JM Community Briefing TWO


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Following President Obama's call to "win the future" through education reform, Congress is now back to work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This second webinar in the Justice Matters Community Briefing Series examines the policy themes of competitiveness and accountability that will shape the educational future of the nation's students of color.

Geared toward parent leaders, organizers, and community organizations, this presentation also provides an update on the latest developments in the ESEA reauthorization process, examining policy ideas highlighted in the 2012 Federal budget, meetings of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and briefings from the Department of Education.

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JM Community Briefing TWO

  1. 1. Part Two:How Does ESEA Reauthorization Affect Communities of Color? Thursday, February 24th 2011
  2. 2. Special Thanks to Our Partner: A Center for Regional, National, & International Movement-Building
  3. 3. Agenda1.  Fierce Urgency of Reform2.  The Budget Breakdown3.  Race, Win or Lose4.  Roads to Reauthorization5.  Question & Answer Presenter: Jack Loveridge Policy Analyst at Justice Matters
  4. 4. Leaving NCLB Behind•  Just 50% of the nation’s students of color graduate from high school on time•  In California, 37% and 27% of Black and Latino students, respectively, are pushed out each year•  No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) high stakes accountability systems provide incentive to push out low-performing students to boost test scores•  NCLB is the most recent version of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Past due for Congressional reauthorization. Community Briefing Series
  5. 5. New Politics, Old Realities• Congress has authorizedESEA seven times since 1965• The current 112th Congressis a deeply divided one• GOP House, Filibuster-prone Democratic Senate • Nixon, Reagan, and G.H.W. Bush signed legislation co-authored with Democrats New Speaker John Boehner takes the gavel from now Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi • No Democratic President has ever reauthorized ESEA with a divided government Community Briefing Series
  6. 6. A Blueprint for Reform Four key proposals included: 1) Gradually replace formula funds with competitive grants 2) Broaden student assessments, keeping standardized testing central 3) Encourage charter school creation 4) Close or restructure ‘low-performing’ schools via Turnaround ModelsCommunity Briefing Series
  7. 7. ‘Win the Future’ “Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science.” – President Obama Jan. 25, 2011 • State of the Union tied education reform to economic success, global competition • U.S. faces challenge, a “Sputnik moment” in rise of developing nations like China & IndiaCommunity Briefing Series
  8. 8. Getting StartedThree Developments this Month:1.) House Hearings Began2.) Major Players at White House3.) 2012 FY Budget Released Former Chairman Miller (D-CA) and then- ranking member Kline (R-MN) at a hearing on NCLB’s effectiveness in 2010.Community Briefing Series
  9. 9. A $2 Billion Increase Defense Debt Medicare/ IRS Interest Medicaid Security All Other Social Departments Security K-12 & Postsecondary EducationCommunity Briefing Series
  10. 10. Accountability“We want to reward good teachers andstop making excuses for bad ones.” -President Obama • Reform funding will continue to be the priority • Funds to be distributed to implement the four turnaround models featured in the Blueprint • $975 million for teacher training, hiring, and retention reforms Community Briefing Series
  11. 11. Competition “These targeted increases reflect the administration’s competitiveness agenda.” -Arne Duncan • $900 million for a 3rd Race to the Top • District-level competition with special fund for rural communities • Presumably same criteria: initiate reforms via turnaround models, encourage charter expansionCommunity Briefing Series
  12. 12. Evaluation“Instead of labeling failures, we willreward success.” -President Obama • Least discussed element in Administration’s proposals & budget • However, evaluation is key. It is the standard by which progress is judged and how $300 million for low- income schools will be distributed • Still decides funding, teacher retention, and creates push-out incentives Community Briefing Series
  13. 13. 1. Who Wins? • Of the new $500 for Title I and IDEA students, $300 will be directed at low- income schools • Such schools historically serve communities of color and new funds will reward those making the most progress • Much like broader Race to the Top strategy, this method of funding does not account for initial investment problem Schools and districts with stronger existing resources are at an advantage.Community Briefing Series
  14. 14. 2. Who Loses?• Competitive funding coupled withhigh-stakes testing sustains system ofwinners and losers• While school turnaround models arefavored over closures and take-overs, therace for cash poses a high-stakesfunding problem•  he situation that fostered high push- Tout rates and deceptive data remains Low-income, students of color are still at a disadvantage in a system of competition.Community Briefing Series
  15. 15. 3. Where’s the Finish Line? • Prior incarnations of ESEA have set both moral & numerical goals for K-12 education •  or Lyndon Johnson this meant F equal access for low-income students & communities of color • For George W. Bush, this meant all students would be testing at grade level by 2014 • Current strategy both highly pragmatic and rhetorical, lacking emphasis on low-income students of color The Goal is Unclear.Community Briefing Series
  16. 16. Reauthorization Outlook• Overdue for more than four years;time seems right to tackle ESEA• Education historically sees bipartisancooperation• Three Scenarios: 1.  Full-scale reauthorization 2.  Piecemeal, smaller legislation 3.  No action; NCLB remains ESEA pitches in 1994, 1965, & 2002Community Briefing Series
  17. 17. The Process 2.) Mark-Up 3.) Committee Sends Bill1.) Committee Hearings to Full Chamber Reauthorized ESEA Good for Five Years 6.) President Vetoes or Signs into Law 4.) Floor Vote 5.) Reconcile Bills Community Briefing Series
  18. 18. Building Consensus “[R]eform that restores local control, empowers parents, lets teachers teach, and protects taxpayers.” Rep. John Kline (R-MN) November 4, 2010 “This budget will promote reform, reward success, and support innovation at the state and local level.” Secretary Arne Duncan February 14, 2011Community Briefing Series
  19. 19. ‘Not So Fast’ • GOP unwilling to accept price tag, even in K-12 education budget • Chairman Kline for “getting out of the way” of innovation at state & local level • Republican 2011 FY budget proposal would cut education funding by $5 billion, an 8% reduction from 2010 • Proposal must pass Senate & be signed by President; highly unlikely Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)Community Briefing Series
  20. 20. The Austerity PullProgressives Moderates Conservatives Tea PartySen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) President Rep. John Kline (R-MN) Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Senate HELP Chair Barack Obama House Education Chair HELP Member Formula Competitive 8-10% Abolish Funds Grants Reduction D of E Community Briefing Series
  21. 21. Possible Setbacks:•  Divisions among Republicans•  Spending issues: potential shutdown, debt ceiling•  ‘Why allow a victory for President Obama?’•  Deadline: Election 2012Community Briefing Series
  22. 22. Time for Action • Education still best chance for political cooperation. Delays create extra time for organizing and strategizing for real reform • Just some – by no means a comprehensive list – of the organizations doing work around ESEA reauthorization: Communities forAlliance for Excellent Education Policy Excellent Public Education Institute Schools The Forum for Campaign for High Education & Dignity in Schools School Equity Democracy Campaign Community Briefing Series
  23. 23. What’s Next?High-stakes Changes:A key question that remains unresolved is how real reform can be made withthe same high-stakes systems of evaluation & accountability that createcompetitors to be bested rather than a spirit of cooperation.Original Purpose:It’s important to remember that in spite of the rhetoric aroundcompetitiveness and local control, ESEA is Civil Rights era legislationdesigned to combat institutionalized racism and poverty across the country.Hard Road Ahead:ESEA reauthorization in 2011 will be difficult and politically-charged.However, the old policies of NCLB are still hurting students of color andnow is the time to bring a stronger community voice into the debate.Community Briefing Series
  24. 24. Question & Answer Jack Loveridge Visit us online & Follow our blog at: Justice Matters’ mission is to bring about racially just schools thatdevelop and promote education policy rooted in community vision.