tv Secretary John King Discusses Education Policy CSPAN December 14, 2016 8:02pm-9:06pm EST
really look into your community and see what is affecting those who are around you because they are the ones who you love. they are the one who you see the most. they are the one who you surround with almost every day. and so if there is an issue that you see happen every day on the street, that's probably where you can start. be a part of this documentary because you want to be a voice for your community. >> thank you, arblshleashley, f advice and tips. if you want information go to our website, studentcam.org. education secretary john king talked about the future of the nation's education system earlier today from the center for american progress in washington, d.c. this sis an hour. >> welcome to the center for
american progress. i'm the executive vice president for policy here at c.a.p. i want to thank you for joining us to hear about secretary john king about his vision for education policy and why it is so important to continue to invest in our public education system and to continue to focus on equity and accountability. nearly eight years ago when i began working at the department for secretary king's predecessor arne duncan, our economy was reeling from the worst economic crisis since the great depression. state budgets were shrinking. hundreds of thousands of teachers were at risk of being laid off and student loan markets were barely functioning, putting our students and schools at risk. it provides both adequate resources and a world class education system for our students through the recovery act and other measures. hundreds of thousands of teacher jobs were saved by the state fiscal stabilization fund. billions were invested in title
one and ida to protect the education of vulnerable students, pell grants were increased for millions of students and access to student loans continued when all loan origination moved to the direct loan program. across the country, billions were invested in turning around dropout factories and improving low schools. also exploring innovative and cost-effective ways to help student s and teachers. secretary king has been a fierce protector of students and taxpayer dollars by cracking down on predatory colleges. through his leadership, states have expanded access to high-quality preschool using programs like preschool development grants and the race to the top early learning challenge. he championed diversity announcing a new competition to promote socio economic diversity in schools. on a tight timeline, he and his team have developed key
regulations for the every student succeeds act that strike an important balance for protecting historically marginalized students. we still have work to do and we must build on president obama's achievements through arne and john john's lead areship. states will lead the way implementing the act and setting a clear vision for their education systems. the next administration must play its part as well. as parent we must provide districts and schools with the necessary resources to give every child a chance at success in college, career and life. no one understands that better than secretary king. as the son of two career educators in new york city's public schools, secretary king learned the power of education from a very early age. and when illness took his parents far too soon it was his teachers who stepped in to the
plate to play a critical role in his life. secretary king has dedicated his professional life to public education ever since serving students in puerto rico, massachusetts, new york and now all across the nation. we are thrilled to have him here at c.a.p. and honored to count him as a partner in our efforts to build a better future for all of our children. so please join me in welcoming the secretary of education, john king. [ applause ] >> good morning. many thanks to carmel and to the center for american progress for having me this morning. and i want to thank all of you for being here. dynamic, committed education leaders. we've invited you to be here with us because you represent the future. because you give me hope in our ability to continue making progress for america's students. i know you are all working hard
to bring about the day when the quality of educational opportunities available to our children is not determined by their race or zip code, the language they speak at home or their family income or their immigration status. or whether they have a disability. and i also know that you believe, as i do, that education is a ladder. rung by rung it helps people reach places that would otherwise be an impossible climb. when individuals have the chance to reach great heights, our society and way of life become stronger and better with every step they take. so today i'm here to ask you to act boldly on those beliefs for all who believe that strong ecquitable public education is central to a healthy democracy and a thriving economy. now is the moment for us to set aside the policy differences that we have let divide us and move forward together courageously to defend and extend this fundamental american
institution. you have seen the powerful results that courage and hard work can deliver. i have seen them, too throughout my career as a public school educator. in the district of columbia and in the 31 states i've visited since i came to washington. as you may know, as caramel mentioned, my life offers more proof. lost both of my parents when i was a kid. my mom when i was 8. my dad when i was 12. growing up in the new york city public schools. and it was new york city public school teachers who saved my life who made school a safe haven for me. made school a place that was nurturing and engaging and compelling and interesting and safe. it was a well-rounded curriculum that they provided that helped give me a sense of hope and an understanding of what was possible in life. so my commitment to this work is deeply personal. it's also rooted in my background as a high school social studies teacher and as a opportunity of history.
american history, like all human history, includes advances towards and retreats from our highest ideals. the history of public education in america also is a stutter step toward ambitiousness, inclusivity, equity and excellence. but make no mistake. education has always been central to our progress. education gave thomas jefferson and alexander hamilton the tools and vision to transform a colonial outpost into a great and powerful nation that inspires people across the globe. it allows william lloyd garrison and frederick douglass to challenge the institution of slavery. emgs inspired susan b. anthony to demand the right of women to help shape our democracy with their votes. and education that helped martin luther king jr. and john lewis find the words and bravery to inspire a generation to march toward a brighter and more equal future. but the work -- the work of
forming a more perfect union continues. as it ever has and always must. we must continue to press on firm in the knowledge that when we pull others up, they not pull us down. when the light of opportunity shines on those who lack it, it does not dim for those already in its glow. the light of opportunity shines more brightly and more widely today than it did eight years ago. thanks to the hard work of teachers and leaders, students and families, policymakers and advocates, the graduation rate is 83%. an all-time high. achievement gaps are closing, particularly in science. and the most recent graduating class from college was the largest and most diverse in history. but for all our progress, more is required to meet the challenges our nation will face in the years to come. too many students still don't finish high school and when they do, too many aren't ready for
college. the relationship between poverty and educational achievement in the u.s. is among the strongest in the world. ensuring more americans get the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in our country matters now more than ever. as recently as the 1970s, people with only a high school education could qualify for nearly three-quarters of the nation's jobs. today, that number is below 40%. one recent analysis found that 95% -- 95% of the jobs created since 2008 required some post-secondary education or training. think about that. if you didn't finish high school or even if you graduated, you can knock on 95 doors looking for a job before one opens. and everyone else without a higher education will be trying to squeeze through those last five doors alongside you. it is not enough, in our society for those already prosperous to prosper. unless we are ensuring that all
americans can meaningfully participate in our nation's growth. our nation will not succeed. the simple fact confirmed by research is that reducing income inequality positively influences economic output. when everyone has a fair chance, whole societies are healthier, better off and more productive. i know some will argue that equity conflicts with liberty but it's not liberty when the happenstance of birth binds a person to limited possibilities. true liberty is the possibility to take our lives as far as our drive and our talent allow. the pledge of allegiance heard in american classrooms every day affirms that in this republic, liberty and justice are the dual and enduring birthright of all. not some, but all. as long as that pledge stands we can never separate the quest for
liberty from the fight for social and economic justice. when i talk about these lofty ideals, i think about students who made it as well as those who didn't. i think all the time about a student of mine named herman. a middle school student at roxsbury prep. doing well in high school and had a bright future ahead of him. but one day, he was killed by another young man in his neighborhood, not much older than herman. at that moment, the world lost the benefit of both of their potential. their families lost the benefit of both of their potential. and chances are that like herman, the young man who killed him, was once a bubbly 5-year-old hand raised, asking a question of his teacher. herman had opportunities. the young man who killed him
didn't. i often find myself thinking about all that lost promise and i ask, what could society and our schools have done to offer help and hope so that he didn't wind up on that street corner gun in hand, anger and hate red in his heart? but i also think about my student titsiana, a quiet, shy sixth grader but her math teacher noticed how well she was doing. she encouraged her to tutor her fellow students. school staff turned out to watch her play soccer and cheer her on. she thrived. she decided to become a teacher. graduated from boston college and returned to roxsbury prep to teach math to others just like her. she's now the dean of students at the school. so what is it going to take to create an america where opportunity is plentiful and prosperity is widely shared? where we lose fewer hermans and
prepare more titsianas? you already know that the key is education. and you know that making this vision a reality will take more hard work. but it is work that we can do together. today we have a choice to make. we can continue to argue amongst ourselves about our disagreements or we can work together in pursuit of larger goals. now i'm not saying that we're going to agree on every tactic or every strategy, but i am saying that we can reject false dichotomies and disparaging rhetoric. we can stop questioning our allies intentions and fight side by side for the belief that every student in america has a right to a great public education. the passage of the new bipartisan every student succeeds act marks a perfect time to set aside old debates and move forward together. i think most of us can agree that the top down one size fits all approach of no child left
behind was a blunt tool ill suited to a nuanced task. esa on the other hand rightly empowers state and district l d leaders to develop strategies that address their unique challenges. this could usher in a wave of innovation, and we should embrace it. but that doesn't mean every district should go it alone without guard rails for protebting students, guidelines for carrying it out or the good ideas forged by peers through years of trial and toil. indeed, esa is fundamentally a civil rights law. an extension of economic equality in the act of 1965. we as leaders can embrace the potential of this law and do the hard work to see that it is implemented in a way that delivers on that promise.
or we as a field can fall back on what's easy. cling to cynicism and take comfort in the status quo. we also have a choice when it comes to high expectations for every student. i remember the pride i felt as a fifth grader at ps-276 when my teacher taught us how to read and understand shakespeare. and i remember the bright spark in the eyes of a student i taught in a high school in boston who didn't always work as hard as he should but then there was that moment when he discovered a passion for social studies working on a research paper about the harlem renaissance. i also remember the pain and self-doubt i've heard from countless students i've met across the country who arrived on college campuses only to discover they weren't ready and were required to take remedial courses. nearly every state in the country has established college and career ready standards. but we must fight together the
inevitable efforts to water down expectations and undercut efforts to improve the education systems when the work gets hard. more importantly, we have to invest in schools and teachers so they can help students meet those standards. and we must have the courage to hold ourselves accountable for their success. without accountability, standards are meaningless and equity is a charade. often when folks hear the word accountability in enducation, they think of tests and consequences. but our choice isn't between test and punish policy based on redundant or poor quality assessments. or wish and hope. with no tests and little insight into how or whether our children are learning. those of us who have stood up for reasonable assessment have a responsibility to make sure our tests are better, fairer and
fewer as president obama has called for. but we can do that while providing teachers and families with valuable information about how students are doing, and we can do it without overburdening students or crowding out instruction. let's agree there's a balance to be struck. let's encourage states to use only the highest quality assessments that help students demonstrate what they are learning through critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. rather than memorization. and recognize that accountability is about so much more than tests. together let's help states develop accountability systems that are rich and varied and include measures such as chronic absenteeism, access to and success in advanced course work. new approaches to discipline that helps students improve their behavior and academic achievement. as we choose to strike the better balance on accountability and testing, let's also resist a false choice between allowing
public charter schools and supporting traditional district public schools. our primary concern shouldn't be the management structure of schools. it should be whether schools serves all students well. some of the best schools in places like newark, los angeles and the rio grande valley are public charter schools that are closing achievement gaps and preparing graduates who finish college. and as i saw just last week in boston, charters and district schools in many parts of the country are forming partnerships allowing them to learn from and to be inspired by one another. if we believe that public schools will always be the bedrock of american democracy and opportunity, as i do, we should welcome good public charter schools as laboratories for innovation that can benefit all of emgs. and supporters of public charter schools, myself include, must recognize the grave threat that
ineffective charter schools pose to the entire sector. we must demand that charter authorizers set a high bar for granting a charter. rigorously monitor the academing and operational performance of charters and close failing schools. we must be equally rigorous in monitoring the per formance and working to turn around the performance of ineffective district schools. supporting public charter schools and supporting district schools means demanding quality for both. here's another false dichotomy. teachers are either exalted as the singular solution or criticized for failing to solve them single handedly. we can make the better choice. we can recognize that teaching is an incredibly difficult job. teachers makes s ds do dozens decisions every minute. hundreds during a school day and thousands every week. we can invest in teachers'
prepration and development and welcome their expertise and lead cher in issues that affect their students and classrooms each day. i've had countless conversations with teachers here in d.c. and around the country. to a person, they talk about becoming teachers to find the best in every child and to help realize that potential. but i also hear their frustrations with the crush of paperwork and the hours wasted in unhelpful inservice meetings or drive-by professional development sessions. hear about how they crave the insights of trusted colleagues who, having watched them work, can suggest a different way to ask a question or project that could replace a worksheet. and i remember how hard it is to find time to hone your craft when you can't even carve out a minute to use the bathroom between classes. teachers need more resources and the higher pay they surely deserve. particularly those serving the
highest needs students. but we also need to make sure they have the space and opportunity to clinically rich preparation and quality development, the career ladders to help them do the very things they join the profession to do. quality, accountability, innovation, effective teaching. these are among the most important issues we argue about today in k-12 education policy. but there are two more issues we have not always had the courage to address. first, even successful strategies will fail without the funds to back them up. especially in the schools and neighborhoods where change is most needed. money is never the only answer. but money does matter. it pays for higher salaries for teachers and for school counselors. it pays for building science labs and repairing a leaky roof. yet in districts all across the country, students who need the most still get the least.
it's even worse when you look across district lines. many children in detroit or chicago or philadelphia can only dream of having the types of public schools that their peers a few miles away enjoy every day. federal dollars cannot begin to offset these inequalities. it even a modest proposal to ensure that federal funds reach the students they are meant for has faced fierce opposition inside the beltway. but that's just the start of the conversation we need to be having about equitable access to resources. it's not about one parent's child over another's or one community's needs over another's. it's about choosing to invest in each other because we can't build fences high enough to divorce our own children's fate from the children who live across town or across state lines. as a nation, we share one common destiny. that brings me to one more
choice between inclusion and segregation. it's among the most charged topics in education and one we must confront. our nation and our world are growing more diverse and interconnected. we need to recognize that the multicultural makeup of our country san asset, not a liability. we need schools that embrace diversity. diverse schools are great preparation for all students. they help more children succeed, help broaden perspectives and prepare them to participate in a global workforce. and i'm convinced that the growing conflicts in this country over race and religion and language would be profoundly reduced if our children were able to learn and play alongside classmates who are different from themselves and if they regularly encountered teachers and leaders of color in their schools. now given the pitch battles of recent years in k-12, the goals of increasing access to
preschool and college completion might seem tame by comparison. but here, too, we have hard work to do and hard choices to make. there is a growing bipartisan consensus toward increased access to preschool, as well there should be. but our choices don't end there because access alone is not enough. the harder work before us is to ensure consistent quality for all students. because access to low-quality programs is no access at all. we've seen similar momentum toward access to free community college and mitigating student debt to put a college degree within reach for every student. we must continue to invest in making college more accessible and affordable and that starts by refusing to turn back the clock to a time when tens of billions of dollars incontinueded to help students went instead to wasteful subsidies for big banks.
but we do students and the nations a disservice if we focus on access and affordability without also supporting completion. across the country, some schools from the city -- university of new york's asap program to georgia state to arizona state university are doing whatever it takes to help more students of every background enroll in college, stay on course and earn their degrees. by providing personalized ongoing support and advising. we need to push more colleges, more state systems, more state leaders to step up and adopt such evidence-based practices. but there are also schools that deceive students, derail their dreams and defraud families and taxpayers. there's no place for those schools in america. we've crack ed down on the predatory institutions and that work must continue, too. the most expensive degree is still the one you never complete or the one that's not worth the
paper it's printed on. none of the challenges i've mentioned today are easy. but here's the thing. solving them is not a mystery. the answers are out there. as amanda ripley recently wrote in reflecting on the recent pisa results, and i quote, the smartest countries tend to be those that have acted to make teaching more prestigious and selective. directed more resources to the neediest children and enrolled most children in high quality preschools, helped schools establish cultures of constant improvement and applied rigorous consistent standards across all classrooms. but we don't need to look to the practices of our international competitors for all the answers. we have them close to home as well. that is why this administration has invested in i-3, the investigative and innovate of grant program and the education sciences to gather evidence of what is working. evidence that meets the rigorous
standards taken for granted in medicine and science. what we need to continue to encourage innovation and use what we learn to keep improving, we don't have to wait for some brilliant scientific or technological discovery. instead, we need to act on evidence and act boldly, urgently and courageously. and that means being united from teachers in the classroom to business leaders, from elected officials to union leaders, from parents in tulsa to community activists in baltimore. we must all be a part of the solution. we may disagree at times about tactics and strategies but as advocates of public education, we cannot afford to disagree about the need to make the choices that reflect the best interest of students and to push ahead bravely because for our children, it's literally a matter of life and death. it was for me. it was for herman. whose life was taken in the
street by a young man who had been failed by schools and society. and it is for titsiana's students today as she now helps students in her neighborhood in the same way she was helped as a student. i'm sure all of you have worked in schools have stories similar to those of herman and titsiana. let them inspire you to also make the choices that will help more young people know the success of a titsiana and fewer suffer the fate of herman. we can fight small battles tenaciously and default to assess solutions, or we can summon the collective will to work together on the big issues and be rewarded with an even greater, fairer, more prosperous nation to pass on to future generations. when president obama visited selma and the ed mont pettus bridge to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that turning point in the fight for civil
rights, he asked this question -- what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that america is not yet finished? that we are strong enough to be self-critical. that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections n decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals. i don't know yet what i'm going to do when i leave the administration. but i can tell you this. whatever it is, i will choose to be the kind of patriot the president described. and i ask all of you to join me. thanks so much. [ applause ] >> thanks. that was really terrific. so i'm going to kick this off with a couple of questions and then turn it over to our audience to ask questions. we're really excited to have so many young leaders in the
audience today. what advice do you have for them as they move forward in terms of engaging with state, local, federal policymakers around education issues? >> two things. one is i would remember our history. maybe i'm biased because i taught high school social studies but moments of challenge, it may seem like this is the greatest difficulty one has ever faced, we've ever faced. it's important to remember our history. it's important to remember what john lewis faced when he walked across the edmond pettus bridge and remember the ways in which this country is about expanding opportunity in fits and starts with zigs and zags. we have to stay resolute, even when it seems like the forces are aligned against us. we have to keep perspective about the difficulties past generations have taken on and overcome. the second is that there are great things happening in schools and communities all across the country.
and part of what we've got to do going forward is not only work at the federal level to ensure that we build on the progress we've made and don't slip backwards but also keep working at the state and local level to get state leaders focusod how they use esa flexibility. to get mayors focusod how they ensure every kid in their city has access to quality preschool. there are things we can do at the state and local level as we continue to fight a different set of battles at the federal level. >> and, obviously, the next administration is going to have a different set of -- a different philosophy about education and different priorities. what's your hope for how they'll move forward, particularly with respect to esa implementation? >> yeah, i mean, look. i can't speculate on what the priorities of the next administration will be but at the end of the day, the task for them, whatever the party of the next administration was going to be, this was always going to be true. the task is, how do you build on the progress of the last eight
years. the highest graduation rate at 83% because we've significantly cut the dropout rate for african-american studentss in latino students and cut the number of high schools that are drop-out factories in half. that's progress to build on. so the test for them will be how do they build on that progress. for states, as they imtplement esa, the test will be, is the flexibility used in service of equity? at the end of the day are more kids in high need schools getting access to ap classes and getting support. the measure of the next administration and esa implementation is the same. do we build on the progress? do we keep improving outcomes, particularly for the kids most vulnerable. >> you spoke in your speech about the importance of education from a civil rights standpoint. your office of civil rights last week released a report that showed pretty staggering number of complaints coming into it about civil rights violations. can you speak a little bit to
the great work that ocr has been doing during this administration and its importance to students? >> yeah, the thing that's important for people to realize the increase in civil rights complaint is in part a function of the good work that's been done. it's that people believe that if you bring something to ocr, action will be taken and things can get better. i think about the issue of sexual violence on college campuses where ocr has really led a culture shift nationally where now i'd say higher ed institution leaders see it as their responsibility to make their schools safe from sexual violence. and they are committed to that work regard fls what happens in the next administration. the culture has shifted. states are taking a different level of responsibility around that work. so we're hearing from more students on campuses because they know we are working to take action when we find that universities have not done a good job protecting their students and enforcing civil rights protections.
similarly, if you think back to where we were on issues of the protection of lgbt students. nine years ago, we've done a lot of work to make sure kids are free from bullying and harassing and all kids feel like school is a place they are safe and welcome. there's more to do. and we still get the complaints because folks know we're going to take action. we're going to reach resolution agreements with districts to get them to change their policies. i think about our work on rethinking discipline. we have school districts who have had a pattern of disproportionate discipline for students of color. we just put out a dear colleague letter about states that still allow corporal punishment in schools. state-sanctioned violence against students. so we've been active in saying, when there's discrimination against students and discipline, we're going to respond. we're going to reach agreements with districts that change practice, that require districts to do different kinds of training for teachers on things like implicit bias and focus
everyone's attention on fair, safe policies in their school district. so there's a lot of good work that's happened. and there's an opportunity to keep building on that work going forward. but i also think there's been a cult are shift, and we're not going back. >> you also talk about the importance of building evidence in education and couldn't agree more with you that we need to have more of a culture around that like we have in health care and other sectors. that was a priority for the bush administration as well, so it's something that's had bipartisan support. do you feel like that's something that will be lasting into the next administration? what do you think the most important things the next administration can do to help solidify that culture shift? >> there has been bipartisan support around it. you see the investing innovation grant program now called education innovation and research is enshrined in esa, bipartisan legislation.
you see it in the way that evidence has now moved into other areas of the department's work. the trio program for example that have a rich history of supporting first generation college students, low-income students getting to college. those trio froms now are working to build a greater evidence base around what interventions work and that's shaping practice. the first in the world grant program in higher ed was about ech evidence-based strategies. not only seeing those strategies pay off but other universities saying that's working around completion, particularly for first gen students, low-income students, students of color. we're going to go adopt those policies. the next administration needs to continue that investment. congress needs to continue that investment in building evidence. we have to maintain the independence of ies and the independence of the research so that we can all have confidence in the quality of evaluations that are done. and we've got to then take that evidence and use it to drive policy. and when you think about the work on early learning, we have
countless studies now that show the return on investment for high quality early learning is 8 to 1, 9 to 1. we're at a point now where we have to ask, why aren't we acting on the evidence? why do we still only have 40% of our 4-year-olds in public preschool programs? and what do we now do? now that we have the evidence about what works, how we're going to allow that to drive investments at the federal level and state level. >> absolutely. well, i'll open it up to questions from the audience. is there anyone who has a question? >> hello. david smith of the guardian. what do you think is going to be the president's outstanding legacy achievement from the past eight years, and how worried are you about whether it will survive a very different administrati administration? and perhaps secondly, what do you think of those arguments
that the -- your successor will not protect public schools? >> i think ultimately the president's legacy goes back to something mentioned at the beginning. when the president came into office and we're in the midst of an economic crisis. the president responded to the economic crisis but also set out then a clear vision that strengthening public education would be vital to the country the economic success and the success of our democracy. that we have to be able to do both. respond to the crisis but also make smart long-term investments. and you see that in the growth and quality seats in pre-k. 31 states have increased their investment in pre-k. you see that in the k-12 progress, the higher graduation rate, redctsion of dropout factories. the increased access to higher education and improved affordability in higher education and the progress we're making in pockets around completion that we now need to
take to scale. i think for the next administration, the question ultimately comes down to, will we build on the progress or will we retreat. we know what's happened if you look across the country, we know what's happened when state governors and legislators have said we're going to reduce our investment in public education. it's diminished opportunity in k-12. we've seen it in many states around public higher education where they have disinvested from public higher education and it's so shortsided because at the end of the day you fail to invest in education, you're failing to invest in your own long-term economic future. so we're all going to need to be vigilant to make sure the investment is there. that the investment in building evidence as carmel mentioned is there so we focus on what works. and one of the things, you know, what's the one legacy item for the president? but the other i would mention is around equity. the president has articulated from the beginning a vision of
education that is about equity and opportunity for all kids. and we're going to need to be vig lent about that, making sure that the next administration, the next congress protect the interest of our students who are english language learners. our student wore immigrants, undocumented, lgbt students. and that's been a part of the legacy of this education department from its inception. we're a civil rights agency. and protecting those civil rights, the civil rights progress we've made is going to be critical going forward. >> in the back. >> rick with the century foundation. secretary king, you've been a great champion of socio economic and racial diversity. i was glad to hear you mention it today. there was an announcement yesterday in louisville on this topic. but we face some great odds in
the future on this issue with the next administration. so what advice do you have for those of us who care about that issue moving forward? >> a couple of thoughts. the grant program we announced yesterday will carry over into next administration and it's a grant program that will allow districts and partnerships of districts focus on how they increase socio economic and racial diversity. they'll be able to create plans based on practices that you, rick, have talked about for decades now. things that are happening in louisville, kentucky, or cambridge, massachusetts, or hartford, connecticut. but they'll develop voluntary locally led plans for school diversity. and that grant program is one that's already funded. there's legislation in congress modeled on the president's stronger together budget proposal that would support work on school diversity. the president proposed $120 million. that legislation was introduced
by senator murphy from connecticut and congresswoman fudge from ohio. i recognize the challenges there may be in persuading folks but the evidence is here that divor diverse schools better prepare people for the 21st century economy and the -- and to be good citizens in a diverse country. the other thing i'd say is beyond the federal work, there's a real opportunity at the state and district level. states could think about as they implement their esa plans how do diverse schools fit into their response to some of the performance challenges that they're seeing. you know, we've made a choice in this country. we've made education policy decisions and housing decisions that have resulted in racial and socio economic isolation. have resulted in concentrating poverty in schools. we know there are schools of concentrated poverty that can excel but it sure is harder. and it would be smart, i think,
for states and districts to consider how as they implement esa they can work towards creating greater socio economic and racial diversity in schools. states can lead on this work. we see enthusiasm from parents. we think about new york city which has some of the most segregated schools in the country but there parents working today right this moment and teachers in new york city who working right this moment to try to organize pressure on the district to create more socio economic and racially diverse schools. there's an opportunity here to seize that momentum at the local level to try to drive policy change even as we continue the fight at the federal level. >> right here in the front. >> morning. i'm nadine with access ed, leading on college access and completion. in your career as you've worked particularly in schools with
large immigrant populations and you look at what has worked for them when it comes to getting those students ready for college, what do you think are some of those lessons that we can then sort of the other way around apply to larger populations? and i'm speaking specifically as when you look at as we become more diverse and more of these low-income first gen are increasingly going to be children first first generation, second generation imgrants, what is going to be highly effective for these students that we're just not tapping into? >> great question. a few thoughts. i think about the international schools network in new york city. that's doing amazing work with students who -- many of whom are recent arrivals to the united states. and some of the things they do, they focus a lot on professional development for teachers. many teachers unfort notally today in teacher preparation programs aren't getting the preparation they need to work effectively with english
learners. they focus on professional development and they focus on a lot of project-based and personalized learning so that students have an opportunity to be maximally engaged in their education. they are smart about leveraging students' native language. a lot of promising examples emerging across the country. dual language schools. i was encouraged by the progress we're making in california around bilingual education and saying that having two languages can be a huge asset. and we ought to be cultivating that. we shouldn't see that as an obstacle. there's emerging research there's a real cognitive benefit to being able to speak multiple languages. we should seize on that. states have adopted a seal of biliteracy so they can see how much of an asset it is that a student is bilingeral. so those are some of the things that are working. i think particularly at this time, we've also got to ask, how are we protecting and supporting
immigrant students as they make the transition to a new place? and so there's a level of socio emotional support, counseling support, mentoring from peers that's important there. but there's also districts vigilant about issues of bullying and harassment. we've seen an increase in bullying and harassment against immigrant students, against students who speak a different language, against muslim students. we've got to make sure school districts are vigilant and protecting students. the last thing is parent engagement. this goes to a question about the role of ocr. we have a midwestern city where latino students were significantly underrepresented in the s.t.e.m. program. science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in the high school. the question is, why are the latino students underrepresented? turned out the information only went home in english. so latino parents who weren't english speakers didn't know this was an option for their
kids. we had another district where they put on the website if you don't speak english, bring your own translator. where, in fact, the district has a responsibility to make sure that translation services are available to families. and so in both of those cases, ocr went in and reached agreements to change those practices. so that parent engagement is really important, i think. it requires schools to be thoughtful about translation. it requires schools not to say, well, the one latino member of the staff is going to be responsible for all the spanish translation or the one haitian american member of the staff will do all the creole translation. we have to say we're all responsible for communicating with all of our families and helping them be engaged in their kids' education. >> good morning. i'm principal of a charter
school in philadelphia. what message would you give to high school students who are looking to use their activism and their voice to address social justice issues? >> i love what you're doing with the fellowship in terms of trying to increase the men of color we have as teachers. only about 18 peculiar of our teachers are teachers of color. particular challenges and african american and latino male teachers. i think it's critical to extend that to high school students. high school students excited about trying to make communities better and they should think about how rewarding a teaching career can be and the national board for professional teaching
standards and teaching isn't something that you do and it's always the same and opportunities to learn and grow and refine your career under time and we also need to say to young people they have to be educated and the work she does with her freedom schools and i have the opportunity to visit with her and freedom school's training and they train students from all over the country and teach in that program and she talks about what she tries to do in the training and there was time together to study and learn about the history of non-violence and learn about the history of past civil rights movements and to learn about the abolitionist movement and to study so that when you are engaged in your max michl you can be impactful so you need to know that a lot of decisions are
made by mayors and city councils. implemented the policing task forces. and local prosecutors and local d.a.s and they matter a lot and sentencing and around the plea agreements and criminal justices cases and making a decision about whether a community adopts a die version program or not and part of the work and they get educated about how to be an effective activist and the structure of government so they know where their voices can be most meaningful and last thing is bring the you are swren sy because these challenges we face are real and, you know, too many times i think young people are told wait your turn or quite
down. we should be telling young people, get loud, get active and opportunity not only for yourself. and insist on every kid having the best shot in life and insist that adults that we take responsibility for changing society and make room for their leadership. >> we're here in the front. and finance specialist and the question has to do with both the pros and the cons of the charter school movement and we have seen it rolled out over 20 years in new york state and all the good things that have happened one of the problems has been, the statistics show that the schools do, in fact cherry pick. they cherry pick english language learners and special
needs students and the percentages that are are represented. i don't know, there are exemplary charters doing a good job of taking their fair share of such students. and we worry about going forward with the new administration. and it is an overwhelming pr that seems to be ignoring potential ocr violations. in the making or already existing and one of our concerns is can the ocr enforcement structure be gutted or will it be gutted or what about within the office of education and allowed the federal level to be aware of these percentages. >> so a couple of quick observations and matters a lot
and as we look across the country there are states where the charter authorizers are delinquent and not taking their responsibility to ensure that charters are doing good jobs by a student. that charters are serving diverse student populations. that charters are surveying english learners and students with disabilities and we need charter authorizers to do a good job and all need to be active around the structure of charter laws and they do the right thing and hold schools accountable and the second piece on that is we have to be -- we have to lift up examples of the schools doing the right thing and schools that are committed and taking students who face significant challenges and helping him overcome the challenges. and homeless students for example. we have to lift up the great
examples and that's where we need the charter sector to go and we also need to be vigilant of the same points and that was a new york times article and new york city charters and the percentage of homeless students that they deserve and haven't spent a lot of time in new york and haven't grown up in brooklyn and there are some gattis strict schools that have virtually no homeless students and concentrate the proportion number of students and have other district schools that feel in their student population almost identical from the most exclusive suburban community and we have to be vigilant in the charter sector and district sector and this is one we have to reject. we have to make sure all schools
are surveying it and make sure that districts ensure that they don't concentrate student with the greatest challenges in a small subset of schools. on the ocr point, you know, many of the things that ocr works on are statutory protections won over generations of civil rights and we have to make sure that we can be active to protect those civil rights laws and we have to make sure that there's resource there is and the number of complaint versus gone up and we had fewer than we did before and a gap in our capacity to respond. and civil rights protection isn't a partisan issue. it's a fundamental responsibility of the federal government and everyone in this room needs to be active. i don't know what the next
administration will do but if you look historically and think about previous administrations that have not been aggressive on civil rights protections. it was advocates insisting on helping protect the laws that were so important and to do the right things and we have to stay active. >> we have time for one more question. we have been waiting here in the front. >> i'm with the national association for alternative association. i also teach at a community college and i work with perspective teachers. a lot of them that are perspective career changers and i wanted to get your thoughts on the support for money for alternative programs. where we bring in these people who, you know, i think they're out there. i'd love to see a national
movement of them going into teaching. >> there's tremendous potential in a pool of teachers that had other experiences. the key question for them as with our new teachers is are they getting new preparation and preparation that matches the needs of the schools. i'll give you three quick examples we talked earlier and around english learners. and not just urban communities. and unfortunately many teefers did not have intensive preparation and that's a problem. two is working with diverse student populations. are folks getting preparation around issue of bias that we all struggle with? around the needs of the communities where they will be placed. there's a great teacher prep program funded through race to the top in central new york.
had a residency which is a great way to help folks get to know their students and their schools but also a requirement that before you start your residency you would do a summer internship in a community based organization in the same community where your student teaching residency would be so you were working in a domestic violence shelter or in a health clinic and you were getting to know the parents, the community, the context so that you came into the school year seeing your kids as whole human beings and then you had the residency program so you were building the relationships with students. it's particularly important for folks that are in alternative pathways into teaching. the induction support. our strongest international come pet tos i think about places like singapore.
and when you get your degree from the teacher program. and the expectation is in the first couple of years you're maybe going to have a diminished load. you're going to have a mentor teacher and a master teacher in your school and that induction support was critical. there's untapped potential in career changers and near retirees and we need to close the gaps around stem teaching but we have to make sure that they have the strongest possible support and that we set them up for success. >> i thought you can build up the profession overall and the need for more time during the day to prepare. you did all the work today but i prepared an hour before this event and teachers when you think about it they have to stand up and speak all day long
but really virtually no time to do that. we have created a coalition here called teach strong to help move that agenda of building it up anymore. any advice for us in terms of how to move that forward. dispelled the myth that teachers don't need to be paid more because they get off at 3:00 and have sulers off and other things you think we could be doing. >> sometimes i think we need to use the model of that tv show undercover boss. and experiencing what it's like to be a teacher in the classroom and they have more perspective around what that's like and a couple of things, one is title two, we put out guidance in the title two dollars and there's a way they can be kwuzed in smart
ways and they can be used in smart ways to support collaborative time and career ladders and identifying and resources potentially. two we have to insist that state legislatures see teacher preparation and development as part of seeing their state education system and they have to think about as they invest in their schools how they prioritize those investments in their teaching career and then we have to be active at the district level. and district setting smart policies around teacher collaboration time. when you as a district labor and management. one of the priorities should be creating more time. i think in the summer b even before the school year begins.
and you create the hybrid rolls. partly in the classroom and the teacher coaches that some districts have developed. there's an opportunity to get that done at the district level and set aside resources for the purpose. at the end of the day we're not going to make teaching better unless we support teachers as the professionals they are and that means the time to collaborate and the incentives to be leaders and the recognition around their leadership. >> well, thank you for your leadership. we're really honored to have you here and grateful for everything to have done for the children and join me in thanking the secretary for joining us.
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