P-16: The Last Education Reform

Stark Education Partnership
Joseph A. Rochford
January 1, 2005
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P-16: The Last Education Reform
Book One: Reflections on School Restructuring and the
Establishment of Local Preschool through College Compacts
Joseph A. Rochford, Ph.D.
with the staff of the Stark Education Partnership
Joseph A. Rochford, Ph.D.
with Adrienne O?Neill, Ed.D.
Adele Gelb
Kimberly J. Ross
P-16: The Last Education Reform
Book One: Reflections on School Restructuring and the
Establishment of Local Preschool through College Compacts
? 2005 Stark Education Partnership, Inc.| 220 Market Avenue South, Suite 350, Canton, Ohio 44702-2181| www.edpartner.org| Phone 330-452-0829
This is a web-published book by the
Stark Education Partnership, Inc.
Permission is hereby granted by the
Stark Education Partnership to download
and freely use this work for instructional
or educational purposes. The work may
be quoted with proper citation.
The opinions expressed herein are
primarily those of the principle author and
do not necessarily represent the views of
the Stark Education Partnership, its staff
or board, nor that of the Stark County
P-16 Compact and its membership.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 2
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 3
About the Stark County P-16 Compact
The Stark Education Partnership ? in collaboration with educators from Stark
County?s school districts including the Educational Service Center, postsecondary
education leadership, business representatives, civic leaders and parents ? established
a P-16 Compact for Stark County in 2002. The purpose of the compact is to foster and
sustain a community conversation on ways that Stark County can support and sustain
all students in realizing their academic potential and achieving readiness to pursue and
be successful in post secondary education. Additionally, the Compact seeks to sponsor
research and promote the development of programs, such as Early College High
School, that maintain high academic standards but that streamline completion times
and foster successful transition from P-12 to higher education.
About the Stark Education Partnership
The Stark Education Partnership, Inc., is a 501(c)-3 non-profi t organization in Stark
County, Ohio crossing the lines of 17 public school districts. It was founded in 1989
by the Deuble, Hoover, Stark Community and Timken Foundations. The Partnership
? whose motto is ?building excellent schools together?? is an independent
organization that engages schools and school districts in fostering comprehensive
education reform. It collaborates with educators and with business, community and
civic leaders to create and respond to opportunities that will add substantial and
measurable value to education and in doing so offers the county?s school districts
and schools new and cooperative ways to transform education.
About the Author
Dr. Joseph Rochford is Vice-President of the Stark Education Partnership and is an
adjunct professor of graduate education at both Walsh and Ashland Universities.
Prior to going to Stark County, Dr. Rochford served as a University Fellow at Kent
State University. He has also served as a doctoral fellow with the Cleveland Clinic
Foundation and as research advisor to the Clinic?s Public Education Initiative with
the Cleveland Municipal Schools. Before going to Kent State, Dr. Rochford was
general manager of Ameri-rents, Inc. and spent several years in administrative
positions at Baldwin-Wallace College. He is the author of both the ?Class of 2021?
and ?Increasing College Access in Ohio,? white papers which have been extensively
circulated both in Ohio and nationally and has presented on education issues both
nationally and internationally.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 4
Table of Contents
5 Forward
7 Preface
10 Introduction: What is P-16?
Section One: The Current Environment Surrounding American Education
15 Chapter 1: Why K-12 Reforms Don?t Seem to Last
31 Chapter 2: First Among Nations
35 Chapter 3: Why Separate Standards and High Stakes Testing Won?t Get Us There
39 Chapter 4: Why Focusing on One Part of P-16 Won?t Get Us There
Section Two: Steps in Forming a Local or Regional P-16
44 Chapter 1: It?s Not the State or National Economy Which Matters in the End...
It?s Your Local Economy
49 Chapter 2: The Mechanics
54 Chapter 3: Two Goals Are All You Need (in Context)
56 Chapter 4: Vision and Leadership: Critical Elements
59 Chapter 5: Have a Clear Local Theory of Community and Change
65 Chapter 6: Programs vs. Strategies
67 Chapter 7: Looking for ?Breakthrough Strategies?
71 Chapter 8: Be Clear About How Others? Programs Fit Your Strategies
74 Chapter 9: Top Down and Bottom Up, Inside Out and Outside In
78 Chapter 10: Collaboration Instead of Competition
80 Chapter 11: Everyone Takes Credit
81 Chapter 12: The Psychology of Communities
83 Chapter 13: Access: The Final Key Ingredient
85 Chapter 14: A Matter of Balance
87 An Annotated Web-based Bibliography on P-16 Efforts
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 5
Forward
It was 1988, a bare fi ve years after the
publication of A Nation At Risk, and I
had reentered the fi eld of education as a
doctoral student at Kent State University.
Both my wife, Grace, and I had made
the decision that if I was to once again
be a student, albeit a 40 something
student, I ought to do it full time. We
had already tried a year of the course or
two a semester routine, and the vision of
a 50 something student still ?plodding
along? seemed very real indeed.
So I left my full time job, became a full
time student, applied for and received a
graduate assistantship to help pay tuition
and bolster the family bottom line.
One of my fi rst assignments was to
assist three faculty members from
Kent?s educational leadership studies
area in conducting the Administrative
Preparation Program (APP) in the
Cleveland Municipal Schools.
Then (as now) GA?s did a lot of pure
?grunt? work. There were 190 teachers
enrolled in the APP. The notion was that
these teachers would become a pool of
sorts for future administrative posts in
the district. As part of their assignments,
each teacher needed to draft four
position papers on issues or challenges
facing the district.
The task of ?assessing? these nearly 800
papers fell, of course, to the lone GA.
What seemed at fi rst to be an arduous and
boring task soon became an ?eye-opener.?
Rather than treat the assignment as
just another classroom task, most
of the teachers in the APP has spent
considerable time in researching and
drafting their papers. Teacher after
teacher had deep insights into the issues
facing the district. Additionally, as
classroom based practitioners, they had
some highly creative ideas and plans as
to how to solve those issues.
No, they weren?t politicians, business
leaders, or foundation heads, nor were
they board members, superintendents,
or principals. They were, however,
practicing teachers who had experienced
the ?good? and ?bad? days on the job.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 6
These were the people who had seen
fi rst hand student successes and failures;
people who inherently knew what
worked and what didn?t. They had seen
well-thought out district plans go awry.
They had wrestled with the practical
implications of the court?s remedial
desegregation order for the Cleveland
schools. They had seen superintendents
come and go.
After reading the papers, I was left
with more questions than answers. The
questions were not about what these
teachers knew; the questions were about
why we, in education, never seem to be
truly able to harness the knowledge and
creativity within our own organizations.
Even if we do so, why are we never
really able to convince the multiple
?publics? that schools serve that by
virtue of ?doing something different,?
we might be able to produce better
outcomes for all.
Now nearly two decades later, I have no
idea how many of those 190 teachers
ever made it into administration. I can
say, as a casual observer, that very
few of their ideas were ever fully
implemented. What we have seen
is ?wave? after ?wave? of reforms,
not only in Cleveland but virtually
everywhere in the country. We have seen
vast amounts of energy and uncounted
millions of dollars expended on such
reforms. Appreciably and arguably,
we have not found the results we have
wanted. It is time for the last education
reform. ?Joseph A. Rochford
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 7
Preface
Imagine a system of education where every child enters school ready
to learn, where all third graders read at or above grade level, where
all students have taken algebra by the end of the 8th grade, where
high school exit exams test students at the 12th-grade level and
are aligned with college admissions requirements, where all young
people graduate from high school prepared for college or work, and
where every student who enters college fi nishes college.1
Stark and Canton also lay claim to
national fame. Canton was the birthplace
of professional football and is the home
to the Professional Football Hall of
Fame. Once a year, the community
comes together to launch a huge festival,
now stretching to nearly two weeks,
to celebrate the sport. The festival?s
culmination is the enshrinement of the
current class of inductees and the fi rst
professional, albeit exhibition, football
game of the season in Fawcett Stadium.
For that period of time, however, the
attention of football enthusiasts the
world over is focused on Canton and
Stark County and the natives love it.
Stark County lies in the northeast
central part of Ohio, with its major city
of Canton as the last large urban area
before the foothills of the Appalachians
and the poorest part of the state. As
such, the county has it all. Alliance
and Massillon join Canton as cities
large enough to have all the blessings
of large towns and the curses of urban
America. There are classy suburbs, such
as Jackson. Small towns and burgs,
such as Beach City, North Industry and
Magnolia dot the landscape. There are
also large tracts of rural land and the
southwestern part of the county serves as
the gateway to Ohio?s Amish country.
1Van de Water, G. and T. Rainwater
(2001). What Is P-16 Education?
A Primer for Legislators
? A Practical Introduction to the
Concept, Language and Policy
Issues of an Integrated System
of Public Education. Denver,
Colorado, Education Commission
of the States.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 8
There are other claims. In the late 1890s
a certain former Canton prosecutor by
the name of William McKinley became
President of the United States. The
city not only serves as McKinley?s
fi nal resting place, but also houses a
Presidential Library and the only First
Ladies Library in the nation. Then there
are the elections.
Stark County is seen as a microcosm
of the United States. For the last 100
years, almost without fail, the county
has called the Presidential election. For
the 1996 election, the New York Times
stationed reporter Michael Winerip in
Stark. Throughout the year, Winerip
fi lled a series of stories, some front
page, with the Times and gave Stark
Countians a new kind of, and sometimes
uncomfortable, prominence. The 2004
election, however, was a disappointment
as while Ohio was going for Bush, the
county went for Kerry. Yet, some argue
that it was the over attention of the media
which contributed to the rare ?no-call?
as organizations such as CNN fi lmed and
sometimes broadcast live from Stark.
Canton and Stark County shared Ohio?s
job loss woes. Largely, the media
focused on this and it tended to rally
the Democratic voters and dissatisfi ed
Republicans and Independents.
Yet, Stark Countians are resilient.
Underneath it all, there is a fi erce sense
of pride in the county and a fundamental
belief that those issues and problems
which both Columbus and Washington
fail to resolve can be solved at home.
Stark County is also a very giving
community. Philanthropy and business
share a major role in tackling the issues
and problems which confront the county.
The foundations meet regularly to
consider the needs of the community.
They are assisted by large and small
human service organizations. They are
also supportive of the schools.
It was no surprise in 1988, following
a visit by former Proctor and Gamble
chairman Owen ?Brad? Butler that the
foundation and business community
decided to create an entirely new entity.
This entity was to act as an education
reform support organization to provide
assistance to the schools in scaling up
best practices, literally to make the
Stark County schools the best in the
nation. Called at fi rst the Education
Enhancement Partnership, later changed
to the Stark Education Partnership,
the organization has grown with and
sometimes apart from the schools over
the last two decades. Hard lessons
have been learned by all but the most
compelling lesson is that together the
schools and the partnership magnify
each other?s efforts. Together both, and
the community, can indeed confront
those issues and problems which have
not been dealt with in either capital.
Late in 2001, after working on a new
strategic plan with education consultant
Robert Kronley, the Stark Education
Partnership, in collaboration with the
Stark County Educational Service
Center representing all 17 of the
county?s school districts, formed the
Stark County P-16 Compact. It is here
that the story of the ?last education
reform? begins.
It is a story of how one middle
American community did not wait for
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) or its
state?s academic content standards and
assessment system to begin the process of
large scale systemic education reform not
just for K-12 education, but for the entire
system? preschool through college and
beyond? into the workforce and towards
economic viability in the 21st century.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 9
It is also the story of the conditions
under which school reform, not just
in Stark County but everywhere, must
take place and how a P-16 system of
education is rapidly becoming the only
answer for communities, states, and
the nation.
This book is not intended to be an
academic work, though ample footnotes
and an annotated web-based bibliography
on P-16 efforts are included. The work
is intended to start and perhaps, in
some small way, support a discussion in
your community on both the feasibility
and advisability of establishing a P-16
Council or Compact.
It is my hope that this is a discussion
which you will take seriously.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 10
Introduction: What is P-16?
Prelude?The Future
It is a hot and humid August in 2019 as
Sabatha Jones enters the David Student
Center at Walsh University for new student
orientation. This is the day that she and her
family have hoped and planned for, ever
since she started fi rst grade in the Canton
City Schools. Around her are equally
hopeful new students from Massillon
and Alliance, Navarre and Beach City.
Indeed, it seems that students are here from
everywhere in Stark County. Sabatha is no
stranger to college coursework. Already,
she has an associate degree. She earned
this from Stark State College of Technology
in a combined fi fth high school-college year
in the Canton City Schools.
Now, Sabatha has matriculated to Walsh
to complete her four year degree. When
she graduates, she wants to stay in
Stark County where the job prospects
for college graduates are high. Stark
is not only where her family is, it is a
community that values education and a
community on the move.
Canton, with over 120,000 population is
now the seventh largest city in the state.
The revitalized downtown is a model of
the ?new urbanism? which swept the
country in the last two decades. Cultural
and recreational opportunities abound.
The rest of the county has grown as
well. Stark now has nearly 500,000
inhabitants as people from throughout
northeast Ohio have sought the higher
quality of life and job opportunities in
the community. Led by major industries,
such as the Timken Company and
Diebold, the ?rust belt? has turned into
the ?gold belt? for Stark County.
Pulling on an educated populace to fuel
further expansion, Stark is the recognized
state leader in high tech manufacturing
and information technology. Business
starts have tripled in the last decade.
Business ?deaths? are one-fi fth of what
they were in 2000. The community exports
not only goods, but knowledge and
expertise on a world-wide basis. That
exportation is not diffi cult. Stark is also
now the major rail and air transportation
hub in northeast Ohio. The Akron-Canton
airport is the second busiest in the state
and will soon surpass ?neighborhoodlocked?
Cleveland Hopkins as the major
airport in Ohio. Personal income in Stark
is now a full annual percentage point
above other major metropolitan areas in
the state?2
2From The Class of 2021: A
White Paper of the Stark County
P-16 Compact. Canton, Ohio,
Stark Education Partnership.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 11
When these words were written in
2001, they were a vision of the future.
The words came from a white paper
called The Class of 2021 prepared for
community leaders on the ?whys? of a
P-16 Compact for Stark County. Now
four years later, the vision is becoming
a reality. In May of 2005, the fi rst 100
?Sabathas? and ?Sams? entered Early
College High School on the Timken
Campus of the Canton City Schools.
They will graduate four (not fi ve) years
later with both a high school diploma
and associate degree from Stark State
College of Technology.
While some say P-16, others talk about
P-20, K-16, or K-20 systems. The basic
idea, however, is the same. An ?integrated?
system of education, whether from
preschool or kindergarten through college
or graduate school, will be able to produce
higher student achievement, more students
going on to college or postsecondary
education, and better outcomes for students,
educators, and communities.
Such a system will also be able
to dramatically impact economic
development and the bottom line of
whole regions or states as many studies
are now indicating. Yet, despite the good
things many experts are now beginning
to say about P-16 systems, there is little
overall agreement as to how to create
the conditions to enable such systems to
fl ourish at either level.
We do know that P-16 systems need to
strive to create necessary and suffi cient
conditions for success. Three such
conditions are paramount:| Collaboration: Useful action
among K-12, higher education,
business, foundations and social
service agencies targeted toward
accomplishing different, yet
collectively powerful, economic
results for regions or states.| Comprehensive, Accountable System:
A seamless system from pre-school
through college that results in a
lower drop-out rate and an increased
graduation and college-going rate.
Everyone becomes responsible and
accountable for success.| Well Constructed and Articulated
Framework for the System: This needs
to be longitudinal, horizontal and
vertical. Everyone needs to understand
the part of the system for which
they are responsible. Also, everyone
needs to know how those parts work
with other parts and what collective
eventual outcomes need to be. ?Silos?
are not allowed.
Specifi c global components are required
of P-16 systems. Among these are:| A common ?core curriculum? for all,
pre-school through college| Testing at all levels of the P-16 system| Assessment and monitoring of entire
system outcomes by the entire system| Common and rigorous standards for
all students P-16
Additionally, P-16 systems consider
the issue of college access, particularly
for low income and minority students,
student and parent awareness of the need
for college, participation (completion)
rates, and the necessity of increasing a
region?s or state?s educational levels to
advance economic growth and prosperity.
Policy makers, whether at regional
state, or national levels, need to
understand the following:
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 12| P-16 is ultimately about policy and
a collaborative process, not about a
single program or groups of programs.| We know how to measure success
in individual P-16 components such
as early college outreach, aligned
curriculum, quality teaching etc.| We know what our results are now with
separate systems and specifi c programs.| The over-arching question is whether
such components can become
more effi cient and successful in a
comprehensive system.3
Some people make the mistake of
thinking P-16 is a specifi c program,
project, or series of programs. It is all
of these; yet, it is none of these. P-16 is
a new way of thinking and a systemic
reform. It is a community philosophy,
a series of strategies, such as Early
College High School, and a new way
of doing business. It is the alignment
of multiple systems, organizations,
programs and projects towards a
common goal to graduate all children
from high school fully prepared to
pursue and succeed in post secondary
education leading to meaningful and
productive careers.
The P-16 Compact in Stark County is
not a program. No one takes credit for
P-16; yet, everyone in the community
deserves credit. It is the sum total of
multiple personal and organizational
efforts giving credence to the old
adage that ?the sum is greater than
the parts.? The difference, and it is a
key difference, is that ?silos? begin to
disappear. Individuals, organizations
and communities begin to see how
their respective efforts are part of a
comprehensive whole. Hence, efforts
are more precisely directed towards a
common goal. As a consequence, efforts
begin to more fully align with one another.
Stark County, Ohio is ?living? P-16.
Though its formal compact is not quite
four years old, the community, its citizens,
and organizations are making ?quantum?
leaps in securing the educational and
economic future of the county.
This is why P-16, called the ?last
education reform? in this book, should
come as a great relief to educators who
have had to live a good part of their
careers in the wake of A Nation at Risk and
successive waves of reform such as Goals
2000 and the ?standards? movement.
Since P-16 is not a program or a
project, it resists being the ?fl avor of the
month? in education reform. It becomes
a community-wide context for the
improvement of education. Increasingly,
it needs to become a state-wide and
national context as well.
I am often asked by people to send
them a copy of the charter or written
agreement for the Stark County P-16
Compact. They are surprised, or even
amazed, to learn that none exists. My
easiest answer is that none was ever
needed. What I think this indicates is
our propensity to want to organize and
structure truly signifi cant things in our
lives. P-16 at the community level is
not another organization, hierarchy,
or bureaucracy. We have enough of
these already. P-16 requires a new
way of thinking. Imagine, if you will,
a multi-sector community think tank
focused on the achievement of two
goals. These are to increase the high
school graduation rate and the college
going rate. This think tank looks at
strategies to accomplish these goals
by supporting students, not only in
academic achievement, but in a variety
3Rochford, J. A. (2004). ?When
we say P-16.? Achievement.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 13
of social, psychological, and physical
needs. The think tank is also aware
that by increasing education levels,
the community will also better its own
economic situation.
There are some further realizations
which are necessary. The fi rst is that
all communities have leadership and
organizations of competence across
multiple sectors. In many cases we
already have adequate resources within
the community to substantially improve
education and quality of life. What we
have evolved throughout our history, and
specifi cally in the last decades of the 20th
century, have been multiple ?specialty?
organizations. Simply put, we each
grew up separately with separate
responsibilities. Experts, within our own
spheres of responsibility, we need now
to come together to decide how we can
more closely align our efforts. This is
what P-16 is about.
Before we look at some more of the
critical components of P-16, it is
necessary to do an environmental scan
of the current conditions surrounding
American education.
Section One:
The Current Environment
Surrounding American Education
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 15
This chapter looks at some of the major
environmental conditions surrounding
and impacting change in American
education today.
There is a difference between school
restructuring and reform. I, as do many
of my colleagues, often use these terms
interchangeably. That is most probably
an error. Restructuring is essentially a
rearrangement of existing conditions. For
instance, if one takes a large comprehensive
high school of 2,000 students and divides
that school into fi ve smaller units, each
with its own principal and staff, that is
restructuring. We have done a great deal
of this in education and most of what is
done legislatively is restructuring. Reform,
Why K-12 Reforms Don?t Seem to Last
however, runs much deeper. While it can
contain elements of restructuring, reform
also alters assumptions and beliefs and
expectations which then refl ects in the way
we do business. Such new ways, however,
are often diffi cult to achieve.
It was 1996 and I was at a reception at
the National Civil Rights Museum in
Memphis, Tennessee. The reception was
for a group known as the Grantmakers
for Education. Grantmakers then,
and now, consists of funders ranging
from Gates, Ford, and Rockefeller ?
foundations with extensive national and
international perspectives down to small
local or regional funds, such as the Stark
Education Partnership.
It?s not yet clear how -- or even if -- public school districts as currently
conceived and governed can meet the challenge of helping all students
achieve. With growing diversity, the emerging opportunities and
challenges of information technology, the evolving knowledge about
high-performance organizations, and new propositions that all students
can and should achieve at high levels, it?s still not clear what success at
scale will look like. ? Tom Vander Ark4
4From Vander Ark, T. (2002).
?Toward Success at Scale.?
Phi Delta Kappan 84,4. Online
article available at: http://www.
pdkintl.org/kappan/k0212va1.htm
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 16
The high point of my visit had been
meeting Gerry House, the dynamic
Memphis superintendent, and studying that
district?s massive school reform efforts.
Just think of it, House had come in, lined
up her board, the union and even the
business community and overnight had
instructed schools in her district to spend
up to 14 months selecting a reform
model, such as Core Knowledge, Little
Red School House or one of many others
and to implement that model.
Grantmakers were drawn, and I was
drawn, to Memphis on a quest seeking
the answer to that age old (at least for us)
problem of how to ??scale-up?? reform.
The Memphis effort was impressive
and beginning to show results. Maybe
House had found the Grail. Would
Memphis become the premier urban
district in the country?
I was so impressed with this effort that
two years later, having become one of
the advisors on the $10 million Timken
Foundation grant to restructure their
namesake high school in Canton, that I
took a team of teachers to Memphis.
We wanted to stay in touch with
Memphis as our own effort progressed.
Yet, while the Timken grant was still
being implemented (2000) House left.
The new superintendent Johnnie Watson
?pulled the plug? on reform. Jeffrey
Mirel tells why:
?in the spring of 2000, when Watson
took over from House, he found a
deeply troubled district. In the late
1990s, House had mandated that all
of its more than 160 schools adopt a
reform model, a policy that angered and
alienated many teachers. Amid growing
complaints, and with mounting evidence
of poor student performance on state
achievement tests, in November 2000
Watson ordered an internal study of how
well whole-school reform was actually
doing in the district. The study found
that after six years of reform and some
$12 million spent, Memphis students
showed virtually no gains and in some
cases declines in state test scores in
mathematics, reading, and English.5
For nearly fi fteen years I have labored
in the vineyards of school reform. I have
seen countless foundations, districts,
businesses, state and even the federal
government expend massive funds and
immense energies in school reform.
I have weathered the 90?s notion of
scaling up best practices, toyed with
single school reform, helped broker
nearly $5 million to support teacher
professional development only to see
teacher mobility and lack of district
resources erode progress.
If a good deal of this sounds cynical,
it shouldn?t; many of these notions
represented best thinking for their time.
Teachers and students benefi ted for awhile.
The current answer to that ??scale up??
question is, of course, standards, its
handmaiden the high school exit exam,
and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Yet, as the nation?s governors saw at
the 2005 Education Summit, our high
school graduation rate continues to
decline.6 Now high school reform is on
the docket?big time.
Why is none of this stuff working long
term? Administrators and teachers are
locked into a seemingly endless cycle of
reform after reform. It has been going on
for over a generation. Kids who weren?t
even born when the current cycle began
5For an overview of the Memphis
effort, see Mirel?s (2001) Evolution
of the New American Schools: From
revolution to mainstream, Thomas
B. Fordham Institute. Available
at: http://www.edexcellence.
net/institute/publication/publication.
cfm?id=44
6The high school graduation rate
declined from 73% in 1992 to
71% in 2002 according to fi gures
presented to the nation?s governors
at the 2005 Education Summit by
Achieve, Inc. in the 2005 Education
Summit Briefi ng Guide available
at: http://www.nga.org/center/
divisions/1,1188,C_ISSUE_
BRIEF%5ED_8021,00.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 17
have now graduated or dropped out of
high school. Some have even graduated
from college.
The answer to this lies back in
Memphis and in countless other
districts across the country. Reform for
the last twenty years has been highly
leader and highly resource dependent.
It is also highly political. Schooling
and the reform of schools are both
surrounded by circles of interests and
infl uence, not the least of which is
the very nature of how we evolved
schooling and its governance.
Noel Epstein writes about this problem
in an interesting book called, Who?s in
Charge Here. This is what Epstein has
to say:
It is only common sense that institutions
need to have someone in charge,
someone who sets goals and strategies
and is accountable for results. In
business and fi nance it is the chief
executive offi cer; in the military, the
generals and admirals. If one were to
sketch an organizational chart of the
American elementary and secondary
education systems, however, one would
discover that there is no such line of
responsibility. Instead one would fi nd
something closer to a spider?s web
that has grown increasingly tangled
in recent years?a web in which it is
diffi cult, if not impossible, to fi gure
out whether anyone is in charge. This
is arguably the most fundamental
fl aw confronting our schools, with
implications for all else that happens
(or does not happen) in American
public education.7
This is not to say that well meaning
school boards, superintendents, and
principals are not in charge or not
capable in their jobs. What it does say
is that progressively school leaders and
communities are ?in charge? less and
less of the things that really matter.
Beginning in the 70s and 80s and
continuing to the present, as Epstein
further indicates, there has been a
progressive move by the states and
federal government into the arena of
local education through laws such as
NCLB and state academic standards and
assessment systems.
What has been established for the
schools is a series of performance
criteria coupled with a standardized
system, albeit different in each of the
fi fty states, to govern what should be
learned and how it is to be tested. These
changes have reached directly and
distinctly right into the classroom.
The sole prerogative of a teacher to
determine when a student or group
of students has attained mastery in a
specifi c content area has been greatly
reduced as well as the prerogative of
individual districts and teachers to
determine courses of study.
Interestingly, while these prerogatives
are still largely intact in higher
education, their days may also be
limited, at least in public institutions.
Commensurate with a restructuring in
the ways schools are governed has been
the issue of how we fi nance our schools.
Key to this is a very fundamental
question which has not been adequately
answered. ?How much money does it
take to educate a child?? Expanded, this
question becomes, ?how much money
does it take to educate a child under
what circumstances?? Arguably, for
instance, it might take less to educate
a child well in a high wealth suburban
community than in low wealth urban
or rural district. So wide is the variance
7In Noel Epstein, ed. Who?s in
Charge Here? The Tangled
Web of School Governance and
Policy. Education Commission
of the States. Denver Brookings
Institution Press. Washington, D.C.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 18
in estimates from experts that David J.
Hoff, writing in Quality Counts 2005
was forced to say, ?...how much does
it cost to provide students with a sound
basic education? It depends on whom
you ask.?8
Then there is an added consideration. Is
the education of a child to be based solely
on the delivery of instruction, or does it
also connote the delivery of supports and
services necessary to enable the learning
process to occur? Decidedly, many of
these supports and services are divorced
from schools and the educational
process, though many brave attempts
have been made throughout the years to
include such services in the schools or to
build collaborations.
Part of this surfaces the old debate about
whether or not it ?takes a whole village
to raise a child? versus the notion that
enlightened design, powerful instruction
and fostered student engagement in the
schools can overcome any economic
or mental baggage student bring with
them. All we have to do, some people
think, is to put a ?quality teacher? in
every classroom and fl ood all with
professional development.
Increasingly it is becoming apparent
that good teachers and quality
instruction can only compensate for
so much. Few educators, and even
fewer non-educators, are aware of a
vast international program which looks
at education around the world called
the Project for International Student
Assessment or PISA. The project, in
which forty-nine nations have now
participated, includes the United
States. PISA was developed by the
Organization for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD) to assess
the reading, mathematics and science
literacy of 15-year-olds in participating
countries. PISA looks at how well
prepared students are for life beyond the
classroom by focusing on application of
knowledge and skills to problems with
a real-life context. Equally important,
PISA results refl ect the infl uences of
education systems and societies on
young people around the world up to the
age of 15.
In a recently released report on School
Factors Related to Quality and Equity,
PISA found that:
In the OECD countries around 50 per
cent of the between-school variance in
reading literacy is explained by student
background, just under 20 per cent by
the school context (in particular, school
average socio-economic status), and
around 5 per cent by the school climate,
school policies and school resources that
were measured in the PISA 2000 survey.
Around 30 per cent of the betweenschool
variance remains unexplained.9
The PISA results confi rm what many of
us have long known: socio-economic
status does have a profound effect on
student achievement. Even if the 30%
unexplained variance was attributed to
schools, it?s still almost an even match.
Nearly half of the variance in student
performance is due to conditions beyond
the schools? control. Clearly, a whole
village is needed, or at least that part of
the village which possesses the resources
to help students overcome defi cits.
One might surmise from this that most
substantive, not structural, education
reforms are also dependent on the concerted
effort of many resources within the
community. Both students and teachers
can always put forth the additional effort,
almost a Hawthorne Effect ? an increase
in worker productivity produced by the
psychological stimulus of being singled
8See Hoff, D. (2005). The
Bottom Line in Quality Counts
2005. Published by Education
Week and available online at:
http://www.edweek.org/ew/
articles/2005/01/06/17adequacy.
h24.html
9In (2005) School Factors
Related to Quality and Equity
Results from PISA 2000 OECD
Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development,
p.88. Copies may be obtained
online at: http://www.pisa.oecd.
org/pages/0,2987,en_32252351_
32235731_1_1_1_1_1,00.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 19
out and made to feel important ? under any
reform for a limited period of time. Beyond
that is the issue of continued nurturing and
sustainability. If we?re moving yet again to
stay one step ahead of the rent-man, all the
school reform in the world doesn?t help.
Beyond the aspect of governance,
fi nance, and village there has also
been large scale entry into the arena of
school reform by three additional extra
governmental players. The fi rst player is
the national foundation community, the
second is the provider/think tank sector,
and the third is the business community.
Before I end up alienating any of
my friends and acquaintances in the
foundation community, I have to say
that if it were not for philanthropy very
little local experimentation, R&D if you
will, would ever have taken place in K-
12 education. Additionally, foundations
have been there selfl essly at many a time
in a school or district?s history when
additional resources are desperately
needed. Many thanks to you all.
This aside, I do want to speak to larger
reform-centered issues. I once had an
associate who spent several years as the
education program offi cer in a rather
large foundation. My associate used
to tell the story of how every morning
when he shaved, he?d look into the
mirror and say three times, ?It?s not my
money!? This was his way of reminding
himself that he was a steward of
other people?s money, for sure. It also
reminded him that whatever importance
he had in the eyes of others came from
the fact that he was the ?gateway? to
that money.
One of the things I noticed about a lot
of inexperienced program offi cers, and
even many foundations, over the years
prompts me to slightly alter my old
associate?s saying. Education program
offi cers should get up every morning and
while shaving or applying make-up, look
in the mirror and say three times, ?It?s
not a lot of money!?
With $28.8 billion in assets, the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation, hands down,
is the largest philanthropic organization
in the history of the world. Since its
inception in January of 2000, the
foundation has spent $2,325,493,79210
on education grants. This seems like
a tremendous amount of money and,
within a certain context, it is. Yet, the
annual expenditures for K-12 education
in the United States are well in excess of
$300 billion or, over a similar period of
fi ve years, one and a half trillion dollars,
making up roughly 7.5% of the Gross
Domestic Product.11
The latest reliable fi gures for foundation
grants nationwide comes from the
Foundation Center?s FC Stats data base.
The center shows that for 2003, that
24,531 grants were given by foundations
to both K-12 and higher education for a
total of $3,505,713,000.12
Fundamentally, there is no way
any foundation, or combination of
foundations, can support or substantially
augment the operations of any major
school district for long. The resources
are just not there. To support a program
intervention and hope, at best, that such
an intervention is ?institutionalized?
by a district is the most a foundation
can hope for, given the circumstances.
Local policy and funding must be
aligned to support any new way of
doing business. The following vignette
on the small high schools project in the
Canton City Schools describes some of
the conditions which must come to pass
to insure the success of any foundation
supported effort.
10Updated on 1/2005. This
information is available on
the foundation?s web site at:
http://www.gatesfoundation.
org/Education/Grants/default.
htm?showYear=2005
11Based on 1994-5 calculations
from the PBS Online Backgrounder
on School Funding.
Higher education adds another
$200 billion. Available at: http://
www.pbs.org/newshour/backgrounders/
school_funding.html
12For the Foundation Center?s
FC Stats see: http://www.
fdncenter.org/fc_stats/index.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 20
Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
It?s a process that?s been described as ?building a 747 while you?re fl ying it?
or ?turning around an oil tanker? or ?very hard work.? And the reality is very
close to all these metaphors. Raising student achievement by transforming a large
comprehensive high school into fi ve small schools of 400 students is the goal for
McKinley High School put forth by the Gates Foundation through KnowledgeWorks
and adopted wholeheartedly by the Canton City Schools Board, the superintendent,
the faculty and the community.
Relationships are the building blocks of small schools. A smaller group of teachers
and support staff knowing a smaller group of students more intimately will offer
greater opportunity for relevance and rigor in teaching and learning.
In a planned, deliberate fashion, on August 29, 2004, A.L.I.V.E., Diversity, Impact,
McKII and S.T.A.R.S. opened their doors at McKinley High School and began anew
the business of teaching and learning. Each school is headed by an experienced
principal/leader whose responsibilities focus on instruction as well as management.
More importantly, each leader is part of a distributed leadership team that creates
and executes each step of the transformation in the schools. The teams include:
teachers, students, parents and community members. A district design team,
including the superintendent and district personnel, the CPEA, KnowledgeWorks
coaches, the principal/leaders and project manager, and the Stark Education
Partnership meets monthly to plan for and address the progress and challenges of
the transformation process.
The role of the Stark Education Partnership has been as collaborator, researcher,
convener, educator and advocate. Dr. Adrienne O?Neill, president, and Adele Gelb,
program offi cer, have worked closely with the principal/leaders, community members,
students and KnowledgeWorks to adopt and achieve the goals of graduating 100%
of the students at McKinley, sending more students to successful post secondary
education and becoming one of the top 100 high schools in the country.
Activities have included: meeting with principal/leaders, meetings with
KnowledgeWorks, conversations with community members, attending and
participating in quadrant meetings throughout the planning and implementation
years, meeting with visiting delegations, preparing presentation materials, and
working with student community service teams.
Each school has identifi ed a learning model by which educators will teach the Ohio
Standards. Students in all schools are encouraged to take a ?college preparatory?
core curriculum. Professional development has been ongoing and funded by a Stark
Education Partnership grant of $67,000 per year for three years.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 21
While considerable effort, attended
by considerable local agreement and
support as well as foundation founding,
was taking place to foster the creation
and implementation of the small high
schools project at McKinley, the Ohio
State Legislature, besieged by its own
budget woes was instituting yet another
round of funding cuts for Ohio?s major
urban districts. For the Canton City
Schools this meant cutting another $3.6
million from the budget for the 2005-06
academic year. Canton is not alone.
Staffi ng cuts raise serious questions about
maintaining small high schools with
adequate course offerings and studentfaculty
ratios. The hard reality is that
the best intentions of districts and the
?We?ve been a part of small schools in Stark County for a number of years,? Dr.
O?Neill explained. ?The creation of the Academies at Timken High School provided
an important template for our understanding of the transformation process. The
lessons learned provided a roadmap for everyone involved in the small school
process at McKinley. We?re thrilled with the progress made thus far and at the same
time we?re very focused on the goal ? raising student achievement.?
foundation community can be mitigated
by shifts in state funding policy.
The Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation is one of the fi rst to realize
that state and national policy needs
to be aligned to support substantive
changes in the way high school
education takes place. My advice for
now is that, ?it?s not a lot of money?
unless we can foster alignment and
particularly P-16 alignment. Foundations
in Canton and Stark County are integral
partners in P-16. Sometimes singly
and sometimes in concert with other
local or national foundations, or even
federal programs, they demonstrate how
such alignment works as the following
vignette illustrates:
A Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
A community of nearly 400,000 persons has many resources. Schools, churches,
foundations, public and private agencies, even museums, and state or federally
funded programs often work towards the same, or similar goals.
A community of nearly 400,000 persons also has many needs. One of these is
to provide quality after school programs for children who are often termed the
?latch key? generation. While all of the organizations mentioned above have been
promoting after school programs in Stark County for years, in the last year and
a half a new direction has emerged which underscores some of the core guiding
principles of P-16, such as no ?silos,? and the ?sum being greater than the parts.?
The Stark County Afterschool Council was convened by the Stark Community
Foundation on the basis of a study on the elements of quality after school programs
prepared by the Stark Education Partnership for the foundation and its colleague
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 22
foundations: Community Health Foundation of Western Stark County, the George
H. Deuble Foundation, the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, the Hoover Foundation,
and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton.
The study found that numerous agencies and organizations within the county were
operating afterschool programs; far more than anyone had imagined. The study,
which included extensive focus groups, also found that school personnel, parents,
and providers involved in such groups were all commenting about the value of
extending the conversations so that best practices could be shared in Stark County.
The study recommended that a conference be held to establish an After-School
Council that would represent all three groups, share best practice and fi nd a way to
track the outcomes of the programs to student achievement?the natural outcome of
a desired academic focus.
After the conference, and assisted by ?Take the Learning Home? grants from the
Stark Community Foundation, representatives from the regions surrounding the
county?s three major cities of Canton, Massillon, and Alliance formed their own area
councils which look at needs specifi c to their parts of the county, while the larger
council focuses on county wide concerns.
Chaired by Stark Community Vice-President Cindy Lazor, the Afterschool
Council is making a difference. During its fi rst year, sub committees worked on a
common set of standards for all Stark County providers, focused on common staff
development issues and programs, and have begun to develop a data collection
committee to help organizations monitor progress towards the standards. Common
best practices are emerging and awareness is building. The council further serves
to bring representatives of the county?s three 21st Century Learning Communities
grants, once again in Alliance, Canton, and Massillon, together not only with each
other, but also with other providers in their community and county wide.
This is an important nuance. Federal programs have a fi nite life span. When the
21st Century grant periods are concluded, the respective communities will have
built upon their best practices and learnings. This is the type of outcome often
hoped for, but often not achieved once large grants are over.
There is a broader context, however. Stark Community Foundation and many
of the other agencies on the council keep a state and federal perspective on
afterschool programs. Participants from Ohio Department of Job and Family
Services and Action for Children, a state funded program, participate with
the council. This perspective is now shared by even the smallest provider and
many are now able to take advantage of materials, professional development,
and conferences offered at these levels. Cindy Lazor states ?Stark Community
Foundation continues to award ?Lights on Afterschool? small grants to the
county?s three urban cities to bring awareness of afterschool programs and
opportunities to hundreds of parents and children who otherwise may not benefi t
from quality, safe afterschool care.?
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 23
13See: Cohen M. D., March J. G.
and Olsen J. P. (1972). A garbage
can model of organizational
choice, Administrative Science
Quarterly, 17, 1-25. 15
14Visit their web site at: http://
www.naschools.org/
How well this is all coming together was underscored last year when the Afterschool
Alliance presented its Afterschool Champion Award to Stark Community Foundation
at a Congressional Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Judy Y. Samelson, Executive
Director of the Afterschool Alliance noted, ?the Foundation is a perfect example of
a philanthropic organization that is providing much-needed guidance and support
to its local community. We applaud its continued efforts to raise awareness of the
importance and need for quality afterschool programs.?
What Stark Community Foundation President James Bower had to say, however,
was probably more telling. ?We?re very honored by the recognition, but we?re even
prouder of the opportunity we have to make a difference in the lives of the children
of our community,? said Bower. ?The need for quality afterschool programs
in Stark County is great and with the help of our Foundation and other local
foundations and businesses, we plan to open the doors to enriching afterschool
activities that keep kids safe and help working families.?
It is a sentiment shared by all members of the Council and the growing P-16 community.
When we look at the environment of
school reform we can ill forget a new
breed of animal, the providers and the
think tanks. Both are having a profound
infl uence in the ?marketplace.?
While doing my dissertation at Kent
State University in the 90s, I did
considerable research on something
called ?garbage-can? decision-making.13
One of the basic assumptions of this
model is that solutions often precede the
defi nition of problems. In other words,
people will latch on to ready made
solutions to solve problems that they
don?t really understand. Part of this is
because the solutions themselves often
are either highly attractive or seem to
make a good deal of sense.
Back in the 90s, I attended a conference
at the National Center for Research
on Evaluation, Standards, and Student
Testing (CRESST) at UCLA. This was
during that period of time when the
Clinton Administration was having
a brief fl irtation with the idea of a
?national test?.
One pundit from the U.S. Department
of Education tried to convince the urban
district crowd that ?volunteering? to
give the test would be a good thing.
This was after a presentation which
had projected large numbers of urban
students failing the test. ?It will be a
good thing,? the pundit said. ?Because
your community will see how badly the
students are doing and realize that you
need more funding!?
I really wondered what planet this fellow
came from for the worst case scenario
I could think of in trying to generate
public support was to show how poorly
students are doing. The ?national test?
in that instance was surely a solution
looking for a problem.
Today there are many ?off-the-shelf?
models of reform for schools and
districts to adopt. This is not to denigrate
such models or to say that they are not
working. What is certain, however,
is that from the macro providers,
such as the New American Schools,14
encompassing many approaches, to the
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 24
micro providers found on the approved
lists of Supplemental Education Services
(SES) of state departments of education
to assist students in schools in need of
improvement under NCLB, the market is
expansive and still expanding.
Indeed, NCLB has promoted even
greater and more rapid growth in this
area. The controversial Driscoll and
Fleeter report commissioned by the
state of Ohio to estimate the costs
of implementing NCLB came to the
conclusion that the law might add up
to $1.5 billion in annual education
expenses for the state.15 This is what
they had to say about supplemental
services:
NCLB requires that a school district
must set aside Title I funds for
supplemental education services when
a school fails to make its AYP target for
three consecutive years. The amount of
funds set aside for this purpose must
equal a minimum of 5% of Title I funds.
Schools may spend an additional 10%
on supplemental services provided
that the total percentage spent for
transportation of school choice pupils
combined with the supplemental
education services expenditures cannot
exceed 20% of Title I funds. Five percent
of all Title I allocations would equal
about $18.5 million.
Alongside providers is that class of
organization which I will term, for
lack of a better descriptor as ?think
tank? organizations. These are groups
such as the Education Trust, Fordham
Foundation, Achieve, Inc., Education
Commission of the States and
many others who may at times fund
development, conduct research, espouse
specifi c positions, or even provide
services for a fee. The component which
sets these organizations apart is that they
are ?opinion leaders? in the arena of
education reform. What they discover
and what they do often has an impact on
state and federal policy.
Here, for instance, is how the Education
Trust describes what they do:
The Education Trust provides...| Advocacy that encourages schools,
colleges and whole communities to
mount effective campaigns so that all
their students will reach high levels of
academic achievement.| Analysis and expert testimony on policies
intended to improve education; and| Writing and speaking for professional
and general audiences about
educational patterns and practices
? both those that cause and those
that close achievement gaps between
groups of students;| Research and wide public
dissemination of data identifying
achievement patterns among different
groups of students;| Assistance to school districts, colleges,
and community-based organizations
to help their efforts at raising student
achievement, especially among
minority and poor students.16
Much to their credit, both the Education
Trust and the Education Commission of
the States have long been supporters of
the notion of P or K-16 linkages. One of
the most powerful things groups of this
nature do is to convene. Whether it is
by virtue of their national conferences
or lesser convenings to share data or
information, even on a district level,
they tend to spread the word on a
multitude of considerations ranging from
white papers to data to best practices.
15Driscoll, W. and Fleeter, H.
(2003). Projected Costs of
Implementing The Federal ?No
Child Left Behind Act? In Ohio
A Detailed Financial Analysis
Prepared For The Ohio Department
of Education. Columbus,
Ohio: Levin, Driscoll and Fleeter.
Available at: http://www.ode.state.
oh.us/legislator/Cost_of_Implementing_
NCLB.asp
16From What is the Education
Trust at: http://www2.edtrust.
org/edtrust/about+the+ed+trust
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 25
The third major extra-governmental
player in school reform has been the
business community. The business
community has maintained an interest
in the outcomes of public schooling
perhaps longer than any of the other
players. Consider the following:
?Half of our children leave school ?
with only the rudiments of education
which, to a large part, they speedily
forget, and with no preparation or
guidance for life work.?17 and ?What,
then, must America do? There is but one
answer: We must compete. And we must
do so while suffering a disadvantage
in the cost of labor. We must be more
innovative than ever before; we must
have a vastly better K-12 educational
system then we now have....?18
These two statements came from
the business community, over 75
years apart. For well over a century,
business has alternately been critical
and supportive of schools. The
drive for vocational education, the
introduction of management and
scale efficiencies, Tech Prep and the
Perkins Act, and a whole host of other
initiatives have come in response
to what at times seems to be an
endless dance between the business
community and education.
There is a very real concern here,
however. Business, and it is an
error to lump the entire community
together, has long recognized that the
productivity of the United States bears
a direct relationship to the quality and
skills of the workforce. While there is a
growing need for graduates in the hard
sciences due to increased graduation
rates in these areas in India and China,
a major question remains. That question
is ?what skills??
It was one of the typical community
meetings where representatives from
the business community get together
with educators and some social services
representatives. The focus was on what
skills employers would really like to see
students have upon graduation. ?Good
work ethic,? replied one representative.
?I?d like people who know how to show
up on time,? said another.
The meeting went on like this for
some time and after about forty-fi ve
minutes the facilitator from one of the
local foundations pointed out what was
becoming increasingly obvious. We had
been talking almost exclusively about
?soft skills?. To me this increasingly
underscores one of the basics in the
ongoing school-business dialogue at the
K-12 level (higher education is different).
Many jobs are becoming increasingly
specialized requiring education beyond
the high school diploma. In the same
regard, many businesses are prepared
to put employees through specialized
in-house training, support employees
obtaining certifi cation and other additional
education. What is needed from K-12
education is a solid base to do two things:| Position a student for post secondary
education| Help develop ?soft skills? and aptitude
Yet, much of K-12 education thinking
continues to ?track? students in such
a fashion as to assume that the high
school diploma is a terminal degree.
Part of this is reinforced by the notion
that we have about 28 million low wage
service jobs in the United States which
really do not require more than a high
school diploma. These positions include
cashiers, cab drivers, fast food restaurant
workers, cleaners, and the like.
17Chamber of Commerce of the
United States, Policies of the
Chamber of Commerce of the
Unites States (Washington, 1929)
as related in Rippa, S. (1997).
Education in a Free Society. New
York: Longman.
18Testimony of Norman R.
Augustine Retired Chairman
and CEO Lockheed Martin
Corporation before the Committee
on Education and the Workforce
Subcommittee on 21st Century
Competitiveness U. S. House
of Representatives Hearing
on ?Challenges to American
Competitiveness in Math and
Science? May 19, 2005
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 26
Such positions generally are at
minimum wage and have no benefi ts
attached. While great for transitions, i.e.
retirees, students still in school, these
positions do not sustain a living wage
above poverty and can not support
families. Anthony Carnevale and Donna
Desrouchers have considered these and
other factors in looking at the emerging
economic and demographic needs of
the workforce for the new knowledge
economy, higher paying jobs:
The demand for specifi c vocational
skills has been augmented with a
growing need for general skills?
including reasoning abilities, general
problem-solving skills, and behavioral
skills. Cognitive styles, such as how
workers handle success and failure
on the job, also are important in
determining success on the job. And
while general skills are becoming
increasingly important, occupational
and professional competencies are
still needed to complement these more
general skills. Little is known about
how to develop and assess general
problem solving and behavioral
skills in students and workers, but
most employers associate them with
educational attainment, especially
college-level attainment. Educational
attainment also is used as a proxy for
reasoning ability. As a result, American
employers use education.19
While specifi c vocational skill training
can still be of value in K-12 education,
particularly as a preparation for
certifi cation or two year technical
degrees what is becoming increasingly
clear is that such education can no
longer be a substitute for preparation for
post secondary education. This requires
a shift in thinking at all levels.
Yet, the dichotomy is that there are
many communities today who have a
preponderance of these low income jobs
which can still be done by those with
only a high school diploma. Added to
this is often the belief of many that a
willingness to work and a ?strong back?
can still provide for a worker?s family,
just like it did in the 1950s. For old-time
manufacturing and industrial towns
like Cleveland and Canton, this attitude
persists among many who should know
better. Often the attitude exists in our
educational institutions.
This is why a speech given by W.R.
Timken, Jr. to the Ohio School Boards
Association, Northeast Region in 2002
was so powerful. The Timken Company,
based in Canton, is a worldwide
leader and manufacturer of tapered
roller bearings and specialty steels. In
addition to his service as Chairman of
the Board of the Timken Company, W.R
Timken, Jr. has served on the boards
or committees of numerous state and
national organizations and in 2005
was appointed the U.S. Ambassador
to Germany. He is also past chairman
of the National Association of
Manufacturers. When he speaks, it is not
only from a local, but literally from a
national perspective.
19See The Missing Middle:
Aligning Education and
the Knowledge Economy
By Anthony P. Carnevale
and Donna M. Desrochers
Educational Testing Service
April 2002.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 27
A Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact Speech of W.R.
Timken, Jr. to the Ohio School Boards Association Northeast Region
March 13, 2002 ? Thank you, Dick. When Dick Baughman invited me to talk with
you this evening, he asked me to address the relationship between the public school
educational system and the needs of the industrial sector. I applaud his choice of
topics. It?s provocative. It?s timely. And right from the beginning of my comments, let
me emphasize the crucial nature of that relationship. It is central, absolutely central,
to continuing to improve the quality of life for all of us Ohioans - and people
the world over for that matter. As a result, I shall do my best tonight to convey
my opinion on that subject as well as some other observations on education in a
broader scope stimulated by this topic.
First, let me tell you what you already know. The workplace of today bears no
resemblance to that of 100, 50 or even 20 years ago. Of course, this is not just a
change restricted to manufacturing or the private sector. It is just as true in every
sector where Americans seek their livelihood. And it will change even more and
faster in the next 10 years. Even if we were to determine some needs of industry
today, they would already be out of date.
I have been involved with many business efforts to measure the skills gap between
people coming out of the educational system in this country and the needs of the
workplace. Many such studies have been made. They constitute great work, are fact
based, just what academics have asked for, and they are outdated before the ink
dries. (Personally I have come to the conclusion that the real answer concerning
what is needed to earn a decent living from today forward is the individual ability to
engage in post-secondary education.) I am not ready to say you need the equivalent
of a four-year bachelors degree, but if you do not have the academic strength to
matriculate beyond high school, your economic future is severely limited. You won?t
work for The Timken Company. Our compensation is too high. We will not be hiring
high school graduates. We can?t afford them. We need people who can earn their
high pay.
Americans, some 275 million of them, understandably want to live at a higher and
higher standard of living. The price, of course, is higher productivity - the ability to
do more with less. This cannot be accomplished with yesterday?s workforce. Today
everyone needs to be able to think for a living. The day when someone else did the
thinking for employees and told them what to do is over. Frankly, that means more
than high school education is needed. It means a person must be capable of, and
committed to, continuing education. The ability to adapt and change to do many
different jobs is paramount. If, for this evening, you accept my thesis, where do the
citizens of Ohio stand?
The only answer is, we are in big trouble. According to David Sweet, the president of
Youngstown State University, only 13.8% of state residents have a four-year college,
as compared to the uninspiring national average of 16.1%. Ohio ranks 41st out of
the 50 states. There is, in Ohio, a defi cit of at least 250,000 people lacking a fourP-
16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 28
year degree. The average annual income for families with a high school diploma
is $48,000, according to Sweet, compared to $85,000 for families with bachelors
degrees. No wonder Ohio is losing the economic battle to other states. But think
also what it does to those Ohio citizens who want a higher standard of living. The
difference in the above numbers is $37,000 a year. Over a 40-year career, one family
would have 1- 1/2 million more dollars than the other. That is the real human cost.
By the way, President Sweet points out the picture in northeastern Ohio is even
worse. The Youngstown-Warren metropolitan statistical area was rated 72nd out
of the 75 largest national MSAs in bachelors degree attainment. Only 7.6% of the
population are four-year college graduates. In fact, President Sweet says Governor
Taft?s call to increase the number of students attending Ohio?s colleges and
universities by 5,000 in the next fi ve years is way too low. He proposes 50,000, and I
agree with him.
Before anyone reaches the conclusion that I am saying four years of college is the
only metric, I want to say again that it is the capability to undertake any amount of
postsecondary education that is the fi rst goal. And I will return to this in a moment.
But fi rst I want to acknowledge the fact that because of the efforts of all of us in this
room and the leadership of Governors Voinovich and Taft, there has been signifi cant
improvement in Ohio?s schools over these past years. To many of us in the business
world, by 1990 public education in Ohio came to be viewed as a tax money sinkhole.
It was looked upon as an unresponsive monopoly dominated by public employee
unions whose interests were employment issues, not children. Many in this room
might be offended to hear that view, but I am only the reporter.
School costs were soaring at a time of declining student population. Comparative
testing with children of other nations showed serious defi ciencies. Certainly the
amount of remedial education being performed by companies on their employees
was large and increasing rapidly.
What a difference a decade makes. I for one believe we are committed as a society
to enter a golden age of education where no child will be left behind, where kids will
reach their full potential, and that potential will be recognized as far higher than
previously believed. An age where public education will truly fulfi ll the constitutional
intent of our founding fathers. Education creates equal opportunity for all.
All the collective efforts to improve our public education system are beginning to
produce results. That is great. However, I think we still have a problem with the
model we are using. As I said earlier, not only should it be that no child is left
behind, I believe we should establish a goal to prepare every one of those children
for college, university or two-year post-secondary education.
We know all the children won?t make that goal, but I believe it will provide a better
educational opportunity for all. To the extent there is a college track and a non-college
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 29
track simply must produce a different educational result. An educational result that
contributes signifi cantly to Ohio sending a lower percentage of its young people on to
post-secondary education than any surrounding or similar state. I believe it is wrong
and must be ended. That is one reason I am reluctant to address the subject proposed
to me this evening - ?What Industry Needs from Public Education.?
We don?t need industry-ready young people with special skills for work built into
them; we need college-ready graduates with the ability to think and learn. Our
experience at Timken has been that we get what we ask for because we build the
systems to produce the result. How many young people are under challenged in
our public educational system because somebody built a system to produce a lower
quality product?
I want to be the loudest voice from the private sector to say, don?t do that. We don?t
need second-class employees. We don?t want worker-level-quality graduates. We
want everyone to be prepared so we will have a wider selection to draw from?
graduates who can earn and justify higher wages and the standard of living that
goes with it. That?s what industry needs from public education.
While some persons may say that
Timken?s speech is all fi ne and well
from the viewpoint of a major employer,
there is still that job down the street.
Once again, the question is ?what kind
of job?? My own experience in a much
smaller business capacity agrees not
only with Timken, but also with what
Carnevale and Desrouchers had to say
about employers equating behavioral
and problem solving skills with a college
education. In the late 1970s during
what I had planned to be only a brief
hiatus from education, I found myself
managing a small general equipment
rental fi rm in Northeast Ohio. As I began
to enjoy growing that business, the
sector began to change. In those days,
rental fi rms had been thought of as being
just one step above service stations in
terms of the skill level of employees.
You needed some good mechanics
to repair equipment, but there were a
lot of kids out there with ?backyard?
experience tinkering with their own
cars. Remember, this was the 70s when
you could still work on your own car.
Counter personnel needed to be able
to fi ll out forms and collect rental fees.
When I left this business in 1986 (now
the third largest in the state) things were
vastly different. What had happened?
The answer was really two-fold:
technology and litigation.
Just as automobiles have become
increasingly sophisticated and
computerized, a great deal of construction
equipment had followed suit as well.
Paper and pen rental contracts were
replaced with computers and print outs.
Increasingly, the primary point of fi rst
contact with customers was not walkin,
but the telephone. The list could go
on. The chief concern, however, was
the growing potential for law suits. I
well remember one specifi c case from
the East Coast where a plaintiff who
had picked up a 21? gasoline powered
rotary lawn mower to trim his hedges
had the heavy mower slip and cut off his
thumb. This gentleman actually received
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 30
a jury award because ?no where on the
lawnmower did it say it could not be used
to trim hedges.? If you?ve ever wondered
why your lawn mower today is covered
with safety stickers and has a kill switch
to shut it off if you walk away, this is part
of the story. The bottom line was that
personnel on the counter had to be able
to make a determination as to whether a
person was competent to use, say a Ford
550 backhoe. Yard personnel had to be
able to instruct customers in the safe use
of equipment. By the time I left, we were
no longer hiring high school graduates.
We needed the additional maturity and
thinking skills which a college education
often, but not always, supplied.
Before leaving this section, a word
or two is probably warranted about
the rise of charter schools, we call
them community schools in Ohio,
and vouchers. Perhaps no structural
move in K-12 education has ever
engendered the controversy and
confl icting claims of success and
failure as these dual movements. My
purpose here is not to enter into this
controversy but rather to point out
a specifi c fact. The emergence of
charters and vouchers has been fueled
by the perception, and in some cases
reality, that our standard system of
public education is not working for
all children. The end result has been
the further fragmentation of standard
public education. Perceptions can
bring huge impact. Just as deregulation
of electric utilities brought little solace
to the people of California, it may
well be that deregulation, if you will,
of our system of public education will
bring no solace as well. We need to be
mindful that we do not enter into what
education reformer Phil Schlechty
calls an ?education Bosnia.?
The K-12 education reform
environment as we have seen in this
brief scan is complex, confusing, and
often contradictory.
We need answers and quickly. In the
next section we will discuss why P-16,
we believe, may not only supply these
answers but may indeed be critical to
our remaining fi rst among nations.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 31
Over 200 years ago, the decision was
made in Philadelphia that we would not
have a king or nobility. We would, in
essence, be a nation of equals.
Much of our history over the last
two centuries has been concerned
with fulfi lling that promise. In the
21st century, the issue for America
will not be slavery, or even civil or
women?s rights, per se. The issue will
be educational opportunity. This issue
goes to the heart of what No Child Left
Behind is about. It also goes to the core
of the Higher Education Act and its
emphasis on access for minorities and
low income students. Additionally, they
support large scale program efforts, such
as TRIO and GEAR UP.
Yet, over those 200 years, class
distinctions did arise in America. Today
those distinctions are between the
educated and uneducated and the gap is
widening. These are serious distinctions.
We know for instance the relationship
between crime and education, between
education and voting, and between
education and lifetime earnings.
Beyond the individual considerations
are issues of national well being and
security. Since 9/11 most Americans
well understand that there are forces
in this world who would wish us
ill. Terrorism is one aspect. This, of
course, speaks to individual and group
security. Yet, there are other forces that
are far more insidious. Economics is a
battleground and an educated workforce
is the key. This speaks not only to
personal, but also group or even national
well being. One needs to look no further
than the increasing education levels in
the European Union and member nations
such as Ireland20 or to the Asian nations
of India and China to see the potential
which others are grasping.
Some time ago I was in England to
present at the Tenth Annual Literacy
Conference at the University of London.
One of the other sessions caught my eye
and I decided to attend. The session was
being given by a professor from a Cuban
university and it concerned school
reform in Latin America. I wondered
what new and different insights I might
obtain through the lens of a different
culture. Would we be talking about
standards or small class size or any
one of a number of other restructuring
techniques in use in the United States?
First Among Nations
20In fact, Ireland where higher
education is virtually free has
become the success story of
Europe. For a view of some
of this approach see the online
DVD ?Opportunities for all:
Promoting access to higher
education in Ireland? at http://
www.hea.ie/index.cfm/page/sub/
id/955
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 32
Had indeed others learned from our
quest. ?School reform?, the Cuban
told me, ?means how we can increase
basic literacy among the populations
of Central America.? Basic literacy, I
thought. That?s it?
That was it and there was no discussion
of Ted Sizer or Howard Gardner?s
Multiple Intelligences Theory or any
one of the ?classics? of American school
reform. These people were interested
in basic literacy and in how to scale
up their basic systems of education to
educate more and more people. The rest
of the world is catching on.
But in the United States a sort of
education counterculture is developing.
High school drop outs are increasing,
as noted earlier, and this represents just
one such indicator. The public often
fails to see the relationship between
education and earnings. Students often
feel that they have inadequate skills
for college work. These conditions
exist, in part, because there has been no
popular champion in our country for P-
16 education. There has been nothing to
spark the public imagination. Leadership
in this arena has yet to emerge beyond
a handful of states and regions where
the possibilities of such a system have
been seen. As the rest of the world
seeks to catch up and even, as we will
see later, surpass us in education, we
need to revalue education itself. Here
we are caught in a dichotomy of sorts.
Sometime after the break up of the old
Soviet Union, I had an opportunity
to host some Russian educators from
the Urals region. One thing became
abundantly clear. These educators
were envious of our system of public
education and the egalitarian notion of
how it could serve as a great equalizer
in our society. It may well be that we
are on the verge of losing the greatest
system of public education the world has
ever seen because of our indifference,
not only to what we have accomplished,
but to what can be accomplished by
that system, not only nationally, or
on the state level, but within our own
communities as well.
Awareness is beginning to build,
however, at the national level. In 2004,
Dr. Adrienne O?Neill, president of our
Stark Education Partnership, testifi ed
before the House Appropriations
Sub-Committee on Labor, Health and
Human Services, Education and Related
Agencies. In part, this is what she said:
We believe that the outcomes of a
national strategy P-16 would be
increased high school graduation rates
and increased college going and college
completion rates with lower remediation
rates in all states. In other words, to
quote Stephen Portch, Chancellor
Emeritus, Georgia University System,
we would stop the ?leaking? in the P-16
system??leaking? that causes us to lose
students at many points. We believe that
different thinking would emerge from
such a strategy.21
Later in 2004, Jennifer Conner Blatz
from the KnowledgeWorks Foundation
and I drafted a white paper for the same
Congressional Committee entitled, A
Federal Approach to P-16 in which we
recommended the following:
There is a need for a federal P-16
Commission to investigate the entire
spectrum of programs and operations
across multiple offi ces and departments
which deal with the education of our
nation along the entire preschool
through graduate school through career
continuum and the impact of such
programs in securing and maintaining
the life quality and economic
21(2004). The Stark County P-16
Compact. House Appropriations
Sub Committee for Labor,
Health and Human Services,
Education and Related Agencies.
Washington D.C.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 33
preeminence of this nation. Such a
commission should be empowered to
make far reaching and substantive
recommendations and proposals
crossing all levels of government to the
United States Congress.22
Late in 2004, Virginia Governor Mark
Warner was telling assembled state
policy makers, community leaders
and education reformers that, ?Federal
P-16 alignment will ultimately
improve education for students of
all ages?eliminate unnecessary
government bureaucracy, reduce costly
duplication, align academic standards
and preparation, expand system wide
accountability, and promote fl exibility
for innovation.?23 Subsequently, P-16
state governance became an issue for
Warner?s initiative as chairman of the
National Governors Association on
redesigning the American high school.24
As 2005 continued, governors such as
Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas have made
this issue more pronounced. Testifying
before a committee of the United States
Senate, Sebelius once again called for
federal alignment, noting:
In the 21st century, the economic strength
of the United States will depend on the
ability of each state and our nation
to develop a coordinated and aligned
education and workforce system that
supports, trains, and prepares a skilled set
of workers. Now is the time to take action
to create a seamless American education
system, by aligning federal education laws
to promote lifelong learning. The pending
reauthorizations of the of the Workforce
Investment Act, Higher Education Act,
Head Start, and the Carl D. Perkins
Vocational and Technical Education Act
present an unprecedented opportunity to
align federal education laws and promote
lifelong learning.
The pathway to progress is clear.
Federal education laws from pre-school
through college, commonly referred to
as P-16, must be aligned to foster state
innovation, eliminate costly duplication,
and ultimately improve education
outcomes for all students.25
Why is such alignment becoming a
critical concern? It is a concern because
we are, and need to remain, fi rst among
nations not only in the quality, but in the
opportunity of our education systems.
This process really began long before
?A Nation at Risk.? In my mind, it began
in the 1950s with those Supreme Court
cases now collectively known as Brown
vs Board. As the court said:
In these days, it is doubtful that any child
may reasonably be expected to succeed
in life if he is denied the opportunity of
an education. Such an opportunity, where
the state has undertaken to provide it, is a
right which must be made available to all
on equal terms.
We come then to the question presented:
Does segregation of children in public
schools solely on the basis of race,
even though the physical facilities
and other ?tangible? factors may
be equal, deprive the children of the
minority group of equal educational
opportunities? We believe that it does. 26
In 1993 I was at Phillips Academy
Andover with a group of teachers
examining the Andover Breadloaf
Writing Workshop. Present at Andover
was a group of black South African
teachers. This was in the waning days of
apartheid and we were very eager to hear
the perspectives of the teachers. What
surprised me was the view they had of
us. During a conversation about things
we had learned one day, I remarked
about my visit to the small museum on
22Rochford, J. and Conner, J.
(2004). A Federal Approach to
P-16. A white paper drafted for
the House Appropriations Sub
Committee on Labor, Health and
Human Services, Education and
Related Agencies. Canton, Ohio:
The Stark Education Partnership
and Cincinnati,Ohio: The
KnowledgeWorks Foundation.
23Remarks at the U.S.
Department of Education Second
Annual National High School
Leadership Summit, December 3,
2004, by Governor Mark Warner.
Washington, D.C. Available
At: http://www.nga.org/nga/
legislativeUpdate/1,1169,C_
ISSUE_BRIEF^D_7630,00.html
24See An Action Agenda for
Improving American High
Schools. 2005 National
Education Summit on High
Schools. Washington D.C.:
Achieve, Inc. and the National
Governors Association.
Available at: http://www.nga.
org/center/divisions/1,1188,T_
CEN_EDS%5EC_ISSUE_
BRIEF%5ED_8035,00.html
25Testimony on Lifelong
Learning before the U.S. Senate
Committee on Health, Labor,
Education and Pensions by
Kathleen Sebelius, Governor
of Kansas, on April 14,2005.
Available at: http://help.senate.
gov/bills/hlh_73_bill.html
26From: The U.S. Supreme Court:
Brown v. Board of Education,
347 U.S. 483 (1954). Available
at: http://brownvboard.org/
research/opinions/opinions.htm
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 34
campus, the Native American artifacts
stored there and the museums attempt
to restore some of these artifacts to
their rightful tribal owners. What
followed was a discussion about the
historic treatment of native Americans
by the white majority and how that
treatment had resulted in issues still
very much alive today, such as the
return of the artifacts.
The South African teachers were aghast.
?You are our model,? they said. ?We
never knew you had problems like these.?
Yes, and for over fi fty years we have been
trying to achieve equity in our schools.
Beyond this, though, is an added
dimension. With the passage of
NCLB in 2001, the United States
became the fi rst nation on earth to
fi rmly state that we would educate all
children, no exceptions, to the same
level of competence.
The question, then, is how best to achieve
this goal. Some believe it lies in standards
and testing which we will review next.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 35
High stakes tests and high school exit
exams, including Ohio?s Graduation Test
(OGT), are the direct outgrowth of what
has come to be called the ?standards
movement.? They are tests swimming in
a sea of standards. Today, all states, with
the exception of Iowa have academic
content standards in at least some, if not
all, subject areas. To understand tests, it
is necessary to understand the evolution
of the standards movement and its
accompanying call for accountability.
It is a mistake, however, to assume
that communities, schools and teachers
never had ?standards? before the
current era. Standards, accountability
and assessments in one form or another
have existed in education since its
earliest days starting with the 1642
Massachusetts Bay School Law.27
In the mid-1980s, there was a growing
conviction that America?s public schools
were poorly designed for the economic
and social realities of the approaching
new century. In response to a series
of reports which focused on mediocre
performance, President George H.W.
Bush and the nation?s governors jointly
convened the fi rst National Education
Summit in 1989. Signifi cantly, that
summit not only set six long-term
goals for public education but also led
to several national commissions, task
forces and study groups, including
the National Council on Education
Standards and Testing.
The council, in its 1992 fi nal report,
called for the development of national
standards, in each of the major subject
areas. Several public polls, research
on effective schools, the growing
involvement of business and industry
leaders and federal legislation under
the Clinton administration added
momentum to the standards movement.
States, however, had their own notions
about standards:
?the effort to establish national
standards ran into stiff opposition
from state policymakers, who insisted
that they? not a national certifi cation
board or professional and scholarly
Why Separate Standards and
High Stakes Testing Won?t Get Us There
27Massachusetts Bay School
Law (1642), Available at http://
personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/
schoollaw1642.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 36
organizations, as some standards
proponents recommended -- should take
the lead in designing and developing
standards. Over the next fi ve years, the
states one by one undertook the diffi cult,
complex and often controversial task
of researching, drafting and formally
adopting standards for students at
various grade levels, in major subject
areas. (Weiss 2000)28
There are several additional problems
with standards. State standards are,
in theory, based in part on standards
published by national professional
organizations beginning with the
landmark publication of Curriculum
and Evaluation Standards for School
Mathematics in 1989 by the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics
(NCTM). Yet, there is no universal set
of standards common to all the states,
and while many states (including Ohio)
have involved higher education and K-
12 educators in the writing of standards,
questions remain as to which standards
are the most powerful for transiting to
higher education and the workforce.
Whether or not these standards are
suffi ciently included and conversely,
suffi ciently tested by the states remains
largely problematic.
Further, several state exit exams including
Ohio, Massachusetts and Minnesota
are targeted at the 10th grade level,
not quite half way through a student?s
high school career. Also, are there too
many standards? Ohio has one of the
most comprehensive set of standards
of any state. One problem, according
to Dr. Douglas Reeves of the Center
for Performance Assessment is that the
school year would ?...literally need to be
400 days long? to insure full coverage
of Ohio?s standards. Reeves contends
that it is time to ?stop the illusion of
perfect coverage ? coverage does not
equal learning.? He proposes the notion
of ?power standards.? These standards,
taken from the entire array of standards
would be based on three criteria:
1. Endurance ? what students will recall
2. Leverage ? what is necessary to,
and will, promote further and better
learning
3. What is necessary to transit to the
next grade.29
The corresponding issues are not only
what ?power standards? are necessary for
transiting to the next grade, but also on to
higher education and the workforce.
The most comprehensive study of state
exit exams to date is Achieve, Inc.?s Do
Graduation Tests Measure Up? A Closer
Look at State High School Exit Exams.30
This report compared exit exams from
six states (Ohio included) to a variety of
content descriptors, including materials
from the Third International Mathematics
and Science Study (TIMSS), content
descriptions developed by the Council
of Chief State School Offi cers (CCSSO)
and ACT?s Standards for Transition
(EPAS System). Achieve?s conclusion
was that ?none of the tests ? presents
unreasonable expectations for high
school graduates. On the contrary, the
tests cover material that most students
study by early in their high school
careers.? On the basis of their fi ndings,
the researchers developed three primary
recommendations for the states:
First, it is perfectly reasonable to expect
high school graduates to pass these tests
? they are not overly demanding. States
should neither lower the standards on these
exit exams nor delay their implementation.
28Weiss, S. (2000). The progress
of education reform 1999-2001:
Setting the standard - will higher
expectations improve student
achievement? Denver, Colorado:
Education Commission of the
States. Available at: www.ecs.
org/ecsmain.asp?page=/search/
default.asp
29Remarks by Dr. Douglas
Reeves at the Stark County
August 2004 Administrators
Conference on August 4, 2004
at R.G. Drage Career Center in
Massillon, Ohio.
30Gandal, M., Director (2004).
Do graduation tests measure up?
A closer look at state high school
exit exams. (The American
Diploma Project) Washington,
D.C.: Achieve, Inc.,
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 37
Second, these exams will need to
be strengthened over time to better
measure the knowledge and skills high
school graduates need to succeed in the
real world. These improvements will
need to be made gradually, so that as
expectations rise, students are provided
with the supports they need to succeed.
Third, states should not rely exclusively
on these tests to measure everything that
matters in a young person?s education.
Over time, states will need to develop
a more comprehensive set of measures
beyond on-demand graduation tests. 31
While rigor is a function of the test
itself, it is also a function of the ?cut
score.? Simply put, what percent correct
equals a passing grade? Achieve found
that the ?cut scores? required to pass the
tests refl ected only modest expectations:
To pass the math tests, students in these
states need to successfully answer
questions that, on average, cover
material students in most other countries
study in 7th or 8th grade. To pass the
English language arts tests, students
need to successfully answer questions
that ACT considers more appropriate for
the test it gives to 8th and 9th graders
than its college admissions test.32
The reality is that each state went out
individually to establish its own set
of standards and own set of tests. For
nearly half the states, this test at the high
school level is a ?high stakes? exit exam.
The notion of substituting the ACT test
in Ohio for the state?s graduation test
originated as a response to the strategy
of increasing college access on the part
of the Stark County P-16 Compact. It
was not that the Compact was vested
in the ACT test, per se. It was that the
Compact was not specifi cally vested in
a high stakes graduation test which did
not focus district or teacher attention
on those elements critical to prepare
students for post secondary enrollment.
Although Ohio?s Quality High Schools
Task Force has recommended looking
into the ACT as an ?alternative
assessment? to the Ohio Graduation
Test, the issue is perhaps moot to
Stark County where several districts
are now using the full ACT testing
sequence (EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT)
and discovering that they are identifying
large numbers of students who are
performing on these tests over and above
any previous identifi cation.
They also soon may learn what ACT,
Inc. has discovered33, namely that
districts who give the full system over
time fi nd the composite scores of their
students increasing and more students
taking college preparatory core courses.
Interestingly, these two outcomes are
highly correlated with college success in
Ohio.34 The Ohio Graduation Test is not.
No set of standards and no exit
examinations will ever enable your
community, the state of Ohio or the nation
to achieve the goal of sending more kids
on to college unless those standards and
exams are aligned with what students need
to know and be able to do to succeed in
higher education and the workplace.
In our restructured high school if we
also couple small schools with the belief
that all students can achieve to high
expectations, then we have begun to
alter belief. This, in turn, will refl ect in a
new way of doing business.
State standards and standardized tests
do very little to alter belief. They only
alter the way we do business insofar as
taking the test is concerned. Ultimately,
31Also from Do graduation tests
measure up?
32This fi nding is also from: Do
graduation tests measure up?
33See: School-level Benefi ts
of Using PLAN Over Time by
Natasha J. Williams and Julie P.
Noble (2005), ACT, Inc. for a
full discussion of these benefi ts
34See: The 2005 Higher
education performance report,
Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio
Board of Regents.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 38
as a single set of measures, they may
prove woefully inadequate in terms
of altering assumptions and raising
expectations. Once again, states and to a
degree the federal government, have the
right, indeed the obligation to citizens,
to be able to assess the performance
of schools. The system, however, is
fl awed and needs adjustment not the
least of which is the removal of what
many states have instituted as punitive
measures not only against schools, but
also against students. Standards have
become not a goal, but a means to
achieve standardization in education.
Standardized tests are not the defi nitive
indicator of whether students have
learned or not, but they are being treated
as such.35 Consider what the National
Research Council had to say about
single administration high stakes tests:
High-stakes decisions such as
tracking, promotion and graduation
should not automatically be made
on the basis of a single test score
but should be buttressed by other
relevant information about the
student?s knowledge and skills, such as
grades, teacher recommendations and
extenuating circumstances.36
If we are to have such a system, much
rethinking of the way we do schooling
including a set span of 12 to 13 years,
Carnegie units, length of school day and
year must be reconsidered. But even then,
as any physician knows, the only reliable
blood pressure reading is that taken
multiple times over a series of time. Just as
some patients have ?white coat syndrome,?
some students have testing syndrome.
Rather than being a post mortem on
school and student performance, such
tests need to move into a diagnostic mode
enabling us to target honestly needed
resources to both in the understanding
that conditions, particularly in an urban
environment, are constantly shifting.
In essence, standards and testing are a tool
for achieving equity in the K-12 system.
Our current view is too narrow. Equity
today must mean P-16. The more we focus
on exit tests from high school or in fi ne
tuning K-12 standards alone, the less we
do to prepare students for college. Our
view must be total system ? P-16.
We will now look at the establishment of
local P-16?s. While many will argue that
this too represents restructuring, a major
realignment of our systems ? whether on
a local, regional, state, or even national
basis ? must begin with a fundamental
reform, i.e. the belief that not only should
all children be given the opportunity for
post secondary education, but also that all
can succeed.
35These statements largely
follow the thinking of Gloria
Ladson-Billings, President of the
American Educatioanl Research
Association (AERA).
36From: Heubert, J. P. & Hauser,
R.M. Eds. (1999). High stakes:
testing for tracking, promotion,
and graduation. Commission on
Behavioral and Social Sciences
and Education, Washington, D.C.:
National Research Council.,
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 39
High
School
Reform
Bill and Melinda Gates & KnowledgeWorks
Foundations - Small High Schools
U.S. Department of Education -Preparing America?s Future Initiative
Ohio State Board of Education - Quality High Schools Task Force
The President?s - High School Initiatives
National Governors Association - 2005 National High School Summit
Why Focusing on One Part of P-16
Won?t Get Us There
The ?why? for this is quite simple and
lies in the twin constructs of political
will and sustainability. Let?s look at an
example of one of the realities of ?2005?
style school reform.
This sub section begins with a premise.
The state does not determine the quality
of the schools you have, nor does the
federal government. Local communities
determine the quality of their schools.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 40
Though this example will be lengthy,
it is somewhat important because,
as the chart above shows, there are
multiple players today in 2005, in Ohio
and other states and at the national
level, ready to reform the local high
school. This part of this section will
herald back to my previous discussion
about the conditions surrounding
American education today. These
conditions also surround the schools
right in your community. This has the
impact of surrounding local schools
with multiple, sometimes confl icting,
streams of change.
The fi rst ?stream? was the work so
far advanced by the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation to increase the
number of effective small high schools
across the country. In this effort, the
world?s largest foundation has already
expended nearly $1.2 billion on efforts
to improve the education of children,
including the formation of nearly 2000
small high schools across 41 states and
the District of Columbia.37 In Ohio,
some 53 such small high schools have
now been opened in partnership with
the KnowledgeWorks Foundation (see
earlier vignette).
The second ?stream? was the focus of
the 2005 Summit itself which emerged
from the National Governors Association
(NGA), its partner, Achieve, Inc., and
sponsoring organizations, Business
Roundtable, the Education Commission of
the States and Hunt Institute. Early on in
his tenure as chairman of NGA, Virginia
Governor Mark Warner, made it clear that
?given that the economic prospects of
states, and this nation, are at stake, blindly
conducting ?secondary education? as
usual is unacceptable. As this increasingly
global economy demands more from our
students, we should demand more from
our high schools.?38
This stream transcended the issue
of high school size and program
effectiveness by focusing on high
schools as the bridge to higher
education, noting ?and the bridge is
increasingly in danger of collapse.?39
In essence, the Summit placed high
schools squarely within a P-16
continuum. It also reinforced the critical
economic realities facing the country
and individuals well into the 21st
century. High school, for the fi rst time,
was seen as being on the ?front-line? of
international economic competition.
The third and fourth ?streams? are that
of the federal government, embodied
in the remarks of Education Secretary
Margaret Spellings to the governors and
assorted state leaders present. Spellings
referenced the president?s new High
School Initiative which would provide in
the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 budget, $1.2
billion for a high school intervention
program to help states hold high schools
accountable for teaching all students and
to provide effective interventions for
those students who are not learning at
grade level. In return for a commitment
to improve academic achievement and
graduation rates for secondary school
students, states under the Bush plan
would receive the fl exibility to choose
which programs are the most effective
in serving the needs of their high school
students. An additional $250 million
would be requested for state assessments
to ensure that high school diplomas are
truly meaningful with required state
assessments in high school.
Presidential budgets, however, are often
problematic. Though they represent the
policy ?wish list? of an administration,
they are subject to the consent of
Congress. While the Bush administration,
for instance, wants to fund its high school
37See: http://www.
gatesfoundation.org/Education/
RelatedInfo/EducationFactSheet-
021201.htm
38Warner, M. R. (2004).
Demanding more of our high
schools. Education Week.
39NGA (2005). National
Education Summit on High
Schools: Achieve briefi ng book.
Washington, D.C., National
Governors Association and
Achieve, Inc.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 41
initiatives through the elimination of
narrowly focused or ineffectual existing
programs, Congress has not agreed.
In addition to the President?s initiatives
and budget request, the U.S. Department
of Education has been increasingly
focused on high school reform.
In October 2003, then Secretary of
Education Rod Paige launched the
Preparing America?s Future High School
Initiative at the First National High School
Leadership Summit in Washington,
D.C. Over 700 policy leaders from the
states assembled for this summit. These
individuals, selected by the education
leadership in their states, ostensibly would
return to form state-level teams to focus on
high school reform.
The initiative was designed to support
state and local leaders on these teams
in creating educational opportunities
to fully prepare American youths
for success in further education and
training, as well as to prepare them
to be participants in a highly skilled
U.S. workforce and productive and
responsible citizens.
Following the summit, the department
organized seven regional summits to
allow state-level teams the opportunity to
work on formulating high school plans,
and also formed partnerships for outreach
and technical assistance with the National
Association of Secondary School
Principals, the High School Alliance, the
Council of Chief State School Offi cers,
the National Governors Association,
the Council of Great City Schools, the
U.S. Department of Labor, the National
Football League, and other organizations.
A second National High School
Leadership Summit was also held in
Washington in December of 2004. As
with the fi rst summit, education and
community leaders from the states
convened to have the ?opportunity to
share information on a peer to peer
basis, as well as hear about current
reform efforts on the high school level
from content experts and Department of
Education offi cials.?40
The fi fth stream consists of the
recommendations of Ohio?s Quality
High Schools for A Lifetime of
Opportunities or Quality High School
Task Force. This task force was charged
by the State Board of Education in
2004 to ?(help) the state?s education
policy leaders rethink the rules, roles
and relationships that defi ne the high
school. It was directed to provide
the State Board of Education with
recommendations for the policy
changes??41 Other states, Kentucky is a
recent example, are also looking at high
school reform in a similar fashion.
These fi ve ?streams? often build on each
others? efforts and often coordinate.
The degree to which these ?streams?
interconnect and correspond in the
future will, however, be critical. Even
more critical is what this will mean to
local communities or regions. There are
those persons today who do not accept
the premise of the National Governors
Association, for instance, that the
American high school is broken. Many
communities are very satisfi ed with their
large, comprehensive high schools and,
arguably, these schools work generally
very well in high wealth communities.
Whether it is creating small high schools
or embarking on any one of countless
reform options, the questions come back
to local communities. Among these are,
?what does this really mean for students
and student achievement?? Additionally,
?what does it really mean for the
40OVAE (2005). The U.S. Department
of Education?s 2nd National
High School Leadership Summit,
U.S. Department of Education.
March 15, 2005.
41For the complete report of the
Task Force, see: http://www.ode.
state.oh.us/achievement_gaps/
Task_Force_on_Quality_High_
Schools_for_a_Lifetime_of_Opportunities/
Default.asp
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 42
community and is it in our best interest??
Finally, ?does this represent substantial
change and is it sustainable here?? The
answers to these questions will vary from
community to community.
The answers are also not easy to come
by. Intense and often lengthy discussion
is required on the part of many parties.
As Ron Edmonds once said, ?we can
whenever and wherever we chose
successfully teach all children whose
schooling is of interest to us. We already
know more than we need in order to do
this. Whether we do must fi nally depend
on how we feel about the fact that we
haven?t so far.?42 We maintain that this
discussion can best take place under the
umbrella of a local or regional
P-16 Compact. Indeed, one of the major
functions of a local P-16 Compact
is to foster and sustain a community
conversation on education, its challenges,
and its benefi ts to the community.
42This is perhaps Edmonds,
founder of the Effective Schools
movement, most famous quote.
Section Two:
Steps in Forming
a Local or Regional P-16
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 44
It?s Not the State or National Economy
Which Matters in the End...
It?s Your Local Economy
43Ohio: The Heartbreak of it All,
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
44This stands at 42,800 employers
according to the Ohio Department
of Development. Employment
fi gures are available at: http://
www.odod.state.oh.us/research/
45See Ohio Department of Development
at major employers//revenues
at http://www.odod.state.
oh.us/research/
The election year article in the Cleveland
Plain Dealer43 was a shocker and enough
to lead any Ohioan to despair. Fully
one-third of the job loss in the United
States since the year 2000, the newspaper
related, had taken place in Ohio alone.
The timing during the election was
enough to fl ock even more media
attention to the state where reporters
seemingly stood in line to interview
countless poor waifs who had seen their
jobs go south to Mexico or overseas to
some non-NAFTA country.
None of this is to minimize Ohio?s
genuine economic woes but the state
has found itself dealing with a new
set of realities wrapped up into what
has become known as the Knowledge
Economy. A lot of people, reinforced
by the collapse of dot-com stocks, tend
to minimize the notion of any economy
based on anything except the traditional
access to good roads, natural resources,
water ways, and cheap labor. They are
further reinforced by the notion that the
largest single employer in Ohio today
is not Microsoft or Dell Computers,
but rather WalMart.44 Yet, WalMart is
not the company with the greatest retail
value. That falls to Cardinal Health with
revenues of $65 billion.45
The science of regional economics is
still relatively new. Is it possible for
a region, county, or city to impact its
economic growth aside and apart from
what is happening nationally or in the
rest of the state? Most of us would
readily agree to this premise.
There is also a chicken versus egg
dichotomy in regional economics.
Literally, does the presence of a highly
educated workforce draw high tech
businesses, or do high tech businesses
attract a highly educated workforce?
What is known is that there is a defi nite
correlation between the education level of
any metropolitan area and its income level.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 45
Gottlieb and Fogarty (1999) at Case
Western Reserve University?s Center for
Regional Economic Issues (REI), looked
at the role of education in regional
economic growth. They reached the
following conclusions:| The proportion of adults holding
a college degree was over twice
as high in the most-educated large
metropolitan areas (35% on the
average) as it was in the least-educated
metropolitan areas (16% on average).| This statistic matters. Among the 75
largest US metropolitan areas, the ten
that had the most college graduates
in 1980 enjoyed per-capita income
growth of 1.8% per year between 1980
and 1997. The ten with the fewest
college graduates in 1980 experienced
annual income growth of only 0.8%
over the same period.| The most-educated metropolitan cities
also outpaced the least-educated on a
rough measure of productivity growth
over the period 1980 to 1994.| Educational attainment was not found
to be a signifi cant determinant of the
rate of employment growth in the 75
largest metropolitan areas. However,
additional work by us and others
suggest that education contributes
to employment growth across all
metropolitan areas in the U.S.| Some metropolitan areas have
improved their relative education
levels signifi cantly in less than a
single generation. Therefore, boosting
educational attainment appears to be a
reasonable objective for metropolitan
policy makers46
Today the Center is very much aligned
with the P-16 concept in spirit, if not
in name, developing something called
Open Source Economic Development.
Essentially, the wealth of communities
lies not only in brainpower, but in the
capacity to establish a sense of place
to attract talented individuals and in
the ability to create partnerships and
networks in the civic space, all cemented
by dialogue and inclusion. Communities
need to be in the process of strategic
learning, rather than the old style strategic
planning. This is precisely what a P-16
Compact accomplishes. As REI notes:
In today?s economy, brainpower
provides the only basis for sustainable
competitive advantage. This fact
presents us with some clear imperatives.
Advances in brain science tell us that
in a knowledge economy, workforce
development begins with a pregnant
mother. Every child needs sound
preschool education and should be able
to read and comprehend well by the
third grade. Further, we know that in
a knowledge economy high school is
no longer a ticket to the middle class.
Further, dropping out of school creates a
lifetime economic disability.47
When we fi rst convened the public to
discuss our white paper The Class of
2021 there was a specifi c slide that
we used. Any community can develop
a similar slide. What it shows, quite
clearly, is the correlation between
education and community wealth
as evidenced in per capita income.
The reality is that you are no longer
constrained by your community?s
location, nor by what is happening
economically elsewhere. Sure, some of
this has an impact. The greatest single
indicator of community or regional
wealth in the future will be without
question our education, both what
can be produced locally and what that
community can attract.
45See: Gottlieb, P.D., Fogarty, M.,
Educational attainment and metropolitan
growth. 1999, Center
for Regional Economic Issues,
Weatherhead School of Management,
Case Western Reserve
University: Cleveland, Ohio.
47See: Building Communities
for Tomorrow?s Economy on the
website of Case Western Reserve
University?s Center for Regional
Economic Issues at: http://rei.
case.edu/publications.cfm
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 46
I offer one other caveat. It is often
not a matter of degrees, but what kind
of degrees. We are all familiar with
the stories of the rocket scientists
pushing brooms after the last Apollo
moon fl ight was cancelled and,
more recently, about the computer
specialists who were out of work
in Silicon Valley after the crash of
the dot-com craze. Most certainly,
these transitions will always exist.
Each community or region must be
smart about what type of degrees will
best insure the employability of its
citizens and workforce into the future.
These projections do exist in the
development departments of most state
governments and at the national level.
- Source, Local Area Personal Income Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce
Consider the following example:
A Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
Midway between the cities of Akron and Canton lies a major engine of economic
growth, the Akron-Canton Regional Airport. In the midst of a major expansion,
CAK ? as it?s known in airport lingo ? is one of the fi ve fastest growing airports in
the country, servicing over a million passengers last year.
The airport is but one sign of a region preparing, no pun intended, to ?take off.? It is a
symbol of a ?cool community.? The term ?cool community? is one used by consultant
Rebecca Ryan. Ryan is president of a fi rm known as Next Generation Consulting.
Ryan?s message is simple: communities across the U.S. are facing four
interdependent realities.
The fi rst is that the ?innovation economy? ? including fi nancial services,
professional services, innovative technology, and travel and entertainment ? are
expanding. To Ryan, these knowledge-based industries have been shown to be the
most reliable sources of sustainable economic advantage.
Personal Income Per Capita Personal Income
% with a
Bachelors
or Higher Millions of Dollars
Percent
Change Dollars
Rank in
State
Area 1998 1999 2000 ?99-?00 1998 1999 2000 2000
Geauga $2,885 $3,053 $3,207 5.0% $32,337 $33,892 $35,146 1st 31.7%
Cuyahoga $45,450 $43,308 $45,033 4.0% $30,200 $30,940 $32,362 4th 25.1%
Franklin $30,192 $31,875 $33,927 6.4% $28,729 $30,036 $31,685 5th 31.8%
Summit $15,075 $15,529 $16,342 5.2% $27,884 $28,665 $30,070 7th 25.1%
Stark $9,239 $9,451 $9,861 4.3% $24,470 $24,987 $26,089 27th 17.9%
Noble $199 $203 $216 6.1% $13,916 $14,513 $15,308 88th 8.1%
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 47
The second reality is that the ?innovation economy? rests largely with the next
generation of knowledge workers. These are the Generation X?ers (b. 1961-1981).
These are the workers who are the authors of the deep impact that the innovation
economy is having in creating jobs and wealth.
The third reality is that the next generation places as much emphasis on where
they live as where they work. For communities to attract the next generation of
knowledge workers and innovation economy entrepreneurs, Ryan believes that
they must place as much emphasis on the quality of life as on economic incentives.
Amenities such as recreational and entertainment opportunities after work, access to
university research and culture, systems of parks and trails all strongly resonate with
young professionals looking for ?cool communities.?
The fourth reality is that there is a smaller pool of young professionals for
communities to attract and retain. Generation X is a smaller cohort than their older,
Baby Boomer counterparts.
Ryan?s fi rm helps communities identify their strengths and weaknesses in attracting
and retaining talent. While this is important, how and why communities seek to use
the services of a Rebecca Ryan is even more critical. On October 11th, 2004, Ryan
addressed community leaders in Canton. She came to the city at the request of the
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Greater Akron
Chamber and the Stark Education Partnership. In bringing Ryan to Canton, the
chambers were replicating an earlier collaborative effort when the two collaborated
with the Partnership and Stark County P-16 Compact on the ?Why Do They Leave?
study funded by the Ohio Department of Development.
Dennis Saunier, president of the Canton Chamber said ?the Can ton Regional
Chamber of Com merce is addressing the ?Brain Drain? issue as a signifi cant aspect
of our Economic Devel opment strategy. Led by Steve Katz, Senior V.P. and Barbara
Hammontree Bennett, Chairman of the Board, the Chamber is in the process of
identifying key issues regarding defi ciencies and opportunities in Stark County.?
While it is too early to predict the eventual outcomes of this collaboration, the fact
that chambers of two of Ohio?s major cities are working together in the knowledge
that both the retention of existing graduates and the attraction of new talent is
critical to the future economic development of a fi ve county area is signifi cant.
Some might consider the above
vignette a great story about chambers
of commerce and what chambers of
commerce purport to do best, i.e. market
communities. Such marketing, however,
is incredibly important to a P-16
approach. P-16 is about education; it is
also about economics.
Poverty drains even the best of
communities in ways that are insidious
and complex. For poverty attacks not
only the fi scal structure of communities
but also the social structures.
None of this is new to those who have
been involved in the community life of
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 48
urban or depressed communities. Most
of us with college educations and good
paying jobs fi nd it remarkably easy to push
the effects of poverty aside and treat it
almost in an academic sense. Every now
and then, people remind us of the reality.
There was the 14 year old, for instance,
who in his essay for admission to Early
College High School talked about his
life being surrounded by violence and
guns. He had seen some friends die as a
result of that violence.
Then there was the group of mothers
and kids we brought to Washington
to be part of a presentation on
college access. After lunch and their
presentation were over, the kids went to
another room for pictures. The mothers
were left seated in the main ballroom
of the Washington Hilton and Towers,
the self same place more than one
Inaugural Ball had taken place.
A colleague pulled me out of the hall
way. ?I want you to see something,? she
said. Standing behind a screen, we stared
back into the ballroom, The mothers
were racing the now busy Hilton staff
trying to clear the ballroom in grabbing
uneaten rolls and butter, putting the
same in the over sized bags they carried
for purses. My colleague, who had
worked extensively in the inner city
knew these women. Most of the time,
they literally never knew where their
next meal was coming from.
It?s also about the inner city minister
in his storefront church calling out to
suburban parents saying, ?this is your
problem and you all are going to know
it because it?s your kids who drive down
here for drugs.?
All this aside, the literature is full
of examples which indicate that the
cycle of poverty can be broken in most
families by the attainment of a college
degree. For communities, this may be
the answer to attacking that hard core of
poverty which never seems to diminish.
We must also be mindful of what I
consider an emerging prejudice in many
communities today. That prejudice goes
something like this. ?You know, we
shouldn?t be making everybody go to
college.? While sometimes this hides
an honest reaction to the notion of
?forcing? education or dictating a course
of action for another?s life, it also hides
an inherent belief that not everyone is
college material. It also sometimes hides
a belief that certain kids, or classes of
kids, can?t make it.
My response is often, ?who do you
want to tell that their kid can?t go?? For
many years, we have thought of college
as being for a select few, a club of sorts
and a club in which many of us paid our
dues to succeed. Members of exclusive
clubs are sometimes quite hesitant to let
others in. In a true P-16 mentality, this
selectivity no longer exists. This is not
to diminish rigor or cheapen the value
of a college degree as many fear. It is to
make sure that all students have the skills
necessary to go on. There will be room
in the America of the 21st century for as
many college degrees as we can produce.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 49
There is a story, probably apocryphal,
ascribed to Mark Twain about the time a
reporter asked him how the nations of the
world could combat the growing menace
from the new submarine weapon. ?The
solution is simple,? Twain said. ?You boil
the ocean.? The reporter, fi guring that
he had been ?had? by the great humorist
said. ?Mr. Twain, how can you say such
boiling the ocean is simple?? Twain
looked at the reporter and commented, ?I
only said the solution was simple. I didn?t
say anything about the implementation.?
Invariably, there are some persons who
feel more comfortable with a series of steps
on how to establish a P-16. At the onset,
the specifi cs will vary from community
to community, but the solution, or steps,
are relatively simple. This subsection will
discuss the general mechanics. The next
subsection, ?Nuances? will discuss the
implementation.
No matter what our walk in life, we have
all sat in meetings or been part of a group
which seems to conduct endless meetings
and get absolutely nowhere. In education,
such groups seem to be particularly legion
though I have seen many community
efforts run a quick second. As with many
efforts, the returns from a P-16 council
or compact are largely predicated by the
importance to which both the members of
the community and the group subscribe
to not only the potential but the capacity
of the committee to accomplish specifi c
objectives over time. Success breeds
success and it also maintains interest.
The latter is critically important for you
want a council or compact in which key
decision-makers (and not their delegates
or subordinates) remain involved. The fi rst
step then is:
1. Convening leadership. Who in your
community, either an individual or
group, has the credibility or clout
to get key decision-makers across
multiple sectors to the table? Simply
put, who in the community has the
power to convene? In this initial
group you clearly want the presidents
of all local colleges and universities,
superintendents (at the core this
begins with education) and persons
who clearly speak for the interests
of business, foundations, and human
services, such as the head of your
chamber of commerce. There is a
caveat here. Early on in the P-16
movement many local councils were
The Mechanics
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 50
established by institutions of higher
education and those institutions
continued to drive the effort. Any
local or regional P-16 must be truly
a collaborative effort. There can
be no ?poor cousins? at the table.
K-12, higher education, business,
philanthropy, and other groups must
come as equals in the process.
2. Establish the focus. This group must
decide whether or not a P-16 approach
makes sense for the community. What
will it mean for education levels, the
economy? An adjunct to this is focus
on the two over-arching goals ?? to
graduate more students from high school
and to send more students on to college.
How will this impact the quality of
life and economic security of the
community? Although this may sound
trite, these are not easy discussions.
3. What is critical is that this convening
group develop a common vision
and purpose.
4. Create a standing P-16 Council or
Compact Committee. In the Stark
County experience, this was the
convening committee plus additional
community members recommended
by the initial group. Once again, it is
critical that these be the organization
heads or decision-makers in their
sectors, or those who can speak for
large numbers within their sector or
sphere of infl uence. While this type
of committee can and does make
decisions, it also serves to network
(building community capital) and to
educate at the highest levels of the
organizations themselves. People within
the respective organizations, of course,
will need to work together later.
5. Community convening and
establishment of priorities. The P-16
committee needs to present its vision
and purpose to a broader segment
of the community. It also needs to
present data supporting the ?Why of a
P-16?. In Stark County this was done
at a community gathering in which
the white paper Class of 2021 was
presented followed by an afternoon
of breakout groups to discuss the
paper and possible strategies for the
community. The representation you
seek at this point is broader than the
community leaders on the council or
compact committee itself, but involves
those who are opinion leaders and
active managers or workers across the
multiple sectors. While it is always
egalitarian to want to invite the general
public as a whole, this will come later.
At this point you are working to expand
the buy-in and ownership through
progressive layers of the community.
The purpose of this convening is not to
debate programs; the purpose and focus
is to establish strategies.
6. Look at what existing programs
match strategies. The P-16 compact
or council committee should then do
an environmental scan to determine
which existing programs match the
agreed upon strategies. Consider this
a process of discovery. A review of
existing programs should not only
open up possibilities among the
various organizations represented on
the committee for networking and
collaboration, it will also indicate where
gaps exist. Organizations represented
on the committee can then individually
or collaboratively design programs or
seek grants to fi ll those gaps. How this
happens is refl ected in the following
vignette about a program which
resulted from the realization that high
school counselors could use additional
assistance and resources in serving
more students.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 51
A Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
One of the goals of the Stark County P-16 Compact is to raise the number of high
school graduates going on to college or post-secondary training. An effective
strategy in accomplishing this goal is to create a targeted program to increase
student and parent awareness of what preparation is needed for college or post
secondary education; the types of education available; admissions requirements;
costs; and how to obtain fi nancial aid and assistance.
Now a new Post Secondary Access Advisor (PSA2) program has been funded for Stark
County by a $30,000 grant from the Ohio College Access Network (OCAN). That grant
is being augmented by additional funds from the Stark Education Partnership. In the
fi rst year the program will provide advisors to skilled students identifi ed by the schools?
guidance counselors as those who need additional assistance to go on to advanced
education. PSA2s have been named to four urban high schools in Stark County
Advisors have been trained by Kent State University?s coordinator for Upward
Bound and GEAR UP, two programs designed to increase college going rates.
PSA2s are meeting with students and their families during non-school hours
encouraging participation in the ACT testing program; working with students and
counselors to prepare and submit college applications; helping with fi nancial aid and
assistance applications; and supporting the process as needed.
Each school?s advisor will accommodate the needs of the students in cooperation
with the guidance counselor. In addition to advisors the program offers ACT test
preparation to interested students with the support of a grant from the Sisters of
Charity Foundation of Canton for learning materials. ACT fees for qualifi ed students
have been provided by a grant from Dominion.
The PSA2s are well aware that military, technical and apprenticeship opportunities are
extremely valuable and will help students to explore those avenues as well as college.
The Stark Education Partnership is also currently developing a website for students/
parents with the following information:| Tips on completing a college application| Tips on writing a college essay| Local scholarship opportunities.
7. Supporting organization. One of the most
critical factors in establishing a local
P-16 council or compact is in fi nding
and securing the services of a support
organization. In Stark County, the Stark
Education Partnership serves in this
role. A support organization will provide
the staff work for the P-16. In a sense,
this is what takes the P-16 beyond the
scope of being just another community
committee. Once the committee decides
on a course of action or to pursue
programs commensurate with its
strategies, someone needs to do the actual
legwork that entails research, program
development, convening of interested
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 52
parties, writing of documents and reports,
and often brokering grants. Communities
should look for organizations in this
capacity that not only have the resources
to do this type of work but who also
have a history of boundary spanning,
i.e. being able to work with schools,
government, foundations, social service
agencies, etc. and access to the highest
levels of the community. As an education
reform support organization, the support
of the Stark County P-16 Compact was
both consistent with the mission of the
Partnership and an ideal fi t. Communities
should carefully consider which
organizations can best serve to support
their P-16 efforts. As an additional
cautionary note, whatever organization
is selected should consider the P-16 as a
serious long-term commitment.
8. Monitor and report regularly. Any
local P-16 effort needs to monitor
outcomes on several program levels
with the two global measures being
increases in high school graduation
and college attendance. A distinction
must be drawn between the two levels.
We might know, for instance, that a
scholarship web site (separate program)
is accessed by increasing numbers
of students and that the number of
scholarship awards is increasing. That
is a specifi c program measurement.
More students are now going on to
college. Did the scholarship web site
make the difference? Possibly yes.
However, whether or not students
go onto college is often due to a
combination of factors, such as early
awareness, parental attitude, academic
preparation, etc. More likely than
not, it will be a convergence of many
individual programs which will provide
the ?tipping point? in what is often a
rather complicated decision.
P-16?s Report to
Communities in Two
Academic Domains
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 53
Steps to Creating a Local P-16 Compact
Step 1 Covening Leadership
Step 2 Establish Focus: What Does P-16
Education Mean to Us? Where is our
community and region now in terms of educational
attainment? What will increasing this attainment mean
for our quality of life, economic development?
Step 3 Recognize that You Have Only Two Goals
These are to raise the high school graduation and
college going rate
Step 4 Create a Standing Compact Committee
This is a K-12, Higher Education, Business, Economic
Development, Foundation, and Social Services
Leadership Committee. You want organization heads
and decision-makers
Step 5 Community Convening and Establishment
of Strategies ? Present the facts to a broader segment
of leadership within the community. Have working
groups establish strategies to reach the two goals
Step 6 Look at What Existing Programs Match
Strategies. Determine What New Programs
or Approaches are Needed ? How can
existing programs work together? What collaborations
or new linkages should be formed? Where are our
?gaps?? What programs can be designed, or how can
we redirect existing resources to fi ll these?
Step 7 Supporting Organization ? Decide on what organization
will provide staff support for the P-16 effort
Step 8 Monitor and Report Regularly to
Community on Strategies and Outcomes
Monitor progress towards goals. How well are
programs meshing with strategies? Are strategies and
programs still valid?
In the same regard, the economic growth
and quality of life in communities is
due to a variety of factors. Educational
attainment is highly correlated and
a precursor to growth. None of this
precludes the serious additional work
which must take place on the part
of government and the economic
development sector. In true P-16 fashion,
all these elements must work together.
As a fi nal note for this
section, I should talk
about the theory of the
?quick win.? Look for
specifi c programs or
program adjuncts in the
initial stage which can
produce identifi able and
immediate results. The
example of the Stark
County Scholarships
web site (www.
starkscholarships.org) is
one such example. We
can also call these quick
wins, progress points.
The web site only took
those resources which
were readily available,
the scholarships within
the community, and
created a single place
where they could be
found. Interestingly,
many scholarships had
gone unclaimed over
time. A simple post card
announcing the site was
sent to all high school
seniors. Once word was
out, the information
began to circulate. The
end result, in 2005, is that
donors both within and
without the community
are increasing the
number of scholarships.
On many committees, twin tensions often
exist. These tensions are between quick
wins and long-term approaches. It has
been my experience that committees and
communities will deal with the hard and
complicated issues over time if identifi able
progress points are to be had along the way.
We all need reinforcement and evidence
of progress. A committee which does
nothing but talk, while often of value, will
seek to lose interest over time. Focus on
immediate, as well as long-term results.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 54
The concept of Keeping It Simple
seldom applies in either K-12 or higher
education. Indeed, as educators, we
are in many ways as guilty as doctors
and lawyers in wrapping what we do in
terminology so obscure as to confound
the public and often confuse ourselves.
For instance, who in the general public
really understands ?constructivist
learning? or what a Praxis Test is?
We also are very good at goal setting ad
nauseam. We set goals for students, for
teachers, for administrators. We have
wrestled with Goals 2000 and now have
NCLB and AYP. We write countless grant
proposals for countless programs and
projects, replete not only with goals, but
also attendant benchmarks and timelines.
None of this is to say that goal setting,
and particularly goal setting in education,
is a bad thing, per se. but many of our
education goals are alternately complex
or obscure and fail to resonate with the
general public. The beauty about P-16 is
that you only essentially need to have two
goals. These are:| Increase the high school graduation rate| Increase the college going rate
These goals are clear, concise,
and easily conveyed to the public.
Naturally, the attainment of these goals
is far more complex and involves
the coordination of resources, often
on a vast scale. What the goals do,
however, is to provide a framework to
not only foster public discussion and
debate but to enable stakeholders to
begin to see where their specifi c roles
might fi t.
The second thing to remember is
that these goals need to be kept in
context. The context is the total
community (or region or state or
nation) and a continuum which
stretches from preschool through
college, employment and economic
development. This continuum, as it
exists today, has many disconnects
which have evolved over the years as
illustrated below in a chart based on
Ohio. P-16 systems seek to actively
remove those disconnects.
Two Goals Are All You Need (in Context)
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 55
The context for our two goals is far
larger than just the K-12 or higher
education sector. It is the economic
health and quality of life within the
community, aspects which are fi rmly
linked to educational attainment.
Consider what researcher Enrico Moretti
has to say about this link:
A percentage point increase in the
supply of college graduates raises high
school drop-outs? wages by 1.9%, high
school graduates? wages by 1.6%, and
college graduates wages by 0.4%. The
effect is larger for less educated groups,
as predicted by a conventional demand
and supply model. But even for college
graduates, an increase in the supply
of college graduates increases wages,
as predicted by a model that includes
conventional demand and supply factors
as well as spillovers.48
Simply put, the more college graduates
within a region or state, the greater the
impact on everyone?s salary. In the old
industrial/manufacturing (certainly not the
new) environment of the 1950s, higher
education did not matter that much. Today
it matters more and more. Intellectual
capital is the single greatest asset that a
state, region, or community can possess.
This reality must be understood by all
segments of the continuum.
48Moretti, E. (2001). Estimating
the Social Return to Higher
Education: Evidence From
Longitudinal and Repeated
Cross-Sectional Data NBER
Working Paper No. 9108
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 56
Every community has leaders. Every
community also has visionaries.
It was in the spring of 2002 that in
association with the Stark County
Educational Service Center and with
Dr. John McGrath, president of Stark
State College of Technology, the
Stark Education Partnership convened
the Stark County P-16 Compact,
the fi rst such county level compact
in the state of Ohio and the fi rst
surrounding a major urban area. We
believed then and also believe today
that the Compact can well serve to be
a model for regional P-16 Compacts
or Councils throughout the state and
elsewhere in the nation.
The Compact began by pulling
together key decision-makers
(leaders and visionaries) in the area
of K-12, higher education, business,
philanthropy, economic development,
and social service agencies. These
leaders divided into three task forces
to consider what might be needed to
achieve the dual goals of increasing
the high school graduation rate and
sending more students on to college.
The fi ndings of six months of study on
the part of the task forces can serve to
advise the creation of P-16 councils
or compacts elsewhere. Though these
fi ndings were local/regional in nature,
alignment with, and investment in state
and federal efforts at the local level is
evident. The fi ndings are as follows:| Targeted programs are needed to
increase both student and parent
awareness of the preparation needed
for college, types of college education
available, admissions requirements,
costs, and fi nancial aid and assistance
available. These targeted programs
should be developed to not only
sustain aspirations on the part of
students, but to raise parent (guardian)
aspirations for their child.| A neighborhood level approach
is mandated in the inner cities.
Vision & Leadership: Critical Elements
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 57
Neighborhood leaders, parents and
guardians, particularly mothers should
be engaged in the process of working
to encourage completion of secondary
and post secondary or continuing
education for children.| The Post Secondary Enrollment
Option (PSEO) which enables high
school students from grade nine
onward to take college level courses
can be a useful tool in bridging
secondary to post-secondary education.
However, both the way in which the
option is currently being used in Ohio
and the funding mechanism that is in
place need to be examined in order to
determine how this option can be used
most effectively.| It is critical to create and improve
relationships in order to express to
students that someone cares about
their success and future. Every child
should have a learning advocate.
We need to strive to coordinate
and strengthen existing mentoring
programs, extend and coordinate
advising, guidance counseling and
college counseling services.| A compilation of scholarships
and other funding sources within
and outside of Stark County
needs to be made available both
for students and parents. This
compilation should be updated on
a regular basis and made available
both electronically and in print.
Corresponding educational programs
and sessions should be coordinated
with parents, counselors, higher
education institutions and others.
Membership in the Ohio College
Access Network (OCAN) will be a
critical component here.| We need to review and recommend
how the community might help
schools strengthen their resources
available to parents and students to
make informed decisions and gain
additional support.| We need to promote shared,
integrated data management
to assure high levels of student
achievement. Scaled up for all
districts, assessment data on students
should be shared with the colleges
and considered as a replacement for
the currently administered placement
(Compass) test. This will enable the
colleges to have access to school
district student data to continue
instruction without interruption.| We must support ongoing teacher
and school leader preparation aligned
with the tri-partite theory of change
now in use in Stark County. Enhanced
teacher preparation is needed to
continually improve results and enable
students to more successfully transit to
higher education. A continuous school
leader preparation program, based
not only on the change model, but on
distributive leadership, will enable a
solid and high performing P-12 base for
higher education.| We must move beyond existing
content standards and help all
educators P-16 integrate the lifelong
learning or ?new basic workskills?
of abstraction, system thinking,
experimentation and collaboration
into existing content standards so
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 58
that students are prepared for the
requirements of the world of the
knowledge worker who is ?highly
mobile, comfortable with ambiguity,
entrepreneurial and creative.?| We need to learn from, build upon,
and expand current contextual
learning concepts as they relate to
student learning (GEAR UP, College
Tech Prep, Academies, etc.) and their
relation to creating seamless paths to
post-secondary education.
These fi ndings, once again, emerged
from two, and only two goals. Now
it was possible to begin to formulate
strategies to achieve those goals.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 59
I was at a conference in 2004 when I
fi rst heard someone describing Ohio
as a collection of ?city states?. At fi rst,
I thought this was a poor analogy.
Yet on further refl ection, I began to
understand what the individual meant.
Ohio?s major cities, and the political
communities within those cities are
not specifi cally known for working
together or in concert. In 2004 some
68 philanthropic entities across
Northeastern Ohio launched the Fund
for Our Economic Future in an attempt
to spawn awareness of the potential for
regional solutions.
Have a Clear Local Theory of
Community and Change
Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is
established with a view to some good; for mankind always act in order
to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at
some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all,
and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than
any other, and at the highest good.- Aristotle49
The Fund has a great deal of work to do
to foster any sense of regionalization in
the area.
Community leaders identifi ed
?conservative?, ?parochial?,
?provincial? thinking of citizens and
elected offi cials as extreme barriers to
the economic transformation of NEO.
In fact, the most striking differences
between leadership interviews and
citizen conversations centered on each
group?s respective attitudes and vision
for the region.
49From Politics, Book One,
Section One. For an excellent
translation of this work by
Benjamin Jowett visit the
Internet Classics site at
MIT: http://classics.mit.edu/
Aristotle/politics.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 60
Leaders feel that residents want to live
off of the past instead of looking to
what the future can hold. In addition,
?provincialism? was the word most
commonly used to describe failure of
NEO to see itself as a region and the
lack of willingness to cooperate across
political boundaries. Indeed, when
residents were asked to describe their
aspirations for a better place, many did
express a desire to turn back time. One
Stark county resident said, ?to move
forward we have to go back?.
A Summit County resident wants life
to be ?like it was in the 50s?. And, the
Lorain County group talked about how
they ?cherished the 50s and the 60s?.
There was, however, some recognition
among residents that the economy is
shifting and traditional manufacturing and
steel are not coming back. The Mahoning
County group of residents recognized this.
They said, ?Attitude is a problem, when
steel mills went people said they?ll come
back- they won?t?. Those who wanted to
turn back time described passion for a
simpler life, ?an environment where things
are not so spread out, not so impersonal,
where you know your neighbors, where
things are not so fast-paced?. Consistent
with values, people want to spend more
time with family and friends instead of ?in
front of the television?. Thus returning
to the 50s and 60s is not just about
manufacturing and steel for residents.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 61
Nonetheless, leaders will have to be
careful about forging ahead until the
citizenry?s comfort level with doing
so increases. Attitudes will have to be
considered primarily in terms of readiness
for economic and social transformation.50
All at once, these statements underscore
many of the issues confronting leaders
not only in terms of any broader
regionalization in Ohio, but also within
their own communities. Interestingly,
despite these comments, the Fund found
that there was solid support for regional
approaches or collaboration between
governments in certain areas.
One might quickly note that K-12 or P-16
education was not one of the questions
examined by the fund, though certainly
training for new workers enters as a
major consideration. One reason for
this lengthy prelude is that there has
been a growing consensus that P-16 is
something which should be managed or
planned, or at least aligned at the state
level. I have even advocated that myself.
There is also some consensus that P-16
should take place on a regional or local
community level. The caveat here is the
defi nition of region. This book maintains
that all three (plus a federal alignment)
are needed, but for different reasons.
Part of this heralds back to what our
defi nition or theory of community ought
to be. A very simplistic answer, is that
area which is not too large to build and
insure consensus for the common good.
A more complicated answer might be
that area in which the political will can
be forged to insure the quality of life and
economic future of all citizens.
Local P-16 councils or compacts must
consider a theory of community. While
extensive regional P-16?s might look
good on paper, they will serve no
purpose whatsoever if they only produce
a handful of programs that will only
impact a handful of individuals.
Education is the key component of any
P-16. Here the theory of community
must begin. K-12 education and many
two and some four year higher education
institutions are very much wedded to
the communities they serve. In Stark
County the scope of what constitutes
community was easy to determine due to
the long spirit of collaboration between
17 public school districts and a growing
spirit of collaboration between the fi ve
institutions of higher education, both
among themselves and with the K-12
institutions. In other communities, the
answer may be different. The following
example is part, not all, of a community
theory of change. It is the theory of
change which deals with that sector of the
community known as K-12 education.
It describes how high achievement can
be obtained, not just for a few, but for all
students within a community. Yet, as you
will see, it is not divorced from the needs
of the overall community. The model
below was agreed upon by all 17 school
districts within Stark County:
50From: Ohio Grantmakers
Forum and the Great Again
Conference Planning
Committee. (2004) Framing
the Conversation for Northeast
Ohio: A Diagnostic Paper.
Lorain, Ohio:Public Services
Institute & Joint Center
for Policy Research Lorain
County Community College.
Copies of this paper may be
downloaded from the web site
of the Fund for Our Economic
Future at: http://www.
futurefundneo.org/default.asp
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 62
A Vignette From the Stark County P-16 Compact
Presently in Stark County, the higher the level of education a young person has, the
more likely he/she is to seek and attain employment elsewhere. The Stark County
dilemma, then, is how to institute systemic reform of education to prepare students for
the rapidly changing future rather than our industrial past, at the same time responding
to and supporting shifts in the local economy which increase the number of higher
level jobs for better educated youth.
This reform, already underway in Stark County, will need to result in the graduation
of higher numbers of youth with the knowledge and skills to solve complex problems
and employ sophisticated technologies. Such change can only be accomplished with
comprehensive change in teaching and learning in every school in the county. This
change is urgent, and requires that all segments of the community ? public offi cials,
educators, parents and students ? begin to act now.
Rising student achievement in Stark County, Ohio is not an accident. In part the gains have
been due to long-term, focused, collaborative action among all school personnel, business
and community leaders, and some seed money for focused interventions from local
foundations around the following beliefs:| Systemic change is essential if all students are to learn at high levels.| Systemic change requires new capacity in all of those involved in
education; building this capacity requires its own capacity.| Systemic change necessitates leadership| Systemic change must be driven locally and collaboratively.| Changing education will not take place overnight; it requires time
and patience.| Efforts to improve education must be assessed thoroughly, openly
and honestly.
In part, the gains are the result of a clear focus on our data. For the last four years,
all the districts across the county have intensely monitoring the data generated from
the state profi ciency tests and local assessments derived from state and national
standards. Building on adequate foundations with three pillars of support, we can
attain high achievement for all students:
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 63
The Stark County Theory of Action Model
Stark County stands poised on the threshold of educational redesign ? we have the
capacity, the commitment, the collaborative infrastructure, and common principles
and goals. This rare opportunity represents a pivotal moment for us. The future of
our community depends on how quickly, fl exibly, and well we do this work.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 64
Education continues to be one of the major professional employers in Stark County,
Ohio. As a result, talent abounds in the local school districts. Leaders in the school
districts have long recognized that a distributed leadership model is most effective to
accomplish and sustain the necessary change. Therefore, they choose to collaborate
with one another. Our focus is on the improvement of instruction, so we only
change the selected structures if we are sure better instruction will result. We do
not have ?policy churn?51, instead, despite numerous changes in leadership, we
have maintained stability in our school reform efforts. Most importantly, we have
a history of institutionalizing the improvement of instruction long after the initial
funding has gone.
The development of a much broader
theory of change, incorporating the entire
community, is something that a P-16
Compact may want to target. Having a
community theory of change for educated,
dedicated to achieving the twin goals of
increasing the high school graduation and
college going rate, however, is essential.
51See: Elmore, R. (2000).
Building a new structure for
school leadership. Albert
Shanker Institute. www.
ashankerinst.org
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 65
For many years in education, we
have been fi xated on fi nite projects or
programs to achieve specifi c goals.
While this approach works well if goals
are defi ned and limited, projects and
programs will seldom produce long-term
systemic change in education. There
are many reasons for this. Simply put,
teachers and administrators move on,
students and their families are part of the
system for a period of time, expertise is
gained and often lost. Systems which are
cost sensitive seldom have the funds to
fully institutionalize specifi c projects or
programs unless corresponding policy
and fi nancial changes occur.
A classic example of a program is
GEAR UP. Launched during the Clinton
administration, GEAR UP survived
(funding was actually increased) during
the fi rst Bush term from 2001-05. Then,
in his 2006 budget request, the President
called for the elimination of GEAR UP
as a free standing program. Congress
disagreed. As of this writing, GEAR UP
will continue with a budget in excess of
$300 million for FY 06. What is GEAR
UP and what is it intended to do? Let?s
look at how the U.S. Department of
Education describes the program:
The GEAR UP program is a
discretionary grant program designed
to increase the number of low-income
students who are prepared to enter and
succeed in postsecondary education.
GEAR UP provides fi ve-year grants
to States and partnerships to provide
services at high-poverty middle and high
schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an
entire cohort of students beginning no
later than the seventh grade and follow
the cohort through high school.52
Arguably, the concept of GEAR UP is
an extremely powerful one, but note the
operant statement, ?an entire cohort of
students?. While there was some latitude
in defi ning a cohort, many considered this
as a single class of students. Granted funds
could be used for teacher professional
development and a variety of other
interventions which would hopefully begin
to alter the environment of a district and
community to better serve those following
after the cohort. There was also the aspect
of a higher education K-12 partnership to
implement the project. Surely this could be
built on afterwards.
GEAR UP was funded at almost $309
million for FY 2005 and as such
Programs vs. Strategies
52Description from the U.S.
Department of Education website
at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/
gearup/index.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 66
represented a major federal education
project. As this is written, Congress has
argued the merits or shortcomings of
the program in its review of the budget.
The program will continue for now.
When all is said and done, the reality
remains that GEAR UP is a fi nite
program. Funding will someday expire.
What if, however, a district and
community under P-16 had a
strategy of increasing student (and
parent) readiness and awareness of
the need for college as a way of
achieving the goal of sending more
kids on to college. Such an agreed
upon strategy is not dependent on a
single program or the appropriations
process in Washington.
Such a strategy can attach or detach
programs and projects over time which
meet the essential demands of the strategy.
What is important is that this is a new way
of thinking within a P-16 context.
Some programs might work well; others
might fail. Some may require minimal
funding, others might utilize existing
state or federal grant program options.
The programs in place today might not
be the same as fi ve years from now. The
strategy, however, remains intact.
There are other outcomes as well. Different
organizations and agencies begin to see
where their individual programs match
specifi c strategies. As a consequence, those
programs begin to align with the strategies.
Below, by way of example, is a chart from
an early update on the P-16 Compact.
The programs in the fi rst column were the
result of an Ohio College Access Network
grant. The second column represents
programs in effect both in districts and in
the community. The third column represents
the Canton City Schools GEAR UP project,
but also a scholarship web site sponsored
by the Stark County Educational Service
Center, Stark Community and Timken
Foundations, and the Stark Education
Partnership. The site itself raised the
awareness of multiple scholarship providers
to the effi cacy of having a common site.
The last column represents a program
established by a corporate donor
(Dominion) and a policy change at a
higher education institution. Once again,
while these programs can come and go,
the strategies remain intact.
Peparation for
College Admission
Aligning
Curriculum and
Programs for
Student Success
Funding
College
Costs
Using ACT as
Admissions Test &
Decreasing Need
for Remediation| Completing the
application| Preparation program
for ACT| College Access
Advisors (PSA2)| AfterSchool| AlignOhio| Care Teams/
Wrap Around Teams| Digital Academies| Math and Science
Partnership| Small Schools| Stark Access
web site| GEAR UP program| Dominion fund for
ACT fee waiver| Stark State College
of Technology
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 67
There are strategies and then there are
?breakthrough strategies.? The difference
is that a breakthrough strategy has the
potential in a short period of time to
begin to alter perceptions, behaviors,
and outcomes on a large scale. For
instance, a long-term standard strategy
might be to increase college access by
having students take at least some college
courses while in high school. Ohio has
used this strategy, as have many other
states, for some time. In Ohio we call this
approach the Postsecondary Enrollment
Option or PSEO. Is PSEO a breakthrough
strategy? In FY 04, 929553 students across
the state used this option. To some this
may seem like an encouraging number
and PSEO has grown over the years.
Students in grades 9-12 are eligible
for PSEO. In Ohio there were 563,429
Looking for ?Breakthrough Strategies?
students enrolled in those grades alone
for the 2003-04 academic year. That
means less than 2% of Ohio?s high school
students took advantage of the option,
hardly a breakthrough strategy in a state
where the stated goal of its Commission
on Higher Education and the Economy
(CHEE) was to increase college
enrollment by 30%.54 The sad reality
is that the Ohio legislature that created
the PSEO and the Ohio Department of
Education, Ohio Board of Regents, the
districts and colleges never saw PSEO as
a breakthrough strategy.
In the end, PSEO became a program that
was neither a fi nancial winner for districts
nor colleges and that became so wrapped
up in regulation as to virtually insure the
elimination of poor or fi rst college-going
generation children.55
Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
Recognizing that Early College at Timken Campus is important to the future
development of both the Canton City Schools and Stark State College of Technology,
the leaders of both institutions have agreed to make signifi cant investments of time
and resources to assure that this effort is successful.
53For historical participation
rates in Ohio?s Postsecondary
Enrollment Option (PSEO)
see the Ohio Department of
Education web site at: http://
www.ode.state.oh.us/school_
fi nance/handbooks/fi nance_
handbooks/pseop/PSEOP_
Reports.asp
54For a full copy of the
Commission on Higher
Education and the Economy
recommendations, see: http://
www.governor.ohio.gov/
education.htm
55For an interesting review of some
of the issues surrounding Ohio?s
Postsecondary Enrollment Option
see the Ohio Legislative Budget
Offi ce Policy Brief of the same
name, Vol.1, No. 1 (January 1999)
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 68
Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, supported by Jobs for
America?s Future and in partnership in Ohio with the KnowledgeWorks Foundation,
Early College High School is a concept both simple and complex.
It is about creating a new school on the Timken Campus which will take 400 lowincome
students, fi rst generation college-goers, and advance them through a program
which yields both a high school diploma and associate degree in four years.
Early College High Schools are at the cutting edge of school reform. For a city
like Canton, Ohio with a college educated rate of 16%, the implications are clear.
As researcher Enrico Moretti (2002) has found, ?a percentage point increase in
the supply of college graduates raises high school drop-outs? wages by 1.9%, high
school graduates? wages by 1.6%, and college graduates wages by 0.4%. The effect
is larger for less educated groups ? but even for college graduates, an increase in
the supply of college graduates increases wages??
There is need to establish Early College at the Timken Campus from three
perspectives: economic development in Canton and Stark County demands that
more graduate from college, Timken Senior High School needs to graduate more
of its students from high school and Stark State College of Technology needs to
graduate more Canton students from degree programs.
Early College at the Timken Campus in Canton, Ohio will be the fulfi llment of a
long planned community dream. More than 20 years ago a group of business and
community leaders came together to discuss the needs of the Canton community.
What emerged was a focus on education, economic development and family
development through education. Effective Early College at the Timken Campus
implementation is a win/win/win for Timken Senior High School, Stark State
College of Technology and the community.
The Early College at the Timken Campus will be a new school located on the
Timken Campus. A new downtown branch of Stark State College of Technology will
be co-located on the Timken Campus which is in the midst of a multi-million dollar
expansion program.
Beginning with a cohort of 100 students and adding 100 per year until school
enrollment reaches 400, Early College High School at the Timken Campus will
feature a revolutionary model of courses co-taught by both college professors and
high school teachers.
A set of powerful assumptions will guide the new school?s design:
1. Schools operate within ?bands of performance,? described by Dr.
Houlihan, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Offi cers,
and even if they meet all of the Attributes of High Performing Schools,
they will not move out of the bands of performance without a ?break
through? strategy. Early College at Timken Campus is our ?break
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 69
through? strategy to dramatically improve academic performance at
Timken Senior High School as measured by increased passage rates on
required end-of-course tests, increased average ACT scores and increased
graduation rates.
2. All students can achieve at high levels given high expectations and
focused support.
3. High school teachers and college faculty can collaborate to help teach
hard to learn concepts to all students through the creation of engaging
work focused on the upper levels of Bloom?s Taxonomy.
4. Students will create new knowledge as they work on their Senior level
performances. In much the same way that the Westinghouse (Intel, now
Siemens) Competition creates new knowledge, we think that Early
College at Early College will create the same opportunity for students not
previously identifi ed as having this potential.
5. As high school teachers and college faculty gain experience working
together, they will collaborate and eventually trust each other to suggest
and use new strategies to stretch and reach all students regardless of the
content area.
Planning for Early College at the Timken
Campus took place in 2004-2005 and the
school opened in the summer of 2005.
In another move, Stark State College of
Technology has established a downtown
Canton campus at the Timken site and
adults can now take college courses
as well. The city of Canton now joins
the ranks of other major cities with
downtown college presences. Additional
satellite centers are located at Alliance
High School, Southeast Community
Center, and Carrollton Friendship Center.
Early College High School is an
example of a community level, it
could be state or national level as well,
breakthrough strategy. The notion was
not only to open a new school for an
eventual enrollment of 400 children,
it was also to further the process of
a culture shift within a community
that needs to focus on educational
opportunities for all its children. Does
the community get it? Consider the
following from a letter from a Stark
County citizen to the Canton Repository:
?It?s encouraging to fi nally read about
the launching of a new Canton City
program, the brightest star on the
educational scene, as I see it (?Students
eager for early college,? May 31).
Timken High School?s Early College
High School celebrated its startup
with a ceremony including speeches by
three of its best. Each of these incoming
students faces challenging economic and
environmental obstacles.
One, a talented aspiring writer, told of
never being sure if there would be food on
the table or hot water, despite his parents?
hard work. He didn?t do well earlier in
school, but because of an empathetic
teacher, found his motivation and has
worked hard ever since. One spoke of
how many students at his middle school
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 70
didn?t care about learning. He wanted to
learn. He is succeeding. Another wants to
be a teacher.
Each will be the fi rst in his family to
obtain a college degree. They can
receive up to two years of equivalent
college credit through Timken?s
program. Canton City Schools is
apparently maximizing the funding it has
obtained for this fi ne program.
So many disparities, inequities, ironies.
It is clearly time for state legislators to
develop a new education funding plan,
so that the largess some schools enjoy
can be equitably shared with those that
deserve it just as much, if not more.56
This reader clearly sees a breakthrough
strategy. So do others. On January 8, 2005
the Stark County P-16 Compact pledged to
continue the development of further Early
College High Schools. The community
will not stop with just one.
Ultimately the strategy is not just
about a single program, the Early
College High School in Canton, nor
is the strategy about who from the
outside wants to provide grants for
such a program. There are nearly 50
early college high schools across the
country. Some will survive beyond the
grant funding period, some won?t. It?s
also not about the State of Ohio or the
next biennium budget (which includes
dollars for early college start ups) or
the federal government where similar
budget requests are being made.
The strategy is about college access
for the children of a community and
how that might be effi ciently and
effectively done. It is about helping
all children succeed once they are in a
program. It is about the corresponding
belief that we have ?no dummies?
and that all children, given the proper
support, can do college level work.
That is a seismic shift.
56From: Letter to the Editor,
Canton Repository, June 8,
2005. Available at: http://www.
cantonrep.com
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 71
I once sat in on a conference session
for school personnel on grant writing
to small foundations where the
?consultant? told the group to be
prepared to write what the funder
wanted to hear but, ?once you get the
money, begin to use it the way you think
it ought to be used.? While this session
probably ranks as the most overtly
unethical presentation I have ever
attended, the consultant did underscore
what is a major quandary in education
today. As cash-strapped districts
confront a multitude of governmental
and private sector funding opportunities,
what do they do when the conditions
surrounding a grant are contrary to,
or even inimical to existing school
philosophy, policies, or even the union
contract. It is often the question of what
has to be done differently, or sometimes
given up, to secure resources.
There are other questions as well. Chief
among these is the issue of sustainability.
Will the school, district, and community
chose to sustain a specifi c program after
Be Clear About How Others? Programs
Fit Your Strategies
the external funding has expired? Will this
be true particularly if there has been no
corresponding alteration in funding and
state policy to support new interventions?
Then there is the issue of what you
are trying to sustain. Is it a specifi c
program with all the attendant ?bells
and whistles,? or are you looking to
sustain a new way of doing business?
If a new way of doing business is being
sought, does this specifi c program, the
conditions surrounding the program,
and the deliverables expected by the
grantor truly represent the best use of
time by staff, students, instructors and
community members?
Contrary to popular myths fueled by the
notion that educators get ?three months
off in the summer,? P-16 staff and
teachers are among the hardest working
professionals anyone will encounter but
their energies, like everyone else?s are
limited. Indeed, not only individuals,
but organizations like schools and
even whole communities are places of
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 72
?fi nite energy.? Only so much time and
expertise exists. Programs which seek to
alter the nature or form of schooling are
demanding and time intensive.
This has been no surprise ever since the
RAND Corporation published a major
study in 1993 called Time for Reform,57
noting that school reform would never
succeed if conducted on the fringe of
the school day and that a readjustment
of priorities was required, as well as
resistance to ?other reforms which
divert time and attention.? Sadly far too
few funders (and not a few politicians)
failed to learn from this report.
Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
In 1994, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the largest Local Systemic
Initiative grant in Ohio history to the Stark County Schools. The resulting program,
Science Education Enhancing the Development of Skills (SEEDS) changed the face
of elementary science across 16 districts.
In the Fall of 2003, Stark County did it again. The NSF awarded a grant estimated at
$7.5 million to the Stark County Educational Service Center.
The grant, coming under the NSF?s Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Targeted
Awards Program, was matched in size that round by only two other awards in the
nation (Cleveland, San Diego).
Known as the Stark County Math and Science Partnership, the award involves all
17 Stark County School districts, the Stark County Educational Service Center, the
East Regional Professional Development Center, the Stark Education Partnership,
and all fi ve Stark County higher education institutions (Malone College, Stark State
College of Technology, Kent State University-Stark, Mount Union College, and
Walsh University).
The partnership itself focuses on raising student achievement and reducing the
achievement gap in math and science among the 44 middle and high schools
in Stark County. The Stark County project impacts over 40,000 students and
includes more than 650 math and science in-service and pre-service teachers.
Urban centers (Canton, Massillon, and Alliance) were created to foster
collaboration and networking among college faculty and teachers. The centers
are located in the high schools. While the MSP program fosters close working
relationships between higher education and school districts, the notion of
collaboration among 17 districts and fi ve institutions of higher education is
unprecedented. Stark County?s earlier successes, such as SEEDS, the Science and
Math in Motion Project, and SATURN (a middle school science project) have
paved the way for high levels of collaboration.
57You can still view this study
which is archived in the ERIC
system (ED 374502)
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 73
Clearly, MSP is a massive program.
One might fairly ask what happens if
the goals or objectives of the National
Science Foundation should confl ict with,
or interfere with district goals to raise
student achievement in Stark County and
what happens when the grant period ends.
The fi rst question is not a problem due
to the fact that Stark County in its three
respective NSF proposals has outlined
programs which align with local needs.
Indeed, the original SEEDS grant was
based on a proposal formulated by top
science teachers working with business
and higher education representatives and
on an active piloting of select science
units for a full year in Stark County
schools. SATURN and MSP built on this
initial program.
The second question underscores the
reality of all external grants in that they
exist for a fi nite period of time. Even if
you succeed in large scale professional
development for teachers, they move
on or retire. There is a defi nite mobility
factor to consider.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 74
It has been our experience in Stark
County that communities can, by
virtue of vision, foresight, leadership
and determination, create viable P-16
structures on their own which will
immeasurably benefi t their quality of
life and economic outlook. Indeed,
I will argue that local or regional P-
16 collaborations and agreements are
always necessary regardless of what is
happening at a state or national level.
Schools, whether K-12 or higher
education, are part and parcel of the
communities in which they reside. This
is particularly true of two year colleges
and many small private institutions.
Even for larger state institutions
who may gain the majority of their
enrollment from elsewhere in the state,
the political, social, and even economic
ties to the communities in which they
reside cannot be minimized, regardless
of where their students come from.
Top Down and Bottom Up,
Inside Out and Outside In
Education, once again, is at the core of
P-16. Education, in increasing numbers,
at a higher level is what the community
needs to accomplish. This is seen too at
the state and national level, but there is
a severe caveat here. Education at the
school, district, and college level seldom
takes place because the state or federal
government alone has mandated it.
Michael Fullan, Dean of the Ontario
Institute for Studies in Education at
the University of Toronto in his The
Three Stories of Education Reform:
Inside; Inside/Out; Outside/In58 tells
why, in part:
Restructuring, as the term suggests,
is just that: changes in the structure,
roles and related formal elements of
the organization. The requirement
that each school should have a sitebased
team or local school council
are good examples. If we know
58See the Center for Development
and Learning web site for a copy
of this article: http://www.cdl.
org/resources/reading_room/
education_reform.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 75
anything about restructuring, it is
that (a) it is relatively easier to do,
i.e., restructuring can be legislated,
and (b) it makes no difference by
itself to improvement in teaching and
learning. What does make a difference
is reculturing; defi ned as the process
of developing professional learning
communities in the school. i.e., going
from a situation of limited attention, to
assessment and pedagogy, to one where
teachers and others routinely focus
on these matters and make associated
improvements. Structure can block or
facilitate professional community, but it
is really reculturing that must become
the key driver. When this happens,
deeper changes in both culture and
structure are accomplished.
As we discussed earlier, the kind of
schools we have are largely dependent
on our communities and what our
communities want. Increasingly, there
are those groups and individuals, often
motivated by the best of intentions, who
feel that top-down standardization will
solve our problems. They want to, in
essence, teacher proof and community
proof our system of education. Many
times these individuals feel that defi ned
models will accomplish this goal or
that a certain ?tipping point? can be
reached where the data and the wisdom
of certain practices will most assuredly
convince all that the solution is at hand.
Also in this regard, there is the belief
that specifi c structures or models,
once again dictated from the outside,
will solve all the organizational and
instructional diffi culties that beset
districts, particularly urban districts.
Sometimes I think there is a
presumption here. The presumption
is that neither teachers nor
administrators know how to educate
children. Alternately, colleges of
education are also blamed for their
shortcomings in teacher education.
The finger pointing goes on.
I once had the opportunity to spend
several days at Harvard with a person
who I consider to be one of the truly
great minds in education, Richard
Elmore.59 Elmore gave us a proposition
which surprised me at fi rst. He asked
if we had, today, the knowledge to
teach reading to virtually every child,
regardless of condition.60 The answer,
according to Elmore, was that we did.
We were also on the verge of having
this knowledge in mathematics as well.
There is no Rosetta Stone of Education
out there waiting to be discovered. I
believe today that most of our issues
are centered around capacity, rather
than knowledge, and that capacity can
best be recognized by communities
that focus their resources within a P-16
framework to support all children and
the instruction of those children.
Yet, the notion of top down models,
rather than community outside models
persist. Such models might look like
the following:
59This was at a seminar
sponsored by Grantmakers for
Education in association with
the Harvard School of Education
and School of Business.
60He was talking about the work
of Catherine Snow and the
Committee on the Prevention
of Reading Diffi culties in
Children, the National Academt
of Sciences. Several of these
publications can be viewed on
the NAS website at: http://www.
nas.edu/
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 76
It is problematic whether such models
might ever succeed in, and of themselves.
Do we need policy alteration? In many
instances we do. How we fund our schools
is probably the most glaring example. Do
we need scale up? Yes, but the question
then becomes how best to do it, not only in
the realm of accomplishment, but also in
the realm of sustainability.
In contrast, an inside out model
accepts and uses the best of state,
federal and external foundation
initiatives with the core still being
agreed-upon programs and strategies
adopted by the local P-16.
An inside out model would look like
the following:
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 77
A Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
A P-16 Reality: The sides of the ballroom at Kent State University?s Stark Campus
were lined with tables full of posters, pictures, and examples of new science teaching
units being developed for middle and high school students. Tuslaw teacher Terrie
Baumgartner stood proudly by her display.
Last summer, Terrie interned with the Perry Township Trustees and learned how the
township used applied math and science in a wide range of situations from securing bids
for road work to designing fl ood control measures to day by day administration. What
Terrie learned will now be passed on to her students, not just as math and science, but
also as a profound and practical lesson in civics.
Terrie?s students, however, will not be the only ones to benefi t. Her lessons are also
electronically stored on the AlignOhio system. AlignOhio, developed by the Stark
Portage Area Regional Computer Center (SPARCC), contains hundreds of teacher
created lessons, aligned with Ohio?s academic content standards. It also contains
student data. AlignOhio is a powerful emerging instructional tool which combines
the expertise of the county?s fi nest teachers and increasingly makes that expertise
available to teachers throughout Ohio.
Internships like Terrie?s are a component of a larger Math and Science Partnership
(MSP) funded by the National Science Foundation.
The above example is inside out. Long
before Ohio? Academic Content Standards
and long before Math Science Partnership
grants, top science teachers in Stark County,
like Terrie, began working on ways to
deliver science instruction across all 17
districts. The motivation was inside out.
Today, other segments of the community
are involved as well. Yes, this merges with
Ohio standards and with the objectives
of the National Science Foundation. The
impetus, though, began locally.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 78
Collaboration is one of those catchwords
in education and community life
which has been used so often and in so
many situations as to become blurred
and virtually meaningless.
It has been my experience over the years
that true collaboration is very diffi cult
to achieve. Part of the reason behind
this is that all organizations are resource
dependent. In collaborations, just as in
hasty marriages, organizations often fi nd
that they ??just didn?t know what they
were getting into??.
What results is what I once termed
in an article as ?safe collaborations.?
Here words and vows are exchanged, a
good public face is put on, and a lot of
meaningless activity takes place. Both
parties convince themselves that they
really have something, but no party
actually produces. Each continues to
behave precisely like they did before.
There is no higher purpose and the
collaboration, like the marriage, is due to
fail though the outside visible trappings
of both persist for a time.
To give an example, I once served
as an advisor to an emerging school-
Collaboration Instead of Competition
business partnership in a rather large
urban district. The business in question
was a rather large enterprise with an
international reach. Despite its fame
and rapid growth, the enterprise had
never really attempted much in the way
of public outreach in its home city, let
alone its own neighborhood. Right in
its back yard, literally, there was a large
inner city high school.
The business decided that it wanted
to collaborate with that high school in
creating a themed curriculum to prepare
students who might want to someday
work for the business. Further, the
business was prepared to support those
students through college, offer school
year and summer internships, even
provide health care and social services.
For a full year select committees from
the high school and the business worked
to design the model curriculum. Finally,
it was ready and placed on the school
board docket for approval. A small
window of time existed for approval in
order to do all that was necessary for
full implementation the next academic
year. The business representatives felt
that wouldn?t be a problem. After all,
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 79
they were the city?s largest employer
and surely the board would see the
tremendous opportunity this offered
children and also the district that had
experienced a substantial decline in
enrollment over the years.
The end result was that what should have
been approved post haste was tabled for
the next meeting as were several other
items as two board members engaged
in political infi ghting and positioning
through most of the evening.
The high school faculty and staff were
not surprised, they had seen it all before.
The business leaders were privately
furious, but the public face had been
put on. A modifi ed curriculum went into
place the next year, but there was no
more talk of support through college.
The business greatly curtailed the
resources it was once willing to commit.
A safe collaboration went into place.
Most organization have missions,
or at least a reason for being. All
organizations are resource dependent.
All organizations have tasks to
perform and objectives to achieve.
Some organizations are functional;
others like the district cited above
are dysfunctional. Collaboration best
occurs between functional organizations
with similar missions and objectives.
Tasks, or the means of achieving those
objectives do not have to be the same.
They should, however, be able to align.
The primary purpose of any local P-
16 through a broad based community
collaboration is to foster the alignment
of organizational objectives and align
the continuum of preschool through
college. Note here the operational term
continuum. P-16 is not only about K-
12 and higher education; it is about
every support and program which
sustains students and their families
as those students transit through the
education system. Ultimately, it is
about the economic growth and quality
of life of a community. Numerous
organizations in any community of
size across the nation are concerned
with parts of this continuum.
In the past, we have evolved these
organizations and structures separately
with multiple separate spheres of
infl uence and focus. Ineffi ciencies have
been introduced into the continuum, not
deliberately, but by virtue of evolution.
P-16 is not about competition, nor is
it about who is going to steal whose
resources, nor is it about control. I
was talking with a Cleveland area
superintendent shortly after Ohio?s
Partnership for Continued Learning,
the statewide P-16 Council, had passed
the state legislature. ?You know what
they say,? the superintendent remarked.
?P-16 is the Ohio Board of Regents?
way of gaining control over the Ohio
Department of Education.? The ?they?
of course is always not specifi ed but this
superintendent cannot be blamed for
believing that this, like so many political
issues, was about control. Neither state
nor local P-16?s will work if turf issues
interfere or if one party or another sees
P-16 as a means of gaining control
over another?s resources, organization
or mode of business. P-16, and it must
be said time and time again, is about
alignment, not control.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 80
Whenever the Cleveland Browns,
Indians, or Cavaliers reach the playoffs,
a rather curious phenomenon occurs in
Northeast Ohio. People from all walks
of life begin to sport team sportswear.
Students, bank tellers, cashiers, even
business people wear shirts, sweatshirts,
caps and ties. None of this really bears
any relationship to whether one is an
avid sports fan or not. What?s happening
transcends sports and I don?t imagine
Northeast Ohio is unique.
Everybody begins to take credit for
the team?s success. The same could
be said to be true for the local high
school football team as well on a
much smaller scale. In communities,
aside from sports, we have often
had diffi culty in feeling success in
others? accomplishments. In a P-16
environment, everyone takes credit
for the continued success of the effort.
The recognition here is that the effort,
while being the sum of the parts, is
also dependent on the further success
of those parts. We are an integrated
whole. Further, we use the success and
good ideas of others to further our own
organization?s efforts.
Everyone Takes Credit
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 81
Let?s look at communities and consider
them analogous to human beings. Like
people, communities can be young or
old, rich or poor, large or small. Also
like people, communities can have an
internal or external locus of control. In
the former, they take responsibility for
their actions; in the latter, things are
done unto them and they are victims.
Communities develop a collective
attitude, if you will, and a collective
sense or psychology of success or
failure. It is a sad reality that most
of our thinking about restructuring
and reform, including a good deal of
our research and media operates on a
defi ciency model. By this, I mean that
we are focused on problems, rather than
opportunities. Yes, every community
has problems, but it also has assets and
opportunities. A local P-16 should focus
on the latter.
Cleveland, for instance, was ranked last
year as the most impoverished large city
in the nation. This was a black eye for the
city, most certainly in the national media
as well as the local Yet, not long after all
of this came to light I remember reading
a report from a public relations guru
who hadn?t visited the city for several
years.61 The guru ended up wondering
why Cleveland had such a bad reputation,
noting that PR had a lot to do with it and
that people were reacting to perceptions,
rather than reality. The end result was that
he put Cleveland on his ?short list? of
places to live.
Local P-16 efforts can help communities
build a psychology of success. By
harnessing not only collective brainpower,
but resources in an aligned P-16
environment, rapid progress can be
made in key areas related to high school
graduation and college going. Paradigm
shifts can begin to take place.
Here is an example. In 2003, the
University of North Carolina created
something called the Carolina
Covenant. As University Chancellor
James Moeser said, ?a covenant is a
promise. College should be possible
for everyone who can make the grade,
regardless of family income. With
the Carolina Covenant, we are telling
students that college is affordable, no
matter how much money your family
makes.?62 Here was the nation?s oldest
public university saying that no student
The Psychology of Communities
61PR Fuel: PR and the Battle
of Perception vs. Reality in
Cleveland by Ben Silverman.
Ben Silverman is currently
the Director of Development
and a Contributing Editor for
FindProfi t.com (http://www.
fi ndprofi t.com), an independent
investment research service.
His personal weblog is
BenSilverman.net (http://www.
bensilverman.net).
62Full information about the
Carolina Covenant can be
found at: http://www.unc.edu/
carolinacovenant/
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 82
would be refused college due to
fi nances ? certainly a paradigm shift. In
Ohio, we fret about being 41st, 42nd, or
43rd in the nation in college education.
No one knows for sure since the results
of the 2000 Census are now nearly
half a decade old. The state?s inability
to dramatically impact this quotient
transmits down to the communities.
The psychology of failure is intact.
Now consider Stark County and what is
possible in a P-16 environment:
Just a few months ago, representatives
of Stark State College met with Stark
County Schools Superintendent Larry
Morgan, Mel Lioi, and Jim Smith to
discuss ways to increase the number
of high school seniors in Stark County
who attend college. As a group, we
decided to focus on seniors who had
no college plans, did not have a family
history of college attendance, did not see
themselves as college material, and/or
did not believe they could not afford
college. As an access college, we at
Stark State believe it is our mission to
serve these students.
We decided to start on this project
immediately with this year?s graduating
class. ? Dr. John O?Donnell63
This is the type of paradigm shift that
impacts the psychology of a community
? in essence, a Stark County Covenant.
All high school seniors will now be
approached about going to college. If
family history, fi nances, or even skill
level is a problem, ways will be found to
resolve these diffi culties. Overnight, the
door to college is open for all students
and in a P-16 environment, it is a higher
education and P-12 approach. Education
and communities build on successes like
these where all things become possible.
63Letter of Stark State College
of Technology President John
O?Donnell to Stark County
superintendents, June 20, 2005
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 83
One can create the fi nest P-16 council
or compact on paper, articulate the
twin goals of increasing high school
graduation and the college going rate,
Access: The Final Key Ingredient
develop superb strategies, and all the
rest, yet fall incredibly short of realizing
the full potential of this approach if one
key factor is not understood-access.
A Vignette from the Stark County P-16 Compact
The growing impact of a P-16 approach in Stark County has begun to have
ramifi cations at both state and national levels as illustrated by the attendance
of over 100 national, state, and community leaders at the Second Annual P-16
Conference held in Canton on October 23rd (2004).
Offering greetings at the conference was U.S. Congressman Ralph Regula, Chairman
of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies. Regula calls the Stark County P-16 Compact
?historic? and believes that its model should be studied at the national level.
Equally impressed was Dr. Stephen R. Portch, Chancellor Emeritus of the Board
of Regents of the University System of Georgia and Senior Fellow of the Education
Commission of the States. Portch, who offered the keynote address at the conference,
is author of a white paper called ?Of Paradoxes, Pioneers, and Possibilities: Ohio?s
New Covenant Imperative.? Portch, who was instrumental in the establishment of
Georgia?s P-16 system of education (one of two major state systems), sees the Stark
County P-16 Compact as the fi nest regional approach he has yet to encounter.
Recognizing the ambitious nature of Ohio?s Third Frontier Initiative, Portch states
that ?any state intent on building a knowledge economy has to address its key
knowledge component: the education of its residents.? He feels that, ?this has to be
a P-16 approach because, truth be told, the pipeline leaks along its entire length.?
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 84
While some might consider the above
vignette to be self-congratulatory
or even self-serving, it indicates in
part the level of access that the Stark
County P-16 Compact has developed
to both people and ideas. Both the
leadership, or chair, of the council
or compact and the leadership of the
supporting group or organization
needs access which will allow for free
exchanges with the larger cross-sector
leadership of the community. As I
once described it, this is the capacity
to walk into anyone?s offi ce and say,
?what do we do about this??
This is networking at its fi nest, but
goes beyond mere networking. All
communities have both formal and
informal leadership. It is the capacity
to engage this leadership, to be heard
and understood, and to generate
commitment. This is one of the reasons
why it is key that the membership of
any compact or council involve the
heads of organizations directly, and
not their designates. Others within the
organizations are important, to be sure.
What you need in the fi rst instance are
those who can decide and commit, and
not just during meeting time.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 85
There is a superintendent in Stark
County who for years has talked about
how critical public education is to
democracy. At fi rst, I thought this was
just mighty fi ne rhetoric, the type of
language one pulled out at levy time or
when a new charter school threatened
to open up. As the years went by and I
found myself teaching a course at Walsh
University on the History of American
Education, I began to feel that this was
more than just rhetoric.
We live in a nation with fi fty separate
(dependencies not counted) state
departments of education with arguably
fi fty separate agendas. As with most
political entities, these departments
are subject to all the strengths and
weaknesses entailed by such a construct.
Yet, despite the increasing infl uence
of the federal government, these
departments remain largely independent.
The largest shift, by far, has occurred
in the relationship between these state
departments and local school districts
where even though those districts may
retain freedom on courses of study,
the advent of state standards and
state standardized testing has greatly
diminished local curricular authority.
I would agree with our superintendent
that public education is a critical
component of our democracy for, on
what the drafters of our Constitution
were silent, education, one of the
mainstays of that democracy resides. By
this, I mean that no single individual or
groups of individuals controls education
in the United States. There is, to the
consternation of some, no national
curriculum and no national test. While the
standards of the various states might, and
probably should, parallel one another, the
determination still largely rests with those
states, the political entities and politicians
within those states.
Let me give an example. There was a
bill introduced in the Ohio legislature
some years ago which sought to mandate
the teaching of the Irish potato famine.
Now being of Irish extraction with
forebearers who fl ed Ireland in the
1840s, I could well identify with this
sentiment. However, this was an attempt
to micro manage high school social
studies curriculum from the legislature.
Whether this specifi c bill was an attempt
to garner favor with a particular interest
group or generated by an honest desire
A Matter of Balance
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 86
to have students learn about injustice
is immaterial. What the story does
illustrate is that there will always be
those who will attempt to infl uence the
content of what children are taught-both
for good and for ill.
In that course I taught at Walsh, I always
presented students with some key focus
questions to provide a frame for looking
at historical developments in education.
While by no means inclusive or original,
the questions went like this:
Who do we teach? What do we teach?
How do we teach? Who teaches? How
do we pay for it?
Some would maintain that NCLB, in a
sense, has dealt with the fi rst question.
The theory is good, but if the ensuing
50 years since Brown vs. Board tell us
anything, it is the gap that often exists
between the law and the practice. We
must continually redefi ne the fi rst and
strive to achieve those ends. While
NCLB has introduced the monitoring
device of Average Yearly Progress
(AYP), this does little to address the
nearly epidemic problem of dropouts.
For the balance of these questions,
quality teachers in NCLB aside, we are
still struggling with the answers. We can
ill afford to leave those answers to one
individual, or a group of individuals.
Achieving consensus on what education
is, and should be, in the United
States needs to remain an ongoing
process involving all levels of our
national existence. What then should a
community or region do in the face of a
noticeable shift to state capitals in this
determination?
I believe that one way communities can
help maintain this balance is through
the establishment of local or regional
P-16?s focused on the educational and
economic needs which are specifi c
to their own locales. I believe this is
necessary even with the establishment
of state level P-16 councils. Education
requires ownership. Our schools, and to
a certain extent our colleges, are wedded
to their own communities.
The title of the work, The Last Education
Reform, will no doubt engender a
certain amount of skepticism in some
circles. The operant word remains
reform, not restructuring. In the future,
we will undoubtedly continue to, and
most probably should, restructure
our educational institutions to meet
the changing demands of society, the
workplace, and world competition. I
would argue, however, that with the advent
of P-16 that the era of education reform
is now over. That is because reform, once
again, is about belief and substantial
alterations in belief. It is about changing
the operating philosophy, not mechanics,
of individuals, organizations, and societies.
If we have now come to believe that
higher education should be open to all,
that all students given the right support can
succeed, and that education is a communal
responsibility and task, then we have
reached the last reform.
From here, to paraphrase that story
about Mark Twain, it is how we
implement the solution.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 87
There have been very few
comprehensive reviews of P-16
references or Internet sites. An ERIC
Digest (June 2002: 159) by Gordon
(Spud) Van de Water and Carl Krueger,
for instance, remains one of the best
overall (albeit short) reviews of the
issues surrounding P-16 education.
While this review is of great value, it lists
far too few reference sources. For any
agency, community or state wishing to do
a comprehensive investigation or study
on P-16, the options remain limited.
As Janis Summerville, executive
director of the National Association of
System Heads told this researcher, ?this
is an ever changing landscape.?
Part of the ?landscape? is that where
half the states, according to Van de
Water and Krueger, have passed some
sort of P-16 legislation, the issue
remains ?some sort.? As SHEEO
(State Higher Education Executive
Offi cers) maintains ?no state has a fully
developed, well-integrated educational
system extending from birth through
postsecondary education.?
Therefore, while the basic idea of a P-
16 system is simple, the application has
varied from place to place. Some states
see simple inter-agency agreements as
a P-16 system. Others, such as Georgia
and Florida, have envisioned highly
developed systems. There is also no
general agreement on scope. Some talk
in terms of K-16 systems, while others
prefer K-20 or P-20 to take in graduate
schools as well.
Searches for materials related to P-16
also often produce citations dealing with
sub components of such systems, such
as college access.
The references and sites listed in this
document while representing one of the
most comprehensive listings on P-16
materials are by no means exhaustive.
An Annotated Web-based
Bibliography on P-16 Efforts
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 88
In great part, they are based on materials
which the Stark Education Partnership
and Stark County P-16 Compact have
found to be of use. While specifi c
documents are cited in some cases,
other references are to state or agency
sites hosting P-16 materials. Every
attempt has been made to compile a
collection which is totally accessible on
the Internet. In this regard, all url?s were
active and accurate as of July 2005.
Short quotes or descriptions have
been included.
Organization Sites and Listed References
Association of American Colleges and Universities ?? Founded in 1915,
AAC&U now represents more than 900 accredited member institutions, drawn in
approximately equal percentages from research universities, masters institutions
and liberal arts colleges, as well as two-year institutions. An excellent short article,
Ensuring Not Simply P-16 Alignment, but Truly Educated Students for the Twenty-
First Century by Andrea Leskes, vice president for education and quality initiatives,
Association of American Colleges and Universities is featured on their site:
www.aacu-edu.org/peerreview/pr-wi03/pr-wi03Reality.cfm
The Bridge Project ?? ?The Bridge Project: Strengthening K-16 Transition
Policies builds on the view that reforms affecting K-12 and higher education
must occur across systems in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Reforms
developed in isolation from each other can lead to mismatched policy objectives
and send confusing messages to education stakeholders. The overarching purpose
of the project is to improve opportunities for all students to enter and succeed
in higher education by strengthening the alignment between higher education
admissions-related requirements and K-12 curriculum frameworks, standards, and
assessments.?-Stanford University.
www.stanford.edu/group/bridgeproject/
The fi nal Bridge Project report and other materials pertaining to the project can be
found at the above site.
A new paper, Thoughts on Improving K-16 Governance and Policymaking (2004)
By Michael W. Kirst, Stanford University, with the assistance of Michael Usdan,
Institute for Education Leadership is also posted on the Bridge Project website at:
http://www.stanford.edu/group/bridgeproject/Thoughts%20on%20Improving%20K-
16%20Governance%20and%20Policymaking1.pdf
The Education Commission of the States (www.ecs.org) maintains a P-16
issues site (http://www.ecs.org/ecsmain.asp?page=/html/issue.asp?issueID=76).
This remains the most comprehensive reference site in the nation with numerous
sources and links. Included on the site are the following full text references or links
to full text references:
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 89| Carl Krueger (2002) The Case for P-16: Designing an Integrated Learning System,
Preschool Through Postsecondary Education Denver, Colorado: Education
Commission of the States. www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/36/89/3689.htm
?This policy brief summarizes the thinking of eight national experts
commissioned by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to explore why
and how states are redesigning their education systems for the benefi t of all
learners.?-Frank L. O?Bannon| Chris Pipho (2001) State Policy Options To Support a P-16 System of Public
Education. Denver, Colorado: Education Commission of the States.
www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/30/28/3028.htm
Creating a more integrated, seamless education system involves addressing many
complex issues, including standards, testing, teacher education, college admissions
policies, governance, funding streams and institutional turf issues. Over the past
decade, states have begun to move away from dealing with such issues on a
piecemeal basis toward a more comprehensive approach known as ?P-16.?| John Augenblick and Josiah Pettersen (2001) Estimated Costs of Organizing a
P-16 Education System. Denver, Colorado: Education Commission of the States
www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/30/70/3070.htm
?The purpose of this report is to estimate added costs and potential savings
associated with reorganizing the education delivery system from the current
unintegrated preschool-through-college structure to a fully integrated P-16 system.?| Gordon (Spud) Van de Water and Terese Rainwater (2001) What Is P-16
Education? A Primer for Legislators ? A Practical Introduction to the Concept,
Language and Policy Issues of an Integrated System of Public Education.
Denver, Colorado: Education Commission of the States.
Basic orientation and a practical guide for policy makers on P-16.| Stephen Portch (2002) A Noble Opportunity: Leading Education Change
Through a P-16 Accountability Model. Denver, Colorado: Education
Commission of the States.
A briefi ng paper from the National Forum on Accountability which presents
a new accountability model guided by the P-16 system of education to ensure
that all segments of a state?s education system are serving students well and
work to meet student and educator needs.| Cheryl Blanco, et. al. (2003) Student Success: Statewide P-16 Systems. State
Higher Education Executive Offi cers (SHEEO)
A series of essays by numerous experts explaining the importance of specifi c
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 90
components in P-16 systems, seeking to answer the question of what states
should do to insure that most of their young people succeed in higher education.| Andrea Venezia (2002) A Student-Centered P-16 Accountability Model:
Encouraging High Standards, Equitable Educational Opportunities and
Outcomes, and Flexibility Within A Seamless System of Education. Denver,
Colorado: Education Commission of the States.
?This Briefi ng Paper from the National Forum on Accountability outlines a
?next generation? accountability model that spans states? education systems
from pre-kindergarten through the end of undergraduate education (P-16).?| Andrea Venezia, Michael W. Kurst, and Anthony L. Antonio (2003) Betraying
the College Dream:How Disconnected K-12 and Postsecondary Education
Systems Undermine Student Aspirations. Stanford, California: The Stanford
Institute for Higher Education Research.
One of the most comprehensive studies concerning what prevents young people
from attending college. Six states (California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland,
Oregon and Texas), were studied by the authors who found that over 80%
of African-American and Latino students planned to attend some form of
postsecondary education but that the states have created multiple barriers
between high school and college. The authors also include recommendations
for policy makers.| Anthony P. Carnevale and Donna M. Desrouchers (2003) Standards for What:
The Economic Roots of K-16 Reform. Princeton, New Jersey: Educational
Testing Service.
A comprehensive look not only at the economic forces which have shaped
education reform but also at the changing demographic and employment factors
which now dictate that ?for most Americans, education and training through and
beyond high school is now a necessary condition (not just the most advantageous
or desirable route) for developing skills required by most well-paying jobs.
Also included on the ECS P-16 Issues site is a section on ?What the States are
Doing? which includes a synopsis of state P-16 related legislation, and a somewhat
dated (2000) article by Theresa Rainwater on P-16 Collaboration in the States
The Education Trust (www2.edtrust.org/edtrust) is a Washington-based education
reform organization which believes that the job of educating children is not just the
responsibility of K-12, but involves higher education as well. This organization has
also consults communities on the establishment of local or regional P-16 Councils.
The Education Trust regularly publishes ?Thinking K-16? an in-depth examination
of critical issues in education which can be downloaded from their site. The
following are currently available:
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 91| A New Core Curriculum For All: Aiming High For Other People?s Children
Winter 2003.| Add It Up: Mathematics Education in the U.S. Does Not Compute. Summer 2002.| New Frontiers for A New Century: A National Overview. Spring 2001.| Youth at the Crossroads: Facing High School and Beyond. Winter 2001.| Honor in the Boxcar: Equalizing Teacher Quality. Spring 2000.| Ticket to Nowhere: The Gap Between Leaving High School and Entering
College and High-Performance Jobs. Fall 1999.| Not Good Enough: A Content Analysis of Teacher Licensing Examinations.
Spring 1999.| Good Teaching Matters: How Well-Qualifi ed Teachers Can Close the Gap.
Summer 1998.
Extensive data on student achievement, college preparation and participation, and
the achievement gap is also maintained at the site as well as links to some national
and state level P-16 efforts.
Grantmakers for Education (www.edfunders.com) is a national association of
over 100 national, state, and local foundations who fund programs in education| ?When we say P-16: A comparative examination of successful P-16 systems
with strategies and recommendations for funders?
This national presentation looked at a State level (Maryland) and a regional
(Stark County, Ohio) P-16 system within the context of educational needs from a
national perspective. PowerPoint presentations by NASH and the Stark County
P-16 Compact are online. www.edfunders.com/events/presentations03.asp
The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) maintains a publications
site (www.iel.org/pubs.html#cheps) which features a section on connecting higher
education and the public schools. The Gathering Momentum document based on the
proceedings of a Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation sponsored policy conference
in June of 2001 which involved 15 states focusing on the need to break down the
dysfunctional separation that traditionally has characterized relationships between
the K?12 and postsecondary systems is featured here.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 92
The National Association of System Heads (www.nashonline.org) is a
membership organization of the chief executive offi cers of higher education in 38 states
and Puerto Rico. The goal of the association is to improve higher education governance
and to promote statewide K-16 vehicles to promote and coordinate standards based
education reform strategies. Among the references housed on this site is:| Janis Somerville and Yun Yi (2002) Aligning K-12 and Postsecondary
Expectations: State Policy in Transition. Washington, D.C.: National
Association of System Heads. www.nashonline.org/content/ALIGNreport.pdf
A recent article looking at high school college transition and remedial coursework.
The Center for an Urban Future ?? For an extensive, yet insightful article
By Neil Scott Kleiman based largely on New York City?s P-16 oriented partnerships,
circa 2001, see: Building a Highway to Higher Ed: How Collaborative
Efforts are Changing Education in America on the web site of The Center
for an Urban Future, see: http://www.nycfuture.org/content/reports/report_view.
cfm?repkey=10&search=1
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education ?? This
organization maintains a series called ?Perspectives in Public Policy: Connecting
Higher Education and the Public Schools,? which seeks to promote public and
educational policies designed to strengthen linkages between higher education and
K-12 schools. The series is co-sponsored by The National Center for Public Policy
and Higher Education, and The Institute for Educational Leadership.
www.highereducation.org/reports/reports.shtml
National Conference of State Legislatures ?? A P-16 issue page is
maintained on this site with links. http://www.ncsl.org/programs/educ/K16Issue.htm
National Council for Community and Education Partnerships ?? To
accomplish its goals, NCCEP looks to bring together colleges and universities with
local schools, parent groups, government agencies, foundations, corporations, and
community-based organizations in collaborative efforts to improve education at
all levels, to expand educational opportunities, and to assist students in becoming
college eligible and academically successful in higher education.-NCCEP
NCCEP coordinates the federal GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness
for College) program, the major college access program of the US Department of
Education. Information on GEAR UP and other K-16 initiatives are on this site.
www.edpartnerships.org
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 93
National Governors Association ?? The NGA is increasingly pressing for
states and the federal government to adopt P-16 alignment strategies, particularly
in association with the chairman?s initiative for high school reform. Their latest
recommendations can be accessed at: www.nga.org
Pathways to College ?? The Pathways to College Network is an alliance
of foundations, non-profi t organizations, educational institutions, and the U.S.
Departments of Education and Labor, working together to improve college access
and success for large numbers of under-served youth, including low-income,
underrepresented minority, and fi rst-generation students. Pathways supports and
uses a P-16 approach; however, much of the work focuses on college preparation
and access issues at the middle school, high school, and postsecondary education
levels. This site contains several reports and links dealing with college access issues.
www.pathwaystocollege.net
U.S. Department of Education ?? General search parameters for P-16
under the U.S. Department of Education web site are: www.ed.gov/searchResults.
jhtml?rq=0&tx=P-16&GO+-+Submit+Search.x=0&GO+-+Submit+Search.
y=0&GO+-+Submit+Search=submit| Thomas R. Bailey, Katherine L. Hughes, and Melinda Mechur Karp (2002) What
Role Can Dual Enrollment Programs Play in Easing the Transition Between High
School and Postsecondary Education? Washington, D.C. Offi ce of Vocational
and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education. http://www.ed.gov/
searchResults.jhtml?oq=P-16&odq=P-16&rq=0&tx=Thomas+R.+Bailey
A policy recommendation on dual credit programs prepared by Teachers
College/Columbia University.
The Offi ce of Vocational and Adult Education also has the following P-16 related
reports and articles on-line: www.ed.gov/about/offi ces/list/ovae/pi/hs/transit_pg2.
html?exp=0
Research and Evaluation
Early College High School Core Principles ?? Outlines the core principles behind
Early College High Schools (where high school students engage in college-level
work and graduate with both a high school diploma and a two-year associate
degree). Discusses the benefi ts of early college, the rationale for the Early College
High School model, the attributes of Early College High Schools, and how those
attributes work in practice.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 94
High School to College and Careers: Aligning State Policy. One-page summaries
of states? policies, programs, and requirements related to the transition from high
school to college and careers. Policies govern several areas: the courses and
tests required in high school; early outreach; joint enrollment programs; college
admission and placement standards; colleges? reports to high schools about their
graduates? performance; and merit-based scholarships.
High School with a College Twist. This study investigates and compares several
successful Middle College High Schools that vary in design. High schools are
located on college campuses where students attend classes with college students.
K-12 and College Expectations Often Fail To Mesh. This article describes how high
schools are connecting classroom standards with those required for college success, in
an effort to decrease the number of students needing remediation at the college level.
The Effects of Academic Career Magnet Education on High Schools and Their
Graduates. This OVAE-funded study reports on the successes and failures of a group
of career magnet high schools.
What is P-16 Education? This report, a primer for legislators, investigates a growing
number of states that are taking steps to ?connect? three levels of education -
preschool, K-12, and postsecondary.
/PK-20 Initiatives: A National Scan is a graduate research project at West Virginia?s
Marshall University. http://www.marshall.edu/ill/P%2D16/
Noteworthy Practices
Early College High Schools are being opened in increasing numbers. Many will
allow a student to earn up to two years of college credit along with a high school
diploma. A general information web site supported by Jobs for the Future is at:
http://www.earlycolleges.org/
City University of New York does not test students in math and English
competencies, for potential placement in remedial courses, if they earn a certain
score on the state Regents? exam.
Oregon State's public colleges and universities utilize the results of the State's
Profi ciency-Based Admission Standards System (PASS) as admission criteria.
Students who choose this process don?t have to submit SAT or ACT scores.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 95
Maryland educators from K-12 and higher education are partnering to draft
standards for high school end-of-level tests that can also be used for college
admissions and placement.
Contra Costa County, California has experimented with middle college high schools
for over 25 years.
LaGuardia Middle College High School in New York has been working with students
who did not fi t in the traditional public school. They are showing that this population
of students, when given the right kind of preparation, can succeed in college.
Georgia started an initiative that created a P-16 Council that has set goals to help
students move more smoothly from high school to college, ensure that all students
who enter college are prepared to succeed, and close the achievement gaps in access
to college between students from majority and minority groups.
ERIC Digests ?? ERIC Digest 159 - June 2002 on P-16 Education by Gordon
(Spud) Van de Water and Carl Krueger is a generalized overview and is obtainable
from: http://eric.uoregon.edu/publications/digests/digest159.html
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is sponsoring P-16 related
research in a new study. Details can be found on their web site, including the
following article:| A Study of the Implications for College-Level Literacy Instruction and
Assessment of the P-16 Education Policy Reform Movement. J. S. Dunn, Jr.,
and Michael M. Williamson, Department of English, Indiana University of
Pennsylvania ?? http://www.ncte.org/groups/cccc/highlights/120207.htm
State Sites
While national organizations store reference sources, research, and reports, the
wealth of P-16 materials available today are hosted by state-level web sites. It
is at this level that the agreements and practices which result in P-16 systems
are formulated. Many of these sites are state education agencies; others are
organizations (such as Tennessee Tomorrow) partnered with states. Below we have
listed several such sites.-JAR
Arkansas ?? The information page on the Arkansas Department of Higher
Education?s P-16 Partnership. www.arkansashighered.com/p16.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 96
California ?? California?s P-16 (www.certicc.org) efforts are coordinated by the
California Education Roundtable (CERT) composed of the chief executive offi cers
of the educational sectors and the State?s long-range planning and coordinating
agency. CERT?s mission is to insure that ?all students will meet high academic
standards such that they will be prepared for subsequent success in education or the
workplace without the need for remediation in core academic disciplines.?
Information on policy issues, committees and committee rosters, and publications
are included on this site.
UC Riverside?s Alpha Center is one example of a regional P-16 Compact in
California. www.alphacenter.ucr.edu/P16Regional_Alliance.htm#council
Appointment of 44 members to the state?s P-16 Council was announced in April of
2005. http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr05/yr05rel42.asp
Florida ?? The 2003 Florida Legislature passed HB 915 which establishes a
unifi ed K-20 accountability system that holds each education delivery sector
responsible for high student achievement; seamless articulation and access; a skilled
workforce; and quality, effi cient services.
The legislation also required that the State Board of Education recommend to
the Legislature a performance-based funding formula that applies accountability
standards for the public education system at every level, kindergarten through
graduate school. Florida?s K-20 Education Code can be found at: http://www.
fl senate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Index
The K-20 Performance Accountability web site contains reports and
recommendations of various task forces dealing with the implementation of
Florida?s K-20 System. The main web site is: www.k20accountability.org/
In addition, searches on the Florida state site under ?K-20? will produce over 700
separate citations. Below are some of the more recent from January 2004.| K-20 Budget Proposal ? http://www.fl boe.org/k20budget/default.asp| K-20 Accountability Advisory Council ? http://www.fl boe.org/K20AccAdvCounc/
Georgia ?? Georgia?s P-16 initiative web site is: www.usg.edu/p16/
This site contains the history, charges, and mechanics of the P-16 effort in Georgia.
In addition, the site also serves as the ?portal? to the local councils throughout the
state. The publications section includes:| Strands of Work A solid overview of P-16 in Georgia| P-16 Initiative Update An update of activities of P-16
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 97| Making the Commitment: Guaranteeing the Quality of Future Educators A
guide on teacher quality issues within the context of P-16| Regents? Principles for the Preparation of School Educators Guaranteeing the
Quality of Future Educators| P-16 in Action A publication of the Georgia P-16 Initiative| Georgia?s Plan for Having a Qualifi ed Teacher in Every Public School Classroom
A 1999 report of the Georgia P-16 Council to the Citizens of Georgia| The Status of Teaching in Georgia A 1998 report of the Georgia P-16 Council
to the citizens of Georgia
Hawaii ?? The Hawai?i P-20 Initiative, a joint education project of the University
of Hawai?i (UH), the Department of Education (DOE), and the Good Beginnings
Alliance. With a $500,000 planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in July
2003, the initiative is extending collaborative learning grants across the state. The
web site is: http://p20.hawaii.org/index.html
A bill has also been introduced into the Hawaii Legislature to establish a state P-20
council to provide the high-level leadership, resources, and commitment needed to
keep the P-20 initiative on course and focused upon its common goals. (SB75 SD2)
Illinois ?? The Academic Affairs Division of the Illinois Board of Higher
Education maintains somewhat dated links to P-16 activities at: www.ibhe.state.
il.us/Academic%20Affairs/default.htm
A new P-16 professional development portal for Illinois teachers is located at:
www.p16.illinois.edu/
The web site for Illinois P-16 collaborations is located at: http://www.p16.illinois.
edu/resources/IL_collaborations.html
Also of interest is: A 2020 Vision for a University of Illinois Initiative: P-16
and Beyond: Report of the University of Illinois Task Force on P-16 Education
(December, 2000)
Indiana ?? The Indiana Education Roundtable has the following charge:
Providing all Indiana children with the academic foundation needed to navigate
in the world of today is the basis of the Education Roundtable?s P-16 Plan for
Improving Student Achievement. Each education sector has an important part to
play in ensuring all students succeed as they progress. This success will only be
realized if Indiana?s entire education system (from the early days of a child?s life,
through early childhood education, elementary school, middle school, high school,
and college) is geared to prepare and enable all students to achieve at high levels.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 98
Aligning efforts across Indiana?s education sectors ? pre-Kindergarten, K-12,
and higher education ? is essential if our state?s education system is to meet its
primary purpose of providing every student with the preparation they need to be
active and productive citizens. The P-16 Plan builds on progress made to date
and is consistent with actions called for in Public Law 146-1999 (Senate Enrolled
Act 235), Public Law 221-1999 (House Enrolled Act No. 1750), and the federal
Elementary and Secondary Education Act ? The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
(NCLB).-Indiana Education Roundtable
Complete information on the Indiana Education Roundtable, documentation, history,
an Indiana?s Phase I P-16 plan can be found at these sites: www.edroundtable.state.
in.us/ and http://www.edroundtable.state.in.us/P-16plan.shtml
The Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) also maintains a P-16 site at: http://
www.ista-in.org/search.cfm?xnode=1
Kansas ?? In 2004, Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, created an education
team to look at ?a seamless system of quality education experiences from early
childhood, through postsecondary education and college.? Information and the team?s
recommendations may be found at: http://www.ksgovernor.org/workgroups_ed.html
Kentucky ?? The P-16 Council is made up of representatives from the Kentucky
Board of Education and the commissioner of education, the Kentucky Council on
Postsecondary Education and the council president, the Education Professional
Standards Board, the Governor?s Offi ce of Early Childhood Development, and the
Cabinet for Workforce Development. Created in 1999 and advancing both KERA and
House Bill 1, the P-16 Council advises the Board of Education and the Council on
Postsecondary Education on the education of teachers, the alignment of competency
standards, and the elimination of barriers impeding student transition from preschool
through the baccalaureate.-Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education
The P-16 Council in Kentucky is a committee of the Kentucky Council on
Postsecondary Education and the Board of Education. General materials from the
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education concerning college readiness and
economic benefi ts to Kentuckians can be found at: http://education.ky.gov/p16/
Kentucky has also established several local or regional P-16 Councils. A web site
is anticipated for these councils in the future. Information concerning these local
councils can be found at: http://cpe.ky.gov/policies/academicinit/P16/localP16.htm
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 99
Louisiana ?? Louisiana?s PK-16 effort started as The Blue Ribbon Commission
on Teacher Quality was formed by the Board of Regents and the Board of
Elementary and Secondary Education in April of 1999 for the purpose of improving
teacher quality in Louisiana. Now reconstituted as Blue Ribbon Commission for
Educational Excellence, the commission?s charge is student achievement.
http://www.doe.state.la.us/lde/bese/856.html
Maine ?? Maine?s efforts to create a P-16 system of education called the Task
Force to Create Seamless Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade Sixteen Educational
Systems are refl ected in a comprehensive web site at: http://www.state.me.us/
education/PK16TaskForce/
Maryland ?? The State of Maryland is recognized as one of the most active
in P-16 (K-16) approaches. The joint site of the Maryland State Department of
Education, University System of Maryland, and the Maryland Higher Education
Commission describing K-16 agreements and activities in that State. www.
maryland-k-16.org/
The Maryland K-16 Partnership is working on a number of different initiatives
that will have the cumulative effect of bringing the standards for educational
achievement into alignment from kindergarten through graduation from college.
Through workgroups supported by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts The
Maryland Partnership for Teaching and Learning K-16 web site is located at:
http://mdk16.usmd.edu
Michigan ?? While its primary emphasis is advocacy, the K-16 Coalition for
Michigan?s Future, a group of 11 education associations has brought school district
leaders and representatives of Michigan?s public universities and community
colleges together to describe the impact of ongoing state budget cuts on their
programs and students. That site is: http://www.masb.org/page.cfm/868/
Missouri ?? Missouri has been spondoring a series of K-16 projects. The latest
report: Achievement Gap Elimination: Report of the Missouri K-16 Task Force is
located at: http://www.dhe.mo.gov/achievementgapreport.shtml
Nebraska ?? In recent years, the efforts of Nebraska?s educational systems have
turned towards incorporating into our system the idea that success for students in
both their educational experiences and workplace experiences increasingly depends
on a high level of skill. The goal of the Nebraska PreK-16 Initiative is to ensure
that all students are properly instructed on a continual basis in order to prepare
them for the challenges of college and work.
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 100
In September 1997, the Nebraska Department of Education and the University of
Nebraska joined forces to implement the Nebraska PreK-16 Initiative, a statewide
effort aimed at improving student achievement. Nebraska joined company with
other states across our nation on the journey to a seamless educational path for all
students.-Nebraska Department of Education
The site for the Nebraska P-16 Initiative is: http://p-16nebraska.nebraska.edu/
Nevada ?? The Washoe County K-16 Council site remains an early example of a
county-based effort. Though the site has not been updated in several years, it is still
active and can be accessed at: http://www.unr.edu/k16/
New Jersey ?? The Regional P-20 Coalition of Southern New Jersey has the
mission ?through broad-based community partnerships enhance the P-20 educational
continuum to facilitate more meaningful lifelong learning and maximize the full
potential of every individual as a responsible citizen and prospective employee.?
A coalition of multi-county P-20 councils are envisioned. Among those serving on
the coalitions? ?Council of Conveners? are Charles Biscieglia, CEO of South Jersey
Industries; Judy Fisher, Executive Director of Human Resources Administration for
the Trump Properties; Kenneth Ender, President of Cumberland County College;
and Clarence Hoover, Vineland Superintendent of Schools. The coalition?s web site
is: http://www.rowan.edu/p20coalition/
New York ?? ?Today, the Board of Regents and its State Education Department
govern education from prekindergarten to graduate school. We are constitutionally
responsible for setting educational policy, standards, and rules ? and are legally
required to ensure that the entities we oversee carry them out.?- Board of Regents
of the State University of New York
New York has a governmental system which oversees education from prekindergarten
to graduate school. A practical application of a P-16 approach can be found in the
Offi ce of K-16 Initiatives and Access Programs.
The Offi ce of K-16 Initiatives and Access Programs administers over 115 million
dollars in grants, contracts and scholarships to colleges and universities; schools,
school districts and BOCES; community based and non-profi t organizations; and
students. The Offi ce provides technical assistance on innovative strategies to: (1)
Improve college graduation rates for ethnic, cultural and other underrepresented
and or disadvantaged students; and (2) Close the gap for students in need of
academic intervention services to meet the Regents graduation requirements.-New
York State Education Department
This New York site offers an example of an actualized K-16 initiative funding
approach: www.highered.nysed.gov/kiap/home.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 101
Oregon ?? LADDER PK-16 proposes a model for linking high school assessment
data to college admissions and to subsequent class placement decisions at all seven
universities that comprise the Oregon University System (OUS). This alignment of
assessments represents the second stage in Oregon?s process of building a PK-16
standards-based system.
The fi rst stage was accomplished through a grant from The Fund for the
Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education,
in 1994-97. The Profi ciency-based Admission Standards System (PASS) developed
college-entry standards and aligned them with PK-12 standards for high school
completion. One component of this project is the documentation of the standards
development and alignment via web-based resources that are disseminated
nationally to state higher education systems, departments of education, and related
audiences.-Ladder www.ous.edu/pass/pk16/
Links to descriptions of the Ladder Project on this site describe Oregon?s PK-16
history and development.
Ohio ?? Ohio has recently created the Partnership for Continued Learning (P-
16 Council). This legislation may be viewed at: http://lsc.state.oh.us/analyses/
analysis126.nsf/All%20Bills%20and%20Resolutions?SearchView&Query=SB%20
6&start=1&count=10
The KnowledgeWorks Foundation has a web page on college and career access.
Included is a link to their early college project. www.kwfdn.org/ProgramAreas/
College/index.html
The Ohio College Access Network (OCAN) was founded in 1999, by
KnowledgeWorks Foundation, in collaboration with the Ohio Board of Regents
and Ohio Department of Education. With these partners and the Ohio Business
Roundtable, OCAN works to establish college access programs across Ohio.-OCAN
Nearly 30 community based college access organizations are operating in Ohio
under this network. Information and links can be found at: www.ohiocan.org
Materials and progress reports on the Stark County P-16 Compact can be found on
the Stark Education Partnership web site under ?What?s New: Publications? www.
edpartner.org
Another regional Ohio approach is the Beeghly Center for P-16 Research and
Development which supports partnerships among P-16 educators in the region
served by Youngstown State University. The emphasis of the center is upon
collaborative research leading to improved practices in the P-16 classroom. http://
www.coe.ysu.edu/P-16/mission.html
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 102
Pennsylvania ?? The mission of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania based Education
Policy and Leadership Center is to encourage and support the use of more effective
state-level education policies to improve student learning in grades K-12, increase
the effective operation of schools, and enhance educational opportunities for citizens
of all ages. Links to local Pennsylvania P-16 Councils and national references are on
this site. www.eplc.org/clearinghouse_p16.html
The School of Education at West Chester University maintains a P-16 Consortium
page. ?The Consortium is comprised of a P-16 Advisory Council, a council formed
by representatives from West Chester University, Holy Family College, Community
College of Philadelphia, Cheyney University, Chester County Intermediate Unit,
Verizon, and members of the Bartram and Lincoln P-16 Communities of Inquiry.?
www.wcupa.edu/_ACADEMICS/sch_sed/P-16.htm
Tennessee ?? The Tennessee P-16 Council, a public/private partnership
evolved from the Tennessee Commission on Education Quality (also a public/private
sector partnership) and is focused on key education improvement initiatives and
public awareness of the link between an educated citizenry and a healthy economy.-
Tennessee Tomorrow
Several P-16 level activities are underway in Tennessee:
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission maintains a general P-16 web site,
including regional P-16 links at: http://www.state.tn.us/thec/2004web/division_
pages/ppr_pages/Planning/pprplanningp16councils.htm
Tennessee is seeking to establish a series of local P-16 Councils, similar to the
Georgia model. Guidelines for the establishment of local P-16 Councils are at:
www.tntomorrow.org/downloads/P-16%20Guidelines-Final.doc
Tennessee Tomorrow maintains a web-site for the Tennessee P-16 Council which
contains council minutes. The location of the site is: www.tntomorrow.org/
p16council/
Texas ?? The Texas PK-16 Public Education Information Resource (TPEIR) is
a project designed to provide stakeholders in public education - including but not
limited to administrators, educators, state leadership, researchers, and professional
organizations - with ready access to public primary, secondary, and higher education
information for purposes of research, planning, policy, and decision-making.
TPEIR is a joint, cross-agency project managed by the Texas Education Agency,
the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the State Board for Educator
Certifi cation. This project includes an integrated interagency data store containing
?raw? data currently collected through several different operational systems
and stored in multiple distinct databases. Data in the TPEIR data store are a
combination of aggregated and raw data.-TPEIR
P-16, The Last Education Reform: Book One 103
This site illustrates the joint use of data in a P-16 context. www.texaseducationinfo.
org/Reports/Reports_Linkages.asp
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board?s Division of Participation and
Success works in partnership with the Texas Education Agency and the State Board
for Educator Certifi cation to promote and support the development of partnerships
among colleges, universities, school districts, parents, businesses, and other
organizations. This site can be found at: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/Partnerships/
There is also a Texas State Leadership Consortium for P-16 Partnerships which
deals primarily with the federal Perkins Act applications in Texas. http://www.
texasp16slc.org/
The University of Texas at San Antonio Offi ce of K-16 Initiatives and Honors
College ?strives to increase UTSA?s partnerships and collaborations with schools,
business and industry, and community-based organizations and foundations
to strengthen the quality of education in San Antonio and South Texas from
kindergarten to college.? The site is located at: http://www.utsa.edu/k16/
Washington ?? While not a state government initiated effort, the LEV Foundation
has received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a
proposal for implementing a P-16 system in the state of Washington that would
better integrate early childhood and higher education with the K-12 system.
www.levfoundation.org/P16/input.htm
Wisconsin ?? The leaders of Wisconsin?s four education sectors -- (Department of
Public Instruction, University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Technical College
System and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities)
have created the Wisconsin PK-16 Leadership Council (www.wisconsin.edu/pk16/).
This is a voluntary initiative which also includes leaders of Wisconsin?s state
government, state agencies, education sectors, professional associations, as well as
business and industry.
?The Council?s mission is to foster collaboration that will enhance learning and
learning opportunities throughout the state so that all students are prepared to live in
and contribute to a vibrant 21st century society.?
Links to Wisconsin?s PK-16 Teacher Academies are on this site as well as the
council?s history and goals.

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