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No Child Left Behind : Improving our system of public education Susan Sclafani, Counselor to the U. S. Secretary of Education and Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Goal of No Child Left Behind All students proficient by 2014 Where We Are Now

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No Child Left Behind:

Improving our system of public education

Susan Sclafani, Counselor to the U. S. Secretary of Education and Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education


Goal of No Child Left Behind

All students proficient by 2014


Where We Are Now

  • 68% of inner city 4th graders reading below grade level
  • 5% of African-American students, 6% of Hispanic students at 4th or 8th grade and 3% of African American and 4% of Hispanic students at 12th grade at or above Proficient on NAEP Mathematics
  • TIMMS results for 8th graders average and for 12th graders poor

Four Pillars of No Child Left Behind

  • Accountability
  • Local control and flexibility
  • Parental choice
  • Doing what works


  • All students proficient in 12 years
  • Annual assessments in grades 3-8 in reading and mathematics
  • Results disaggregated within the

State, LEA and school by:

• gender

• migrant status

• major racial/ethnic groups

• English proficiency status

• students with disabilities compared to non-disabled,

• economically disadvantaged students compared to non-disadvantaged


Academic Standards

  • Challenging academic content standards and challenging academic achievement standards
    • Mathematics and

reading/language arts

    • Add science in 2005-06
  • Same expectations for all children
  • At least 3 achievement levels: basic, proficient, advanced

Flexibility and Local Control

  • 50 state systems
  • 15,000 districts with unique circumstances
  • Innovation
  • Transferability

Parental Choice

  • Choice of schools
  • Choice of programs
  • Choice of supplemental services

Doing What Works

  • Research-based instruction
  • Teacher development
  • Evidence-based decision making

Teacher Impact

  • Value Added Studies
  • Children assigned to three effective teachers in a row scored at the 83rd percentile in math at the end of 5th grade, while children assigned to three ineffective teachers in a row scored at the 29th percentile.
  • William Sanders, University of Tennessee

Subject Matter Knowledge

  • High school math and science teachers with a major in their field of instruction have higher achieving students than teachers who are teaching out-of-field.
  • These effects become stronger in advanced math and science courses in which the teacher's content knowledge is presumably more critical

(e.g., Brewer & Goldhaber, 2000; Monk, 1994; Monk & King, 1994; Rowan, Chiang, & Miller, 1997; Chiang, 1996).


Impact of Professional Development

When professional development is focused on academic content and curriculum that is aligned with standards-based reform, teaching practice and student achievement are likely to improve.

Wiley and Yoon, 1995; Brown, Smith and Stein, 1986; and Kennedy, 1998.


Goals of Mathematics-Science Initiative

  • Increase public awareness of the vital importance of mathematics and science education
  • Recruit, prepare, and retain teachers with strong mathematics and science backgrounds
  • Develop a comprehensive research framework on mathematics and science learning and assessment

Science Survey of Parents of 13-17 year olds

  • 94% of parents believe science education is important in global society
  • 85% of parents say they are proactive about encouraging children to take science courses
  • 72% of parents report they feel comfortable about helping their children

Science Summit: Rod Paige, Secretary of Education

  • Edwin Powell Hubble, the great astronomer, captured in a few words the essence of science. He said: "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science." Indeed, science is a great adventure. It is a voyage that begins early in life.
  • All children have a natural curiosity about the world around them. As educators, we must fan their desire to learn. We must equip them with the skills they need to understand our world. We must prepare them for a future that we cannot yet predict with any real certainty. And we must give them the skills and knowledge they will need to shape that future. Today, we come together to accomplish these goals.

What is Science: John Marburger, Science Advisor to the President of the United States

  • Science" has become a word loaded down with meanings. At its core, however, science is a way of continually improving our understanding about nature. It is a method, a practice, even for some a way of life. And it is based on examining nature to test our ideas. This conception of science requires us to assume there is a nature that consistently "answers" the same questions the same way. All our experience indicates that is correct, that nature is reliably consistent, as long as we are careful about what questions we ask. But nature is most marvelously intricate, harbors many mysteries, and often fools us with superficial appearances. Science does not answer all questions that we may ask. Nor does it give us truth. Science does not even tell us how nature works. What science does is test our ideas about how nature works.

New Focus: Carl Wieman, UC Boulder

  • Replace tradition and superstition with practices and principles based on rigorous measurement
  • Use the latest technology effectively (to measure and enhance learning)
  • Disseminate and duplicate successful innovations rapidly
  • Continuously build upon and improve on prior work.

What’s Needed, Pinky Nelson

  • Teacher Preparation and Professional Development.
    • Targets content in benchmarks and standards
    • Incorporates elements of good instruction
    • Works in context of curriculum materials
  • Coherent curriculum K-12
    • Targets content in benchmarks and standards
    • Incorporates elements of good instruction
    • Tells a story
  • Published research on student learning of specific ideas

What’s Hard to Hear, Pinky Nelson

  • Most science teaching is ineffective in K-14
  • Most students are not learning much science
  • Teaching and learning science is hard
    • It does not have a mechanical component like math and reading
  • Most curriculum materials are not research based and do not help teachers teach or students learn
  • Only about 1000 hours are available to teach science K-12: 50 hrs/yr in K-5, 100 hrs/yr in 6-12

Web Site Interaction

  • Math Summit 2/6/03
    • Papers, Webcast, PowerPoint
  • Teacher Professional Development Action Plan
  • Public Engagement Campaign
  • Science Summit 3/16/04
    • Papers, Webcast, PowerPoint

Math-Science Partnerships

  • State Competitions
    • Information from ED by 4/30
    • Partnership of Departments of Math, Science or Engineering and High Need School district
    • May include colleges of education, other school districts, CBOs, informal science entities, or corporations
    • Funding based on numbers of students in poverty
  • Secondary Mathematics (2005 Budget)
    • Intensive interventions to allow students to succeed in secondary math and science courses

Goals of High School Initiative

  • Setting high expectations and accountability for results;
  • Creating options and engaging students;
  • Fostering world-quality teaching and school leadership; and
  • Making smooth transitions into postsecondary education, training, and careers.

High School Initiative

  • October 8th Summit
    • Webcast of speeches
    • Web versions of issues papers
    • Web versions of transcripts of afternoon session
  • Regional Meetings
  • Technical Assistance Corps