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New York’s Contract for Excellence : A Means of Enhancing the Efficient and Effective Allocation of K-12 Education Resources Deborah Cunningham, Matt Reilly.

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Presentation on theme: "New York’s Contract for Excellence : A Means of Enhancing the Efficient and Effective Allocation of K-12 Education Resources Deborah Cunningham, Matt Reilly."— Presentation transcript:

1 New York’s Contract for Excellence : A Means of Enhancing the Efficient and Effective Allocation of K-12 Education Resources Deborah Cunningham, Matt Reilly and Stephen McNally New York State Education Department American Education Finance Association Denver, CO April 11, 2008

2 Contract for Excellence Legislation last session tied money much better to achievement and accountability. One key change - a huge funding increase in a Foundation Formula based on successful schools responded to an adequacy lawsuit. The Regents fought hard for that since 2003. A second change was a Contract that tied some of the funding increases to what works and to results.

3 Contract for Excellence 55 districts, including New York City, received enough Foundation Aid to enter into a Contract by which they pledge to improve the achievement of their students. These districts used their C4E dollars in 1,547 schools that have an enrollment of almost 1.1 million students. The Contracts account for a total of $428 million in State funding for schools.

4 What Districts Agreed To Do Direct 75 percent of the funds to the neediest students. Use what works. They chose proven programs: Time on Task - More time in school, and more focused instruction to help individual students Better recruiting and professional development for teachers Pre-kindergarten or kindergarten Restructuring of middle and high schools Class size reduction.

5 C4E Allocations by Allowable Program for New York City (In Thousands of Dollars) How New York City Will Spend Funds

6 Looking at just NYC, the emphasis on addressing large class sizes is evident. Almost $153 million or 60% of their total C4E contract amount is accounted for by this program. 65% of all C4E schools in NYC will have a class size reduction program. While significantly less funds were allocated to teacher and principal improvement initiatives, they will still be in 75% of the schools. Similarly, over half the schools will have funds allocated directly to time on task improvements.

7 C4E Allocations by Allowable Program for Rest of State (In Thousands of Dollars) How Rest of State Will Spend Funds

8 The remaining 54 districts outside of NYC show a more evenly distributed allocation between programs. The largest program area by every measure (Total $, % of funds, number of schools) is additional time on task. Over three-quarters of all C4E schools will see this direct impact on students. Class size reduction and restructuring programs receive about the same amount of funds. However, CSR will occur in almost twice as many schools as restructuring. Very little C4E money is allocated to either new preschool, kindergarten or experimental programs, likely due to the lack of planning time in the first year of the program. How Rest of State Will Spend Funds

9 Analysis of Approved Contracts – New York State Totals


11 What Districts Agreed To Do Set targets showing the improvement they expect, including all students in need and groups of students, such as students with disabilities or English Language Learners. Use the money in proportion to the need in low- performing schools before spending dollars on other schools. Publicly report results and have a complaint process in preparation for public hearings that will be required.

12 Issues Backloading funding New programs or tax relief? Fast growth of education costs –Salaries –Energy –Health benefits Budget crises

13 Evaluation Plan Although necessary, the evaluation task is made problematic by : Uncertainty about how the ideal of a randomized design for as important intervention as this one would be operationalized: Possibility of randomizing at school level? Tension with the CFE lawsuit decision which asserts pupils’ “right” to an adequate education Problems of Scale and Scope C4E funds only reflect 2% of all State revenue for K-12 education and less than 1% of All funds Proposed Executive budget legislation requires us to evaluate the effectiveness of the new funding and interventions on achievement each year, including in the 2 nd year after implementation.

14 Evaluation Plan – How can the evaluation plan be built into the program? Experimental program activities require districts to evaluate efficacy of their interventions Multi-year and phased State evaluation plan to focus on: –Process inputs and district behavioral changes in early years after implementation, e.g., »Have intra-district resource allocation practices changed? »Has professional development accompanied new instructors hired? »Are district choices of interventions research and evidence-based? –Achievement outcomes that may have flowed from increased funding and behavioral and input changes in the later years when a longer series and a unique student ID data system should be in place –Literature search or meta-analyses of the effectiveness of the five allowable programs –Other Ideas?

15 Need Targeting Provisions Authorizing statute requires focusing the allocation of Contract funds to ‘predominantly benefit pupils with the greatest educational needs’ including but not limited to these groups –Children in poverty –Limited English Proficiency/English Language Learners –Students with Disabilities and –Children not Achieving at a Proficient Level

16 Targeting (Continued) Empirical difficulty of how to implement administratively this strong legislative intent –Should one target pupils or schools/places? A controversy in the economic development literature, e.g., CDBG –‘Tension’ with the political desire or need to spread the money around –Which may conflict with existing intra-district allocation patterns Administrative solutions designed for NYS’ Big 5 districts of –1) Proportional shares of need and funding –2) Provided a district allocates 75% of their funds to the top 50% of needy schools »Less feasible for small N districts of perhaps 3 schools. –Resulted in a waiver provision for schools who could show good cause

17 Needed Research What works and how does a state get the most bang for the buck? To what extent do districts use new aid to supplant district effort? How has performance changed? Can a growth or value added model help us assess schools? Can school-based expenditure reporting be used to enhance accountability? What aspects of teacher contracts align teacher resources with student achievement growth?

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