: i would like to add that within the alaska court the supreme court there, the funding may have been equally adequate, but the problem was is the results are not. so again when you're trying to measure this dollar for dollar, this is where the discussion gets even more intriguing. i thank you for the additional allowance of time for others to answer. and the opportunity to speak. thank you. >> senator casey. senator casey: thanks very much. in the interest of time let me say first thank you to the panel for being here and for your good work on this legislation.
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i'll submit a question for the record. which will focus on neaa, and la raza. i did in my very limited time want to direct my questions to ms. marshall regarding the 1% cap on assessments. for students with the most significant cognitive dess -- disabilities. maybe two if i can get to that. it's good that we had this win. that we codified an important policy. made it law. and i just wanted to ask you how do you think in terms of how it's going to work, how will this policy, which is a continuation of prior policy, help special education teams, help schools, help school districts making that very critical decision about which children should take which test?
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ms. marshall: thank you, senator casey. it was a huge win for us to get this cap. we are the students that are represented around the table at the i.e.p.'s whose teams are making these decisions. before there was a cap, we saw untold numbers of students taking off access to the general education curriculum as early as second great -- grade. that's unconscionable. we think this cap is important. as someone alluded to earlier, stated earlier, it's adequate. there are -- we have far more fights for students trying to stay ton the alternative -- on the -- stay on the regular assessment and graduate than we have who are not allowed to take an alternate assessment. i think the process was -- put
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up some important guardrails to make sure that states and teams are asking the right questions and that they are very careful not to put students on there on the basis of their disability or bay siffs their past test performance. but -- or their past test performance. but that they succeed. senator casey: i know your work validates this and the policy we were able to get done in this bill validates that students with disabilities have a lot of ability. that's i think important validation. how can we ensure that districts and states implement this guidance to ensure all students are held to these very high expectations? what would you hope would happen? ms. marshall: in our experience, the clearer the guidelines, the brighter the lines, the easier
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it is for families to enforce the law. it falls on their shoulder. that's why we appreciate the federal oversight. we have needed it repeatedly. we continue to need it to this day to make sure our kids have access to what they need. and in response to what senator enzi was saying before about the department of ed and the check boxes, we rely on that data. we need it. if we don't -- that's how we can show how our kids are being shortchanged and what they need to be able to get equitable access to receive the benefit they deserve from an appropriate and excellent education just like any other student. senator casey: thanks very much. >> thank you. well, heck, i may take a little contrarian viewpoint to some. miss marshall, you mentioned the 1% cap, let's go back to the dyslexic children.
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now, most children -- mr. cassidy: if anyone differs with me, i don't think there's any school district in the nation which screens for dyslexia in grade one. if anyone knows of such a district, please let me know. you have 20% of the population dyslexic. at some point somewhere between third and fourth grade children, typical child, begins to learn to read whereas the dyslexic child is still learning to read. i think i got that right. we are going to have a standardized test in fourth grade which assumes fluency, yet that child who is dyslexic is still learning to decode and is not afluent reader. in a sense we have a failure. in fourth grade we are going to test 20% of the children in way
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which they are not yet ready to be tested by. now, i suppose if you have a 1% cap let's imagine in the future some progressive school district would actually screen all the children and find that 20%. would we still test them with the same standardized test knowing by grade 4 they will still not be reading adequately? some reason that doesn't make sense to me. dr. evers, do you have any thoughts? doctor evers: well, i can tell you in my home state is that we do screening for children entering school. a more general screening. it has to do with understanding skills.ding and skills relating to filing. i'm sure some of those children are captured by that screener.
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and we have a state law third grade that students are requiring additional help because they are not add grade level in reading. school districts have to develop a plan for them whether it's special ed or not. i think i can answer the question generally. i believe our state is working hard to address the needs of dyslexic children. but if your question is, do we do a screening specifically for dyslexia the answer would be no. senator cassidy: i haven't found one that does. most rely on the child not doing well. but by grade three the horse is out of the barn so the child is not doing well by grade three, typically that deficiency will persist. if we were able to screen these children and knowing that they have not yet learned to read fluently, would we still give them the same standardized test at grade four that the other children are receiving even if we know they have not yet
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learned to read fluently? ms. marshall, would you advocate doing so? ms. marshall: we absolutely agree that students with
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dyslexia are not being screened or not being taught and the teachers don't have the training they need. in fact i will broaden that to say that all students with disabilities who this law protects as well as every other student has trouble reading and are not getting the services that they need to succeed. we often hear the argument that you put forth around not taking the test, but it is our belief, again, that we need to know where students are against the standards. different for each child. they need to be able to have the accommodations and supports they use in the classroom to learn when they take the test. that is of grave concern to us right now. we find that students are not having that accessibility. on their content not ability to taket test. senator cassidy: not just conceptionual but granular. if a child has not yet learned to decode and a child does not read fluently, taking a test which presumes fluency, that child is going to fail, period. do we really want to make that child take that particular test as opposed to another test which may -- a different test which may adjust for the fact that the child has not yet learned to read fluently? ms. marshall: i can't make those decisions. it's on an individual basis with each student. as a general principle we want
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our kids to count and we want them to be part of the test that all kids are taking to see where they are op grade level according to the state standards. senator cassidy: we would know that these 20% of the kids, despite their i.q., they would read less by definition, dyslexic is a disconnection between the two, those children are going to read less well. ms. marshall: we have gotten rid of the punitive nature, the intention of the test, the reason to take them is to know where the students are and give thement appropriate services and supports to move them forward. senator cassidy: i'm not sure we came to a common mind but i'm out of time. i think it is now senator senator murphy: thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for all the panelist'' time today. i just have one general comment and one specific question to --
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our favorite target today, ms. marshall. here's my general comment. i think ms. weingarten got it right when she made it clear that this law is a civil rights law first and foremost. the federal government in the business of education policy because we are in the business of civil rights. there is no reason for us to be writing federal education policy if it's not at the foundation about equal opportunity for disabled kids and poor kids and minority kids. i thought your answers to senator warren's questions were spot on. that's a real uncomfortable thing for us to talk about. especially when we are sitting in front of a bunch of educators and superintendents and state officials because what we are saying is that without some federal requirement that kids of color or poor kids or disabled kids be treated fairly, that local political dynamics are going to accrue to the detriment of those kids. that if you don't have a federal requirement, that ultimately those kids are not going to get a fair shake. so it becomes a very difficult thing for us to talk about here, but it's been the foundation of
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our federal commitment to civil rights and foundation of our federal education law for decades. i do think it's important and i have since the beginning of the drafting process for this law, to have some strong accountability requirements and some high expectations for schools and for kids. i don't think that it ends at the text of the law. i think there is a very important and appropriate role for department of education to play in setting the guide rails for the financial accountability, as senator warren was talking about, or the accountability system. i understand, dr. gordon, the ways in which a requirement to spend more money on poor kids may occasionally not work to their benefit, but i think in the aggregate, if you are spending more money in title 1 schools, that's going to help even if it provides perverse disincentives here and there.
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on accountability, i think we have a good accountability section in this bill. but we got to make sure that the interventions that are being used to try to turn around schools are not just whitewash. if a school is failing, it's not enough just to paint the front of the school green. you have to actually do something that's meaningful. and, again, it's uncomfortable because i don't doubt the willingness of school districts and states to try to be partners in this, but the regulations are important. make sure that we've got some basic guardrails to make sure that what is happening to make these schools better for these populations is based in what we know works and what we know doesn't work. so i appreciate the conversation here, but i'm interested in the department of education continuing to move forward on regulations that are in the spirit of the accountability sections of our bill.
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i don't think there's a lot of disagreement on that. you heard my specific question to you, ms. marshall, it's on a narrow issue that is a passion of mine, and that's the use of seclusion and restraints in our schools. according to the department of education's latest civil rights data collection in 2011-2012, 70,000 students across the country were physically restrained. 37,000 of them were secluded. i think that's the tip of the iceberg. i don't think we understand how deep and broad it is. i'll take ownership of it. in connecticut we have a problem. scream rooms being used to throw kids into so that they can scream out their problems. so that they are not a disruption to everybody el. we included language in this bill, bipartisan language, that would require state plans to address the use of what the bill
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calls adversive behavioral interventions, means seclusion restraint. what do you want to see from department of education when it comes to the guidance that they give to schools on how they attack this issue of the overuse of both seclusion and restraint? ms. marshall: thank you for asking me this question because it's also a passion of mine and also for your leadership in ensuring that that clause was added to the law. we also -- there were many tears and dances of joy when this -- portion of the law was included to make sure there are positive school climates and that we need to take steps, schools need to inequivocally stop this abuse of students in our schools. secluding a student in a locked room from which they cannot escape is known to be one of the most torturous things can you do to another person. why are we doing that to our kids? restraint can only be used in emergency situations.
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the research is clear, it's used for power and control on little tiny kids. that must stop. i would be happy to submit more comments for the record, but i just would like to say one more thing, which is i spent years as a positive behavior support specialist in the school dealing with the kids with the most challenging behaviors to keep them in school and keep them learning. again, if you're in a seclusion room or you have four adults sitting on top of you, what are you or the other students who are watching this learning? the scream rooms in connecticut were called that by the other students because that's what they heard. kids in a room screaming. imagine that effect on a little child when they are trying to learn. that's a life lesson no child in this country should be subjected to. what i know has made the difference is not money, it is not -- it is about training.
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it is about the belief and the confidence of the teacher to keep all kids safe. the support of the principals and the other people in the building -- make sure they have services so done positively and without barbarian practices. this is aboutt, supporting plants to create the climate and atmospheres to make sure that the situations never arrived. want to make the point that this conversation about accountability is also uncomfortable because we often place the burden of simply on the superintendence, and the administrators. differenceok at the in educational outcomes that still persist amongst different groups, it often has to do with all sorts of factors that exist outside of schools.
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this conversation about accountability is not just about what happened to attend the school. it is about what is happening in systems at writ large that are controlled by folks way above the grade of teachers and administrators. >> senator whitehouse? you, i whitehouse: thank would like, i guess, first to make the point that under title i, we said quite clearly that a school must get -- if i quote correctly -- the funds it would otherwise receive under title i. we did not say it should get the as other schools receive. there wouldn't have been agreement on it if we said that. it's fairlyhink, clear. what worries me is that we get into a wrangle over this
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regulation, reading the law as statement rather the former statement which seems to me to be reasonably clear, that will start to get distracted wem all of the areas that baked into the slot with it was common agreement that there is a great opportunity for innovation. was to open up curriculum. we had that get slaughtered in title i schools because everything that didn't teach to the test got thrown overboard for fear that the boat would backif the testing came for the. that was a terrible disservice to the student in the schools. we set up innovative dashboard opportunities for people to report and much more effectively on how schools are doing. there can be real accountability, we have opened
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up the room for interventions in failing and struggling schools. there was a lot more opportunity to bring different perspectives in different opportunities. we open up the opportunity for innovation schools to exist. there are bright green lights in this bill saying let's do this better. you insist on driving on a street that has a red light on it doesn't seem to me to be constructive. i hope it doesn't take us into a place we are taking advantage of all of the green light that this bill clearly lays out. teachers, school administrators come up with much everybody in rhode island is very excited about the new tools this bill gives us. if we can avoid driving into this particular ditch, and instead focus on areas where there really is very significant bipartisan, solid and legally founding reform for innovation, i would like to encourage that.
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absolutelyit is clear and bipartisan, and has always been the case, that nobody wants to see federal title i money come in and provide an excuse to school district scum or states coming money out of the schools to the favored and wealthier districts. knowing that title on the going to come in and make up the gap. the equality of expenditure rule is not the one that we should be following, i would ask that each of the witnesses let us know what role they would recommend the department of education to follow. it is to a degree, i don't want to end up in a situation where nobody will agree with any regulation of this because peopl e are waiting back to be against
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anything and everything. i think it is important to be affirmative reactions about what it should look like, not just what it should not look like. i only have about a minute, but i do see at least one hand up. go ahead. for that into the record to anybody can fill in if they want to in writing. membersw what my nea think is the standard. there's one thing about interdistrict equality and more genetic much when you look across district lines. one withre to ask any two eyes to go into the best best public school
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in that state and everybody can pick up a what that is. in utah, you go to park city. use it let's do it inventory of the services, the school nurses, the professional librarians, the programs, the baccalaureate the art classes, the theater classes, the field trips. if you would take an inventory of the service support for the programs in the best school in your state, make that your standard. make that the dashboard. why not? are going to compare between the school in our state by how well it measures up. you have a school nurse? do you have a professional librarian? what is your counselor to student ratio? how are you serving your special ed kids? what is your elo program? >> if you were to do that, then -- the federal government, by the way, it's not saying if you
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perfect equality, somebody's head rolls. your saying that role is to be transparent to give good information to be polite the advocate sitting at this table. thaty give us -- put information in our hands so we can go back and fight for the students. those that are being shortchanged. there are ways that you can do micromanaging from the federal level and making it one more level of bureaucracy. over my time, i appreciate it. i think the panel very much for a very helpful conversation. >> the record -- first, i also thank you all. put a little southern touch there, y'all. the hearing record will remain open for 10 business days for the members may submit
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additional information within the time if they would like. thanks for being it today, the committee will stand adjourned. [chatter]
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>> next come alive, your calls and comment on washington journal. then newsmakers with texas congressman mac thornberry. hearing on a house allegations of employee misconduct at the environmental protection agency. >> tonight on q&a, vanity fair columnist and slate magazine founder michael kinsley talks a lot his new book "old age: a beginner's guide." >> parkinson's is a brain disease comes that was a nonsensical question. what i really meant, obviously, was thinking -- is it going to
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affect my thinking? thinking is how i earn a living. that can pretty important. just --this to rolla this neurologist what is going to happen. he said he was tried to tell me it wasn't such a big deal. edge,d you may lose your as if that was just nothing. i thought, my edge, that is how iron a living. it is why i have my friends. it may be why i have my wife. >> tonight, at 8:00 on c-span's q&a. >> this morning, political reporter daniel lipman looks at division ii within each political party heading into the general election. the former deputy administrator for the tsa discusses delays and long lines at airports security
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checkpoints and what to expect this summer. foreign policy correspondent dan de luce previews president obama's visit to vietnam. we take calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. host: good morning. a live view of the u.s. capitol as the rain continues yet again on this sunday morning. the east coast is ready for a break from the weather. congress in session this week with the house taking up a number of bills on energy and water projects, as well as an expected vote in the house resolving the debt crisis for puerto rico. the deadline is looming in early july. in the senate, republican john mccain introducing amendment to increase military spending above the current budget cap. and house senate conferees likely will need to work on a funding


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