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A Human Capital Strategy for the Next Four Years Aligning Local Responsibility and Authority in New Jersey’s Public Schools (Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania)

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Presentation on theme: "A Human Capital Strategy for the Next Four Years Aligning Local Responsibility and Authority in New Jersey’s Public Schools (Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania)"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Human Capital Strategy for the Next Four Years Aligning Local Responsibility and Authority in New Jersey’s Public Schools (Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania) Robert P Strauss Carnegie Mellon University November 20, 2013 Robert P Strauss1

2 1.0 Introduction 1.Thanks for inviting me to discuss how to mend the NJ economy. My focus will be on human capital development and k-12 education. 2.Perspective this morning is based on a long-term, rather serious examination of all of Pa’s administrative records, its laws, as an economist, and common sense as a father/husband. Hopefully there is a more interest in my findings and ideas in Trenton than in Harrisburg these days. 3.Common sense and data show: (A) learning opportunities for the kids are only as good as the teachers hired and in place (Pittsburgh) (B) state law words matter on who gets hired (Philadelphia) (C ) Teacher content standards are weak (NJ vs. PA) (D) PA 9 month median teacher salaries are 50% higher than median non- teacher salaries with the same credentials and test scores (E) the notion of a teacher “shortage” in at least PA is baloney Robert P Strauss2

3 Robert P. Strauss3 Pittsburgh, PA: 5th Grade Pa Value Added on Math Test Teacher Effects in Pittsburgh on Median White & Black Students in Classroom

4 Presentation to Senator Mike Folmer Robert P. Strauss 5/3/ Hiring Practices in Philadelphia: Effects of PA Act Philadelphia School Reform Commission Law that waived certification hiring requiements

5 Passing Teacher Test Score Requirements: New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania ETS Praxis Test Praxis Test Code NJ Passing Score PA Passing Score NJ % Correct to Pass PA % Correct to Pass Preschool 5022/022159n/a59n/a Elem: Reading n/a65n/a Elem Math n/a64n/a Elem Soc Stud n/a55n/a Elem Science n/a59n/a Secd Biology 5235/ Secd Chemistry 5246/ Secd Math 5161n/a160n/a60 Secd Physics 5265/ Nov 16, Nov 16, 2013 Robert P Strauss5

6 Median Teacher to Non Teacher Salaries in PA Robert P Strauss6

7 Robert P. Strauss7 Supply and Demand for Teachers in Pennsylvania Supply Employment Rate

8 2.0 Fixing What’s Broken in Local School Governance 1.Meaningful Oath of Office for board and senior education officials (superintendents, principals etc.) 2.Prohibitions on board self-dealing 3.School Judgment Rule 4.Routine information reporting to inform board decision making 5.Statutory definition of teacher incompetence 6.Prohibition of Systemic Board Negligence Robert P. Strauss8

9 2.1 Meaningful Oath of Office I do solemnly swear the following oath or affirmation: To support the constitution of the United States and to support the constitution and laws of this state, and that I will discharge all fiduciary duties of my office with fidelity, and, To allocate school resources and effect educational policy solely for the purpose of ensuring that each student learns to his or her intellectual capacity. Robert P. Strauss9

10 2.2 School Judgment Rule A school director, superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal or business manager who makes a school judgment in good faith fulfills the duty of care if such person: (i) is not interested in the subject of the school judgment; (ii) is independently informed with respect to the subject of the school judgment to the extent the school director or senior education official reasonably believes to be appropriate under the circumstances; and, Robert P. Strauss10

11 2.2 School Judgment Rule (continued) (iii) rationally believes that the school judgment is in the best interests of the school district in ensuring that each student learns to his or her intellectual capacity. Robert P. Strauss11

12 2.3 Prohibition on Self Dealing Any school board director, superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal or school business officer who, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for: (a) being influenced in the performance of any official act; (b) being influenced to commit or aid in committing, or to collude in, or allow, any fraud, or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud on the state; or Robert P. Strauss12

13 2.3 Prohibition on Self Dealing (continued) (c) being induced to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official duty of such official or person; Upon investigation of a complaint about such person by a municipal or county police department, which may be brought or filed by any citizen of the school district, and a finding of corruption by the court of common pleas in which the school district is primarily located, the person shall be removed from office and/or employment by the school district. Robert P. Strauss13

14 4.0 Superintendent Reporting Requirements No less frequently than each calendar quarter, the superintendent shall publicly report in writing and oral report to its board on the policies and procedures in place and recommended and to provide accurate statistical information on the following matters: 1.The learning progress of students by grade, building, and ethnicity 2.The number of reported disciplinary incidents involving students, faculty and staff using standard PDE provided classifications, monthly student and teacher attendance patterns, planned and actual use of funds, Robert P. Strauss14

15 5.0 Grounds for Dismissal of Classroom Teacher Grounds for dismissal of a classroom teacher include systematic failure to answer accurately, completely, and on a timely basis questions from the teacher’s students, or the parent[s] of the teacher’s students Robert P. Strauss15

16 6.0 School District Negligence Any school district can be found to negligent as an instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania if a school district breaches any one or more of the following duties: 1)A duty to use reasonable care in the maintenance of a safe and adequate facilities and equipment for the purpose of ensuring students learn to their intellectual capacity; Robert P. Strauss16

17 6.0 School District Negligence (continued) 1)A duty to select and retain only those excellent teachers who demonstrate through their students’ learning outcomes their efficacy of teaching; 2)A duty to oversee all persons who teach and support teaching in each school; and 3) A duty to formulate, adopt and enforce those rules and procedures that ensure that all students learn to his/her intellectual capacity. Robert P. Strauss17

18 3.0 Summary and An Invitation Unless and until the teacher hiring decision and behavior of local stakeholders in public education are aligned to clear objectives with attending liability for wandering away from them, there’s no reason in my view to believe that learning will improve and labor markets work better, even if spending is doubled per pupil. If you want to inquire about my ideas for fixing technical/vocational education, ask during Q&As. Robert P. Strauss18


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