tv Council of Chief State School Officers - Education Policy Priorities Panel CSPAN March 8, 2018 6:49pm-8:01pm EST
turmoil, starting march 18th. we look back 50 years to that turbulent time, including the vietnam war and a fractious presidential election. >> some of the nation's top state education officials met to discuss equitable education opportunities and k through 12 priorities in states. during this panel discussion, education leaders from florida, illinois and wyoming discussed how their states were implementing the every student succeeds act. this is an hour and ten minutes. >> good morning. good to see everybody here this morning. thanks, steven. we appreciate that. lots to do, lots to talk about, lots of good things to
celebrate, and that's really the purpose of my speech today. we call it the state of the states and lots of good news to share. you know, it's been nearly near year since we gathered here and decided to take a lead on making education more equitable for all of our children. we published the leading for equity report a set of ten commitments that this organization taken to heart and advance equity for children across the nation. published in february of '17 and we know our work was well under way before that. i want to publicly recognize, tony evers, where is he? i just left a meeting with him [ laughter ] >> so tony evers was the person that started this the president of ccsso at that time and lead
this organization in creating and signing onto the equity commitments. he brought us together to have the necessary conversations about equities. you know, i am -- i'm very proud to be the president of this organization this year. i say it everywhere i gochlt i value this organization and the work so much. i love the fact that each year we renew our equity and take on the commitments as the president will do. the thing i love about the commitments, for us they're not just that. they are actions. places we can go and think about logically about what it is we are doing and where each commitment is concerned. we made a lot of progress since the commitments were published and states are leading and i think that's an important thing for us to keep in mind. i know some of you may have
heard or read differently in recent months. perhaps you heard that states aren't doing enough. perhaps, you heard that we recently got this new flexibility because we have not been embracing the esa plans. some don't think they are strong or innovative enough. i haven't heard it from my state or stake holders. we had a lot of people that participating as you did as well in the listening tours and taking in information and what did they want to see from us as educators. and we have come together in d.c. to talk about the work that we are doing. i have no doubt that this organization has the best interest of children at heart. we do every time we meet. we are working towards the same goal. and no one i believe is more committed than the chiefs of this nation in doing the work
that needs to be done on behalf of the children of this great nation. so i want to take a moment to set the record straight. i want to talk about the progress that we're doing as well as recognize the challenges that still remain. but i think it's time that we do this and i want to do this commitment by commitment. to look at the commitment to equity and how we're advancing it, 9 plans are important but it's the work behind the plans that's going to be more important because that's the focus on children. so let's take a anyone. so the first commitment was to prioritize equity. and set and communicate an equity vision in mshl targets. that means that state chiefs had to step back analyze data, look to see where the gaps were, look to see which children were progressing and those who were not. as we saw states renew their
commitment to equity and the written plans for the esa act and put paper to pen, some of us looked at how are we going to address our most vulnerable children. i want to start by looking at d. c. that shows the demographic information of students, the break down of suspension rates and student achievement scores into subgroups and more. these reports is one way the district is working to decrease transparency on how schools are serving underserved children. karen, has taken the lead for equity commitments and asked her directors and mangers within the state agency to renew the commitment, make a connection to the work and then regularly report on the progress at staff meetings.
at our own ccsso created a strategic plan from 2017 to 2020 focussing on the commitments and how this organization is going to support you as states and state chiefs as we make progress. the board of directors is in the process for looking for a new executive director. this is a time of transition, it has been seamless. we have strong leadership in our interim director with carissa and she made sure that our plans are moving forward. the second commitment is starting from within focussing on the state education agency. this means that the state education agencies are strategic about how the staff are organized and prepared to advance equity for all children. oregon, the oregon department of education created an office of equity, diversity and inclusion.
aimed better supporting students and teachers across the state and through this office deputies superintendent work with stake holders to create plans and strategies that will improve outcomes for undersevered students. the state has an african american, black student success plan aligned with their state's strategic plan. so you can see they made this transparent and up front. in vermont and wisconsin, chief's rebecca and tony evers offer implicit bias training and taking steps to make sure they know their staff know how to have conversations around difficult concepts of race and poverty. in mississippi, we restructured our state agency to align our staff to our priorities and
established a rigorous recruitment process to make sure we have the best people to reflect the racial make up of our population. create can be the for equity. states should design accountability systems and interventions in low performing schools to help achieve i can wi at this timable educational systems. esa provides states with an opportunity to do this and states have seized this opportunity. today, 35 states are including a measure in their accountability system. focused on making sure all students are college ready and prepared for a career, completing dual credit enrollment or earning a recognized industry certificate. 38 states including some measure of student or teeper absenteeism. other states have proposed bold
innovative ways to achieve equity through accountability. in tennessee, she revised her states accountability system to base 40% of each school's rating on the results of the low income, special ed, african american, hispanic and native american students. this places an impetus on districts and school to make sure they are providing education to reach every student in the state of tennessee. in connecticut moving beyond the academic measures of test scores and graduation rates. adding measures such as interns and post secondary after high school. physical fitness and access to the arts. and we know we can not stop at just accountability which leads many e to commitment number four. go local. engage local education agencies
and provide taylored and differentiated support. and working with the stake holders on how to intervene in the schools that are not meeting the needs of children. all 50 states and d.c. -- excuse me, across 50 states and d.c. the outside organization results for america identified 162 promising practices for building and using evidence to improve student outcomes as it reviewed its states plans. we know conversations about promising practices continue today. they didn't end when we submitted our plans. you can point to d.c., illinois, new york and north dakota and committees and subcommittees are meeting to talk through implementation and what does that look like. illinois, under the leadership of tony smith recognizes the leadership to turn around low
performing schools and working to put them in the lead through an illinois empowered improvement process. beginning with a needs assessment and equity analysis. schools in districts will work with communities to create a plan based on evidence and data that meets the needs of their local students. in south carolina the superintendent offering transformation coaches to support schools in the implementation and monitoring of the interventions that work best for them. the fifth commandment. if you worked in education you know none of this is possible witho without funding. money isn't the only solution but it helps. it can help exacerbate the inequities we see. many of our states taking a role to ensure that public education
funding is distributed equitably. this isn't easy. i can tell you, we've been in the middle of it in mississippi. revamping a school-funded formula is not easy. we have seen great progress in several states. california i want to recognize, under the leadership of tom. who put in place a local control funding formula which is one of the most ambitious in the nation to sever low income children. it provides $10 billion in extra funds annually to school districts so they can better sever students from low income family. foster youth and english learners. a recent study and learning policy institute found that california's local control funding formula not only lead to increases in teacher salaries and instructional expenditures but to increases in high school graduation, and academic achievement particularly,
amongst low income families. nevada, superintendent leadership of the department advocated $7 million a year -- i can pity six, the commitment i am passionate about. start early. i have been out and about talking the power of early childhood. high quality early childhood program is critical to all children in order to continue to make progress and being successful and this is especially true when talking about children of low income. we have to make sure that every child shows up to our kindergarten rooms ready to learn. this has been an eye opener in our state and we're going to talk about that a little bit later. we need to know how to prevent
gaps before they come to school. every time i talk about this, i'm reminded -- you're going to see a video later. they have become a model for our state for what is possible for early childhood education. in pedal, a group of teachers at the primary school recognize z in the late '90s. students with were showing up to kindergarten unprepared. some didn't know thousand hold a book correctly. the teachers gathered together, formed add partnership with the local head start and started a conversation and that's how it gets started. how do we start conversations about children we are serving across the state? that conversation goes on today. because of these teachers it is an on going dialogue. peddle is one of the top performing in the state.
parents are moving there so their kids can succeed. this is a program that we opened up across the state with public schools, head start, private providers in order to close the gaps before they even begin. this is what state leadership can do. as state leaders, you have the leverage to start conversations across both private and public providers and i think that's a key piece we need to keep in mind and i'm excited that they are launching this past january, promoting high quality pre-k network, a grown up of eight states working together and working with national experts to improve funding, access and policies. commitment number seven, engage deeply. monitor equitable implementation -- most states are not directly responsible for running schools and higher teachers. we need to make sure they have
the support they need to implement the standards equitable. recent years came out of louisiana and that's thanks to the leadership of john white. this state is giving teachers and local districts the support they need to understand high academic standards and better understand which textbooks and other curriculum materials meet their children's needs. research has shown that low income children are less likely to have access to high quality content or textbooks in the classroom than children in the higher income communities. this inwe canty aport counts for the achievement gap between students. it is our job as state leaders to make sure that all teachers have access to high kwalt materials and the training they need to support them in this work. that's what they are doing in louisiana. they have enlisted the help of teachers to review, develop and
promote what they call tier one curriculum. the state promotes it across the state and all schools and teachers have access to that curriculum. i'm proud of the fact that mississippi is following louisiana's lead. we have engaged with them so we can better learn how to help our teachers have access to high quality material. in mississippi, we realize those decisions are locally made and honor that, but we've been working with teachers in our state to make sure they know how to recognize high-quality materials and not just take it at face value. across every commitment, there's a common thread. and that thread stresses the importance of a teacher in the classroom. without effective teachers, our children cannot be successful. value people, focus on teachers and leaders.
this could mean a number of things to us but as state leaders it means that making sure that every child regardless of zip code, regardless if they live in pov terty, regardless of the color of their skin, have access to a quality effective experienced teacher. and investing in our current and future workforce to make sure they are prepared to meet the needs of these children. ccsso's past president, melanie of south dakota lead on this equity committee on her tenure. state chiefs to elevate the voice of teachers in state policy decisions. last year south dakota piloted a teacher table which was an opportunity for teachers to join policymakers and stake holders to study data on the teaching force and come up with solutions to tackle recruitment issues and challenges they have in the state. after a successful pilot, other
states such as new york and florida are exploring similar models. other states made significant progress in this area. in ohio, the state developed an educator equity plan similar to other states. under the leadership of the superintendent, they are hosting equity labs and examining data and finding ways to increase equity access for all students. pennsylvania, the secretary focused on school leadership. launching the superintendent's academy. the professional development opportunity reaching 140 school leaders. i'm excited to share that later this month ccsso will launch a new network of states, focus on system level changes that leads to diversifying the workforce and support future and current educators and effectively
teaching children of all cultural backgrounds. over the past year i recognized the importance of commitment number nine. it says improve conditions for learning. focus on school culture, climate and social emotional development. schools have become much more than where children come to learn math, and reading and science and the arts. they are community centers in rural towns. places of safety and come for the for many children. for too many children, they are the place they get the only meal they may have that day. to achieve equity we have to provide safe, supporting environments where children are free to learn. going forward, ccsso is going to establish a working group of state chiefs to focus on how we follow through on our commitment to ensure that every school is a safe, supportive environment for students and teachers.
in light of the recent tragedies in parkland, florida and benton, kentucky. too many mass shootings have taken place across the country. we have a call for action from our state leaders and recognize it is a time to come together as state chiefs to find solutions for our children. if you are one of the state chiefs that would like to get involed. i encourage you to reach out to ccsso is let them know you want to be included in the working group. this work is not going to be easy. safety sits at the center of many complicated issue that is steven mentioned earlier today. ccsso and our state chiefs welcome this difficult conversation that will move us forward. this work is just beginning. and we expect to have more information to you in your states in the upcoming weeks. it's hard to sit and listen to the things that steven said earlier todayed and it not touch
your heart. many of us are thankful we are not where they had to be. but we want this work to move forward. recognizing school climate and culture, under director of ryan leadership is administering a conditions for learning sur spr survey. this is one way the state is making sure that students voice is considered and evaluating school climate and culture. in minnesota, this state has taken several innovative steps under br-- re-purposed funding support districts working with local communities to meet the students needs. the department developed a tool kit for transgender and nonconforming students are safe, supported and fully included. in oklahoma, superintendent and
her team decided to use food as an academic intervention to ensure greater access to federal school, summer and after school nutrition programming for any school identified for school improvement. and last but not least, students should have options regarding how and where they go to school taking into at the needs of their community. which brings us to commitment number ten. ensure families have access to options that align to community needs. regardless of where they live, all students must have access to advance course work and educational options that best meet their learning needs. in north dakota, superintendent kristen is working to accomplish this through a new law that creates a system to allow parents to enroll students outside of the zone district and
the goal is to ensure that students get access to the right resources in the right moment in their education. in florida, the department of education facilitates all public schools, both district and charter to share best practices so the sectors can learn one another and meet children's needs. in conclusion, through commitments, we are making progress. states are taking the lead. we are working to make sure that we improve education around this country for all children. we are not doing it alone. in each example, state chiefs are, working with teachers, parents, legislators, state board members, governors and other stake holders to make sure that we make the decisions that are the in best interest of all children. at the meeting this week we're going to take time to celebrate the promising practices and learn if each other.
implementation, career readiness and financial transparency and so much more. it is important to dig in and have a conversation about the work ahead. we are not finished we know that. we're far from it. well not be finished until we create an educational system in each state where every student has access to the educational resources that they need and the rigor they need to continue to grow at the right moment that they need it and this means across, race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, family background or income. this is an important moment for ccsso. this is an important moment for our country. and i'm proud to see my colleagues across this nation leading on behalf of children. and i'm proud to represent you across this nation this year. thank you so much and i'm going to turn this back over to ka ris
is a who is going to introduce the next session. thank you so much. [ applause ] good morning, everyone. we're running a little behind time so we're going to keep moving through our program today. you should be adults and take the time as you need to take a break. thank you for the opening words. we have so much to be proud of. as you can see, states are leading to advance equity. we have examples not only across the ten leading commitments but the state chiefs who made more progress a year ago and examples across the country in every corner and state. state leaders, teachers,
students and take holders are working hard to make an equitable education system a reality for every child. we know this won't be easy. we know this is not the first time weave had this conversation and we know that we must persist. but we're committed to this work and we realize how important it is. that commitment became real to me a few months ago at the annual policy forum. we pulled the state chiefs and leaders into a private session to say talk to us about what you've done over the last year. we want to hear those stories. time and time again, we heard the stories of state chiefs putting these commitments in their strategic plans and embedding in that internal work and the relationships that they have forged to help move this work forward that they know they can't do alone.
she shared many of the examples with you today and many more in a report we published in february. the anniversary event we did and come pain i don't know document, promising practices to advance equity commitments. i want to add to that report and make that one of the thickest books we ever have. we continue to tell the stories and do this work and lane in on it. these are real meaningful promising practices making a difference for kids. i encourage you to read these and reach out to the state chiefs and have the conversations about the examples and tell you the stories about how they are making a difference. so in this session, we're going to dig deeper in you states are leading to advance equity with the every students succeed act law put into place.
i'm going to be joined by leaders and to talk about the challenges they face in advancing equity and discuss their approach to ensure we make progress on these critical issues. help me welcome wyoming superintendent jillian balow -- and pam stewart to the stage. [ applause ] >> good morning to all of you. >> good morning. >> so i'm going to start out with a question that i want to give you each an opportunity to talk about, the landscape of your equity work. and it's important for us i think to point out that not only is your geography different but
your contexts are different and that work can look different in different places. i would invite, pam, we'll give you an opportunity to start and talk about the equity work in your state and what you are looking to advance? >> can i take the entire time of the panel discussion? [ laughter ] >> yes. [ laughter ] >> you have a story to tell tony, i know that you do. we've taken this on for a number of years. florida began accountability in 1999 before it was popular and before we knew what to do with data. and what we've seen happen in that same period of time so i think we can say it is causal, that florida has moved from one of the lowest performing states on just about every measure to being in the top ten on almost any measure you can look at in the state of florida. and as time has gone on, we had
changed that accountability system including into that accountability system those things we believe to be important and we can see to change the needle. we include in our accountability system a component of learning games. which does take into account the challenging populations that our schools have within the state of florida. but then we added to that that there's a component of equal weight that looks at moving the performance of our lower core students and that made a significant difference and moved us so that our fourth grade readers of low income lead the nation in the performance of low income students. and i think that really does get at some of the equity issues.
we also are looking at ways that we can challenge our highest performancing students and including students in years passed, haven't been included. and our school grading system includes acceleration and in looking at our ap performance we included participation as one component. and that finally dropped off and now performance is the only inclusion on the state grading system on acceleration. and it's not a coincidence that florida is the number one state, d.c. beats us but the number one state in participation on ap exams and we are forth in the nation in performance. so maryland, massachusetts and connecticut, watch out because -- [ laughter ] >> we're leading towards you.
and we've also done so and i think that's indicative by the participation and the performance, been more inclusive in what students take the ap exam and continue to improve in that area as well. demonstrating that if we hold students to high standards, they will in fact, rise to those high standards. that's one of the things that we have been doing in our accountability system. >> thank you, pam. tony. >> i'll jump in, thank you. so i think there's an opportunity to have a conversation about individual children. we're talking about state accountability systems and thinking deeply about what it is we used to be held to historically which was really a binary. a good school or bad school. we do not -- i do not as an educator think about children as
good or bad. i remember a teacher telling me, i said i'm a horrible writer, you're a writer, you're learning how to write. how different is that than we having a notion that i couldn't write. so i'm picking up from last night, doris was extraordinary and ryan did a wonderful job introducing her. there's no -- like a book. a little biobackground for me. i was a thesis major and wrote my thesis on kidickson. so how frugal is the chariot that bears the human sole. so knowing kids and being able to engage deeply. so one of the most
transformational pieces are about growth. so fully 50% of our system is based on growth. and being able to look deeply at young people and in particular, the children who are most school dependent. so the opportunity for a young person who is going to get -- their social connection, the consistency, the kind of well being that they experience in very few other places, they get at school. so personal -- i was a very school dependent child. moved a lot, lots of different families. but here is where it -- i'm going to change it up a little bit. how many school dependent folks are in the audience? so this is a chance to think about -- remember we're people doing this work.
it is easy to think about accountability systems or designing it, we're designing, for, with and in service for children and families, right? so skmou what ways do we create the conditions that think deeply about caring for children and families. creating a place of belonging in our schools. you need a system to reinforce that. we were in a deeply competitive system -- what some people were always craving, the ability to care for and work across district, across state and for us illinois empowers the context to share stories and practice across district. in fact, i'll go deeper in a minute, we actually posted three story teller positions that we will start our accountability system with 852 positive stories
that we build from what's working and we all got to get better. every one of us needs a coach to get better. lebron is so consistent, michael jor son is so consistent. i need a personal coach to get better. we all need help to get better. we all do some stuff pretty well and the ability to interrupt what humans do, confirmation bias. we hear that something is bad, we go in looking for bad. if we hear examples of things that are a little bit different, maybe we'll see different things. so the opportunity to build a system that orients us that way is is an opportunity and i look forward to talking more about that. >> well, it's always -- am i on? >> yeah. >> it is always difficult to follow great colleagues like pam
and tony. let me say, i hope what you heard in both pam's comments that the equity commitments help us deeply root our work in students. it is tough to think about equity without thinking about funding. so let me set the table quickly in wyoming. our education system is wholly dependent from state funding from the energy industry. so we actually have a prohi before the accident on local school districts from raising funds to augment their education. anything they raise locally goes to the state level and captured and redistribute the. we truly have equitable funding. it is less about quantity and more about quality of funding. and that's where we start digging into the equity commitments in wyoming. so we have tribal learners in
wyoming and i have to give a shout out to my colleague joy in oklahoma who got me thinking about how to engage tribal learners in this process. for so long, even though we are thinking about equity, it is like there's no with a i to move the needing with our tribal learners we can't do it. there's too much. it's too big. and boy, my eyes have been opened. so through a grant we were able to engage our tribal teachers deeply than we did our other stake holder groups which to us brought forth a few aha moments. in addition to that, esa has a requirement that we engage in formal government to government relations and i have to say that something about esa that kept me up at night. how do we move beyond formal government to government
consultation and move into a conversation that we haven't had before? there's been the tribal learners and going to the reservation or coming to my office and talking about we need some help. we need more resources and we need to do this differently. we haven't been beyond these niceties. with the help of the grant and with the deep thought around what does consultation to conversation look like, we've been able to make some end roads with the tribal learners and schools that is unprecedented and i'm proud of that going forward. and that has found its way in multiple equity commitments of the ten. so number one, is professional development? what we hear over and over again from the tribal learners and i don't say that tribal learners are different from any other group or student group that we want to identify in our satate r
might not be identifying yet. number one, stop punishing us and stop telling us what is wrong with our schoolss and let's work together to put resources and people towardsoevering those issues. number two, continue to talk to us. recognize that we are unique. not just the lowest 5% of the schools but truly unique, we are the lowest 5% and we are persistently low and maybe the way you are thinking about school improvement isn't going to work for us. so how do we work together to change the conversation? number three, we want to think about in particular our tribal learners, we want to think about excellence and we want to think about that in terms of standards and assessment. so bridging multiple equity commitments and thinking carefully about our tribal learners and all learners and the quality of funding not just
the quantity of funding. >> thank you. i'm going to move back and forth and ask specific questions. tony, you had this consultation to conversation going on in illinois too and i would love for you to talk about that yo journey for you? >> i thought it was really important and everybody across the country did to engage deeply in the conversation with people in schools and the communities. we ended up writing three different drafts to the plan and that was engaging 100 plus meetings up and down the state and come back to the state board. each of the groups, we talked about it as creating and strengthening relationships and the opportunity to continue to work together. i mean, again this is a consistent theme across the country and said that what are the things that, if we could do this and really design a plan that met the needs of
illinoisian, what would it look like? so that really created that first emotional release. all of the things that everybody hated about everything that was happening. the whole first round was emotional relief and then getting into the opportunities and then that work of going from everything under the sun, the back and forth and obviously change moves at the speed of trust. you're able to move back and forth and when people saw the process, things that didn't make it into the final plan but heard the rational. that's why the iteration and the multiple drafts were important and then the things that were not resolved, we said these are working-group issues and even in the plan we submitted. said these are some items that we need more work on. like the p-2 indicator. the leaving middle school ready for high school.
and leaving high school and ready for the world. the waiting of our plans, there was a way in which we said here is our plan and we expect to work on for this year, getting it finalize sod that by august, the entire state is ready to launch together. so we have right now, 31 pilot districts using a rubric that we're going to use across all districts, governance, safety health and climate and teaching and learning. it's against that rubric that they will do the deep equity analysis. lowest performing 5%, sure, but the entire structure is about capacity building because every single district, every single school can do something better different for children, right? so that sensibility emerged in the dialogue with stake holders across the state. >> i appreciate what you said about the speed of trust. it's a pretty important concept
for all of us when we're in a hurry to get things going. but the speed of trust is a pretty important thing to think b. pam, talk to us about your stake holder engagement and the speed of trust and the flexibility that was provided. how did that matter when you guys went into this work? >> well, we obviously went about this by engaging specific groups of stake holders, the ones that truly would have an investment in what our plan would result in. and that was a great opportunity for us to be able to gather information. we in a very formal way, pulled together superintendents that represented the diversity of florida which we felt that was something very important. and also, the diverging viewpoints on this particular issue. and that proved to be very helpful.
it proved helpful in coming to some decisions of the practitioners. but also in being able to have some community voices that could continue to carry the message forward for us and within florida, i would say that because we have been about this work for more than a decade, this was a matter of finding those things within the flexibility that would be important to familiar in moving this needle particularly when we think about closing the gap. >> i appreciate that. so jillian, you have a different context. your state went from ncob to esa. not the stopgap measure and the waivers. talk about the flexibility you experienced and the way you looked at it. >> so we were one of seven state
that is did not get a waiver under no child left behind. so historically, we have looked at federal accountability as even more of a black spot in our state than many other states have looked at. in fact, so much so that in 2012, we stood up an accountability system at a statewide level. we told them to ignore ayp and focus on the accountability. it sounds like a nice transition when we go from no child left behind to esa. we have been asking them to focus on the state accountability system. now enters esa that has opportunities and enter the equity commitments that presents opportunities for us to refine and strengthen our statewide system, not because we're being
told that we have to but because it's the right thing to do for students. it's definitely been a challenge because we have seen two very distinct accountability systems in wyoming and one has been don't touch it, don't pay attention to it. and the other has been sort of the golden child. and so to merge those has again, presented some opportunities for us to look at our esa plan as a blueprint executive summary of our statewide accountability system. and our statewide accountability system as something we want to merge with esa. stake holder engagement has been so key in this process. talking to folks about how esa provides a backdrop and an opportunity for us to think more carefully about career college
and military ready and to think carefully about stake hold erin put. we have an unprecedented standards review process in wyoming that is completely transparent. and we get hundreds of comments through town hall meetings and opportunities to get input online about our standards. during -- before, during and after prom yule allegation. so that may seem distant or separate. but it feeds into the accountability system in the sense that we are trying to build the rigor or utilize esa to make our state work much more robust. >> i think that's an important point that esa for so many states, for most states is a component of the way in which you look at education in your
state. so let me just open it up for the three of you. you may have heard lately that there's been concerns in your esa plans. no ambition, neglected subgroups. talk to us about those criticisms and comments and how you are thinking about that in your state. >> i see a couple of people looking this direction. >> sure, pam. >> i'm happy to take that on. we believe that what we've done has been very successful and we also think that we have a commissioners grassroots approach to the closing the gap topic and a little over a year ago i began work on first making the data that many of you know.
we have a great deal of data in florida. and making that available in a very user-friendly kind of way. so anyone can look at the gap at the state level, what it looks like at my district. how does my district compare to the state and other districts that i may want to look at. and really putting that information out there to begin a conversation. we also started the commissioners convenings and i invited all superintendents as well as college presidents. and our system in florida includes the college system. so we invited them together for a conversation. initially, to look at the data. look at the data in the service areas. so districts were working together with their local college and just taking a look at where do we stand and where are the gaps and where do we
need to focus our energies. and then also, after november, when ccsso put out the ten commandments as carey dubbed them today, i like that. we -- actually we went back immediately and we took that list and i brought props. we have the ten strategies to closing the gap making it applicable to the k-12 and college system. and we took each ten areas and prioritized those to fit within our k-12 system and college system. and we have had one other convening, where we went beyond and talked about what do we need to do to change this? and robert's work is what we focused on and really gotten a commitment from our districts that they are now committed to
in a meaningful way, rather than it be something that beam dictated through accountability system. and seeing the value that it was going to be for acetony pointed out, the value it would be for students and how they were going to truly be able to move the needle in this way. and for fear of not getting the opportunity to say this again. one reading that i think is important that we do is called "the impact of implicit bias, racial anxiety and stereo type threat on student outcomes." it can really change individuals out looks and actions in this very arena. it is so important that all of us take the time to look at that and change what we can do. and it does get at some of those thing that is robert talks about that is so important in this arena. >> pam, you raised a really important point.
all of it that you talked about it is the work of your state and people will not be able to pick up that plan and point all those things that you talked about. so -- >> so i'll pick up there. so the opportunity to look deeply at implicit bias, a tremendous amount of respect for the stating agencies doing that work and the reference that pam made, in our plan in illinois we're talking about the situatedness of districts and where schools are located. they are located in context. for a long time the language of at-risk students, the distance it puts the kids away from our shared respondents as adults. children we put at risk by community decisions that structurally excluded groups of families from the circle of concern. and a narrative about the
deservingness of each children and family and what in fact we're going to do and the extra support those kids need, how about this? the best kick -- chunt school i've been in is a well resourced community school where there are lots of adults and social workers and things kids are going through. it's not extra needs that they have, it's what they don't have in other places because those opportunities were strip sd. how and what ways wednesday the context of schools, allows us to have targeted universe lism. we must target resources in different ways to ensure that all of our children are doing well. equity is a superior growth strategy for this country. equity is a superior growth
strategy for this country. a policy of extraction and getting the best you can from a few kids will tank all of our states. we must figure out how to care for and educate every one of our kids. the tremendous waste of human capital that plays out across the system unless we think whole listically. a set of believes and values. we've been talking about this in this country. names, structure and exclusion is the primary issue. until we take it serious and begin to dig deep. so part of the story telling is about sharing practice and about beginning to interpret implicit bias. you start to have other language and ways to talk about people and see them as complex and whole humans, rather than just what they're not.
so i think what's interesting to me about some of the critiques our states have gotten is it is still from that punishment frame. still what's not in your plan. it's not what have they done in their leadership to pivot and create more conditions and more opportunities for the students across the country. i think my colleagues in this room have been extraordinary in your leadership to create a better set of opportunities infrastructure in our states and the people sending the critiques at don't bear the responsibility for creating opportunities for kids. >> i will add a tiny bit more and say that no child left behind had all of us on defense for years. we were constantly having to say why our kids were not proficient on a test or why all of our kids were not ready for college. why all of our kids didn't fit
inside of a box. we were trying to grapple with this conversation inside of that framework of expectation and constant defending ourselves. esa gives us a wonderful opportunity to be on the offense and have conversations like tony and pam laid out inside of the context of law and legislation. and it's a really really pivotal point for us to be as education leaders and for our states to be -- as we begin to take the lead. so when we had critical feedback, and i'll just say about our long-term goals, i took that as an opportunity, a really important opportunity to say thank goodness our goals are where they are. they're real goals and this is where we are as a state. and we have an opportunity to think about real ambitious goals, lofty and achievable.
-- or that every kid needs to go to college, we are going to accept where we are as a state, where are students are as students, and we're going to set growth goals and focus on the growth of our students from year to year and at the end of the day recognize that they can all be participants in the prosperity of our state and nation by taking different and varied paths. and i think that is the strength and the pitfall of esa. our default is constantly, we have to have all kids look the same. it is important to have the discussions inside of the context of the law and think about boldness, not in numbers and not in 100% and not in every kid looking the same but in the context that we get to think about education in a bold way that we haven't maybe ever. >> thank you. i'm going to open it up to the audience for a few questions. we have about five or six
minutes left in this session. if there's anyone who would like to ask any of our panelists a question. we have mic runners all across the room here. while we're waiting for some brave soul to stand up, oh, we have somebody. >> thanks. so my name is heidi chang. tony, it is fabulous to see you up there. part of what i have seen and you've seen this work, tony and i have have known each other for a long time and he was my first superintendent who took on the issue of chronic absence with me to help a school district to take a look at the metric and see what it meant for community responsibility. and what i know is key and i was thinking about as you were talking -- chronic absence affects the kids that are school dependent. it's an early warning sign but
we have a system that places blame around true wan si. and as i see the blame game, we blame kids for not showing up, the community, and what you're talking about in a growth mindset is how do you take essa and create an opportunity to move away from blame to growth in a tailored way that builds upon the strengths of everyone in that system? but we've never done that before, and i see systems so entrenched in a blame game, not a strength-based approach to growth, and my question is, both what is it that you as superintendents can do to help move that, but also, what it is that you need from those of us who are outside systems to support you in creating a different kind of dialogue. because this is a pretty tough environment to shift from blame to growth mindset, because blame is far more pervasive at this moment.
>> whoever wants to start. >> i can jump in. hi, haddy. so i think last night doris kearns goodwin talked about aspirational. there was a brilliant question about talking about the vision of the country, right? so i still think as allies in systems, like, our ability to be pushed as leaders but also expected to have places of belonging and inclusion -- right now there is deep concern about pushing those kids out, like, the punishment framework, even for those kids we expel, how and what ways are we taking care of them? so the kids that don't show up, like, what are we doing? i will say real quick, evidence-based funding in illinois, huge years of work, we've now moved to an enrollment based system for funding districts rather than attendance based. largely because we advocated that we need resources for those
kids and families that are most distressed to actually be able to help get them in. so funding and even thinking about what are we going to do to get resources to go help rather than it's a -- they're not attending so we've got to do everything we can to get them in to get the dollars. it's actually so we have resources to figure out what's happening and wrap support around them. but i would say as allies outside of our systems that you have to help us change the narrative. that we need larger -- we need bigger voices to change this narrative about punishment. we need to talk about inclusion, support, growth, i mean, growth mindset, like we might all get that in here, but this idea that it's not fixed, that's different work. and we still need more national conversation about that. >> i would just add that i think going back to robert balfanz work. chronic absenteeism is one of those issues that indicate we
have some warning signs, but there are others as well and one of them is teacher absenteeism. when you look at his work and look at teacher absenteeism, is that just indicative of the entire issue which speaks to school culture? and what we can do in the entire picture, perhaps mentorships or making that connection. we've talked about the social and emotional in many arenas as we talk about school safety, et cetera. and i think if we can address that we're going to think differently about how we address the absenteeism issue and really make meaningful changes in that area. >> and i will just quickly add that, you know, that was an incredibly high-level question, but kind of the nuts and bolts of that is thinking about how we spend our federal funding. we know social, emotional is
going to be a bigger part of the instructional conversation. so i think the earlier we can recognize that and the better that we can lead the braiding of funds, whether that's title ii or from somewhere else, to ensure that the professional development, the support and the funding is disbursed in a way that we can get the biggest bang for our bucks, whether those are state, local or federal dollars. >> we have time for one more question. >> thank you. i've been inspired by your states and the experience of essa of addressing issues of disparity of voice and equity through the process of essa,
and, you know, i think we all had a lot of learning experiences from hearing from people we never heard from and where that took us on a policy perspective. we know that implementing policy involves hard work and people and rolling your sleeves up. i wondered what your thoughts are an continuing momentum of that really careful thought process making sure people are in the rooms for the decisions when decisions are not grand plans that get national review, they're daily discipline practices, they're everyday issues in all of our districts and schools. so i'm wondering what your thoughts are to keep that momentum of lessons learned. >> i'll just -- i'll start and say that i think that a great first step is the states leading campaign. and here's why. you know, i think we need to be thoughtful about the states leading campaign, not just being sort of a cloj callouge of really good stories but we're
we're actually interested to attaching those stories to the equity commitments and how we are applying or implementing the equity commitments in our state, and i think that good begets good, right? so states leading campaign is a great way to start, and, yes, it's a campaign which could be seen as sort of a gloss-over, but i think it will lead to us thinking more deliberately about sort of those soft pieces that are going to get the national review. >> to pick up on that, so the intentionality of structures and supports so that it's not welcoming people in to have a conversation in a place that's uncomfortable, uncertain, that how and in what ways do you have to create different conditions and learn how to listen to one another? so i think last night we were charged -- sorry for this buzz. so the -- last night we were charged to lead. like we're uniquely positioned.
so i think our ability to connect and help listen to each other, listening is a transformative act. i really fundamentally believe that. not a lot of space where we're just supported to listen. so this local instantiation of democracy that is the school district, the deep engagement and creating more comfort and more structures for people to be participants in that conversation and learning how to support each other to listen is really critical. that's technical work. that's not just get people in a room, listen, and this has been said by many of my colleagues, but the best public policy is done in partnership. you've got to create the conditions for partnership. and then implementation, you know, the intent of the policy's great, implementation, but the impact, so keeping those feedback loops in process and doing it over time. but that requires new
relationships and deep listening and creating new conditions to be in relationship across difference that we haven't done very well in this country. >> and i'll -- the only thing i'll add is that in my 308 days remaining in this role, i feel a sense of urgency to get this done or at least so imbedded that it just becomes a way of life. and there is never a time when i speak publicly or even one-on-one that i don't talk about this issue and closing the gap and have sort of that elevator speech, and we also have an info graph that talks about how well we're doing, where we have left to go, what we think are the most important issues in getting this done, and this is an easy thing for us to hand out and start the conversation. if you talk to any of the superintendents in florida and
ask them, what is the goal in florida? they will tell you it is to close the achievement gap. and so keeping that conversation fresh in everyone's mind always is what's important for us. >> so i just want to close us out today and thank my fellow panelists, but go back to the question about what you as partners can do to help states moving this forward. when we think back to what tony said about the speed of trust, it's the speed of trust with our stakeholders in our state, which states have done an incredible job of, but it's also our partners who said in this room, our partners who help us get this work right, that there is a level of trust that needs to be had so you can have the conversations to get to the growth mindset that we want to see happen. and we invite you into that conversation. we invite you to talk to any of our state chiefs about their plans, about things that are wide and beyond their plans
about what -- the way in which they want to improve education. so please join me in thanking our panelists. [ applause ] >> tonight on c-span3, a senate hearing on cams targeting seniors and interview with international monetary fund manager christine la guard. the senate finance committees look to the problem of counterfeit products sold online. and later a hearing on trade safety and delays in implementing new safety technology. a senate aging committee hearing included testimony from stephen and rita, a retired couple that lost $1,230 to a scammer pretending to be their grandson. consumer advocates also testified about phone and internet scams that target seniors.