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5 Disturbing Ways America Fails Educators The Ambush of Education: Startling information about the trends that are crippling our educators and strategies.

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Presentation on theme: "5 Disturbing Ways America Fails Educators The Ambush of Education: Startling information about the trends that are crippling our educators and strategies."— Presentation transcript:

1 5 Disturbing Ways America Fails Educators The Ambush of Education: Startling information about the trends that are crippling our educators and strategies they can use to take charge

2 © Copyright Researched and produced by EMPIRE RESEARCH GROUP Sponsored by:

3 © Copyright Why did we commission a study? 3 We understand the overwhelming challenges facing educators today We engaged an independent research firm to investigate critical impact trends and identify solutions steps that can help educators rise to the challenge

4 © Copyright Areas Covered 4 The education landscape The 5 Disturbing ways America fails educators Practical strategies and actions that educators can use to cut through the complexity and reach their goals

5 The Current Landscape

6 © Copyright How does education in the U.S. compare 6 U.S. students are the C students of the world, neither leading nor trailing in reading, math, or science Consistent A students in international assessments include Finland, Korea and Singapore Are these comparisons accurate indicators? Source: National Center for Education Statistics, PISA Results

7 © Copyright The U.S. spends more per child 7 The U.S. spent $8,750 vs. $7,500 in Finland, for examplebut the figures can be misleading Finland's government provides equal per- pupil funding, unlike disparities between Beverly Hills public schools, for example, and schools in poorer districts How far a dollar actually goes is another issue. Average 2 bedroom apartment: Helsinki: $800 Washington D.C.: $3,298 New York/SoHo: $6,983 New York/Harlem: $2,331 Source: What Makes Finnish Kids so Smart? Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2008; REIS; Rental Report 2010, Real Estate Group NY, March 2010

8 © Copyright U.S. compared to Finland 8 Finland is largely homogeneous, and has a strong national culture In U.S. schools 9.7 million children speak another language at home Finland gives teachers and school administrators complete control and does not mandate standardized testing, unlike NCLB woes in the U.S. Source: Finland: Whats the Secret to Its Success? PBS, September, 2008

9 © Copyright U.S. compared to Finland 9 "In most countries, education feels like a car factory. In Finland, the teachers are the entrepreneurs, Schleicher, OECD Teachers in Finland must hold a masters degree, but since college is free, this is not a barrier Unlike the U.S., the profession is among the most respected, parents are highly supportive and discipline problems are rare Source: What Makes Finnish Kids so Smart? Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2008

10 © Copyright Violence is not the same percent of public schools recorded violent incidents of crime at school in the U.S. In 2007, rates of violent crime victimization at school were higher than away from school Finland and other leading countries in international assessments do not track serious crime at school because the incidence is so low Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education 2009; Center for Disease Control, Understanding School Violence, 2008

11 © Copyright Bullying comparison 11 Comparisons of moderate to frequent bullying underscore the difference: Finland: 11% Korea: 17% U.S. bullying: 59% In the U.S., 160,000 students go home early on any given day because they are afraid of being bullied Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The nature and Extent of bullying at school, Drake, Journal of School Health, 2003

12 © Copyright Comparisons within the U.S.easier? 12 One study created a fictional school that researchers called Mayberry Based on test scores, achievement gaps and yearly progress, they found that Mayberrys status would be very different from state to state: In some states, Mayberry would be high performing school held up as a role model In other states, "Mayberry would be a crisis school in danger of being closed ! Source: Achievement Gaps and the Proficiency Trap, Michael Dahlin and John Cronin, Kingsbury Center at NWEA

13 © Copyright Mayberrysuperstar & miserable failure 13 STAR! FAILURE ! Source: Achievement Gaps and the Proficiency Trap, Michael Dahlin and John Cronin, Kingsbury Center at NWEA The conclusion: Simply put, NCLB makes it impossible to determine whether schools are actually making any progress

14 © Copyright The 5 Ways America Fails Educators 14 1.Shrinking budgets, expanding expectations 2.The 3Rs: Ridiculous Role Reversal 3.Lack of support 4.Political ambush 5.The only thing in abundance: Criticism

15 Failure #1: Shrinking budgets… expanding expectations

16 © Copyright American Recovery & Reinvestment Act 16 Source: U.S. Department of Education, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Impacts; One Year Later: How the Economic Downturn Continues to Impact School Districts, AASA, October 27, 2009 The ARRA increased federal funding to schools by 235% Cumulative funding shortfall is still estimated at $85.6 billion 91% of the average districts funding is state and local 87% of superintendents receiving ARRA funds noted that federal dollars were offset by state and local cuts

17 © Copyright The funding equation is more complex 17 93% of districts report budget cuts at state or local levels Unemployment is at its highest level since 1948, creating stress and poverty among families Homelessness among families rose by 42% in 2009 It costs 50% more to educate a child in poverty than a child of middle-income Source: Homelessness Up in Suburban U.S., NewsMax, Feb. 18, 2010; Economic Snapshot for February 2010, Center for American Progress, February 24, 2010; Poverty in America, United States Government Office of Accountability, January, 2007

18 © Copyright NCLB increases expectations 18 The NCLB mandates have increased expectations to levels that many experts label impossible Impossible tasks prompt desperate action: Mass firing of hundreds of teachers and principals in efforts to avoid sanctions and preserve federal funds The mass-firing tactic is used to turn around schools annually Source: An Impossible Job? The View from the Urban Superintendents Chair; Wallace Foundation, July 2003

19 © Copyright Can we retain highly qualified teachers? 19 Two thirds of schools eliminated teachers for the 2009/10 year 83% expected further jobs to be eliminated in 2010/11 Teacher attrition is up by 50% over the last decade 1/3 of new teachers leave the field after 3 years 46% are gone within 5 years Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, How the Economic Downturn Continues to Impact School Districts, AASA, October 2009

20 Failure #2: 3Rs Ridiculous Role Reversal

21 © Copyright Remember when educators…educated? 21 Accountability has promoted a profoundly anti-intellectual definition of education –Diane Ravitch Increased accountability and pressure to run more like a business thrusts new roles onto educators: Marketing, Customer Service, Fundraising and even Chief of Security: 55% of schools have security cameras 85% record crimes at school 87% have violence prevention practices Source: 'The Death and Life of the Great American School System' by Diane Ravitch

22 © Copyright Mandate: Run like a failing business? 22 50% of businesses fail within their 1 st year and lack of capital is a leading reason 76% of districts describe themselves as inadequately funded 21% face short-term borrowing to meet payroll and accounts payable in 2010 Source: Why Small Businesses Fail, U.S. Small Business Administration

23 © Copyright What does the customer think? 23 45% of districts reported that even with federal monies, they were unable to save art, music and physical education programs When asked how important it is that students get exposure to arts, drama and athletics, 72% of parents considered it very important What kind of business could possibly cut services that 72% of its customers consider very important? Source: State House News Poll, Parent Attitudes, September 2007

24 Failure #3: Lack of Support

25 © Copyright The gap in parent involvement 25 Parent involvement is linked to better grades, test scores, attendance, behavior and graduation rates Only 20% of schools have PTA units From 12.1 million active parents in 1962, PTA membership plummeted to 5.8 million in 2008 Gaps in parent involvement mirror achievement gaps with up to a 50% difference in participation rates across ethnic and socio-economic groups Source: PTO Today, February 2008; U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, %

26 © Copyright What do teachers say? 26 78% say that lack of parental support is an ever-present concern 52% do not believe they can count on parents to support discipline efforts 77% would be substantially more effective if they didnt have to spend so much time on disruptive behavior 1 in 3 have considered quitting the profession because student discipline and behavior have become intolerable Source: Teaching Interrupted: Do Discipline Policies in Todays Public Schools Foster the Common Good?, Public Agenda, 2004 HELP

27 © Copyright Outreach efforts dont get an A 27 A national study of schools in 35 states found: Only 3% described results of their parent outreach efforts as excellent Less than 15% described them as very good 40% reported inadequate or no funds for outreach or partnership development Source: Special Report, 2009 School Update, Johns Hopkins University

28 Failure #4: Political Ambush

29 © Copyright Education lobby information 29 Political influence spending on education has risen alarmingly over the last decade Lobby spending increased over 500% between 1998 and 2008 (federal only) There were 1,471 education lobbyists to the federal government in 2009 State lobbying efforts are even more fierce, but not as transparent because many states do not require disclosure Source: Education: Long-Term Lobby and Contribution Trends, Open Secrets, April, 2010; Center for Responsive Politics

30 © Copyright Business influence on education policy 30 Big business is influencing policy through their foundations, but not always responsibly: "With so much money and power aligned against the neighborhood school, public education itself is at riskDiane Ratvitch Example: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Spent $2 billion on a program to break up large schools into small ones Changed their minds, concluding small schools couldnt provide enough resources and opportunities Abandoned the project, leaving the schools in complete disarray Source: 'The Death and Life of the Great American School System' by Diane Ravitch, Professor of education at New York University with more than 35 years of research in education

31 © Copyright Has the take-over of education helped? 31 Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics

32 © Copyright Why isnt anyone listening to the experts? 32 Source: How Principals and Superintendents See Schools Today, Education Insights, 2006

33 Failure #5: The only thing in abundance: Criticism

34 © Copyright The only thing in abundance: Criticism 34 Education leaders are under attack. We are the marks when society has failed our young people and the news media needs a target. We are easy scapegoats The School Administrator Editorial "The job is impossible, the expectations are inappropriate, the training is inadequate, and the pipeline is inverted Paul Houston, AASA Source: Leaderships Time is Now, The School Administrator, November 2005 Number 10, Vol. 62

35 © Copyright Blamed for a system that cripples them 35 A multi-year study found that the majority of superintendents agree they believe the job to be undoable The study concluded: What we hear in the voices of these superintendents is their frustration that their commitment to teaching is over whelmed by political demands. They are set up to fail and then condemned depending on the communitys mood Source: An Impossible Job? The View from the Urban Superintendents Chair; Wallace Foundation, July 2003

36 © Copyright To summarize, America fails educators by: 36 Reducing budgets while constantly expanding expectations and roles Putting the weight of societys problems on their shoulders while undercutting their support Allowing politicians control instead of education experts Blaming educators for a system they didnt design that cripples their ability to educate

37 However, there are steps that educators can take to cut through the complexity and take charge

38 © Copyright Steps to Success 38 1.Strategic thinking 2.Maximize fundraising 3.Improving test scoresfoundation over technique 4.Effective parent engagement 5.Catalyze alliances

39 Step #1: Strategic thinking

40 © Copyright Strategic thinking: not an event 40 Strategic planning is an eventstrategic thinking is a daily mindset When problems are legion and time is at a premium, strategic thinking is critical to success Strategic thinkers seek multiple impacts from each tactical action The first step is to change focus from action to impact

41 © Copyright Impact, not just action 41 For example, the action of holding a fundraising event can be strategically designed to create impact on: Student skills and behavior, Parent engagement Community support Raising money Every simple, routine action can be modified for impact on larger goals Rethinking routine actions/interactions to maximize impact opportunity has a powerful cumulative effect

42 © Copyright Simple actions, cumulative impact 42 For example, sending out the lunch menu may be informative to parents and students. Can it also be made to: Improve health and attendance by highlighting foods that improve skin, hair, muscles Advertise events and goals to raise awareness/participation Contain a link to a How you can help us reach our goals section of your website

43 Step #2: Maximize Fundraising

44 © Copyright Maximum impact, minimum time 44 Time expenditures to organize lower-return fundraisers can be the same or more than options that produce higher return and higher impact Fundraising events designed to be novel and fun generate wider participation, as well as favorable publicity

45 © Copyright What types of events bring people out? 45 Studies show that Arts events have the largest turnout outside of sporting events They also offer the widest opportunity for expanded impact: More than 65 distinct relationships between arts and desired outcomes (both academic & social) have been documented Surprising links have been found in increasing student motivation, persistence and ability to accept constructive criticism Source: Building Participation, The Urban Institute, July 2004; Deasy, Dont Axe the Arts!, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Volume 82, Number 3, January/February 2003; Critical Evidence: How the ARTS Benefit Student Achievement, NASAA, 2006

46 © Copyright Why do they come? 46 You know why you want them to comebut understanding their motivation is critical Interestingly, although support the community scored high for all groups, it scored highest for low income and minority groups 48% higher Your messaging about events should correspond with the motivations of the target audience for maximum impact Source: Building Participation, The Urban Institute, July 2004,

47 © Copyright Make it strategic, special and personal 47 Research indicates that the most promising strategies involved: Programming in which children had fun and were helped in making academic and social progress Scheduling special events that promoted high attendance Providing food Offering performances and exhibits of youths work Source: Special Report, 2009 School Update, National Network of Partnership Schools, Johns Hopkins University

48 Step #3: Effective Engagement

49 © Copyright First: Access before engagement 49 Parent involvement encompasses a multitude of complex phenomenafamily structure, culture, ethnic background, social class, age and gender represent only a few of the factors –Boethel There is no one-size-fits-all engagement playbookbut, all strategies must start with access. The key question is: How can we create access to positive interactions with parents? Experts say that novel and non-traditional avenues can increase your access Source: Scribner and Scribner (2001); 2003 synthesis, Diversity: Family and Community Connections with Schools, Boethel

50 © Copyright Second: They MUST feel welcome 50 Non-traditional interactions can create a key success component the feeling of welcome: Invite families in to eat lunch with children Host special events and activities that include the whole family Meet on their turf by hosting events or meetings in community forums like churches, youth organizations and libraries Add multi-cultural components Source: High-performing schools serving Mexican American students: What they can teach us, ERIC Digest, A Strategy Brief of the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, September 2005

51 © Copyright Third: Follow-upits not a one-time-event 51 Initial Access: A fun event gets many attendees Handouts/parent literature disseminated Upcoming desired interactions advertised Teachers/principals use informal setting to begin relationships with targeted people Follow up to create ongoing engagement Homework assignments that require parent/child interaction tied to event Photos, prize winners, shout-outs posted on school website (next to reminders or key info) New relationships followed by personal note or to further the bond Source: High-performing schools serving Mexican American students: What they can teach us, ERIC Digest, Scribner & Scribner, 2001; Diversity: Family and Community Connections with Schools, Boethel, 2003; A Strategy Brief of the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, September 2005

52 © Copyright Understand belief systems to expand impact 52 86% of parents agree that arts education improves a childs attitude toward school 54% rate the importance of the arts a 10 on a 1-10 scale 79% of parent believe that its important enough for them to get personally involved in increasing the amount and quality of arts education Source: Critical Evidence: How the ARTS Benefit Student Achievement, NASAA, 2006; Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, AEP 2002

53 Step #4: Improving Test Scores

54 © Copyright Beyond the techniques: connect motivators 54 Regardless of programs, techniques or instructional plans one fundamental truth applies: Test scores cannot be raised without motivated students and teachers Increasing the foundational building block of motivation is critical to success

55 © Copyright Research shows key student motivators: 55 Teacher enthusiasm Perceived relevance and importance of material Self-motivation and perception of control Emphasizing personal responsibility and collaboration over teacher power Changing "you must," to "I think you will find..." or "I will be interested in your conclusions about… Belief: "Students who believe that they can do well are much more likely to be motivated in terms of effort, persistence, and behavior than students who do not expect to succeed" Source: Pintrich, P.R. (2003), A motivational science perspective on the role of student motivation in learning and teaching contexts, Journal of Educational Psychology, 95 (4), ; What Motivates Students, Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D., July 2009; Lowman, 1990

56 © Copyright Teacher motivation: connecting the dots 56 When asked: Given a choice between two schools in otherwise identical districts, which would you prefer Source: Lessons Learned: The Special Challenges of Teachers; The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, 2007

57 © Copyright Teacher motivation: Respect and Support 57 More than anything else, teachers want respect and support from administration, parents and students Source: Lessons Learned: The Special Challenges of Teachers; The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, 2007

58 Step #5: Form Success Alliances

59 © Copyright Critical alliances: families and community 59 Partnerships among schools, families, and community groups are not a luxurythey are a necessity – Henderson, Mapp and Davis The value of strong, reliable, productive relationships in the local community are clear but how are they developed? One factor is often overlooked and underutilized Source: School-Family -Community Connection: Looking at the Larger Picture, A Review of Current Literature, National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools at SEDL

60 © Copyright Long term alliances through catalysts 60 Catalyst relationships can help access or solidify parent and community relationships Short-term, one-time or intermittent relationships that provide access to other relationships or networks Consider the size of the network being accessed or the amount of people you can gain access to and influence with to determine priority

61 © Copyright Catalyst relationships, what to look for 61 Reliable, sterling reputation Help you innovate Able to draw many people that you can then create or solidify relationships with Multi-dimensional impact areas, such as: Fundraising Parent engagement Learning and academic goals Building work ethic, self-esteem and social skills in kids

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