Following are excerpts from a grant labeled CONFIDENTIAL in the early 1990's that a patriot sneaked out of a government office.  This grant formed the basis of educational reforms in Arkansas and the nation. This entire document can be found at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Marc%20Tucker%20Grant%20-%20Basis%20for%20Act%20236.htm

THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR RESTRUCTURING EDUCATION

Schools - and Systems - for the 21st Century

A Proposal to the New American Schools Development Corporation

by the

 National Center on Education and the Economy

Attn.:  Marc Tucker, President

39 State Street,  Suite 500 / Rochester  (Monroe County),  NY  14614

PH:  716-546-7620/FAX:  716-546-3145

and its Partners:

State of Arkansas                             Apple Computer,  Inc.

State of Kentucky                            Center for the Study of Social Policy

State of New York                            Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce

                                                                  

Pittsburgh,  PA                                         Workforce

Rochester,  NY                                 Harvard Project on Effective Services

San Diego,  CA                                 Learning Research and Development

State of Vermont                              Center at the Univ. of Pittsburgh

State of Washington                         National Alliance of Business

White Plains,  NY                            National Board for Professional  Teaching Standards                                                                                                    

                                                           New Standards Project

                                                           Public Agenda Foundation

                                                           Xerox Corporation      

This entire grant can be found at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Marc%20Tucker%20Grant%20-%20Basis%20for%20Act%20236.htm

 

Excerpts from the 40-page grant:

How We Plan To Do It

Our objective is to make schools of the kind we have described the norm, not the exception, first in the cities and states that are Alliance members, and later elsewhere. Getting there will require more than new policies and different practices. It will require a change in the prevailing culture - the attitudes, values, norms and accepted ways of doing things - that defines the environment that determines whether individual schools succeed or fail in the transformation process. We will know that we have succeeded when there are enough transformed schools in any one area, and enough districts designed and managed to support such schools, that their approach to education sets the norms, frames the attitudes and defines the accepted ways of doing things in that part of the world. Then there will be no turning back....

But our point is not simply to reach every school in which we work. It is to demonstrate that we can bring this revolution to scale in diverse districts and states; to reach a critical mass so that those schools that have not restructured become the exceptions rather than the norm.

The education system we have been handed down was designed to give most students only 'basic' skills. It produces a curriculum that sacrifices understanding to 'filling in the blanks' on the worksheet. It rewards those who follow the rules rather than those who produce results, so it naturally generates bureaucratic behavior. Valuing efficiency more than quality, it operates by sorting students out rather than educating everyone to a high standard. Every feature of this system reinforces all the others. That is why it is so durable, so resistant to change. That is why successful schools succeed despite the system, not because of it. 'Breaking the mold' means breaking this system, root and branch.

The question is how to bring about this kind of cultural transformation on the scale we have in mind. Because our space is limited, we will restrict ourselves to answering that question in a fairly mechanical way. But, underneath this ordered recitation of sites, dates, meetings and field work lies the model of change described above. This whole design is calculated to provide the settings, relationships and people resources needed for all phases of learning we described, and to organize them in such a way that the growth of the new culture is geometric.

Our partnership will work intensively with a few schools in three states at first. At the same time, we will work, just as intensively, with the states and districts in which these schools are located to produce the policy and management changes that will allow these schools to flourish. Then we will expand the number of schools geometrically until, by the end of the third year, we will have several hundred schools actively breaking the mold. After five years, we expect to see 3,000 schools or more irrevocably involved in the process of transformation.

How will we know how we are doing? There are two key questions here: Did we do what we said we would do? and What difference is it making in student performance? Anne Lewis, one of the nation's most prominent education writers, has agreed to address the first question, making frequent visits to the sites and individuals involved in all facets of our program and putting together a chronicle of what she finds. Ms. Lewis's reports will both be used as a management tool to keep the program on course and will become the basis of a book and articles, telling the program's story to interested professionals and to the general public. Contributing to and complementing Ms. Lewis' work will be research by Apple Computer staff at the Tier 1 sites consisting of pre- and post-interviews of teachers; case studies of a sample of individual teachers who work in these schools, based on audiotape diaries kept by these teachers; peer observations and classroom observations.

If we succeed in our first three years, much of the world will not only be aware of it, but will be trying hard to emulate it. Our task, we think, is to help them do that.

We plan to chronicle our work in a number of different ways. We will actively encourage a variety of video and film producers, particularly those who produce documentaries, to look at our work as a fertile field. We will aggressively invite the media - national and local - to pay close attention to our schools and systems as they change.

We have provided in the budget for authorship of a book intended for general audiences describing the effort. And we plan, too, to publicize it widely through the print and broadcast press. In addition, we will invite the education research community to examine what we are doing and write about it widely.

We are putting in motion a process that will yield new, world-class standards; new assessment systems; management techniques and systems that are rare in corporate America and almost non-existent in education America; curriculum and technology that will make our classrooms look quite unlike any that we went to school in, and so on. Then we are proposing to put all those parts together, to create the pedagogical analog to a chemical reaction which yields a product wholly different from any of its parts. To provoke and sustain this change will require a measure of public support and understanding that does not presently exist...

To accomplish this, we will put together a comprehensive package that includes all the techniques of the modern media strategist as well as the proven methods of community organizing.

In Kentucky, there are a number of public engagement efforts underway including the Kentucky Partnership, which is comprised of nearly sixty members led by The Business Roundtable companies. The Partnership has launched a statewide $1.3 million media campaign in support of a reform agenda virtually identical to ours. The Prichard Committee, a statewide citizens group, has launched a community organizing effort in 50 school districts in support of the same agenda.

Another of our Partners, The Public Agenda Foundation, will conduct campaigns in several of our states... It will work with our Partner sites to bring leaders from all parts of these communities into a planning process that will also include the active participation of the local media. Six-week media campaigns that include daily newspaper and prime time television coverage on many aspects of education will be launched by media partners recruited by Public Agenda. Town meetings are an integral component of the campaigns for increasing public discussion and the focus of daily news coverage for the media

The Transformed System. There are world-class students now. There are even 'break-the-mold' schools now. We will produce more of each. However, we propose to go beyond that, to address the other central challenge, designing what has never existed before in the United States, systems crafted to make 'break-the-mold' schools the rule rather than the exception. To accomplish this, both state and district educational systems must change radically.

create massive new professional development systems that will be required, define the policy framework for the integration of health and human services with education services, reform financing systems to provide all students with a fair shot at reaching the new standards, make sure that students' civil rights and safety needs are met, mobilize public support for the new system, and get rid of all the current laws, rules and regulations not required to serve these ends.

References to Arkansas in the grant

The original Alliance members - the states of Arkansas, New York, Vermont and Washington, and the school districts in Pittsburgh, Rochester (NY) White Plains (NY) and San Diego - have been joined by Kentucky for this proposal. Each of the Alliance members already has taken major strides toward creating performance-oriented systems. For some, this involved policy changes enacted through legislation or state or local board.

There is another strength to this partnership: It represents the great American diversity of approach, of region, of students and of resources...From rural Arkansas, which has passed a new outcome-based restructuring law, to inner-city Pittsburgh, which has internationally recognized schools and is moving through a city-wide restructuring effort. These Partners represent approximately 12 percent of American school children.

Under list of of Partners:

Burton Elliott

Director, General Education Division

Arkansas Department of Education

Betsy Brown Ruzzi 4 State Capitol Mall, Room 304A

Assistant Director, Commission on Skills of the American Workforce

501-682-4204

In the third year, each primary state will add 66 more schools, which we call Tier 3 schools. Beginning in the second year, our other sites - Arkansas, Washington State, Pittsburgh, San Diego and White Plains - will be bringing schools into Tiers 2 and 3 as well.

Leaders in our sites include: ....Burton Elliott, Director, Arkansas Department of General Education. From 1955 to 1989, Burton served as a teacher, principal, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent in Arkansas.

 

 

Posted Feb 12, 2013