Sunday | April 19, 2009


Eugenia Kemble, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute

The Stimulus Package: What's In It For Reform?

Marshall (Mike) Smith, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Education Secretary

In addition to shoring up decimated education budgets, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is a possible funding source for state and local education reform efforts. What does the law really say? What sorts of projects might it fund to: improve teacher quality, develop effective curriculum, improve the achievement of low-performing students, develop useful assessments, etc.? How much money is available for these types of reform activities—from funds that flow through states and funds that are directly available to districts? And how might seminar participants secure these funds to pursue the best of the reform ideas we have been discussing

Partnering for Reform in Troubled Times

Randi Weingarten, President, Albert Shanker Institute & American Federation of Teachers

Labor-Management Partners' Breakfast Meetings

Teams from each district are strongly encouraged to use this planning time to identify their reform priorities and discuss the kinds of information (both substantive and technical) that they would need to pursue ARRA funding, both directly and through their states. Subsequent sessions will review key issues that relate to targeted reforms. A suggested planning template has been offered to assist you

State Standards and Curriculum: Bridging the Gap

William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor of Education, Michigan State University, Director, U.S. Teacher Education Study in Mathematics, and Member, Albert Shanker Institute Board of Directors

It’s clear that coherent standards and common curriculum (or their absence) are central to any serious effort to improve practice, including creating a well-prepared teaching force, creating a valid and useful assessment system, and raising student achievement. What are states doing (singularly and collectively) to bridge this gap? The research on these issues is summarized and discussed in the context of possible stimulus-funded projects.

Mike Linstrom, Executive Director, SciMathMN

Phil Veysey, Director of Education Policy, AFT-Massachusetts

Measuring Up: Improving the Quality and Use of Student Assessments

Daniel Koretz, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

The stimulus package includes the Secretary of Education’s discretionary funding to reward and promote the improvement of assessments, as well as standards, and to improve data collection and use. Yet, NCLB is proof, if any was needed, that the limitations and uses of student assessment are not well understood by policymakers. What would a useful assessment system look like at the state and local levels? What are the conceptual and practical issues that must be confronted to achieve such as system? The research is discussed in the context of possible stimulus-funded projects.

Best Practices: Developing and Deploying a Skilled Teaching Force

Susan Moore Johnson, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning, Harvard University and Member, Albert Shanker Institute Board of Directors

David K. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education and Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, University of Michigan, and Member, Albert Shanker Institute Board of Directors

Over the past few seminars, we have learned a lot about the research on raising student achievement through improvements in teaching quality (preparation, induction, evaluation, compensation, and distribution). Efforts to achieve equity in teacher distribution and efforts to narrow the student achievement gap will both be funded by the new stimulus bill. This session will summarize the research on what we know (and what we don’t) about the most practical and effective ways to proceed. The research is discussed in the context of possible stimulus-funded projects.

Small Group Discussions: Next Steps

Several concurrent small group discussions will allow district teams to compare notes, consult with technical advisors, and plan for next steps upon the return home.

Keeping the Process Going, Strengthening Networking, Tracking ARRA Developments

Discussion Leader: Eugenia Kemble, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute