The bi-monthly resource for Texas ASCD members
Vol. 4, Issue 1
3 The 82nd Legislature is Now in Session: What to Expect and Who to Watch
Challenges, Then Solutions
ASCDâ€™s 2011 Legislative Agenda
Teacher Leaders: Boosting Teacher Effectiveness and Student Achievement
Texas ASCD Calendar of Events
Vol. 4, Issue 1
Features 3 The 82nd Legislature is Now in Session: What to Expect and Who to Watch by David Anderson and Michelle Smith
Challenges, Then Solutions by Yolanda Rey, Ph.D.
10 Teacher Leaders
by the Education Commission of the States
15 ASCD 2011 Legislative Agenda In Every Issue 20 Calendar of Events 21 Texas ASCD Membership Application President Ellen V. Bell, Ph.D. Vice President Janis Jordan, Ed. D. Secretary Alma Rodriguez, Ph.D. President-Elect Al Hambrick, Ph.D. Past President Gena Gardiner
Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Texas ASCD) is a nonprofit educational organization that improves learning through supporting all educators and school children of Texas in their educational endeavors. Leaders Learners is an official journal of Texas ASCD. If you 2 News andofEvents
Yolanda M. Rey, Ph.D. Executive Director February 2011 Leaders of Learners
have comments concerning Leaders of Learners, please send them to email@example.com. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the opinions or endorsements of Texas ASCD or our membership.
The 82nd Legislature is Now in Session: What to Expect and Who to Watch by David Anderson and Michelle Smith HillCo Partners The Texas Legislature convenes every two years for 140 days to consider proposed legislation and to approve a biennial budget for the next two fiscal years. Recent legislative history tells us that when the smoke clears on May 30, the Legislature will have passed hundreds of bills that affect a myriad of issues across many policy areas, including public education. The 82nd Legislature began this session on January 11, facing perhaps the most significant fiscal challenge that has occurred during our careers in education: a shortfall that could be as high as $28 billion, depending on the content of the calculations. For educators who have been involved in legislative issues during the past decade, this may sound like a recurring theme. Similarly, for at least ninety-five of the legislative veterans who returned to the Capitol on January 11, it will be a reminder of 2003 when the 78th Legislature faced a shortfall of almost $10 billion.
While each of these policy areas is important, two major issues will demand the attention of the 82nd Legislature: appropriations and redistricting. The former issue is addressed every two years and the process for developing, reviewing, and approving the appropriations bill is a familiar one. The latter issue is addressed once a decade, and with member turnovers in 2001 and 2003, less than half of the current legislators have been through a redistricting session. For the membership of the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development—educators committed to improving teaching and learning for the success of all learners—redistricting will be of passing interest. Appropriations, however, will demand our attention.
“...two major issues will demand the attention of the 82nd Legislature: appropriations and redistricting.”
This legislature will see no dearth of education legislation. Bills have been filed that address assessment and accountability, curriculum, discipline, bullying, governance, facilities and transportation, charters, technology and textbooks, certification, property tax policies, and retirement. You probably didn’t know that we have so many areas that need to be fixed!
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
Over the remaining four months of the session, our legislators will make some very difficult decisions regarding the allocation of financial resources. Each of us will be impacted by those decisions, directly or indirectly, as funding for programs is extended, reduced, or eliminated. Because budget reductions, new requirements, and additional regulations are all possibilities, educators across the state are already considering how such changes could impact their ability to deliver the best instruction and to create the most significant gains in student learning. Monitoring the actions of the Legislature and taking thoughtful steps to mitigate the possible damage to student learning are responsibilities that must be taken seriously.
The 82nd Legislature...continued from page 3
get re-elected. Hearing from you—especially in areas of your expertise—is important. In each recent session, more bills were filed than in the previous session. While the number of bills passed dropped from 23% in 2007 to 19% in 2009, members and staff review and consider an increasing amount of legislation. Keeping up with the bills and understanding the content and implications of those bills is difficult. You can help by letting the legislators and their staff members know what is in the bills and how it affects their schools.
Staying Informed and Involved So how, as an involved member of Texas ASCD, does one stay informed and involved? • Stay in touch with your professional organizations via websites and e-mail updates. Texas ASCD keeps members updated with the Influence page of their website: www.txascd.org/influence. Sign up for regular updates and alerts, as well as learn about your local representatives. • Utilize available information resources such as Texas Legislature Online: www.legis.state.tx.us, the Texas House of Representatives website: www.house.state.tx.us, and the Texas Senate website: www.senate.state.tx.us. • Read about what is happening at the Capitol by monitoring news resources such as the Texas Tribune, a state-of-the-art web-based news source: http://www.texastribune.org. • Communicate with your district leadership. Use district protocols to inform them of bills specific to your areas of responsibility and how those bills will affect your school district. • Stay in touch with your legislative delegation in the House and the Senate. Communication with constituents is essential to the success of elected officials, as well as their ability to February 2011 Leaders of Learners
When you communicate with legislators and staff, be prepared. Know what you want to share with them and deliver the information clearly and succinctly. Simplify the information and present the facts. As one veteran Senate staff member has advised, avoid general statements such as “This is good for kids.” If you are asked for additional information and you do not have it readily available, let them know that you will find the information they want and will get it to them promptly. Make sure you follow through on that commitment. The Outlook for Public Education Like many of you, we began our careers in the classroom. When we consider this session’s budget constraints and the possibility of limiting what educators can do to continue to improve student performance, we worry. Additionally, as educators we recognize that the improvements in student performance in Texas, particularly those over the past fifteen years, have cost money. The educational improvements and reforms of the late ‘90s and this decade have been significant contributing factors for Texas’ continued economic growth, particularly in comparison to other states and regions. In a session in which financial resources are limited, legislators must make difficult decisions about how those resources are allocated. Let’s help them make the best decisions by staying informed and involved throughout the 82nd Session. 4
The 82nd Legislature...continued from page 4
Legislators to watch during the 82nd Session: Representative Rob Eissler (District 15), the veteran House member who has served as chair of the House Public Education Committee for the past two sessions. Rep. Eissler was a member of the Conroe ISD Board of Trustees for almost two decades prior to his election to the Legislature. Representative Diane Patrick (District 94), the senior representative from Arlington who returns for her third session. Rep. Patrick was the only House member to serve on the Public Education Committee and the Higher Education Committee in the 81st Session. Patrick is an educator who has experience on the Arlington ISD Board of Trustees and the State Board of Education. Representative Scott Hochberg (District 137), a veteran of nine prior sessions from Houston. Rep. Hochberg is viewed as the most experienced member on school finance and education policy issues because of his tenure on the educaiotn committee and his work on the appropriations committee. Representative Jimmie Don Aycock (District 54), the representative from Killeen who was appointed to both the education subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee and the Public Education Committee in the 81st Session. As a member of the Killeen ISD Board of Trustees, Aycock gained considerable insight into school budgets and education policy and is well respected by his peers. February 2011 Leaders of Learners
Senator Florence Shapiro (District 8), the Senate leader on education issues for the past four sessions. Senator Shapiro is expected to chair the Senate Education Committee in the 82nd Session. Sen. Shapiro, a former mayor of Plano, is the author of significant accountability and assessment legislation in recent sessions. Senator Dan Patrick (District 7), the Houston senator who returns for his second term and third session. Sen. Patrick was the vice chair of the Education Committee and is seen as the chamberâ€™s leading advocate for mandate relief for public schools. Senator Leticia Van de Putte (District 26), the experienced San Antonio senator who has been a strong advocate for more adequate and equitable school funding. Senator Van de Putte brings great insights to the Education Committee from her Bexar County district.
Find contact information for these legislators and for your legislators at http://www.senate.state. tx.us/75r/senate/members.htm#members and http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/.
Challenges, then Solutions by Yolanda M. Rey, Ph. D. Texas ASCD Executive Director
With the start of the Texas 82nd Legislature, and the continuing work on the educational agenda at the national level, there are major challenges with which every educator will be affected. The state budget is now being discussed, with all its shortfalls that will affect school districts. Then, at the federal level, discussions continue about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that will also affect our districts. And this is only one program, a major impacting program, but one of many funding programs being studied and acted upon. It will take some time to become aware of the total picture before us. Without going into specific details again about the shortfalls and legislated programs at the state and national levels, the focus must be on formulating ideas and creating solutions for Texas students. There need to be solutions that maintain or enhance the quality of programs, instead of the taking away of programs that work and programs that are being created, all because of a state shortfall. Teaching and learning have to continue for all students.
said, the students whose testing results indicate that improvement is needed should be the first to be tested so that instruction can be aligned immediately for these students. Another alternative could be not to test at the designated grade levels every year. Maybe the stateâ€™s comprehensive testing could be distributed within a two-year period. These solutions could be good for the students and funding.
Technology is a solution that must be
considered for both viable content and
Now these ideas are innovative Maybe solutions and require the can be sought if study of the other we examine the components modes of delivery of programs. Recently, I heard that affect testing, such as state and federal Representative Mark Strama suggest that the requirements for comparative purposes. But, they assessment program could be formatted and could be instructionally sound for students, and delivered differently. He stated that the excelling also cost- saving delivery systems that could help students are always included in the testing with the budget shortfall. program, and for what purpose? Maybe, he
enriched delivery, and eventually help the cost of programs.
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
Challenges, then Solutions..continued from page 6
In place now is the adoption of Chapter 66 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), which includes the use of electronic textbooks as instructional materials. These electronic resources can be such innovative solutions to address some of the challenges. But, there cannot be a compromise that will not uphold quality, digital content and effective delivery. A flat, PDF format of an existing textbook will not do. The electronic materials have to contain rigorous and rich digital content. They must be current, interactive, engaging, and, at the same time, facilitate differentiating instruction for students. Technology is a solution that must be considered for both viable content and enriched delivery, and eventually help the cost of programs.
Share is interactive in an eLearning environment. It has aligned online resources and online course content, which can be shared and used for professional development. Of course, the infrastructure for technology, the hardware, and the software have to be in place. And, these components are not available in critical mass for all our districts. But with time and effort, technology can, not only enhance learning, but also can be time and cost effective. There are solutions, always. We, in the education community, have to be innovative, not just during these economic times, but at all times – and, we are.
Another program that is part of the solution is the Texas Education Agency’s Project Share. Project
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February 2011 Leaders of Learners
The 82nd Legislature: The Bills to Watch The 82nd Texas Legislature will tackle many critical decisions regarding the future of Texas public schools. Prior to the session’s start on January 11th, legislators had already pre-filed approximately 600 bills and joint resolutions—118 of those bills pertain to education and/or school-finance bills The Senate Finance Committee conducted its first meeting of the session on January 31, 2011. They discussed the State’s financial situation and reasons for the current budget shortfall. According to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, state lawmakers will have $72.2 billion for the biennium budget. State agencies report a need of $99 billion to maintain services at their current level and keep up with demand and population growth. That is a $27 billion shortfall! Massive cuts to public education are on the table, including a $9.3 billion reduction in the funds that flow to districts. The budget also reduces the state contribution to the pension fund.
By the Numbers
number of Texas Legislative Sessions
4.2 million children in Texas public schools
number of education-related bills introduced in the 82nd Texas Legislature
Over the next few months the future of Texas public education will be debated. Here are a few bills that we’re keeping an eye on: number of new HB 34. Relating to including in the public high school curriculum SBOE members instruction in methods of paying for postsecondary education and training. HB 67. Relating to the creation of a literacy center pilot program by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. HB 104. Relating to abolishing the Texas Higher Education independent school Coordinating Board and transferring the coordinating board’s districts in Texas functions and activities and the State Board of Education’s statutorily assigned functions and activities to the Texas Education Agency. HB 553. Relating to the nonpartisan election of members to the 2011 Texas budget shortfall State Board of Education. HJR 46. Proposing a constitutional amendment releasing a school district from the obligation to comply with an unfunded state educational mandate. To follow these and other bills, visit www.texastribune.org/session/82R/bills/
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
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Teacher Leaders: BoostingTeacher Teacher Effectiveness and Student Achievement Leaders Boosting Teacher Effectiveness and Student Achievement
What are Teacher Leaders and Teacher Leadership?
What are Teacher Leaders and Teacher Leadership? Teacher leaders and teacher leadership are not new concepts. Some of us may remember the “teacher career ladder” initiatives theteacher 1980s. Withoutare those earlyconcepts. efforts,Some the current press to define Teacher leadersofand leadership not new of us may remember the teacher leader“teacher career ladder” initiatives of the 1980s. Without those early efforts, the current press to ship and what it looks like in our schools would have far less traction. define teacher leadership and what it looks like in our schools would have far less traction.
Teacher leaders are teachers who aspire to stretch beyond engage Teacher leaders are teachers who aspire to stretch beyondtheir theirclassrooms classrooms totoengage in in leadership roles leadership roles that take many shapes and forms, both “informal” and “formal”. These that take many shapes and forms, both “informal” and “formal”. These teachers view the school as a whole, teachers view the school as a whole, see the “big picture” and focus on how they can help see the “bigimprove picture”aspects and focus on how they can help improve aspects of the school to result in increases in of the school to result in increases in student achievement. Teacher leaders student achievement. Teacher leaders “teachers” firstorand do not want see themselves as “teachers” firstsee and themselves do not want toas become principals administrators, butto become prinwant to work collaboratively with their colleagues and school cipals or administrators, but want to work collaboratively with their colleagues and school administrators to administrators to improve school and student performance. improve school and student performance.
This issue of The Progress of Education Reform will discuss
What areappeared teacher in the December the roles teacher leadersof can play; how theyof can contributeReform, the publiThis article originally 2010 issue The Progress Education to overall school and student success; how some states are leaders?Commission of the States. It discusses the roles teacher leaders cation of Education can play; how they can formally supporting teacher leaders and the concept of teacher
What are states doing to increase teacher leadership opportunities?
February 2011 Leaders of Learners 1
THE PROGRESS OF
contribute to overall and studentleadership; success;and how some states are supporting policy implications andformally recommendations for teacher leaders Why areschool they needed state policymakers on how to explore and/or expand teacher and the concept teacher leadership; and policy implications and recommendations for state policymakers forofhigher student leadership in their states. achievement? on how to explore and/or expand teacher leadership in their states.
Teacher Leaders...continued from page 10
Teacher leaders are often found in formal and informal roles
Mentoring new and current teachers (formal and/or informal)
Designing and implementing teacher professional development to increase teacher effectiveness (formal)
Serving as department chairs (formal)
Serving as union representatives (formal)
Serving as site committee members (formal)
Serving as staff developers (formal)
Serving as curriculum specialists (formal)
Leading professional learning communities (informal)
Assisting or guiding colleagues in accessing or selecting appropriate research-based strategies (informal)
Engaging in reflective dialogue with colleagues to improve instruction and student results (informal)
While several definitions of “teacher leadership” circulate in articles and the extremely limited research that exists, the following encapsulates generally accepted thinking: “Teacher leadership is the process by which teachers, individually or collectively, influence their colleagues, principals, and other members of the school community to improve teaching and learning practices with the aim of increased student learning and achievement.”1 As a leader in the field, Charlotte Danielson writes in Teacher Leadership that Strengthens Professional Practice that teacher leadership is a “set of skills demonstrated by teachers who continue to teach students but also have an influence that extends beyond their own classrooms to others within their own school and elsewhere.”2 The notion that teacher leaders want to stay in the classroom and stay connected to students are critical points. Teacher leaders are “teachers” first and “leaders” outside their classrooms second.
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
Teacher Leaders...continued from page 11
Why are Teacher Leaders Needed? Teacher leaders have always existed in every school, but until recent years, an emphasis on defining and recognizing what a teacher leader is and does has been absent. As goals and challenges of the teaching profession have evolved, many new and existing teachers, along with administrators, have recognized the need for and benefit of cultivating teacher leadership. The teaching profession is relatively “flat,” meaning that in most schools an identifiable career ladder is missing. If a teacher wants to “move up” in the profession, that teacher has had only one clear opportunity of moving into the administrative ranks. Many teachers do not want to become principals or other school administrators, they want to remain in their classrooms and also provide leadership outside their classrooms. If teacher leader options aren’t available to those wishing to “move up,” some leave the teaching profession entirely. Having more career options will aid in recruiting and retaining highly effective teachers.
“Having more career options will aid in recruiting and retaining highly effective teachers."
Teachers’ tenure generally is longer than principals’ — so those who provide the most continuity in a school are likely to be the teachers. Establishing a collaborative leadership system between school administrators and teachers has the potential of lasting long past any administrator’s tenure, keeping instructional improvement initiatives and their momentum progressing beyond staffing changes. Principals can no longer do it alone — the role of the principal in today’s schools is increasingly complex and timeconsuming. They have many diverse responsibilities (e.g., discipline, facility maintenance, community relations, instructional leader, teacher evaluator, teacher mentor, reform leader, etc.) and need the help of their teacher leaders to implement change and reform to improve school and student performance. Dr. Mark A. Smylie, an expert in the field of teacher leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, views teacher leadership is an instrument for: School and classroom improvement Teacher learning, professional development, motivation, recruitment, and retention Improving the effectiveness of administrative leadership Developing teaching as a profession with a career path The democratization of schools.3
What is the Latest Work on Teacher Leaders/Leadership? In May 2008, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) convened a group of education stakeholders to examine current research and thinking about the critical leadership roles that teachers play in contributing to successful school reform. This initial group subsequently expanded its membership and mission to form the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium, representing a broad array of education organizations, state education agencies, teacher leaders, principal leaders, institutions of higher education and teacher unions. This consortium developed draft Model Teacher Leader Standards that were released for public comment in early 2010. (Consortium Web site: http://tlstandards.weebly.com/) The purpose of these draft “model standards” is to encourage professional discussion of what constitutes the full range of competencies that teacher leaders possess and how this form of leadership can be distinguished from, but work in tandem with, formal administrative leadership roles to support good teaching and promote student learning.”4
February 2011 Leaders of Learners 3
Teacher Leaders...continued from page 12
The draft Model Teacher Leader Standards (http://tlstandards.pbworks.com/f/13852_TeacherLeaderStnds_ HR.pdf) follow a similar format as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISSLC) State Standards for School Leaders and contain seven domains:
Domain I – Understanding Adults As Learners to Support Professional Learning Communities Domain II – Accessing and Using Research to Improve Practice and Student Achievement Domain III – Promoting Professional Learning for Continuous Improvement Domain IV – Facilitating Improvements in Instruction and Student Learning Domain V – Using Assessments and Data for School and District Improvement Domain VI – Improving Outreach and Collaboration with Families and Community Domain VII – Advocating for Student Learning and the Profession One of the next steps in the evolution of the Model Teacher Leader Standards is to crossreference them with the newly updated Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards (http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/ Interstate_Teacher_Assessment_Consortium_(InTASC).html), to ensure alignment. The INTASC standards were released for public comment in July 2010.
How states are moving teacher leadership forward Kansas The Kansas State Department of Education has established teacher leader standards that lead to licensure.
New Jersey Montclair State University has created a Master of Education in Teacher Leadership program.
Virginia Virginia Commonwealth University has created the Center for Teacher Leadership to provide coursework and training for teachers wishing to move into leadership positions.
Education/Evolving This Web site is working to encourage a radically different model of school organization, in which the authority for arranging both the learning program and the administration of a school is placed with a formally-organized group of teachers ... and in which the teachers accept collegially the responsibility for the school's success. http://www.educationevolving.org/ teacherpartnerships Opportunity at the Top This article, by Bryan C. Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel, discusses how America’s best teachers can close the gaps, raise the bar and keep our nation great. http://opportunityculture.org/images/stories/ opportunity_report_web.pdf Model Teacher Leader Standards, 2010 This site, by the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium, provides the latest draft of the Model Teacher Leader Standards. http://tlstandards.weebly.com/ Teacher Leadership as a Key to Education Innovation: Action Steps and Promising Strategies for State, District, and University Officials This article by NCCTQ provides current information about teacher leadership, state trends, pathways to teacher leadership and recommended state and district action. http://www.tqsource.org/pdfs/TQ_Policy-toPracticeBriefTeacherLeadership.pdf Teacher Leadership That Strengthens Professional Practice, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (C. Danielson, 2006)
This book is designed as a resource not only for prospective teacher leaders, but also for administrators who want to better support the development of outstanding teacher leaders.
Alabama, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio
Taking the Lead – New Roles for Teachers and School-based Coaches
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is working with Alabama, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio on creating teacher leader preparation curricula.
(J.,Killion and C. Harrison, National Staff Development Council, 2006)
http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=3458 February 2011 Leaders of Learners 4
This book identifies the many roles schoolbased coaches play in providing just-in-time professional learning that addresses real problems individual teachers encounter in 13 their classrooms.
Teacher Leaders...continued from page 13
Implications for State Policymakers Most educators agree that teacher leaders and teacher leadership exist in all schools – and they are helping to improve teaching and learning in a variety of formal and informal ways. Many state and higher education institutions have taken up the charge by developing pathways for teachers to become teacher leaders through specialized degrees, credentials and endorsements. For some, however, the teacher leadership debate is about whether or not teacher leadership should be formally recognized and compensated. For others, the debate centers on whether or not all teachers are capable of being or should be teacher leaders. State policymakers would be well-advised to gain a full understanding of teacher leadership and how it can be applied to improve overall teacher effectiveness and student achievement by: Utilizing the Model Teacher Leader Standards and the INTASC Model Core Teaching
Standards in any future initiatives related to strengthening teacher certification, teacher preparation, teacher evaluation, teacher recruitment and retention, teacher effectiveness and increasing student achievement. Identifying how teacher leaders are currently being used in states' schools through
informal and formal means — and whether or not there are specific paths teachers can student-backpack.jpg take to become recognized as teacher leaders. Establishing task forces and professional learning communities to discuss and define
the roles that teacher leaders can play to increase teacher effectiveness and student achievement school-wide, district-wide, and statewide. Embracing teacher leadership as a strategy to “do things differently” in education —
helping school administrators to lead and achieve whole-school reform and turnaround, retaining high-quality teachers in the profession longer, raising the level of professionalism in the teaching profession, and increasing student achievement for all students.
J. Barr, J. Sommerness and J. Hur, Teacher Leadership. In T. Good (Ed.), 21st Century Education: A Reference Handbook (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2008), 287.
Charlotte Danielson, Teacher Leadership That Strengthens Professional Practice (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006), 12.
Mark A. Smylie, Thoughts on the Development of Teacher Leadership, PowerPoint presentation, National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality Meeting, October 28-29, 2009, Washington D.C., http://www.tqsource.org/whatworks/wwc09highlyeffective/presentations/TeacherLeadership2009_Smylie.pdf.
Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium Letter, 2010, http://tlstandards.weebly.com.
Pastisissues of The ProgressinofDecember Education2010 Reform areofavailable on our site at:Reform This article originally appeared issue The Progress ofWeb Education www.ecs.org/per. and is reprinted here with permission from the Education Commission of the States (ECS). ECS is a nationwide nonprofit organization formed in 1965 to help governors, state legislators, state educationThisofficials policies issue of Theand Progressothers of Educationdevelop Reform was made possible to by aimprove the quality of education. ECS is the grant from thenonpartisan GE Foundation. If you have any questions about thisdevoted to education at all levels. For past only nationwide, interstate compact issue, please contact: Barbara Thompson, Director for Teacher Quality issues of The Progress of Education Reform, visit the ECS website at www.ecs.org. and Leadership, Education Commission of the States, at 303.299.3657 or email@example.com.
February 2011 Leaders of Learners 5
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Equip Education Advancin 14
ASCD, representing more than 160,000 educators, calls on federal policymakers to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 2011 to support our efforts to provide a world-class education to every student. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the current version of ESEA, has been in effect for nine years, during which time Congress has failed to fulfill its legislative responsibility to update the law in each of the past three years. Given NCLB’s clear flaws and now obvious unintended consequences, what we need at this time is not so much a typical reauthorization but a complete rewrite of the federal education law— and in an expedited fashion—to address the changing education needs of the country and its students. The existing national priority to close the achievement gap is a worthy one and should be maintained. But the accompanying focus on student proficiency in reading and math within individual states is as antiquated as it is limiting in light of today’s global competition. Of equal relevance and greater effect would be a new
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
federal goal to close the international achievement gap between the United States and other countries. These ambitious efforts will require a careful reexamination of the leverage and limits of federal education reform strategies, an appreciation for the state and local functions in education, and an understanding of the importance of input from education leaders who know firsthand the ongoing challenges students and schools face as well as how to develop innovative solutions to address these challenges. Toward that end, the federal government should refocus its core education mission to provide national leadership, ensure equity and access to all students, and support research and capacitybuilding assistance. Policymakers must
2011 Legislative Agenda...continued from page 15
• Distinguish between aspirational goals and the actual policies and resources necessary to reach them in legislation; • Trust but verify that states and districts are serving all students and their education needs; and • Invest in the knowledge base and infrastructure for the benefit of states, districts, and schools. ASCD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization whose members are educators from all levels and subject areas—superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members. The ASCD Legislative Agenda is developed from the wide-ranging and comprehensive perspectives and experiences of successful school leaders and effective educators. ASCD works in partnership with policymakers and the public to achieve these important policy goals in
support of healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged students. Improving Performance Achievement Gaps
ASCD believes that the federal government, and particularly the U.S. Department of Education, serves an indispensable role in providing a broad vision for education excellence, identifying national education reform priorities, and marshaling public support and resources in support of these goals. ASCD supports the nation’s goals to close the achievement gap between demographic subgroups of students and to ensure that all students are fully proficient in reading and math. In addition, ASCD proposes a new national priority of closing the international achievement gap between U.S. students and their peers in other nations. continued on page 17
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2011 Legislative Agenda...continued from page 16
Such an effort requires a world-class school system that serves the comprehensive needs of children through a whole child approach to education. The coordination of education programs with out-ofschool services is needed so that each child can enter school healthy and ready to learn, feel physically and emotionally safe, be actively engaged in learning and connected to the broader school community, have access to personalized instruction, and be challenged academically and prepared for postsecondary success. ASCD calls on Congress to • Recognize that ensuring all children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged should be a national priority and encourage parents, educators, and community members to support and provide a whole child approach to education for each student. • Replace the currently narrow federal focus on standardized testing in reading and mathematics with an emphasis on multiple measures of student achievement in all core academic subjects, without requiring additional state assessments. • Embrace college- and career-readiness standards that include proficiency in reading, math, science, social science, the arts, civics, foreign language, health education and physical education, technology, and all other core academic subjects. • Support rigorous state academic standards and accurate comparisons among states and districts regarding school quality and student achievement. • Promote collaboration between state and local governments and among school systems and the social, health, and safety services that support children.
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
Equity and Access ASCD believes that all children must have an equitable share of resources commensurate with their learning needs as well as access to personalized learning; a well-rounded education; a highly effective teacher in every subject; and support from qualified, caring adults. Federal resources, primarily through the Title I program, have been essential in helping level the playing field for historically underserved student populations and communities and in calling attention to the need for targeted assistance to persistently underperforming schools. Unfortunately, Title I is not able to benefit all of the students and schools it is intended to serve; its limited resources are targeted primarily to elementary schools and early intervention strategies. Because high school graduation and dropout rates are issues of national concern, ASCD calls on federal officials to create a new program within ESEA dedicated to supporting reforms and providing resources specifically to secondary schools. Although federal accountability requirements have helped provide an objective examination of the areas in need of improvement in states, the current adequate yearly progress (AYP) system is irretrievably broken. The education accountability mandate needs to be transformed from one that is punitive, federally prescriptive, and overly bureaucratic to a model that rewards achievement, is state-driven and peer reviewed, and promotes supportive learning communities and a culture of continuous improvement. ASCD calls on Congress to • Authorize a growth model accountability system for each child in every state, including academic growth disaggregated by demographic subgroups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. • Maintain requirements for the disaggregation of achievement data according to existing subgroups and to include assessment accommodations necessary for students—
2011 Legislative Agenda...continued from page 17
especially students with disabilities and English language learners—to most accurately demonstrate their proficiency. • Offer schools, districts, and students the opportunity to demonstrate achievement through the use of multiple measures of performance. • Promote greater transparency of state, district, and school quality by continuing to require the collection and meaningful public reporting of performance indicators, including student performance data across all core academic subjects. • Empower states to shift away from compliance and monitoring as primary functions to providing on-site improvement assistance to schools and staff based on research and development.
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
• Reconceptualize the goals and interventions for chronically underperforming schools from punitive and unproven sanctions to an improvement system of access to and comprehensive support for enriched curriculum with high-quality teaching and learning experiences that involve all students, families, and staff. • Require access to a highly effective teacher for each student in every subject. • Ensure access to a well-rounded curriculum that is reflected in standards, assessments, accountability systems, and public reporting of achievement.
2011 Legislative Agenda...continued from page 18
Capacity-Building Assistance Information Dissemination
ASCD supports education policies and classroom practices that are based on research and proven effectiveness. Federal support and coordination can help states and districts build meaningful capacity to improve student achievement and school quality through robust investments in education research, the enhancement of a world-renowned education clearinghouse of innovation, and the dissemination of best practices to educators. ASCD calls on Congress to • Sponsor partnerships with higher education, foundations, regional laboratories, and other nonprofit entities to support and disseminate education research. • Create a more comprehensive and searchable clearinghouse of effective strategies and practices to match local needs by providing a resource bank of solutions and on-site support linked to school improvement for targeted schools, including easily accessible site, contact, and practice information.
• Encourage and support a reciprocal federalstate relationship that promotes innovative, criteria-driven programs and practices that are linked to school improvement at the state and local levels and can then be disseminated nationally. • Create a system of rewards and incentives— including flexibility in the use of Title I funds—to states and schools that are consistently high performing, close achievement gaps, or do well in cohort comparisons. • Support educators in gaining and sustaining the professional knowledge, skills, and training to address the evolving needs of students. • Identify the essential elements of teacher effectiveness based on research. • Facilitate state-developed teacher evaluation methods based on a common definition of educator effectiveness.
About ASCD Founded in 1943, ASCD is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. Our 170,000 members in 136 countries are professional educators from all levels and subject areas—superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members. Our nonprofit, nonpartisan membership association provides expert and innovative solutions in professional development capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead.
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
CALENDAR OF Events February 2011 February 18th Beyond the Textbook Corpus Christi
April 20th Beyond the Textbook Rio Grande Valley area
February 17th & 18th Curriculum Leadership Academy IV The Pat May Center HEB ISD - Bedford, Texas (First session of three sessions)
May 2011 May 9th New SCIENCE TEKS Help for Elementary Grades K-5 Gloria Chatelain and Courtney Williams Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
March 2011 March 2-3 A Framework for 21st Century Learning Jay McTighe Aldine, TX
May 10th The 3 Rs of Classroom Management - Relationships, Respect, and Responsibility LaDonna Polston Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
March 26th, 2011 Preparing for Secondary Math TAKS Using Reading Strategies CaLandra Pervis San Antonio ISD
May 12th Using Graphic Organizers and Assessment Tools to Make Mathematics Content More Accessible to Struggling Students Beatrice Moore Luchin (Session three of three) Frisco, ISD
April 2011 April 13th Beyond the Textbook Region 17 ESC - Lubbock area April 13-14th Using Graphic Organizers and Assessment Tools to Make Mathematics Content More Accessible to Struggling Students Beatrice Moore Luchin (Session Two of Three) Frisco ISD
February 2011 Leaders of Learners
COMING THIS SUMMER... the SOUTHWEST
BUILDING LEARNING COMMUNITIES TECHNOLOGY AND CURRICULUM CONFERENCE
JUNE 22-24, 2011 in DALLAS, TX
(Please print clearly)
$105.00 $ ______
r Mr. r Ms. r Dr. _________________________________________________
r Full-time Teacher (Pre-K12)
Position: _____________________ Affiliation: ___________________________
r Full-time Student
r Two-Year Membership
r Lifetime Member
$10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $20.00 $10.00
$ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______ $ ______
Applicant must be (1) enrolled in an accredited university, college, community college; and be considered a full-time student according to the criteria of the attending school.
Preferred Address: _________________________________________________ City/State/Zip: _____________________________________________________
Phone: _____________________________ Fax: _________________________ Preferred E-mail address: ____________________________________________ (*Required to receive online benefits.)
Retired “Administrative/University” or “Full-time Teacher”.
A 10% discount for “Administrative/University” personnel.
Gender r Female r Male
Regional Affiliate Dues
How many years have you been in the field of education? r 0-4 r 5-9 r 10-14 r 15-19 r 20-24 r 25-29 r 30 or more years
r r r r r r r r r r r r r r
Age r 20-29 r 30-39
Ethnicity r African American r Native American
r 60-69 r 70-79 r 80+
r Asian r Caucasian r Hispanic r Other ________________________
Grade Level r Elementary
r Middle School
r High School
District Type r Urban
What year did you become a member of Texas ASCD? ________________
Alamo Area (Region 20) Capital Area (Region 13) Central Texas (Region 12) Coastal Bend (Region 2) Crossroads Area (Region 3) Houston Suburban (Region 4) North Central (Region 10) Panhandle (Region 16) Paso Del Norte (Region 19) Piney Woods (Region 7) Rio Grande Valley (Region 1) Sabine-Neches (Region 5) West Central Texas (Region 14 West Texas (Region 17)
Payment Options r Payroll Deduction (Complete authorization below and deliver to your employer.) r Credit Card (complete information below) r Amex
r Master Card
r Check Enclosed (Please make check payable to Texas ASCD)
r Purchase Order # ______________________________________________________________________ r Discover
Credit Card #: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Expiration Date: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Please Return Completed Application with Payment to: Texas ASCD. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing. 1601 Rio Grande, Ste. #451, Austin, Texas 78701 (800) 717-2723 • (512) 477-8200 • Fax (512) 477-8215 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.txascd.org
Payroll Deduction Authorization I, _________________________ authorize the ____________________________ (employer) to deduct the total amount of $____________ in order to pay for Texas ASCD membership dues. I further authorize the Association to notify the employer of changes in the annual dues amounts and the number of pay periods over which deductions shall be made. Upon termination of my employment, I authorize any unpaid balance to be deducted from my final check. This authorization, for the deductions referenced above, will continue in effect until I give notice to the employer to revoke. Employee Signature __________________________________________________ Social Security # __________
Employer ____________________________________________________ Date _______________________________________________________ ** COMPLETE AND DELIVER THIS SECTION TO YOUR EMPLOYER’S PAYROLL OFFICE. ARRANGEMENTS FOR PAYROLL DEDUCTION ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE APPLICANT.
February 2011 Leaders of Learners