Event: California’s Positive Outliers


– Thank you and good morning, welcome. So this is an event sponsored by the Learning
Policy Institute. I’m Patrick Shields, I’m the Executive Director. Many of you know us because
we put on these events, it seems like every few
months here in Sacramento. We’re a research and policy institute that goes out and tries to find from policy makers and practitioners sort of key problems in the field, and then to do research on them, and bring that work back
to people like yourself, to policy makers and practitioners. So we were taking a look
at the implementation of the new standards and the aligned assessment in California, began to hear some things, some challenges out there in the state. You know, the new
standards, as you well know, ask new things of kids. They are asking for much deeper learning, for students to think critically, to be able to solve novel problems, and to be able to become
lifelong learners. And these are the kind
of learning opportunities that students of color, and students in low-income communities have in the past been less likely to get than their more advantaged peers. And looking around the country, what we find is that in some states these new standards and assessments, this effort at deeper learning, has actually widened the achievement gap because students of color, and students from low-income communities aren’t getting the
opportunities that they want. So we set out, here in California, to take a look at some districts that were doing an extraordinary job, not just of getting high
achievers to achieve higher, but to get all students,
students of color, but all students, low-income students, to achieve high in the standards and closing that gap. And that’s what we’re
gonna focus in here today. We’re gonna be talking to these districts and doing some panels with the districts and policymakers. So before we get going,
I just wanna let you know how the day is gonna go. We’re gonna start with a presentation of the research findings from the Learning Policy Institute from Anne Podolsky and Dion Burns, and that’s gonna be followed by State Superintendent
of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, who’s gonna
do some introductory remarks. Then we’re gonna have a panel with the educators from the districts, followed by a quick lunch, and then a panel of
policymakers and practitioners to talk about so what are
the implications of this for the state. So before I introduce Anne and Dion, I just wanna thank, first,
the educators and the students in the positive outlier districts that opened up their schools
and their classrooms to us and allowed us to come in and try to learn from what they were doing. We’d also like to thank the California Department of Education, with whom we partnered to get the data to be able to do these complex analyses that we do to identify these districts. Without that partnership, this study never would’ve been possible. And then finally, we’d
like to thank our funders, the Flora and William Hewlett Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, and the Sandler Foundation. And with that, I’d like
to ask Anne Podolsky and Dion Burns to come on up. Thank you. (audience applauds) – Thanks, so I don’t
need to tell most of you that public education in California has been in the midst of great change. The state has new standards
and aligned assessments that focus on deeper learning skills like problem-solving
and critical thinking. The state redesigned its
system of financing schools to provide increased
resources for students with greater needs, and to
provide increased autonomy to local communities in deciding how to allocate state dollars. – [Man] Sorry. – In addition, the state’s
accountability system has shifted to broader definitions of student and school success, to include measures like
student achievement, student engagement, parent
and family involvement, and school climate. And so as Patrick mentioned, these changes were in part driven by the desire to provide more equitable deeper learning for California students,
and more equitable learning recognizes that many students
have been underserved by their schools and communities, and therefore increased in extra supports, resources, and instructional
shifts are needed to ensure that all students
have the opportunity to develop deeper learning competencies. And deeper learning
competencies focus on skills like thinking critically, problem-solving, collaborating, and
communicating effectively, so these are the kinds of
skills that are necessary to be successful in our
21st century society, characterized by complexity
and continuous change. So LPI had three central
research questions, and we wanted to understand
which districts in California have best supported student achievement during this period of great change. So our first question
was, “Which districts “were more successful in
supporting student achievement “for African-American,
Latino, and white students “after accounting for
students socioeconomic status? “What factors predict differences
in student achievement?” And, “In seven diverse districts
identified as successful, “what practices and policies to educators “and stakeholders identify as
associated with this success?” So LPI took a three-phased
approach to our research to answer these questions. In the first phase, we ran
a quantitative analysis, looking at student
achievement across the state. In the second state, in the second phase, we identified seven successful districts and conducted case studies
in these districts, in which researchers spent multiple days interviewing and observing
schools, educators, stakeholders, and reviewing documents, and other artifacts from the district. And in the third phase, we
synthesized the learnings from across these seven districts into a cross case report. So I’ll share more right
now about the first phase, and then Dion will provide more detail about the other two. So our first phase study is
among the first in California to identify districts
that have best supported the achievement of students
during these first few years of the state’s new assessments, as well as the factors associated
with higher achievement, while accounting for the
socioeconomic conditions of students’ families in each district. And so this really allows
us to better compare the achievement of students
from similar backgrounds. We also, in this analysis,
look at districts that have at least 200
African-American or Latino students, and 200 white students. And we focus on African-American
and Latino students, both because research has found consistent gaps in
achievement between students in these two groups and white students, and also because these student
groups are of sufficient size to allow us to have
statistically stable estimates. And so there’s other
important student groups that have experienced achievement gaps, they were just unfortunately
too small in many districts to be able to include
them in our analysis. So this figure is the initial
result from our our analysis, and in this figure, each dot
is a district with larger dots representing districts
that have larger numbers of African-American and Latino students. Smaller dots are districts
that have smaller numbers of African-American and Latino students. And you’ll see on the left side, these are districts where white students achieve lower than predicted when accounting for the
socioeconomic status of their families. And districts on the right are places where white students achieve
higher than predicted. And when I say higher than
or lower than predicted, I’m not, I don’t mean,
you know, what we expect, or hope for our children’s future. Instead I’m referring to
the statistical definition of predicted, meaning that when we look at achievement across the state, the data tell us the average achievement for students from a given
socioeconomic background, in a given racial or ethnic group. So now, back to the figure. Districts in the bottom of the figure are places where students of color are achieving lower than predicted. And districts in the top of the figure are places where students of color are achieving higher than predicted. So consequently, districts
in that top right corner are positive outlier districts, because African-American,
Latino, and white students are all achieving at higher levels than their peers statewide. So because district demographics vary, with some districts having large numbers of African-American students, other districts having
mostly Latino students, and because the achievement of students from these groups can vary, we looked at the results separately amongst these two student groups. So this figure shows the 167 districts that have consistently
had high achievement for both Latino and white students. And you will see in this figure, the large districts of Long
Beach in San Diego Unified, as well as smaller
districts like Hawthorne, Chula Vista Elementary, and Sanger. And I know you can’t read all
the names in those figures, you can see the full
list of these districts in the briefs on your table. It’s also important to note that these results may look
different than what’s reported by the California Department
of Education’s data dashboard, because we accounted for
the socioeconomic status of students’ families in our analysis. So in this figure, because California has a much smaller number
of African-American students than Latino students, we
identified just 48 districts in which African-American students and white students consistently achieve at higher levels than
their peers statewide. And again, you’ll see in
that top right corner, Chula Vista Elementary,
as well as further down, Hawthorne, and again those large districts of Long Beach and San Diego Unified. So for the second part of our analysis, we wanted to better understand the factors that were associated with
higher student achievement on the state’s new assessments when accounting for the
socioeconomic status of students’ families. And we found that of the
school level factors, the two most important
drivers of student achievement were teacher qualifications
and teaching experience. So the percentage of teachers
with substandard credentials, like emergency-type permits, waivers, and intern credentials, was associated with decreased
student achievement. So for every 10% increase in
the percentage of teachers with substandard credentials,
this was associated with an approximately
one-month loss of learning in English language arts or
math for students of color. We also found that students of color achieved at higher levels
when they were in districts that had teachers with more experience. So now Dion will share
more about the attributes associated with these
districts that beat the odds. (audience applauds) – I know what you mean. All right, these slides are working. Okay, thank you, and thank
you everybody for being here. As Anne mentioned, in the second phase, we selected several districts that we wanted to investigate more closely to understand what are the factors supporting their achievement. We used a range of additional criteria in selecting the districts, but we also intentionally
selected districts that were of different sizes, of different geographic locations, and had different student populations. The districts are shown here. And the seven case study districts are shown on this chart here. We’re very grateful to have current and former district
representatives with us today. Since they’re sitting at your tables and we’ll be engaging in
discussion with them later, perhaps, just as I read
the district names, you could raise your hands
to identify yourselves. And if you’d like to hold any applause till I read all seven
names, that would be great. So from Butte County, there was Gridley Unified School District, and Fresno County, we
looked at Clovis Unified, and Sanger Unified School Districts. In Los Angeles County, we
had Long Beach Unified, and Hawthorne School District, great. And in San Diego County,
there was San Diego Unified and Chula Vista Unified School Districts. Good, thank you all for being here today. (audience applauds) Sorry, apologies, we’re
just having some trouble with the slides. But in the third phase, we
brought together findings from those seven case studies, together into our cross case report. We uncovered nine lessons that we think are of
interest to districts, and of interests to other
supporting districts, and we’ll present those today, grouped together as three themes. The three themes were a strong,
stable, educated workforce, educator-driven change, and
support for all students. So if we look at the first of these, a strong, stable, educated workforce. As Anne found on the quantitative report, teacher qualifications were
associated with outcomes on the deeper learning measures
of the California Assessment for Student Performance and Progress. We likewise found in our
seven case study districts, that they tended to have lower
rates of teacher attrition and lower proportions of teachers on emergency style credentials. The districts that
didn’t wait for teachers to come in the door, they
proactively put in place a number of strategies
to help recruit teachers, and then support them. Some of the things that they
told us were effective for them were leveraging connections
with teacher education programs. For example, in San Diego
and Long Beach Unified, under long-standing relationships, many former district educators went on to teach as instructors on those programs. And in return, many new teacher
hires and student teachers came from local programs. They also set in place clear hiring philosophies and policies. These policies tend to emphasize not only teachers’
academic qualifications, but also their personal dispositions, and orientation towards teaching students from all backgrounds. This was exemplified in
the case of Clovis Unified, where they have a
multi-stage hiring process, sometimes involving between
four and seven interviews. These are at district and school levels. And principals in Clovis said to us that hiring the right people was among the most
important responsibilities of principals in the district. Leadership in the district
also tended to be stable. Many of the district representatives had had long tenures in their districts. And many of the, there also was
strong leadership pipelines, many district representatives had previously been
principals in their districts, and many principals had
themselves been teachers. This means that leadership in the district had a deeper understanding
of local context, but also the leadership tended to be instructionally engaged. Leaders paid attention
to student learning, and were engaged in teaching and learning through structures such as
instructional leadership teams. The districts also supported
teachers, once hired. They did this through a
range of different strategies that help build teachers’
instructional capacity. Things such as professional
learning communities, often supported with coaching cycles. A number of strategies for engaging in cross-role collaboration, such as instructional leadership teams to help teachers develop their practice. We looked, for example,
at Long Beach Unified. There were a number of
practices they had in place, different strategies for
supporting their teachers’ instructional capacity. Three of them are listed here, things like instructional
leadership teams, what are known as
collaborative inquiry visits, where principals and
teachers visit other schools to find out about teaching
and learning in those schools, and lesson studying. It’s an approach where
teachers and coaches collaboratively plan a lesson, then observe a lesson and
provide feedback on it to refine these practices. What these three things have in common is that they promote
collaborative exchange between teachers, and
observations and feedback to improving teaching practice. Now a second theme was
educator-driven change. The districts that we looked at took a deliberate and
developmental approach to implementation of the standards. This was aided by the space created through the state’s decision to pause annual assessment for a year. And the approach typically began with professional learning for teachers, helping them to unpack the standards, understand the necessary
instructional shifts, and often to identify several, what they call power standards,
or essential standards. These are standards that
the district has chosen to make a priority for them. And in the case of
Hawthorne School District, for example, Hawthorne
brought together teachers, they worked with an external
teacher organization, helping teachers unpack the standards. And they involved teachers
and coaches closely in the process. What this did was it helped harness existing teacher knowledge,
it also helped create capacity but also buy-in for the standards. So their teacher involvement
was very important, in the implementation of
standards for their district. Districts were also using
increasingly data and evidence to inform strategy in the district, to inform instruction, as well
as to help identify students that may be in need of
additional supports. This sometimes involved
increasing their investment in the data systems, bringing together a range of information
about students in one place, and making it more
accessible to educators. In the case study,
districts also worked hard to align curriculum,
instruction, and assessment, focused on deeper learning. Now this wasn’t always plain sailing, but the case study districts also learned from early challenges, and then adjusted their
approach as necessary. We look, for example, in Sanger, where they began with their
professional learning community, lead teachers providing the
standards professional learning, and then shifted to an approach where they trained all teachers
directly, grade by grade. In San Diego Unified, early
in the implementation, district representative
said that they began to see some disparate interpretations
emerging across schools of the desired instructional shifts. So they changed tack, they changed to a new professional
learning system for teachers, they call the four learning cycles. There’s one other point I wanted to add about that, but what they did was they shifted midstream,
adjusting their approach, clustering the standards as what they call critical concepts. They’re using these two approaches, the professional learning together with the critical concepts, and helped bring some more
district-wide alignment between a curriculum
instructional assessment and the instructional shifts required. This was explained to us by
teachers in different ways. Some teachers told us
that kids were expected, before Common Core, to be
sitting quietly and working, and now there’s more productive talking and student collaboration. And I really like the way this teacher from Clovis expressed it. She said, “I always think of big T, “that’s T for teacher, and little S. “Before Common Core, the instruction “was more teacher directed,
the teacher talking, “students are sitting quietly and working, “but now they’ve shifted since Common Core “to big S, little T. “That’s very student-centered,
student-driven instruction “in the district.” The third theme was
support for all students. And we found that all case study districts were establishing systems
of supports for students. This was increasingly framed, too, as MTSS, or multi-tiered
systems of support. Now that’s the approach
that brings together academic data-driven interventions, together with evidence-based
behavioral interventions, and social and emotional learning. And schools established
three tiers of intervention, you know those for all students, those for students
requiring greater support, and those for intents or specific needs. MTSS was important in a couple of ways throughout the districts. We look, for example, at San Diego. MTSS became one of their
five equity levers, these are the five levers that they saw as central to
their instructional vision in the district. And Sanger, they use the
MTSS in a different way, they incorporated the MTSS
into their standards adoption, and they also incorporated MTSS into their cycle for
continuous improvement. This allowed schools to
pilot new assessments, sorry, sorry, new innovations, such as restorative justice practice, and then use that cycle
of continuous improvement to learn from early challenges and adjust as necessary. All of the case study
districts paid close attention to social and emotional learning. We know from the science
of learning and development that students’ academic competencies can be supported through
instruction that helps develop their social and emotional
competencies also, things such as growth mindset. In Clovis we saw transition teams. These are paraprofessionals in teams that support the academic and social integration of students as they make the
transition from elementary, to intermediate, and on to high school. And Hawthorne, the district took, they used a range of strategies. They employed new social and
emotional learning curricula, they established positive
behavioral intervention and support teams at their schools, and they provided professional
learning for teachers in dealing with new ways of dealing with challenging
student behaviors, shifting from a more punitive approach to approaches that supported and reinforced positive behaviors. As a result, Hawthorne’s
seen a dramatic reduction in its suspension rates. All of our case study districts also placed particular emphasis
on supports for literacy. Literacy was seen as important, not only to English language arts but also to accessing other subjects, such as mathematics. And the learner-centered pedagogies that I mentioned earlier,
these were seen as important for developing vocabulary
and literacy skills for all students, but
especially for English learners. We saw a range of strategies
in Gridley Unified. They had an emphasis on early literacy. There’s Reading Recovery
focused in grade one. The remaining grades of middle school, they use a range of
assessments and interventions to support students as necessary, and then tiered interventions
in middle school to address any challenges that emerge. All the districts wove family
and community engagements into various aspects of their work. In Clovis, for example, they
use not just town halls, but LCAP dinners. These are events much like this, with tables, where they
bring together educators, parents, and the community. And through these events, they’ve seen greater community engagement but also it’s led to
a range of initiatives to support student learning. In Chula Vista, they established liaisons for working with their
many military families. A new position is called
(speaking in foreign language). These are people that help engage, especially the Spanish-speaking
families in the district, with the existing Family Resource Centers available in Chula Vista. Perhaps most importantly, each
of the case study districts had a vision for student learning. In Long Beach Unified, this
was an instructional vision they called the five understandings model, now six understandings. But these visions typically
foregrounded equity, included statements such as those here, from saying that every student, every day, whatever it takes. And we found that educators
in these case study districts referenced these statements often when talking about their instruction and working with students. In Clovis, for example, teachers told us that they felt empowered to
be able to make decisions that they saw in the best
interests of their students, even if that meant
stepping outside the lines of some instructional programs. They talked about placing people first and not programs. And at Hawthorne, they say
that students are the focus of all decisions. But this was expressed very nicely by an educator in San Diego, who underscored this emphasis on equity. She said, “Equity’s been the
overarching driving force of our system. “Who has access to what? “Who’s getting supports? “It’s very strongly supported
by our superintendent, “and we look at everything we do “through an eye of equity and access.” So I hope that that gives
you just a brief overview of some of the elements that educators told us was important for the success in their district. There’s a lot more, so I encourage you to stay and listen to the panels, to engage in conversations at your table with the many district
representatives that are here today. I’d like to finish by
thanking the districts and the educators for
taking part in this study, to the LPI staff that
put on the event today, to the many members of our research team, they’re listed there,
Taylor, Desiree, Linda, Jane, Chris, Laura, Julie,
Crystal, Anne, Sean, Caitlin, Patrick, and Joan. But also, thank you to each
of you for being here today, and for the work that you do in supporting students in California. So thank you very much. (audience applauds) – Great, thank You Dion and Anne. So that brings us to our
keynote presenter today, State Superintendent of
Instruction, Tony Thurmond. So those of you, I’m sure you know that Tony came to Sacramento
with a long history of advocating and working
with students and children. He was a social worker for 20 years. He served on the local school board. He served as a city council member, and then, of course, he was assemblyman before being elected to
the state superintendency. And so given this experience, you know it’s no surprise that
Tony came to his current job with a real agenda focused on students with the greatest needs, and
really focusing on issues like closing the achievement gap, literacy, mathematics,
and the teacher shortage, and ensuring that all
students in California are prepared for the 21st century economy. And so as you’ll hear throughout the day, these are exactly the kind of concerns that the folks in the positive
outlier districts share, and so Tony’s the perfect person to get us going today to focus on that. So please welcome me in
joining State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond. (audience applauds) – Thank you Patrick, good morning. – [All] Good morning! – Buenos dias! – [All] Buenos dias! – All right, let’s get
it lively in here, right? I have a confession for you. I am not a researcher. I often do feel like that
little mouse, though, who’s running on that little wheel and being observed. Because this is what I
get every single day. You’re responsible for all the things that are wrong in the state of education for our six million students. And I tell people all the time, I will accept your blame, but bring a solution to help us to serve our six million students, and to improve that experience. And what I appreciate about today, in the Learning Policy Institute is the focus on positive outliers, and being strength-based,
and lifting up those who are doing the work, and in spite of the gap that persist, finding ways to help our districts and our students to have success. Let’s give a round of
applause to all the outliers who are in the room. (audience applauds) To all the districts who
are represented here. Thank you Patrick, thank you Linda. You know, a lot of people
have heard me say this, when I was in the legislature, I talked a lot about education. All I did was listen to the presentations that Linda Darling-Hammond gave in the assembly Education Committee. And then I decided, okay,
I’m gonna do a bill on that, and I was shameless about it. And she’d come in and she’d say, “Professional development is the key.” Or she’d say, we need, you
know, residency programs, or she’d say that we’ve gotta find ways to work with folks who maybe
were previously retired who might want to reenter the profession. And I would just jot down all these notes, and then I would just introduce a bill, and say that, “This is
what we’re gonna do.” And some of those things
actually have made it, and some we’re still working on. But this year, the governor
and the legislature put several million dollars
into the state budget to support professional
development for educators, and I think that is largely
in part to the research and the work of the
Learning Policy Institute and Linda Darling-Hammond. So a round of applause
to the entire LPI team. (audience applauds) And now she’s the state board president, so I get to listen to her speeches and take more ideas from her, and introduce them in legislation. Everyone is talking about
equity, and I appreciate that. I can’t give you a definition of equity, but I can tell you that
when I think about it, I contextualize it in my own story. I think about my own experience. I’m a storyteller. I think about being the
descendant of African slaves. I think about being the son of a mother who came from Panama, and who was herself a teacher in San Jose, who raised four kids by herself, because my dad was a
soldier, off in Vietnam, who I didn’t meet until I was an adult, who I found on the internet. I found my father on the internet. My first conversation with him was a conversation about the trauma that he experienced serving
in the war in Vietnam. And so, and then my mom was very sick, and I lost my mom when
I was six years old, so her four kids got split up. My mom had cancer. Two of us ended up
being raised by a cousin who I never met before,
who lived 3,000 miles away, and she took us in and
raised us as her son. I was a student who grew up
on the free lunch program. I grew up on food stamps. You all have heard me joke that I hate so much government cheese that I thought that USDA was a brand name. These are programs that helped my family to overcome poverty. And the public program
that helped me the most was getting a great public education. My experience in politics
is one that I never knew what the State Superintendent
of Public Instruction was, but I always felt propelled
to help young people because of my own experience. Upon arrival at the department, it seemed clear to me that
we had to make it a priority to help students who were in
similar experiences to mine. That we have to speak to the students whose experiences have been difficult. Before coming to the department, I taught a high school class for students who are in a juvenile camp. Imagine taking your diploma behind bars. I think that is something
that’s intolerable that we have to change. And it’s why we’re sponsoring legislation that will ban for-profit prisons in the State of California,
’cause we should educate and not incarcerate in
the state of California. (audience applauds) And if we wanna be serious about enacting what we learned today about the outliers, we have to move from
being 41st in the nation in per pupil spending, when California is the
sixth wealthiest economy in the world. We’ve got buying power, and
we gotta spend it on our kids, because I don’t know
what else we’re buying, and they’re gonna take care of us. And so at the department, we’ve
named a number of priorities and they all center around
closing the opportunity gap. And I hope that you all will share. I had an embargoed copy of
outliers, thank you, (laughs) but I hope that you’ll share
this broadly and widely, and I hope that you’ll share it with us as we convene in just a few weeks. We’re convening a virtual town hall. We’ve invited all 1,000 school districts to be a part of a town hall on closing the opportunity gap. We’ve actually decided to come at it in a slightly different way. We’ve held a lot of town
halls on closing the gap, where we’ve said, “Come and
tell us your best practices.” On this one, we’re coming at it in a slightly different way. Wee said, “Tell us where you struggle, “because we wanna do a
deep dive into the data, “and to figure out what it is, “in spite of all the
efforts to close the gap, “that cause the gap to persist. “And how do we help each
district individually.” And so on September the 24th, we’re holding a virtual town hall, where we’ve invited all
thousand school districts, so Vern at CSBA, you know, please help us spread the word. (chuckles) On what we can do with the California
Department of Education to support our school districts who are doing the great work
to try and close the gap, and we believe that what is happening here and what is coming out of
this report around outliers is very, very important to that work. We’ve talked about
professional development. We’ve announced early on that we were gonna get behind an effort to expand the number of
male educators of color, particularly in the
elementary school grades. Because we know that the research shows that when young people see an
educator who looks like them, that they are more likely to be successful and that all young
people will be successful when they have that opportunity. I named a dozen work groups in between mediating for
strikes upon my swearing-in, running the governor’s state task force on charter school reform, we named a dozen work groups that focus on things like
professional development, teacher recruitment and retention, how do we expand permanent
funding in our schools, and of course, how do we
close the achievement gap? And we’ll be releasing our own report out of the recommendations
of our work groups. A thousand people came together and said, “We wanna help
you have a conversation “about how we close the gap “about the key issues that
we address in education.” Many of them are the
things that you have heard that we have heard. When we talk about teacher
recruitment and retention, what I learned from LPI is that one of the most important factors that we must address are
the working conditions that our educators experience. I get a lot of calls, mostly
from special education folks, letting me know the intensity of the work, and the lack of support,
and the amount of paperwork. We hear you on the amount of paperwork. But we also know that we
have to improve compensation, and we know we have to improve training and professional development, and we’ve been in conversation about how we might support legislation to expand induction
programs and provide support to make sure that no teacher
has to pay for her induction ever again in the state of California. (audience applauds) We think it’s a responsibility
of the districts, of the state, to ensure that new teachers get the opportunity to have training and professional development, and to change the narrative from how do we make it
easier to fire a teacher, to how do we make it easier to recruit, and keep, and support a teacher, so that every teacher
gets a mentor, or a coach. And that, when you’re struggling, you get feedback. And that we changed the way
it was in my school district. When there was an opportunity for training or professional development, this is usually how it went. One teacher at a school would get selected to go to that training,
and would be expected to come back to their district and do a turnaround training for everybody at the
school on their own time. You know, I don’t know about you, but where I come from, they
say you get what you pay for. And so if we don’t invest in the kind of professional development that will allow all teachers to have adequate professional development, we’ll continue to struggle
with our abilities to retain and support our workforce. And I come from the Bay Area, and one of the things that I have found in many of the districts
that I’ve talked to is that many of our educators can’t afford to live where they work. In the district where
my kids go to school, every year we lose 200 teachers. I don’t know how you close the
gap with that type of churn, when you lose 200, and you
have to replace 200 teachers every single year. We surveyed them, and what we found is the number one reason why they leave is ’cause they cannot afford
to live where they work. And so until we figure out compensation and better training,
we’ve been experimenting with other ways to support teacher recruitment and retention. And so we’ve been pushing this idea for the last three or four years about having a teacher housing program and building affordable housing for teachers and classified staff, and thankfully I can report to you today, that in this year’s budget, the
governor and the legislature provided millions for school districts to build affordable housing for teachers and classified staff, to
help us have the workforce to support our students, and so thank you for those of you who advocated for that, and who get that we have
to create the opportunities to support all of our teachers. There’s six million students in our state. Many of them have an experience that’s very similar to mine, in some case more difficult. And I believe that each and
every one of them can learn. I was told once when I was
campaigning for this job, well I was told a lot of things when I was campaigning
for this job (chuckles) and I won’t repeat all of them. But I’ll share this one with you. A person said to me once,
“Tony, you should focus “only on the kids who show
promise and potential.” I told this person that
I rejected that notion. All of our kids show
promise and potential. It’s incumbent on us. (audience applauds) That’s a great place to
put your hands together. It’s incumbent on us to help them to develop their promise and potential. I was very cognizant of the fact that if someone had made
that statement about me, a quiet kid from the
other side of the tracks, who could have easily just
fallen through the gap. Then I wouldn’t be standing before you. I’m very conscious of what
my experience might have been but for the fact that I had teachers who said to me, “You can do it. “In spite of your humble beginnings, “life will be better for
you with this education.” And when I struggled, the more I struggled the more my teachers dug in, and said, “You’re gonna get
across the finish line.” I’m grateful to them. I’m grateful to all the
educators in this room. I’m grateful for all of
you for being outliers. Let’s be great outliers to help all six million of our students in the state. Enjoy the rest of the
conference, and thank you. (audience applauds) – So now for the exciting part. We’re gonna have a panel
of educators talk to us. So come on up. Okay, as soon as we get mic’d
up here we’ll get going. But let me, I’m gonna let
Kent introduce the panel. These are educators from
our different districts. Kent McGuire, who is the
head of the education program at the William and
Flora Hewlett Foundation is gonna be moderating the panel. Kent, previous to this, was the president of the
Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. Previous to that he was the
dean at Temple University, the Dean of Education, previous to that, he was the Assistant
Secretary of Education. So Kent comes to us with
a great deal of experience and background in education and schooling. And with that, Kent, take it away. – Thank you, thank you very much. (audience applauds) I’m happy to be here, can you. I don’t need to be mic’d twice. We’ll see if we can get that away. Well, it was both great
to hear about the research and wonderful to hear from Tony, and the leadership he’s
exercised here in California. It’s a good time now
to make the connection between research and practice. And we’ve got best possible panel of folk who were in the study. I’m a bit of an echo still, aren’t I? Yeah, let me see what I can do about that. You sound good out there? Well, my colleagues up here, they’re not feeling me, let me see if I can turn that down. Yeah, all right. (woman speaking faintly) You mean if I go this way? Thank you for that, thank you for that. I don’t want to have my back to you. – It’s okay.
– You all right? – Yeah.
– All right. You know what would be good, why don’t you come over here, and I’ll sit in the middle. – Okay.
– We’ll just do a little bit of
engineering, how about that? – That’ll be great.
– Perfect. – This better? I’m gonna look at you
for the rest of the time. (audience laughs) All right, wonderful. So I’m Kent McGuire,
appreciate that introduction. Just really spending
enough time in California to appreciate the work
that’s going on here, and I’m having a ball. I finally got my wife to come out here about seven months ago. We live in the Bay Area. I told her that the weather
was gonna be marvelous compared to Atlanta. (audience laughs) It took until April before she believed me because it rained continuously,
and she’s in Atlanta now, so I’m a little worried,
I’m a little worried. Let’s see, there were some themes that emerged for me through the study. Focus on teaching and learning, find good people, place them in positions for which they are qualified, create supports for them
to learn and improve, I’m talking about the adults. Empower them to do good work. Address the social as well as
academic needs of students, and wow, you’ll actually get
good outcomes for kids, right? – Right.
– It’s amazing that we need a study to
actually tell us those things, but we do, it’s very important. I wanna see now if that
rings true with this panel, and we’ll just get right to it. Let me just say, before I
introduce the panelists, my understanding of
the work we’re gonna do over the next hour and a
half, or close to two hours, we’re gonna spend about
60 minutes up here, where I will be serving up
questions for the panel. And we’ll see if we can
make that conversational. If any of you hear something that another of your colleagues says, you wanna comment on, please
look at me, and just jump in. And then we’re going to
take about 20 minutes to have conversations at these tables in order to try to find three or four of the most important additional questions that we wanna bring to
the panel’s attention. I will field those questions, and we’ll have a conversation about those, and then I’ll make sure that if there’s anything else we should have asked
these folks but didn’t, I’ll give them an opportunity
to tell us, and sum up. That, I think, is the
design for, you know, for the next period of time. And with that, I left
my notes in Menlo Park, and the traffic was such that I dare not go back and get them, but I have my computer. I’d like to introduce,
oh can I have those? Yeah, I’d like to introduce. Maybe I’ll do it this way, I’ll just introduce
one panelist at a time. You won’t have to forget
kinda who they are. When I do that, it would be terrific if you could say a little something about your school district, set enough context for the good questions that I’m gonna ask. And so I’d like to start
with Dr. Sofia Freire, who is the Chief of
Leadership and Learning at San Diego Unified School District. (audience applauds) When I grow up, I want a title like that. – Like that.
– I want a title like that. So one of the themes in the study had to do with vision, a vision
for teaching and learning, and for centering equity in that vision. I am really curious, Sofia,
if you could talk about how that happened in San Diego Unified. Equity is something that is often in the eyes of the beholder, means many different things
to many different people, so it’s no simple matter to get people unified around that. How’d that happen in San Diego? – Yeah, and it’s really
difficult to talk about in a short response. So I’m gonna do my best. I’ll tell you a little bit
about our district first. San Diego Unified serves a
little over 100,000 students from preschool to high school. We’re actually even doing some efforts to go from crib to college, in some of the new structures
that we’re creating in San Diego Unified. Our superintendent was appointed in 2013, and she’s brought consistency, stability, and coherence to a really large district, which isn’t easy to do. She, along with our board,
are committed to equity. We’ve defined equity as
giving every single student exactly what he or she needs, when they need it, how they need it, and in the way that they need it. And so we have a clear
definition for equity in our district. You saw the quote, we
look at everything we do through a lens of equity, it’s an important part of our work. And we’re at the point
that we’re not apologetic about the fact that we give
the kids who need more, we give them more. And so we also have a very clear vision and a deliberative plan on how we’re going to
meet the promise of equity for all of our kids. And so our vision is centered around quality neighborhoods, I’m sorry, quality schools in every
single neighborhood. We also talk about unlocking genius for each and every student. Our state superintendent talked about that every student has
promise and potential, we call that genius. We believe in unlocking genius
of every single student. We also talk about
maximizing growth and joy in every single interaction
we have with kids. We believe that outcomes are important, but we also believe that students should experience
memorable things in school that they’ll remember their entire lives, so that’s important for us. Our equity work is
really around two center or core pillars. The first pillar is really around access, and ensuring that our
students have access. And we focused and we
concentrated that work in our secondary schools. So we spent a lot of time looking at secondary
school master schedules. – [Man] Just 10 minutes. – We did an analysis of transcripts, like we did a sampling. We looked at like over 800 transcripts to see the access and
the quality of courses that our students were in, and we also spent a lot
of time in classrooms. So when you walk into an
Advanced Placement classroom in a very diverse school, and you’re only seeing
white and Asian students in that classroom, there’s a problem. And so we were, got very
proximate to the problem, and we didn’t just look
at overarching data, we looked at transcripts, we looked at students in classrooms, and we got to do some really
deliberate work on access. And so our board approved A
through G for all in 2009, and they charged our
superintendent, who’s here, Cindy Martin, who’s led all of this work. It was her, it was it was up to her to actualize and make good on this promise of A through G for all. And a lot of people thought that our graduation rates
were going to decrease because of this these new requirements, and in fact, they increased. And so we had increased graduation rates with more rigorous requirements for kids. We also launched an effort
around Advanced Placement for more students and
underrepresented students, and so we did that deliberately as well. We partnered with the OS to do that. And our current focus is on, with our students with disabilities, to ensure that they
have access to the core, and they’re being included
in general education, and for English language learners as well. Our second pillar is around success. So it’s not enough to, we
don’t really look at it as achievement gaps, we look
at it as opportunity gaps, and it’s not enough to
give students access, we have to create systems and structures to ensure that they actually have success. And earlier you heard about
MTSS, that’s what we’re about. We’re about ensuring that we look at data to predict and anticipate
which students may struggle, and we put systems in place
for both academic supports and social-emotional supports, and behavioral supports for kids, to ensure that kids have
the supports they need, and they have it before they fail. Lastly, I wanted to comment that we have some equity levers. And so we have five equity levers that were mentioned before,
strong literacy instruction, authentic collaboration, meaningful engagement for students, meaningful assessments, and
lastly, relational leadership. Those are the five equity levers that drive our equity work. – Thank you, thank you, thank you. Anything you want to
say about the structures or supports that have
been created in San Diego to help the adults live into this vision and to pull those levers? – We invest a lot in building capacity, the capacity of our
leaders and our teachers. And so we have partners,
and we do that work in collaboration with them. So one of our great partners
have been Marzano Research. We do a lot of work on
high reliability schools. And if you are familiar
with that research, it basically has five levels. We’ve focused on the first
three levels of Marzano Research and the first level is safe, collaborative, and inclusive classrooms. The second level is
high quality instruction in every classroom. And the third layer or level is a guaranteed viable curriculum. So the past two years,
that’s what we focused on. Earlier, you heard about
our critical concepts, and the work we’ve done in Unified is to ensure that we’re demystifying the new Common Core Standards. They’re not really new anymore. And so what we’ve done is
created Critical Concepts, which is basically a
bundling of standards. We know teachers don’t teach standards in an isolated way, so Critical Concepts have enabled us to do this work. Another key partner is the
National Equity Project, and so they’ve been with
us for a very long time. They help us create a common language and a framework for talking
about equity in our district. So you’ll hear educators
throughout our district talk about interrupting inequities, and doing it with grace and skill, and we also talk about
interrupting inequities, or inequitable practices,
with skill and grace. So those are key partners. There’s a lot we do in our district in terms of professional development for our principals. We have principal institutes
that are well-planned, and we have experts that come out. Pedro Nogueira has spoken
to our our leaders. Yvette Jackson has also
spoken to our leaders. And then we’re recently going to have, this year, Zaretta Hammond
also speak to our leaders. So there’s a lot that we
do to build the capacity. The last thing I’ll say, ’cause I got the one minute mark, is that we also do
student-centered coaching cycles. We can do an entire session
on the success we’ve had with student-centered coaching cycles. – Thank you, Sofia, so much. Now, yes we have some help, but if you see me looking at
you in a certain kind of way, you can look at me too, and
that’ll help us keep time. I’ve watched the country struggle with trying to adopt
and implement standards. It was interesting how little opportunity teachers actually had to weigh-in on how we might think about that. That was not true, though, in Hawthorne. And I want to introduce to
you, Bridget Cruz-Brown. And I asked her, I said, “Well, what’s your title, Bridget?” And she gave me the wrong answer. She said, “I’m just a teacher.” And I said, “Well, hey,
there’s no better title, “and that’s even better
than Sofia’s title.” (audience laughs) Could you take a few minutes to kind of talk about
the approach in Hawthorne to adopting these Common Core Standards, and say something about
the ways in which teachers were involved in that process? – You bet, so Hawthorne is
a really small district. We are right by LAX, down in Los Angeles. We serve about 8,500 kids, of which 85% receive
free and reduced lunch. We have about 20%
African-American students, and roughly 71% Latino students. So we are definitely an urban group. I’ve been in Hawthorne School District for almost 20 years now, and we are definitely a family. We’re so small that
everyone knows one another. So when the new standards came out, we as teachers were very anxious, we didn’t know what to expect. And the call came from our
assistant superintendent, Dr. Brian Markarian, and what he did was he sent out an invitation
to teacher leaders, asking if they wanted to come in and be part of the committee
at the district level. So he invited us all in
and he created a team. The team had district
level administrators, site level administrators, it
had literacy coaches on it, we brought in a couple consultants from the Talking Teaching Network, and then there were these
teacher leaders from the site. And the purpose of the committee was just to give us time to dive deeply into the new Common Core Standards, compare them to the ’97 standards that we’d been working on, and see exactly what kind of work was ahead of us. Once we figured it out as a committee, then we were allowed to
then go back to our sites, and in that safe learning environment, because our teachers were
our learners at that point, we presented new PD to them. So we would pilot every activity first at the district office, then bring it back to our site and present it to the teachers there, hoping that because it was
coming from a colleague, a friend, somebody who was known, it would be better
received, and really it was. It was just a very
surrounding environment. Dr. Markarian was very clear that we were asking
teachers to do something new and everybody who tried
was to be celebrated. Everything was to be encouraged. There were no failure lessons, it was more like this
was our first attempt, now let’s learn and move forward. So everything that didn’t work out was just a learning experience. And when we would come back
to the district every month, they would debrief, “How did
the PD go at your sites?” And this was the first
time we really realized that district level admin was listening, because before it was, they
would tell you what to do, we would do it. This time, we were coming
back to them with concerns, we needed supports, we needed
more practice with this, and the admin from the district level started to provide and respond to that. We would show up and they would have this
beautiful agenda written, and after hearing the debrief, we would restructure the entire day, so when we came back to the sites we had answers for teachers. And I really think that
that set kind of a focus, an instructional focus for us. For example, one of the standards that was brand new to
everybody was collaboration. We’d never taught students
how to collaborate before, we didn’t know how to do it. So we piloted some lessons
together at the district, we brought it back to our sites, and we let it go. The coaches at the site level would come into the classrooms and they would demo those
lessons for teachers. They would show us how to do it. Then we would have a unit
planning collaboration where we would get to sit with the coach and talk with other same grade
level content area teachers and say what was working,
and we needed help, we needed more information. We dialogued about that new standard. Then the coach would come in and observe us trying to
do a collaboration lesson. They’d give us all kinds of feedback, try this, do that, it was fantastic. So that by the time our
site level administrators came in to do what, in our
district we call sacred time, every Thursday nine to 11,
administrators in classrooms doing their observations, we already knew what the
administrators were looking for because of this collaborative language. They had been there every step of the way, so they knew. And it was because we
felt so safe and supported in that environment, I think Hawthorne had a great transition to
the Common Core Standards. – Terrific, well, and I assume
that’s part of the culture in the district now, it doesn’t just apply to standards adoptions? – No, we have something
called the Hawthorne Way in Hawthorne, and really that is that every person who works in Hawthorne is considered a member of the family. And most of us have been
working together so long, our kids have grown up together and so we really are a true family, but we call it the Hawthorne Way. – That’s cool, that’s cool. You also focused on school climate? – We did. – What led to that, and how has that, how’s that gone? – So we were like everyone else. We realized that we had a
problem with suspension. We had so many of our minority students getting suspended all the time. The district decided to go ahead and adopt the PBIS, Positive Behavior
Intervention and Supports. So they brought in the new procedures, had a full district-wide PD Day, and about a couple months into it we realized that we couldn’t
just change the procedures, that we actually had to look
at changing teacher mindset about discipline, about
behavior in general. That’s when they brought
in UCLA’s Center X, and we worked with Dr. Tonikiaa Orange, and Shiraki Hawley, and they came in and did professional development on using cultural responsive
teaching techniques. Sadly, we had just been teaching as if every kid were the same, so what we learned is different cultures learn different ways, and they literally brought us strategies they wanted us to try. One of the things we noticed
was the kids needed movement built into lessons. I mean, subtle things, like
using the activity four corners where they have to walk across the room, or selecting a partner
from a different table where they had to just get up and move. we also found that children needed to talk before they shared an answer aloud. A lot of ’em just needed
the affirmation from a peer to feel more confident
about their answers. And just by doing little things like that, our student engagement
actually skyrocketed. Our superintendent is famous for saying, “An engaged student is
a well-behaved student,” and we really did see that happening. So behaviors immediately decreased once we started changing mindset about it. However, PBIS is not the end-all, be-all, and we have some teachers
who are still experiencing what I would call a
productive struggle with it. So our superintendent
immediately took notice to that and we convened a committee. So now once a trimester
we have a PBIS committee from, anyone can be on the committee, so if you wanted to voice
your concerns about PBIS, you just go the day of
the committee meeting. Our superintendent was so interested that she actually started
attending the meetings herself, because she wanted to know what were the problems with instruction, what were teachers
really facing out there. So we feel like we are committed to the PBIS way of doing things. It’s made our suspensions, especially with African-American kids, go from 12% down to 4%. – That’s big.
– It is, it’s huge. So I think at this point, we’re committed to staying on that road, but, you know, behavior and discipline’s always gonna be a journey, I really think. We’ll never get to a
specific destination there. – Yeah, well thank you very much. Yeah I was, I was described as a student who loved to talk. – You would like my class.
– Yeah, yeah. The issues that I would surface, my mother was a teacher,
her sister was a teacher, I actually had her in the second grade. My uncle was a teacher, and the news about things I would do, my indiscretions, would
actually show up at home before I got there. (audience laughs) Chris, let’s turn to Gridley. – [Chris] Where is Gridley, right? – Yeah, that’s right, where is. – Where is Gridley. – Where is Gridley.
– Yeah. So we’re about 50 to 55
miles north of Sacramento, on Highway 99. We are between the cities of Chico and Yuba City. A very rural district. We’ve got about 6,000 people in our town. We’ve got 2,100 children, 2,100 children. – That’s why I put you over there.
– Yeah, thank you, thank you. Our school configurations
are quite unique, so we have one school for TK, kindergarten and first grade. Next school is second through fifth, and then we have a middle school, sixth, seventh, and eighth, and then a high school. So at my site alone, I will have eight or nine teachers for grading. – Wow, so while there are processes, and structures, and visions
that you’ve all created, the truth is you also have to intervene when you have very specific challenges to work on. Could you talk about the
Reading Recovery work in Gridley, first of
all tell us what it is, so we’re all clear about that. – So Reading Recovery, we
implemented Reading Recovery in 1999, which is a long time ago. There are probably not too many districts that still has Reading
Recovery, unfortunately. We have about 57% Latino, 77% socially economically disadvantaged, and when we started the
process, with our assessments, we noticed that only
13% of our Latino kids were reading at grade level. And we knew that we
needed to find a solution. We started working with our county office, and at that time they were, migrant education was under them, and they had an individual
that was an instructor of Reading Recovery. So she was like the
top teacher in the area for implementing Reading Recovery. So she came to our site,
we started talking, we got an influx of
funds, which is amazing, and we decided to jump in with both feet and implement Reading Recovery. So we’ve trained, that
first year, six teachers, and it’s a very intense
first grade literacy program. So what we do is after
we assess the students, we use some phonics tests
and things like that at first grade, then,
(clears throat) excuse me, we start selecting children
that need additional help and they will work with
a student one-on-one for 30 to 40 minutes per day, every day, for 12 to 16, to 18
weeks, whatever they need. So a lot of people go,
“Wow, you’ve got people “that can do that one-on-one?” Yes we do, and our district
has believed in it, they never, when we hit
the Great Recession, there was no discussion about
cutting that program at all ’cause they’ve seen the benefit. – [Kent] Wonderful. – That just tells you a little bit about that work.
– A little about it, sure. And so how are special-needs
students doing in Grisley? And what over and above Reading Recovery are you working on or
considering to kinda help that. – Yeah, so our job in first grade, and what I worry about in the state is that we start state
testing now in third grade, so I think a lotta time at the site level, principals don’t really focus in on what is happening in kindergarten and first grade to get those kids ready when they take the state
test in third grade. So back when we have the CSTs, we noticed that those students, again, were not performing well. After we implemented Reading Recovery and some other multiple assessments, and we really focused on K3, our scores increased tremendously. For example, our overall school score at the two through five score, at the end of doing the CSTs was at 850. They made rapid progress, more students were reading at proficient than they ever had before, even at the end of first grade. We noticed after one year of
implementing Reading Recovery, we went from 13% of our Latino kids reading at grade level, to 55. So we knew right then,
wow, we have something. Currently, all of our first graders, Latinos, special ed students, we are able to get all those kids reading proficiently at the end of first grade, 80 to 90%. – [Kent] Great, great. – And what our job is, is to keep kids out of special ed, that is our job, okay? Because we know once
they start in special ed, they’re pretty much lifers. I have not seen too many kids that we’ve been able to
get out of special ed. So our job is to get ’em early. You hear early intervention all the time, and if I was in charge of
the state of California, there’d be Reading Recovery
in every single school. (audience applauds) It makes a huge difference. It has not only made a
difference for our students, but our community, our parents. I don’t know about you guys, but at our school, our district, the Latino parents, they will do anything to help their children, anything at all, even if they can’t speak English. So we expect parents to work
with their kids every night, even if they can’t, even
if they can’t read English, they just need to sit
down with their child, have their child take out their book, which by that time the ones
that they’re taking home they’ve read ’em enough,
they’re pretty independent, but just to get that nightly practice, over and over and over,
and instill in them that that’s important,
there’s not a greater gift that we can give to our
kids than Reading Recovery, or, than reading.
– Than reading. – Than reading.
– Right, right, right. All right, thank you,
thank you, thank you. (audience applauds) He didn’t put the signs up on you. – I know I was waiting. – Let’s see what happens. – Okay, hope so, pressure’s on, right? – Let’s see what happens next. Franciso.
– Right. – Chula Vista. – Chula Vista, know what it means? – What does that mean? – Pretty view, I mean, acute view. – Acute view.
– Acute view, you know why? You look down south, you’ll see the beautiful lights of
Tijuana, five miles away. Look up north, beautiful
lights of San Diego. East, mountains of San Miguel. The West, beautiful ocean ocean. – The ocean.
– Yeah. – You’ve set a lot of context. – Acute view, I did. 30,000 students.
– Tell us about the students, yeah. – 30,000 students, large
military population, about 10% of our students are military. High transiency rate
because of the military and being so close to the the border. We average about 17%
transiency throughout the year. Mobility rate for teachers,
though, is excellent, about 3%. So our teachers tend to
stay at our district. About 70% of our teachers, 60
to 70% live in Chula Vista. My own kids went through Chula Vista. So there’s just great pride
in the city of Chula Vista. – All right, let me ask you a question. – Tell me. So, you know, another
word that’s in vogue, are learning communities.
– Exactly, yes. – Probably also something
that could mean lots of things to different people, right? You all have what you call
professional learning cycles, do I have that right?
– Right, right, exactly. – Could you talk about
what you mean by that, and how you put ’em together
and what’s important. – Well technically it follows very much like many of
our districts do, right? You plan for change,
and then change happens, some more than other times,
and you look at data, and then the data will dictate whether you need to kinda
tinker with the change. And then it’s an iterative process, right. So technically, many of our districts in California follow it. I want to emphasize the organic aspect of this professional learning cycle because I think that’s
where the the power, the innovation, that ability to grow as a profession occurs. Because, you know, Chula
Vista’s a medium-sized district, about 30,000 students in 46 schools, but we break down our
district into cohorts, so we have cohorts of six to seven schools led by a lead principal, right? So we have like a
distributed leadership model where our principals
act, some principals act as a quasi-administrator. Each of my district office cabinet member also has a group of 10
schools that they supervise and work with, and we are all learners. And that learning cycle is distributed from the district office
to the classroom level. Our teachers are part of this
instructional learning team, and they are leaders in the learning. We have actual, you know, being a teacher is a very tough task,
and teachers need to have the opportunity to learn to communicate, to share their frustrations, and we have, by the way, time
during the instructional days where our teachers are offered
the ability to communicate, the ability to reflect on their practice. We do not expect during
these learning cycles, for a lesson to be done in perfection, we have safe practice time,
where teachers have time to work on these lessons. We have time where
teachers visit each other during the instructional day as well, and offer advice to fellow teachers. And, by the way, principals are part of that process as well. We have, during our
professional development time, we’re weaning out of
the consultancy aspect and we’re having principals
and teachers together, and coaches, lead the
professional development. So when you when you look
at this interdependency within our system, it’s
very tightly wound, where everyone is a learner, there is safe practice incorporated, and the reflection and
feedback is ongoing. I, myself, take time, I
spend 40% at the school site. I visit every school site twice a year, and I go to every classroom,
and I get to learn from them, you know, what they’re learning, what their frustrations are, what are those next steps. So we’ve taken it into a very
organic humanistic level, this learning center.
– Let me ask you the same question I asked Chris. I mean, I’m curious how this
professional development work connects to what happens in the classroom. You talked about visiting on the scene. But what do you think
the dividend has been, especially for the students we’ve struggled to educate the most. – I believe part of our feedback is what are those student outcomes? We don’t only look at
student, at teacher behavior, we also see what students are doing, and we have a protocol set on what the expectations
are with students. We have what we call a
district instructional focus that focuses on high-impact
language development strategies. So part one of the things
that we do each year, we started a couple years ago, is to test the social-emotional
index of each child. One of the things that we found out is that our kids have a very tough time expressing their emotions. So we invested 15 minutes a day utilizing Sanford Harmony to really focus on how to communicate and discuss internally what they’re feeling, and externally how they’re
feeling among each other. And, you know, I think that
has been an amazing outcome in helping accelerate learning, seeing our, you know, English learners really scoring at a very high rate, redesignating at a very high rate. At one point we were close
to 40% English learners, now we’re in the low 30s. So it’s been a significant
impact on our students. – Terrific, terrific. – And I would like to add
one thing, one more thing. – We’re gonna.
– Can I have a minute? – We’ve got.
– I have, oh, I have two minutes, great. In the last couple of
years, I need to share, there’s been a real interesting increase of a target group call homelessness. I mean, just last year,
our homelessness population went from 80 to 185. And I think the effects on students, especially in the area of trauma, it’s very significant. And if we don’t take heed on the social-emotional
aspect of our students, yes, academics is important, absolutely, but how we utilize these
important attributes of, you know, regulating one’s emotions, recognizing, and how to
articulate your emotions, right? It is so critical, and
we do these circles, and having kids talk about, I
had a hard weekend, you know. I went with the, had a big, big fight, and then I had to move
to a friend’s house. I mean, these things happen every day. And I just, we’re just so fortunate to connect with many of
our assets, you know, our community assets
such as the food bank, where a food bank donates, every Friday, 190 backpacks to our students, and inside the backpacks is food, enough for the students
to survive the weekend, and it’s done every week. So our connection to our community is also that interdependency, not only within the district, but outside of our district. It’s so critical,
especially with the trauma that we’re facing in our society, specifically the area of homelessness. – Thank you. You know, we’re just, we’re on the clock, we’re doing, we’re doing wonderful. I’d like to ask Mindy, who’s the principal of the California Academy
of Mathematics and Science, to, you know, I used to run
the Blue Ribbon Program. – When you were at that school? – And I am familiar, well I’m familiar with what you had to
do to become recognized is what I would, is what I would say, and I’m just real curious, in your case, I know that you’ve done a lot to create opportunities for students to engage them. And I wonder if you could
describe your approach to deeper learning. You know, we have a
longstanding agenda at Hewlett with regard to deeper learning. We ran some focus groups. What we learned was the
closer we got to students, and to teachers, the
less they actually knew what the term meant. That made us pretty nervous. I think, in you all’s case,
you sort of got past the term and did things that
made it real for folks. Could you talk about that? – Sure, I’d be happy to. Thank you all for having me here today. So I’m from Long Beach
Unified School District. I think as as a district,
I’d like to think that we’re really a small
town, with 85 schools, and about 72,000 students. It really does feel like
a town, a small town, but it is a big large
urban school district, the third largest in the state. But the way that we
approach deeper learning and instruction, and
supporting our students, is really in thinking about
that we are this small town that supports all of our kids in the city. And so we, in thinking
about deeper learning, the district really has,
we as a whole system, have a very clear vision into what we want this instructional, really have an instructional framework, with these four understandings, and this started with the
transition to Common Core and what that would look
like for our students, and how our classrooms
would look different. And it started with four understandings, thinking about how will we ensure that every single classroom you walk into not just the AP courses, not
just the accelerated courses, not just the honors courses,
but every single classroom that you walk into across the district, the entire system, we see
standards-aligned instruction, we see rigor in those classrooms. That was the first understanding. The second understanding was, or is, that we see our students
grappling with complex texts and complex tasks, that
there is rigor every day in your lesson. Our third understanding
is that our students have the ability to talk, as
someone mentioned earlier, that they have the ability to collaborate, to work together, to
learn from each other, that it’s not just a
teacher up on the stage giving that instruction, but that they are having the opportunity to process that information. And then our fourth understanding was around formative assessment. And so what type of evidence
are our teachers collecting every day in class, in real-time, and thinking about what happens next. Collecting that data and acting on it. And so if a student isn’t understanding, or that group of students
isn’t understanding, what are we doing to then
address those things? And so with that big picture of we all came to this, you
know, these understandings, thinking this is what we
wanna see in our classrooms, and it was years, I mean they actually turned into five understandings, which is what’s in the report. In 2018 we went to six understandings. So we’ll see if we have
seven understanding soon, but the fifth understanding
really was around how our instructional
leadership teams work together at the site level. And so as a site principal, it’s all of the department chairs, and grade level leads,
and how we work together to ensure that these are the practices that we see in our classrooms
in every department, in every grade level. And so that deeper learning was really everyone is a part of this. And so our fifth understanding is around collective efficacy, and that belief that we can work together and make that change across, not just one school and
one classroom at a time, but across an entire system. And so deeper understanding, though, goes beyond just what
you see in the classroom, but also a big focus for us is around access and equity in regards, is in particular to students having access to advanced placement courses, having access to dual enrollment, both at our community colleges and our local community colleges and our universities. And so we’re lucky to have
a really strong partnership with Long Beach City College in our city and with Cal State University Long Beach where our students have the
ability to enroll in courses, and I have a student here with me today, and she’ll give you a little bit of what that, what that
is like for our students, but that’s a big piece of
that collective efficacy and everybody thinking about
how we support our students and give them access to
a rigorous curriculum, to these courses and opportunities where they really are
prepared for post-secondary and career options after. – Thank you.
– They leave us. – And what about, you also have Long Beach focused on the pipeline,
the teacher pipeline, right? You’ve gotta roll your own initiative. Could you talk about that? – Sure, it’s, we call the
Long Beach College Promise. And really it starts with our students at a very young level. And so it’s a K-12 system
of encouraging our students and providing them the opportunity to really understand what
college-going really means, and being prepared for that. And so it starts with our
elementary school students visiting our local community
college on a field trip at a certain grade level, and
our middle school students really understanding what it means to complete an A through
G course requirement. And so by the time our
high school students are getting prepared to apply to school, the College Promise is a guarantee that if they meet the
minimum requirements, that they can be accepted,
guaranteed admission into Cal State Long Beach. And if they go to Long Beach City College, they’ll have two years of
tuition-free education. And part of that pipeline is really looking at our
students as this investment into our city, our
community, and our schools, that they are part of our resource. All of our, we’re a
Linked Learning district, where I’m sure most of you are familiar with Linked Learning. And so we’re a Linked Learning district. Every single one of our high schools has industry aligned
pathways for our students, and that gives them an opportunity not just to learn about education, which we do have many pathways that focus on service
careers, including education, but really any industry,
and exposes our students to what that looks like
to go into the job force and to pursue a career
post-secondary education. So with our partnerships
with Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach,
many of the teachers that come and teach in our school system, many came up through our program, went through the Long
Beach College Promise, ended up at Long Beach City College, and for those that decide
to go into teaching, go into the credential program where our own district
teachers and district leaders, our curriculum leaders, and
district level administrators, teach in the credential program. And so if you are a student in Long Beach, you can go through our system, get two years free at your
local community college, guaranteed admission to Long Beach State, go into the teaching credential program, be taught by people that
work in the district about good teaching
practices, and then come in and student teach in our district, become a teacher, and then go into the teacher support pipeline. And so, and that extends all the way through to our supporting
our district leaders, so there’s a pipeline
for identifying teachers who are potential leaders, and there’s a lot of
professional development that is a part of the program. And so if we have a teacher
that came through that system, has been teaching for a few years, is interested in leadership, there’s an additional pipeline for that, so that you are receiving
professional development and sort of understanding, we also have the Long
Beach Way, Hawthorne, and part of that is really thinking about how do we support all students? So even though there’s 84 schools, I might’ve said 85 before, But 84 schools, that means
there’s 84 principals out there that are looking at how do we support and develop our teachers to
be leaders on our campus, and then to potentially the site leaders, district leaders, curriculum leaders. So it’s really this idea that we’re all supporting our students but we’re supporting an
entire small community. – Soup to nuts. And I’m guessing that’s given rise to a lot of commitment and stability throughout the ranks of the
workforce in Long Beach, is that true? – Yes.
– Yeah, yeah. All right, well, let’s pressure
test all of that. (laughs) And talk to a student. First of all, Sabrina,
I wanma say, you know, that you could find the
time to take off a minute to talk with us, we
really appreciate that. – Thank you for having me. – Yeah, yeah, we had
a meeting in San Diego about a week ago, and we had a panel of about seven students talking to a collection of educators, and we just learned a bunch. It reminds you just how useful it is to actually listen to the students, right? – The kids.
– Yeah, yeah. That kind of blinding insight. (audience laughs) So we know, and we’ve
heard it in various ways that the extent to which we
can actually engage students, you know, really unlocks their
inclination to learn, right? I am just curious, Sabrina, as you think about your experience, if you could just talk about things that the schools have done
to really motivate you. I understand that there’s a
lot of project-based learning kind of activity in your
school, so talk about it. – So at my school. So at my high school,
at California Academy of Mathematics and Science, we do something called the IDP, which is a interdisciplinary project, and it’s an annual project
that every grade level does. So for example, for the ninth grade, the ninth grade year, we
had to innovate an idea or a project, or. – Can you not hear well?
– No. – [Kent] Hold on. – And that, oh. – [Kent] If I could just get mine off. – [Woman] One side of (speaking faintly). – Hello, yeah? – Mine, here, mine.
– Should I hold it? – [Man] Yeah, just hold it, just hold it. – Or I can hold it. Yeah, okay. So then, ooh. For the 10th grade year, we have to, based on what
we learned in our classes. So for example, AP physics and the principles of engineering classes, we have to build a roller coaster and then pitch the idea to the. (microphone squeals) And then as an 11th grader, we have to then create like a museum as a whole 11th grade class, and then present that to parents, and teachers, and other students. And then for the 12th grade year, we’d use, if you’re in
the engineering pathway, or in the biotechnology pathway, you have to do a big project. So for example, for me, I’m
in the engineering pathway, so this year for me, I would have, I’m in a class where we’re
working kind of like a corporate, and we haven’t, it hasn’t been told to us what our project will be this year, but we will work together as a whole team, like the whole class,
throughout the whole year, and just develop this big project that’s unknown yet. So my favorite project would
be the 10th grade year, where we had to build a roller coaster with all our knowledge about physics, and the principles of engineering, where we had to build a mechanism so that the roller
coaster would continue on. And we also had to create like a pitch, like an advertisement, and then a video, and then a billboard. So there we, it was different for me because I was always like the shy student, and I didn’t really work
with other students, but then these projects have allowed me to really actually have to communicate with these other students
and become collaborative, which I’ve learned that it’s
actually really important. This past summer I did
an internship with Boeing and I really saw that in the work force, yes, it’s good to have that knowledge up in your head, but it’s better when you’re collaborating with everyone and working with everyone
to really create a project. – Yeah, so you talk about pathways. I should’ve asked that question earlier. It sounds like you’ve
been given a lot of ways to connect the academic
work to the workplace. And to thinking about careers. So how do you think the
experience you’ve had will impact your kind of
goals for beyond high school. What’s on your mind? – Well, so when I first came to Cam’s, so we either have like
the engineering pathway or the biotechnology pathway, and all the students are exposed to both, well, now they’re all
exposed to both of them, for me, I took the engineering classes. And those engineering classes, something that’s really cool is that they’re a dual enrollment with another Community
College near our school, so that’s really good. Like, as an incoming freshman, you’re already taking
these college courses. In addition to that, we also have, I’ve also taken many
math classes, which I, that was because we’re on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills, so we’re allowed, as 11th
graders and 12th graders, to go and take college
courses at the University, which was really different for me because, so in high school, there’s teachers that are telling you, “Okay, this is your homework, “this is what you have to do, “but here are the notes, “these are the notes you should take.” But then in the, in the
actual college atmosphere, there’s no teacher that will tell you, “Oh, this is the homework,
you have to do it, “you should spend this amount
of time for the homework, “don’t forget your homework, “these are the notes, you
should be taking notes on this,” you know, you really get to learn how the college experience
is in high school, which I’m really grateful for. Now I know that I can go to college and I’ll be able to succeed, because I’ve done these college courses as a high schooler. We also have the AP classes, so this year I’m taking
five AP classes. (laughs) (audience applauds) – [Man] Good job, good job. – It’s allowed me to learn, like the rigor of the courses that there will be in college, and also like my time management, ’cause it’s a lot of classes, and a lot of work for all of them, so I really have to, I really learn how to manage my time, how
to study for each courses. And, yeah, and then as well
as the engineering classes that I’ve taken, there’s
so many at my school, I’m really glad that there are so that I can see how it is
in the actual work force. Like when I did my internship, I was actually glad that,
because of these classes, I actually knew what
people were talking about, what the engineers were looking at, I could read the same
thing that they could. – [Man] That’s great. (audience applauds) – [Kent] That’s why we’re here. – That’s right.
– That’s why we’re here. Last but not least is Corrine Folmer. She’s the Assistant
Superintendent at Clovis. All this stuff we’ve been talking about is arguably harder to do, or sustain, if our communities and are parents aren’t with us, right?
– Correct. – So you have these LCAP
dinners, what my notes say. – Yes, we do.
– Yeah, could you talk about those, and just more generally, kinda
speak to what you’ve done in Clovis to try to engage parents and community members in your work? – Absolutely, I’d be happy to. So a little bit about Clovis Unified, so we’re located in the Central Valley and we fall somewhere between
Chula Vista and Long Beach, we have about 43,000
students that we serve. But with that, we are set
up in a similar format, maybe to Chula Vista, in that we’re broken into
five comprehensive areas. So we have five comprehensive high schools that have a junior high
that feed into them, and then a set of elementary schools, so it kind of builds this smaller area within a larger district. And it allows for maybe
better partnerships and communication with our
parent communities around, because I’m assistant superintendent, so I oversee one of the areas. And I’m frequently out at school sites and at the parent events, so they get a more familiar regular face than our one superintendent hitting 43,000 students and families, So when we had the change,
that’s what we’re here, is, you know, the changes that have come and how have we managed through those. With the LCFF, with the
funding formula change, we also enacted the LCAP Plan, right, that every district writes. And so our district, recognizing that with
the supplemental dollars that we were receiving, that, you know, need to be
focused on our low-income, foster youth, homeless, and, I’m sorry, and EL students. You know, we needed, this was a, this was a great opportunity in which to engage a community. And as Sabrina alluded, you can’t, you can’t really
go out in our world anymore and work in isolation,
and that we really needed to leverage the expertise
that was out there, from community members,
parents, and our students. So right out the gates,
we generated this thing called LCAP dinners. And so we meet with our
community, the broader community, twice a year, and we revisit our plan. So in the very beginning we came together and we didn’t really know what
that plan was gonna look like and we generated some
open-ended questions, of which we asked for feedback. And it literally was a room,
probably twice this size, we had about 500 in attendance, and that was really a concerted effort to bring diverse
perspectives to the table. And at the tables, it’s not
like parents and administrators. So at these tables it
is parents, students, group home managers,
advocates for foster youth, district administrators,
and school administrators sitting together, discussing
the data that’s presented, how do we make an impact for students, And these broader questions,
and it’s a sea of big Post-its filled with lots of
little Post-its of ideas, and then we affinity chart
those to find general themes, to develop what are gonna be our actions. Some great benefits about this LCAP dinner has been that some of
the most systemic changes have been a result from ideas
that came from these tables. So one of the ones that
Mr. Burns discussed earlier was this transition team. So when we looked at our data, we found that during
those transition years, from elementary to intermediate school, and then from intermediate
school to high school, we tend to lose a good percentage
of our at-risk students. So we generated teams
that are representative of the demographics of each area, and those teams build relationships with the students that
are identified as at-risk in their fifth and sixth grade year, and they follow them to the junior high. And then from that eighth grade year they follow them to high
school to help bridge. We’ve seen great success in this process. In one year’s data, we had our identified transition students grow 8% in their GPA. And I think it goes down to relationships, which is what our LCAP dinners are about, engaging and building relationships with our broader community for the betterment of our students. – Terrific, terrific. How are we doing in terms of the hour I said we’d spend on this. Where would you say we are? We have six more minutes? Oh, good, good. So what I wanna do, we’ve
all heard each other’s questions and responses, and
what I’d like to do right now to see if there are any one or two sorta general observations any of you might have about this
work that we’re all up to, things I wasn’t smart enough to ask you during the, during the course
of our of our conversation. Anybody could jump in. I know if I asked you, Chris, you would just say more about Reading Recovery.
– That’s right. – So I’m gonna start over here. – Okay.
(audience laughs) – Francisco, any things we’re reflecting?
– Oh you know, it sounds, you know, the human potential, the relationship is the
heart of the matter. And a real focused relationship
on continual learning, and always being vulnerable that you don’t know everything, but that the solution is out there, but you have to create structured ways for collaboration to occur. It has to be purposeful,
it has to be focused, and I think that by bringing
the right people together, you know, we can move mountains. We can create opportunities for students like her to succeed and flourish. And I think we can’t
lose that focus, right? And I think that it shouldn’t
be an us versus them, but it’s all of us together, purposefully united in the cause and helping our students. – It’s us for them.
– Yep, yeah. – Really.
– Yeah, yeah. I think that’s, I think that’s right. For so long we’ve held
lots of things constant, and allowed the learning
outcomes to vary widely. And so thinking now about
how to vary what we do so that we get last variation
of learning outcomes and everybody is happy as Sabrina is, that’s what we really want. – Can I add?.
– Yes. – I think it’s also
really important to note that you have to be very intentional about your decisions, and the
way that you look at data, and thinking about leading for equity, and finding ways to create
those opportunities, so that all students
have this opportunity. ‘Cause I think about
things that, for example, that happened at Long Beach, like all of our students have access free to take the PSAT and
the SAT on our campus, which allows us to have the data to look at students that
have the potential to succeed in state and AP course,
but maybe they’re students that wouldn’t choose those
classes on their own. And so then that onus is
on us, as the leaders, to look at that data, to identify students that maybe historically
haven’t been really represented in those AP courses,
and those opportunities to do the dual enrollment, to go out and do these
internship opportunities, and to really just be very intentional about looking at where our gaps are and digging into that information that really is available to us to identify students and to encourage them to pursue these opportunities, because I think if we look at our data and look at, I mean,
the study’s really about our historically underrepresented
groups being successful, it’s that, that doesn’t, you know, that doesn’t happen by a
chance, or by accident, that’s very intentional work that’s, you know, the onus is on us to look at that data, to
seek out those opportunities, and to create those
opportunities for our students. – Yeah, thank you. You know, I was gonna save this question for the end, but I’m gonna ask it now. – Okay. – I’m curious what
state or county supports have been available to any of you, or that have mattered the most. We’ve got policymakers,
you know, in the room, it’d be wonderful to
hear about which of those have been particularly helpful in supporting or advancing the work that you’ve done. – Yeah, the restructure, the restructure with the LCAP money, I
think, has been fabulous for districts to control
what their community wants. It gives us a lot more flexibility than what we had before with
the categorical programs, and then the last thing
I’d like to say is, is with our teachers, they’re
definitely in the trenches and they need all the support that we can give ’em as leadership. They have a very, very difficult job. And so that has always been
my number one criteria, is how can I support my teachers and take every, how can I support ’em, and make time for them, and to focusing on student achievement. – I’d like to respond. The state superintendent talked a lot about LCFF, and giving control. Our superintendent spends a lot of time at the state level, talking
about adequate funding. And in order to make good on our promise to all of our students,
particularly our students who are typically or
historically underperforming, we need to ensure that we
have that adequate funding. So a lot of her time and
energy goes into advocating, not just for the students in our district, but for advocating for
students across the state to ensure that we get adequate funding to make good on our promises for kids. – Can I ask, as the four districts, seeing that we’re about to wrap up, that has been a huge
resource for our district, is to be a part of the four
districts here in the state and to have access to other
large urban districts, and their data, and
looking at best practices that are happening at, even this, looking at this research here, and having access to the best
practices that are out there. – Thank you. Bridget, any?
– You know, the LCFF was a game changer for Hawthorne, because now, you know, teachers were doing all this work for free. We were collaborating after hours, and nothing validates a teacher more than saying your time is worthy. And with the LCFF
funding, we could pay them to collaborate after school. We could, we could pay
them for the intellectual deep thinking that they must
do to collaborate together, and I think that we are very grateful to the state, because now
we have literacy coaches to help us. We have the collaboration time, we have planning time, and
without the freedom of LCFF, we would still be doing all of that for free.
– For free. I think we’re about done, and I need to describe
what we’re gonna do next. However, Sabrina, do you
have any advice for us? – I think it’s really great, what you guys are doing right now, and just really focusing on the students and how, you’re seeing
us from our perspective, how we, something us students, we didn’t know, you guys recognized that we would work together more, as a team effort and I really think that that’s really amazing, that more of that is being seen now, and should continue. – Thank you, thank you. We’ll heed that advice, we’ll heed it. All right, first of all, my panel has done a lot of work, they have tolerated me for
better part of an hour, and I think we ought to give ’em, we’re not done with them yet, but we oughta give ’em
a round of applause. (audience applauds) – Did a good job.
– Thank you, thank you. Now, and I need all the
encouragement I can get. – Let’s give a hand to
the person on stage here. Great job.
– Well done. (audience applauds) – I think I know how to talk about what we’re getting ready to do. Let me give it a shot. But we’ll see what how this goes. We’re gonna give our
panelists a short break, and your facilitator a break, but there should be instructions on each of your tables that will help guide the conversations you’re about to have. But in a nutshell, what
we want you to do now is take about the next 10, 15 minutes, thank you for the extra five
minutes, appreciate that, to talk at your tables
about both what you heard and what you would like to ask the panel when we pull them back together. Then we want you to pick
someone at your table to put that question,
the single most important question you have into
the online platform. I don’t know what the online platform is. – But there’s one.
– But there is one. Is there one, is there one? – So there’s a thing that looks like this. This is not the Post-it work thing, we’ll figure this out. The most important thing is
to have a good discussion and figure out what your question is. This is just.
(woman speaking faintly) – Yeah, do you want mine? You can take mine, you know,
you’ll have to keep it. Here we go. – No take backs. – There’s some back down there. – Okay, so the most important thing is for you to sit with your colleagues and actually have a discussion about what you think are
the most important questions we wanna ask the panelists up here. Then there is this little technical thing, that there’s, one of,
one person at the table will log onto Slido.com. There’s a piece of paper on your table that describes this. I’ve done this before at other meetings as a participant, I’ve never run one, at S-L-I-D-O dot com, and there’s a code, you put it in, and you’re gonna be able to put your number in there. So someone at the table who
feels technologically secure should take that one on. Kent, if you’re at a table, don’t you be the person. And then we’ll be back in 15, 15 minutes? – 15 minutes.
– 20, in 20 minutes, and we’ll actually ask the
folks the questions, okay? So go ahead and get started, and maybe we’ll circulate around and make sure that
people know how to do it. – We’ve got to get. So we’re going to go back to work now, and I think the process, I sure hope I can unlock this phone. I know they’re on the screen, right? But there’s more questions on her phone, then we get to and I’m
gonna look at, maybe. The process works. And panel, we have a few
really good questions to field. We have, I would say, what do we have, 15 minutes, something
like that to do this work? So let’s get started. And the audience can
now see these questions, but I’ll read them, you know, for us. The highest vote getter was the following, describe the development of
your culture, and key strategy, that has allowed for
collaboration, cross-site learning, and calibration, and the
scaling of best practices. Give you guys a second
to ponder that question, and I won’t volunteer you, unless, ’cause the other thing I learned in that first class I’d taught, is that I have poor wait time, and so I can’t handle
silence for too long, I’ll start running after people. But describe the development of your coach and key strategy that has allowed for the kind of collaboration that you’ve enjoyed in your district. Does anybody wanna jump in on that? – Start, I think that it highlights, I heard it couple of
different answers, actually, and it was introduced at the beginning. It was it starts really, for our district, in our hiring process, So our interviews are extensive. A candidate can go from
four to seven interviews. They work from a site panel on up, all the way to our superintendent who hires every teacher and administrator. But in that process, it’s more than just getting to know the candidate, it’s also our onboarding, it’s where we start talking
about the culture of our school, we start really embodying the thing that everybody said about
vision with all students, one of our strategic aims
is maximize students, maximize learning for all students, and this is our opportunity as the candidates progress through, to really start empowering them, what the expectation and the
culture of our district is and how we believe in collaboration, so that they have a good
understanding when they come in and before they sign their contract in that final interview, is this a place that really resonates with their core values,
is it a good for them as well as it is for us as a district? – Great, Chris, you
wanna add to that at all? – Yeah, I would say, of
course, trust is key. For you to give your educators the freedom to try different experiences
in the classroom, given that that time
for them to collaborate and to discuss best practices, and to look at student data, that’s where the rubber
really hits the road for us. So they will bring their data
in and we will look at it, and even work samples of students, and then especially writing,
they’ll be looking at those, and everybody’s reading each other’s, and so like we have nine teachers I said, at that grade level. And then they start asking, like well, “How did you get your kids to perform? “How’d you get them to do that?” So just building those
trustful relationships will take you a long ways. – Francisco, you guys are full of vigor. – Right, right. – This term scale might mean
something (speaking faintly). How do you get something started and then kinda systematically move it across the district? – I think it’s really
important is how you structure, you know, the conversation, and having even though we’re large, having small pockets of conversation structured around a focus
is very significant, and also the type of people
that we bring around the table, I mean, it’s so critical
that you have voices from many different perspectives, from the parent perspective,
student perspective, the union perspective,
the leader perspective, the board perspective as well. And I think it’s really critical that you become an architect
on how you collaborate. I think that’s very, very important. – San Diego had, similar to Chula Vista, the idea of learning cycles, and our superintendent,
when she first started, launched four learning cycles, and the first two are very aligned to this particular question. It was, how do we build classroom cultures worthy of our students? So we talked about mindset,
but also physical space, and then the second learning cycle was around collaborative conversations. And so those two learning cycles, and they were a total of four, but can you imagine an entire district that serves over 100,000 students, all focused in on particular
inquiry questions, focused on culture for a period of time, and then they shift to
collaborative conversation. So you have an entire system where, when area superintendents
are visiting classrooms, and we’re looking for opportunities
that kids have to talk, and then we’re also
looking at opportunities where teachers have that planning time that you talked about, so that’s that’s an example of scalability in a really large system. – And we move to the second question with the highest votes. How can a district begin to
enhance teacher preparation, professional development, and support? How would you pay for it and scale it? Any ideas, in particular,
for small districts and/or districts who aren’t
proximate to colleges. – First of all, they have to, they have to listen to the teachers. The PD has to be driven, the
training has to be driven by what teachers need, what they want, and by that I mean what are they missing, what support do they need? Teachers know what’s not working, but then that they need to be able to communicate with their admin, their district leadership, to say we need help with this and it needs to be not punitive, you’re not getting it done,
but okay, how can we help you? And that’s the way the PD has to start, and I think the way you pay for it is through your LCFF funding. – I see, I see. You had to have done that with these professional learning cycles, couldn’t have built them without teacher input, right?
– Oh, teacher input is exceedingly important,
because, you know, we not only, at a consultation level, when our district office
personnel meets with the union, but also, in every single site, with the instructional learning teams within every single site, that conversation is really important because when you think about
at our instructional focus, which is language development, well, how does that work in a school that’s right next to the border, right? How does that work in a school with 30, 40% with military population. Every school has it’s unique culture within a large culture, right? So how do we take a focus so it meets the needs
of individual schools at the same time as meeting
the needs of the district. So that two-way collaboration from a district level to a school level, centered on teachers’ needs, and the knowledge that they have of the culture of the school and the needs of the students, and that’s integral. – So I’m a recovering dean, thanks, by four years recovery
for every year of service. You mentioned teacher ed in Long Beach as a part of the pipeline movement. Speak to the teacher preparation, or teacher education
part of this question. – Sure, I think similar to what Francisco was just talking about, it’s really kinda of tapping into our, just the knowledge that we have. We like to say that the
answer’s always in the room when we’re together in a PD with teachers, with the whole district and our leaders, is that the answers are here in the room. And so we have a collaborative
inquiry visits process in our district where we visit, and this was part of the report, where you visit, you
have like sister schools, two to three schools that
go and visit each other and look for those four understandings, those really best practices, and sort of identify these great things that teachers are doing, because there are a lot of
outliers in our own schools that are just outperforming
the rest of their colleagues, that you really wanna
tap into those resources. And so that’s really a
system that we have built in in Long Beach is identifying
a really strong teacher that is doing incredible things and then tapping those teachers to help put on some
professional development, or be a part of those visits,
and have other schools come and see some of these best practices, and then we’d be, then we’re going around to different schools and
we’re paying for that through LCFF funding, through
district allocated funding so that we’re able to put that knowledge that we have there at the district to good use and to share
those best practices around the district. So it’s not just happening at one school, and teachers are teaching other
teachers at their schools, but it’s happening across the district, and we’re using that. We also have a platform in our district. So we have this way of
finding those great teachers that are doing these incredible things around the district, and recording them and doing a video, and then
uploading on our platform so our teachers are able to go, and so it’s not always possible to take teachers across the
district to other schools, but it is possible for a teacher during PD time at your school or your allocated meeting times to watch those videos, and get some ideas, and work with their grade-level team, and so really kinda just
looking at the resources that we already have
built into the district rather than. – [Kent] And I’m gonna come
back to that resource question in a second.
– Sure. – And give everybody a
chance to speak to it, but I can’t resist asking you, Sabrina, what, what source, when do you know that your teacher is prepared? – I feel when they’re teaching, like you can feel like their confidence in what they’re doing. I don’t know how to explain it. You just kind of like, like for me, there’s some teachers where
I’m like, “Okay, yeah.” I know what they’re doing. I’m totally confident,
like I don’t have anything to worry about. It’s the way they show their
selves, I guess, kind of. Like the way, like the way they teach, it’s not like they’re
looking at their book, or like, it’s kind of like they’re, like they magically remember everything, like they just know what they’re saying. I guess it’s kind of how
I know they’re doing good, like that’s how they’re. – [Kent] Right, they know their stuff. – Yes. – [Kent] They’re passionate
about it, and they. – And they have like
many activities, as well, that they do, that’s how I know. Like when they have
something planned for us and it’s really like hands-on and they’re like helping us, kind of. I don’t know how to explain it. But you can see in a teacher, you know. – That’s a perfect answer. We’re nearly out of time. I’m gonna go to my version
of the third question, which would be to say this. All of us could use more resources, right? And I’m sure you’d have a sense of what you’d do, you know, with the next resource you’ve got. I’d like to ask each of you in the name of improving student learning, to speak to two things, what would you do if you had another dollar,
and how are you thinking about the reallocation
of the resources you have in order to get the most out
of the improvement strategies that you’re pursuing. We’ll just start with Chris, and just come right down the line.
– I’d reduce class size. – Okay.
– Reduce class sizes. – For us it would be definitely to invest in social-emotional learning. We find that we have a lot of students that have serious emotional needs, and you would, sometimes you’d think it’s the underperforming kids, but we have kids in our
system who are high achieving, and if you’re just looking
at their GPA or their grades, you don’t know the trauma
that they’re experiencing. And so we look at
social-emotional well-being for all of our kids, and for
all of our staff actually. We’ve launched a lot of work. Our superintendent has
been truly inspirational in this idea that
social-emotional well-being is important for an entire system. – I would provide more
hands-on learning opportunities for the kids. Like remember when we used
to get to do field trips, and bring in different assemblies where they crawled in
and looked at the stars, and we brought in the Frontier Days for fourth and fifth grade. I would bring some of those
real experiences back to school. – If I had an extra dollar, obviously mental health
services is really critical, and not only for the student, but really for the adults as well. I mean, it’s very difficult
being an educator nowadays, and something that Tony talked about also is the affordability aspect with housing. I mean, if I had some some extra revenue or figure out a way or 100% of my teachers to live within my community
and make it affordable, ’cause I want our teachers, if we expect every child is an individual of great worth, we wanna make sure our
teachers feel the same way. So how do we offer a vibrant workplace, you know, for our teachers. I mean, I get to see how Google takes care of their employees, right? I mean they offer
breakfast, it’s stimulating. They offer even vacation. If you stayed there for
at Google for a year, you get to take a one week vacation. I mean, they do things
that are pretty outrageous, but people wanna go there. I want my teachers to wanna
be at my district, right? So how do I, how do I create
that environment, right? I would love to do that if
I had that extra dollar. – It would definitely
be to continue to invest in our teachers, and the
professional development that they receive from the onslaught. Just, it’s very, it’s common for teachers to get the PD, and get into the classroom, and then kind of on your own, you can get different preps, and you get different grade levels, and a lot of times teachers
are left to figure it out. And so that continuous PD that I think our district provides, I would continue to invest in that. I think that is where, you know, the teachers are gonna
make the biggest impact on our students, and
building that collective teacher efficacy we
know makes a huge impact on student learning, and
so I think that’s where, if I had extra dollars, I’d
invest it in the teachers and the PD. – [Kent] Apart from
tuition, and for college, Sabrina, can I call on you about this? – I agree with helping the teachers, because I feel that when a student sees that the teacher isn’t well-prepared, or they don’t have like, they’re not putting their all into it, that’s where your students
tend to lose interests as well, so I do believe like the strong, like the teacher’s kinda
like the root of it off to help us grow.
(audience applauds) So I do believe that did, it had, there has to be like a good teacher with like a good foundation for us to really feed off of that energy and really help us grow as well. – I’ll echo a lot of what was said. I think it’s the
social-emotional supports, but I think it’s preparing
our teachers for that. They’re on the front
line in the classroom, working with our students, and equipping them with the resources and the skill set, to
meet the increased need we’re seeing in the students that we’re working with every day. – Well we’re, after doing such a good job of being ahead of the clock, I have now put us behind it. (audience laughs) And that means I don’t get to give you the last 10 minute speech
that I have planned to offer. But Corrine, Sabrina, Wendy, Francisco, Bridget, Sofia, and Chris, I have enjoyed myself up
here asking you questions and I’m pretty sure the audience
has enjoyed your thoughts as well, and I wanna thank all of you for the work you’re
doing in the districts. (audience applauds) – [Man] Thank you. – And the time you’ve spent with us. – [Woman] Thank you. – [Kent] And Patrick
for raising your hand. – [Man] Thank you. – Hello and welcome back. I hope you were able
to grab your sandwiches and get something to eat. Feel free, obviously, to continue eating, but in order to stay on time and get you out of here on time, we wanna make sure that we get moving with the second afternoon panel. And so, now this is the panel where we move from the
practitioners to the policymakers, and talk about what can be done in Sacramento and elsewhere. So this panel’s gonna be
moderated by Vernon Billy. And, you know, Vernon, who is the CEO and Executive Director of the California School
Boards Association. After his time in the U.S. Air Force, Vernon took on a
different kind of service, advocating for districts and students, and working closely with
a variety of leaders to advance education policy. Given his long experience and education, we’re excited to have him here leading the next conversation, where we’ll be hearing
from leading policymakers to discuss the implications of the work you’ve heard so
far from the practitioners. Please join me in welcoming
Vernon and the panelists. (audience applauds) – Come on up, we’re just, could you come around that way, just ’cause of the way the mics work. – Tom, come on, come on in. – I think Matt’s gotta be there. – What’s that?
– They’ve got us in order. – Oh, yeah. – Mat’s gonna. – Where did you go? – Okay, all right, I think
we got everybody here. Good afternoon everyone. – [All] Good afternoon. – Come on, you guys gotta wake up. Come on, good afternoon. – Good afternoon.
– Afternoon. – Okay, all right, that’s much better. So I’m excited to be here
moderating this panel, I think, with my
illustrious colleagues here. What I’d like to do first is
just go down the line here and have you briefly introduce yourself and tell a little bit
about your organization. – I’m Matt Navo, work for WestEd. I was former superintendent at Sanger Unified School District, where I spent 19 years of my career there. – Good afternoon, I’m Tom Armelino. I’m the executive director for the California Collaborative
for Educational Excellence, CCEE, and we advise, and assist, and work with county offices, and other districts and folks to help ’em on the academic side. – Good afternoon everyone. I’m Mary Vixie Sandy, I’m
the executive director of the Commission on
Teacher Credentialing. – Good afternoon, Wes Smith,
the executive director of the Association of California
School Administrators. Honored to be a part of this great panel. – Good afternoon, I’m David Goldberg, the vice president of the
California Teachers Association and third generation
educator from Los Angeles. – Great, thank you. All right, well let’s
jump right into this. And I wanna direct the
first question to Matt. So the previous panel did a great job of highlighting what has been
working in their districts. We all heard about the great
work that they’re doing. You were the former superintendent at Sanger School District. Can you tell us a little bit about Sanger and describe what you were able to do to achieve steady improvement for your highest need students, particularly English language learners and students with disabilities? – Sure, so when I arrived in Sanger it was 1999, and for those of you that don’t know the story of Sanger, it’s a pretty incredible story. We are the Gateway to the Giant Sequoias, and so we were anointed
by the U.S. Post Office as the nation’s Christmas Tree City, for those who of you who don’t know. And in 1999, when you drove
into the town of Sanger, you saw the welcome to Sanger Nation, home of the nation’s Christmas tree city, and you also saw the sign that said, welcome to Sanger, home
of 400 unhappy teachers. And that sign stood for about two years. And I was intrigued by two things. One, a group of educators that felt that that was the only way to voice their frustration
with the system, and two, a city that tolerated it. A city whose only identity was being the nation’s Christmas Tree City and yet that sign stood in partnership with that signal to all visitors who came to that small town. We went through, it didn’t
take me long when I got there to realize that there
was a lot of systemic, below ground level, below sea level, frustration in that community,
and in that district. But about 2007, 2004, things
started to come together and we really were able to take
the fog away from the system in such a way that we
focused on three things that really built the backbone or the umbrella of our MTSS system without us knowing we were building our multi-tiered System of Support. We really anchored ourselves
to a educational framework that everyone could articulate, that was highly focused
on the best practices we could use to empower
our struggling learners and those students that
needed more support. We focused on building a
response to intervention model that could be translated
from school to school, and we focused on building
a collaborative culture in our system. And those three initiatives are the same three initiatives now that were back when we
established them in 2004. The same three goals, the
same three initiatives. And David and Joan Talbert
did a study of Sanger. They wanted to know, if you
took the model that Sanger had and translated it to another
district, would it work? And what do you think they found? Yes and no. Context matters for districts. And then for our district, we were at a particular time where those three initiatives aligned and allowed us to focus on
our most at-risk students in such a way that we could pull away some of the frustration,
and we were able to catalyze the underbelly of our system, which is really the identity
of the organization, the way information was exchanged, and the connections that fed the system that was developing
the systems strategies, structures, and processes. And so, oftentimes, what we were doing is we were focusing above,
and it was the underbelly that was undercutting
everything that we were doing, and so once we were able to anchor to the three pieces of work, we were able to get some work done. – Excellent, so let’s build off of that, looking at at the state level. So we’ve, in the last few years, we’ve had the Local Control
Funding Formula was implemented, we’ve had other initiatives
like the California MTSS, the English Learner
Roadmap, just to name a few. What are some of the
state policy opportunities that could continue building
on these types of initiatives, so that districts can continue
lifting up all students, especially the ones that
you just referenced earlier? – Well, I think the state is doing some great work right now. I think there’s some excellent work between CDE and CCE coming out, with the 24th century CSLA, and the Workforce Investment brand. But I will tell you for
us, MTSS, for many people, they don’t realize that that initiative for the state of California came out of the special
education task force report and published in 2013. And many people questioned why that came out of the special
education task force report but we pushed that initiative because we believed that that initiative, if it was translated and
transcend across the district, that it could be used
to support all students, mostly with an emphasis on supporting students with disabilities. What we didn’t do well was preparing, we didn’t have the
preparation to make that work the way that it was
envisioned that it would work. So I think, in terms of policy, where we have to put some attention, and give some attention, is
earlier in our teacher prep, and our administrative prep programs. We have to prepare people and educators that are coming into the workforce that understand what MTSS means, so that it doesn’t get
translated like we did, initially, that MTSS is nothing more than response to intervention, and we’re already doing that. There was a, there was a
vision from that task force that was asking for more,
more from the system in terms of the way it responded. Sanger had backed its way into that, not knowing what it was creating, and created an infrastructure where the system was aligned
from boardroom to classroom around the same data markers. So we didn’t have schools
analyzing any different data that the board wasn’t analyzing. We kept the system coherent. But what we didn’t have, as the educators came into the system, was we had teachers come in ill-prepared to support students with disabilities, ill-prepared to support students that needed language supports, and interventions, and scaffolds. We had administrators that
we were building our own, but we were building our own
with our own knowledge base. We weren’t really expanding
their understanding of what it was beyond our walls. And so if we can spend
some time in policy there, I think we can really get in front of some of the issues we’re having. The other one is, the other initiative that hasn’t received a
lot of attention is UDL. Universal Design for Learning
was the other initiative that was called out in a special education
task force report in 2013, that’s gotten little attention, yet that is probably the backbone of this whole infrastructure, is an instructional framework
that all teachers can use to create access for all students. And the special education
task force report called that out clearly. UDL under the umbrella
of an MTSS framework will facilitate an
educational infrastructure that provides supports
and resources to students that they need. UDL hasn’t received a lot of attention. It hasn’t been called out, it’s been called locally,
under local control. Those districts that
feel like they’re ready, they take it on. I will tell you that with
UDL, what I’ve experienced, in my work, no one’s
ready to take that on. It’s a much heavier
lift than people think, but it’s necessary. – Thank you, Matt. So I wanna shift over to Tom Armelino, the executive director of CCE, excuse me. And so, Tom, the LCFF and LCAP, and we heard a little bit about that in the previous panel, that was an important change for districts and the state, and may
have helped set the stage for different types of innovation at the local level. As California continues
to, continues building out its statewide System of
Support, which you’re leading, over the next several years, how can we identify best practices that districts have been developing, and then spread them statewide. And I just, I wanna to add
a little something else to this question, and we always
talk about best practices, but what about promising practices, and thinking of it in those terms? And just like to see what
you think about that. – Yeah, well, thank you for that lens too, I appreciate that. Can you hear me okay? Looks like my mic, there we go. I really want to thank Dr. Darling-Hammond and her team for the work
that they’ve done today, and the outlier report
is an example, I think. I know when I first came into this role, I went across the state
and I met a lot of folks. We talked to ’em about
what are some things that we can do to make sure that we’re supporting
the needs of students. And folks talked about, we need examples, we need examples of folks
who are doing the work with kids that look like my kids. I think this is an example
of some of the work that’s been going on in the state, where folks are doing some great work. One thing I think about the LCAP and then the dashboard in particular, is it calls out the needs
of various student groups that maybe those needs were
not called out in the past. It’s brought attention to those, to where focus folks are
more focused, I think, directly on making sure
they’re trying to reduce some of those equity gaps. And so I think there’s
really some great work that’s out there. We had the experience in our organization where we were very fortunate
the state funded us to do some work with what we called our pilot partnership districts. It was a group of
districts across the state, various sizes of the groups,
both rural and urban, and some larger and some small districts, and in particular it
gave us an opportunity to work with them alongside
the superintendent with a leadership team
that involves teachers, and school administrators, and some other stakeholders, to really dig in, do some work together, and what’s unique about that work is is that it was focused on
continuous improvement, so we’re using all the strategies around continuous improvement,
and improvement science, but it gave them an opportunity to learn from each other as well. So they were able to sit in the room, and we were specific about making sure that they had that opportunity. And so you saw some partnerships where folks were, they were learning, but then they were also learning together, and that work has actually,
has really had an impact on our work, and some of our work that we’ve had in some of the districts that are in fiscal
distress across the state, we’ve used some of what we learned there as we’ve gone into those districts, so make sure that we can go ahead and kinda hit the ground running and learning from some of that work. Addition to that, I think
professional learning networks is a key to our work. What’s unique about the System of Support is is that it’s a System of Support, where it’s intended for groups
of people to work together. And I’ve shared this in the past. Our systems are really set
up pretty independent, right? Most of us in our systems
where we’ve worked, I know when I was a school teacher I worked independently in my classroom. I might have worked a little
bit with my colleagues, but most the time it was on my own. When I became a school
principal, very similar, it was my school, I focused on my school, my district, I focused on my district. System of Support says,
“Let’s open our doors “and figure out how we can
learn from each other.” All right, so both across
the various agencies. So excited about these
opportunities that are out there. I think the Community
Engagement Initiative that we’re working on now, it identifies some districts that have already been
doing some great work around some of these subgroups. It’s giving them the resources to be able to then look at how we can
scale those across the state. I think some of the new work around, as Matt mentioned, too,
in particular around the educated workforce grant, and CSLA, now we’re getting at
some level one resources that we can really support the system as it moves forward. – So thank you for that. So looking 10 years
forward into the future, how do you envision the
statewide System of Support, both in how its organized, and how it will serve as
a resource to districts. – Yeah, I can’t wait for that time. That’s gonna be an exciting time. – You’ll still be here, right? You’re not gonna retire yet.
– Well, we’ll see. That’s right, how can you let go of this. This is an exciting time in education, it really is. I know just in my last
years of experiences, I’ve been blown away with the opportunity that folks have taken to work together, that people are really making efforts, and it really starts with the leadership of our state board, and
our governor in particular. Our state board developed
an accountability system that’s called the System
of Support, right? Who does that, right? A lot of folks are
watching what we’re doing. The old systems were all built on right around this punishment piece, this reward at one time, built
around a single score, right. Now we have multiple assessments, we have local assessments,
we have local opportunities to look at the needs, and
it gives folks some autonomy and ability to use their resources where they feel like
they’re really needed, that’s extremely unique. Agencies like ours was developed, right, to be a resource and a
support to other folks, too. I think the piece that
where our current system is, you know, we’re still
growing a little bit, is it’s pretty heavily focused right now around Level 2, or
Differentiated Assistance, right. It’s around when folks, you
know, are first being identified as needing some possible other resources, I think where we’re going
around Level 1 resources, in particular around some of the new work, as I mentioned, was bringing CSLA back, bringing the educated
workforce investment grant. We need more resources at
the Level 1 level, right. And so that we’re able
to kinda across the state make sure that folks can
be more proactive, right, and have the resources that they need, especially around
professional development. I think, as I mentioned,
professional learning networks are key to the work, right, and actually being able to infuse money and opportunities for folks
to learn from each other, put them in a room together and talk about ways that they can improve and learn from each other
as they’re doing that, there’s some real opportunity. The other idea of coaching, I think there are lots of opportunities, there are reports, there are
various things out there, of what we can do to get better. But folks actually need a
little bit of help with that. So being able to have some more mentoring, and being able to give the ability for folks at the local level to have the resources they need and the coaching they need to actually put those implementation, I think will make a big difference. – Great, so in the last panel, there was a common thread that
I think we all picked up on, and that related to the
importance of teachers, and the efforts of the districts to not only to attract the teachers, but to retain teachers and develop ’em, and provide that professional learning that we all know that
teachers need and want. Recently the state has made
a number of investments to help districts with those efforts, but I think we could all probably agree there’s more work to be done. So I want to turn the next question over to the person who has all
the answers on this issue. I know she does, Mary. (laugh) From the seat that she sits in at the CTC, which is a very important body, for the work that all of us are doing, so I wanna ask you, what
progress have you seen, what are the key barriers
to teacher recruitment that your organization sees that exist right now,
that continue to exist, and what do you think can be done to help address them? And yes, that was more
than one question. (laughs) – Thank you for the question,
and I appreciate it. I think there are some encouraging signs. For one thing we’ve seen
steady, though not gigantic, but steady increases in teacher enrollment in the ’17, ’18 year,
we had 25,000 teachers enrolled in teacher preparation. That’s a good sign and that was up from the prior five years. So that’s moving in the right direction. We’ve also seen slow but steady increases in the numbers of
credentials we’re issuing. So in the ’17, ’18 year,
when 25,000 teachers were enrolled in teacher ed, about 12,000 of them came
forward and got credentialed, so about 50% of them, of
that cohort came forward. Another 4,000 teachers
came into California from another state, so we
had about 16,000 new teachers coming in in the ’17, ’18 year. Unfortunately that year, about 26,000, or the prior year, about 26,000 teachers, according to data in one of
the reports on your table, left the teaching profession. So we’re almost, but not
quite holding steady there, which is a bit of a challenge. The investment in the last several years in teacher recruitment
has been significant and I think it’s a very important sign that we are trying to take
the problem on head-on. $200 million have been
run through my agency into grants to local education agencies and higher education
institutions to address this. So one of those is a key
infrastructure investment, $10 million to build
undergraduate pathways for individuals who would
like to complete a degree in a credential in four years. We funded 41 of those institutions, they are together putting
about 85 different pathways in place right now, and
enrolling their first cohorts. We are expecting and hoping to see as many as 1,500 teachers come
through these new pathways over the next several years. So that’s a hopeful development. The Center for Teaching
Careers was funded, that created the Californiateach.org virtual job fairs, and
the web-based portal, and it’s creating statewide support and access for teachers who’d like to, or wanna be teachers, candidates who might
wanna move into teaching. The classified grant program, $45 million to attract people who are
serving in our schools already and living in our communities already, a very diverse population of staff who would like to become teachers. We expect to see about 2,200
or more classified staff make it into the teaching
ranks in the next few years. The Local Solutions Grants, $50 million set aside for local decisions about how can we best
get the special education and STEM teachers we need. Most of that, 71% of the
districts that got these funds spent it on tuition support, service scholarship kinds of things to help allay the costs
of getting a credential. Other things they supported
were signing bonuses and training for mentors, because mentoring and
induction is key to retention. And then finally, teacher residency. $75 million invested in
yet another, I think, very important part of our
infrastructure in California that should create as many
as 3,700 seats for residents in special education and in
STEM over the next few years. That’s an exciting community
that’s coming together to think about how we prepare teachers alongside veteran excellent
teachers in our schools. Very exciting moment for us. I’m also very encouraged
by the 2019 budget, the 37 million in
workforce investment funds, ’cause the veteran workforce really needs some support out there. Yes, yes, they do. Funding for the subject matter projects, I think some of the best
professional development we have out there, that we
saw some increases there. The restart of the California
School Leadership Academy, also leaders are in desperate
need of opportunities to work together, and that’s
also an important investment. I think most important for
the ongoing recruitment issue, however, is the $90 million set aside for the Golden State Teacher Grant program focused on service scholarships, and that sort of program. when I talk to superintendents, they tell me the thing that
they think would most help is if there was some
kind of funding stream to support service scholarships
and forgivable loans. So we’re doing things along those lines. The challenge, however,
as I mentioned before, 25,000 enrolled in ’17, ’18. 26,000 left the prior year. 8,000 seats were filled by
emergency permit holders. Things that we need to do, I think, to try to stable this include not treating these investments
as one-time investments. If we’re going to actually
make a dent in this situation we need to make a steady
kind of focused plan to do so. – Thank you. So and the next question, you kind of touched on
this, but let’s explore this a little bit more. It’s been said that just keeping
teachers in the profession would go a long way towards
eliminating the shortage. You just laid out some very, I think, startling and important statistics about the teacher shortage. What can we do to help districts develop and retain their teachers? – Well, I think first and foremost, nobody wants to go into a job
that they’re not prepared for, or that they’re doing poorly, especially, and they’re not gonna stay in a job where they don’t feel like they can do it, especially a high-stakes
job like teaching. So preparation is absolutely paramount. And we’ve been doing some things, Matt. We’re gonna have to talk
some more after all of this, ’cause I’d like to brief you on the things we’re doing to get MTSS into the preparation
stream for every teacher, and every administrator
coming into teaching, and leading right now, new standards, new assessments, a very significant shift in the way we prepare
both teachers and leaders. New focus on social-emotional learning across both those populations. New focus on student-centered
teaching and learning. New focus on UDL. Every single teacher who completes the California Teaching
Performance Assessment will have to use UDL to design a lesson, and then a series of lessons. They have to be able
to use assessment data, that they collect from their
one-on-one assessments, they’re checking for understandings, their standardized
assessments in their classes, to determine who’s this working for, who’s it not working for, and how do I adapt instructionally to bring everybody forward. Brand new and aggressive
focus, I would say, on inclusion, that’s
part of the MTSS effort. I continually meet people
who talk to me about MTSS as if it’s a special ed program, and I wanna argue the point,
it is not a special ed program. It is one of the most important ways that we are redesigning
the structure of schooling, and I think I totally agree with you, UDL is central to that,
understanding the outcomes, and planning forward,
that’s what every educator needs to do. That said, the 12,000 teachers
we prepared in California represent about 1% of
the existing workforce, and so it’s gonna take us a little time to get the new population,
kind of to critical mass in the workforce. But we’re on it, and we’re working on it, and we really need to work together across our higher education institutions, and our schools and school districts, and county offices of Education, to see this as a partnership for change. It’s really quite critical. I can’t say enough, and
I can’t even begin to say as much as has been said already about the importance of school culture, and the focus we have to maintain, and aggressively maintain
on school leadership. We’ve overhauled the
preparation for school leaders, we’ve built a new performance
assessment for them that privileges three things, first of all the analysis of data, the development of equity gap analyses, and the thinking through,
and the reflection on what are the implications
of an equity gap for my practice as a school leader? Secondly, organizing
communities of practice amongst teachers to work on
real problems of practice that are occurring right
here in this context. And third, working on
instructional coaching. Those are three very important things that go to the job of principalling, among many, many others. But we think we’re really going to begin to shift the culture of the
incoming principal workforce, of which there were about 3,000 this year, well 3,000 people completed
preparation this year. Again, this is a workforce that needs some stimulation to grow in order to get the leadership
that we need in our schools, but from the preparation end, we’ve been paying
attention to the research and to the the direction
of all of the reform that’s underway in California, and I think these are some of the ways in which we’re gonna
create stable schools, in which teachers want to work, and in which leaders wanna work. And the outliers that we studied today, and heard from today, have
some very important things to show us about how you
do this mechanically, and culturally, and systemically. And that’s a message for all of us. – Thank you, all right. So I wanna, at this point,
shift just a little bit the conversation to the folks up here who represent organizations,
membership organizations, specifically to Wes and to David. So the positive outliers
reports emphasize the importance of establishing a shared district vision that brings stakeholders together around a common set of goals. Many of the positive outlier districts describe a high level of
collaboration among teachers, school and district administrators. What does this finding
mean for your members? Specifically, what are the
conditions that are needed to support this type
of activity, this work? – Yeah, me first?
– Absolutely. – Okay I just don’t
wanna get that red sign. First, thanks to LPI for
sitting me next to David, not because it’s CTA, I
sit by CTA all the time, for the last seven years,
but I haven’t felt this short since my senior prom. (audience laughs) So, thanks guys. Yeah, I think first off, we have to talk about the the narrative. We have a narrative that
things aren’t working and that we can’t get along. I really, in all honesty,
appreciate the LPI because they’re breaking that narrative. This report that Tom mentioned, and the work that they’re doing, we’re demonstrating that this notion that our our system, our administrators, our teachers, and our
students are broken is false, and it’s malicious,
it’s hyper-politicized. There are reasons why that was there, that reason is no longer here. So how do we change that narrative? And I think examples like
that of promising practices, of bright spots, lifting up where people are working well together. and so I think, getting to your question, of what can associations do,
we can work collaboratively to help people understand
how to work together in true collaboration. It’s something that you
could try to test on an exam, but I think it’s how you practice it, what does true collaboration look like? CTA has been talking with AXA for years. Their clients and I have
chatted about doing workshops with both of our members on true and meaningful collaboration. And what does it look
like when we disagree? It looks like my dinner table
almost every night, right? What does listening really look like? What does mutual consideration, what does that look like, and how can we be
intentional about training? That should be something
we do across the state. And then as it relates to governance, having governance structures that promote true collaboration. So I think associations
can do a much better job of being intentional
about training our folks to work together to demonstrate that the only way it can work, in fact, is if we do it together,
that we’re working together towards the best interest of students. And then really change the narrative, demonstrating value add, right? Value add for our students. Seeing them achieve,
because they will achieve as we communicate better,
as we work better together. And so I think there’s
a lot of work to be done in area, and look forward
to working with CTA and their new leadership, to see if we can pull something
like that off statewide. LPI can study it, then
they can bring us back and have us stand up on a stage so you could really see the dynamics, and share what we’re doing. – [Vernon] David? – So why don’t I start where you finished. Can you hear me, no, testing, testing. Hear me now? I think collaboration
is absolutely essential, I agree with you. In fact, we have the
labor-management collaboration, which I know some of
our locals are involved, which I think is critical. And I also, you know, I do think, just reflecting on this report as well, which I think is very helpful, in a way it puts stability way
at the forefront of our work, and the lens by which we look at it is because a lot, we have
a thousand locals in CTA, and a lot of them, most
of ’em I would say, are not stable places. And I think we need to
call out, that’s not by, in some ways, looking at the outliers is absolutely important, I learned a lot, just being here and reading the report. But I think there’s
also big systems at play that we also have to call out, right? And I think part of being a
third-generation educator, my grandmother started
teaching LA in 1930s, and we went, you know, in California, from first to worst in funding, right? My grandmother was teaching. We had free UCs, Cal
States, community colleges, our K-12 system was the envy of the world, and that changed, and that
didn’t change by accident, right? And I think we need to bring, I appreciate the way this
report brings up race into this analysis, ’cause it became, that was very much part of
what happened as well, right? There was a disinvestment
in public education, and I think we need to,
and now we’re seeing how schools and communities
have been destabilized. And so I think part of
our work is union members, first of all, you referenced me as a membership organization. I think we have to redefine what it means to be a member of our organization, having these kinda, we have 325,000 people who pay us dues. Being a member is having these
kind of conversations, right? And then I think what we’re seeing is when we do have these
kind of conversations, we look not just like at the outliers, but also the day-to-day for
most people’s work lives. It allows us, for example,
we’ve seen exciting changes in the way we work around
even our contract demands. Where our contract demands are no longer, in real exciting ways, just
around salary and healthcare, but really about the schools
our students deserve, right? And we’ve seen beautiful
strikes across this nation, many in California even, which, again, which sees our role not just
stabilizing our workforce, but also being an important role in stabilizing our communities,
our school communities, but even the broader community. So I think we need to keep
looking at these outliers, and keep also asking great questions about why are they outliers? What is the system-wide
structures that are at play. For us, we’re really, we’re all on board with the schools and
communities first initiative next year on the ballot,
which is gonna allow us to have these conversations about the disinvestment that’s
happened over generations, and put a racial lens on it, and really have a real talk about the soul of our California, and how we take care of all
kids in all communities, ’cause none of our kids, even outliers, none of our kids are getting
the education they deserve, and we need to continue to fight for that. – So and David, thank you for that, you actually have answered
partly the next question. But feel free to chime in again. In fact, I’d like to, if I can, I’m gonna break the
rules a little bit here, I didn’t want all of
you, I mean if you feel, if there’s something you wanna
say on this last question, then please chime in. So along those same lines,
what has the state done, and what remains to be done to help boost your members capacity to implement the kinds of practices that we’ve heard about today? And you just referenced some of that, but if there’s more, chime in. Wes, and others, please chime, and I am gonna chime
in on this one as well. – Yeah, so for CTA we have
a number of initiatives that we’re taking on, including our instructional
leadership core, which we’re really trying
to train our own members, ’cause when we talk about collaboration, for the most part,
education, as educators, it’s not always collaborative in general. We need, you know, we’re one
of the only, for example, professions that doesn’t control our professional development
at this point, right? And that, again, that’s not by accident. There’s historical reasons for that, and I think part of what we’re doing is really preparing our members through our instructional leadership core, where we’ve now trained
hundreds of people, have done thousands of training, to be part of that collaboration. I think statewide, I really appreciate the way that now testing is on the verge of being de-emphasized. I gotta continue to push around that, the way that’s taken over
a lot of our curriculum. I also think we need to continue to figure out ways to make
sure that younger students and students of color
coming into profession, and the state has, like getting, the RICA, getting rid of the RICA, a
lot of these gatekeeper exams and procedures that have kept a lot of amazing jewels of
communities out of education is another huge thing I think
the state can be part of, and CTA looks forward to
helping be part of that as well. – [Vernon] Wes? – Yeah, I am, he continued on so well. And understand we talked about access and opportunity gaps, in my opinion we have a huge priority gap. Our priority ought to be our students, and we should prioritize them even more, and do so with real money, right? And you talked about the disparity, you hear it all the time, it’s depressing. The important and uplifting message is there are opportunities
to make a real difference, to do things in our career
that are legacy activities. That, yes, there’s the
schools and community, the split role, AXA supports that. We’re co-sponsoring with
CSBA about initiative, that gets about triple
the money into the system. We ought to all walk the governor’s office after this meeting and say, “We demand you “and the legislature do a 2/3 vote, “bring what’s best in
schools and community, “what’s best in full and fair funding, “and invest long-term in
the 20 billions of dollars “in California students, so we can end “the institutional historic racism “that puts our kids where they are “before they even come to us, “and the research is clear on that.” That’s what we have to disrupt if we want to change the system. Even about the teacher
pipeline, teacher pipeline, excuse me, I get pre-service
training, it’s important. It’s pre-K, where the
teacher pipeline fails, because our students
who are misrepresented, who look like their friends, don’t have the vocabulary and access to go to college, to go
to a pre-service training, and to be a teacher who
looks like their students. So we have to start there. Funding isn’t everything, but
it’s just about everything. And then the state ought to
put money where their mouth is and prioritize the things
that are important, like collaboration, it
shouldn’t be a hobby. We should be doing something about that. And governance, Vernon, you
may want to hit on this. We ought to be intentional about it. In my experience, you wanna
turn around a district, a school, have great
relationships, labor-management, have great governance
relationships, period. Everything else will come into play. You don’t have those, I
don’t care how much you know about curriculum and instruction. Why is it that teachers have
to have all this training, principals, everyone has to have training, except for the school board members, who set the policies for
heaven’s sakes, right? Everybody ought to be
well-trained, and purposeful, and there ought to be
some resources to do that. – [Vernon] All right, well. (audience applauds) You just took everything
that I was gonna say. – Ah, man!
– Now I’ve gotta come up with something else. No, but let me, I said I was
gonna chime in on this one, because, and I agree with everything that David and Wes have said. While money may not be
everything, as you said, but in a lot of ways, it is. To be able to do a lot of the things that we want to do, and to expand on some of these promising practices, or best practices, whatever
label you wanna put on ’em. And as David alluded to, if you look at where
California is right now in per-pupil funding, we
are at the very bottom, or near the bottom on
every major indicator, and I think that that’s shameful. And we can do better. We have the resources to do better. The Superintendent of Public Instruction alluded to this when he came
here this morning and spoke. This is something that I
know that all of us agree that we can and we need to do better so that we can provide the professional learning
environments for our teachers, and for our professional staff. Related to that, I wanna
talk about something. I just, I want to, it
connects to the money. One of the things that we, as in CSBA does as an organization every single year, we are in the unfortunate position of having to oppose
bills in the legislature for one particular reason oftentimes, and that’s because
they’re unfunded mandates. And if you’re not familiar with that term, I want you to get familiar with it, because I will tell
you, on an annual basis, our organization, I’m sure Wes’s, and CTA’s, and other, we end up being a part of an effort
to stop unfunded bills to the tune of at least 600 to a billion, 600 million to a billion
dollars every single year. Those are the ones we’re able to stop. The ones we’re not able to
stop from being enacted, guess what, they’re thrust on districts, and county, and offices of education. So what that means is, now
they have to do something, they have to pull resources away from the types of things that
we’re saying are important to fund these other unfunded mandates. And when you top that on,
or layer that on the fact that we’re already at
an underfunded system, you can see how this cycle, that we’re all trying to
address, just continues. So my point in saying that is, I think there needs to
be, we can walk over to the legislature, to
the governor’s office, and we could talk about money, but I also think there
needs to be a conversation about alignment with the
priorities established in the state budget, and the bills that ultimately get signed,
and what impact they have. Because right now, we
have a huge disconnect, and everyone wants to talk
about, oh, we’re putting, we’re gonna do this for schools, we’re going to do that for schools, and the money doesn’t follow. And districts continue to struggle, we’re trying to find resources
to do these types of things that we wanna do to recruit
and retain our teachers, provide professional learning environments for our teachers, and provides
us supports and services to our students. So from my perspective, I
think that’s a critical piece. The last thing, thank you
for two minute warning, is Wes talked about governance training. We represent board members on the county, and at the school district level. We have been saying that since almost the beginning of time. We actually do training for our members, but think about this, school districts and County Office of Education,
in a lot of communities, are the largest employers. Employ hundreds to
thousands of individuals. They have budgets anywhere from $50,000 to over a billion dollars plus. They are elected officials. They come in, they have to make decisions, they have to make policy decisions, they have to make budgetary decisions, they have to create that, they have to work with the
superintendent and staff to create that vision
that we heard about today, and that’s referenced in the report. But at no point do we think that it’s important for them to understand and be trained like other officials, whether it’s on ethics or other things, and I think we’ve reached a place now, where, from our perspective,
it’s critically important that we need to support board members to be good governance leaders, and learn how to do that. And it’s just not on-the-job training. We, as an organization, do that, and we’ll continue to do that and expand our reach, but
we think it’s something that needs to be done. And so with that, I will, I know we have about maybe a minute left, and I’ll open it up to
the rest of the panel to comment on anything that you’d like. – The only thing I’ll add is, you know, we did our best work when
there were less resources on the table. We learned what it was, what it meant to be really collaborative
and not co-labor together. And then originally we were co-laboring, and when there’s less food on the table, less resources, we had to come together. And that’s where Sanger
started to do its best work. When we realized that
the the shift in culture and organization was predicated
on four simple questions, do I know what’s expected to me at work? Do I have the resources to do my job well? Is there someone at
work that actually cares about my personal growth? And in the last seven days, has someone told me, “Good job?” When it came down those four things, and three initiatives, we
started to do the right work. And I think, as we think
about it from a state level, we’ve gotta figure out
how to translate policy so that school districts can do that work. – Okay. – I think the main piece that
I wanna thank the state for is they’ve given us some time, right? And so in the old
accountability system, right, you would, we would, there were things that happen to you, right. They’ve given us time, they’ve also given us
local control, right? And to me it’s this loose tight piece, that’s pretty loose, right? I think what we’re learning now is is that there’s some other things we need to tighten, right, a little bit in regards to that. And some of that is there are, as example, as you saw these outliers report, there are best practices and
there is good work happening across the state, there
always has been, right, and there’s continuing to be there. How do we fund more of that type of work? And one of the things you’ll see, I know we’ve done some work in our models of continuous improvement, we went and did some of our first work in Chula Vista. And in particular, what
you see in those districts that are functioning really well, and doing really well with kids, is they’re working collaboratively
across the district with leadership teams
of various stakeholders all at the table together, in the design of the system, right? Most of where we see where folks
are not being as successful is is where the stakeholders
are not engaged, and they’re not part of that work, right? And in particular, I would say, in our system right now,
I appreciate the reference to teachers earlier, right,
teachers are the ones who are making the difference for children every day in classrooms. That’s where the work happens, right? We understand that. We need to figure out how
do we get them more involved in design instead of the
responding to what it is that we’re designing for them, right, and I think we need to be a little bit more intentional about that, put more resources around that, and I think if we continue to do that, and learn from some of
that good work out there. So I really appreciate what David said, to where it’s now no longer an outlier, it’s the norm, is we’re gonna
make a difference for kids in this state. – [Vernon] All right, thank you Tom, Mary. – Final word?
– Final word. – Okay, (laughs.
– Great song. – It’s a great time to be in education, and in education policy. I believe somebody, or everybody up here, we have the elements we need
in the state of California to be extremely successful. We need time to really
develop that capacity, develop our capacity to
put these systems in play in ways that are working. We need to stay committed, absolutely, to the notion of continuous improvement where we’re constantly looking at the results we’re achieving and adjusting our course
to achieve the goal that we set for ourselves. It’s a good time to be here
right now, doing this work. – Great, so please join
me in thanking the panel, as well as LPI for
hosting this event today. (audience applauds) Thank you. Okay, we’re done. – Thank you, Vernon and panelists for that great discussion. My name is Naomi Ondrasek,
and I’m a senior researcher and policy adviser with the
Learning Policy Institute. And before I move on to
introduce our final speaker, I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone in the audience for your thoughtful engagement
during that first panel. That part of the event grew
out of some survey responses we got at our last
events back in February, our California Way event, where some folks asked us for extra time to engage with each
other, and with material. I hope you feel like you’ve
gotten some of that today. And I also hope that you’ll take some time to give us some great feedback through the surveys on your
tables before you leave today. So with that, on to the fun part. I get to introduce our final speaker, Linda Darling-Hammond,
our President and CEO. She’s well known around these parts, so she doesn’t need a long introduction. Suffice it to say that her experience and her insights have made
her a really valued voice, as California has made this journey towards increased equity
and deeper learning for all of our students. And with that, please
help me welcome Linda. (audience applauds) – Well, I wanna start by thanking Naomi, who is largely responsible
for all the details of this event, so let’s thank Naomi, and all the other staff at LPI who really contributed to this. I wanna thank all of you, who contribute to the
education of our children through teaching and leading, through research and policy, through cheerleading and advocacy. I want to thank many
authors of these studies who were out into these districts for multiple rounds of data collection, and then I also wanna thank all of you for listening so closely
through the jackhammers, and the sirens, the train whistles, the clanging bells, we’ve
had quite an accompaniment to this morning. Kinda like being at school,
through all the distractions and all the obstacles, we carry on. It takes a roomful of educators to kind of go with this flow. So it’s important to understand, and the reason that LPI did this study, it’s really important
to understand what works from research and evidence,
and not just ideologies. Education in the United
States and California has been highly politicized
over recent decades, and a lot of times proposed reforms have been based on political
and ideological grounds rather than evidence about what works. We’ve had curriculum wars of all kinds that come and go. I remember when I first
came to California, I was told that the reading
wars were going on then, if you remember the reading police. Was told that phonics with
the new F word in California. (audience laughs) It’s a phonics joke, if you
think about it you’ll get it. (audience laughs) But there are some limits to politics as a way of guiding our work. As one person said,
politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect
each from the other. And education, on the other hand, is the art of building
collaboration among human beings to help each of them
achieve their potential. And that definition,
I think, is important. You note that I did not say that education is the art of ranking, selecting, and sorting students to distinguish those who are worthy of excellent opportunities from those who are not. (audience applauds) Yet, as you know, many of the features of the education system we have inherited are designed to do just that. Unequal funding across
districts and communities is part of that selecting,
sorting, and ranking. Unequal access to fully qualified teachers is part of that selecting,
sorting, and ranking. Tracking systems that
create unequal access to high-quality curriculum. Norm-referenced testing systems that are designed to rank
students against each other, on rather narrow dimensions, rather than to measure
the growth of students across multiple dimensions. And that’s the inheritance that we have in much of our education system. And these positive outliers have found ways to push against the grain of the system we have inherited. And I want to note that we’re highlighting these seven districts today, but as you noted, there are many more that we uncovered in the
quantitative analysis in California, and many small districts that we didn’t even include in that count because we were trying to
have statistical stability in the results. But lots and lots of
people are doing this work in very productive ways. Our job at the state level
is to change the grain, rather than people having
to work against the grain, we need to change the grain. And so there are, I would really note, that one of the things to note about the work of these districts, is how they’ve disproved some of the myths of older reforms. For one thing, and this
has been brought out by a lot of the panelists, they’ve demonstrated that
continuity and steady work, continuity in the leadership, continuity in the teaching force, continuity in the nature the work that continuously
improves, not disruption, and continual change, is part of the secret sauce for success. It is not the case that
these are districts with superintendents
every year and a half, teachers who come in for
a short period of time, sink or swim, and leave. Fire bad teachers as a major strategy for getting better. There was a theory that
was put forward a while ago that, you know, if you just fired the bottom 5% of your teachers each year, your districts would get better, and, you know, having studied a lot of countries around the world, I used to point out that you cannot fire your way to Finland. In fact, you know, Finland, which ranks highly internationally, does that by investing in the quality of teachers and leaders. Over time, almost nobody leaves the system because they are both
respected and invested in. So what we saw in these districts are investments in the pipelines into teaching and leadership, and into teaching. A second myth that is
countered by this evidence is that they really invested in support for social-emotional learning
and positive behavior, not zero tolerance. Not, you know, one strike you’re out. Not punishing and pushing
kids out of school. We heard a lot about the
work that was going on in terms of social-emotional learning, positive behavior supports, and, you know, we have a lot of evidence that that brings greater
safety to schools. We don’t need guns for teachers. We need social-emotional learning, conflict resolution, and
positive behavior supports through the support that goes
on for community building. A third myth that I think is
countered by this evidence is the no excuses idea of schooling, that, you know, poverty doesn’t matter, just double down, you
know, look straight ahead, follow the line. Attention to student needs. We heard about, you know,
the sending kids home with backpacks full of
food for the weekend, as well as being sure that
they are well cared for, loved, and supported
with food and counseling, and the supports that they need. Asking what they need
rather than punishing them for not having. A fourth area that I
think we see differences, that these districts
really focused on unpacking and understanding the new standards rather than shoving them
down people’s throats, or attaching them to sanctions. And I don’t know if you remember, you know, we don’t always have a long institutional
memory in education, but some years ago when
Common Core State Standards were going across the country, and they ended up being
rejected in a number of states, one of the states that ended up doing that was New York, where I had
been prior to California, where Common Core came in
with a very short time frame, very little professional development, tied to high-stakes testing, which was used to deny
students advancement to the next grade, or diplomas, to make decisions about
teacher tenure and pay, to make decisions about what
schools would be closed. And Common Core, you
know, a curriculum reform that could bring higher-order
thinking skills to kids became associated with
punishments for schools, teachers, and children
because it was shoved down people’s throats rather
than an enabling force. So I think these districts really showed how that enabling could take place. A fifth area was that
they really talked about expanding access to curriculum,
to rigorous curriculum, not pulling out students who are behind and restricting the curriculum. I don’t know if you
remember the olden days, when we had an approach in California, where kids who were scoring poorly would get pulled out of
science, and social studies, music, and art, get denied recess, forget about library
time, sit for two hours and drill for the test in reading, and another two hours and
drill for the test in math. Everything we know from the science of learning and development
about what works for brain development, and
for productive behavior is violated by the way
that we treated kids when they had low test scores. So these districts really expanded access to rigorous curriculum rather
than restricting access. A sixth, of course, is that they, and we heard a lot about this, really great stories of early
intervention without labeling, rather than testing for labeling and segregation of students. But how do we figure out what kids need? Get it to them right at
the moment they need it, and then they can go on and be part of the community of learners. And finally, you know,
establishing trust and supports rather than shaming and blaming. So I think we’ve seen,
you know, a real important body of knowledge about how to make the right kinds of changes
at the district level. Now, how is California changing the grain so the districts don’t have
to go against the grain in order to do this? Well, we’ve also heard that
we’re making some strides. LCFF does bring more equitable funding, and the possibilities
of kids getting access to the resources that they need, greater investments in teacher quality, which Mary ticked off every item of. The money that’s been put into trying to address teacher shortages, beginning to invest in
professional development. We’ve got an emphasis
now on multiple measures of learning and opportunity. I think that the measuring of opportunity is as important as measuring the outcomes. It’s not just about the achievement gap, it’s about the opportunity gap, and we’re beginning to surface what the aspects of
the opportunity gap are in the dashboards and in the work that districts and schools are doing. Looking at whether kids have, in addition to useful outcomes, do they have access to rich curriculum, to social-emotional learning supports, to positive school climate, et cetera. And we’re seeing the results. You know, it’s really interesting. California’s been really
into the LCFF process for about five, we’re going on six years of really doing this work. In 2007, we were 48th in the
nation in eighth grade reading, 47th in eighth grade math. By 2017, we were almost
at the national average in eighth grade reading, one point below the national average on the national assessments, and we had closed the distance, the gap, in math between us and the
national average in half. Our graduation rates went
up to the highest we’ve had, even after some readjustments for how we count graduation, and exceed those in the nation as a whole. San Diego is one of the
districts that are measured by the National Assessment
of Educational Progress in the TUDA Assessments, and
they had the steepest gains of any district in the country, and are now near the top of
urban districts in the country. So there is progress being made, but we have a lot more to do. Somebody referenced the
fact that John Merrow did a film about California, which he entitled “From First to Worst” about the deep decline that we experienced when disinvestment was going on. I think we are in a position to move now from worst to first, and we’ve gotta be really clear-headed about what the steps are that are gonna to help us get there. I think one of those is
that we have to continue the march to adequacy
and funding in the state. We are now actually, because of LCFF, and the Prop 30 monies,
we’re now 25th in the nation in terms of the amount
of money being spent, but when you put in our cost of living, we’re back down to 41st. So, you know, cost of
living is an issue here. We’ve got to get to a place where we are investing what’s necessary. We are the fifth largest
economy in the world. We have a lot of untapped resources for educational investment. We need to educate rather
than incarcerating. We’ve been spending $60,000 a year on each young person who’s incarcerated, when we wouldn’t spend
10,000 a year on them to ensure that they were literate and able to graduate from high school. That has got to change. (audience applauds) The other thing that
really was pronounced, it was the degree to
which these districts, and the state as a whole, needs
to really take into account the wraparound supports that are necessary for kids to be healthy,
and to develop properly. We are in a moment in American history where the nation is involved
in aggressive neglect of its children. The levels of poverty, the increasing, the ever-increasing
levels of homelessness, the ever-increasing
levels of food insecurity, and insecurity around healthcare, not to mention the deportations and the family breakups, and all the rest of the horrific anti-family activity that is going on. And we’re going to have to, as a state, really be sure that
the wraparound supports are available and that
our schools can be a hub of safety and support for children for the needs that they
have as human beings to learn and develop, so
that we can make progress. There have been efforts
made in this direction, we’ve got a long way to
go to organize those, to orchestrate them, to make them less than a few competitive grant programs here are there that you
have to chase after. New York State, for example, has a community schools formula grant for every high poverty community that allows the building
of the wraparound supports for every one of those schools. There are other states that
are looking at systemic ways to meet the needs of children. We have to also evolve our dashboard and our data for districts and schools, and support how they can use it well. For example, in areas
like school climate data, where we can make a lot of progress by knowing how children are
experiencing school every year, not necessarily every other year, and teaching people how to use those data to put those supports in place. Early childhood education, of course, is a huge investment on the horizon. The governor has made that clear. In the getting down to fact studies, what they found was
that kids in California make greater gains than
kids in other states of the same income levels,
between K through 12. They’re actually progressing
at a steeper rate, but they come into kindergarten, on average, further behind. So if we want to really make progress, we’ve got to make those
investments wisely, thoughtfully, and in a whole child manner in early childhood. And then what we’ve
talked a lot about today, and this is going to be
a major agenda for us, is building that System
of Support for learning. We should have a state
in which every educator who wants to learn how
to improve their practice around any dimension of
the schooling process, whether it’s math education, English, language arts,
English learner development, whether it’s science,
and STEM, and technology and engineering, whether it’s
social-emotional learning, reducing suspensions,
improving school climate, that there is readily available high quality sustained available professional learning opportunities that you can access as a whole school, as a department, as an individual, to improve practice. And teachers should not
have to look under rocks, you know, for knowledge,
like is this the place where I’m gonna find the answer? So that’s gonna be a goal for us. We’ve gotta solve teacher shortages by making the investments. You know, in countries
around the world, again, we are the fifth largest
economy in the world. If our teachers were coming up in Finland, or Singapore, or many other countries, they would go through
their preparation programs, which are uniformly
high-quality, free of charge, with a stipend while they train. they would go into readily
available mentoring programs and then have readily available
professional learning. It is something that California not only should aspire to, and envision, but enact over the coming years. (audience applauds) And I think that we’ve got, you know, in the form of the work
that’s going on at the CDE, and CCEE, and CTC, a lot
of the elements of that. So part of our job is
really to do the stitching, the investing, the orchestrating that’s going to be necessary so that we can learn from success, and then pointing that
professional learning at the things we know that
actually are successful rather than random acts of innovation, that are like popcorn
reform, that come and go. So we heard about, for
example, Reading Recovery. Reading Recovery is one of the worldwide interventions for reading
that has hundreds of studies, finding that 90 plus percent of the kids who have that experience that
we heard about from Gridley, learn to read successfully,
whether they are students who have been identified with
special educational needs, whether they’re English
learners or language learners of any kind, or whether
they are just slower to get to the reading process, that’s one example of many. But we do know a lot, and we’ve seen in these districts things that work. And we shouldn’t pretend that any effort is likely to be as successful
as any other effort, we should build on the knowledge base, build on the research
base, and use what we know, both in California and,
I know this is heresy, even beyond the borders of California, to learn how to organize
that system of support. So I just wanna close by noting that we have been through a lot of reforms of various kinds over many decades. But many years ago, Horace Mann, who was sort of, in some ways, the founder of public
education in the common school, made the point that where
anything is growing, one former is worth a thousand reformers. And I think in this room
are many of the formers of California’s public education system, and we need to support each other with knowledge, and
resources, and commitment to take this state from
worst to first, thank you. (audience applauds) To you. I wanna share this
applause with all of you, with my LPI colleagues, and
I think I am in the position of giving us a benediction, and may the force go with you. (audience laughs)

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