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The Future of Education in Utah

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1 The Future of Education in Utah
Richard P. West, Ph.D. Executive Director Center for the School of the Future Utah State University New and Aspiring School Leaders Conference Ogden, Utah June 16, 2004

2 Center for the School of the Future
Funded by the Utah State Legislature, 1999 General Session “…to promote best practices in the state’s public education system and encourage cooperative and research development relationships between public and higher education” (HB 7)

3 What Will Be The Future of Utah’s Public Education?
Studying our history will tell us a great deal about our future Newton’s First Law of Motion An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

4 Newton’s First Law of Motion
Success Intervention Failure At-risk School/ Student Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

5 What do we know about the Future?
Support for education will be in short supply Our schools will be crowded Students will feel the pressure of increasing standards

6 Current and Future Pressures on Utah’s Education System
Student enrollments Student diversity Emphasis on outcomes Funding and support

7 Projected Student Enrollment Increases: 2000-2030
Enrollment boom begins in 2004 700,000 students in 2014 (30-40% increase in 10 yrs.) Statewide the school age population (5 through 17 years) is projected (baseline) to increase by 264,894 or 51.7 percent from 2000 to Nearly 60% (58.8) of the increase is expected to occur in Salt Lake and Utah counties.

8 Increasing Student Diversity
Utah has become a destination for many recent migrants Utah’s ethnic diversity has doubled in past 10 years Rates of increasing diversity are more than twice the national average Immigration to the U.S. has been at historic levels for the past 30 years in what has been called the Second Great Migration Wave. This foreign born population, which is about 11 percent of the national total, has come primarily from Latin America (51 percent) and Asia (27 percent). The result has been a dramatic increase in the nation’s ethnic and racial diversity in general, and a substantial increase in the Hispanic population in particular. Utah, which has been relatively unaffected by major migrations in the past, has become the destination for many of these more recent migrants, resulting in a significant increase in its diversity. (Figure 2) According to Census 2000, Hispanics are now 9 percent of the Utah population, as compared to 5 percent in 1990.

9 Emphasis on Outcomes No Child Left Behind UPASS Performance Plus
Employers’ Education Coalition SB 154 (Public Education Amendments)

10 School Funding Contradictions
Utah spends a larger percentage of its state budget on education than does any other state Utah spends a smaller amount of money to educate each student than does any other state

11 WHY?

12 Two Conditions Combine to Limit Utah’s Funding for Schools
Utah has more students per wage earner than does any other state More than two-thirds of our state is “owned” by the federal government and generates little or no tax support for education

13 These conditions will not change appreciably in the foreseeable future
However, our response to these conditions must change

14 “…The best way to predict the future is to invent it
“…The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Really smart people with reasonable funding can do just about anything that doesn’t violate too many of Newton’s Laws”. Alan Kay (1971) Inventor of SmallTalk, the inspiration for Apple Macintosh and other windowing-based computer operating systems

15 “There are people succeeding against the odds and producing magnificent results in extremely difficult circumstances. The problem with American education is that we have never found an effective way to help replicate the success, partly because the magic of education is always what happens in the individual classroom between the teacher and the student, supported by the parents, strengthened by the culture of a school that is set overwhelmingly by a gifted principal. I know that. “But there have to be ways to recognize the plain fact that notwithstanding the funding problems, notwithstanding the inequalities, notwithstanding all the problems (in) American education, you can find virtually every problem in our country solved by somebody somewhere in an astonishingly effective fashion if you look at enough schools. So the challenge for us here is to figure out how to replicate that.” Presidential Comments at the White House ceremony honoring Blue Ribbon Schools, May 14, 1993

16 If Schools Are To Achieve All They Can, They Will Need…
Better information about what works (Best Practices) Tools for monitoring progress Tailored assistance in developing and implementing appropriate policy More skillful communication and more public involvement in reform Education Commission of the States, 1998

17 Sustained School Improvement Requires Visionary Leadership that Provides…
BETTER INSTRUCTION evidence-based, and principle-based BETTER SUPPORT partnerships for effective schools BETTER DATA evidence of effectiveness

18 LIFE: Leadership Initiative for Education
Better schools result from better decisions, and better decisions result from better data Sustained improvement in academic achievement requires changes in the school environment An ethic of collegiality and cooperation is necessary to bring about meaningful school reform PRINCIPLES

19 LIFE: Leadership Initiative for Education
COMPONENTS Regular assessment of critical school conditions, attributes, and improvement (e.g. ISQ) Domain-specific Topical Conferences and Implementation Literature Collegial Mentoring involving School Planning and Management Teams (SPMTs) Systematic rewards for improvement efforts

20 Indicators of School Quality

21 saturated fat, cholesterol,
Web of Causation for Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attacks) Taken from Friedman, G. D. (1994). Primer of Epidemiology (5th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, p.4. Natural selection of metabolic adaptation to starvation Social pressures Industrial society Dietary excesses in saturated fat, cholesterol, calories, salt Personality & emotional stress Hereditary factors Cigarette smoking Lack of exercise Obesity Coronary artery distribution Diabetes or carbohydrate intolerance Hyperlipidemia Increased catecholamines Thrombotic tendency Hypertension Significant coronary atherosclerosis Deficiency in collateral circulation Myocardial susceptibility The authors note that “Despite the apparent complexity of this diagram, it is undoubtedly an oversimplification and will certainly be modified by further study.” (p. 5). Coronary occlusion Myocardial infarction

22 Web of Causation for Academic Achievement Instruction Academic

23 Web of Causation for Social Competence Punishment Social Competence

24 Unalterable Variables

25 Areas of Risk Home Language “Is English the primary language spoken at home?” Mobility “Have you moved more than once in the past three years?” Peer Associations “Do you generally approve of your child’s closest friends?” Family Bonding “Do you regularly attend community, social, or religious meetings?” Community Affiliation “Do your neighbors generally monitor their children’s activities?” Academic Risk “Do you have a high school diploma/GED?” Economic Risk “Do you have Internet access at home?”

26 Relationship between Risk and Academic Achievement
(Indicators of School Quality- ISQ) As average school risk increases, average school achievement test scores decline (at each of the four grade levels of testing). Risk is measured by parent perceptions recorded by ISQ. Low risk is defined as 0-2/7 risks; moderate is 3-5/7; and high risk is 6-7/7 risk categories identified.

27 ISQ and Academic Achievement
The variables measured by ISQ account for more than 80% of the variance of academic achievement scores Even when “risk” is removed from the equation, the correlations between ISQ variables and achievement are statistically significant

28 “For more than a hundred years much complaint has been made of the unmethodological way in which schools are conducted, but it is only within the last thirty that any serious attempt has been made to find a remedy for this state of things. And with what results? Schools remain exactly as they were.” John Amos Comenius The Great Didactic 1632

29 Of Every 100 White Kindergartners:
(25-to 29-Year-Olds) Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. March Current Population Surveys, , in The Condition of Education 2002.

30 Of Every 100 African American Kindergartners:
(25-to 29-Year-Olds) Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. March Current Population Survey, , In The Condition of Education 2002.

31 Of Every 100 Latino Kindergartners:
(25-to 29-Year-Olds) Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. March Current Population Surveys, , In The condition of Education 2002.

32 Of Every 100 American Indian/Alaskan Native Kindergartners:
(24 Year Olds)

33 College Graduates by Age 26
Source: Tom Mortenson, Research Seminar on Public Policy Analysis of Opportunity for Post Secondary, 1997.

34 WHY?

35 What We Hear Adults Say:
They’re poor; Their parents don’t care; They come to schools without breakfast; Not enough books Not enough parents . . .

36 But if they’re right, then why are poor and minority children performing so high in...

37 Some schools...

38 Samuel W. Tucker Elementary Alexandria, VA
68% African American and Latino 53% low-income Outperformed 2/3 of VA elem. schools in both reading and math for two years in a row (2001-2). In 2002, out-performed 92% of VA elem. schools in reading and 86% in math. Source: Virginia Department of Education

39 West Manor Elementary Atlanta, GA
99% African American. 80% low-income Outscored 98% of GA elementary schools in 2nd grade reading in 2002. Outperformed 90% of GA elementary schools in 2nd grade math in 2002. Source: The Education Trust, Dispelling the Myth

40 St. James Gaillard Elementary Eutawville, SC
99% African American and Latino. 87% low-income Outperformed 97% of SC elem. schools in 3rd grade math in 2002. Outperformed 82% of SC elem. schools in 4th grade reading in 2002. Source: The Education Trust, Dispelling the Myths Online

41 Sycamore Elementary School Kokomo, IN
37% African American and Latino. 62% low-income Increased African American 3rd graders meeting state standard in math by 55 percentage points between 2000 and 2002. Closed Black-White 3rd grade reading gap. Source: Indiana Department of Education

42 Lincoln Elementary School Mount Vernon, NY
69% African American and Latino 49% low-income Has outperformed nearly ¾ of NY elem. schools in both math and English for three years in a row. In 2002, outscored 98% of NY elem. schools in math and 99% in English. Source: Ed Trust. Dispelling the Myth Online and New York State Department of Education. Overview of School Performance In English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science and Analysis of Student Subgroup Performance for Lincoln School. April 10, 2003

43 South Scotland Elementary Laurinburg, NC
47% African American and Native American. 47% low-income Over 80% of both African American and Native American 4th graders met state standard in math in both 2001 and 2002. Closed reading gap between African American and White students in 2003. Source: Data provided by South Scotland Elementary School

44 Hambrick Middle School, Aldine, TX
94% African American and Latino (state = 56%) 85% low-income (state = 50%) Has performed in the top fifth of all Texas middle schools in both reading and math in both 7th and 8th grades over a 3-year period.

45 Prince Edward County High, Farmville VA
(715 students – 55% African American and Latino) Sources: Virginia Department of Education Web site,

46 Minority and/or poor students in some states outperforming white and/or non-poor students in others.

47 8th Grade Writing: African Americans in Texas Perform as Well or Better Than Whites in 7 States
Source: NCES, National Assessment of Educational Progress

48 SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

49 SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)


51 What Students Say: Yes, some blame themselves. But they also say...
some teachers don’t know their subjects; counselors underestimate our potential; principals dismiss concerns; expectations are wretchedly, boringly low.

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