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STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS Redesigning state education systems based on the strategies used by the top-performing nations Marc Tucker National.

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Presentation on theme: "STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS Redesigning state education systems based on the strategies used by the top-performing nations Marc Tucker National."— Presentation transcript:

1 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS Redesigning state education systems based on the strategies used by the top-performing nations Marc Tucker National Center on Education and the Economy

2 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS U.S. BEING OVERTAKEN BY ONE NATION AFTER ANOTHER ON: Quality Student performance - #14 in literacy - #25 in math - #17 in science

3 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS U.S. BEING OVERTAKEN BY ONE NATION AFTER ANOTHER ON: Equity Degree to which socio-economic status predicts student performance Out of 34 countries, only Chile, Germany, Hungary and Luxembourg are worse than US

4 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS U.S. BEING OVERTAKEN BY ONE NATION AFTER ANOTHER ON: Productivity Cost per capita of educating our students Though only Luxembourg spends more per student, our performance is in bottom half of distribution, giving us the lowest productivity in the OECD

5 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS U.S. BEING OVERTAKEN BY ONE NATION AFTER ANOTHER ON: Workforce Quality Amount of education per worker We used to have the highest proportion of workers with a high school diploma and with a college degree; now 11 countries outperform us on this indicator and we are sinking fast

6 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS EXCUSE #1: But we educate everyone and they educate only an elite: Our high school dropout rate is about 30%; for most of the top performers is lower than 10% IIt is we who are education only our elite and they who are educating everyone

7 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS EXCUSE #2: But the high performers have homogeneous student populations, while ours is very diverse A higher proportion of Canadians were born outside that country than Americans were born outside the US Australia is second only to the US in diversity Students in both countries perform at levels well above the US

8 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS EXCUSE #3: But the cultures of these other countries is so different from ours that the lessons learned cant be transferred to the US The principles that underlie the strategies usedby the most successful countries are pretty much the same everywhere; they seemto transfer just fine But the most popular reforms in the US are out of step with those principles, which probably explains why we are way behind

9 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS EXCUSE #4: But we are looking at averages; if we take the poorest and most heavily minority districts out of the calculation, the US would be among the top performers If you take these groups out of the calculation, we come in just above average, not in the top ranks The US is uncompetitive at every level of performance, not just the bottom quartile

10 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS EXCUSE #4: Our performance would be much higher if it were not for Americas teacher unions Some of the top performing countries are home to some of the strongest unions in the world

11 JAPANESE CHALLENGE OF 70s Higher quality, lower cost AMERICAN RESPONSE Industrial benchmarking NCEE Benchmarking the top-performing nations in education for 22 years

12 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS ORIGINS Secretary Duncan request to OECD Research for this paper focused on Canada (Ontario), China (Shanghai), Finland, Japan and Singapore Paper for this meeting based on a major revision to Strong Performers to be published in the fall by Harvard Education Press as Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the Worlds Leading Systems

13 With the exception of the states Common Core State Standards program, the most popular education reform strategies in the United States are not being used by the top-performing countries, and the key strategies being used by the top-performing countries are not being used in the United States.

14 More money Smaller class sizes Tying teacher pay and retention to scores on standardized student achievement tests Supporting social entrepreneurs to produce disruptive change Taking the caps off charter schools

15 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS 7 Strategies for Success

16 n n Keep track of what their competitors are doing Never stop Focus on the strategies used to produce widespread acquisition of complex skills, creativity, innovative capacity, not just basic skills

17 n n Benchmark your standards against the worlds best, across the whole core curriculum Create grade by grade curriculum frameworks, syllabi, high quality exams to assess complex thinking skills Teach your teachers to teach the curriculum CCSS a good start, but a long way to go

18 n n Make getting all students to high standards a design criterion, not a slogan Finance schools at state, not local, level to produce equitable funding Best teachers for hardest-to-educate No tracking; all expected to hit the high note None pushed ahead, none left behind Diagnosis, prescription key to teacher education

19 n n Set very high standards for getting into teacher education Move teacher education from low status institutions to research universities Make sure all candidatesincluding future elementary teachers deeply versed in the subjects they will teach Make sure all candidates master their craft

20 n n Apprentice new teachers to master teachers Create career ladders in teaching and leadership Pay teachers at same level as leading professions Provide same level of professional autonomy Ratio of applications to places 6:1, 8:1, 10:1 NEVER waive the standards in face of shortages

21 n n Did not focus on getting rid of their worst teachers because they have surplus of great teachers Several top-performers have very tough unions But most of their unions have adopted a professionalnot industrialmodel of work organization

22 n n INDUSTRIAL MODEL High volume, low cost, low quality, high waste, skill in the machine Workers treated like interchangeable parts, not expected to have great skill Accountability to supervisor Unions expectedeven requiredto defend workers, irrespective of the quality of their work

23 n n PROFESSIONAL MODEL High quality, low waste, skill in the worker Used when each situation is different/great discretion for the worker Worker expected to have high skills Primary accountability to colleagues Collaborative, not conflictual, union model

24 n n Make the parts and pieces fit together We just keep adding laws, regulations, programs Often in conflict with one another U.S. does not have a system

25 n ` THEY set high standards to enter teaching and never waive them; WE set low standards and waive them whenever we have a teacher shortage WE require very little by way of mastery of math and science of our elementary school teachers; THEY demand a lot, and we wonder why we cant move the needle on student performance in these subjects

26 n ` WE are unhappy with the quality of teacher education, and decide that alternative routes requiring very little instruction in pedagogy are the answer; THEY make sure that their teachers have a much better command of the subjects they teach than ours do AND they require that they get extended instruction in pedagogy.

27 n ` WE pour our treasure into a program that recruits a small number of students from top colleges to teach only two years in our schools; THEY change their policies so that they recruit their entire teaching force from top college grads and they make sure they get the skills needed to teach really well. Why should we be surprised that they do better?

28 n ` THEY pay their teachers the same way they pay their engineers. WE dont pay them enough to support a family. WE think its OK to let people in wealthy communities get the best teachers and finest facilities, and give the kids in the low income communities the least capable teachers and the worst facilities, while THEY put more money

29 n ` behind their hardest-to-educate students than those who are easiest to educate. WE talk about quality teachers, but we seem to believe that the way to get them is to fire the worst ones, without doing much to greatly improve the quality of their replacements. Why are we surprised when there are no replacements? THEY are not focused on their worst teachers because they have a surplus of great teachers.

30 n ` We behave as if we can fix this system without paying the price, as if it can be fixed surgically, with $10,000 signing bonuses, alternative routes and sexy programs to attract a handful of elite teachers to short term stints in our schools. The experience of our top competitors clearly shows that is not true. It is not rocket science. Its time to get serious and get to work.

31 n n Aggressive international benchmarking Powerful, coherent, aligned instructional systems Design to get all students to high standards Funding systems that put more money behind students who are harder to educate High quality teaching force Workplace organized and managed along professional lines, not industrial lines Coherent education systems


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